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.243 case question

TopkickTopkick Member Posts: 4,452 ✭✭
My Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker seems to me to have a tight chamber.

My reloads are very accurate, but nearly 30% do not chamber- read- bolt won't close.

I use the Lee Turret setup, Lee dies, and heve them set up per instructions.

My cases are once-fired Winchesters.

I have a Lyman case gage and the rounds, loaded or no bullet, drop in just fine. All of them.

Should I:

1. Look at milling the shellholder so it sizes deeper?
2. Having a 'smith look at reaming the chamber?
3. ??

Comments

  • 20gabob20gabob Member Posts: 232 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    My advice to you would be to find a set of rcbs small base dies and try using them with an rcbs shellholder. It could be that your browning has an ultrasmall chamber and the lee dies are not resizing them enough. lots of the semiauto's need the small base dies. If that works your not out any money on gunsmithing.
  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 12,967 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Considering that it's about the only round I load that I don't use military brass in, I've had more problems with the 243 than about any other. My daughter's Savage 243 is so tight, I had to try 3 brands of dies before finding a sizing die that worked. I've loaded the 243 for almost 40 years in many rifles and have found several that are tight. A different shellholder might solve the problem.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,229 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Until you determine the issue a new die is a premature.

    Remove the firing pin assembly from the bolt. Place a clean, sized case in the chamber. If the die is set for proper headspace the bolt should not drop or take more than the weight of your finger to close. Check several cases to see if one will go and another will not.

    You may have cases getting work hardened necks and shoulders. There are several threads on annealing cases to make them like new. If the shoulder is hard it will just spring back during sizing causing your issue.
  • 101stguy101stguy Member Posts: 43 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Topkick
    My Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker seems to me to have a tight chamber.

    My reloads are very accurate, but nearly 30% do not chamber- read- bolt won't close.

    I use the Lee Turret setup, Lee dies, and heve them set up per instructions.

    My cases are once-fired Winchesters.

    I have a Lyman case gage and the rounds, loaded or no bullet, drop in just fine. All of them.

    Should I:

    1. Look at milling the shellholder so it sizes deeper?
    2. Having a 'smith look at reaming the chamber?
    3. ??
    Are you attempting to neck size or is this full length sizing your having trouble with?

    If you are full length sizing, are you sure your die is set-up properly? Do you have "knuckle over or cam over" when you run the ram to the top of the press with the shellholder & die both in place? if not, turn the die down until it touches the shellholder, then turn it another 1/4 turn or so to acheive "knuckle-over". Then you will be resizing the entire case.
  • TopkickTopkick Member Posts: 4,452 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I full-length resize and it cams over.

    I reload the .270, 30/30, .223 and several pistol calibers, but the .243 is the only one giving me fits.

    I'll try out your ideas!

    I didn't know that the .243 had a small base die available. That's good to know.

    Thank you for all your help!
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,229 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Topkick
    I full-length resize and it cams over.

    I reload the .270, 30/30, .223 and several pistol calibers, but the .243 is the only one giving me fits.

    I'll try out your ideas!

    I didn't know that the .243 had a small base die available. That's good to know.

    Thank you for all your help!


    The last thing on earth I would use is a small based die for a bolt gun.... does factory ammo chamber OK? You may have a die on the large size and a chamber on the small size. You could get a Redding BODY die and use it to control body/base dia. But until you determine if it is headspace or base interferrence you are still guessing. Removing the firing ppin assy. is an easy way to check your die set up.

    Have you annealed the cases?
  • TopkickTopkick Member Posts: 4,452 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by bpost1958
    quote:Originally posted by Topkick
    I full-length resize and it cams over.

    I reload the .270, 30/30, .223 and several pistol calibers, but the .243 is the only one giving me fits.

    I'll try out your ideas!

    I didn't know that the .243 had a small base die available. That's good to know.

    Thank you for all your help!


    The last thing on earth I would use is a small based die for a bolt gun.... does factory ammo chamber OK? You may have a die on the large size and a chamber on the small size. You could get a Redding BODY die and use it to control body/base dia. But until you determine if it is headspace or base interferrence you are still guessing. Removing the firing ppin assy. is an easy way to check your die set up.

    Have you annealed the cases?




    Annealing the cases is the next item on the list. I have to break down the unchamberable cases first tho.

    I have a reloading/shooting buddy I'm meeting at the range this afternoon, and let him look at the problem too.
    Factory rounds drop in with no problems. And "most" of my reloads, so I'm the problem! I'll figure this out today.
    Thanks!
  • PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 671 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Clue: 30% won't chamber, rest will
    Possibles not addressed yet: Cases are of uneven length, and crimping the bullet into the case might cause the crimp to grab the neck and bullet and distort the shoulder a little bit, the change of case shape from the distortion making them difficult/impossible to chamber. Have you checked case length for uniformity? I am sometimes amazed at the variance in new and once-fired cases. You might try to chamber the resized cases before they are loaded to see if the bolt closes easily on them, or not, that will verify this sort of case distortion, of some of the cases, from crimping. Another possibility is bullet shape and seating depth within the case, causing bullet to touch hard into the rifling if your rifle has a short throat, making bolt hard to close. This problem could also raise pressures, and cause a chambered round to leave the bullet behind when extracted without firing.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,229 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Topkick
    quote:Originally posted by bpost1958
    quote:Originally posted by Topkick
    I full-length resize and it cams over.

    I reload the .270, 30/30, .223 and several pistol calibers, but the .243 is the only one giving me fits.

    I'll try out your ideas!

    I didn't know that the .243 had a small base die available. That's good to know.

    Thank you for all your help!


    The last thing on earth I would use is a small based die for a bolt gun.... does factory ammo chamber OK? You may have a die on the large size and a chamber on the small size. You could get a Redding BODY die and use it to control body/base dia. But until you determine if it is headspace or base interferrence you are still guessing. Removing the firing ppin assy. is an easy way to check your die set up.

    Have you annealed the cases?




    Annealing the cases is the next item on the list. I have to break down the unchamberable cases first tho.

    I have a reloading/shooting buddy I'm meeting at the range this afternoon, and let him look at the problem too.
    Factory rounds drop in with no problems. And "most" of my reloads, so I'm the problem! I'll figure this out today.
    Thanks!


    I have a 6BR with a tight chamber, my problem was just as you have now. Annealing the cases and resizing fixed it for me, work hardened cases spring back a few thousandth more than annealed cases do, causing erratic chambering problems. Good luck with it, a good tight chamber is not a bad thing!
  • AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 3,002 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Make sure you're not buckling the shoulder by over-crimping as PAshootist says.
  • TopkickTopkick Member Posts: 4,452 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Found it!

    Headspace problem. About 1.5 thousanths too long. The rangemaster and reloader was able to chamber the rounds with a little bit 'O elbow grease and they shot fine.

    He said he actually loades his own a little tight to get the cartridge seated firmly to increase accuracy.

    They shot at 1" at 100 yards with no problems. Not bad for a lightweight rifle.

    I personally like them to chamber a little bit easier, but it worked very good. I'm used to having them drop in easier though.

    I'm gong to anneal the cases before reloading them again. I don't run them real hot, just shooting for accuracy.

    On another note, my 1988 Winchester Model 70 Lightweight shot sub 1" groups with the Hornaday 130 gr pill. Gonna be antelope hunting in 10 weeks and it's going to work just fine.

    Thanks for the help, the insight, and direction! I appreciate it!
    I learn something every day.[8D]
  • Easton Archer 66Easton Archer 66 Member Posts: 40 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Once you get all your cases properly headspaced, go to strictly neck sizing for the .243. If you have more than 1 .243 rifle, keep the cases separated for each weapon to prevent their causing problems in the other rifle. When you trim the cases, take them down .010 below the max to start so you can watch just how they streach. Should get at least 4-5 shots before they need to be re-trimmed. Good luck.
  • TopkickTopkick Member Posts: 4,452 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank you '66.

    I sold 2 other .243's and bought this one, so it's the only one I have and plan to only neck size them as you suggested.

    Haven't annealed them yet- been working my .270 a lot lately.[8D]
  • XP100XP100 Member Posts: 430 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Try a new or different shell holder. I had a 243 that was the same as yours. I picjked up a new shell holder and all my reloads chambered. Old one must have been worn. It loaded a lot of 243 and other calibers.
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