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Thread: Stuck Case/Polishing reciever question

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    Default Stuck Case/Polishing reciever question

    Some may know about the modified 405 in Ruger #1 i've been working loads for and I have come accross a problem and thought I'd bounce it of you all.
    I'm shooting a 405 Caliber Cartridge however its been modified to take 3.25" brass with a COL of 4.050. The modification results in significant pressure increases over a standard 405 and I believe the increased pressure has something to do with my problem. Problem is that every 4th or 5th fired cartridge, the case sticks in the reciever and I need to run a rod down the barrel to clear it. Ive noticed that the problem only starts after the reciever and barrel have heated up and expanded. (thus maybe another component to the problem)

    Ive gotten a few stories as to what may fix this.
    1. The Smith that modified the barrel said he used a finishing reamer and thus no additional polishing is required and the stuck cases are solely due to excessive pressure.
    2. A friend with extensive knowlege said that in firearms that consistantly fire higher pressure rounds, it is helpful to polish the breach and that will eliminate stuck cases in most instances. He tells me he has had two rifles that he had sticking cases in and solved the problem by polishing.
    3. Back off a gn or two to reduce pressure. (I have tried this method and it is true that it decreased the frequency of stuck cases but did not eliminate them) Thus, I believe heat is involved somewhat.

    I have also closely checked the fired cases with a glass for any signs of damage from the breach itself and they look very smooth so I dont believe I have a burr anywhere.

    If polishing is the way to go, I concidered rigging a fired case to a rod that I could put in a slow turning drill with some valve polishing compound. Any thoughts on that brainstorm?

    I could use some Ideas guys. I cant be out hunting Brown Bear or Moose with a firearm that gets a case stuck randomly.

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    1. I don't buy that either I want a smoother chamber than most leave with a finish reamer. The only part recut was the from 1/4" right?

    2. Your rounds are excess pressure...for the 405 case. After several firings the case looses it's elasticity (some sooner than others) and fails to spring back to it's original shape. That is what sticks the case. That case is capable of pushing a 300 grain to about 2600 or a 400 grain to about 2250 at 60,000 psi. If you get more than that you probably are exceeding 60,000psi. The No. 1 is a hell for stout rifle but there is nothing to be gained in ballistics by pushing it further.

    If you load your hunting loads in new brass it will help some, also you could adjust the ejector spring for maximum and gain something, but you are pushing the envelope and that brings this kind of problems.

    With a straight case, such as the 405 it has a tendency to stick worse than necked cases and the Ruger has no camming action of the bolt rifle to break the case loose.

    3. Last but not least GET AWAY FROM BALL POWDER. Do I need to say that again? You are probably compressing it and that changes it's burn signature. This is not something to disregard. Compare you load results to other cases with that powder capacity. The 416 Remington Mag with it's 105 grains of water capacity will lausnc a 400 grain bullet to 2400 fps at 65,000 psi pressure. If you exceed that velocity you have exceeded that pressure 4:1 over velocity. If velocity goes up 10%, pressure went up 40%.

    Just something to think about.

    You could polish it as you say but not with a case. A cloth or cleaning patch on a jag and some 600 grit polishing compound.
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    Interesting, you comment on ball powder. I just finished working up and testing some loads using the discontinued 400gn Barnes X in .411 and didnt stick one case. I used 69gn H4350. So what difference between ball and cylindrical could contribute to this?

    As for the extractor in the Ruger #1... I'm slightly disapointed that with suck a strong firearm they would use such a wimpy extractor. Just my opinion but I think they could have beefed it up some. Then again I'm sure its more that sufficient for the stock 405.

    I absolutely will back off of those max loads for hunting cartridges. Theres a good fealing when you milk the last few FPS out of a custom round so you really know its absolute limits. Im loading some 400gn Barnes that will easily do 2150 without any signs of overpressure and I'm hoping they wont have any problems ejecting. Will be testing this weekend.

    I do think I'll try polishing also. I was thinking a dremel with a polishing wheel might reach in there nicely. I'm not taking off any material, just buffing it. Prior to this I started running a swab with a small amount of gun oil into the breach after every 4th round and didnt stick any. Thats why I think a good buffing should help conciderably.

    Thanx again Murph.
    Ill let ya know how it turns out.

    PS. You still thinking of getting that 450/400 N.E. ? I heard Ruger stopped production of the 405 in #1. Looks they are searching for something that sells the most. Locally theres a 405 #1 in blued that is very handsom. Anyone want to convert it to a real hard hitter? lol

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    I've never felt the #1 extractor was the least bit wimpy in the 20+ rifles and calibers I've owned or used. But then again, I've never pushed pressures of the SAAMI charts. All the signs and symptoms tell me that's what you're doing.

    I had sticky extraction on the 458 Win with a batch of cases that needed annealed after extensive use. Water quench annealing solved the problem. You don't mention annealing, but are you doing it? I'm betting that even with a couple of firings and resizings you are work hardening the heck out of your brass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I've never felt the #1 extractor was the least bit wimpy in the 20+ rifles and calibers I've owned or used. But then again, I've never pushed pressures of the SAAMI charts. All the signs and symptoms tell me that's what you're doing.

    I had sticky extraction on the 458 Win with a batch of cases that needed annealed after extensive use. Water quench annealing solved the problem. You don't mention annealing, but are you doing it? I'm betting that even with a couple of firings and resizings you are work hardening the heck out of your brass.
    Wow, never even entered my thick skull. Yes I am indeed pushing the limits and working this brass very hard. I can easily see how one of these cases would harden significantly and then fail to spring away from the breach walls after firing. And I have noticed that new brass doesnt seem to stick or at least not nearly as often. Concidering there is 3.25" of brass expanding, hardening could definetely be a factor with my problem.

    Also I need to trim a fair amount after each firing so the brass is really getting worked hard. Question is: and i found this article http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html How to experiment without spending large quantities of cash hehe.

    Looks like you all have given me a few experiments to try and hopfully my wife wont get pissed now that I'll dissapear into the garage for a few days.

    Brownbear, have you found a way to anneal thats not too expensive? The article talks about a tray with some water in it so the base doesnt get hot and then heating the upper portion of the case with a torch. That sounds like a place to start.

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    That's the way I do it. Stand the cases in a baking pan with about and inch of water in it, heat the cases individually with my propan torch, then knock each case over into the water after I've heated it.

    Speaking of not sinking in, I hadn't registered on how long your cases are, but I'm betting you've got the culprit in the bullseye now. My 50-140 cases are about that length, but I have never pushed pressures enough to have need to anneal. (Hurts too darn much!) In fact, the pressures on my "period" loads are so low you could darn near reload fired cases without sizing them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    That's the way I do it. Stand the cases in a baking pan with about and inch of water in it, heat the cases individually with my propan torch, then knock each case over into the water after I've heated it.
    Are you heating them to a glow then stopping or almost to a glow? How much of a 3.25" case do you think I should heat? 1/2 or maybe even around 3/4 of it? Im thinking that unlike a shouldered case where the neck seems to take most of the beating, in this case the entire case is expanding and hardening. I suppose I should try as much as possible without heating the base. What you think?

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    I'd be leery of getting too close to the web, but beyond that it's a judgement call. Being the conservative sort, I'd try maybe half the case and see what impact that has on the problem. If the sticking recurs or happens sooner than you would like, then go for about 2/3.

    As for how much heat, I've never gone for the glow, stopping short. If I'm not seeing a discoloration of the brass after heating and cooling, I guess that I didn't go far enough and heat the next case a bit longer. It's a feel thing, but going for the glow has always made me uneasy. No science behind the uneasiness, rather it's habit.

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    You need to do any annealing vary carefully. You need to go back to the 6br web site and read every word of the article before you take one word of advise. I have spent countless hours on the net trying to dispel the water in the pan BS. Do yourself a huge favor and read every word on the link I provide. An in depth chapter in "CUSTOM CARTRIDGES" needs to be read for more information.

    http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html

    If that water pan crap does not scare you, then "good luck"

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    One more question if Im not being too much of a pest. I read in the article I posted that some prefer to run cases through a polisher prior to the heat step. Have you found this beneficial or do you even bother.

    Also I'd very much like to thank you and Murph for your help. If ever you need to work up a load from scratch, I have extensive time as well as the computer programing to get you very close. All you need to do is ask and I'd be happy to work up interior and exterior ballistics for any powder/bullet combination you may want to try. I can come extremely close with pressures as well as what powders to use and velocities etc.... That goes for Wildcats and custome bullets as well.

    Just ask and Im there.
    Thanx again

  11. #11

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    You're welcome TYBSP.

    I run my case through my polisher first. Habit and a means of not getting water into the medium if I manage not to dry them completely. A once-burned twice-shy learning experience. No big deal. It may be easier to see the color change on clean cases, too, but that's theory rather than experience.

    Been water annealing cases since 1966 as near as I can tell from my records, and no reason to change my ways. Works fine with pure clean water, and can't see any reason to add crap to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    You need to do any annealing vary carefully. You need to go back to the 6br web site and read every word of the article

    before you take one word of advise. I have spent countless hours on the net trying to dispel the water in the pan BS. Do yourself a huge favor and read every word on the link I provide. An in depth chapter in "CUSTOM CARTRIDGES" needs to be read for more information.

    http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html

    If that water pan crap does not scare you, then "good luck"
    Well I have indeed read that article a few times now and have gleaned some good info from it. One of which is I can hardly afford to have the automated annealer at this point which leaves me with experimenting with the other methods. Since Ive never done it, it sounds like fun to give it a try.

    Big Al: it sound like you have experience in this. What do you recomment I start with, without putting out hundreds of bucks? Any tricks youd like to share?

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    Im staring to see two diffent schools of thought here and an open to trying both. Whatever works is ok with me. I do belive ill try the water pan first and wait and see what Al come supwith.

    Also ill be polishing the breach and looking a few other issues that may contribute.

    Thanx again guys. Im on it now

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    I would suggest you get a TempilStik. I was working at a tool and die when one of the old hands that did gunsmithing on the side and was an avid reloader took me under wing. We did a lot of annealing in the shop and the stiks were always used. They last forever and I still have my a piece of my original "government work" issue stik.

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    Well I experimented on 4 cases just for S & G and annealed two in the pan of water and did nothing with the other two. There is definetely a huge difference in the plyability of the two that were heated. Im looking forward to loading these and putting them thru some tests.

    Dang I enjoy this stuff. Always something to learn and test.

    Im still trying to figure out what I need to do to make my photography gear trip the same time as the bullet fires to capture some bullets on impact ... But thats another thread

    thanx all

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    Default chamber polishing

    That may help but it is a little tricky. It could be easy to get a mirror finish but end up with a tiny enlargement somewhere along the chamber and not the "true, very slight, straight taper" that helps ensure smooth extraction. So approach it very cautiously. I would not use valve grinding compound... some of that stuff is at least 50 grit or coarser!!! Start with something like 400-600 grit compound on a tight fitting mop. Then also avoid the end of the throat where the lands start-- you don't want to prematurely "age" your bore by polishing down the "entry into the lands" part of the chamber/bore. When all else fails- reduce load and avoid erratic pressures

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    Quote Originally Posted by TYBSP View Post
    Im staring to see two diffent schools of thought here and an open to trying both. Whatever works is ok with me. I do belive ill try the water pan first and wait and see what Al come supwith.

    Also ill be polishing the breach and looking a few other issues that may contribute.

    Thanx again guys. Im on it now
    First BB is right the cases need to be annealled. I've used the water method but what is wrong or can go wrong with it is that we don't get the torch all the way around and don't heat the neck evenly nor do we get to the right temp. This is the method I have been using fro the past ten years I think I got it from Ken Howell, I think he knows a thing or towo about it.

    I posted this on here some where a while back for a fireforming question.

    If the case isn't annealed it wont work very well. The best way to anneal is to mark the body of the case with temperature crayons, 650-660F, about a 1/8"-1/4" from the shoulder. Turn the case in a hand drill (A Lee case trimmer and shell holder can be chucked into a drill) as you heat with a torch applied at the midline of the shoulder, When the crayon changes color or melts, dunk the case into a bucket of cold water. You can also use a bore brush chucked into a drill and jam the case on that. Hold the bottom half of the case with a cold wet towell if using this method. Don't over heat the case body and head. I have a little battery powered drill that I use for primer pocket cleaning and that works very well.

    You can use the torch with the drill mounted stationery or mount the torch and hand hold the drill, I find the latter works best. I hold the drill and can put cases on and off quickly with a leather glove on the left hand and a drill in the right. With the brush method I hold the drill in the right and a wet towell over the case head in the gloved left hand then just pull the case off and dunk it. I have a small airline Acetelyne torch but a butane/propane hand torch works well. Welding supply houses have the temp crayons.

    I would anneal the case down about 1 1/2" , no more, put the mark on in two stripes at about 1/4" and 1" not just in one spot. Be careful not to direct the flame at the mouth, it will burn. The cases will grow a bit during this operation but can be trimmed later and should be clean and shiney before starting. They will be case colored after it is over.

    Now the case mouth is soft after doing this be careful with the expander ball and any die operation because if anything catches it will crumple the case mouth, go slow into the dies. The crayons are the key to a good annealling. The crayons will help with the water method also. In the water we need to put cases far enough apart to get the torch all around the case. I've done this on a pottery wheel with one case in a round shallow pie pan full of water, until my wife found out. It was her pie pan and pottery wheel.

    This will require a minimum of expense in the operation. On the first firing do not use a max load.
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    Good luck finding the 650 to 660deg, crayon that Ken Howell recommends. If you do find them please post where you found them. I use Templaque or how ever the heck you spell it, as you can get it from Brownells. Ken Howell and I talked about the problem of finding the crayons before the book made it to the printers. He thought you could get them from MSC, you have to buy them at that time as a set. As soon as Ken's book made it out Hornady brought out a kit for this purpose. I don't think they still sell them but have not talked to anyone there for years.

    Anyway go with the brush on stuff and follow the direction Murphy gives above or read the same on pages 50 and 51 of Ken Howell's book.

    You really need to get the book and read this for yourself, Ken has good drawings, makes it a lot safer.

    You can build your own machine if you really need to do that many, go look at cabin trees web site and look at the one he made from scrap.

    Avoid useing the brush in the neck, go for the base hold. The last thing you want in your life is a soft case head at high pressure.


    Ken and I talked about this in 1994 and I knew when he started that conversation there was going to be trouble with this cause of the Old wives tales that never leave this sport. Little did I know that Al Gore's invention (the internet) would prove this to be the case.

    My name is found on the preface on page xii just above Frank Pachmayr, just wish I knew one tenth what that old fellow knew about this sport.

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    Well......
    Using a swab and some #5 Polishing compound on the end of a piece of cleaning rod attached to a drill, I worked for about 5 minutes polishing the breach. It seemed to be the easiest thing to try first and definetely the cheapest. I have yet to stick a case since. Not even one of the Hotter of the Hot loads.

    This is not to say that Annealing is not a good Idea but for fear of totally botching 2.50 dollar each brass, Ill get into it slowly at best. And believe me when I say I will give it a try. This Wildcat has opened so many doors of experimentation that it has restored my Firearm enthusiasm more than ever. Thanx for all the info and suggestions guys. I'll keep you informed.

    Now to figure out where to snag an easy buck for my son in PWS next week hehe

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