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Thread: Sooty Heads?

  1. #1

    Sooty Heads?

    Afternoon Chaps

    I'm developing a load for my 8x57 Mauser.

    2nd load I tried (45gn Varget, CCI LR primer, norma case, 170gn Hornady RN) went into 1.5" at 100 and pressure signs were fine, but there was soot around the case head and bolt face. Primers look fine, not flat, cratered or pierced.

    It's not something I've encountered before, what causes it and does it indicate a problem?

    Thanks in Advance, James

  2. #2
    just been through this with so called "once fired brass"
    once it was annealed the problem went away

    that seems quite a moderate/low load on a quick scan, could be either hard brass or lack of sealing (obturation) due to low loads

    What brass? (new, FL, NS, brand etc)
    what OAL?

  3. #3
    It's usually a sign of a 'squib' load so increase the charge to get nearer to operating pressure. The range is 43.5 to 50.5 grains Varget for this combo.

    Norma cases are generally the lightest cases in any calibre, so may have a larger internal volume. If that's the case you're at Starting Load level.

    Low loadings in 6.5x55 exhibit this 'sootiness' too.
    If I'm going to be accused of it then it's just as well I did it.

  4. #4
    Thanks for that chaps. They're once fired Norma cases from factory ammo, FL sized. i've had soot round the neck from low loads in both .223 and .243 but never at the other end of the case and on the boltface.


  5. #5
    your "once fired" or someone else's "once fired"?

  6. #6
    Mine, in my rifle, from factory ammo that came with the rifle.

  7. #7
    not work hardened brass then.
    I have 5x+ norma brass and no issues with obturation.
    My issues above was with heavily worked Lapua brass

    try raising you charge level and OAL to get the pressures up a bit

  8. #8
    That's the conclusion I was coming to, albeit slowly! If it's dry tomorrow I'll try to roll a few more and have another go.

    Thanks folks.


  9. #9
    Had the same problem with my 6.5x55, found out it was due to low pressure and it went away by either increasing the powder charge or seating the bullet deeper.

    My Hunting Blog: click here

  10. #10
    In my experience Varget tends to be quite a 'sooty' powder, it leaves far more carbon and residue than any other powder I have ever used with the exception of IMR4831 but strangely IMR4831 smells the same as Varget!

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