Noobie reloaded case concerns

johnsonian09

Beginner
Nov 17, 2020
17
0
Hello,
I've been wanting to try reloading for awhile but the pandemic is pushing my need to reload due to I'm almost out of ammo. I'm going off of lymans 50th and a hornandy manual which I've partially read.

I have a few questions because I've been comparing book specs to some of my remaining factory ammo.

I've been using sig sauer and ppu/ rifle line ammo mostly. The case and the OAL are both shorter [unfired] then the specs in the manuals. Also I have learned of the bright ring that forms from overused/overcharged cases/loads. But is this denting okay?

It happens on every single shot. How can I prevent this dent?
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mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
31
On the OAL question, think of SAAMi specs this way. Minimum chamber dimensions. Therefore makers will make their ammo slightly smaller to it will chamber reliably.

You are on a fun journey.

I realize I didn’t answer your case question. Partly because I haven’t spent enough time on the AR15 platform to speak from
Knowledge.

From
Speculation, I don’t worry about dents in the middle of the case from extraction unless they are impacting case volume. Then I’d toss. Generally cases stretch to fill the chamber they are fired it.

If the neck is getting damaged, you or a gun smith will need to figure that out as necks take a beating. Someone else might know more about the ejection ins and outs.

Welcome to the Nosler forum.


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1Shot

Handloader
Dec 5, 2008
1,435
5
I assume you are firing those in a semi auto like a AR-10. That dent is caused by hitting the shell deflector at the back of the ejection port. Simple fix is to glue a piece of fuzzy side of a piece of Velcro to the shell deflector to cushion the hit. If you use the loop side of the Velcro crap seems to want to stick to it.

The dent should not hurt your round but over time they will ruin the cases.

Don't worry about the case over all length being a bit too short after the first firing or so. On new cases or factory ammo cases the cases are usually a bit short and they will grow over time and need trimming. Even if NEW case starts out at the minimum length after is is fireformed in your chamber which on production run rifles can be generous the expanding to your chamber size can cause the case over all length to shrink a little.

I have been hand loading 42 years and still learn something new every now and then.
 

johnsonian09

Beginner
Nov 17, 2020
17
0
So just to confirm. Is any case length fine to run as long as it is between the listed case trim length and max case length?

It does not/should not need to be trimmed to length each time?

So is the critical dimension from the head stamp to the shoulder [1.102 here] and the neck length that holds the bullet can basicly be whatever as long as its within tollerance.? [I'm forming some of my old brass from 5.56 cases]

Also if anyone is familiar with 'zeps case trimmer' jigs. How do you square up the end of the case? I cant seem to set it up in a way that reads a constant measure all the way around. Unless this point is unnecessary?
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hunter24605

Handloader
Apr 30, 2016
1,630
1,532
As long as your length is between the min and max, you're GTG, although for consistency purposes, most want them all trimmed to the same length. No, you don't need to trim each time so long as its still with the SAAMI standards, but again equal trim lengths, and the same trim length each loading yields consistency. Since the exposed tips of bullets can vary, it's usually better to measure from the cartridge base to the bullets ogive with a comparator , this is much more consistent bullet to bullet. ( I use the hornady "lock n load comparator in inserts) this same tool can be used to measure your cartridge base to the datum on the shoulder with the proper insert.. Since you're making your own brass, I'd highly recommend a case length/headspace gauge, just a quick plunk of a completed round in the gauge, and they'll let you know instantly if any measurement is off..
 

1Shot

Handloader
Dec 5, 2008
1,435
5
As to clear up the part about case base to shoulder measurement. You can adjust how much you size back the shoulder by how much you screw the sizing die down into the press. This is mostly called shoulder bump. Many find better accuracy by just bumping the shoulder back slightly mainly with bolt actions and not semi auto. It all depends on what YOUR rifle wants to be fed that it will shoot the best. With most semi auto's just full length size and don't worry about it. As has been said, as long as you are with in the SAAMI measurement you are fine.
 

johnsonian09

Beginner
Nov 17, 2020
17
0
My first rounds put togethere.
Loaded with:

Once shot 300blk PPU brass
150grn speer round nose
14 grains of H110

I set the OAL to 2.1960 to try to emulate the factory sig sauer rounds my gun likes.

Hornandy says this should go about 1600-1700 fps.

I have 3 rejects. I double checked them with the headspace gauge after I loaded them. They passed the check the first time,
Why is it different after loading?

The rest sit flush.





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mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
31
Did you crimp?

If your neck tension is inadequate the bullet can shift due to powder compression or recoilz


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johnsonian09

Beginner
Nov 17, 2020
17
0
I dont think so. with this rcbs die it wants to make the bullet seat very deeply. I had to back the die out quite a bit unless I want to have the oal too short. And on some it caused the shoulder to cave in.

I had read that crimping was an optional process so I didnt worry too much at first. But if your saying it will mess these up il take your word for it.

I set aside some rounds that I felt weren't concentric but couldnt think of / have no way of measuring currently

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RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
928
968
Sounds like you are setting your COAL by adjusting the seating die in or out in the press. You need to adjust the seating stem on top. Start over by setting up your seating die by running a case up in the press and turn the seating die down until it touches the case , now back the die off 1 full turn and lock it in the press. Then adjust the seating stem on top of die to get your overall COAL. This method will not crimp your loaded round.
 

johnsonian09

Beginner
Nov 17, 2020
17
0
With the RCBS die I set the seating stem all the way up and it resulted in the too short 1.90 cartridge so I compensated and backed the die body out a bit.

I had bought 2 dies to designate one for a supersonic load and another for subs so once I found what I like I wouldn't need to fiddle with it again.

I just made these with the hornandy die, much easier to adjust to where I wanted it. And crimped properly too. I think maybe the rcbs die has alot less adjustment in it? This die is designated for 300blk ar platform. And the hornandy is designated for 300blk. Maybe the ar die doesnt have as much build in travel? Idk

Second round I'm more confident with.
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johnsonian09

Beginner
Nov 17, 2020
17
0
Okay, I think I'm getting more comfortable with this a bit. I'm sticking to lighter loads tho for now 12-1600 fps. Now does COAL have a significant effect on accuracy at 100yards? Book says going forward and back will increase or decrease chamber pressures due to the lead- distance to engage the rifling. If it does effect accuracy like I think it would. Is there a way besides trial and error to determine the optimal length?

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1Shot

Handloader
Dec 5, 2008
1,435
5
Is there a way besides trial and error to determine the optimal length?

Short answer NO. The jump will be what YOUR rifle likes. You need to find a powder charge that is the most accurate before you go messing with the bullet jump. Also use at least 10 thousands inch movement of the bullet at a time with each group fired to see what happens. One group will usually be smaller than the rest. Then you can tinker with in that length one way or the other 5 or less thousands.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,482
2,275
1Shot":3sw1fdpa said:
Is there a way besides trial and error to determine the optimal length?

Short answer NO. The jump will be what YOUR rifle likes. You need to find a powder charge that is the most accurate before you go messing with the bullet jump. Also use at least 10 thousands inch movement of the bullet at a time with each group fired to see what happens. One group will usually be smaller than the rest. Then you can tinker with in that length one way or the other 5 or less thousands.

Excellent advice is offered here.
 

300WSM

Handloader
Dec 24, 2011
467
54
Do you have a loaded round that is perfect OAL?

If using the same bullet just put in your correct loaded round with the correct OAL and run the die down until it just ever so slightly touches the bullet of the correct length loaded round. That will get you extremely close and at this point you can play with the seating stem.
 

300WSM

Handloader
Dec 24, 2011
467
54
1Shot":1epu55nn said:
Is there a way besides trial and error to determine the optimal length?

Short answer NO. The jump will be what YOUR rifle likes. You need to find a powder charge that is the most accurate before you go messing with the bullet jump. Also use at least 10 thousands inch movement of the bullet at a time with each group fired to see what happens. One group will usually be smaller than the rest. Then you can tinker with in that length one way or the other 5 or less thousands.
No...every rifle is different...
Having said that you're using a semi defense type round. The accuracy here is only going to be so good as should your expectations should be within reason.

Load them up IMO to 10 thousandths less than maximum COAL with specified data of specified bullet...and enjoy.

Its not like playing with a few thousandths will get you hole cutting accuracy while the other is barley hitting the paper.
You just won't see this much change on this platform.

Your accuracy importance lies in ... consistent powder charge. I can't stress this enough. If you want accuracy from any hand load getting the exact charge every time all the time helps immensely.

The other thing is length. Being off a few thousandths mean nothing. Bring off by .200 ....WOW...how does that even happen?
I coukd seat bullets with a plier abd hammer more closely than a .200 variance.
 
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