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Discussion Starter #1
I have been trying to form some brass for my "new" 1886, and I can't seem to get the shoulder set back far enough, and they will not chamber, it seems to be about 1/32" or even less forward. Any help that you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Dave Beeman
 

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Beeman...What dies are you using the form the .33 Win???
Best Regards, James
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am using the RCBS form die, and a set of Lee reloading dies. Not sure if my RL550B has anything to do with it, very frustrating, really want to shoot this beauty. Thanks Amigo.

Dave Beeman
 

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Beeman,

If I may interject here for a bit. You mention that you are using Lee dies for the final forming/sizing.

I know that Lee dies are one of the few dies that recommend running the size die in to touch the top of the shellholder, backing the ram off, and then turning the die in another 1/4 to 1/3 turn more. This removes all variance from press frame deflection. Granted that this is probably for use with their presses but you may want to investigate this possibility with your Dillon Press. This may be just the added shoulder bump you need to chamber these reformed cases. I had this trouble with reforming 223 to 222 once.

See if there is any space between die and shellholder when a case is fully inserted in the die and the press is at full upstroke.

Just a thought.

Now back to our regular programming.


Regards,


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I've used RCBS form dies for years on various wildcat cartridges, etc and have found them to be excellent, so I dont think it'd the dies. It could be the shoulder not set back far enough or even the taper on the reformed hull not swaged down completely. My next question is....are your sure the form dies are all the way down "hard" on the shell holder? The should be. I have always used a RCBS Rockchucker and it has plenty of toggle strength! If the form dies are all the way down on the shellholder hard, then it can be only one of two things....a bad set of dies or springing on the press! I'm inclined to think the press is springing. There is one more remote chance..sometimes is forming "Down" cases the is a lengthening of the reformed case...check the length.
Best Regards, James
 

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I would second what contender said about screwing the die in a bit more. I have an RCBS Rockchucker which is reputed to be a very strong press, but I have screwed the dies in to contact the shellholder with the ram at top position, only to have a gap appear between the shellholder and bottom of the die when resizing cases. If, as Mr. Gates suggested, you have checked overall length and that is OK, then I would screw that Lee die in a little further. If you still need to move the shoulder back you can remove a little metal from the bottom of the full-length sizer die (kiss your warranty goodbye!). Good luck and keep us posted!             ID   :biggrin:
 

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Hi, Beeman:
  A young friend of mine has a Savage 110 in .270 with a short chamber.  Most factory loads will chamber with a bit of resistance, but shells sized in RCBS dies won't chamber. The bolt won't close on a GO headspace gauge either. We slip a .006 feeler gauge under the case when we're sizing. Works. Of course, we have to decap separately.

  Stan Mayle of RCBS suggested grinding the base of the die back. I probably would have done that if an old fashioned valve grinder was handy; the type that could gring the end of the valve stem to a thou to adjust tappet clearance.

Bye
Jack  
 

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Whoa! If the chamber is a little short, dont take anything off of the die....File a little off the shellholder! Then mark the shell holder for that set of dies!
best regards, James
 

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James,
     Why take metal off the shellholder and not the die? The die is likely to be used only with this rifle and will retain its final adjustment, while the shellholder may be used with other calibers. I realize you said to mark it, but it seems like it would be easy to mistakenly use it and set the shoulder back on other cartridges. I guess since this is a rimmed cartridge using this shellholder wouldn't result in dangerous headspace problems (if used with other cartridges),  but I'm still curious as to your reasons for altering the shellholder vs. the die. Having read your other posts  I'm sure you have a good reason! Thanks!    ID
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, after spending many fruitless hours messing with this problem, I am thinking that the Lee dies may not be the correct dimensions, which means I am hosed I believe. Factory ammo chambers real slick in this rifle, but even with trying the shim under the case to force it deeper into the die, this has set the shoulder back just about even with the factory round, but the case dimensions are still not right, the case is too fat just below the shoulder, by .003 I didn't think that small of a difference would matter, but when I coat the case and try to chamber it, it seems to be one of the culprits. Still working on it, but it may require a smith to open the chamber a smidgen. Thanks for all of the interest.
Dave Beeman
 

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beeman, perhaps a trip to a smith and and a chamber cast is in order. Lee may make a set of dies off the chamber casting, and you'll be set.


IDShooter, it's cheaper to sacrifice a shell holder AND my practice is to keep shell holders with each die set. Manufacturing tolerances are flat sloppy on shell holders. You may have a valid argument, but I'll still reload my way. I've seen excess headspace resulting from mismatched manufacturers of dies and shell holders. Some of my equipment was purchased used,so various manufacturers are in my stable. Now you know the other side of the story. If you sell an altered die to me, then what? Excess headspace, unless I know it has been done. Have you ever been to an estate sale where the reloader has passed on?  James and I agree.
 

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I learned some years ago if you were going to alter something, do it to the cheapest to throw away if it didn't work! Shell holders are supposed to be 0.1250" as a standard.
R.C.B.S. shellholders run right on .1250", while Lee runs at .1245", while some others run from .1240" to .1245". So much for standard shell holders! Factory chambers are cut on the max side of the chamber specs so any factory ammo will chamber. Factory ammo is sized on the min side so it will fit any factory chamber. Custom chambers are cut on the min side, as I think Dave's chamber might be. Reformed brass is somewhat thicker and has more spring back. The cases should have been annealed before and after forming. Next, the shell holder should be thined to see if this would set the shoulder back and bring the sidewall down slightly, but doing this..the length should be checked. If this fails, send Lee a couple of fired factory hulls and the dies. I also agree that it's time for a chamber cast. These problems are not unusual with a custom chamber as is on Dave rifle.
Best Regards, James
 

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I think I would try a different brand of dies rather than rechambering! I hate to mess with a rifle of the type you've got. I know that Hornady makes their dies to size at the large end of SAAMI specs in order to work the brass less. Perhaps Lee does too? I believe I would try a set of RCBS or Redding dies and see if that helps. You will still spend less than a rechamber job, and you can leave that rifle as-is! Just my thoughts.     ID :biggrin:
 

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I concur,

A properly done and measured chamber cast would be the next step. It will give you definate dimensions of the chamber and remove all guesswork. Then you'll know where you stand and what the next course of action can be.


My .02

Regards,

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Good points on why to alter a shellholder rather than a die I suppose. I hadn't thought about an estate sale type situation, although the shellholder could present the same type of problem if sold in it's altered condition. I also didn't realize this was a custom chamber (missed that somewhere along the way), so I would have to agree that a chamber cast is in order. Good ideas from all!    ID
 

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Hi, Beeman:
  Hornady specs show a diameter of .443 at a point 1.500 above the rim, just below the shoulder.  This is from the top of the rim, not the base. A REM-UMC cartridge in my collection measures .440 at that point, near as I can tell. What does your brass measure?  If factory brass chambers, I'd guess you most likely have a die problem.  

Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Jack,
My brass is measuring . 447 to .448 at that point, and the shoulder is still .002 too far forward. Factory ammo, chambers slick everytime, and even with a dime sitting under the brass, and the shellplate adapter tightened all the way down, the shoulder is this far off, if I just resize without the shim, it is .006 too far forward. I thank you guys for the continuing interest, I am soaking this up like a sponge.
Dave Beeman
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, I have been tinkering with this inbetween work, family, and my bear bait. I borrowed a Lee hand press, set it up with the RCBS trim die, then the Lee size die, and while they fit verrry snug, the bras chambers, and the locking lugs fully engage, ejecting them is the only slightly difficult part. This tells me that my chamber in the rifle must be minimum specs, and the Lee dies are probably more towards the maximum, but at least now I will be able to work up a load. I am going to purchase one of these Lee hand presses, as I think they are kind of neat. I also found that I cannot use Federal brass, it has a larger diameter at the rim than Rem, or W-W, the W-W brass is the best so far with the least amount of difficulty. I will now try and pick up a pound of powder and procede to send some lead down range. I will be saving my money for my own set of trim and form dies, and it looks like the rifle will be staying a 33WCF for now. Thanks everyone, I value each tip of advice given, will probably mill my shell holder a little bit just to make even better cases.

Dave Beeman
 
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