Remiongton 700 VLS .308 reloading help


January 8, 2006, 05:23 PM
I just picked up a Remington 700 VLS in .308 along with Lee Anniversary Reloading Kit and a RCBS .308 neck die set. Im going to use 168Gr. sierra matchking bullets with remington brass. I loaded one with out powder or a primer so I could make sure it would work in the gun. After I seated the bullet in the brass I tried it in the action, it was really hard to work the bolt. I tapped the bullet out with a cleaning rod :mad: . Then I checked the overall cartridge length and it is 2.750 the same as factory 165Gr. remingtons that work great in the gun. I read where most people shooting the sierra 168Gr. the C.O.L is 2.80. Does anyone have and ideas? Thanks

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January 8, 2006, 06:05 PM
Did you buy any loading manuals? First off, you need more than one. Your OAL is less than Sierra's recommended 2.800, (which is not necessarily a good idea in itself), but that clearly is not your problem.
First, check the case length without a bullet, the necks might be too long. Often new cases have to be run through the trimmer, etc., to uniform them before first loading. A neck that is over length may be causing the difficulty, and if so, attempting to fire it would send the pressure level through the roof and might not be too healthy for you, either. Uniform length is also vital to consistent crimp and pressure levels shot-to-shot, therefore to accuracy. This is unlikely to be a problem with once-fired brass, especially if it was fired in the same rifle, but I am assuming (maybe incorrectly) that you are using brand new cases.
If that doesn't work, possibly the shoulders of the cases aren't set back far enough. Try full length sizing the new cases with the dies properly set (The instructions with them are very clear how to do this.) No run of brass is perfect, and the manufacturer's forming dies can get out of adjustment like anything else.
I am assuming that the chamber has been cut correctly in your rifle because you have had no problems with factory ammo. A very tight chamber neck might cause the same problem, as might a case neck that is too thick. Both create too much constriction. The first can be detected by a chamber cast, but before trying that I would simply measure the neck diameter of one of your factory rounds and then compare it to one of the new brass with the bullet seated. If the neck is too thick, the problem can be easily remedied by neck turning your cases (there are attachments for most case trimmers). If so, it is an out-of-spec lot of brass, not a big deal, but it must be dealt with.
If none of these things work, it's time for a trip to the gunsmith for more seroius diagnostics. Bring samples of everything for him to check as he will probably want to check out the above steps for himself and make his own measurements.

January 8, 2006, 06:34 PM
I don't think there is anything wrong with your cartridge length. The ones I reload, depending on the gun and with 168 grain Matchkings are either 2.70 or 2.80 in length.

Are you sure you're not trying to crimp the bullet? When you set up the die, the case should go easily all the way into the seating die. If you meet resistance, that is the part of the die that does the crimping and the die should be backed out until you get no resistance. You can't crimp Matchkings with anything but a factory crimp die since they have no cannelure; if you try you will deform the neck and/or shoulder and the cases will be hard or impossible to chamber. You really don't need to crimp .308 bullets anyway since the recoil isn't enough to move them in the neck of the case.

I have never resized or trimmed new cases and to date, after having loaded thousands of rounds I have yet to find a new case that wouldn't fit one of my guns. If it were a tight bench rest chamber, that would be a different story (this wouldn't apply to you).

Another possibility would be that the bullet of your loaded cartridge is engaging the rifling lands. If this were the case, you should see regularly spaced scuff marks around the part of the bullet that's engaging the lands. Also, have you chambered a case without a bullet in it to see how it fits? If an empty case doesn't fit then you will know that the case is too long and needs trimming and/or resizing; something that has never happened to me.

January 8, 2006, 06:43 PM
I know that the 2.750 is under what sierra calls for but I started at 2.8 and worked my way down, I wanted to make sure that it was seated far enough so I went with what the factory ammo was at because I knew it worked.

Grumulkin - Im not sure I understand what you mean by crimping the bullet. Sorry but I am new to reloading.

I just tried a once fired empty case, still had the used primer in it. Im still getting the same thing where it is hard to work the bolt like it won't go closed. Do you think I need to trim the case?

January 8, 2006, 07:32 PM
I would start with trimming the cases. Lee makes a good case trimmer for someone that is starting out. It comes with a pilot and a shellholder and you have to buy the cutter seperate. Once you get the cutter all you have to do is get a different pilot for each different caliber that you will load for. You can probably get the works for least than $20. I have one and been using it for better than 30 years. It's slow but I also use a Rockchuker for my loading so I'm in no big rush to get a box of shells loaded.

January 8, 2006, 09:43 PM
Start out by learning the difference between overall cartridge length and overall case length. If you're reloading for accuracy, get the Stoney Point tool with the dummy case and start seating your bullets .010" or so off the lands, then experiment with different seating depths.

IF you're f.l. sizing, get a Wilson case gage for setting up your sizing die.

January 8, 2006, 11:48 PM
i would size the whole case for the 1st time.after i would only size the neck.only use those cases in that can seat the bullet right before it contacts the an dummy round with no primer or powder with the bullet with no crimp in the camber close the bolt ,that will seat the bullet to the can set die to that,i have only done that with bolt actoin rifles.and read your reloading manuals that always helps/

January 9, 2006, 09:06 AM

Your problem is certainly not with your cartridge OAL. Remington's have the throat so far out there that you would have to have a cartridge OAL of nearly 2.900 to reach it. Trimming your cases will not help you either, as that is not the problem. The problem is the shoulder on your brass needs to be pushed back. You will either need to buy a full-length resizing die or a body die from Redding. Once you resize the brass and fire it once in your rifle, you will be able to just use the neck-sizing die. After just neck-sizing the brass for 4 or 5 shots, you will need to push the shoulder back once again.


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