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Thread: case neck thickness too much near shoulder, loaded cartridges won't chamber

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default case neck thickness too much near shoulder, loaded cartridges won't chamber

    I just resized some norma 308 norma brass to 358. The chamber in my rifle has very tight tolerances, especially around the neck. The resized brass gets thicker near where the 308 shoulder would've originally been. There is a slight "bump" near this spot, all the way to the new shoulder. My cartridges won't chamber. Is there ANY way to take down this thickness near the shoulder of already loaded ammo? I'll be darned if I'm gonna pull 50 bullets to turn the necks. Can I turn this spot of the neck of already loaded ammo? Most outside neck turners I've seen, pilot off the inside of the neck.

    Please be warned, you'll need to turn this bump down if you ever choose to resize norma brass to 358, it gets thicker near the original shoulder.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    disregard. I ended up locking a cartridge into a lee trimmer chuck, and into a drill. Carefully holding a sharp wood chisel near the excessively thick portion of the neck, I'm able to take it down enough to get the cartridge to chamber. Time consuming and not ideal, but it's working. I only had to take the bump down until the surface is flush across the entire neck. Hope I never have to do this again.

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    next time just fire form you will save your self a lot of time and trouble

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    Default case neck thickness

    I've seen the same issues when enlarging case necks. When you expand the necks the lower portion of the neck can be thicker as it used to be part of the shoulder. The more the expansion the larger the possibility of a problem. For my .400 based on the .300 Win mag case I can usually count on the case necks being too thick at the bottom.

    I've expanded the cases to the neck larger diameter and then used a outside neck turner to reduce the bottom of the neck up to the shoulder. I then neck the cases back down and have a neck that is the same thickness all the way to the shoulder. A reamer in the correct size should do the trick on sized case IF you have the correct reamer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Custom rifles View Post
    next time just fire form you will save your self a lot of time and trouble
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    I've never had to do it, but IIRC, the solution for thick necks as a result of reforming, is an "inside neck reamer".

    Also, IIRC, they are made the diameter for resized necks. The size of the reamer can be critical.

    "Neck turning" is aaccomplished on the outside of the necks, and for makiing necks to uniform thickness for consistent neck tension.

    If I had the issue, I would call Sinclair International, Inc. and ask them. They will explain.

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    Too much work for me Mainer, why not just buy new 358 brass and be done with it?
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    358N brass is expensive and not always easy to find. After you have sized the brass and pulled your expander ball back through the case the inside of the neck should be a uniform size. If the brass is thick it will now be on the outside of the case and can be fixed with an outside neck turner unless you have loaded it. With a lathe, you could chuck on the bullet and simply turn the neck. It sounds like you found a way to make it work with what you have on hand. Good thinking. Now that the cases have been fixed, you shouldn't have to do it again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    358N brass is expensive and not always easy to find. After you have sized the brass and pulled your expander ball back through the case the inside of the neck should be a uniform size. If the brass is thick it will now be on the outside of the case and can be fixed with an outside neck turner unless you have loaded it. With a lathe, you could chuck on the bullet and simply turn the neck. It sounds like you found a way to make it work with what you have on hand. Good thinking. Now that the cases have been fixed, you shouldn't have to do it again.
    But, but, but,,,
    After reforming brass, without an expander, as with a reforming die, the thickness/doughnut will be on the inside. The reamer follows an existing hole so it will not uniform the neck thickness like a Neck Turner would, but I think it is better for it's intended purpose.

    I don't think that Mainers method to remove the thickness is acceptable. While it allows the case to chambered, it is probably not very uniform.

    According to my information, Neck Reaming is simple to do and is usually done on a case trimmer. There are neck reamer attachments for some case trimmers.

    Like I said, I've never had the occasion to use one, but Neck Reaming, is the way, I would address the problem. I would certainly pull the bullets and do it the way I think is right, so I know the brass is uniform, rather than possibly ruined.

    I've never tried Neck Turning either, but I considered it. After a phone call to the Sinclair folks, I was advised that it probably wouldn't help unless I had a custom, as in a tight-necked chamber.

    If one has brass that is very UN uniform, it might help (????) to take off just the high points. I could easily get over my head on this, and I almost regret mentioning "Neck Reaming", in the first place.

    I know a guy that does some wildcats, maybe I'll ask him about it.

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    Yep. If you were using a set of forming dies without an expander, the outside would be uniform and the inside would be uneven and the cutting/reaming should be done on the inside. Outside turning IMO is not normally very helpful in a standard chamber as the neck area is usually pretty loose already. However in Mariners case, he has a tight chamber neck area and has already loaded the rounds that were formed with loading dies and an expander ball. This left an even neck inside, especially after seating a bullet, and an outside that was not only uneven but too thick where the former shoulder had been pushed up into the new neck area. His only choice at this point was to unload the rounds and start over or resort to some unorthodox method of removing the thick spot. I would have chucked the bullet in my lathe and machined the thick part of the neck down to the size of the thinner part of the neck. My hat is off to mariner for getting the job done with some rather crude tools. Sometimes you just have to make do with what ya got.

    Mariner, if you need to do something like this again, give me a shout and I'll let you use my lathe or do it for you.

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    Thanks rbuck:

    I can appreciate Mainers creativity, too.

    In this case, I would have some concern that the brass would be uhhhh, "Compromised" ???

    I'd say, I'll see you at the Gunshow, but it's been so long I might not recognize you.

    Waitaminute. I gotcher Cell number. Maybe, when I arrive, I'll call and see if you're there.

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    Thanks guys, bullets worked like a charm, especially through 20 yds of willow brush and on through moosey front quarters n ribs. The rifle would print 3/4"-1" 3-shot groups. I know it's not ideal, but I was only days away from the hunt, and had very little time or money to fix the issue. I won't go through this again, so if anybody wants some 308 norma brass......I have 50 new cases left. This stuff is crazy-thick near the shoulder, as if the necks were turned at the factory! The once-fired cases oftentimes wouldn't even fire-form around the shoulder-to-neck area where I removed a bit of brass. 308 norma brass is not ideal for resizing to 358. I have my fingers crossed that lapua 308 brass doesn't have this issue. Lapua was out of stock, which is how I stumbled on this head-ache. Winchester, Hornady, Federal, and Remington 308 brass all resizes easily to 358 whinny with no excessively thick areas in the newly sized 358 neck, not the "case" with Norma.

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    Iíve never tried to alter Norma, I only ever buy it for real odd-ball stuff like 6.5/7.7Jap and it lasts very well for me. If I was to want top shelf 358 brass I think Iíd use my 308 Norma/Lapua money and buy Winchester brass with the .358 WIN head stamp. If making it from 308 for huntin ammo Iíd be in economy mode and just use whatever was cheap.

    If you want Norma/Lapua quality 358 brass you need an inside reamer so you get a good consistent neck tension on the bullets. Other ways like outside turning will work but arenít near as consistent as reaming the ID so kinda a waste to do on expensive brass I think.
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    I'm not sold on 358 winchester brass. I have a box of about 500 brass that's a mix of 50 percent original head stamped, and resized hornady match, federal, winchester, and remington. It'll make great target brass. Hey......it all works, but I tend to shoot a stout load of 42 grains of reloader 10x under a woodleigh 275 grainer and I don't want any chance of sticky extraction. I was wanting brass with better weight consistency and tougher too. I've had really good luck with Lapua brass and weighing it compared to other brands gits me giddy. Darned Lapua has been out of stock every time I've looked. The 358 deserves fancy brass too yah know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    disregard. I ended up locking a cartridge into a lee trimmer chuck, and into a drill. Carefully holding a sharp wood chisel near the excessively thick portion of the neck, I'm able to take it down enough to get the cartridge to chamber. Time consuming and not ideal, but it's working. I only had to take the bump down until the surface is flush across the entire neck. Hope I never have to do this again.
    I think this was a pretty crafty solution myself. Good job.
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    Oh it's good stuff just not worth the extra bucks to me. I mostly use European bulk once fired 7.62 brass that I picked up years ago at Crossroads of the West gunshow in Phoenix years ago. Itís heavy thick stuff and may be Lapua or Norma, itís boxer primed but they are staked in. Itís some extra work on the pockets the first time around but I got 5000 for $150 back then and I think I still have about 1000 tucked away.

    Your Lapua is in stock here:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/187523/lapua-reloading-brass-308-winchester-box-of-100


    And here:
    http://www.champchoice.com/prod-LAPU...BOX_-3049.aspx?

    And brownells has tha Lapua Plama top grade match stuff in stock:
    http://www.champchoice.com/prod-LAPU...BOX_-3049.aspx?
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    This is one of those situations where we need to inside neck ream the newly formed 358 Norma. The dimension from the head to the start of the neck is 2.241" for the 308 Norma. The same dimension for the 358 is 2.191" so about .050" up the neck from the the shoulder the 358 will have a ridge from the junction of the parent case shoulder. If you fire form this brass (with just rifle powder , no bullet) after forming then inside neck ream, this will give the best results and will prevent thin spots and case neck separation at this point. An inside neck reamer is for fired brass. If it is used on sized brass the case neck will be too thin to hold a bullet even after sizing. I'm not sure what the result would be of outside neck turning, I'd prefer inside reaming for more durable brass. Good luck with the cases.

    Could you not find 358 Norma brass?
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    He's forming 358win brass from Norma branded 308win cases Murphy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    He's forming 358win brass from Norma branded 308win cases Murphy.
    Okaaay....It doesn't say that in the original post. I guess you're familiar with his guns. I do recall an episode with a 358 WINCHESTER cartridge a while back. But thanks for setting me straight.

    But in that case, I do not understand the dilemma. I thought that's the way we made 358 WINCHESTER brass. Oh well....I'm lost again, in Namibia this time. Waiting on a gemsbok.
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    Same answer I would have given but anyhow, good luck with the Gemsbuck.

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