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Possible problem with 35 Whelen loads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Cinaed, Feb 13, 2011.

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  1. Cinaed

    Cinaed Member

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    Or the problem could be a headspace issue in my rifle, a "new" Ruger M-77 in 35 Whelen.

    I noticed the problem when I first obtained ammunition for the rifle, a couple of boxes of 200 grain Core-lokt Remington ammunition. Mainly, they fired ok and I shot some decent groups. But there would be the "misfire" or dud that would only have the presence of the firing pin strike, slightly off center. At times the duds would be 2 to 3 in a row before I would get a fire at this range session.

    I then purchased 100 rounds of new 35 Whelen brass, unprimed, and proceeded to load several with CCI large rifle primers. If I recall correctly, none of those loaded with CCI primers have been misfires or duds. Some of these were used again, the cases properly fire-formed to my rifle's chamber.

    I purchased a new set of primers, this time Remington was the brand used, and again the misfires or duds appeared at my shooting range session. Now I should also add that I load and shoot a Browning BLR in .358 Winchester, and used the Remington primers in those also, and every single cartridge fired when I pulled the trigger.

    So, with this set of circumstances in hand I took my rifle to a local gun shop and asked for their recommendation as I am doing here. They suggested that the firing pin in the Ruger was exiting the bolt sufficiently to cause ignition, but that the headspace in the chamber was allowing the cartridge to move forward enough to cause the misfire. Thus, I should send the rifle back to Ruger and allow them to change barrels.

    I am inclined to believe the problem is my Remington primers however. Some of the fire-formed cases mentioned above also produced misfires with the Remington primers. Again, every cartridge loaded in the Browning BLR fired regardless of the primer used, CCI or Remington. The gunshop did note that the Remington primers were made tougher to fire than others, especially Federal primers. But since I had a problem with a box of new ammunition that I should send the rifle back to Ruger since a new rifle should be able to shoot any brand of factory ammunition.

    I should add that I have loaded my own for several years, but I don't have a lot of expensive equipment. I have mainly loaded for the 30/06 with my Lyman 310 Tool, and have recently acquired the Lee Portable press and used the Lee standard rifle dies in 35 Whelen and .358 Winchester to load my ammunition for these rifles.

    Any thoughts, ideas or suggestions greatly appreciated.

    Kenneth
    North Louisiana
     
  2. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Did they actually measure the headspace, or just assume that it was the problem?

    Either way, have you read the following thread?
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=520745
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  3. Cinaed

    Cinaed Member

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    I should have mentioned that I had read that entire thread before posting. And no, they didn't measure the headspace; they just took my bolt from the gun and released the firing pin so that it protruded through the bolt and thereby showed that the length of the pin was surely sufficient to cause ignition in most anything.
     
  4. Cinaed

    Cinaed Member

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  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    35 Whelen Misfires because of improper Head spacing on the Shoulder.

    Have you cleaned the bolt. When else have you done?? Try this, size some brass with a .010" shim between your shell holder and FL die. This setting will not bump the shoulder back, helping you get a tighter fit in your chamber 2. Seat the bullets long so they jam into the rifling..Do not load from the magazinge, the COL may be to long. After your brass is fire formed to your chamber, then you may seat bulllet deeper. This longer COL may keep the primer close enough to the firing pin for proper ignition of the primer . If the brass will not chamber at this die setting, use a .008" feeler gauge to adjust the die, or .006" or what ever size is needed for the brass to chamber. I feel it is not a primer problem but a head space problem. If this does not cure your misfires, return gun to factory for repairs. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  6. Cinaed

    Cinaed Member

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    Thanks for the reply 243winxb! Yes, I have cleaned the bolt thoroughly--nothing is preventing the firing pin from fully striking the primers. I really appreciate the suggestion, and I will try it next time I load. However, I must also add that I took care in loading not to push the shoulder back.

    I also load with a Lyman 310 Tool, and I think this is a good reason to go ahead and invest in custom dies for the 35 Whelen since those dies do neck sizing only.
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    After a few firing, you should not have a cartridge head space problem when only neck sizing. Could you loads be on the light side? Light loads may take a while to fully expand the brass to the chamber. Hope you find the problem. Good Luck.
     
  8. Cinaed

    Cinaed Member

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    I should have been more specific when mentioning the Lyman 310 dies---I do not presently have those dies in 35 Whelen. They are available from the die maker in Dallas, TX as custom dies only. I FULLY INTEND to obtain 310 dies in 35 Whelen but have yet to do so. I suspect that once I do, I won't have this problem.

    My misfires occurred in newly purchased Remington factory ammunition, and in new Remington 35 Whelen brass loaded with a Lee portable press using Remington primers. Had to special order my first two boxes of ammunition since they don't keep 35 Whelen ammo on the shelves in this part of Louisiana. Afterwards I resolved to just load all my own ammunition for that rifle.

    To me the constant is the presence of Remington primers in the factory ammo (Remington) and the primers I purchased once I had exhausted my supply of CCI large rifle. Ammo loaded using new Remington brass and CCI large rifle primers all fired. But with Remington primers many misfires (duds) occurred in that last batch.
     
  9. davidfletcher

    davidfletcher Member

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    Necksize only, be sure to seat the primers deep enough, and switch to Fed. 200s [210s if you hunt in sub freezing climates]. Reduce all loads when changing primers or anything, for that matter.
     
  10. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I have a 35 Whelen and had hangfire issues with the rifle.

    The previous owner also had misfires.

    I shot the rifle in cold weather. This cartridge must be sensitive to several conditions. Firstly I replaced the mainspring. Sixty year old mainsprings have far less energy than nice new Wolff mainsprings. Then I adjusted the die, using case gages, and set the shoulder back to gage maximum. That is, when I close the bolt, the shoulder of the case is exactly touching the shoulder. I believe the slight shoulder of the 35 Whelen cushions the firing pin blow.

    Also, this case was sensitive to powders. AA2520, a ball powder, gave pronounced hangfires. I think the best choice is IMR 3031, a medium fast burning stick powder. IMR 4064 did well. Varget was iffy.

    The only chronograph data I have is in 65F weather. But I did not have any misfires!

    For this cartridge I would recommend federal primers as they are the most sensitive primers on the market. I did not try magnum primers but they might help.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    M1903 1:10 twist 24" Douglas barrel

    225 Sierra SPBT 52.5 grs IMR 4064 wtd Lot 2449 CCI 200 OAL 3.30
    necked up R-P 30-06

    16 Oct 2009 T = 65 °F

    Ave Vel = 2260
    Std Dev = 34
    ES = 113
    High = 2331
    Low = 2218
    N = 10

    nice rounded primers, smoked case necks, most accurate load
    no hangfires!


    225 Sierra SPBT 53.0 grs IMR 4064 wtd Lot 2449 CCI 200 OAL 3.30
    necked up R-P 30-06

    16 Oct 2009 T = 65 °F

    Ave Vel = 2270
    Std Dev = 24
    ES = 56
    High = 2290
    Low = 2234
    N = 6

    nice rounded primers, smoked case necks, no hangfires


    180 Sierra SPBT 58.0 grs IMR 4064 wtd Lot 2449 CCI 200 OAL to cannulure
    necked up R-P 30-06

    16 Oct 2009 T = 65 °F

    Ave Vel = 2506
    Std Dev = 19
    ES = 56
    High = 2529
    Low = 2473
    N = 10

    nice rounded primers, smoked case necks, no hangfires
     
  11. Seedtick

    Seedtick Member

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    I think if it were mine I would send it back and include a few of the factory rounds from the box that had some no-fires.

    And I wouldn't mention anything about reloading....if it were mine. YMMV

    Seedtick

    :)
     
  12. Cinaed

    Cinaed Member

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    I think the next thing I will try is to buy some new primers, & this time it will be something other than Remington for this cartridge. I think I'll choose Federal as suggested and see how my next session at the range goes. While I'm at it I'll get a bullet puller, always needed one anyway, and recycle those misfires.
     
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