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Weird thing - Reloading

Blaser270

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A weird thing happened that hasnt happened to me before. I was loading once fired Nosler brass for my 270 Win. I neck sized using Forster neck sizing die, same as I’ve been doing for the past few years. I dont recall the bushing size but it sizes enough that i get 0.001 radial squeeze on the bullet normally. Ive been developing a hunting load with this set-up for some time now. Loading this weekend, at the seating step, i noticed the bullets “fall” into the neck a small amount, maybe 1/8”, before they stopped and needed to be pressed. They acted almost as if they hadnt been sized, but i knew they had, because otherwise they’d have fallen all the way in. I seated them, and they dont move by hand. I’m wondering if i should dump the powder and size the cases again (without depriming of course).
Oh, this happened with about 16 of the 20 in the lot. Any thoughts on what may have happened, or whats going on?
Thanks in advance. Pete
 

TimeOnTarget

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how many loadings are on that brass? My guess is the necks are thinning out.
 

Blaser270

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Only 1 loading. I did come to realize that this was a recently purchased new box of brass, and the only firing on them was its first firing. I’m wondering now if the case mouths were a bit thinner than my previously used brass, also Nosler, but purchased new more than a year ago
 

TimeOnTarget

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Mic the new vs old brass and you'll have your answer as to if that is the problem.

Either way though, You'll want to add neck tension.
 

Blaser270

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I just measured neck wall thickness for the top .060” of the case mouth, the approx amount that the bullets would slip into the case. Difference is about 0.001 between old once fired brass vs this new once fired brass. When i set up the die, i set it to squeeze the bullet by about .001, so it makes sense now.
 

winmag

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Dumb question first. Is this a bushing neck die? Have you confirmed that the bushing is still in the die?

If the bushing is in the die, then I imagine the neck wall thickness has decreased with that new lot of brass. 0.001" is a very small margin of error. If you have some of your prior loads laying around, measure the outside diameter of the neck of a loaded round. Now measure the outside diameter of the neck of your new (too loose) rounds. Is the neck wall thickness has decreased with your new lot of brass then your new rounds should measure smaller, and you need a smaller bushing to get the correction neck tension.

If you had said that the brass was fired several times without being annealed then I would suspect the brass has been work hardened and has lost its elasticity, this needing to be annealed, but that shouldn't happen with only one firing.
 

winmag

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I guess all those competitive shooters are wasting a lot of time then.

If you're not concerned about maximizing brass life or accuracy then its not needed.

But back to the question, it just sounds like you need a new bushing for that lot of brass.
 
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Blaser270

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First, yes, the bushing is in the die. I always give it a shake to be sure that i can hear it. Oh, The necks arent cracked. I went back and looked closely with magnifiers. I should hope they arent after 1 firing of new brass. It’s sounding like the neck wall thickness is probably the culprit here. The die has a .303 bushing in it now, chosen based off of OD/ID relationship from my previously purchased brass and i have a .301.
Any thoughts on whether or not to hunt with them?
I’ll confirm velocity and zero with a quick trip to the range. That’ll tell me if they’re way off of my load development too.
 

winmag

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I imagine they'll shoot into the same zero, or very close. My concern would be the OAL changing while they beat around in the magazine or in your pack. If you had a Lee Factory Crimp Die you could put a very light crimp on them to snug up the neck tension a bit. That crimp die concentrically crimps the neck with a collet, not with a roll or a taper, and you can precisely tune the amount of crimp (if you ignore the directions from Lee...they suggest way too much crimp).

Maybe take a loaded round and drop it tip down onto a table from varying heights to see what it takes to push the bullet into the case. I have no idea what is a reasonable height to conclude they're fine. Several inch drop? I dunno.
 

Blaser270

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@winmag , thanks for the insight. My hunt trip this year consists of day hunts and i carry 10-ish rounds in a wallet type carrier, so I’m not too worried about that them banging around in a pack. And if i go through all of them without a deer, I’m calling it a day😂. I’m thinking that for my trip to the range, I’ll load up the magazine and fire a few, then measure the ones remaining in the magazine to see if the recoil moved them. To uour point, i wouldnt know how high to drop it from either, but if the recoil doesnt move them, I’ll call them good.
 

EastTNHunter

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@winmag , thanks for the insight. My hunt trip this year consists of day hunts and i carry 10-ish rounds in a wallet type carrier, so I’m not too worried about that them banging around in a pack. And if i go through all of them without a deer, I’m calling it a day😂. I’m thinking that for my trip to the range, I’ll load up the magazine and fire a few, then measure the ones remaining in the magazine to see if the recoil moved them. To uour point, i wouldnt know how high to drop it from either, but if the recoil doesnt move them, I’ll call them good.
I dunno... one of my good friends goes by the mantra “accuracy by volume.” :LOL:
 

cahunter805

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Definitely a brass issue. Seems like you have it figured out. .001 neck tension is IMO not enough. I’ve found .003-.004 to be much better than .001-.002.
Another reminder to always check components when switching to a new lot of brass,bullets,powder etc..
Also annealing is not a waste of time. It keeps brass from becoming to hard/brittle and keeps tension consistent.
 

Blaser270

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Circling back after a trip to the range today. I loaded 3 in the magazine to see if seating depth would change due to recoil. I fired 1 shot, then pulled and measured the ones in the mag. 1 changed length. Did it two more times firing twice each time and measuring each time. Each time, one of the rounds changed length by a few more thousanths. Interestingly, muzzle velocity was considerably lower than with rounds loaded exactly the same 3 weeks ago, but with the other lot of brass.
 

cahunter805

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Circling back after a trip to the range today. I loaded 3 in the magazine to see if seating depth would change due to recoil. I fired 1 shot, then pulled and measured the ones in the mag. 1 changed length. Did it two more times firing twice each time and measuring each time. Each time, one of the rounds changed length by a few more thousanths. Interestingly, muzzle velocity was considerably lower than with rounds loaded exactly the same 3 weeks ago, but with the other lot of brass.
Velocity is lower due to less neck tension vs older brass. I’d increase tension a couple thousandths and test again. How’s accuracy on them?
 

Dan O

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The change in velocity can be due to the difference in neck tension, but also can be a difference in case capacity due to a different lot of brass. It's possible the new lot of brass is not consistent with previous lots of brass. It might be best to set them aside and get a new lot and develop a load for it and not use the other brass.
 

Blaser270

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Velocity is lower due to less neck tension vs older brass. I’d increase tension a couple thousandths and test again. How’s accuracy on them?
Velocity, as you mentioned was less. I likened it to shooting a spit ball through a straw. When it fits tight in the straw, you need a bit more pressure behind it to get it to move and it shoots further, as opposed to the spit-ball that doesnt fit well in the straw. I only shot 4 shots, in hopes all was good and to make final scope adjustments before hunting. Questionable validity, 2@ ~.8”, then 2 more @ .8” again. I’m going to pass on hunting with them for now, as i wont get to the range again after i resize the necks.
 

winmag

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Thanks for following up with a range report.

I probably wouldn’t hunt with them either. I want 100% confidence in my setup on hunts. That way if I miss I know it’s my fault not the gun’s.
 
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