Day at the Range

cahunter805

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I’d say you need to measure your lands with the 150TTSX and be sure to load them off the lands. Your powder charges aren’t to high so shouldn’t be the problem.
Also how are you setting up your FL sizing die?
 
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SD_Prairie_Goat

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Alright, went back to the range with three bullets all the same charges and bullet seating depth:
  • 44g blc2
  • brass trimmed to 2.015"
  • Bullet seated to 2.792"
  • Previously I measured the lands using a Speer bullet and that was about 2.9" give or take

At the range the bolt was sticky after firing, but I was able to open it every time after firing and putting the spent case back in the chamber, the round chamber a little hard and it extracted just as difficult. Neither was impossible but it for sure wasn't buttery smooth either...
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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First, don’t ever measure lands with a different bullet. You’re playing with fire.

Any markings on the brass after ejection? What do primers look like?
Ya I know that, but the dang Barnes have those ridges, so my cheap way of finding the lands with a spent case doesn't work...

Photo of primer and side of case, looks like surface scuffs. image.jpgimage.jpg
 

ImBillT

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Off the top of my head 44gr of BL-C(2) is still not the lightest load and Federal brass is fairly soft. I’d back it down two more grains.
 

ImBillT

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See the little round shiny spot? That’s where the brass flowed into the ejector port and was cut off when you opened the bolt. You’re overpressure for that brass. Hornady brass isn’t terribly hard either.
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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See the little round shiny spot? That’s where the brass flowed into the ejector port and was cut off when you opened the bolt. You’re overpressure for that brass. Hornady brass isn’t terribly hard either.
Like right next to the y in the right case?

And how low can I go on gains? Barnes online says the min is 44.9 and most others I've seen say similar. Concerns with going too low?
 

ImBillT

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Like right next to the y in the right case?

And how low can I go on gains? Barnes online says the min is 44.9 and most others I've seen say similar. Concerns with going too low?
Yes those marks. There’s no problem going lower. Half charges can be dangerous. Those marks could be from a previous loading at a higher charge, but the stuff bolt lift is likely still from excess pressure. It’s possible that you’re getting a stiff bolt lift without excess pressure due to the brass being more springy due to being fired multiple times. The result is that it doesn’t size down as small from full length sizing, and it doesn’t shrink back as much after firing. Annealing could help. As someone who doesn’t enjoy annealing all the time, I would recommend either changes brands of brass(to Lapua or Winchester) or chucking it after 3-5 reloads if backing off doesn’t fix the problem.

Shooting over a chrono could help. While it doesn’t tell you anything directly about pressure, it can still guide you in the right direction a little bit. If you’re shooting faster than the manual(after adjusting for barrel length) then you’re most likely running a higher pressure as well.

Ball powders can be a little finicky. They don’t compress, so if your bullet is being seated against the powder, then you actually bulge the case a little bit and that can cause all sorts of problems. You need to be able to shake it just a LITTLE bit. They also tend to be difficult to ignite consistently when you aren’t filling most of the case and jamming bullets into the lands. They are pretty sooty at low pressures. Magnum primers help out a bit. All that said, some of the tiniest groups I’ve ever shot were with about 40gr BL-C(2) behind 135gr bullets in a .308 Win. That load flat wouldn’t work at 200yds, but at 100yds it was money.
 
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SD_Prairie_Goat

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Yes those marks. There’s no problem going lower. Half charges can be dangerous. Those marks could be from a previous loading at a higher charge, but the stuff bolt lift is likely still from excess pressure. It’s possible that you’re getting a stiff bolt lift without excess pressure due to the brass being more springy due to being fired multiple times. The result is that it doesn’t size down as small from full length sizing, and it doesn’t shrink back as much after firing. Annealing could help. As someone who doesn’t enjoy annealing all the time, I would recommend either changes brands of brass(to Lapua or Winchester) or chucking it after 3-5 reloads if backing off doesn’t fix the problem.

Shooting over a chrono could help. While it doesn’t tell you anything directly about pressure, it can still guide you in the right direction a little bit. If you’re shooting faster than the manual(after adjusting for barrel length) then you’re most likely running a higher pressure as well.
Any thoughts as to why I'm seeing excessive pressure when I shouldn't be?

I guess I'll try loading some more likes 40g and see what happens..
 

ImBillT

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Any thoughts as to why I'm seeing excessive pressure when I shouldn't be?

I guess I'll try loading some more likes 40g and see what happens..
Those marks could be from previous loadings a higher powder charge. The stiff bolt lift could be because the brass needs to be annealed. Hornady and Federal brass are going to show pressure signs at lower pressures than Winchester and Lapua. You could try some new or once fired brass of the same brand and see if you have the same problem .
 
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JLS

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Barnes lists the COAL at 2.735. Are you sure you’re 0.050” off or are you guessing? Yes, you can still do the method chambering a case with a bullet seated long. I do it with Hammers. If you’re methodical and careful you can get very repeatable measurements to your lands. I would personally eat some at the recommended length and see if your pressure issues go away. I bet they do.
 

JLS

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Also, is it just me or does there appear to be a slight bulge in the case in that last photo? It could just be the light, but I’d roll that on a piece of glass or other very flat surface to check. Is this a new gun or one you’ve loaded for in the past?
 

cahunter805

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Don’t load lower. 44gr is book minimum.
Your seeing pressure because more than likely your OAL is long and you could be loading into the lands also.
Here is what I’d do. Measure your lands with the 150TTSX.
Here is another easy test. Load 44gr and seat your bullets to book OAL of 2.735”. Let’s see what happens then
 

HiMtnHntr

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Here is another easy test. Load 44gr and seat your bullets to book OAL of 2.735”. Let’s see what happens then
[/QUOTE]

This is what you should do.
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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Don’t load lower. 44gr is book minimum.
Your seeing pressure because more than likely your OAL is long and you could be loading into the lands also.
Here is what I’d do. Measure your lands with the 150TTSX.
Here is another easy test. Load 44gr and seat your bullets to book OAL of 2.735”. Let’s see what happens then
I'm no expert, but I've just been following my manual from nosler, is this not correct? image.jpgimage.jpg
 

ImBillT

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Don’t load lower. 44gr is book minimum.
Your seeing pressure because more than likely your OAL is long and you could be loading into the lands also.
Here is what I’d do. Measure your lands with the 150TTSX.
Here is another easy test. Load 44gr and seat your bullets to book OAL of 2.735”. Let’s see what happens then
Starting loads are not the minimum safe load. You generally don’t start running into safety problems from low load density until you’re below 50-60% of case volume.
 

ImBillT

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Just load one at 42gr in a new or once fired case. If it doesn’t happen, and you’re brass isn’t over the trim length, then your brass probably needs to be annealed.

Any chance your neck is being crimped in the seater die?
 
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