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Thread: Whelen fun

  1. #1

    Default Whelen fun

    I do not have very much experience in reloading.

    Finally made it to the range with the Whelen this weekend.
    I think I did OK but have a couple of things I don't understand.

    Started out with 52 gr of RL15 with a couple of inch group.
    going up in charge my groups seem to tighten up to about 1 inch at a fairly lively round as seen in the target.

    I noticed that the primers on all my brass were sticking up just a little. Is this normal?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P1010109.JPG   P1010113.jpg  

  2. #2

    Default the primer

    Here is a shot of a primer.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P1010114.jpg  

  3. #3
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by green sourdough View Post
    Here is a shot of a primer.
    sourdough; when you are prepping your cases, clean out that primer pocket. lee (and others) makes a steel tool that will clean large & small primer pockets. it just takes a second, and will improve the primer seating.

    when seating the primer, try to feel the "crush" as it seats just below the base. the primer should flatten slightly, and stand flat on your table w/o any wobble.

    with my whelens' i have found the best accuracy with aa2015 and 200gr barnes bullets. mine crono's about 2800fps w/o pressure issues.

    good luck.
    happy trails.
    jh

  4. #4

    Default primers..headspace?

    I use the Lee hand primer and seat the primer all the way. It is definitely below the case base prior to shooting.

    I am concerned that headspace is out of spec.

    Does that sound reasonable?

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by green sourdough View Post
    I use the Lee hand primer and seat the primer all the way. It is definitely below the case base prior to shooting.

    I am concerned that headspace is out of spec.

    Does that sound reasonable?
    Yes it does, bring out the CAUTION FLAG.

    This could be from low pressure as in reduced loads where the brass doesn't set back, but you I think have a stout load as it is listed correct?

    Next is this new or fully resized brass? And does factory ammo do the same?

  6. #6

    Default new brass

    The bras was new and I fully resized prior to using.
    In looking at some factory Remingtons I see that the primers are not sticking up after shooting.
    Maybe too hot of loads?

  7. #7
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Do you bump the shell holder with the FL die? If so it is possible to move the shoulder back and create a headspace issue in an otherwise normal chamber. I've used the 35 for years and the shoulder is more than sufficient for headpsacing, but it is quite possible to move the small shoulder enough to cause problems. If factory ammo works then the chamber should be in spec, but since you mentioned you FL sized the new brass it is easy to move it too much. Just a thought from my end.

    What weight bullet? I don't think 55 grains of RL 15 is too heavy for bullets 250 grains and under.

  8. #8
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    This could be excessive head space but may just be a light load. What bullet are you shooting? If this load a start load or near to it?

    When were your dies, shell holder and rifle made? Are the shell holder and die from the same manufacturer? The 35 whelen is a rather common and simple wildcat, but prior to 1988 there was no official standard so many variations are posible.

    If your rifle does have excess head space it maybe able to be safely used by not full length sizing your brass.

  9. #9

    Default

    I use shims to keep my FL die's from pushing back the shoulder in my fired cases. I use .030" and always check to see if my cases still chamber before proceding on. So far I have never had to set the shoulder back on any of my cases (35rem, 358win, 35whelen) and the 35rem is in a 336 lever action.

  10. #10

    Default shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by tjen View Post
    I use shims to keep my FL die's from pushing back the shoulder in my fired cases. I use .030" and always check to see if my cases still chamber before proceding on. So far I have never had to set the shoulder back on any of my cases (35rem, 358win, 35whelen) and the 35rem is in a 336 lever action.

    That was exactly what I was thinking.
    These chamber fine without any resizing.
    I have never neck sized before but was thinking about trying with the these. I only have full length dies so I am hoping to use those. I have never heard of using shims to keep from pushing the shoulder back. That sounds like a pretty good (repeatable) process. I have only heard of folks backing the die off a bit.

  11. #11

    Default dies, brass & bullets

    Quote Originally Posted by bandhmo View Post
    This could be excessive head space but may just be a light load. What bullet are you shooting? If this load a start load or near to it?

    When were your dies, shell holder and rifle made? Are the shell holder and die from the same manufacturer? The 35 whelen is a rather common and simple wildcat, but prior to 1988 there was no official standard so many variations are posible.

    If your rifle does have excess head space it maybe able to be safely used by not full length sizing your brass.
    My dies are new RCBS, the bullets are 250g. Speer Hot Cores in new Remington brass. The rifle is a Mauser action (VZ 24?) with a custom barrel (Shilen #4 contour). ID question here:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ghlight=mauser

  12. #12
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    Default

    Protruding primers, after firing is often due to a light load.

    The hammer blow knocks the case too far forward, and on firing, when the sides of the case stick to the sides of the chamber, the case head doesn't come back against the bolt and flatten the primer like it is expected to.

    HOWEVER.
    Murphy once weighed in on a similar indication, with a 35 Whelen, and IIRC, he felt it COULD be due to the TINY shoulder on the 35 Whelen case.

    The answer may be minimal sizing of the case, as far as head to shoulder length. ????

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  13. #13

    Default Thanks for replies

    Really appreciate all you folks taken the time to weigh in on my questions.
    Not having much experience keeps me guessing.

    I am thinking that 55 gr of RL 15 was a pretty stout round.
    I measured the brass just above the rim (base) where I am told it will experience the most expansion. It was definitely larger than the rim but not a whole lot. I don't have micrometers so the exact amount is still up in the air.

    I may try the minimum bump on the shoulder technique to see if that helps.

    The stock Remington 250g rounds felt rather light. The 55g of RL 15 felt a bit more skookum. I did feel it the next day. Wouldn't have it any other way.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by green sourdough View Post
    That was exactly what I was thinking.
    These chamber fine without any resizing.
    I have never neck sized before but was thinking about trying with the these. I only have full length dies so I am hoping to use those. I have never heard of using shims to keep from pushing the shoulder back. That sounds like a pretty good (repeatable) process. I have only heard of folks backing the die off a bit.
    Sinclair has a set that fits under the locking ring. I just found smaller ones that I put on the shell holder when I first set up the FL die. With the ramp up and shims in place I screw dow the the die to get it squared and set the locking ring. I had two .015" shims so I started there and it worked.

  15. #15
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    I just checked my log and I load more than 55 grains RL 15 with the 250 Speer. It could be a heavy load for your rifle, but I think you would have other signs of pressure. You can use shims, but simply backing the die off half a turn would probably work just fine. You could always run to a hardware store and buy a couple 7/8 flat washers for spacers.

  16. #16

    Default

    I am using the Forester (Bonanza in another life) single stage press.
    This has kind of a unique type of die retaining arrangement that just has a slot that the die lock ring (and die) slides into from the front. One of the advantages this arrangement is supposed to have is the die 'floats' allowing better alignment with the shell. The shell holder that they have also allows the case to float somewhat. These are supposed to end up creating loaded cartridges with less runout. I don't have a gauge for this so I have not checked them but when I roll them on a table they seem straight. Not sure I could use a shim with this arraignment. Forester does make an adapter for standard shell holders (RCBS I think) that probably would work with a shim. Not sure I want to go there though.
    All in all I really like the press. Instant dies changes makes life a little easier.
    I do have a little Lee O ring model that might work though.

  17. #17

    Default more fun?

    Update on my Whelen fun.
    Picked up a no-go gauge and the action locks fine on it!
    Got me a little worried as I have grown to like the cartridge.
    Maybe I should have bought a field gauge for the final measurement?

    Being a somewhat beginner in the reloading world I have typically resized my cartridges all the way. Not just a bump.
    I thought I might try to bumping them just a little to see what happens.
    After all this I am seriously considering sending this to a smith and have a trained take a look. Don't know of one on Kodiak, but could bring it to Anchorage if I can get a good smith to take a gander.

    Got in on a group buy of the 358009 mold just for this rifle. 1 in 12 twist barrel would work fine for the 280g CB I think.

    I haven't found any symathetic ears down here so any advice would be welcome.

  18. #18

    Default

    Have you talked to Eric at Macks? He knows his way around the reloading bench.

    I'm guessing your RL15 load was too mild and your primer setback occurred as a result. But if it was still doing it with the hotter loads and your go-nogo says the headspace is alright, it's almost a sure sign that your initial sizing and firing set the shoulder back and has kept it there. I'm not sure a smith could do more than run a go-nogo into it like you've already done. They might do a chamber cast and mike that, but I don't think they'd learn much there, either.

    I'd be most inclined to start with some new brass, run it into the sizing die only far enough to size about the front half of the neck, then fire a load somewhere around the middle of the load range in your manuals. If the primer doesn't set back then, I think you're back in business except for re-adjusting your sizing die.

    For that, I'd back it out of the press about 2 full turns and run a case into it. Degrease the case and try to chamber it in your rifle. If the bolt closes easily, fine, lock the die into place. If it won't close, move the sizing die down a half turn and repeat the process.

    When you get to the point that the case goes easily into the rifle, size and load the rest of them and go shoot. There's a chance that after that firing the sizing die might have to be moved downwards once again in subsequent loadings, but not much. Monitor case length carefully, and trim as often as needed to keep it in spec. Over time and half a dozen firings you may find that the cases are getting too tight again. That's the time to readjust the sizing die down one last time, but probably more like 1/4 turn rather than a half.

    My experiences with the Whelen sezz it has such a small shoulder, it's pretty easy to size them too far. Even though the rifle doesn't have excess headsapce, the shoulder on the brass gets set back just far enough to create it's own headspace.

    This may all sound pretty fiddly, but once you get that die adjusted just right, there will be no more hassles and you can use your Whelen with confidence.

    I suspect Eric is going to recommend the same thing, but it might be more comfortable getting the info face-to-face rather than over the internet. It also helps to have an extra set of eyes and hands peer at your cases.

  19. #19

    Default try again

    Thanks for the tips.
    Was hoping to here that there may be hope for the '98 yet.
    I was shooting around an inch with the 250g Hot cores and thought that was pretty good. I am really liking the cartridge.

    Because the bolt closed fine with the no-go gauge I thought there might be excessive headspace. I will definitely try adjusting the sizing like you suggest.

    Thanks again

  20. #20
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    Default Too much potential headspace

    [QUOTE=green sourdough;663947]Thanks for the tips.
    Was hoping to here that there may be hope for the '98 yet.
    I was shooting around an inch with the 250g Hot cores and thought that was pretty good. I am really liking the cartridge.

    Because the bolt closed fine with the no-go gauge I thought there might be excessive headspace. I will definitely try adjusting the sizing like you suggest.

    Thanks again[/tentialQUOTE]

    Unless I missed something here a bolt closing on a NO-go gage is a potential sign of excessive head space. A bolt that closed on a no-gage would indicate a chamber that was cut too deep for good accuracy & is a problem from the get go. Your cases fired in a large chamber will not be usable in another small or normal chamber without full length sizing. Only a problem for you if you have more than 1 rifle in 35 Whelen. Not likely someone else could use your reloads in their 35 Whelen unless they also have a large chamber. You should check your chamber with a Field gage to check to see if you have a problem or not. New cases should only require neck sizing to correct any denting of the neck from the factory unless you have a very tight chamber which it doesn't sound like you have. Chamber your new cases. If the bolt closes with no problem all you need to do is expand the neck so you can insert the bullet correctly. When you fire the new round the case will size to your chamber correctly (assuming your chamber is not screwed in some way other than big).

    1. GO: Corresponds to the minimum chamber dimensions. If a rifle closes on a GO gage, the chamber will accept ammunition that is made to SAAMI’s maximum specifications. The GO gage is essential for checking a newly-reamed chamber in order to ensure a tight, accurate and safe chamber that will accept SAAMI maximum ammo. Although the GO gage is necessary for a gunsmith or armorer, it h no problems check the neck to busually has fewer applications for the collector or surplus firearms purchaser.
    2. NO-GO: Corresponds to the maximum headspace recommended for gunsmiths chambering new firearms. This is NOT a SAAMI-maximum measurement. If a rifle closes on a NO-GO gage, it may still be within SAAMI specifications or it may have excessive headspace. To determine if there is excessive headspace, the chamber should then be checked with a FIELD gage. The NO-GO gage is essential for checking a newly-reamed chamber in order to ensure a tight and accurate chamber.
    3. FIELD: Corresponds to the longest safe headspace. If a rifle closes on a FIELD gage, its chamber is dangerously close to, or longer than, SAAMI’s specified maximum chamber size. If chamber headspace is excessive, the gun should be taken out of service until it has been inspected and repaired by a competent gunsmith. FIELD gages are slightly shorter than the SAAMI maximum in order to give a small safety margin.

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