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Thread: tight bolt BEFORE firing

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    Member ripnlip's Avatar
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    Default tight bolt BEFORE firing

    I just got done with some reloads. Tried to chamber one for the heck of it and noticed the bolt closed pretty hard (did the same for the rest of the loads as well). I had noticed this at the range on some loads prior to this also. Never had the problem for years before this.

    I FL resized some brass on my rockchucker a long time ago and those (just the brass) close just fine. I am FL resizing with a Lee hand press now, but with the same dies as with the Chucker.

    I made a mark on my case and it shows that its wearing halfway up the shoulder. Should I have my die closer to the shell holder? It was already touching the shell holder.

    Sorry if this seems confusing, I am trying to include as much info as possible.

    What am I doin wrong?

    Thanks for the input,
    Jason

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripnlip View Post
    I just got done with some reloads. Tried to chamber one for the heck of it and noticed the bolt closed pretty hard (did the same for the rest of the loads as well). I had noticed this at the range on some loads prior to this also. Never had the problem for years before this.

    I FL resized some brass on my rockchucker a long time ago and those (just the brass) close just fine. I am FL resizing with a Lee hand press now, but with the same dies as with the Chucker.

    I made a mark on my case and it shows that its wearing halfway up the shoulder. Should I have my die closer to the shell holder? It was already touching the shell holder.

    Sorry if this seems confusing, I am trying to include as much info as possible.

    What am I doin wrong?

    Thanks for the input,
    Jason

    When we screw the sizing die down to contact the shell holder that is supposed to be full length sizing to minimum SAAMI chamber dimensions. In other words, all chambers should accept that round without a tight bolt closure. If these dies make loaded rounds that do not fit your chamber they are at fault. A more likely scenario is the seating die is also crimping and that, for various reasons, is wrinkling the case slightly and that becomes a pinch point at the end (throat) of the chamber. That could have potential safety issues if you fire that load. I have seen shell holder dimensions wrong and sometimes in a mix and match situation with equipment that can be a problem. What happens then is we don't full f/l size the case.

    I'm not sure what you mean by half way up on the shoulder on the body or the neck?
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    A couple of starter ideas for your hard bolt closure:

    1. When full-length resizing with noncarbide dies, screw the sizing die down until it touches the shell holder with the press in the fully up position...then lower the press, screw the die down one-quarter turn, and lock it in place.
    2. Double check your primers to be sure they are fully seated and not protruding.
    3. Check your OAL's AND case lengths to make sure that they are within SAMI spec's (refer to a reloading manual for case length and OAL spec's).
    4. What bullets are you loading? Are they the same you loaded last year?
    5. I'm not sure what you mean when saying there are marks half-way up?

    Others will add ideas for you. I'll check back again tomorrow. Good luck.

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    I think I'm seeing what Murphy is talking about, here's an other angle.

    If your brass has stretched and you have not trimmed case length and the seating die has not been adjusted since your last loads it may be trying to taper crimp and that will swell your shoulder and make chambering difficult.

    Check case length and trim or readjust seating die and see if your problems go away.

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    Default Check the resized case before you reload it.

    Like Murphy says, it COULD be due to a misadjustment of your seating die, if the problem only exists after seating the bullet.

    BUT, the thing that comes to my mind, is that you may be getting some flex with the Lee Hand press that you didn't get with the Rockchucker, and the case may not be getting all the way into the die. I've had this happen, and that's why I now use a Redding Big Boss press for loading Magnum Cartridges. (?? You didn't say what you are hand loading.)

    I'd say, go ahead and over-adjust the die in the Lee Press, use sufficient lube, and like I said, Check the sized case before you load it.

    If this IS your problem, after this, try a Neck Sizing Die. The Lee Hand Press oughta work just fine for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Like Murphy says, it COULD be due to a misadjustment of your seating die, if the problem only exists after seating the bullet.

    BUT, the thing that comes to my mind, is that you may be getting some flex with the Lee Hand press that you didn't get with the Rockchucker, and the case may not be getting all the way into the die. I've had this happen, and that's why I now use a Redding Big Boss press for loading Magnum Cartridges. (?? You didn't say what you are hand loading.)

    I'd say, go ahead and over-adjust the die in the Lee Press, use sufficient lube, and like I said, Check the sized case before you load it.

    If this IS your problem, after this, try a Neck Sizing Die. The Lee Hand Press oughta work just fine for that.

    Smitty of the North
    i had a similar problem and traced it to the decapper. there was enough friction to stretch the neck-shoulder area to cause that problem. i use hornady "one shot" and make sure to hit the neck (inside too) and no more problem.

    happy trails.
    jh

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripnlip View Post
    I just got done with some reloads. Tried to chamber one for the heck of it and noticed the bolt closed pretty hard (did the same for the rest of the loads as well). I had noticed this at the range on some loads prior to this also. Never had the problem for years before this.

    I FL resized some brass on my rockchucker a long time ago and those (just the brass) close just fine. I am FL resizing with a Lee hand press now, but with the same dies as with the Chucker.

    I made a mark on my case and it shows that its wearing halfway up the shoulder. Should I have my die closer to the shell holder? It was already touching the shell holder.

    Sorry if this seems confusing, I am trying to include as much info as possible.

    What am I doin wrong?

    Thanks for the input,
    Jason
    You don't mention which cartridge you are loading, and you don't say how many times they have been shot. To Murphy's suggestion that it's a poorly adjusted seating die, I'll add the potential that the cases are over-long now if you haven't trimmed them after multiple firing. When the case gets too long the leading edge of the neck can hit the front of the chamber and crimp the case down into the bullet, creating much the same problem. And meanwhile creating a potentially dangerous condition that can really run up your pressures.

  8. #8

    Talking crimping

    It seems to me that crimping could very well be the culprit. Cases too long, crimper not adjusted properly, bullet not seated properly (cannelure). It doesn't take hardly any little extra crimping pressure to slightly buldge the mouth (sometimes one can't even see it very much) to over size the neck to where it won't chamber correctly. Everyone here has good advice and I'm sure has seen more than their fair share of this.
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    What cartridge are you reloading? I had the same problem with my 300 WSM. Their is a thread called 300 WSM I believe that talks about that exact problem. You might want to check it out.

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    Default thanks everyone...

    ...BTW its for a 300WSM and the empty brass that has been resized doesnt cycle easily either so I dont think it has to do with my seating die, but you guys know much more than me

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    A couple of starter ideas for your hard bolt closure:

    1. When full-length resizing with noncarbide dies, screw the sizing die down until it touches the shell holder with the press in the fully up position...then lower the press, screw the die down one-quarter turn, and lock it in place.
    2. Double check your primers to be sure they are fully seated and not protruding.
    3. Check your OAL's AND case lengths to make sure that they are within SAMI spec's (refer to a reloading manual for case length and OAL spec's).
    4. What bullets are you loading? Are they the same you loaded last year?
    5. I'm not sure what you mean when saying there are marks half-way up?

    Others will add ideas for you. I'll check back again tomorrow. Good luck.
    1. did this and seemed to work better which kinda makes me think that I'm stretching the case when resizing
    2. good to go
    3. my older cases area little long (.005 over), but the shoulders are rubbing, not the end of the case.
    4. same bullets
    5. there are marks half-way up the "shoulders" - I thought thats what they're called- the angled part goin from the vertical wall of the case that connects to the neck


    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    I think I'm seeing what Murphy is talking about, here's an other angle.

    If your brass has stretched and you have not trimmed case length and the seating die has not been adjusted since your last loads it may be trying to taper crimp and that will swell your shoulder and make chambering difficult.

    Check case length and trim or readjust seating die and see if your problems go away.
    not sure what you mean by taper crimp but it sounds like the shoulders are swelling cuz that is whats rubbing when I try to close the bolt. So how do I readjust seating die to prevent the shoulders from "swelling"?

    Quote Originally Posted by pinehavensredrocket View Post
    i had a similar problem and traced it to the decapper. there was enough friction to stretch the neck-shoulder area to cause that problem. i use hornady "one shot" and make sure to hit the neck (inside too) and no more problem.

    happy trails.
    jh
    This is what I thought first but I cleaned it and lubed everything up and it helped but still kinda did it.

    Thanks everyone, I am still looking for more advice and info.

    My next question: I dont plan on holding anyone accountable of course, but can I fire these "tight closing" rounds?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 450HUNTER View Post
    What cartridge are you reloading? I had the same problem with my 300 WSM. Their is a thread called 300 WSM I believe that talks about that exact problem. You might want to check it out.
    Hunter: I appreciate the reference but I guess I am incompetent when using the search option...if anyone happens to stumble on the thread 450hunter is talking about please attach a link.

    Much appreciated,
    Jason

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinehavensredrocket View Post
    i had a similar problem and traced it to the decapper. there was enough friction to stretch the neck-shoulder area to cause that problem. i use hornady "one shot" and make sure to hit the neck (inside too) and no more problem.

    happy trails.
    jh
    That's an often mentioned scenario, but frankly, I don't think that's even possible. Besides, I always lube the inside of the necks when I size a bottle-neck case.

    From what I've read on the forums, those WSMs are notoriously hard to size, and you would need a heavy press without much flex to size them.

    I don't know how well a Neck Sizer die would work on them. Murhpy would know about that, though, because he's mentioned wild catting them.

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    mine are tighter than a factory load, not by a lot but it is noticable. I have tried everything to get it back to an easier load to no avail. I shot some this way this year without problem, I'm not telling you to do it, but I did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripnlip View Post
    Hunter: I appreciate the reference but I guess I am incompetent when using the search option...if anyone happens to stumble on the thread 450hunter is talking about please attach a link.

    Much appreciated,
    Jason
    here ya go

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=44777

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    ripnlip
    At first I bought a set of RCBS Dies and I could never get them to size the brass right. The bolt was tight no matter how I adjusted the sizing die. I took the RCBS dies back(Sportsman Warehouse) and traded them for a set of Redding dies.

    I adjusted the Redding dies by the instructions and the bolt would close a little better but still not right for me. I then adjusted the sizing dies down a little more so I would get a little cam action from my press and they worked fine in both my Tikka and Ruger 300 WSMs. I guess this is a problem with the 300 WSM because it has happened to several people that I have talked to.

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    [quote=ripnlip;405101]
    not sure what you mean by taper crimp but it sounds like the shoulders are swelling cuz that is whats rubbing when I try to close the bolt. So how do I readjust seating die to prevent the shoulders from "swelling"?


    As the case / neck goes up into the seating die if it bottoms out at the top and your die has a taper it will squeeze your neck into a cannelure groove. If no groove or groove not set at depth to allow this then the neck gets pushed down and flares the shoulder.

  17. #17

    Default WSM resizing

    Quote Originally Posted by 450HUNTER View Post
    ripnlip
    At first I bought a set of RCBS Dies and I could never get them to size the brass right. The bolt was tight no matter how I adjusted the sizing die. I took the RCBS dies back(Sportsman Warehouse) and traded them for a set of Redding dies.

    I adjusted the Redding dies by the instructions and the bolt would close a little better but still not right for me. I then adjusted the sizing dies down a little more so I would get a little cam action from my press and they worked fine in both my Tikka and Ruger 300 WSMs. I guess this is a problem with the 300 WSM because it has happened to several people that I have talked to.
    I had this same problem. I was using a Lee press at the time and found that if I used the hand press and squeezed, rotated and squeezed again they would size OK. I thought is was flex in the press so I got a Forester Co-Ax. I heard good thing about those. Still had a little trouble and so I went to Redding dies. I think I am OK now. I am new to reloading so this was rather frustrating. I would sure like to here some of the more experienced chime in on this one. I would like to know what I was doing wrong.

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    I had this the other day with some 7x57mm loads in a Vz24. After looking at everything else, it turned out to be something simple. I was using a different bullet make (same weight) from my other loads which had all worked well with this particular COL. It turned out that the ogive on these new bullets was more blunt and the bullet was contacting the rifling when the bolt closed. Half a turn down on the seating die and no problem
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    The problem I was having was not a bullet problem. It was still happening with resized brass with no bullet installed and the bolt was still tight closing.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripnlip View Post
    I just got done with some reloads. Tried to chamber one for the heck of it and noticed the bolt closed pretty hard (did the same for the rest of the loads as well). I had noticed this at the range on some loads prior to this also. Never had the problem for years before this.

    I FL resized some brass on my rockchucker a long time ago and those (just the brass) close just fine. I am FL resizing with a Lee hand press now, but with the same dies as with the Chucker.

    I made a mark on my case and it shows that its wearing halfway up the shoulder. Should I have my die closer to the shell holder? It was already touching the shell holder.

    Sorry if this seems confusing, I am trying to include as much info as possible.

    What am I doin wrong?

    Thanks for the input,
    Jason
    I can't recall if anyone has suggested it yet, but have you tried smoking the case and bullet, then cycling it into and out of the chamber? That will tell you a whole lot about what's going on and help you zero in on a solution.

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