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Bolt won't close on some of my 30-06 reloads...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BoilerUP, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Well-Known Member

    A couple weeks ago I loaded up 20 rounds of '06, two different recipes below a 130gr NBT. The brass was Remington had been twice fired through the same Remington 700, once from the factory and one as a reload.

    I use a Lee Challenger press and Lee RGB dies.

    While trying to put them downrange, I found I could not get the bolt to close on 6 of the 20 reloads. The rest chambered and fired as expected, with no resistance on closing the bolt...but nothing was doing with these 6.

    I've never had this happen with any of my other reloads (22-250, 243, & 270), and I use RGB dies on the 243 and 270.

    What does this mean? Is it a headspace issue, or something else?

    Thanks for the help...
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    9 times in 10 when this happens it's one of 2 things;

    High primers

    or you didn't run your size die in against the shellholder far enough to bump the shoulder back

    whenever these threads pop up within 10 replies someone will mention buying a completely unneeded set of small base dies.
  3. steve4102

    steve4102 Well-Known Member

    How did you set up your FL dies? The generic way is to screw the FL die in until it touches the shell holder, then turn the die in 1/8 to 1/4 turn more.

    As Krochus has mentioned, you most likely have pushed the shoulder forward with the sizing die and it need to be screwed in a bit to set the shoulder back.
  4. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys, I thought I had the lock ring set to where the manual said to set it but perhaps it was off. I'll adjust it and try again.

    Appreciate the info!
  5. ants

    ants Well-Known Member

    Boiler, let me mention that I have the same problem with two particular rifles. They just seem to let the body of the brass stretch a little more than the others. No big deal. I screw the die an extra 1/4 turn for those two (a quarter turn beyond the manufacturer's instructions). I'm sure you followed the die setup directions precisely, but once in a while you need the extra umpff for a particular rifle chamber. No big deal.
  6. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    you would be amazed at the amount of upward flex even the sturdiest looking reloading presses can have. So when you setup the die kissing an unloaded shellholder it might actually be a few thousands away when you're sizing a even somewhat difficult piece of brass from upward flex in the presses frame. This is where the 1/4 turn into the shellholder comes in.
  7. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    You may need to size just a little more.
    If not that, are you crimping? If your brass isn't all the same length and you're crimping, you might be screwing some of them up just enough that they won't chamber (BTDT).
    Or, maybe you need to trim your brass. It usually takes maybe three to five loadings before you really need to trim if you're not crimping, but I have found some factory brass and once fired brass that is just longer than it should be. (BTDT on this one too.)

    Also, I'm not familiar with that Lee press, but I often load on my dad's old Lyman turret press. It has a six hole turret with a large nut holding it on. I've found that to adequately size some brass, I have to tighten the nut down until the turret is to tight that it won't turn. It kind of eliminates the turret "feature" when I do that, but it does size the brass. So if your press has anything that introduces play into your resizing, find a way to eliminate that too.
  8. Shoney

    Shoney Well-Known Member

    I'd put my money on either:

    Seat/Crimp die needs to be turned out a 1/4 turn;

    or the brass needs trimming.
  9. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Well-Known Member

    I trim the brass after every firing.
  10. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Well-Known Member

  11. SASS#23149

    SASS#23149 Well-Known Member

    Are you trimming the cases AFTER they are sized?
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Just use the rifle for a chamber check guage.

    If the empty cases won't chamber after you size them, it's a sure bet they won't chamber after you load them!

    Then, if they won't chamber after you load them, you did it with too much crimp!

    And I agree, you need to adjust your sizing die down until you feel a definate "bump" when the press toggles over at full stroke.

    There is no way to say whether that might be an extra 1/8 or 1/4 turn.
    Each press has different linkage slack, wear, etc.
    You set sizing dies by feel, not 1/8 or 5/64 turns!

  13. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    +1 on what RCMODEL said. when you get home chamber all the brass. then resize and chamber again. A lot of times at the range i will bring home a lot more brass than i went with. chambering the brass will quickly let me know whats mine and whats someone elses. Its not a problem. just on mine i should be abe to neck size and reload. others i need to full size
  14. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    And so do I. With a cartridge headspace gage you can measure what you are doing. Using the rifle chamber as a guide turns out to be an imperfect system. With the powerful cocking cams in a bolt rifle, it is not very sensitive. Then you have to take all extractors, ejectors, anything that has a spring tension.

    It is much easier to drop a sized case into the gage, and turn the die until you have sized the case to gage minimum. After that, you can have confidence that

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