I think I have a problem with belt bulge.


September 23, 2012, 07:46 PM
I have a 257 weatherby. I love the gun and of course the caliber. When I got the gun I got some brass and rcbs dies secondhand. For some reason, after full length sizing the brass, it will go mostly into the chamber but the bolt absolutely will not close :banghead:. I colored the brass with a sharpie and found that it marks the cases just behind the shoulder and just above the belt. I then colored a new factory round and found that it was marked just behind the shoulder as well, but not above the belt. This brass is expensive help me please!

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September 23, 2012, 07:50 PM
Read help tips on this website. http://www.larrywillis.com/

September 23, 2012, 08:11 PM
Thanks. That's insightful.

September 23, 2012, 09:28 PM
I was looking at the redding body die. Will it do the trick or is the expensive die the only one that will solve the problem?

September 23, 2012, 09:42 PM
Ok so It's so close to the rim that I'm second guessing this as the problem. But what else could it be? The shoulder on the factory rounds is the same as this one and the neck isn't binding at all.

September 23, 2012, 09:48 PM
I think you are sizing incorrectly.

How did you set up the sizer die?

September 23, 2012, 09:58 PM
I set it up to where the bottom of the die was just touching the ram at it's highest point.

Jeff H
September 23, 2012, 10:03 PM
I set it up to where the bottom of the die was just touching the ram at it's highest point.

Have you tried to check that with feeler gauges while there is a brass casing getting resized? I would bet that your press is flexing and you aren't getting the resizing you thought you were.

September 23, 2012, 10:09 PM
I set it up to where the bottom of the die was just touching the ram at it's highest point.

From that point, turn the die in deeper in 1/8th turn increments until the bolt closes.

Also, don't forget to lube the inside of the case necks.

September 23, 2012, 10:10 PM
Just a guess here but I'd wager that what you are experiencing is case "stretch" Belted mags are notorious for this phenomena. Check your overall case length closely. AND insure that you are not pushing the neck back when sizing. Good Luck!

September 23, 2012, 10:10 PM
I don't have any feeler gauges. Or at least I don't think I do. After it didn't size right the first time, I tried screwing the die in a little further but that was different brass. I may have to try it again. I am using a lee anniversary single stage press. I trim and lube the case necks every time. I know my bench gives a little when i fl size but don't know about the press.

September 23, 2012, 10:26 PM
Make sure that you are adjusting the FL die so that there is no daylight between the top of the shell holder and the bottom of the die during the sizing process. If you see daylight at the top of the stroke, readjust the die downward and repeat sizing until it disappears.

September 23, 2012, 10:30 PM
After looking at you photo, is that a crack in the brass? Like in a pending case head separation starting? http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/338.jpg

September 23, 2012, 10:37 PM
but don't know about the press.

All presses spring. Sometimes you have to adjust the sizer die to compensate for this springing. Are you lubing the inside of your case necks?

September 23, 2012, 10:53 PM
I always lube the inside of the case necks. that's marker buildup no cracks in the case (phew! you had me scared for a second there). It took a few more turns on the die and some trimming of the case neck and i got an empty to chamber. I'll see if seating a bullet has an effect on it later this week. Wish me luck.

September 24, 2012, 10:03 AM
Just need to tweak the sizing die down a little. A quarter turn will likely work. No need to overdo it--go only as far as it takes to get the rounds to chamber.

September 25, 2012, 07:10 PM
Check to see if the die is touching the shell holder/plate when you are actually sizing a case, not with no case in the die.

September 25, 2012, 08:16 PM
I learned here, from RC of course, that the actual belt can grow* in diameter a bit. I had gotten some 1x fired brass from someone and it wouldnt chamber at all. It looked to be true 1x fired too. .270wby. I measured and the belt dia. was slightly larger. The gun it was previously fired in had a slightly looser chamber. No die will fix this to my knowledge.

September 26, 2012, 09:50 PM
thanks guys i'm getting it sorted out as i can

September 27, 2012, 12:44 PM
No die will fix this to my knowledge.

But the outside diameter of the belt is not the source of the binding.

September 27, 2012, 11:09 PM
Typical issue when reloading belted brass is oversizing it. In my 300 WinMag, with new Norma brass the headspace measurement is .017 shorter than fire formed brass. If I FL size the brass as instructed, I would be consistently oversizing resulting in significant stretching each time the case is fired which will lead to shorter case life and potential failure. Check the headspace of fired formed brass and adjust the die to set the shoulder back .001-.002. By doing so the cartridge will essentially headspace off the shoulder as it would with a non-belted case and not off the belt. This will significantly increase the life of your brass and lessen the probability of head separation.

September 28, 2012, 03:18 PM
“I got some brass and RCBS dies secondhand”

The deck height of the shell holder should be .125” it is standard operating procedure among reloaders, fire a case once to form, then neck size it 4 times after firing the next 4 times and then full length size to start over. I have never been able to get someone to explain how that is possible, after all, the case has been fired 5 times, A case that has been fired 5 times, in the reloaders world, is said to be fully grown (what ever that is).

Point, I do not know how much resistance your cases have when being sized. When a case whips one of my presses I dig out another press that has more ability to overcome a cases ability to be sized.

Feeler gages, when a case is placed in the shell holder and the handle is pulled the ram goes up, the ram shoves the case into the die, if I am sizing a case and it has more resistance to sizing than my press can over come the part of the case that does not get shoved into the die is hanging out between the die and shell holder, most reloaders use the light gage when deterring the gap between the top of the shell holder and bottom of the die, I use a feeler gage, some of the elite refer to the feeler gage as a thickness gage.

Then there is the other method for determining the failure of the press to size the case when the ram is raised:

I also raise the ram until the press locks up, then I stop and relax without lowering the ram, after relaxing the pressure on the ram I rotate the shell holder and remove it when it aligns up with the ram and case head as when the shell holder can be removed from the ram and case at the same time. After removing the shell holder I remove the die with the case stuck in it, the case will be protruding from the die, measure the protruding case head from the bottom of the die, If the press, die and shell holder worked as in ‘sized the case’ the protrusion should be .125”. to determine the amount of the case that did not get sized (stuffed into the die) measure the protruding case head then subtract .125” from the measurement.

Back to used cases and used dies, not long ago reloaders ground off the top of the shell holder and bottom of the dies, seems that was an answer for something they did not understand.

There is a way to determine if the shell holder has been ground off, measure the deck height, the deck height should be .125”, there is a way to determine if the bottom of the die has been ground off, but, it would be easier to send the die to RCBS. I have blind end hole micromeres, I have hole micrometers, and I have ionside transfer calipers.

One more time, I sent a Winchester Model 70 chambered to 300 Win Mag back to Winchester, the rifle had the largest/ugliest chamber I have even seen. We had words, I wanted a set of Winchester dies to fit their chamber or a chamber to fit my 300 Win Mag dies, there is not much I can not do when it comes to sizing a case, a set of dies for that ugly chamber did not exist, but just in case Winchester had a set I did not want to miss them.

F. Guffey

Red Cent
September 28, 2012, 03:27 PM
It may be as simple as the shoulder is set back ever so slightly and is bulging. Measure the shoulder diameter against factory specs.

September 28, 2012, 10:22 PM
will do guys thanks, these are all great suggestions and I will certainly take them to heart

September 30, 2012, 01:22 PM
snakeman .....

NEVER measure the shoulder against factory specs. Always measure the shoulder against YOUR chamber (use one of your fired cases).

This is why:

When factory loads are fired, they stretch to fit your chamber. Sometimes belted magnum calibers stretch as much as .020" to .030" at the shoulder. If the "factory specs" are used, your cases will stretch repeatedly (and excessively) until they become paper thin.

This is what causes case head separations, and it makes your brass very easy to bulge at the transition to the web (just above the belt). Case bulge can only occur during the loading process - not in the chamber.

September 30, 2012, 06:18 PM
I think I have a problem with belt bulge.

I saw this title and thought of my caloric intake, sorry I have nothing constructive to add regarding the reloading issue.

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