Case Capacity

JJWise

Four Pointer
Thread starter #1
I absolutely cannot figure out how to make my bullets fit in my 30-06 case. The manual I have states that for 180gr bullets in a 30-06 there should be 54.0-56.2gr of my powder (IMR4350). However, anything above the absolute minimum powder charge won't allow my bullets (Hornady 180gr SSTs) to seat deep enough to allow them to be crimped, making them loose inside the case. I'd thought I could adjust the bullet seater to make them seat deeper but that wasn't the case, and I thought maybe tapping the bullets lightly on the table would settle the powder enough to make them fit. Still no luck. Has anyone come across this before, and how did you fix it?
 

bigten

Twelve Pointer
#2
Does your manual call for this to be a compressed load? I'm not sure that that amount would fill the case enough to cause issues. Do you not have enough neck tension to hold the bullet firmly? I may not be following your question completely...elaborate a little more so I can try to understand more completely what you have going on.
 

JJWise

Four Pointer
Thread starter #3
Thanks for the help, it doesn't say that it's a compressed load. There's about 1.5mm between the top of the case and the edge of the cannelure. I'm having trouble uploading pictures on here. As far as I can tell the only thing stopping the bullet from seating further is the powder. If I try to crimp it in place as is, the crimp doesn't seem to do anything and the bullet is still free to come out of the case.
 

JJWise

Four Pointer
Thread starter #5
I've tried it with a few different ones. I usually use Remington brass, and occasionally I can get them to work but most will not. Hornady and Winchester both will not take it at all. Maybe I'm wrong and it's not sitting on the powder, maybe it's an entirely different issue? I have Varget that I use for my 308, I'm sure it would cure the capacity issue, but I almost worry it would leave too much space in the case (manual says 44-46.6gr). I could also switch to 165gr rounds, though I'd prefer to stick with 180 since that is what the gun has shot best from every manufacturer.
 
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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
#7
Hodgdon (owner of IMR powders now) lists IMR 4350 (in 3006 w/180g Sierra SPBT) as a max and compressed load as follows:

56.5C

2,752

57,200 PSI

With the right cases prepped correctly it'll likely need both high neck tension and case mouth crimped into the cannelure of the bullet. I've used such stick powders before, proper loads often call for compression of the powder with the bullet to a significant amount. In so doing, fine loads can be worked up but the loading process itself often becomes more complicated, things like neck tension and need for a crimp become necessary when with other loads of uncompressed powder such extra steps were not necessary.

If slowy trickling powder into the case through about a 12" to 24" long drop tube doesn't allow seating and crimping without the bullet pushing back out past normal neck tension + a suitable crimp, you'll have to look at a changing number of variables including but not limited to your powder and load choice, loading dies, procedures, etc.

Also, some folks fear compressed loads and won't use them even when recommended by powder manufacturers. If this is you, select another powder type to load with.
 
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bigten

Twelve Pointer
#8
JJ, Sharps pretty much answered your question. Only thing I can add right now is that you can't always seat to the cannelure. Check your COAL to see if you can or if it will be too short. I've had many that just could not be seated that deep and stay in specs. Also, if your load is compressed, you will be wise to crimp in a separate step instead of crimping with the seating die. (Lee dies)
 

bryguy

Twelve Pointer
#9
If your bullets are falling out you have an issue with die setup. How did you set your dies up when you first got them?


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bryguy

Twelve Pointer
#10
You need to loosen your lock ring on your die. Run the ram arm of your press up and screw your die down till it contacts the shell holder on the ram arm. Lower the ram arm and turn the die down another 1/2 to quarter of a turn. Lock the die adjustment ring and check the stroke of the press. There should be a noticeable 'bump' when the press cams over. Resize a case and check the bullet fit. The bullet should not slide in the case easily. If it does, you have a die issue. You are not properly resizing the neck on the cases and that is why the bullets will come out easily. Also when you seat bullets it should require some force to get the bullet in the case. Make sure you are properly inside and outside chamfering the case after resizing.


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bryguy

Twelve Pointer
#11
Honestly with proper neck tension there is no need for a crimp in a modern centerfire rifle


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#12
Try seating the bullet by hand in a resized case, you should not be able to push the bullet in by hand. If you can you have a die adjustment problem or a bad die.
 

JJWise

Four Pointer
Thread starter #13
Thanks for all the help guys. It's kinda inconsistent, sometimes the bullet will fall right inside the case after resizing, sometimes it only sits on top like it's supposed to. I'm gonna try reloading some with 165gr bullets and try to find a load that'll shoot them well, and I'm going to reload some with Varget, because it requires less powder than 4350. Both of those should solve any issue with capacity, it'll just depend on what shoots best.
 
#15
Thanks for all the help guys. It's kinda inconsistent, sometimes the bullet will fall right inside the case after resizing, sometimes it only sits on top like it's supposed to.
A bullet should never "just fall right in" If it does you have a sizing issue or the wrong diameter bullets! Shooting lighter bullets so you can crimp is just covering up the issue! Even if you can get them to stay in place your performance will suffer! You need consistent neck tension to have any chance of
accuracy from shot to shot.

Jeff
 
#16
My 9th edition of Hornady's manual states that 54.5 grains is the max load for IMR 4350 with the 180 SST in 30-06. Check your resizing die and see if it is adjusted properly. If not, it will not provide enough neck tension to hold the bullet. Then do the same with your seating die to see if it is adjusted correctly. I'm getting very good accuracy with 50 grains of 4350 with 185 Bergers. No sense in going to a max load unless you know what you are doing and know the warning signs. My COAL is 3.34. What is your load?

Follow the directions that came with your dies or there are youtube videos that you can watch that will explain the proper set up for your particular brand set of dies. It's got to be a die problem. :confused:
 
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Buxndiverdux

Old Mossy Horns
#17
You need to loosen your lock ring on your die. Run the ram arm of your press up and screw your die down till it contacts the shell holder on the ram arm. Lower the ram arm and turn the die down another 1/2 to quarter of a turn. Lock the die adjustment ring and check the stroke of the press. There should be a noticeable 'bump' when the press cams over. Resize a case and check the bullet fit. The bullet should not slide in the case easily. If it does, you have a die issue. You are not properly resizing the neck on the cases and that is why the bullets will come out easily. Also when you seat bullets it should require some force to get the bullet in the case. Make sure you are properly inside and outside chamfering the case after resizing.


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This...^^^^^ You shouldn't have to crimp anything unless you just like to do it. And the cannelure cannot always be used with some powders.
 

MJ74

Old Mossy Horns
#18
Honestly with proper neck tension there is no need for a crimp in a modern centerfire rifle


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Thats exactly right...

I would have to look it up but I want to say I use 52grs of powder with my reloads and the case is not even close to being full.
But thats with a 150gr bullet too.

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shadycove

Twelve Pointer
#19
Thanks for all the help guys. It's kinda inconsistent, sometimes the bullet will fall right inside the case after resizing, sometimes it only sits on top like it's supposed to. I'm gonna try reloading some with 165gr bullets and try to find a load that'll shoot them well, and I'm going to reload some with Varget, because it requires less powder than 4350. Both of those should solve any issue with capacity, it'll just depend on what shoots best.
Stop right here and re-read at least 2 reloading manuals procedures carefully, very carefully and then find a mentor who has been reloading for a while.
You are on the cusp of a reloading accident [lots of folks only got one of these]. Also your load is at or above max in some manuals so be very very careful and work up to ANY max load or pay a huge price.
 
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woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
#20
Stop right here and re-read at least 2 reloading manuals procedures carefully, very carefully and then find a mentor who has been reloading for a while.
You are on the cusp of a reloading accident [lots of folks only got one of these]. Also your load is at or above max in some manuals so be very very careful and work up to ANY max load or pay a huge price.
x44,,,,,,,,,
 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
#22
I've often found that standard and average deviations over the chrono are much smaller with rifle ammo that is crimped. Especially straight wall cases like 3855 and 4570 but also relatively often with 223, 243 and 3006.