Bolt hard to open 243 WSSM

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BGD, May 4, 2014.

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  1. BGD

    BGD Member

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    I hope they haven't discontinued them also. The only thing that keeps me hoping is that there is not much of any brass to be had.
     
  2. Poper

    Poper Member

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    The WSSM family of cartridges are some pretty strange ducks. The dimension driving the COAL is the room in the magazine and as a result, the COAL is quite short. Accordingly, I have found my .223 WSSM (Browning A-bolt II) and my .243 WSSM (Winchester M70) both have very short throats. I cannot load very far past the book COAL before I begin to engage the rifling with most bullets. It is very easy to load 'em a little long and jam the bullet into the lands.

    FWIW, my browning doesn't feed for beans from the magazine regardless of cartridge length. OTOH, the Winchester feeds rounds like greased glass. Go figure... :scrutiny:
     
  3. BGD

    BGD Member

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    I loaded up 20 rounds to try with the bullet seated .030 deeper in the case. The bolt lift is still a little stiff, but the case slides right out. Do you think I still have a pressure problem? should I try seating even further into the case? I noticed factory Winchester loads are seated quite deep.

    thanks
     
  4. fguffey

    fguffey member

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    WSM, Winchester Short Magnum, a short/fat little case. The powder column is shorter than etc. The powder column is larger in diameter than etc., and for those two reasons I can only guess rleoaders believe the two difference have no effect on pressure.

    From the beginning reloaders have struggles with everything like heavy bolt lift to the inability to size the case back top minimum length/full length sized,

    And now I can not find the part where you were neck sizing. Neck sizing is a time factor thing. I reduce pressure by full length sizing, I also reduce pressure by refusing to seat the bullet into, near or off a few thousandths from the lands, because I am the fan of the running start, I want my bullets to have the 'jump start', do not get me wrong, I believe a lot of methods and techniques are cute, it just seems a case that causes the bolt difficulty in opening is trying to tell me something.

    Tell me something? That is the reason I measure new cases before and again after firing, then again after sizing. Neck sizing, I was informed I was dealing in some risky stuff, rather than disagree I contacted Hodgdon, I explained what I had built, the cases, case forming process, powder and bullet and all the rational that went with my plan.

    Hodgdon said ( I had already formed 40 cases) not a problem for all the reasons given but do not use the data for a starting load, the data could be beyond the maximum safe load after the case has been formed.

    F. Guffey

    Your case has jump back, snap back, memory or spring back, if the bolt is heavy to ligt the case filled the chamber, locked the bolt and did not remember what is was before you pulled the trigger.

    All of my bolts have a cam back meaning when I lift the bolt the bolt moves back by design, when the bolt moves back it pulls the case back with it 'unless' the case has been hammered, the expanded case locks the bolt. After the bolt handle has been raised the case is no longer locked in the chamber, but if it is there is a chance the extractor can jump the case rim and or tare off a chunk, then it is possible the bolt will open with the case still locked in the chamber.

    Correction" WSSM, not WSM. That makes it shorter and fatter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  5. BGD

    BGD Member

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    I should have mentioned. These rounds were full length sized. 100 grain sierra gameking and 40 grains IMR 4350. Winchester brass and WMR primer.
     
  6. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Member

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    ONE more tip. When you think you have FL sized enough, screw the die down more.

    I am a HARDHEAD and I thought it was the same as .308 or 30-06...it's not.

    If you are off the lands and it fits in the mag your good.
     
  7. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...difference in bullet construction and..." Means nothing. You load for the bullet weight, not who made it or its construction.
    First of all, relax, you don't have a pressure issue. There is a bunch of info missing though. The brass fired out of your rifle? New? You can only neck size cases that were fired out of the same rifle. Anything else needs to be FL resized at least once.
    This happening after firing or are you just testing the loaded ammo for fit?
    Check the OAL and the case lengths. If you haven't fired 'em, you may be seating the bullets to shallow and they're sticking a bit into the rifling.
    You ever have this issue with factory ammo? If not, it's not the rifle.
    Go buy as much brass as you can. The marketing types think nothing of discontinuing stuff with no regard for their existing customers.
     
  8. BGD

    BGD Member

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    I have some factory rounds I will try and see if the bolt raise is stiff. Has been a long time since I fired it with factory loads.
     
  9. bob4

    bob4 Member

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    Something you may want to try. I once thought my loads were causing a harder than normal bolt lift. ( Mossberg ATR)
    Someone told me to dry fire and see what the bolt felt like. Guess what? Bolt was stiffer even after a dry fire. Same as if I was firing. Who knew:banghead:
     
  10. BGD

    BGD Member

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    It is stiffer after it s fired even on an empty chamber. It's a browning A-Bolt II. I don't think it is as stiff as after a shot but maybe that is part of it.
     
  11. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Member

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    That's a good idea Bob. I know a Savage will cock on the bolts lift.
     
  12. fguffey

    fguffey member

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    Or determine if the case was sized when the ram was raised, again, the WSSM and WSM cases are hammered when fired, hammering the case makes it stiff.

    It is a good practice to measure the case length from the shoulder to the head of the case before firing, it is good to measure the length of the case from the shoulder to the head of the case after firing 'and' it is a good practice to measure the length of the case from the shoulder to the head of the case after sizing.

    Me? I find it a complete waste of time to size cases that have been hammered. Hammering can be measured in thousandths, I have cases that have been hammered .008", the hammering caused the cases to require hammering into the shell holder with a very small ball peen hammer.

    F. Guffey
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  13. ballenbrowning

    ballenbrowning Member

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    I had the same issue with my a bolt 25 wssm. I was full length resizing just as I would with other climbers and the bolt was stiff after firing. Once I turned the sizing die down a 1/8 of a turn more than normal it seemed to fix my problems. Mine now chambers and the bolt opens normally after firing. I am also getting 1/2" moa with 100gr accubond. Hope this helps.
    Brian
     
  14. BGD

    BGD Member

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    Went out this morning and tried some loads with 41.5 grains of IMR 4350 with sierra 100 grain gameking, WLR primer, and Winchester brass. This is the 4th reload on this brass. The first shot was a split neck. I quit and will pull the bullets from the remaining 19 cartridges and pitch the cases.

    do you think I can use the pulled bullets? Are split necks normal after 4 reloads with the WSSM cartridges?

    Thanks
     

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  15. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Member

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    You need to anneal the necks. Don't throw them away. Yes it is fairly normal w/o annealing.
     
  16. BGD

    BGD Member

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    Annealing makes sense. Can I push out these live primers or should I fire them first. I have pulled the bullets and emptied the powder. How often should the cases be annealed?
    Thanks
     
  17. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    You should be able to reuse your bullets if you use a collet or inertia puller.
    As you probably know, wssm brass is much heavier than most standard brass and you can work it hard by full length sizing.
    The scarcity of the brass makes it important to take steps to salvage at every opportunity, and proper annealing should extend their life.
    Just knock out the primers and reuse them later after annealing.
    I've seen others complain about splits on wssm brass after a few loads, but they likely didn't anneal their brass. Just keep your loads middle of the road and the brass will last longer.
    I reloaded 223 wssm for a while without issues.


    NCsmitty
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  18. BGD

    BGD Member

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    Thanks, I didn't know you could knock out a live primer. Worked great. I will anneal these cases and try them again. thanks everyone for all the help.
     
  19. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Member

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    I made a post on the " when to anneal" thread where I mentioned after the 3rd firing.
     
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