.338 cases sticking

squirrel

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I picked up a "thumper" just on a whim and am sticking cases for the final 2 grains of "working up to max". No other signs of pressure. Of course for simply reliability let alone safety I backed off to a "non- sticking" amount of powder. I have never suffered pressure signs in any other gun/caliber unless max was exceeded. Anybody have experience with bullet seating depth fixing this issue and gaining those 2 grains of extra oomph? A guy I know who still has both eyes and hands swears deeper seating will fix me right up. I'm skeptical but willing to try it and let my nephew shoot a few to test them out. I'll call him "stumpy". Model 700. H-4350. 225 gr .338 win
 

Gunner46

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Have you checked to see how much jump your allowing the bullet? You may be jamming the lands, which would cause excessive pressure.
 

sra61

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It sure as heck won't hurt anything except maybe a little accuracy to seat that bullet a little deeper. If you are touching the lands pressure will rise quickly! It's definitely worth trying.
 

Rancho Loco

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I picked up a "thumper" just on a whim and am sticking cases for the final 2 grains of "working up to max". No other signs of pressure. Of course for simply reliability let alone safety I backed off to a "non- sticking" amount of powder. I have never suffered pressure signs in any other gun/caliber unless max was exceeded. Anybody have experience with bullet seating depth fixing this issue and gaining those 2 grains of extra oomph? A guy I know who still has both eyes and hands swears deeper seating will fix me right up. I'm skeptical but willing to try it and let my nephew shoot a few to test them out. I'll call him "stumpy". Model 700. H-4350. 225 gr .338 win

You using a chrony?

You might be at where you want, velocity wise, without the extra 2 grains. All barrels/chambers are different.
 

squirrel

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Thanks for the tips guys. No chrony here and I'm sure the extra 2 gr aren't the be all end all as far as killing an elk goes. I just set the bullet/shell to max overall according to Lyman manual. I know to "smoke" the bullet to see if it is touching the lands at the set depth. If not would you lengthen by .010 (or less, or more) and try again or is there a better way to judge the clearance gap without trial and error? I'm guessing I should have (and still can) start long and incrementally shorten until clearance is achieved. Is there a magic jump number I should shoot for?? As in .015 from lands, or is any gap "enough" to dissipate some pressure?
 

St52v

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How old is the manual?? Hodgen say 63-69.5. Most people start load development just off the lands and work up until they find pressure. Some will then reduce the charge about a grain and test it at different seating depths.
 

elkantlers

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If your just wanting to know if the bullet seating depth is giving you problems, Seat one in fairly deep and see if it fixes your sticking. If it does, then you can go .010 at a time.

You may also try a different powder. I would try one that has a little fast burn rate and see what happens.
 

Dan O

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In my Ruger 338 I found the Nosler manual said 73.0 of IMR 4350 with the 210 partition. That load showed high pressure so I backed it off to 71.5 and it grouped with the factory 210's I had on hand. I backed it off to 71.0 and it grouped good and is reliable to feed and eject without issue's.
How do your loads feed from the magazine? I prefer to give up a little speed for a lot of reliability for my hunting loads.
Dan
 

sra61

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I have found that with the big magnums like my 300 Rum and even the 338 Win. that my case length is governed by the magazine, which kind of sucks. I could milk a little tighter groups if I could seat them out a little farther, but the magazine is too short to allow it.
 

Igor

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Thought that occurred to me is are you sure the chamber is smooth ... if it were rough the rounds would be difficult to extract as well.
 

Tjay

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Could you tell us what 225 bullet your are using? I get different pressures with 225 Barnes TSX than I do with 225 Nosler Partitions and 225 Sierras. If shooting Barnes monos seating deeper is your friend for pressure and accuracy.

The theory with deeper seating is the more jump to lands the more it acts/is like Weatherby freebore.
 

sbhooper

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I have found that with the big magnums like my 300 Rum and even the 338 Win. that my case length is governed by the magazine, which kind of sucks. I could milk a little tighter groups if I could seat them out a little farther, but the magazine is too short to allow it.

I think you mean "cartridge length is governed by the magazine". The case by itself is not a problem.

Some bullets like more jump. I was working up a load for 200-grain Partitions with a buddy's 300 wsm and Nosler data showed the bullet seated fairly deeply. I even called to confirm and they said that was where the accuracy was. They were right. First group shot was 3/4-inch.
 

belly-deep

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Pretty tough to pinpoint the problem without a chronograph.

Hornady AOL gauge will easily find the lands.

With as good as factory loads are these days, I don't see much point in handloading unless you're going to go all out with the proper equipment.
 

Tradewind

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SRA61
Had same problem w/ mag size on one of mine trying to get closer to the lands. If the distance is minor you can try a dremel on the front of the mag. I tried it on a spare mag i bot. Still wasn't enuf so I leave the original mag in and just use it as a single shot. It doesn't lend itself to quick shots but I like the accuracy.
 

danr55

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How many times have the brass been fired? Have they been trimmed to minimum case length? Are you using a boatail bullet or a flat based bullet? What do the primers look like? Are they cratered? When was the last time the chamber was cleaned? When was the last time the rifle was cleaned? Have you cleaned the bore since you got the rifle or assumed that it was clean when you got it? All of these things can cause early pressure signs in a cartridge. Some things to think about.
 
Yeti

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