Found some new to me problems: Lyman headspace/case length gauge.

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by hombre243, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Lyman headspace/case length gauge...

    I got one for the 223 and one for the 308. I will be getting one for the 3030. They are very handy but...

    First, resize your brass. Then slide a case into the case gauge; if you have the gauge sitting on a table and you see the case base sticking up out of the gauge, first check the cartridge length. It MAY be too long. But if the case is not too long, check the base diameter across the primer pocket. Check it in a couple directions around the edge.

    I had 3 bad cases that the gauge said were out of proper headspace measurement. Not so. Before I trimmed a case I tried it in my rifle. It chambered great. But, I got the file out and ran the little bast...file around the rim a few times, until the case settled nicely into the gauge, proving the headspace was not off spec, but the case head rim was too big to fit into the gauge.

    I checked headstamps and out of 3 2 were WCC and one was LC. Then I had another problem which I remedied post haste.

    I used Lee water based resize lube on some once fired 223 cases. I did about 15 cases and then the SHTF. I tore two bases off the cases because the lube dried a little too much before I got to the cases. It took a bit of pounding and some prying but I finally got the case out of the die, and then the pin out of the case. Then I reassembled the die, ran the next case through the lee lubed rubber pad and the case did the same thing. Lost 2 like new cases to crappy lube. The 2 tubes I got last year and am finally getting around to trying now reside in the trash can next to all the large rifle primer debris. The 2 brass cases were given honorable disposal in with the lead slag and other tossed away cases.

    I do not know if they will ever make it to the scrap yard but they are now out of my hair.

    I cleaned off the pad with goop and rinsed it good with hot water. It dries fast being non porous. I applied some RCBS goose grease on to the pad and did a few more 223s w/o any problems. Now it is time for a lot of coffee, Netflix and wait for the mail delivery person, henceforth to be called "mailman" because I am not PC and am proud of it, who will at her earliest convenience, not mine shower with me...I mean shower me with hundreds of 223 and 308 cases, and if the UPS guy makes it through the cold and snowless wilderness of eastern Iowa, a few hundred more once fired 3030 cases. I don't know what I will do with all of them. I am almost out of primers. ​
     
  2. msharley

    msharley Well-Known Member

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    Hey Hombre,

    If you are going to be shooting a lot of those, highly recommend the CH4D TiN Coated SMALL BASE Sizing Die.

    Have shot quite a bit of '06 (over 25,000 rds) in the M-1's for Service Rifle.

    The CH4D TiN Coated Small Base Sizing Die really saves the elbow. (Station #1 Dillon 550B)

    I spray the brass (in a "kitty litter" pan) with either the Dillon Lube or H'Day One Shot. Then put a dab of Imperial Sizing Wax on my index finger. Give the case a "twirl" when putting in the shell plate (Dillon 550B w/ Power Trimmer on Station #3).

    About every 5th or 6th case, another "dab" of the Imperial Sizing Wax.

    The way CH4D makes their dies, if one would "stick" a case.......simply wind the expander ball "down" whilst "lowering the ram". No need for a stuck case tool!

    (I have my Power Trimmer to be .008" BELOW MINIMUM! (ensures reliable function in the M-1's)

    Hope this helps.

    Later, Mark
     

  3. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mark. I like the RCBS lube on a pad. It is sticky but it does not stick cases in the die. I did look at some small base dies but don't see a need. The dies don't trim the flat base so use of a small base die does not help. But if per chance I do stick another one I will think about a small base die.
     
  4. msharley

    msharley Well-Known Member

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    Hey Hombre,

    The "small base" dies are to promote "function" in gas operated rifles. They are just a "tad" smaller than the "regular" sizing dies.

    The TiN Coated Dies, are much less "friction".

    Imperial Sizing Wax is the "bomb". A "dab" will "do you"! LOL

    At one point in time, two of my sons and I, shot "Service Rifle". Between us, we "wore out" FIVE M-1 barrels.:D

    The CH4D TiN Coated Sizing Die "saved my elbow" (much less effort than a steel die)

    Later, Mark
     
  5. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mark. I don't have an AR, but I did read that small base dies help sometimes in a lever gun. Sounds like it might be a good idea due to the lever gun's lack of leverage.
     
  6. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    One more thing I found out tonight when i was measuring cases: No matter what type measuring device...caliper, mic, digital caliper...whatever, you will likely never get a duplicate read measuring military cases trimmed in the same manner with an automatic stop, no matter how good the cutter set up is. Why? Look at the flat of the base. If it is a plain old crimp you will get an accurate read most of the time. But if you have a 4 point staked crimp, that little dent is burred and when you press out the primer the burr is tall enough to feel. If your caliper sits on a burr you will get one measurement. If the caliper crosses and sits on 2 burrs...the reading will/ may be even higher. The burrs will throw off your case length a few thousandths of an inch. Not that it would make a lot of difference in performance, but the difference in measurements are frustrating if you don't know why your calipers are off every other case.

    I was glad my car won't start. I was ready for a fresh jug of Pinot.
     
  7. msharley

    msharley Well-Known Member

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    Hey Hombre,

    One needs to deal with the crimp in the primer pocket.

    One can either "cut" the crimp out, or swage it......http://www.ch4d.com/products/equipment/priming-tools/psk

    We would buy surplus '06 brass by the 5 gallon bucket. (only get 5 firings in a M-1)

    Would discard any that the primer pocket was already "done".......no way of telling how many times it had been fired, if the "crimp" was gone.

    Later, Mark
     
  8. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    True. I swaged the crimps out but that did not eliminate the burrs from pulling the primer out against the crimp. The burr doesn't affect insertion of the new primer, but it does change by a couple thou the actual case length. I imagine the burrs will be pressed out as soon as the cartridge is fired the next time, but run your finger over the burr and you will get snagged and maybe cut. I am thinking maybe using a smallish round abrasive bit to grind it off. It would just take a couple spins to get rid of them.

    I am thinking I may use the Lee deburring tool first to see if it will remove that burr. Have you ever noticed these? They do not appear on the regular crimp that goes around the primer. But they do show up where you have the staked in primers, like on 4 corners of the primer.

    ***I pulled those cases that had the little burrs sticking out from the stakes in the primer hole and used a round ball abrasive of about 3/8" diameter to take off the burrs. No motor needed. Just a couple twists against the rough little stickups and they broke off or were ground down. Now the cases measure properly.

    I am going to see if I can figure out how to shoot some macro photos on my digital camera. It may be a fun project.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  9. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    So the rim is larger?
     
  10. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the rim won't fit inside the hole in the gauge. I filed down a couple of them and they slid right in. And that meant that I didn't have to toss the case due to bad headspacing. I threw away 5 once fired brass and when I figured it out i went back and retrieved them. Good as new.

    I didn't know that many once fired military brass (308 especially) was machine gun fodder and those guns had oversize chambers. Loose is the word...and the excessive play from the shoulder of the shell to the face of the bolt can cause a lot of stretch. Then added to it, the heat from sustained fire could have softened the base??? and the recoil could have flattened it a bit, or caused it to go out of round...which has been mentioned also.

    All new news to me.