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Thread: Blackening on fired cases

  1. #1

    Blackening on fired cases

    I'm relatively new to reloading and I've been learning and doing it with a friend and I (we) have succeeded in creating some very accurate loads for my 6.5x55. However, after firing my cases are becoming black and sooty looking - this blackening is along the full length of the fired case and there is a little on the bolt face. Has anyone experienced this before, and if so, what was the cause and solution?

    My current reloads are new, unfired Lapua brass, Viht 160 43.5gr, CCI BR-2 primers and Nosler 120gr BT. My powder is well below the maximum load as stated in my Nosler reloading manual and the blackening happened on all my trail loads too! OAL does not exceed the recommended length and my final load produces 3 shots in nearly the same hole so accuracy is great - I have had no issues with previous factory ammunition.

    I gave my chamber a real good clean out last week and my two shots this evening (producing 2 dead Munites) are much cleaner than before. At the end of the day, I can cope with cleaning dirty brass, I just down want there to be any detrimental affects on my rifle.

    Can an any of you reloading gurus shed some light?

  2. #2
    Your cases, my view is they need to be anneald. They aren't sealing in the breech at the neck/shoulder. It's important the shoulder of the case has enough elasticity in the brass to fireform and seal properly. If the cases are smokey blackened down their sides, there is a leak of gasses where there shouldn't be one.
    Annealing will solve the problem and extend your case life. Or you can just use new brass. ATB
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  3. #3
    It's brand new brass and I was under the impression Lapua brass was already annealed?

  4. #4
    Have a look at the thread 'Blackened Cases .243' that I started on 6th June 2014. You should find the answer somewhere there.
    Did you run your brand new cases through the resizer die ? If not that could help as neck tension may be an issue.
    Seat your bullets to the same length as factory loads, increase the powder charge and apply a crimp with a Lee Factory Crimp Die.
    A pessimist is an optimist with experience.

  5. #5
    Evening
    I would think that the load being at the lighter end of the scale means the case/neak is not expanding fully to the chamber thus not sealing. Or if the cases have been loaded a number of times they may have become work hardened so may require annealing.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Norm View Post
    Have a look at the thread 'Blackened Cases .243' that I started on 6th June 2014. You should find the answer somewhere there.
    Did you run your brand new cases through the resizer die ? If not that could help as neck tension may be an issue.
    Seat your bullets to the same length as factory loads, increase the powder charge and apply a crimp with a Lee Factory Crimp Die.
    UN, thanks for the heads up, I've now found your initial post about a similar situation. Many thanks

  7. #7
    The powder maker Vihtavuori show a starting load of 48.5 grains for 120 grain bullets. with a max load of 50.7 grains, with a COAL of 3.024". So your load is below their minimum.
    Low loads of a fairly slow powder often results in blackened cases - The pressure rise on ignition is not fast enough to expand the case into the chamber & providing the necessary seal. - This can result in excessive forces being transmitted into the rifle bolt & action. - Not desirable!
    Nosler data these days seems to be on the "soft" side & symptoms like yours are a common occurance these days.
    Initial pressure build up can be improved by crimping the cases onto your bullets - A Lee Factory Crimp Die is great for this.
    If you are not getting any signs of high pressure on your fired cases, I would suggest you increase your charge weight in increments starting above your present load, (2% increments is a good). As always careful observation for pressure signs is essential.
    A chronograph would be a useful tool to use too.

    Ian

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by woollyback View Post
    unfired Lapua brass,
    Viht 160 43.5gr,
    Nosler 120gr BT.
    My powder is well below the maximum load as stated in my Nosler
    Lapua brass is hard
    the load is way of max and actually below minimum depending on what data you look at

    step up the charge level or use softer brass

    http://www.lapua.com/en/products/rel.../relodata/5/56

    7,8 120 HPBT Sierra 76,8 3.024 N140 2,47 38.1 755 2477 2,63 40.5 852 2795
    N540 2,49 38.4 773 2536 2,69 41.5 818 2684
    N150 2,55 39.3 770 2526 2,71 41.7 839 2753
    N550 2,63 40.6 800 2625 2,88 44.5 888 2914
    N160 2,97 45.8 825 2707 3,29 50.7 907 2975
    N560 3,12 48.1 823 2700 3,41 52.7 932 3056
    7,8 120 Scenar-L Lapua 77,0 3.031 N135 2,08 32.1 763 2503 2,31 35.6 820 2690
    N140 2,18 33.6 786 2579 2,42 37.3 822 2697
    N150 2,31 35.6 800 2625 2,52 38.9 855 2805
    N160 2,84 43.8 842 2762 2,96 45.7 880 2887
    N560 3,03 46.8 847 2779 3,23 49.8 907 2976

  9. #9
    When I shot a 6.6 x55 I used to run my loads 1grn below max or I was getting black cases.

    With my 6.5-284 I started off 4grns below max and went up in 1grn increments at 4grn below the whole case was black, at 3grns below the neck was black at 2grns below the neck was still black, but at 1 grn below the cases were perfect, at max load it was inprinting the ejector on the base of the case, so i backed it off 1grn.
    AT THE AGE OF 50 I DECIDED I WAS GOING TO GROW OLD F***ING DISGRACEFULLY

  10. #10
    Thanks for help gents, much appreciated. Rather confusing info on the conflicting load data but I'll be brave and increase my powder and see if that helps.

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