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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Was able to get out for a shoot with some reloads for a second time with my 336 30-30. I had narrowed the window of loads to somewhere within the 34-35gr range of AR2208 (Varget) behind a Sierra 125 FNHP. Brass and primers were Federal. OAL 2.43.

Conditions were blustery and rest was not ideal. Shot four 5 shot groups at 110m, plus an initial fouling 3 shots at 50m (see small dot target). The clear winner in my mind was the 34.3 gr, although will be keen to test this load a lot more for repeatability.

Managed to have my first reloading 'incident' with a case separating at the neck. When I went to feed the next round into the chamber I noticed resistance and then inspected the previous ejected case to see the neck was missing... hoping it was simply a case failure, although it was only the 2nd or 3rd load through the case.

Thanks for the help and advice, keen to sort a trigger happy kit sometime when I can find a way cheaper than $50US to ship it to NZ! My current trigger is creep central which does little to help accuracy.
 

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Your shooting very well and replacing the trigger should even do more if your having trouble with it now. That case seperation is unusual to have happen only after three shots, if I remember when I get home in a few hours I will look it up and see what might have caused it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that, on closer inspection one of the other cases had split around the circumference and up the sides of the neck. It looks like it was almost about to separate also, all the others look fine. I have been reading that Federal brass is one of the softest and case life is more limited.
 

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That first group looks good. Looks like you may have a winner there if it keeps doing the same all the time.
 

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Ain't it fun bro? :)

That brass sure looks like it had been worked somehow before firing. In fact I have never seen a separation look like that. We just lost power here due to a thunderstorm so I am limited to this approx 4by3 screen on this DROID. Can you post a pick of that other suspect brass you spoke of?

Dave
 

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Don't have a lot of time today to find the book that has pictures and explanations of case separations but, to me and as Charlie98 said, it looks like the die cut it or something as I can see a line on the base of the shoulder. Might be that the die is not long enough and your full length setting is jamming the die in to the shoulder and the shoulder in to the case slightly which would weaken it at this point where it broke. Solution, adjust your die up, put some soot on the neck and re-size to see where your at and adjust and lock where it's as close to the shoulder as possible without touching. I just took a quick picture for an example of two 30-30 cases that I put soot on and sized one. Could be a defective die not being long enough or the shell holder might be thinner making it ram the case further in to the die, compare it to some others.

I had a problem with a 25-06 that had excessive head space and brass would break off near the base usually on the third shot, I did not have money to fix it at the time so I neck sized as close to chamber size as possible and doubled the case life.
 

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The line being spoken of looks to be a secondary fault or powder burn in line with the case separation.

If you are full length resizing you may want to back off your sizer and partial resize making sure you are not pushing the neck back. Most often this will help case life and maybe eliminate the chance of having another case separate.
 

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Wondering what brass you are using? I had two .22-250 cases separate in the same location they were Winchester brass on the second loading. Can't say I like it much.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Federal brass, once fired. I actually had one earlier on totally fractured the neck while resizing. I figured it was a fault in the brass. My resizing technique thus far has been to blacken the case neck/shoulder as shown and ease die down until I can see a faint line around the circumference of the shoulder. When the ram is fully raised there is a very small (.5mm?) gap between ram and die body.

Are you suggesting I raise the die further so it is not making contact at all with the shoulder?

My other option is to change to Winchester brass, can get some new stuff quite cheap. My question here is what is the magnitude of difference new brass will introduce to my loads? Will I have to start at square one again?

Cheers,

Matt
ps will post pic of other case later...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is the pic of one of the other case that almost separated at the shoulder. Note splits up side of neck also. Im wondering if it is just brittle brass. From a lot of what I've been reading on the net, others have had problems with Federal brass splitting even on factory new rounds.
 

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Have you ever anealed you brass? The top of the shoulder and neck should be soft so it will hold the bullet before it's fired and expand and seal the chamber after being fired. When brass gets hard it begins to crack like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No, but researched this today. It seems strange the brass is becoming so work hardened so quickly? I purchased some Winchester brass (new) today so am keen to try it out this weekend. Hopefully the change in case won't throw things out too much...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well I annealed a couple of the Federal case today at work and then ran them back through the resizing die for comparison. Requires hardly any effort at all, quite a dramatic difference. I'm not sure why the Fed brass is becoming so hard so fast. I'm pretty keen to anneal all my Win brass after the first firing, I enjoy adding another stage of prep, gives me more time to save up for more components :)

Will hopefully get to retest the AR2208 loads tomorrow in both the Fed and Win cases for comparison. Will post more when I have some results...

Matt
 

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earplay said:
I'm not sure why the Fed brass is becoming so hard so fast.
Are you full-length sizing?
If so, that is why. You are overworking your cases.
I neck size; my bottle-neck cases get annealed on the 7 firing, they'll last over 50 firings.
I haven't had a 30-30 case fail in more than 2500 shots.
 

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earplay :) glad to see you shooting home made. Could be a freak die but if you get good results from Winchester brass and the aneiled Federal then smile because that brass was brittle from the factory :) That would be a good bad thing because after aneiling your federal will probably be ok. I shoot 5X before Aneiling. Keep us posted :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Shooting home made? Is there another way? ;) My other theory is the 'once fired' brass I purchased wasn't really once fired. Unlikely but possible...
 

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You don't know the history? Yes if you picked up the brass off the ground or bought it at a gun store that gets it's brass from a range it has to be suspect :) Much of my brass gets shot in 2 or 3 different guns so I full length resize most of the time. I have picked up wild brass for years. It's life expectancy is O ;D
Now we know the rest of the story ;D
 

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I hope you are paying attention. Two members gave you some OUTSTANDING advice. I suggest you digest that advice, see what happens and keep posting pics of the results and your problem will soon be solved. These folks know their business!!!!

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Right, yes thank you for the helpful advice, am certainly doing my best to absorb and apply :)

Results round two... Headed out to the farm to compare loads using different brass. Loads were 34.3 grains AR2208 (varget) behind, 125 Sierra FNHP, Federal primers. OAL were 2.428 within +- 0.002.
Federal brass was twice fired, Winchester brass new. All brass had been partial FL resized and trimmed and 1/4 turn roll crimp applied.

I had a better rest, made use of an old log, and fired 3 fouling shots followed by two 7 shot groups. Shots were fired fairly quickly but barrel was allowed to cool between groups. 100m range.

As you can see by the pictures some distinct variations in group size. Will be interested to hear your thoughts..... :)
 
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