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Thread: Head space issue?

  1. #1

    Head space issue?

    i currently reload for my 6.5x55, a tikka t3, i use 46.5 grains of R19 (under max load), federal brass and primers and 129g sst bullets. My concern is that i am noticing a stripe on the cases where the case head meets the body, i am not seeing any pressure signs. this does not happen on all cases probably about 20% of them.








    When i resize i use a full length die but i have backed it off a bit, so that all cases will chamber easily but it does not touch the shell holder when the ram is up.( i read somewhere that this was better for the brass, a sort of half neck half full length resizing operation.)
    the only info that i can find points towards excess headspace as a culprit for this, but i was wondering could it be bad brass, bad reloading?
    your expertise is very welcome.
    regards
    Mark.

  2. #2
    Even if you have got excess head-space, then neck sizing your cases as you are doing will minimise the impact it has on your brass. Bear in mind though that you will need to full length re-size every few loadings. Having said that I would think it highly unusual for the condition to be appearing in a fairly new, modern sporting rifle.
    What it most likely is is just that the csae walls are expanding outwards to conform with the chamber walls normally, but because the case head is solid it can't expand to the same extent so you get a slight "bulge" at the point where the solid head becomes the case wall. The condition is often more pronounced on military rifles, which are made with generous chamber dimensions to take into account dirty or varying ammo.
    Because I'm on my work computer at the moment I can't view the pics you've posted, but the symptoms you describe sound fairly normal. A different brand of cases may show less distortion.
    Last edited by Harry mac; 21-05-2010 at 07:37. Reason: additional text
    You can't say muntjac without saying, Mmmmmm.

  3. #3
    Rifles don't develop headspace problems over night. (I am constantly amazed at how may UK shooters think this just happens: like a flat tire on an automobile!) I see nothing alarming in the photos. If you think you are over sizing your cases, you can fit the cases to the chamber as describes above. The correct way to partial FL resize it to leave about 5/64" between the shell holder and the die. RCBS used to instruct shooters to place the edge of a US 5-cent piece between the shell holder and the die for proper fit.~Muir

  4. #4
    muir i was hoping you were going to tell me it was nothing to worry about, cheers.

  5. #5
    Dont look like much to worry about i get the same on my 30.06 cases and to a lesser degree on my .243,i find a twenty pence piece placed on the shellholder then turn the die down onto it seems to give the right sort of spacing for me and then i lightly lube the neck with a brush and then lube about every fith case on a pad seems to work well i haven't had one stuck yet.

  6. #6
    Your using Federal cases and they are undersize int eh head and web area. Try some European cases and you should see less of the marking. For some reasons the Americans use the std 0.473 head size even on the 6.5x55 which should be 0.480" and the case directly in front of the extractor groove should be 0.480" there istead of the 0.471" od the American std cases like the .308. So this means the American brass has to expand around 0.009" just to reach the correct size hence the expansion ring showing up so much.


    Headspace = the gap between the ears .

  7. #7
    Many thanks for the answers gents, i must admit that i didn't think it was a serious problem untill i went looking for answers in the ABC's of reloading, (i'm fairly new to reloading, bet you couldn't tell) anyway i saw the pic on page 38 and along with the next page it started to make me worry a bit.
    Glad you have all cleared it up for me, many thanks.
    Brit i actually have a bag of once used Norwegian brass waiting for me at a mates house so will take your advice and change.
    Mark

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mjjl View Post
    Many thanks for the answers gents, i must admit that i didn't think it was a serious problem untill i went looking for answers in the ABC's of reloading, (i'm fairly new to reloading, bet you couldn't tell) anyway i saw the pic on page 38 and along with the next page it started to make me worry a bit.
    Glad you have all cleared it up for me, many thanks.
    Brit i actually have a bag of once used Norwegian brass waiting for me at a mates house so will take your advice and change.
    Mark
    Mark,

    There is no "need" to change the Federal is safe but might not get quite the same number of reloads that the larger European brass should. But when you pick it up do try a few and see if you can see the difference. I have some cases that are close to the end and the bright "seperation" ring is evident I will see if I can find them in the scrap and get a couple of decent photos of them (now I have a new card reader ) Trouble is I tend to crush them so they cannot "accidently" get mixed back in with the good cases.

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