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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rookie reloader here. Marlin 336. Lee Challenger press and deluxe rifle die set w/ factory crimp. Bullets- Speer 110 gr. hollow points. This is the second time I've reloaded these cases using the collet neck sizer. First time I've used these bullets. I have to use quite a bit of pressure on the lever to close the last half inch. After firing, the empty case chambers easily. Any idea on what's wrong? Do I need to buy a Winchester? :shock: :wink: I'm using the neck sizer because it's supposed to give better accuracy with the fire formed cases. Also when I used the full sizer the neck was so loose I could seat the bullets by hand. I'm wondering if I didn't lube the inside of the case enough when full length sizing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I am fairly new to reloading myself but from what I have seen the collet neck sizer die is not recomended for autos, pumps, and lever guns. Maybe some one with more experience can tell us why.
 

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Here is the answer from the reloading manuals: When reloading for any lever-action, pump, or autoloader, the cases should be full-length resized each time. Those action types do not have the powerful camming forced of a bolt-action rifle and the cases must chamber easily.

Having said that, I will say that I have reloaded for these actions using less-than-full-length resizing. It depends on the specific rifle and it's specific chamber geometry. My 35 Rem 336SC would handle cases MUCH larger than factory size. My BLR 308 wouldn't take even full-length sized cases and even had trouble extracting factory ammo. With all guns, if the cases were previously fired in a different rifle (such as with scrounged brass) then they certainly should be full-length resized before firing in your rifle. In all instances, the cases must fully chamber easily in your lever-action.

If your sized cases chamber easily before a bullet is seated, then either the overall loaded length (OAL) is too long, or the bullets are too large in diameter, or your barrel and/or chamber are dirty or obstructed. That's my opinion, right or wrong.

Live well
 

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Got, and got rid of, a few years ago. I returned it from whence I bought it - one of the good reasons for buying from a reputable gun dealership.

My BLR shot extremely accurately, but there were 4 things wrong with the gun: It would not extract fired cases without extreme force, and; those 3 words stamped on the barrel that I just could not live with as one who prefers to support American manufacturers. There's only one in my safe that wasn't made in the US, and it was made in Finland.

Live well

P.S. I love to meet fellow shooting enthusiasts, but if you come to my place, drive your American vehicle (by American I mean manufactured in the US by US citizens at a US-owned company). That's how I am and I don't care if anyone dislikes it.
 

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4eyes said:
Rookie reloader here. Marlin 336. Lee Challenger press and deluxe rifle die set w/ factory crimp. Bullets- Speer 110 gr. hollow points. This is the second time I've reloaded these cases using the collet neck sizer. First time I've used these bullets. I have to use quite a bit of pressure on the lever to close the last half inch. After firing, the empty case chambers easily. Any idea on what's wrong? Do I need to buy a Winchester? :shock: :wink: I'm using the neck sizer because it's supposed to give better accuracy with the fire formed cases. Also when I used the full sizer the neck was so loose I could seat the bullets by hand. I'm wondering if I didn't lube the inside of the case enough when full length sizing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Do you lube the cases before using the sizing die. Its a must, unless I missunderstood your question.

MAd
 

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The collet die is a great idea, but one that was not ever ideal for a lever action. I actually got by doing it about 3 times. before they were too hard to chamber. I suppose there is a place for it when you are only target practicing or have a bolt action. The camming action on levers are just not adequate for the force necessary to chamber this non-resized round. Your bullet has nothing to do with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the responses.
What puzzes me is that neck sized cases have worked fine up til this batch. It the first time I used these particular bullets. Bullet diameter was my first thought but they're the same as all my others. I'll clean the gun and see if it helps.
MAd, I did lube the cases when full sizing but was thinking I didn't lube the inside of the neck well enough. Sorry for the confusion, I should limit myself to one topic
Is it possible that the neck sized cases will only work once and then have to be full sized?
 

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One other thing you may need to check is the case mouth. I switched bullets and found the mouth was over belled and not smooth after seating the bullet. Had to re-crimp the entire batch. Once I knew what the issue was it was easy to spot.
 

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Dr. A said:
Your bullet has nothing to do with this.
Sorry Dr.A, but you might just be wrong. He states that the fired cases chamber easily. This leads me to believe that something other than the case might be causing the hard chambering. Were he using a standard bullet seating die to crimp instead of the factory crimp die, I would also suggest he was crimping too much and bulging the case just below the crimp. But such is probably not the situation.

As far as the bullets dropping into the case after sizing, I think you are just not sizing the neck enough. The Lee collet sizer requires GREAT handle pressure to size the neck because there is little mechanical advantage. And each time you fire the case it becomes harder to size, regardless which type of sizer die is used. Also, the Lee dies are prone to getting out of adjustment simply from installing and uninstalling them in the press due to the adjustment ring not being locked in place, and from installing them against the O-ring in the lock ring. I prefer to replace the Lee lock ring and O-ring with solid metal ones that do not contain an O-ring and are locked in place with a set screw, such as with the RCBS dies. The RCBS rings are available as a component online or at the better-stocked stores.

When my cases get hard to size or start splitting, I anneal them. That means to soften the brass at the neck to make it easier to work. To do this, first deprime the cases. Then heat the neck only of each case evenly, one at a time, to dull red color with a propane torch. Spin the case in the heat for even heat distribution. When heated to dull red, IMMEDIATELY drop the case in a bucket of cold water. Keep the bucket of water very close to (under) the flame so the trip from flame to water is short and quick to minimize heat loss. DO NOT anneal the case much below the shoulder. DO NOT attempt to anneal loaded cases, or cases with a primer installed. Completely dry the cases and tumble them before resizing and loading. After annealing you will notice a significant reduction in the force required to resize the cases and seat bullets.
 

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Definitely too strong a language. My collet dies definitely limited my ability to chamber my cartridge the bullet notwithstanding. :lol: 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I believe I figured out my problem today. It was the bullet. I cycled the cartridges through the rifle without firing them. After forcing the lever closed and ejecting them, the bullets were seated deeper and had fresh marks on the copper jacket. They were well under the maximum OAL before this cycling them. I compared them to the other 30-30 bullets I have and am convinced that Speer 110 gr. hollow points seated to the cannalure do not taper quickly enough to match the 30-30 chamber. Do you think I can just seat the bullets deeper or am I better off not using them?
 

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You can seat them deeper, but I would work up the load again with them set at the new COL. Your pressures will change.
 

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I use the Speer 110g HP in my 336C (.30-30) and for cycling/chambering, I have to seat the bullet so that I crimp (Lee FCD) "past" the cannelure. This puts the cannelure entirely in the neck of the case.

Best to all,
Dan
 

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4eyes said:
I believe I figured out my problem today. It was the bullet.
The bullet, eh? Go figure. ;)
Sorry, but I just love it when I'm lucky...I mean, when I'm right. :D

Re-working up to max load is a good idea, assuming you were at max to begin with. Actually, seating your 110 grain bullets deeper could just as likely reduce your chamber pressure due to the previous load having the bullet so firmly lodged in the rifling leade. Groups might open up a touch too, but we just cannot have the bullet fit that snugly into the leade with our leveractions.

Live well
 

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I think you found the problem, which is typical of Marlin 336's. Most Marlins have no throat-the rifling starts just in front of the chamber neck, which means there cannot be much full bullet diameter (.308") protruding past the case mouth. If you must crimp above the cannelure to get the cartridge to chamber you can use Lee's factory crimp die to crimp wherever you wish, as long as cartridge OAL does not exceed 2.57."

The Lee Collet die does not need the inside nor the outside of the neck lubricated, because the neck is squeezed in a collet, not dragged over an expander ball or shoved into a smaller die neck. Cleaning the neck will suffice to reduce drag enough for this die.

Like was mentioned before, the Lee Collet may need more force on the press lever to size the neck as it is squeezed over a mandrel. If you are having difficulty with bullet/case neck tension with the die properly adjusted as per the instructions (remove all spring from the press/die setup when installing the die) then you may need to turn the mandrel down about .001" by installing it in a drill and CAREFULLY reducing the diameter of the mandrel. This is also covered in the instructions. Be certain you have the die adjusted properly before you decide to go with this step. Don't oversqueeze the collet when adjusting the die in the press as you can damage it if it is adjusted too far.

A .30-30 should go several firings and neck sizings before needing to be full length sized again, even in a lever action. If you don't have a full length die set, then you need to buy Lee's full length sizing set that includes the factory crimp die and bullet seater.
 

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4eyes said:
Rookie reloader here. Marlin 336. Lee Challenger press and deluxe rifle die set w/ factory crimp. Bullets- Speer 110 gr. hollow points. This is the second time I've reloaded these cases using the collet neck sizer. First time I've used these bullets. I have to use quite a bit of pressure on the lever to close the last half inch. After firing, the empty case chambers easily. Any idea on what's wrong? Do I need to buy a Winchester? :shock: :wink: I'm using the neck sizer because it's supposed to give better accuracy with the fire formed cases. Also when I used the full sizer the neck was so loose I could seat the bullets by hand. I'm wondering if I didn't lube the inside of the case enough when full length sizing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
You need to full-length resize.
 

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I read all of the post and did not see this, or I missed it.

Did you check case OAL? After three reloads, if I read you correctly, I would expect to have to trim the cases.
 

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When asked what I first do when reloading, I generally state "Trim the cases to minimum size even new ones, this will establish your seating depth which you can maintain after." I only neck size for my levers but always maintain the minimum case length or shorter, and have no cycle problems. The lee factory crimp takes care of this problem by providing a crimp anywhere you please, but still does not maintain a case length that is repeatable shooting after shooting on the same case or batch of. Want reloading problems, skip a basic thing like case length. It is said this is not a problem with straight walled pistol or rifle cases, fellas that take a .458 mag hunting bear with reloads make sure each step is in the process whether it needs attention or not. I owe it to my quarry to make my hunting ammo right, I owe it to myself to make sure I cover all the bases before I drop the hammer, as I don't like problems at the range either.
 
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