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Old 02-20-2013, 04:37 AM
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Achieving maximum case life 101


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The dimension of the chamber and the dimension of your dies has everything to do with case life.
Lets take a look at 308 Winchester. Pull up and print the below for reference.

http://www.saami.org/pubresources/cc_drawings/Rifle/308%20Winchester.pdf

Particularly notice the tolerances allowed on cases and chambers.
Notice there is a datum line .200” up from case rim calling for .4703 and the tolerance is minus .008” which means a factory case can be manufactured from .4623 to .4703 and still be in tolerance.

In actual practice I don’t think you will find any new 308 commercial cases smaller than .465” and I believe one will find all LC Match unfired cases to be .468”

Now look at the chamber drawing at bottom at which calls for .4714 + .002 so a SAAMI chamber can run .4714”-.4734” at that datum and I have seen rifles that give birth to cases that measure .475” ! ! ! ! !

Best scenario here is obviously a LC Match case at .468 being fired in a chamber that is .4714 so you have an expansion of .0034”. Worst case is commercial case at .465 fired in a chamber of . 4734” or worse.

Now look at case neck variations you can get with such chambers. .3442 +.002 is authorized for the chamber and the loaded round neck at .3435-.008” so you can have .3355 case neck and a .3462 chamber neck.

In ammo I have measured LC Match M118 runs .338 on the neck and commercial ammo is a tad smaller and varies but I have found nothing larger than .338 on commercial ammo but then again there is so many and I don’t buy factory loaded ammo to hunt with.
It is well known the more a case expands from fired dimension the more the brass is “worked” taking it back to what FL dies produce. That brings up other problems. .308 dies I have size .4680-.469 and I have one that FL sizes at .471” as I don’t want to “work” the brass any more than I have to.

I see hundreds of references to small base dies which beg the question if all 308 dies size base dimension to .468-.469 and the smallest chamber base (fired case) dimension is .4714” how much smaller do you need? I don’t own a SB die and never have.

Thus what is one to do to obtain maximum case life? Bear in mind I am talking bolt gun chambers here and not parking lots (M14/M1A) chambers.. I have 308 reamers that give me a base dimension of .4685-.469”. Thusly commercial cases only expand .004” and LC Match expands .0005 or .001 so when it comes out my fired cases run around .4683” which means the brass has not visibly moved but can be measured. When it is sized the base does not move. Thusly the brass more or less retains its factory dimensions.
I have reamers that cut four neck dimensions: .337, .339, .344 and a SAAMI spec reamer.

Rifles chambered with .337” reamer will just chamber Winchester cases with 168 Sierras. Rifles chambered with .339” neck dim reamer will just chamber LC Match and all the commercial I have found.

Next to be considered is the distance between the case head and the case shoulder.

Look at chamber and you will find 1.630 +. 010” range. GO Gages (min) are .1630 and NO GO are normally .1.636 and FIELD SERVICE is 1.640” Thusly on a new factory rifle you will normally see 1.632 - .1.634 and I have seen new factory rifles close on 1.636 NO GO Gage.
OK get out your MOTION SICKNESS BAGS and look at headspace dimensions for ammo is .1.634 -.007” so you can have max forward movement of the shoulder go form .1.627 to 1.636 or .0066” range.

Again talking bolt gun here and not parking lots I headspace my rifles to give me a fired case of 1.631- 1.632 so when I FL size I can adjust my die to give me a loaded length of 1.630 to 1.631 which means the headspace is barely moved.
I call this the 222 Rule, which means the case moves no more than .002” at base, neck or headspace.

Now what does this give me for case life? Well in 308 using LC Match brass I have run tests where I did nothing to the cases and got 90 to 100 loadings. On commercial cases I discard Federal at third firing and Winchester at 6 to 10 firings when the primer pockets get loosened as I don’t want to cut my bolt faces with the plasma jet like leakage around the edge of the primers.

On 30.06 I run .467 base dimensions and .469 on another and I have one 30.06 LC Match case I have loaded 157 times and still waiting for more. ALL 30.06 ammo I have ever measured new unfired is .465” at the base. Based on this and the feel of the primer pocket on this case I can get maybe 200 loadings and then I will move to Wolf Primers which are a tad larger than ours and will snug up the “feel” when seating.
Based upon the cost of 500 new cases these days, this will pay for one to buy a custom reamer for bolt guns that give tighter dimensions and longer case life and if you like to shoot the reamer pays for itself quickly and it is good for many chambers especially if you use a rougher first.

Ray Steele who built all the US Secret Service sniper rifles and the match winning rifles they used for many years is the one that got me on the above chambers about 30 years ago and I bought my reamers from same place he got his to his drawings and as well his personal reamers. Ray passed a couple years back and I miss him greatly . He was not only a top flight rifle smith but a former member of US Palma, Dewar and Pershing Teams and to my knowledge only two have done all three. The other being Larry Moore. Prior to going to Secret Service Ray built all the ammunition test rifles at Frankford Arsenal. He designed the reamer used to chamber the rifle that holds the 1000 Yard Any Sight record and as of this writing is still listed on NRA website:

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I have a reamer made to Ray’s drawing for the 300 Win mag which has tolerances to give max case life as well.

OK I fully realize a tight neck can lead to high pressures and the way to make sure all your loaded ammo will fit in such chambers is you take a piece of barrel the same caliber you are shooting or the muzzle section that is cut off and run your custom min dimension reamer in chamber end till shoulder is cut about .100 in and stop it. Next reverse barrel stub in lathe and trim it back to you see the end of the case neck and leave the shoulder. This will give you exact information on where your neck is in relation to overall length. The gage is left in the die box and I gage every round loaded to make absolutely sure no interference fit is going in and have never had a case that would not go in my NECK GO GAGEs.

Bottom line is I have one set of 500 30.06 LC MATCH brass that I have been running since 1982 and they are on their third barrel and all were cut with same reamer I got from Ray Steele.
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Last edited by Humpy; 02-20-2013 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:48 AM
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Great info, Humpy - and, I hope those with questions on why their fired cases come out with such growth over factory new will read carefully.

Chambers, factory ammo and reloading sizing dies will vary considerably and that is why there is the need to keep cases fired in particular chambers separate from others if you want to get some reloading life out of them. Have some chambers that get upwards of 25 reloadings of cases and then several that maybe 9 - 10 are average. All depends on fit between chambers and dies.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:56 AM
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Great information Humpy.

RJ
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:55 AM
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Wow. Thanks for sharing!

It's now a "sticky" so the info is easily available and won't get buried under new posts.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:32 AM
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Good idee Mike

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Old 02-20-2013, 07:34 PM
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When I get time I will do 201 for the next level.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:17 AM
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Nice, Humpy!
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:41 PM
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I've had similar discussions in the past, particularly with people who want to full length re size their cases after every firing. My take on it is that provided you use quality brass and only use the brass that was fire formed in the rifle you are reloading for, full length resizing should not be needed. Of course this only applies if you shoot a bolt gun. So the only resizing needed should be case neck diameter and possibly overall length. Do I have that right??
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:03 AM
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It kind of depends on your chamber and whether it is round and how far the web area has to expand to fill it.

When I was running the 157 load test on same case I found that about the fifth loading the bolt started to get harder to close so I ran them in the FL die and bumped the shoulder back about .001" and that freed things up again. I measure my case shoulder set back with a MO GAGE which is best I have ever used.

Also remember I have multiple sets of 30.06 FL dies that size .466 to .471 and I measure the case base on cases from each rifle and pick the FL die that just barely reduces the base dimension. Cases are measured .200" up from rim on all the SAAMI drawings I have seen.

SAAMI has all their drawings on line now so you can pull up your cartridge and after measuring tell exactly where you are in relation to the big picture. For me when a case expands over .002" on firing that is too much.

It is also critical to keep the shoulder/neck properly stress relieved and learning how to do this comes from experience. If you have a new round of LC or FA Match brass, look at the blue tint of the shoulder and adjust your time in the flame to duplicate that color.

It may be somewhat harder to determine if you have not washed your cases in stainless steel media which removes the blue so you know where you are. If your shoulder/necks are turning dark blue generally means you have left that area in the flame too long and the grain structure has changed and you will lose the case shortly.

If the neck splits that indicates you have not stress relieved properly.

The ammo engineer from Frankford Arsenal who I shot with when I went to the Army Small Cal Lab explained it that you only want to stress relieve the neck/shoulder and you DO NOT WANT TO ANNEAL IT as that will take the temp about past the relaxing stage and get you into the area to where you have ruined the case.

Bascially he said properly done you should never have a neck failure for any reason and the case will last till the primer pocket gets larger to where it won't give a snug fit for the primer and allow gas leakage around the primer and you will see flame cutting of the bolt face.

The Russian Wolf primers are slightly larger than ours so if you hold off using them till your primer pocket gets loose you can switch to them and continue on.

But then again you may be getting into a lose lose proposition if the brass you use has soft case heads and by and large commercial brass has soft heads which even though you have a tight chamber the primer pocket is going to open quickly.

A friend just hit a bid on a couple thousand LC once fired 06 cases. He is 56 and with a tight chamber he will never have to buy another 06 case for the rest of his life or his kid's shooting career.

Remember the rule of thumb on the brass, "The more it moves the more you lose."
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:49 AM
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It's a bit of hearsay, but I've neck sized cases for a lever gun (.35 Rem) and they worked just fine. Probably helps that the pressures are low.

But it can be done. Not forever, but for a few loadings.
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:38 PM
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Humpy, Do you prefer the Winchester brass over most others? Even Lapua or Federal.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:07 AM
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Humpy, Do you prefer the Winchester brass over most others? Even Lapua or Federal.
Seems to me he prefers Lake City brass. I have some LC brass that was 223 and converted to 222 and seems to last several firings longer than Win. brass. FS
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:17 AM
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Outstanding Humpy! Very technical and thorough. Thank you.


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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
It's a bit of hearsay, but I've neck sized cases for a lever gun (.35 Rem) and they worked just fine. Probably helps that the pressures are low.

But it can be done. Not forever, but for a few loadings.
I neck size my 35 Rems all the time until they get hard to chamber. 30-30 too.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Humpy View Post
The dimension of the chamber and the dimension of your dies has everything to do with case life.
Lets take a look at 308 Winchester. Pull up and print the below for reference.

http://www.saami.org/pubresources/cc_drawings/Rifle/308%20Winchester.pdf

Particularly notice the tolerances allowed on cases and chambers.
Notice there is a datum line .200” up from case rim calling for .4703 and the tolerance is minus .008” which means a factory case can be manufactured from .4623 to .4703 and still be in tolerance.

In actual practice I don’t think you will find any new 308 commercial cases smaller than .465” and I believe one will find all LC Match unfired cases to be .468”

Now look at the chamber drawing at bottom at which calls for .4714 + .002 so a SAAMI chamber can run .4714”-.4734” at that datum and I have seen rifles that give birth to cases that measure .475” ! ! ! ! !

Best scenario here is obviously a LC Match case at .468 being fired in a chamber that is .4714 so you have an expansion of .0034”. Worst case is commercial case at .465 fired in a chamber of . 4734” or worse.

Now look at case neck variations you can get with such chambers. .3442 +.002 is authorized for the chamber and the loaded round neck at .3435-.008” so you can have .3355 case neck and a .3462 chamber neck.

In ammo I have measured LC Match M118 runs .338 on the neck and commercial ammo is a tad smaller and varies but I have found nothing larger than .338 on commercial ammo but then again there is so many and I don’t buy factory loaded ammo to hunt with.
It is well known the more a case expands from fired dimension the more the brass is “worked” taking it back to what FL dies produce. That brings up other problems. .308 dies I have size .4680-.469 and I have one that FL sizes at .471” as I don’t want to “work” the brass any more than I have to.

I see hundreds of references to small base dies which beg the question if all 308 dies size base dimension to .468-.469 and the smallest chamber base (fired case) dimension is .4714” how much smaller do you need? I don’t own a SB die and never have.

Thus what is one to do to obtain maximum case life? Bear in mind I am talking bolt gun chambers here and not parking lots (M14/M1A) chambers.. I have 308 reamers that give me a base dimension of .4685-.469”. Thusly commercial cases only expand .004” and LC Match expands .0005 or .001 so when it comes out my fired cases run around .4683” which means the brass has not visibly moved but can be measured. When it is sized the base does not move. Thusly the brass more or less retains its factory dimensions.
I have reamers that cut four neck dimensions: .337, .339, .344 and a SAAMI spec reamer.

Rifles chambered with .337” reamer will just chamber Winchester cases with 168 Sierras. Rifles chambered with .339” neck dim reamer will just chamber LC Match and all the commercial I have found.

Next to be considered is the distance between the case head and the case shoulder.

Look at chamber and you will find 1.630 +. 010” range. GO Gages (min) are .1630 and NO GO are normally .1.636 and FIELD SERVICE is 1.640” Thusly on a new factory rifle you will normally see 1.632 - .1.634 and I have seen new factory rifles close on 1.636 NO GO Gage.
OK get out your MOTION SICKNESS BAGS and look at headspace dimensions for ammo is .1.634 -.007” so you can have max forward movement of the shoulder go form .1.627 to 1.636 or .0066” range.

Again talking bolt gun here and not parking lots I headspace my rifles to give me a fired case of 1.631- 1.632 so when I FL size I can adjust my die to give me a loaded length of 1.630 to 1.631 which means the headspace is barely moved.
I call this the 222 Rule, which means the case moves no more than .002” at base, neck or headspace.

Now what does this give me for case life? Well in 308 using LC Match brass I have run tests where I did nothing to the cases and got 90 to 100 loadings. On commercial cases I discard Federal at third firing and Winchester at 6 to 10 firings when the primer pockets get loosened as I don’t want to cut my bolt faces with the plasma jet like leakage around the edge of the primers.

On 30.06 I run .467 base dimensions and .469 on another and I have one 30.06 LC Match case I have loaded 157 times and still waiting for more. ALL 30.06 ammo I have ever measured new unfired is .465” at the base. Based on this and the feel of the primer pocket on this case I can get maybe 200 loadings and then I will move to Wolf Primers which are a tad larger than ours and will snug up the “feel” when seating.
Based upon the cost of 500 new cases these days, this will pay for one to buy a custom reamer for bolt guns that give tighter dimensions and longer case life and if you like to shoot the reamer pays for itself quickly and it is good for many chambers especially if you use a rougher first.

Ray Steele who built all the US Secret Service sniper rifles and the match winning rifles they used for many years is the one that got me on the above chambers about 30 years ago and I bought my reamers from same place he got his to his drawings and as well his personal reamers. Ray passed a couple years back and I miss him greatly . He was not only a top flight rifle smith but a former member of US Palma, Dewar and Pershing Teams and to my knowledge only two have done all three. The other being Larry Moore. Prior to going to Secret Service Ray built all the ammunition test rifles at Frankford Arsenal. He designed the reamer used to chamber the rifle that holds the 1000 Yard Any Sight record and as of this writing is still listed on NRA website:

<TABLE style="WIDTH: 100%; BORDER-COLLAPSE: collapse; mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184" class=MsoNormalTable border=1 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR style="mso-yfti-irow: 0; mso-yfti-firstrow: yes; mso-yfti-lastrow: yes"><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #d4d0c8; BORDER-LEFT: #d4d0c8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #d4d0c8; BORDER-RIGHT: #d4d0c8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt"></TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #d4d0c8; BORDER-LEFT: #d4d0c8; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; PADDING-LEFT: 0.75pt; PADDING-RIGHT: 0.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #d4d0c8; BORDER-RIGHT: #d4d0c8; PADDING-TOP: 0.75pt">C B KOVALCHIK 200-19X


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I have a reamer made to Ray’s drawing for the 300 Win mag which has tolerances to give max case life as well.

OK I fully realize a tight neck can lead to high pressures and the way to make sure all your loaded ammo will fit in such chambers is you take a piece of barrel the same caliber you are shooting or the muzzle section that is cut off and run your custom min dimension reamer in chamber end till shoulder is cut about .100 in and stop it. Next reverse barrel stub in lathe and trim it back to you see the end of the case neck and leave the shoulder. This will give you exact information on where your neck is in relation to overall length. The gage is left in the die box and I gage every round loaded to make absolutely sure no interference fit is going in and have never had a case that would not go in my NECK GO GAGEs.

Bottom line is I have one set of 500 30.06 LC MATCH brass that I have been running since 1982 and they are on their third barrel and all were cut with same reamer I got from Ray Steele.
Superb post Humpy, only thing I can add to that is that I USED to ream (170 D46 at .309), but these days I've gone over to using the Mandrel expanders (Sinclair, Lyman). I have more control when I swap them to get either .306 or .307 as needed (and thanks for the data about using a mandrel .002ths smaller than the bullet diameter for proper tension when not crimping).

You've seen the testing data... getting 1.25 MOA with the Siera 175 MKs with a standard grade works nicely!

More to come, weather's clearing and I'll be getting back to it.
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  #15  
Old 04-15-2014, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by kdub View Post
Great info, Humpy - and, I hope those with questions on why their fired cases come out with such growth over factory new will read carefully.

Chambers, factory ammo and reloading sizing dies will vary considerably and that is why there is the need to keep cases fired in particular chambers separate from others if you want to get some reloading life out of them. Have some chambers that get upwards of 25 reloadings of cases and then several that maybe 9 - 10 are average. All depends on fit between chambers and dies.
Don't ask about how many reloads some of Humpy's cases have seen

But he also anneals every 4 to 5 reload. We just happen to anneal differently, but both with the old style torch.

There's also one more problem with using military brass, in this case 7.62/.308. Since the late 70's, more 7.62 has been used in LMGs. The M60 was the worst and don't expect cases that were used in an M60 to live long.. they won't.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Fasteel View Post
Seems to me he prefers Lake City brass. I have some LC brass that was 223 and converted to 222 and seems to last several firings longer than Win. brass. FS
Nope, he prefers not just Lake City, it's M118 National Match brass.

Of commercial brass, Lapua is the best, but not quite as strong as Ball or M118 brass. I know I'm burning a lot of all of it in ammo testing. Note the below with one note, 7.62LR brass is the same as M118


Differences in cases can be substantial, especially in strength and quality. Again the way to check (even between different lots of the same headstamp) is to weight them. Weight affects case capacity, which affects the load data. Random sampling of various cases by weight:

Commercial:
Remington Peter case: 154.4 grains
Norma (new): 166.1 grains
Winchester (nickel plated): 166.7 grains
Lapua (new): 171.7 grains
Frontier (old): 172.7 grains

Military:
LC ball (01) 180.3 grains
LC LR (06) 179.6 grains
LC M118 match (72): 179.6 grains
LC ball (88) 179.1 grains
LC ball (72): 178.9 grains
WRA ball (67): 178.2 grains
WCC ball (09): 178.0 grains
TW ball (68): 177.7 grains
LC ball (90) 177.2 grains
LC ball (87) 177.2 grains
FC ball (08): 176.6 grains
LC ball (94) 176.6 grains
LC M852 match (89): 175.4 grains

This is M118
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Achieving maximum case life 101-dsc00321.jpg  

Last edited by rojkoh; 04-15-2014 at 11:53 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-27-2015, 02:59 AM
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I have a good supply of Winchester 308 cases but my course guns tend to see Lake City Match cases including my 6.5X06.

My ideal on necking down LC Match (be it 7.62 or 30.06 is that when I neck it down it won't go in the chamber until I neck turn the cases to give .001 to .002 clearance thusly I know the bullet is centered up in the neck far closer than I would ever get with SAAMI dimension cases/chambers.

I really don't know what kind of brass life I can get because I haven't got back to the 30.06 test which has 157 firings on one case and primer pocket is still snug. I am still using Winchester primers and when the primer pocket starts to get tired I will switch to the Wolf primers which are a tad larger diameter.

My problem now is I haven't been able to shoot high power since June of 2013 due to being rearended messing my neck and shoulder up. About two months ago I was out riding my mountain bike and both arms went to sleep all the way to the shoulders which necessitated another MRI and I now have two spurs growing into discs which are pressing on spinal cord.

I am trying to put off the surgery until next summer unless something else happens. This will give the shoulder more time to heal. My fear now is I was in physical therapy with a guy who was in a wreck and he said his shoulder took 10 years to get back to normal and he had just hurt the other shoulder.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:54 AM
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Sorry to hear of the medical problems, Humpy - that pretty much curtails shooting activities until therapy (hopefully) will make things right.

My shooting shoulder has arthritis setting in and I've really got to pad it to keep the recoil down, even with moderate cartridge loadings. It's the pits when wanting to shoot the old Spfld Trapdoor, even with reduced loads.

Your experimentation with the one case reloads is interesting, indeed.
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  #19  
Old 09-06-2015, 05:05 AM
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Kdub, Thanks for concern. I have been back into a weight loss program and walking and a couple weeks ago starting jogging a little. When I got here in 94 I could jog six miles non stop and in 2002 time frame after third heel spur surgery Doc told me to start on the mountain bike and stop the running.

Well I am now 68 so the jogging started off at like 30 yards, then 50 yards and has now progressed to 2/10ths mile and it is a real problem getting my wind back but on the positive side my shoulder got much better quickly. I have not been able to sleep on my right shoulder since 2013, as of a week ago I can.

Also the neck is not popping as bad but I am still having hands and forearms go to sleep so at least something is getting better but Doc says I will be at higher risk of injury if rear ended again as long as the spurs are there and the vertebrae are still touching and they all are on back of my neck!!!!


Obviously I am extremely concerned about getting hit again as is wife. Doc told her (she has already had two spine surgeries from rear end collision ) that one more rear end collision would likely kill her on the spot. Thusly I have a rear bumper that is made from steel plate that goes in receiver hitch that absorbs much of the energy delivered in a rear end collision as it moves forward while compressing heavy rubber donuts. I remembered seeing it on TV years ago and researched and found they are still made and bought it and covered it with the bright lime green reflective tape. Would you believe we have already been hit twice in a Kroger parking lot and we were parked in a spot ! ! ! ! ! Fortunately they were slow but still I could feel the energy being absorbed by the bumper so I am completely sold on that design.

I have that on her car and on mine I have one of those bumper baskets that slides into the receiver hitch. Mine was privately made and is much heavier than the commercial ones I see available. The frame on mine is 2" angle 1/4" thick and the tongue is 2" by 1/4" wall square tubing. Basket is like 24"X 52". That was like I got it but I have now added uprights with angle and 1"X1/4" strap stock so it has a top rail to keep things together. I leave it on all the time as it has red/white 3M diamond reflective tape and extra tail/brake lights. It is easily seen at night from 1000 yards. I mainly use it to haul gas cans in to and from town as I don't want to carry fuel inside for obvious reasons and I run a chain through the handles of the cans so they won't be stolen while shopping (which I have had happen in the past) I estimate I have had 500 lbs of weight on it at times and no flexing. I now notice that those behind me stay further back than they used to which is fine with me haha.

What hurts the most is that I really miss being with my shooting friends at matches as the vast majority of my friends are shooters or gun lovers. I was going to Perry this year to volunteer but found out the camp ground filled within 30 minutes of the opening time and I could not get in so I went to the the Blackhawk Smallbore Prone Match in Georgia and served as a scorer. I have another shooter buddy who got messed up in a wreck and can't shoot either.

I shot my first match in 1958 and shot at Perry starting in either 62 or 63 so not shooting competition has been a life changing event for me and I miss it and my friends I have made as well.
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Last edited by Humpy; 09-07-2015 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:42 PM
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I'm just discovering Humpy's posts. Wow- amazing amounts of knowledge. I've gad good success with case life and accuracy with a bunch of LC .308 brass I was given in the '80's - now I know why. I had no money back then and a friend gave me a few hundred once-fired cases. I thought I was just "making do", but I realize I was better off than I thought. I'm not a high volume shooter; I shoot more than most hunters, but not nearly as much as most competitors. Anyway, I prepped about 100 of them and have fired and reloaded some of them more than a dozen times, maybe 2 dozen. The necks did get work-hardened and needed to be annealed, but I don't recall any neck splits or case failures. a few have been taken out of service as the web got thin. I did note early on that I started to get flattened primers at 42.0 gr. of IMR4064 with a 168 gr. bullet, which was below published maximums in several manuals. I know flattened primers aren't always indicative of max pressure, but since I knew military brass tended to be thicker, I didn't go any further. And my rifle really liked 41.5 anyway. I hope I've got 15 or so more years of shooting in me, that gun will probably continue to get a steady diet of LC.

Last edited by GeronPG; 03-16-2017 at 03:45 PM.
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