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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, I am an experienced loader, but in experienced in the 300 win mag. Thus far I have only loaded new brass. I have sized it all and verified the COL to be below max. The sizing has been fairly easy as the case does not engage the shoulder or if it does it just engages the shoulder when the full length sizer hits bottom. By bottom I mean the case in screwed down till the die overlaps the belt. All seems cool. The overall length of the cartridge is good, the neck appears to be in good shape and correct, and the cartridge is the correct overall length.

The problem appears to be when I start to load Once-Fired brass. This is range brass purchased at a local show. No guarantee it is once fired.

When I loaded this to the point where the shoulder engages in the full length sizer (happens to be lee), the cartridge is left unsized for about a half a millimeter above the belt. The sizer is actually scraping off a some of the brass by the time it gets to the bottom, and leaving a little ring that is a bit thicker than the remaining cartridge but way smaller than the belt. is this a faulty die?

If I continue to drive the cartridge into the die till it bottoms out, the ring at the bottom of course goes away, but I am crushing and deforming the neck.

This is the first time I experienced this. The new brass I loaded before had no such problem. It was sig-sauer and Winchester. Of the once fired brass it occurs 95% of the time where the shoulder deforms and if the shoulder does not deform there is a new tiny sub-belt at the bottom of the cartridge. Basically if feels like the new cartridge has a shoulder in the right location and all the once fired has the shoulder about a half a millimeter to high. I have done a lot of speculating as the cause of this in the once fired, but I am not sure of the effect.

If I just sized to a slight shoulder bump (basically till it touches but does not deform) and I am left with this slight ridge at the bottom near the belt, will this adversely affect my load?

Is the fact that my die peals or drags off a small amount of material opposed to squeezing the cartridge, a bad die? Should I try hornady maybe?

Is there a way to size the shoulder down without deforming it? or does this even mater?

Could this all be from shooting the round in gun with more than the needed head space?

Any help would be appreciated
 

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It sounds like the brass was shot in an oversized chamber and your die is having trouble getting it sized back down. That makes NO difference because you want the brass to fit your rifle and not the die.

First off, the case fits into the die until .125 is sticking out of it. That 'full depth' is seen when the top of the shell holder is tight against the die. Anything LESS than that, any space between die and shell holder, is NOT full length sizing, it is 'partial sizing'.

It's really simple to cast the die with molten sulfur and measure the diameter at the shoulder and at the top of the belt. Compare those measurements with brass shot in YOUR rifles, brass shot in somebody else's rifle, new brass and partially and fully resized brass. Lay out the differences on graph paper with different colored lines if need be to see how brass is made, how it is after firing in different guns, how the die works and by how much and how the die changes the brass. All with fifty cents in sulfur and a ten dollar micrometer. :)

You don't say what make and model rifle you have, but no matter. Start with a case fired in your rifle. Will it go back in your rifle? If not, resize it with a gap the thickness of a nickle between shell holder and die and try to chamber it again. If it goes, that's ALL YOU NEED. Try the same thing with the 'stranger's brass'. Keep turning the die down until the bolt closes with just a hint of 'rub'. Perfect.

"Collapsed necks and shoulders" is usually a build up of lube in the die or too much on the case.

I had a customer that brought in a big bag of 'Funny looking' 300 H&H brass he found at the range. It was all fire-formed 300 Weatherby in a truly terrible chamber that ruined every case fired in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
follow up

So couple more things. My rifle is a Ruger M77 300 win mag. I was wondering about the buildup because I already loaded 150 rounds of the new brass with no problem. In trouble shooting I tore it apart and cleaned it down to bright metal. There was buildup, but when I removed it I had the same issue. I also tried to size it without the decapper in thinking maybe the set nut was tightened down to much and the neck was being collapsed by pushing on long cases. I also trimmed the cases first for the same reason. It is weird, when I size it they are really really tight. The first one with lube I thought I was going to get it stuck.

When I put it in the shoulder of the die engages the sooulder of the case before the case holder hits the bottom of the die. it is probably the thickness of a dime between the case holder and the bottom of the tie. I have to really lay on it to get it the rest of the way in and it seems like there is just too much material to re-form through the compression and the neck just gives way.

Actually I need to see what happens when I put an empty unsized case in the gun. Never thought to try that.

It does feel right that the cases were just shot a few times in a big chamber, but I did not think there would ever be that much slop. I am not sure if these came from the same gun. They were mixed head stamps. one was Super X, the other was Super, and then the rest federal. I have only messed with the first two and not the federal's.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Little more data. I tried to put the cartridges on the rifle and before sizing it was a no go. The overall cartridge diameter worked, but shoulder is way to long. about a nickel thickness. I then tried to chamber a cartridge that I sized down to when the shoulder hit. Again this thinned up the overall cartridge diameter, but again the shoulder would not allow it to chamber. I think I now know what head space is. I then tried to chamber a round that I sized all the way down, which basically heavily deformed the shoulder. I did not realize what was happening for 20 rounds. I know how could I miss this, but I did. About 50% would chamber, but pretty tight. Some would not. The ones with heavy deformation were the ones that chambered. Even the ones that chambered were probably a bit too tight. it was not a little rub. it was enough rub to get me a little nervous. This is new prized gun.

I checked these against the new sig saur brass. It looks like the wide part of the shoulder line up with in .005", but the thin end of the shoulder was about .045 longer than the new brass. about the same dimension to where the shoulder hits on the test cartridge. Definitely too much to size down with my die. Is this a place for a "shoulder sizer die? don't have one but could get.

What about the expansion in the gun. would there really be this much expansion if the chamber was too big?

Some other facts. There were three headstamps in the batch. One is marked "Super-X" and another is marked "W-W Super". These both are way out of spec by the same amount and I can not get to the proper head space to fit my gun with the die I have. Again I have a Lee full length sizer.

The third group of head stamps was federal. These guys fit perfectly in the gun and do not deform when re-sizing,

Again is a neck sizer in order? Any insight would help. Not so critical with this batch, because I have messed up about 30 cartridges and all the rest seem to work, but when using once fired, is this a common problem. it looks like the M77 is not very forgiving.

Thanks for insight in advance
 

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tdawg--

The headspace of the .300 Winchester is the belt that measures .220 front to back.

MEASURE a factory round at the shoulder and compare it with your fired cases. It is totally un-natural to buckle a case neck or shoulder in any caliber.

Once again, you're using phrases like 'out of spec' and excess headspace without knowing what you're dealing with. Measure first.

Here's the SAAMI specs on the .300 Win Mag cartridge.
 

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Welcome to the shooters forum.

If you want to forego the casting part of Jack's advice compare a piece of brass that has been fired in your rifle to that used brass. Take measurements every .200" all the way to the shoulder. The bigger the difference more difficult the resizing process. With my 7RM and .338 WM, both using RCBS dies, the die just touches the shellholder reducing the diameter .0015 - .002" smaller than the fired case. The shoulder is pushed back just under .002, which I consider almost perfect for full length resized cases.

Like Jack mentioned you really need to spend some time measuring to know what you are truely dealing with.
 

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I wonder if a heavier than normal application of sizing lubricant applied from BELOW the shoulder to the belt would help getting your once fired range brass to see things your way? After that, it will be fire-formed to your rifle.
 

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tdawg-- Email me some pictures of the brass un-sized and 'collapsed'. Let me see what's going on. j belk 09 at g mail dot com.
 

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Forget trying to save money with random, range-pickup brass. You are just giving yourself a headache and not saving any money or time. Get new brass, or brass from ammo you shot in YOUR gun and forget about anything else.

That will solve 90% of the problem; a good sizing lube should take care care of the rest. Size the brass so it easily fits in your chamber, but no more.

I'd recommend Imperial Sizing Die Wax for lube, and THROW AWAY the range brass. Too much trouble, ESPECIALLY for a belted magnum case, and a fairly new reloader such as yourself.

Good luck.
 
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BINGO, MikeG!!
Don't waste time while risking your rifle to save money on something that doesn't work. New brass or new ammo shot in your rifle should be your brass supply. Otherwise, you're paying money for someone's scrap.
 

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Yup. Have to agree that new brass would be the preferred solution.
Task at hand being what it is though. Good lube in the right spots and screwing the die down a little at a time can make things happen. Is sorta like re-forming from one cartridge to another. Perhaps search for threads about that to gain some insight.
 

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Boy this got me. Finally you said something like the once fired brass won't fit in the chamber. Year's ago I shot mag cartridges and found that the chamber's on cartridges that head space on a belt can be pretty sloppy. That's why case head separation shows up so soon. To overcome it, I always neck sized with a FL die until the case would no longer chamber, about where it sound's like you found with a fired case you bought. Take that case and partial size it until it will chamber in the rifle, I believe that's what JBelk was referring to. Once the action close's easily on the case, the die is set to your chamber. I doubt you got once fired case's. I've never seen a once fire case that would not fit a chamber. Normally take's 2 or 3 reloading's neck sizing to get there. Without the partial sizing seem's to me my 7mm mag case's could be fired maybe 4 time's before I could see case head separation coming on, bright ring in front of the belt. Head space on a belted case can be perfect and still what you are seeing happen. So with partial sizing you can move the shoulder to where you stop that stuff. I make sure that I size until I can no longer feel the bolt rub. Lot of guy's don't go quite that far. In the end all your doing is making the case fit your chamber. Gotta dd, the only once fired case's I use are military case's. If the crimp is still in the primer pocket, it's once fired!
 

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Just a word of warning about 'incremental re-sizing': Brass 'work hardens' on every movement. Re-sizing is two movements in the body and four in the neck. (Size down, spring back) Depending on the movement amount, thin brass can crack in very few applications of movement. Incremental re-sizing makes case harder, more brittle and riskier to use in some rifles.
Good lube (Imperial or STP), a well fitted shell holder and a properly set up press and die and a good push on the handle should get it done. DON'T leave a die jammed in a die overnight. The boundary layer lube leaks out and the case can nearly be considered 'soldered' in the die. That's why so many stuck cases are SO hard to pull in a gunshop. If allowed to sit too close for too long, they grow to like each other. :)
 

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Here's a better SAAMI picture that shows cartridge and chamber dimensions deemed 'acceptable'. Note particularly that length tolerances are +.015"

Cartridges (top) have to be smaller than chambers (bottom).
By SAAMI specs, the case body can be .008 undersized and the chamber .002 oversized and still be 'in SAAMI specs'. Compare with YOUR brass shot in YOUR rifle to see where the rifle fits in the spectrum of tolerances. It's nice to know where the die sits in that spectrum, too. Sometimes they're on different ends of the same rainbow.
 

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What he said!
Don't pull the expander plug through the neck more than once. That should only happen after the final trip into the die body.
 

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Get a sizing die from Larry Willis. It will size the brass right down to the belt. My son has one and I used it to resize all of my 7mm Rem Mag brass. It's pricey, but works on all belted magnum brass, if I remember correctly....

http://larrywillis.com/
 

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I have been loading belted magnums for many years and have never experienced anything even similar to what you're experiencing.

Regarding the deformation you're experiencing, about all I can think of and have personally experienced, and with any and all bottle neck cartridges, is lube dents. If a bottle neck is over lubed, and, or lube is applied to the shoulder it will indeed create lube dents. Lube dents can be quite extreme depending on the degree of excessive or improper application of lube involved. The severity of lube dents can be very pronounced. I've had shoulders experience severely deformation, and I had the body badly deformed due to improper lubing procedures. This is in part why I've stopped using heavy sticky lube products such as RCBS lube and pad, and Lee lube that comes in the tooth paste tube. I now use Dillon spray on lube for most resizing operations, those heavy lubes can be difficult to control the quantity applied, especially when in a hurry. I may be wrong, but IMO and experience, this is where I believe the deformation you're experiencing is coming from.

As far as the extreme force needed to run a piece of brass into the die, it could as well be due to excessive lube, especially if the amount of lube is on the extreme. I don't use Lee bottle neck die's, therefore I don't know if they have an escape port for excessive lube to vent. if they don't have an escape vent hole, I would be inclined to believe that the lube dents could be that much more on the extreme side.

The shaving, that could be a die that has a sharp or inadequately beveled mouth. I can't think of another cause and have never personally experienced this issue with any bottle neck brass, belted or other wise.

Trimming is done after resizing.

Resizing die adjustment is such that the die is adjusted down far enough to bump the shoulders back in needed. Depending on the chamber dimensions, in which each chamber is unique, some chambers require that the die be adjusted to the extent that the the shell holder makes contact with the die. Some presses will have a distinctive cam over effect, (not all presses produce cam over) when the shell holder makes contact with the die. Regardless, depending on the chamber, as not all are manufactured with identical chamber dimensions, it may be necessary for the shell holder to make contact with the die in order to bump the shoulders enough to attain proper chamber fit.

Belted magnum brass head spaces off of the belt when new. Once fired, it may or may not head space off the belt. But to date, all the belted magnum brass and chambers I've ever loaded for do head space off the shoulder following the initial firing, thus they will need the shoulders maintained or bumped accordingly in order to maintain proper chamber fit. Concerning belted brass, I've always resized it in the same manner as I would non belted brass, which is to say I resizing until it just fits the chamber, no more, no less.

I second the "Innovative Technology" collet die from Larry Willis. It will size all the way down to the belt. This has allowed me to achieve longer case life than when using a typical FL resizing die, which doesn't size down to the belt. What often happens with belted brass, is that because the area just above the belt and below the stopping point of a traditional FL die, known as the web, this region will eventually get pushed out, thus causing a chamber fit issue. Some guys never experience problems with the web getting pushed out, but because I run most of my loads up near maximum pressure, the web does get pushed out, which renders other wise good brass useless unless it gets sized back to a functional dimension.

Decapping pin should only protrude from the die just enough to consistently push the spent primer out. Roughly speaking, as I've never measured this aspect, 1/8" protrusion should be enough to accomplish this. However, if adjusted too much, the decapping stem link between the pin and stem will make hard contact with the web / flash hole, which will push the entire stem up, which is a Lee design intended to prevent damage to the stem or brass. With RCBS dies, if the decapping stem is adjusted down too far it can result in damage to the stem, and, or the brass.

SMOA
 

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And not one picture, blurry or sideways or otherwise.

:confused:

If the OP is describing what I think he is, I've had similar experiences, not with 300WM, but I found out my shell holder wasn't aligned with the die. It could have been the other way too, I don't recall as many years have passed since then. :eek:

RJ
 
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Maybe somebody made .308/.358 Norma Mag out of .300 Win brass??

The OP says 'the diameter is right but the shoulder holds it up from going in'. But there's NO way to know that without smoking the brass or other test. And 'the small end of the shoulder is .045 too long'. Obviously on the low end of a fairly steep learning curve.

tdawg--- I'm serious. Please buy and READ any reloading manual. Learn what you're supposed to be doing and how it's done. DO NOT risk your new rifle to YOUR handloads until you're confident you know how its done and how IMPORTANT it is to do it right.

We are trying to imagine what you're seeing without having the proper word picture drawn of it and NO PICTURES to see for ourselves. Either send pictures or this is a guessing game without end.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
So all thank you very much. I have read a bit on the subject, but honestly I am not the expert that many others are. I just started loading this type of round and it is the first belted round.

To clarify. I do not I tried every one of the unsized rounds of the "super-x" and "w-w super". each and every one of them will not chamber in the Ruger M-77. Of the ones that I sized again with a Lee full length die. I sized them all the way down to the point where the die is in contact with the cartridge holder. The Belt at this point was covered completely and there was no room between the die and the holder. This action crimped, deformed and almost crushed the shoulder. Once sized and now reasonably suspect I tried to chamber the round in the rifle and about 50% of them still would not chamber but got close. the rest chambered with a slight to pronounced rub.

Dimensionally the unsized rounds are as follows:

Base to point where shoulder starts 2.228" vs 2.1959 (Sami) or a delta of .0321"
Base to point where shoulder ends 2.375 vs 2.3561 (sami) or a delta of .0189"
Base to end of belt is .215 and within tolerance
Neck outside diameter is .334 vs .3397 (sami) and would seem within sizing tolerance.

This really is a learning experience for me and I am hearing the advice to stay away from once fired. That said I think that it is all worth exploring. I am one of those guys that wants to know why.

I have used the same die set up to re-load a factory box and it worked out picture perfect. I have also loaded 140 new brass. All Sig Sauer. Again these were all checked against Sami before starting and they were right on for overall length, although I did run them through the sizer and checked their trim one last time before loading.

I have used Hornady lube which to me seems like thick petroleum jelly. I have since stopped because I just did not like the affect. never used on this load. I have been using almost exclusively Lee "in the toothpaste" tube. This lube I apply sparingly and not to the neck. The die does have a vent hole. When I first experienced the problem, I did not notice till 20 rounds were sized. Every single one is deformed to some extent. I pulled it apart and did in fact see some build up. I thought I had the problem, but then tried again with a newly cleaned die that looked like a gun barrel inside. same problem.

Looking at all the comments and I appreciate them all, I am wondering if the rounds were in fact multiple fired in a larger chamber thus expanding them beyond the ability to be sized down in one stroke. I noted the thought to basically do an incremental sizing where they are sized down maybe a quarter turn at a time, without the decapper in the die, then on the last pass add the decapper.

This will likely be the last time I use once fired, unless I was the one once firing.

As a note I also got 20 rounds of federal in the batch and sure nuf they are much much closer to sami specs than the other two head stamps I have.

Again thanks for everything posted, it have all ben very very helpful and I appreciate any further insight to the pictures I am going to post
 
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