Scrap Brass Salvage Adventures!

swampratt

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I prepped and sized a bunch of 30-06 when I first began reloading with a press.
It was about a year later I had came a long way on what I do to prep brass for my want to be accuracy shooting.
I found out the way I had prepped all those 30-06 cases was not going to cut it.

Now I feel I should only prep what I want to shoot in the near future.
I will clean cases and bag them but prep later on down the line as I need them.

I also feel I need to save cases and not shoot them all up so I will make 50 or so rounds and keep rotating those cases until they fail and then get into the stored cleaned cases and begin using those.
 

Rez Exelon

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I prepped and sized a bunch of 30-06 when I first began reloading with a press.
It was about a year later I had came a long way on what I do to prep brass for my want to be accuracy shooting.
I found out the way I had prepped all those 30-06 cases was not going to cut it.

Now I feel I should only prep what I want to shoot in the near future.
I will clean cases and bag them but prep later on down the line as I need them.

I also feel I need to save cases and not shoot them all up so I will make 50 or so rounds and keep rotating those cases until they fail and then get into the stored cleaned cases and begin using those.

I'm similar, but with a catch --- once I find what I consider a good load, or a setup that works, I'll do my full prep routine on that before storing it with a card detailing what was done. I actually have a template made up to print on labels that I can check the boxes and put the pertinent info on. But yeah --- I rotate till I shoot stuff out, then bring more onboard. I just want it stuff ready to crank out when my batch hits EOL. Mainly because I hate the prep --- so I know it's better to get it done early rather than it be there as a demotivator later.

For this project, I'm doing what I think of as a base prep --- enough to where I can (literally) shoot the dents out of some pieces. After that I want to get a lot more detailed on the pieces, find what works best and then store them with the supplies needed to make them when the time comes.
 

HiredHand

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I prepped and sized a bunch of 30-06 when I first began reloading with a press.
It was about a year later I had came a long way on what I do to prep brass for my want to be accuracy shooting.
I found out the way I had prepped all those 30-06 cases was not going to cut it.

Now I feel I should only prep what I want to shoot in the near future.
I will clean cases and bag them but prep later on down the line as I need them.

I also feel I need to save cases and not shoot them all up so I will make 50 or so rounds and keep rotating those cases until they fail and then get into the stored cleaned cases and begin using those.

Very good advice.
 

dennishoddy

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I prepped and sized a bunch of 30-06 when I first began reloading with a press.
It was about a year later I had came a long way on what I do to prep brass for my want to be accuracy shooting.
I found out the way I had prepped all those 30-06 cases was not going to cut it.

Now I feel I should only prep what I want to shoot in the near future.
I will clean cases and bag them but prep later on down the line as I need them.

I also feel I need to save cases and not shoot them all up so I will make 50 or so rounds and keep rotating those cases until they fail and then get into the stored cleaned cases and begin using those.

30-06 was my first round to reload in 1980. Still use that round on elk to this day.
No internet those days, just reloading manuals.
I did notice that some rounds were almost impossible to deprime with broken pins that took weeks to get because there was no Amazon and long distance calls cost too much so you filled out the order form in the back of the catalog, mailed it in that took a week, then a week or so later the parts would show up.
The brass that was hard to deprime required a technique to get that primer out. A series of short hard strokes usually worked vs constant pressure.
Getting a primer back in there was tough!
I had no clue about crimped primers and the need to remove the crimp before repriming. The Sierra manual I had never mentioned it.
My how things have changed. Next day delivery, information everywhere on the web, phone calls to a friend or manufacturer to answer questions is free. Power/pneumatic trimmers to get a bucket trimmed in short order, case prep stations to deburr, progressive presses, and so on.
Reloading is much easier these days and actually more precise.
 

Rez Exelon

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Ugh. The battle continues.

Got to the point yesterday of actually loading up some cartridges for this here project, with the plan being to make a ladder from some Hornady 125gr /W296. Did 20 carts at the book data for 1700/1800fps and then figured it was time to do the scary test. The scary test, is sadly not the "take it out back and see if it blows up the gun" like I wish it was --- because I live in town. No the scary test is "put stuff in a mag and see if it goes in and out of the chamber. And scary was right, because that failed horrifically.

Now, I should not here that in making the rounds, they were all resized, got full prep, were confirmed within spec on trim (1.355 +/- .003), and were loaded to Hornady's suggest COAL of 2.100" +/- .002 (some variation due to different headstamps I'm sure here). But when I went to load it, the bolt wouldn't go into battery. I instantly had PTSD to the 22-250 and Browning issues I fought recently. After the flashbacks ended I had to go to work troubleshooting.

Couple of tests I ran:
* Used shorter cases (1.50 +/- .003) with no difference.
* Seated bullet further in (2.080 target) with no difference.
* Sized again (multiple times TBH in this process) with no difference.
* Went to Sports World and got brand new dies (Shout out, they were 44 bucks which is pre-scare pricing even!)
* Looked for a case gauge but couldn't find one at Academy, Sports World of Jerry's.
* Tried to find factory ammo as well but it was out except for some 220gr subsonic at SW that I didn't think would make a good test.
* Made test cases with 150gr Hornady 3037's, some M64 (I think) tracer pulled, and some 1940's m2 ball stuff i had laying around. All the same.
* Multiple others I might not be listing.

Called BCA and they gave me a no hassle RMA label for warranty evaluation, but I was still angry that this was not going better, so I kept testing. I dug through my box of random brass and found a few factory 300BLK cases, and loaded them up. They were juuuust slightly sticky but cycled. So I got the calipers out and started comparisons. Oddly, nearly every dimension I looked at was identical. This left the one thing I should probably have started with --- the stupid stupid shoulder.

It's the most annoying part on the case IMHO because it's so hard to get a reliable measurement on it (base to the start/end points for instance) and I'm definitely not going to get to measure the angle. But, I also remembered that in the back of my mind in the PTSD folder, the solution to my 22-250 not going into battery was to sand the shellholder down a smidge. Now, I think that probably works because as the shell holder gets thinner, it goes into the die more and gets more shoulder bump. I don't know a better way to do that with my setup unless I'm missing something. Either way, I didn't get too scientific, I just took a number 4 holder and hit it with 220 to 800 for a bit, blew the dust off and resized some cases with it with no other adjustments.

And the dang. thing. worked. that. time.

Now, it wasn't a total success, but 7/8 being fine is a lot better than 0/8. But the most curious thing is that even once I got the rounds going in the chamber, with the bolt all the way closed by doing this sizing bumpy thingy (it's a technical term -- look it up LOL), I'm still getting a really curious ring on the projectiles themselves. Basically it's a full circular marking about 2mm up the ogive from the end of the neck of the case. (I'll try to get a picture in the next post). I'm seeing a smidge of the bullet getting pushed back in the case --- maybe .003 at max, but that ring is always there. The only thing I could think that would be making that is if the projectile was hitting the walls of the chamber. Or I could be missing something obvious because I've been thinking about this too much.

So now I need to figure out if I should send the upper for evaluation for a couple weeks, or keep working on if my house is in order. I suppose I really should get one of those slotted Sheridan gauges --- that'd've saved me a heck of a lot of time/effort this last day for sure. Either way, I'm apparently not shooting this thing for a while longer.
 
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Rez Exelon

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IMG_20210621_172410.jpg
 

swampratt

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Looks like a tight or short chamber.
It may shoot excellent.
Seat bullets deeper and see if the ring goes away.

When I have a round that will not chamber I will take a permanent marker and color the entire bullet.
Then insert it and see if I have witness marks..Fix that issue if there is one.
If that colored bullet has no marks I color the entire case and insert it and look for witness marks.

I have had one gun that I had to set the shoulders back an AR15 5.56 of a friends.

I use the colored markers often to get my bullet touching the lands measurement.
 

Rez Exelon

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Looks like a tight or short chamber.
It may shoot excellent.
Seat bullets deeper and see if the ring goes away.

When I have a round that will not chamber I will take a permanent marker and color the entire bullet.
Then insert it and see if I have witness marks..Fix that issue if there is one.
If that colored bullet has no marks I color the entire case and insert it and look for witness marks.

I have had one gun that I had to set the shoulders back an AR15 5.56 of a friends.

I use the colored markers often to get my bullet touching the lands measurement.
Sage advise as always and probably a good blueprint for the next round of testing. I did decide to chuck some more money at hte project (sigh...cutting into my savings of doing it this way LOL) and get one of the Sheridan gauges. Really cool setup being that you check and see everything at once.

SG300BLK_1.jpg


So that'll probably take a few days to get here but give me proof positive if I'm screwing something up, or if I need to send it back. The bad thing is that after discovering this today, that might very well cost me a good chunk more money because I can see (pending testing) how it could be really useful in many other situations as well. The 22-250 shoulder bump issue from a few months back being a prime example. In this case, if the problem was the shoulder, then I can use my other shellholder, test and check headspace, and then repeat with this one to see the difference. It should also allow me to see if the brass is too thick. One possibility for the clearance issues, being that this is cutdown brass, is that the case walls are thicker than they should be. IIRC I saw some posts that indicated neck thickness should be .011-.013 and that some brass would wind up being .013+ and cause issues. I checked the necks at (mostly) .012 so I don't think that'd apply here, but this would be a great way to verify.
 

Dumpstick

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I think you are on the right track with neck thickness.

I had that problem with a 91/30: by the time I got a fat enough cast bullet to fill the barrel it would no longer chamber. The combination of fat bullet and thick brass ran into the chamber specs, and I ended up having to turn the necks of the brass to .010" to get clearance.

But not all brands of brass were problematic, some brass brands had thicker neck walls than others.

Mic the necks of the loaded rounds, and check the specs.
 

swampratt

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I have also ran into neck thickness issues with a few rifles.
My .243 and a .223 I have hated Lapua cases due to the necks being thicker.
They would chamber but horrible groups like every one was a flier.
Measured the cases ID after firing and You would have bullet diameter ID.
I turned the necks and got excellent brass.

Buddies Model 94 30-30 built the same year my Model 94 30-30 was built in 1974 will not chamber my rounds
when I use a neck sizing die.
I can chamber his though.
Chambers can be different as we all know.

Sounds like you will get there.
I was getting fliers with my cast load 30-30 rounds every time 2 out of 5 were fliers.
I checked neck thickness and some were .004" thicker..I turned necks all to the smallest I had which was .010"
No more odd fliers.

This was all the same headstamp.
 
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