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For Joel Black - Mannlicher-Schoenauer

PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 641 ✭✭
edited May 2009 in Ask the Experts
I'm still stumped with reloads for my 6.5x54 Mannlicher-Schoenauer rifle. I was wondering if you could measure the after-resizing cartridge dimension, measuring the case outside diameter at the widest point forward of the web, of your brass after sizing with your RCBS dies. The Redding folks told me their sizing die is made to minimim SAAMI specs; my new Norma brand brass measures .444" at the widest point just ahead of the extraction groove and tapers down from there; it feeds perfectly. This brass resized after firing, in the Redding die, measures .450" at the widest point, and a new C-H die I got today brings that dimension to .449". Neither resized case will feed, binding hard between the left side action rail and the case controller on the right. Redding seemed to think the problem is my rifle. They don't have a small-base resizing die, talked of making one up "special" (sounds expensive). If your RCBS die after-sizing dimension is OK for my rifle, and it appears I need to restore to unfired size or very close to it, I'll just order from them. Or if anyone has any other ideas, maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree, wouldn't be the first time in my life.

Comments

  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    I'm new to this discussion but from what it sounds like, I might think of making a chamber cast. Fairly easy to do. Order some cerrosafe from brownells. Then compare to spec.
  • AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 2,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Just did some measuring. Some new RWS cases mike .444, unfired Norma=.445, and unfired Dominion brass=.446. Cases fired in my rifle mike .4475 and cases resized in my RCBS dies mike .4468.

    But I'm confused; It sounds like your cartridges won't feed through the spool magazine on your rifle. Is that the problem or will they not chamber?
  • PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 641 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    The reloaded cartridges will chamber just fine, but they won't feed from the spool magazine, unless I depress the cartridge release just as I start to close the bolt. With the release button in the retention position, the resized cartridge body is a little bit too "fat" to come up out of the spool magazine as the bolt goes forwards. I hadn't mentioned my fired un-resized max diameter, but it averages .452". The new cartridges use the long 160 gr round-nosed soft point bullet, and the same in the reloaded ones, same oal, same nose shape. And as said, the new cartridges feed slick and easy.

    It sounds like both reported resized diameters so far are not quite back to unfired sizes, but are slightly smaller than either of my dies will squeeze them. Thanks for those reports. I had posed this question on a post a couple days ago and received a couple suggestions then, and I was hoping to follow on a bit.
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    Sounds then like the 'lips' are a bit tight. Or some spring is overly strong. Or something.
  • JOELBLACKJOELBLACK Member Posts: 30 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    My sized cases measure .447. It sounds to me as if your problem is with your brass. My Norma factory brass measures .446 as does some military ammo I have. Another problem can occur with spitzer bullets. Every 6.5 MS I've owned feed best with Hornady round nose bullets.
  • PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 641 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank you Mr. Black and others for your responses. As stated, the new Norma brass in loaded cartrdges feeds perfectly, and my resized brass, using either Redding or C-H dies, does not feed. The resizing dies from either brand do not restore the brass to its original unfired dimension. Apparently your RCBS dies go a couple thousandths smaller, and that is enough in your rifle. And we assume your micrometer and mine are both accurate.

    I see two alternatives, to purchase a resizing die that will be of a smaller internal dimension, perhaps the RCBS brand like yours, or get a "small-base" die such as the rep. at Redding suggested, and that might require a custom fee. More radical, I could consider stoning the side rail about .004" wider to allow the fatter resized cartrdges to feed. The dimension of the "lips" appears to be tight, and critical. And I didn't want that dimension to become critical on the "too-big" side and not retain the cartridges properly in the spool magazine.

    I am using the round-nosed 160 grain bullet of the same length, overall cartridge length, and nose shape as the "factory" cartridges in Norma brass I obtained from Buffalo Arms. It may indeed be the same bullet, I can't say for sure, but it sure looks exactly identical.

    Thanks all for your input and the troubles you went to measuring your cartridges! And if you have any other ideas or suggestions, I am open to ideas.
  • JOELBLACKJOELBLACK Member Posts: 30 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    There were times when Norma brass was soft. Normally you expect some expansion and contraction when brass is fired. If you send me your address, I'll send you some brass to try. If you're lucky and the problem is soft brass another lot will solve the problem. The fact that factory ammo feeds well means your problem may be an over size or out of round chamber, soft brass or bad dies (but its unlikely that 2 different brands of dies are bad). I will send you some brass fired in one of my Mannlichers. Resize half with one set of dies and the other half with the other set of dies. If they feed ok after you load them, the problem is with your chamber. Email me your address at: [email protected]
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    Shootist could send some of his fired fat (+.0025") cases to Ambrose for resizing in his dies then reloaded by Shootest and checked for feeding.
    That would verify the dies and also if Shootest's brass has too much springback.
    Tolerances in the feeding mechanism sound too tight that .0025" over diameter will fail to feed.
    It would seem the feeding mechanism should pass any ammo that can be chambered.
    Soft Norma brass should have less springback and be closest to minimum factory size.
  • AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 2,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    V35's suggestion would work for me if shootist wants to do it. How do we make connections?

    FWIW: My rifle is a 1903 Greek military action rebarreled years ago by Flaig's. (My range notes indicate I began shooting it 5/11/88.) The best load I've tried so far; 160 Hornady RN with IMR4350 for 2283 fps. The Dominion factory 160 gr. load ran 2112 fps. Sierra made a 160 gr. semi pointed that shot wonderfully in my Swedes but, alas, they discontinued it before I had a chance to try it in the MS.
  • PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 641 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    This forum has proven to be chock-full of helpful and knowledgeable enthusuasts, as usual. I have a couple offers already, and I have communicated about them, but I'll save the information from here. My contact info is: [email protected] if any questions. Thanks again, Ambrose, Joel_Black and others for your generous input!
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