Too little or Tight headspace?


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Eyesac
March 3, 2010, 03:02 AM
I just swapped a .284win barrel on a Savage (for the first time). I followed instructions found here:

http://www.battenfeldtechnologies.com/wheeler-engineering/catalog.asp?product=savage-barrel-nut-wrench&tab=instructions

The question I have is now that the rifle is assembled (minus the extractor) when I put the "GO" gauge in there is tension on the bolt handle through the last 3/4's of closing (the bolt closes without too much force). Is that too little headspace? Is there such thing as too little headspace? I tried closing the bolt on some new, FL sized brass and it feels perfect, is that all that matters?

Thanks!

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R.W.Dale
March 3, 2010, 03:13 AM
Your headspace may be too tight to chamber factory ammo. But if this is a handload only situation and your dies size enough to allow for chambering your current setup would be great for brass life.

As you torque the bbl nut it has a tendancy to pull the bbl with it a few degrees. Sometimes you have to allow fir this with a little good ol fashoned trial and error.


My advice is to size a few cases if they'll chamber without forcing thr bolt closed roll with it

Eyesac
March 3, 2010, 03:22 AM
As you torque the bbl nut it has a tendancy to pull the bbl with it a few degrees. Sometimes you have to allow fir this with a little good ol fashoned trial and error.

That was exactly the case, and after about the tenth time, I got the results the instructions recomended...:banghead:

My advice is to size a few cases if they'll chamber without forcing thr bolt closed roll with it

This is also the case. There is no chance of me buying any factory ammo, and unloaded & sized brass fits perfectly. I was only able to find two references suggesting too little headspace could wear bolt lugs, but if sized brass isn't presenting a problem I take it I don't have a problem huh? Thanks for the quick reply BTW!

R.W.Dale
March 3, 2010, 03:46 AM
Look at it this way. Anytime you neck size only fireformed brass for a bolt action BY THE TEXTBOOK you have too little headspace relative to your ammunition. Yet this doesn't stop us from neck sizing and reloading manuals even encourage the practice for certain situations.

In your case the brass just has less stretching to do on the initial fireform. IMO this is a good thing.


Or another way to look at it is that headspace gauges are a great tool. But the problem with them is they only give you information going in the direction of BAD. Especally with reguards to a Savages infinitely adjustable headspace. It takes feeling that bolt drag on brass that last few degrees of closing to setup a really tight chamber.

NO GO will tell you when things are BAD
GO will tell you things are ACCEPTABLE
but it takes that piece of brass to tell you when things are GOOD

Again if you can slightly feel a go gauge (don't force one or you can damage your chamber!) and your brass chambers this means you've got a nice tight headspace leaning towards the minimum side of SAAMI specs. In which case you're GTG!


Thanks for the quick reply BTW!

I actually rebarreled another stevens 200 just yesterday. In my case for a straight walled round that headspaces on the case mouth. For this situation I set headspace at the exact length of new starline brass (which is very uniform might I add)

Afy
March 4, 2010, 11:34 AM
Krochus, did you figure out the plastic question?

I do not remove the extractor while swapping barrels. With the go gauge I look for no resistance on the bolt while closing. With the no-go i.e. the Go with a single layer of carbonless paper or scotch tape, I find resistance at about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way down. Gun shoots better than I do. :)

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