.303 case head seperation - Stuck


November 20, 2007, 08:59 PM
Well it finally happened. I have been reloading for my .303 for about 6 months now. I guess I don't know what to look for in a bad case that is about to let go.

Anyway today my son was shooting it with my reloads and shot # 2 tied up the gun. He handed me the case head. It looked like a machinest had removed it from the case.

Now the shell is stuck in the chamber and it's hunting season and I've already tried a cleaning rod with a tight brush. No luck. I know Brownells sells broken shell extractors, but I'm in a bind as this is my backup rifle.

I'm open to all sugguestions.

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November 20, 2007, 09:04 PM
I keep a broken shell remover for all rifles calibers I shoot. Haven't had the 303 let go, fortunately. Use a bent paper clip to feel around inside the case near the case head, to feel for a groove inside caused by brass stretching. if it slips into a groove coming up the sidewall from the bottom of the case interior, then toss it into the rcycle bin.

November 21, 2007, 02:08 PM
Try a brush again.
The trick is to go over-size by one caliber, then:

Pull the brush into the chamber from the muzzle until it is partway past the neck of the case.

Now, use a block of wood or something to drive the rod back out the other way.

The brush bristles need to bent over toward the breach end of the barrel, then they may hook the mouth of the case on the way back out.

It's worth another try anyway!


November 21, 2007, 05:07 PM
Might try an overnight trip to the deep freeze. The brass case SHOULD shrink a little more than the steel and make it easier to remove with the brush trick.

November 21, 2007, 05:35 PM
I'm not sure if this is possible cause I don't know what the gun is.

If those suggestions don't work then get a small triangular needle file.
If the case is close enough to the edge of the chamber and access through the ejection port is good, then try to file (cut) a line the long way in the case.
Be careful not to go through the brass and scratch your chamber.
Use long needle nosed pliers to pry up one edge of the case, then see if you can grab the edge of the case and pull it out.

My friend's taken a broken case out of a resizing die doing this.
I'd imagine it'd be difficult in a rifle...but it's worth check out to see if it can be done.

My next guess would be to clean the inside of the case with alcohol.
put some quick set epoxy on the end of a stick, put that end in the brass, wait for it to cure, then yank it out.
Odd suggestion but worth a try if all else fails.

Jim K
November 21, 2007, 08:13 PM
One way to extract a separated case if you don't have the right tool is to use a tap. Using a tap extension if necessary, insert the tap carefully into the chamber and turn it slowly and carefully, making sure it cuts into the brass, not into the chamber wall. Drive it out from the front with a cleaning rod. If you don't have a tap of the right size, you can use something like a long carriage bolt. Again, be careful to cut only into the brass. (Get the right size tap or bolt by cutting off an empty case the same way, then take it to the hardware store - don't tote the rifle around.)


November 22, 2007, 10:20 AM
I would try a over sized bore brush on a ramrod I just removed a shell from a jap center fire rifle at the range with a 50 cal. bore brush works all the time
insert the bore brush from the rear of the case that split threw the neck and it should remove with out problems

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