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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! New here and am impressed with all the useful information here.
I recently acquired some used brass (reloaded several times) from a shooting acquaintance who said he had more cases than he could ever use. The caliber is .300 Win Mag. I inspected each one and discarded a few which were questionable. The rest I isolated from other brass in which I had previously reloaded, keeping separate batches, and resized/deprimed all of them.
Keeping them separated, I then measured and trimmed all those needed then chamfered and deburred. Before priming, I decided to test the 'new' cases by chambering a few in my rifle. Each one tested, the bolt got stuck as I tried to lock in place. It would not allow me to retract and extract the casing. I had to resort to inserting my rifle rod through the muzzle and a gentle tap would pop the casing free. I tried this with three of said cases, all of which got stuck. My original cases were fine.
Since I resized his cases along with mine in the same setup and during the same session, I can only conclude it was not a sizing issue. My only conclusion is (since the belt doesn't enter the die) the belt or the head has been deformed or enlarged from previous firings in his rifle.
Has anyone ran into this problem before or can anyone explain what I'm dealing with and any way of sparing the cases. I only have a hundred, so expensive measures are not worth saving them.
Thanks in advance. :)
 

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sounds to me like you have been neck sizing your brass. You nee to readjust your sizing die to full length resize your buddies cases. Once you fire them in your gun then you can neck size them.
 

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Measure the case head just forward of the belt on brand new factory cases, cases you have previously fired in your gun, and your buddy's cases. Odds are his chamber is more generous (or his loads were too hot?) resulting in greater case head expansion than your chamber will allow. As Bandit pointed out, you're probably not resizing them completely, which should solve the problem you describe.
 

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Borrow your friends FL sizer and see if it helps, your's may be a tad larger in the body just forward of the belt.

To see where the binding is occuring you may paint the entire case with a dark felt tip marker, chamber it two-three times and then check iit to see where the hard rubbing is taking place. Knowing that will point you in the right direction.
 

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Chimera,

Welcome to the forum. Rules are to join in an have fun and play nicely with the rest of us kids.

Ditto to Ranger's advice. If you want, you could first try just Magic Marking the belt and just ahead of it to see if that's where the problem is right off. If it is, check to be sure the primer pockets still hang onto the primers. Also, if a case is that far used, do the trick of straightening then bending down the tip of a paperclip and reach inside to feel for a dip where a pressure ring has formed ahead of the belt. If the case got one you can feel, discard it.

Belt expansion and expansion just ahead of the belt where the sizing die radius can't quite get at it is not an uncommon issue with belted magnums. It makes belted used brass less interchangeable between guns by limiting it to brass moving from a tighter chamber to a looser one, but not allowing the reverse.


A solution:

If the brass seems good and if you are willing to spend the money, you can get Larry Willis's belted magnum collet die that resizes the belt as well as the rest of the case. It's $90, but the way brass prices have been climbing, it may be worth it to you. (Scroll down to second item on this page.)
 

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Chimera,

...

A solution:

If the brass seems good and if you are willing to spend the money, you can get Larry Willis's belted magnum collet die that resizes the belt as well as the rest of the case. It's $90, but the way brass prices have been climbing, it may be worth it to you. (Scroll down to second item on this page.)

I have one and have used it a few times... I think it is a good tool and works for all belted cases regardless of Caliber

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys! Ranger, Uncle Nick...will do what you suggested. That seems to be the most likely culprit. BTW (Uncle Nick) I did inspect all the cases and that includes the paper clip test. That's why I discarded the ones I said were 'questionable'.
Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It just hit me! If I resize the case in his sizing die, fire it out of my rifle, then the case should size to the dimensions of my rifle. Then I could size the cases in my die...correct? If not, then I'm not going to bother this dude to borrow his sizing die each time I need to reload the cases.
 

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If the belt grew too large in his chamber, it won't be sized by his die any more than it is by yours. That's what the Willis tool is for.

Also, you're assuming his chamber is the exact same size as yours, and that the only difference is which sizing die is used. We don't know that. Chambers diameters and lengths can differ a few thousandths and brass springs back a little from the squeeze of the sizing die. How much it springs back is affected by how large it started out. As a result, brass fired in two different size chambers and then put through the same sizing die can come out of that die several thousandths different in size. I've not made a record of diameter differences, but it I've seen 0.005" difference in length from head to shoulder in .30-06 brass coming out of the same sizing die, but that had been fired in different chambers originally (loose WWII military chamber in a Springfield vs. a minimum spec custom chamber).

I think, once you have the brass fitting your chamber for the first time, you will find you are correct that a conventional sizing die then keeps it working in your chamber as long as you don't load it to the point the case sticks in the chamber on extraction. You mainly have to get past the rim issue. Once you do that, you can also choose to headspace on the shoulder instead of the belt by setting the shoulder back only a thousandth (or two, if you want magazine feed to be reliable). That is often done by match shooters or other people looking for an accuracy edge.
 

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"..then I'm not going to bother this dude to borrow his sizing die each time I need to reload the cases."

My suggestion was to determine if your die is the source of your problem. If it is, then get a new sizer. OR the Larry Willis/Innovative Technologies collet body die.
 
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