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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Notice I said returned :( When it came I opened the box and saw that it was in fact the same barrel that I sent out. There was no letter or any explanation of what they found or did or anything. I called on Wednesday to find out what they found. After being told several times that "It should say on the packing slip" Which it didn't and I told them that several times they finally (after being on hold for approx 5 min.) told me that they had test fired it and found it "to be within SAAMI Spec."
I think the barrel is getting packaged up and returned to them for a refund. What do you think? Sean
 

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As I said before the barrel is quite likely within specs. Why not just partial size some of the fired brass and see what kind of accuracy it's capable of. If it shoots OK just follow the appropraite reloading technique to avoid case head seperations and have fun. If the accuracy is not up to par then I would send it back with the proper complaint. Good luck from the gunnut69
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
KN, in a post titled "Chamber and Brass Question" I detail what I felt were problems with the chamber. Do a search and you can read all about it.

GunNut, yeah after I posted this I got to thinking about doing that. I put the base and scope back on this morning. If I get some decent weather this weekend I will likely take it out and see if it will shoot. I also thought about trying to form some brass from .300 or .338 with the shoulder hard against the chamber shoulder to keep the brass from trying to seperate. I have never done this but I have read articles from Ken Waters and others about doing that with wildcats and such. Sean
 

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Sean;
Check the brass from the once fired factory ammo to see if an insipient seperation has already occurred. This brass like most of the belted cases is made a bit 'generous'. But brass will stretch a long way before failing. If no crack or depression is found inside the case just above the belt then the brass, sized properly, will live for many reloadings. I didn't check the chamber drawings but all the short mags are very similar. I'm not sure a 338 would help. You would probably have to go to a longer case, 300 Weatherby, 300 H&H, etc. to get a case that could be formed to a case that would be ideal for your individual chamber. Unless the stretching is gross I believe this would be overreacting. This is a known problem in all the belted magnum cases and has been lived with by others for many years. It does reduce case life some but most of us should most likely get new cases more often anyway.. although I have some 222 Rem brass from the 70's that's been reloaded more times than I will admit to. You are really dealing with 2 sets of tollerances here- the rifles and the cases. If the cases are safe (check for the ring on the inside) just reload and enjoy, discarding when the necks crack... I have a 300 Win and a 7mm Rmg mag that have the same problem. I have cracks forming in these cases after only 6-8 reloadings.. Although measurements indicate extreme stretch when firing factory ammo.. good handloading has made case life acceptable.
 

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Sean,
It has been a while since I read your post but I think I have a similar problem. I bought a Fox Ridge Barrel in 6mm PPC for my TCR 87.
I started with Sako brass and on the third loading, experienced a case head seperation. Being sort of new to reloading I asked around and also found out by using a Stoney Point head space guage I was setting the shoulder too far back. So I scrapped the brass.
I then bought Norma brass and a neck sizing die. I set the bullets touching the lands when I formed the cases to my chamber. I paid attention to detail and this brass formed a ring and started to get a hairline crack just ahead of the web on the third firing.
I sent the barrel back to Fox Ridge for inspection and they called me and I discussed the problem to the TCR tech and he said the chamber was in spec. and if anything a few thousandths short. I'm now puzzled.
I just bought Lapua brass in .220 Russian and sized the brass. As soon as I find the time, I have to trim the necks. (too tight for chamber) I will then fire form these and see how many loadings I can get with this brass.
My thoughts are I should get more than three shots per case, especially neck sizing the case. I will find out. I shoot near max loads but not exceeding the max in my conservative Nosler manual. Acuracy is good. I have not made a cast of the chamber nor used a go -no go guage. I feel like I should be able to trust Fox Ridge. I'm open to any ideas comments or suggestions.
Stan
 

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I am puzzled by the PPC. This case doesn't have a belt and case dimensions are fairly explicit. The problem with belted cases is the case is designed to headspace off the belt. Thus the only dimension that matters is the one from the front of the belt to the head of the case. The normal case as is the PPC headspaces on the shoulder i.e. the dimension that matters is from the casehead to the 'datum line' on the shoulder. The usual way case seperations form is from over sizing the brass. Pushing the shoulder back so far that when the round is fired the case is stretched in order for the chamber to be completely filled. How do you set the sizer die for your PPC? The cases should be sized to just allow the action to close, not necessarily with the die touching the shell holder. The same with the belted mags. The case is inserted into the sizer (die is screwed down further and the case sized again) until the action will just close. This allows the action to function normally and the case now will headspace on the shoulder. Thus when it's fired the case will not be forced to stretch to fill the chamber and case head seperation will be minimized.

OOPs Sean- almost forgot to ask-- hows the accuracy on the barrel?? Get to check it out yet??
 

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Thanks for the reply... Please keep us informed. My experience with the belted rounds indicate that with proper handloading they can be every bit as accurate as other rounds... Good luck with the 350..
 

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Hey Gunnut,
I might have set the neck sizer die touching the shell holder.(not sure) I do know I did measure the cases with a Stoney Point headspace guage and I was not moving the shoulder of the case. I plan on sizing about half the neck this time with the Lapua brass.
I have .270 Win barrel for the TCR and several Contender barrels and a bolt rifle I load for and have never experienced headspace problems. I admitt I set the shoulder back too far the first time I loaded the PPC with full length die. I think this occured from using two different presses. I learned my lesson on headspace the hard way. I think I did everything right the second time around so then I had to look at the barrel.
I understand the difference in headspace between belted and the ppc but found it ironic that Sean was having problems with a Fox Ridge Barrel.
I appreciate the reply,
Stan
 

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Sean- I have no direct knowledge of FoxRidge but I know what a headspace guage for a belted case looks like and they're all the exact same!! They problem with casehead seperations in nearly all situations is improper handloading technique.. Don't set back the shoulder,, In the PPC I don't really understand the problem. All chambers and die set have tollerances. That is a range of sizes between which the chamber or die is said to be within tolerance. It may be possible to have problems if the die set is at the extreme of it's tolerance and the chamber is at the other extreme of it's tolerance. Rare but possible. As to if the maker was at fault I really haven't a clue.. and no one can be certain without measuring.. Also I have never used the Stoneypoint headspace guages. How do they work? Also the idea is to adjust the sizer die on the 350 to use the shoulder to headspace on. This is limit case stretching and head seperations. Good luck and keep us informed! from the gunnut69
 

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Gunnut,
The Stoney Point hesdspace guage works by clamping on to your dial calipers. You clamp the "body" to the caliper and you have different inserts for different calibers that fit in the body. The insert is held in place by a hex head set screw. Once the the proper size insert is installed you tighten up the caliper and zero the caliper. You then insert a case and read the measurement. The insert will rest on the datum line of the shoulder thus giving you the measurement from the base to the datum line. I have been using this tool to adjust my sizing dies and to see how much I'm setting the shoulder of the case back.
I'll let you know how my third time around goes with the new brass.
Thanks,
Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yesterday I managed to sneak off to the range. Conditions were very good for shooting. I only had 4 loads made up to try. 2 w/ 220 gr Speers, and 1 each of 225 B-Tips and Sierra 225s.
Now I fully realize that 1 trip with 4 loads is nowhere near conclusive but the difference in group size between the shorter 220 Speers and the 225s seated to the length the chamber allowed (3.00" for the Sierras and 3.160" for the B-Tips) makes me think that I might want to send it the barrel back for a refund. I am just not sure that if I have to seat that shallow for reasonable accuracy that there really is enough bullet in the case for me to want to carry this thing hunting. I can't quote an example with the 225s off the top of my head but I loaded some 250 gr Speers to 3.170". Now subtracting case length and bullet length leaves about .170" in the case.

What I am wondering is how much powder, bullets, etc. YOU would expend trying to make this barrel shoot before you gave up and sent it back? Sean
 

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A seating depth of .170? Not acceptable. That's not a chamber problem though.. that's a throating problem. Sounds like the barrel is throated quite long.. What was the accuracy like?? Seating depth is
bullet length-(overall length-case length). Of course only you can decide to return the barrel, which I can see by your posts you really want to do.. Have you measured the throat length in the barrel.. There is no way to replace material removed from a throat. In a rifle the barrel can be set back and the chamber recut but not here. You may want to speak with FoxRidge. Perhaps they will cut a chamber to your specifications. Ask them what their normal chamber/throat dimensions are for the 350. I'm still interested in what your groups looked like.. Good luck from the gunnut69
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not to be picky but this super long throat is a chamber problem. Apparently all the care about is where the belt is, not where the shoulder or rifling are. When I spoke to the foreman (whatever his title) at Fox Ridge he made a statement to me that I thought ws real funny. I can't remember the exact words but it was something like "A lot of guys think that they need to be able to touch the rifling when they reload." Well it would be nice.
With the shorter bullets (shorter OAL) I really didn't have any "groups" the bullets were strung out over the target. With the 3.00" plus length of the Sierra's and Noslers, the groups were round amd in the 2-3" range.

You are right I am most definitely not pleased with this barrel so far. I am going to try to go to the range again tomorrow AM with some more Ballistic Tips and 250 Speers. I was thinking that maybe I should just try seating the bullets deeper (at least to give one caliber in the neck) and see how they shoot then. If I do return the barrel I will definitely order one from someplace else but I will try to get whomever chambers the new one to work with me on the throat length and all. Sean
 
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