Couple of newbie reloading Qs (trying to avoid rookie mistakes)

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JTank70
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Re: Couple of newbie reloading Qs (trying to avoid rookie mistakes)

Post by JTank70 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:33 pm

dellet wrote:
smustian wrote:
JTank70 wrote:I am also new to the 300BLK and reloading.
Thanks for asking the questions. I have also learned from the answers given.

I just wanted to drop a note about your brass that will not fit in the Sheridan gauge.

I also recently purchased some processed brass, from a popular supplier as well.
About 80 of my 300 would not go all the way into the Sheridan gauge.
I checked them with my caliper and most were also much longer than the rest.
The good ones were around 1.358 or so and the no fits were 1.367 to 1.372.....

I trimmed them down, re-sized them and then all was good. I had four that just would not go even after re-sizing.
At first I was not impressed because it was supposed to be "ready to load" brass.
But, I got over it and considered it experience for a new reloader.......
After all, I made 50 of my own from .223 brass with a dremel and manual trimer. Re-doing the 80 cases was way easier than that.


Good luck with your new reloading activities.

JT
Good point on checking the length. With a slotted Sheridan gauge you would be able to see the problem immediately and know what needed to be fixed.
When the brass sits high in the gauge, it's rarely due to over all length. The free bore section is very long and will accept a very long neck. Without a bullet seated, it will accept a length of almost 1.390, as long as the shoulder is correct.

Most likely the the above problem was corrected by re-sizing and not trimming. As a matter of practice, Size first, then trim since the length changes when sizing.

Yes, That is exactly correct, and I should have been more clear.

The cases being too long did not cause them to not fit, or "bottom out" in the Sheridan. They would get stuck before that could have happened even if they were long enough to do so. I was pointing out that, coincidentally, most of the cases that did not fit in the gauge were also much longer than the ones that happened to fit in the gauge correctly.

Sorry for the confusion.

JT

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voip-1
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Re: Couple of newbie reloading Qs (trying to avoid rookie mistakes)

Post by voip-1 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:42 am

So I backed off O.A.L. to 2.025 and after re-seating the bullets into the cases having trouble fitting in the slot gauges, every one of them fits no problem!

:lol: :lol:

Quite a difference in how the cartridges look with the shorter OAL, I'll try to post a picture.

When researching "how far should I seat a bullet" I saw numerous posts by reloading veterans insisting that it is preferable to load the cartridge as close to SAAMI maximums as possible, clearly that is not always the case as was not working out very well with the 110 Nosler bullets.

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Re: Couple of newbie reloading Qs (trying to avoid rookie mistakes)

Post by rjacobs » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:08 am

voip-1 wrote:When researching "how far should I seat a bullet" I saw numerous posts by reloading veterans insisting that it is preferable to load the cartridge as close to SAAMI maximums as possible, clearly that is not always the case as was not working out very well with the 110 Nosler bullets.
Seating depth in 300BLK is completely ass backwards from every other cartridge. Probably not a 100% accurate statement as I am not a cartridge expert on the hundreds of different rifle cartridge so I am sure there are other rifle cartridges where seating depth is weird.

Traditionally you are trying to get into the lands(or damn close) to minimize jump and theoretically increase accuracy. Bullets can wobble as they jump and thus not go down the bore truly straight. Some bullets even like to be jammed into the lands(this is SAFE in some setups and done with knowing 100% exactly what you are doing). Some bullets like more of a jump and are VERY jump tolerant. SMK's and the non VLD Bergers are typically very jump tolerant in something like a .308, in fact the Bergers(like the 185 Juggernaut for example) LIKE a jump and shoot better this way. So loading for something like a factory .308 Rem 700 guys typically use a jump tolerant bullet because its almost impossible to get into the lands and still feed from a box mag or the internal mag(I think on my Rem 700 308 AAC-SD I would have to load to something like 2.950 to get into the lands, where as 2.820 is about as long as I can reliably feed from AICS mags, so I need a jump tolerant bullet).

In 300BLK we are using bullets that arent designed for 300blk, they are designed for .308. There are only a handful of 300BLK spec bullets right now(designed to seat at 2.260 or very close) like the 110g Barnes black tips or the 125g SMK. In a 300BLK bolt, you are only limited by having enough bullet in the case to keep it from falling out, a lot of people say this is at a minimum .308 of the bullet in the case. In an AR you are limited by 2 things: mag length obviously and getting the .250 measurement portion of the OGIVE lined up with the rib in the mag. The second "limitation" is more a feeding thing than anything. This causes us to be loading bullets WAY deeper than the 2.260 SAAMI spec. Something like an ultra long 208g AMAX could be loaded to 2.260 and be completely safe, but you will have feeding issues(the bullet will most likely impact the barrel extension between the feed ramps) so its seated to something like 2.120 to aid in feeding, then we throw a powder charge to correspond with this increased seating depth. If I was loading 208g AMAX strictly for a bolt I would load that sucker LONG LONG LONG to get into the lands and increase accuracy. So with 300BLK you will see recommended seating depths that are SHORT from 2.260 usually for feeding from AR mags.

Once you get deeper into reloading and understand seating depth in relation to pressure and feeding and what not, you can start to tweak. Until then I wouldnt deviate from either published book values or if you see 50 guys loading a 208g AMAX(just using an example) to 2.120 instead of 2.260, you can bet that thats "a clue" on where you should be. Another example would be the 150g FMJ pulls which are typically seated to 2.150 which is obviously short of the 2.260 mag limit. SOME reloading guides simply state all 300BLK was tested at 2.260, which sucks because most of the bullets they are talking about will NEVER feed from an AR mag loaded to 2.260 so you end up "on your own" as far as powder charge and seating depth, which is why this forum is such a GREAT resource for this information. I would bet most .308 bullets have been tested by somebody on this forum so data SHOULD be available for most .308 bullets. If you dont find info on a .308 bullet and powder charge on here, it might be "a clue" that it wont work well for 300BLK OR you are venturing into new territory and tread lightly, especially if you are new and dont understand all the little intricacies of load development.

Sorry for just writing a novel.
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dellet
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Re: Couple of newbie reloading Qs (trying to avoid rookie mistakes)

Post by dellet » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:19 am

Glad out worked that out. Now the fun, take all your hard work and blow it up. :lol:

rjacobs did a good job explaining the unexplainable. Robert has said many times that the first priority in design was to make the cartridge feed reliable in the AR platform. When you consider the variety of bullet length, weights and velocity that will feed and shoot, with better than average results, it's more amazing when it works than when it won't.

Since you seem to enjoy gathering knowledge and with rjacobs reminder of how much valuable info is available on this forum, I would suggest you go to the start of the Handloading and Main discussion threads and start plowing through it. When I became interested in the cartridge, I spent tons of time there and found that my 300BLK experience has been almost trouble free. There were plenty of threads of some pretty smart folks scratching their collective heads over the same questions.

The next bullet you choose to work with should be no problem :P
300 Blackout, not just for sub-sonics.

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Re: Couple of newbie reloading Qs (trying to avoid rookie mistakes)

Post by voip-1 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:36 pm

Thanks again to everyone for all of the great information and advice.

I did get a chance to go out to the range this weekend and burn the 80 or so rounds I had hand loaded. All rounds went bang with no problems or malfunctions! :lol: :lol:

I observe that at the limited 50 yards I was shooting at (forgot my binoculars and spotting scope) I was getting 1 MOA or smaller groups with my 17.5 and 18.0 H110 powder charges but I got 2-3 MOA with the 18.5s. I don't think my 9" AAC upper likes the Nosler 110 with that particular powder charge.

Next step will be to borrow a chronograph & bring the appropriate spotting tools and load up about 50+ of each of those two powder charges and do more testing at 100 meters.

As an aside I was using a Holosun HS403G (the new one with side mounted battery) on top of a Larue aimpoint mount and you'd have a hard time telling it apart from the aimpoint at about 1/3 of the price.

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