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Old 07-16-2017, 10:40 PM
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Default I got lucky today-case separation


Luckily came out in one piece without blowing my face off
Apparently my sizing die isn't set as good as I thought. That was the fourth firing, .308 win


These are 3 firings, was going to load them too, but I guess I have brass to throw out


"Shuuuuuuussssshhhhh.

You can't post stuff like that, too many heads will explode."
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:46 PM
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Yikes!

Glad you're alright. Definitely a good idea to not use those same cases anymore and to check your setup as well. Such things are rare but here we get a reminder to always pay attention. Reloading is safe yet clearly, needs to be taken very seriously.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:23 PM
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Nothing wrong with your sizing die, just its adjustment.

When you setup your sizing die, make sure that your not bumping the shoulder all the way back.

Blacken the case neck and shoulder with a lighter or a sharpie. Screw your sizing die in a 1/4 turn at a time until the die juuuuuust touches the case shoulder when you run the case in.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:23 PM
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Glad you made out ok. Forgive my ignorance but how would your sizing die cause that?
Whoops never mind it was answered.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:27 PM
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I've been oversizing the brass, so it stretches even more upon firing. It then gets thin near the case head


"Shuuuuuuussssshhhhh.

You can't post stuff like that, too many heads will explode."
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:47 AM
220 Swift 220 Swift is offline
 
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For your remaining brass you can use a RCBS Case master gauging tool. This identifies an unknown future casing head issue , where its thinning but you cant see it with your eyes alone.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:54 AM
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Just curious.... What is the headstamp on the brass?
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:42 AM
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Glad you are okay bud! Thanks for not being so macho that you couldn't share a cautionary tale.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:42 AM
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Federal brass


"Shuuuuuuussssshhhhh.

You can't post stuff like that, too many heads will explode."
Hillbillyreefer
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:01 AM
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One of the Big advantage to having a neck sizing die for your guns is it completely gets rid of this problem and you don't end up working the case itself more than it needs to be. I have 308 and 7 Rem Mag cases that have been neck sized a dozen times, and they still feed slick as can be. They also rarely require trimming. If they ever get a little sticky it is easy to FL size them but I would be unlikely to get 2 dozen firings on a case if I FL sized them every time.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:21 AM
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I've had neck dies for almost every other cartridge I load for, just haven't picked one up for this rifle yet... It's on the list now. I wasn't going to as this is my main hunting rifle, and I've had feeding issues in the past with neck sizers

The weird thing is it didn't chamber nicely until I had the die set to where it is. Obviously it was still introducing too much headspace.

And with the nickel plating, it doesn't show up on the outside until it is really thin, but you can feel it on the inside with a wire even on cases that look perfect


"Shuuuuuuussssshhhhh.

You can't post stuff like that, too many heads will explode."
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:42 AM
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Get a piece of stiff wire and fashion a small hook at one end. You can use it to check your cases before reloading, just reach inside the case with it and see if a ring is starting.

What kind of rifle?
I would think that most any rifle chambered for the 308 would have pretty good protection for the shooter in the event of a case head separation, as long as your wearing shooting glasses then I wouldn't sweat the close call think too much.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opalsasquatch View Post
Federal brass


"Shuuuuuuussssshhhhh.

You can't post stuff like that, too many heads will explode."
Hillbillyreefer
Hmmm interesting. Last year i had a batch of federal brass that went at the third firing. Of 80 cases probably %30 of them had case head seperation or cracks with a mid book load shot in a m305 (yes the headspace has been checked) not saying loading practices are not to blame in your case just saying it may be partialy brass related.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tikka250 View Post
Hmmm interesting. Last year i had a batch of federal brass that went at the third firing. Of 80 cases probably %30 of them had case head seperation or cracks with a mid book load shot in a m305 (yes the headspace has been checked) not saying loading practices are not to blame in your case just saying it may be partialy brass related.


Could be part of it. I know federal brass is not known to be the best quality(but it's so shiny!) Never had an issue with weatherby/Norma brass.
I'll probably order some lapua brass, and pay more attention to how much I'm sizing.

Anyone know what the internal case capacity difference might be between fed and lapua brass? I'll have to rework my loads up
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opalsasquatch View Post
Federal brass


"Shuuuuuuussssshhhhh.

You can't post stuff like that, too many heads will explode."
Hillbillyreefer

OH-OH...

(I have 12 firings with my Lapua brass and still going strong.)

Case capacity shouldn't matter too much with .308. You shouldn't have to re do your development. Just tweak it.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:55 PM
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Any recommendations on neck sizer dies? I've had standard RCBS neck dies, and one set of lee collet dies.
Wondering what bushing sizes I would need with lapua brass if I go Forster bushing neck dies. Kind of hard to know what to order without the brass in hand.

Or is neck bushing dies pointless if you don't turn your case necks?

Unexplored territory for me


"Shuuuuuuussssshhhhh.

You can't post stuff like that, too many heads will explode."
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:12 PM
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Just buy a Lee collet die. Bushing does will create a doughnut.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tchardy1972 View Post
Just buy a Lee collet die. Bushing does will create a doughnut.
Well not really with the dougnut but the part about the Lee Collet neck die being a good choice is spot on.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:53 PM
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Don't waste your money on a neck die. It's funny how many people reload but don't understand the importance of having all the correct tools to do so. This isn't meant to be an attack sorry if it comes across that way, just a great chance for some education. There are many companies that make case length comparitors-BUY ONE! Learn how to use it. Then you can properly set full length dies so that you are only bumping a couple thou. Trouble with only neck sizing is you don't find out your brass is too long until you are on the hunt or at the range. Glad you are ok, and hope you didn't gas cut a ring in your chamber.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:27 PM
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I set my dies to land on the shell holder and if i had your problem i would say its the chamber
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:07 PM
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Opal ---If you are starting down the accuracy road, I would recommend a Type S Redding FL die with a couple of bushings..probably a 334 and 335 for use with Lapua brass. For seating, go with a Wilson inline with a micrometer top. And, it never hurts to outside turn necks to insure consistent wall thickness.
By choosing the correct freebore when doing a build, it is pretty easy to select a bullet that will seat the bearing surface/boat tail forward of the donut thereby eliminating that issue.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marxman View Post
I set my dies to land on the shell holder and if i had your problem i would say its the chamber
I disagree with this opinion, of both proper die adjustment, and probable cause of the OP's problem.

IMHO the OP's head separation problem was most probably caused by adjusting his FL die exactly as marxman does (and most instructions direct).
This adjustment will result in a case sized to SAAMI minimum (or possibly much smaller).
It will allow the resized case to easily chamber in any SAAMI compliant chamber,
but probably with excess headspace that WILL shorten case service life, and may cause head separation, and also require frequent trimming.
(When trimming, always ask yourself, where did the brass you are trimming off come from?)

I suggest a check of the fit of a resized case in your chamber,
then apply layers of tape to the base of the head until the case is too long for the action to close.
A headspace GO gauge can be used similarly to determine actual chamber length, which can be compared with the SAAMI spec.

Many of those desiring maximum reliability of chambering prefer very small case sizes, and are willing to accept lower precision and case life.
Target shooters not so much.

I suggest a forum search on "partial sizing" or "die adjustment" or similar.

Good Luck, YMMV.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 260 Rem View Post
snip
I would recommend a Type S Redding FL die
snip
A Redding Type S FL die can be used without any bushing as a body only die.

I prefer to FL resize using a Redding body only die,
used with the proper Redding Competition (over height) shell holder, to resize for minimum headspace.
then use a Lee Collet Neck die or a Redding Comp Neck bushing die to size the neck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 260 Rem View Post
it never hurts to outside turn necks to insure consistent wall thickness
Especially when neck sizing using a bushing die without an internal expander.

Good Luck, YMMV.

Last edited by qwert; 07-17-2017 at 11:36 PM.
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  #24  
Old 07-17-2017, 11:43 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys,
Will determine what to do this week and report back.

The load i was shooting was a target load(43.2 gr RL15, 168gr SMK). This is meant for hunting practice, which is primarily what the rifle is to be used for.

It's a 7 lb all up gun, with a substandard shooter behind it. Not sure how far I should take this... It's shooting moa now...


"Shuuuuuuussssshhhhh.

You can't post stuff like that, too many heads will explode."
Hillbillyreefer
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwert View Post
I disagree with this opinion, of both proper die adjustment, and probable cause of the OP's problem.

IMHO the OP's head separation problem was most probably caused by adjusting his FL die exactly as marxman does (and most instructions direct).
This adjustment will result in a case sized to SAAMI minimum (or possibly much smaller).
It will allow the resized case to easily chamber in any SAAMI compliant chamber,
but probably with excess headspace that WILL shorten case service life, and may cause head separation, and also require frequent trimming.
(When trimming, always ask yourself, where did the brass you are trimming off come from?)

I suggest a check of the fit of a resized case in your chamber,
then apply layers of tape to the base of the head until the case is too long for the action to close.
A headspace GO gauge can be used similarly to determine actual chamber length, which can be compared with the SAAMI spec.

Many of those desiring maximum reliability of chambering prefer very small case sizes, and are willing to accept lower precision and case life.
Target shooters not so much.

I suggest a forum search on "partial sizing" or "die adjustment" or similar.

Good Luck, YMMV.
Whe i started reloading i got neck size dies and my full length dies i adjusted to the right length but the brass doesnt all behave the same and i got tired of rounds that didnt want to chamber. In 8 chamberings and over a dozen different rifles i reload for since i started sizing down to the shell holder i get pretty good case life and never get head seperations after some neck fails i throw a batch out. The op says he has to size it down that far for it to chamber so if the body taper is landing with the shoulder still too far forward maybe the chamber is out of spec.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:31 AM
qwert qwert is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marxman View Post
Whe i started reloading i got neck size dies and my full length dies i adjusted to the right length but the brass doesnt all behave the same and i got tired of rounds that didnt want to chamber. In 8 chamberings and over a dozen different rifles i reload for since i started sizing down to the shell holder i get pretty good case life and never get head seperations after some neck fails i throw a batch out. The op says he has to size it down that far for it to chamber so if the body taper is landing with the shoulder still too far forward maybe the chamber is out of spec.
Like people, all firearms and sizing dies are individuals (and the reason I always say YMMV).
Similarly, there is wide variation between designs and results of ‘neck size dies’.
Most FL dies have similar function and design, but output size can vary much more widely than we would prefer, (or expect given that they are supposedly built to SAAMI spec). All dies are subject to manufacturing and QC variability.
I have >6 different 308W FL sizing dies, (3 Redding, 2 RCBS, & Lee). The Redding FL dies produce very similar (carefully measured) output size, but the others vary widely and the Lee FL is actually smaller than the Redding or RCBS SB FL dies, (as per YMMV).

As you suggest, “the brass doesn’t all behave the same”, (again, YMMV).
In addition to sizing die and brass variability; seating, and particularly crimping procedures can alter the shape of case shoulders and/or necks and cause difficulty chambering.

Chambers do vary (sometimes widely), for many different reasons.
Few reloaders have the tooling required to rechamber, but thankfully this is seldom required.
Our challenge as hand-loaders is to produce cartridges custom fitted for best performance in an individual chamber.
Most fitting (like voting) is a matter of choosing the best compromise considering all the factors and available options.

Good Luck, YMMV.
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:10 PM
Salavee Salavee is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TangoKilo View Post
Nothing wrong with your sizing die, just its adjustment.

When you setup your sizing die, make sure that your not bumping the shoulder all the way back.

Blacken the case neck and shoulder with a lighter or a sharpie. Screw your sizing die in a 1/4 turn at a time until the die juuuuuust touches the case shoulder when you run the case in.

This
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TangoKilo View Post
Nothing wrong with your sizing die, just its adjustment.

When you setup your sizing die, make sure that your not bumping the shoulder all the way back.

Blacken the case neck and shoulder with a lighter or a sharpie. Screw your sizing die in a 1/4 turn at a time until the die juuuuuust touches the case shoulder when you run the case in.
Myself, I use the Sinclair Shoulder Bump Gauges. No guess work, you know exactly how much of a bump back you've re-sized your brass to.

http://www.sinclairintl.com/reloadin...prod35265.aspx
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Old 07-18-2017, 05:40 PM
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Another vote for redding neck sizers. They are nice
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  #30  
Old 07-18-2017, 06:51 PM
Don_Parsons Don_Parsons is offline
 
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I heard about the case neck bump back when needed.

A fellow at the shooting range mentioned that he neck sizes his his cases 3 too 4 shoots as he pays attention too how well the reloaded bullets chamber in his rifle.

If he feels they are not chambering correctly, then he uses his FL dies too bump the case shoulder back a few thousands,,, then back to neck sizing only...
That way he's not working the brass too much over its life.

annealing brass when needed is part of his routine, as he mentioned,,, "if we look after our brass, then it will last a long long time."

I'm new too this as I'm stepping up my game plan with 200 peaces of 30/06 Lapua brass.

I wish I knew this before wrecking my Hornady brass.

Thanks for putting up the thread as folks like me and many others can learn what we're doing wrong,,, it will save us these costs over the long haul.

Don
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