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How tight should fire-formed brass be in the chamber?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Armymutt, Jun 20, 2013.

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  1. Armymutt

    Armymutt Member

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    I reloaded a set of rounds for a rifle after firing the factory loaded ammo in the same rifle. When I chambered the reloads, it was much tighter than the factory, which I expected. I'm just wondering how tight they should be. I ran the cases through a neck sizer only.
     
  2. witchhunter

    witchhunter Member

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    Really shouldn't be any "tighter", Make sure the case is not too long, that is the number one thing that makes a round seem tighter. Also make sure you don't have the bullet seated into the lands, that could feel tighter too. One more thing, when you adjust the neck die, make sure you only size about 3/4 of the neck, not all the way to the shoulder, I have seen necks pushed down into the shoulder and it causes bulges there. Try chambering a resized case only, marked with a sharpie, see where it is tight.
     
  3. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    When you say tighter do you mean it was a little hard to close the bolt?

    If so you need to bump the shoulder back a bit. You chamber one that is too "tight" and you can easily gall the bolt lugs.

    Some people swear by neck sizing only. I have never had good results from it. I always full length size.

    If you look into optimum charge weight loading you may find a way to dial in a load combination that is excellent for your rifle.
     
  4. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Sounds like you need to FLS your brass. Even after a few neck size only reloadings, you will need to FLS your brass to bump the shoulder back. Also look to see if your running the bullet tip into the rifling...
     
  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Neck Sized brass -hard to chamber

    Neck sized brass can be harder to chamber if the chamber is oval. Or the bolt face is not square to the chamber. Or the load was over pressure & the web has expander more than normal. Or the COL is too long.
     
  6. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Aside from OAL interfering with chamber fit, the round should chamber smoothly and not with abnormal resistance. In other words you don't want the brass to be forced to fit when closing the bolt. It isn't good for your action or the brass. A clean fit with .001" to a max .002" head space is good, even zero is fine, as long as the brass isn't binding against the head / shoulder.

    One way to know if you have found that magical head space is to remove the extractor rod from the bolt so it doesn't produce false resistance, and then lock your FLdie down when you've located that magical spot.

    GS
     
  7. Innovative

    Innovative Member

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    Armymutt ......

    Full length resizing is the way to go. Even benchrest shooters prefer FL resizing, so why neck resize? if you set your die height accurately, you can usually reduce excessive chamber clearance by about 80%.

    AND You should not be able to "feel" your handloads chamber . . . . not even a little bit.
     
  8. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Armymutt,

    Factory ammo is sized smaller than you can resize to with a standard FL die, so your once-fired brass, while sized to your chamber's dimensions, is quite a bit larger than what it was when it came from the factory. Don't worry about a little tightness, but when it becomes more pronounced, you will have to FL resize it.

    Don
     
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