22 Nosler case issues


Apr 14, 2017
Reloading this cartridge has become the biggest PITA for me. Either the brass from the factory load is so deformed or is out of spec to begin with. I use a lee hand priming tool for all my rifles and about half of these cases barely fit the shell holder,even after taking a small file to them to remove the burrs from firing. When the case gets stuck in the shell holder it usually flips the primer upside down from all pulling I have to do to remove it. Had 2 primers go in upside down so far because I didn't notice it. The shell holder for the press isn't as tight and they don't stick too bad. Might need to go to press priming,but don't like that. I don't know if I have a bad lot of factory ammo or what. I do know this stuff is loaded hot. All primers are completely flat and case heads are all beat up. Anybody else have these issues? I'm going to need more brass but if Nosler is the only source I hope it's not all like this. The up side it shoots like crazy,had 2 loads under an inch at 200 yds today.
i managed to beat up a bunch of case heads on factory 77 gr through over gassing (mostly ejector marks) but they were fine when the gas was dialed in just right.

I resized my lot of 100 factory pieces of brass and everything felt normal but haven't primed them yet. I did have to file the beat up ones to get them in my Hornady shell holder / Lock n load to size. I've primed 150 out of a 250 piece bag of bulk brass and haven't had an issue using an RCBS with universal shell holder.

But you didn't have any problems getting the brass into the shell holder to deprime/resize?

I'm holding off on buying more brass and will work through what I've got. The brass out there seems softer than what you would normally expect from Nosler....
The shell holder for the press must be a little sloppier fit. Only had a couple cases that were hard to get in and out. The big problem is with the one in the priming tool. I wonder who makes this brass? The bevel on the case head like 223 would be a nice touch too.
Just using a 6.8 rim would have been the nicest touch. Who knows if they used the 223 rim to try and appeal to a larger market (no need to buy a new bolt) or to possibly save on paying royalties to someone. But it does seem to be the weak link with quite a bit of force pushing back on that little rim.

But I'm more than happy with this - only took me 150 rounds to find and confirm the load. I would have hoped for a bit more velocity, but it should stay supersonic to about 1300 yards. And it isn't too hot, so I should get a few thousand rounds out of a barrel I really like.


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Once fired factory 77's on top,reloaded case on bottom.


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This is what I got after 30 rounds of the 77gr factory ammo.


I blame this on the sharp square edge at the base.



Will try this for my next outing


I'll bevel some new and reloaded rounds and keep a close eye on the bolt face.
That's classic over gassing causing too much bolt velocity
It's unlocking before the case shrinks back down after firing. That bends rims and causes the ejector to tear brass. Getting an adjustable gas block or heavier buffer and spring are the steps to correct the issues.
Probably over gassed for the OP, but mine is with gas cut off (might be a little leakage) and single loaded from a sled.
Just got the configurable buffer kit from KAK. Going to try the heaviest then work backwards if I have to. All kinds of weight combinations.
Heaviest configuration working so far,5.6 oz,roughly the weight of an H3 buffer. The original was 2.89 oz. Got some new brass on order so we'll see how that goes.
Putting a little bevel on the base took care of my shaved brass issues.

I ordered a bag (250) of unprimed new brass and guess what?
Beveled edges :)
Saves me the trouble.
Good to hear, I shot a few of the 77gr factory loads in my new barrel this week and noticed the brsss shaving issue also.
Just got my first box of 100 and all are beveled. Hope this cures my issues. They must have just been in a rush to get the initial batch out there and bypassed that step in mfg.
Still having problems with the case head swelling so much after the first or second firing that the cases won't fit in my Lee hand primer shell holder. And they barely fit in the press shell holder. These are right at book max but velocity is not up where it should be. This brass is the worst I've ever worked with.
After eliminating the sharp edge case, my brass issues are gone.
The new production brass, with the beveled edge does fine.
I have a Lee hand prime, don't use it much, but the head fits in the shell holder after 3 firings. No problem. Here is a pic of a thrice fired case with a flattened primer. I pushed the primer out for the photo, it was seated flush.
The case is one of my hand beveled ones. The green is a load ID with a marker.
The load was with CFE223, 80 gr ELD-M, CCI41.
Fairly hot, and gave me 2955fps.
Primer Pockets are fine after 3 firings.
Sounds like Nosler 22N brass quality is still being refined.


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Here's a couple of pics with (1) Factory 77 grain fired cases,
(2) Twice fired, 77 then 75gr AMAX,
(3) Fired 3 times, 77 then 75, 75 AMAX.
all of these were originally 77gr Factory, then hand beveled.

The last pic is new brass, with a factory bevel, loaded with 80 AMAX and 80 ELD-M for my Florida trip.


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Back from another range trip with two No-Gas AR uppers, 22N and a .223.
I'm grooming these for my bi-annual Florida shoot @ 450 yards, and maybe a 600 yard shoot in Pascagoula at the end of the month.

Shot 100 rounds of NEW brass through 4th fired brass. The 4th fired was the sharp edged early production stuff I beveled. Mostly fairly stout loads.

The bevel totally eliminated the shavings left in the bolt.
I used a fine diamond stone to touch the extractor edges and blend it a little to reduce the snap over marks on the brass. It helped. I also removed the extractor O-ring as I don't think I need it with out gas.

Still no super small groups but I'm working on it :)
Here's a couple pics. A single range hot session at 100 yards.
A little scope adjustment in there.

A once fired case showing the snap over marks, and
the forth fired cases from yesterday. Primer pockets still seem OK.

The 4th fired cases are getting close to needing a trim. Have 3 that have gone to 1.764". The rest 1.760" or a little less. Touched the edges with some 400 grit paper and will wait until next time. Putting in a good deal of effort on this and gonna have to read up on neck annealing. Maybe set up for a salt bath.


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Looks as though you've fixed the issues with the case heads. That didn't look so great either from the start, and from the looks of it Nosler made the correct change as well. I've found their brass to be rather soft even on mild loads, same for the stuff from Federal now too, and were heavy cases for caliber and yet extremely soft compared to older FC brass.
BRASS-AFTER-600.jpgHere's most of the cases I fired at the 600 match Saturday.
2 missing??
I've got 5 firings on a few cases and will find out how the pockets are holding up when I process these. A little bit of cratering. None were difficult to extract (No-Gas).