How much headspace is too much?

Bukshot

Well-Known Member
Techy question to those experienced hands.

Bought some once fired brass that had been FL sized and cleaned by the previous owner. Measured the headspace to the datum point on the shoulder of the cases with my Hornady headspace gauge and found the difference between max and min to be about 10 thou. The cases with the maximum dimension just about chamber in my rifle with a snug fit and when reloading I normally aim to set my die to bump the shoulder back by 2 thou which enables easy chambering.

The cases with 10 thou headspace clearance - is that too much with a risk of case head separation? Should I discard these?

Thanks
 
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Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
The cases with 10 thou headspace clearance - is that too much with a risk of case head separation? Should I discard these?
Case head separation is a fatigue issue. If you first fireform the shortest cases with a moderate load (and don't expect miracles accuracy-wise as this would just be to form the cases) they should be fine on subsequent resizing and firing. That would be my take on it, anyway :thumb:
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
The cases with 10 thou headspace clearance - is that too much with a risk of case head separation? Should I discard these?

All factory ammo will have that clearance and more.

When I buy 'once fired', I want untouched once it leave the rifle.

Don't tumble, don't decap, don't resize, don't trim.

If they claim to have 'improved' or 'worked on' the brass by neck turning, reaming or primer pocket uniforming, I stay away as that means they have made it into scrap.
 

Steff

Well-Known Member
All factory ammo will have that clearance and more.

When I buy 'once fired', I want untouched once it leave the rifle.

Don't tumble, don't decap, don't resize, don't trim.

If they claim to have 'improved' or 'worked on' the brass by neck turning, reaming or primer pocket uniforming, I stay away as that means they have made it into scrap.
Agreed. And still you can run into a batch from a shooting course shot from different rifles.
I am not aware of any commercially available F/L die that can deal with expanded case heads, which can happen in some rifles. Thus you may be left with a lot of quite unequal brass.
 

stubear

Well-Known Member
I would personally recommend FL sizing it in your die that you usually use for your loads and then going from there. What I wouldn't do is take the sellers word for it that its kosher and just assume it will be ok in your rifle.

If you FL size it with your die then assuming the brand is the same as whatever you usually use it should be the same as any other home load you make up. The only thing you wont know is if the brass is ACTUALLY once fired and how much life it really has in it.

I've picked up brass from ranges and stuff and what I always do is FL size it in my dies and go from there - never had an issue.
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
Agreed. And still you can run into a batch from a shooting course shot from different rifles.
I am not aware of any commercially available F/L die that can deal with expanded case heads, which can happen in some rifles. Thus you may be left with a lot of quite unequal brass.

Case heads, maybe not, but there are small base dies for semi auto's.

Have you seen my thread?Vise Dies (Old school Full Length Resizing)
 

Utectok

Well-Known Member
Honestly it will shoot fine even a 10 thou bump is pretty hard to detect at usual stalking ranges might open the group 1/4” at 100m. Shoot the short ones and follow normal reloading process once fired
 

Apthorpe

Well-Known Member
No issue really.
But I still struggle to understand why people buy ‚once fired brass‘. Either it is given to you by a known and trusted source or you buy new.
Quite agree. I bought some fired brass once and it's such rubbish I'm still too embarrassed to even throw it away.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Three options: Shoot it is one. Fireforming Ackley Improved brass is more traumatic and people do it all the time.

Next option. Shoot it while seating a bullet to snug into the rifling. This will support the case up against the bolt face. The shoulder will blow out easily.

Next option: Neck the brass up to say, 30 caliber, then progressively neck it down to 7mm until the bolt will just close. Fire them.

Lastly: Stop measuring things.

I'd go with the first and last, myself. ~Muir
 

Bukshot

Well-Known Member
Three options: Shoot it is one. Fireforming Ackley Improved brass is more traumatic and people do it all the time.

Next option. Shoot it while seating a bullet to snug into the rifling. This will support the case up against the bolt face. The shoulder will blow out easily.

Next option: Neck the brass up to say, 30 caliber, then progressively neck it down to 7mm until the bolt will just close. Fire them.

Lastly: Stop measuring things.

I'd go with the first and last, myself. ~Muir

Thanks Muir. The Ackley analogy makes sense and your last option too!
 
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