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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I was wondering if anybody else has experienced something like this. I reload for a handi .243. I try to adjust cartridge overall length(COL) so that the bullet is close to the lands. My rifle has a lot of freebore so I get really long COL using full length resized brass but, when I try to use fire-formed brass, the bullet contacts the top of the bore preventing the cartridge from fully loading. I have to shorten COL by .1" or full length resize to get the cartridge to load . It's driving me crazy. Whats going on?.
 

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The Handi action flexes quite a lot, I would be surprised if you could close the action of a piece of fired brass. I think you will find you will have to full length size any .243 brass you want to shoot in a Handi. Larry
 

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Hello Quickbeam,
While I was reading your post I was thinking the same thing that trotterlg said.

GOOD SHOOTING!
Slufoot
 

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I neck size only for my 30-06 handi. Idont have any problem. Im fairly new to reloading. So this is as much a question as statement. whats the problem with shortening your COL. Jay
 

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Let me get this straight. It contacts the top of the bore, but not the bottom? If this is the case you have a bullet run out problem. This means that your bullet or case neck are not in alignment with the case and chamber. Or you are not seating the bullet in far enough to the neck to get it aligned with the case. If it is the latter, then you need to seat bullets in to the neck to make sure they are lined up, to heck with getting close to the lands. You need to make sure you are seating bullets straight first. If you are seating the bullet enough to set straight in the neck then you have another type of problem. I use a Lee neck collet die. This squeezes the neck back down to size with out lube and keeps it in good alignment. I then use a quality bullet seater in an attempt to keep the bullet as straight and concentric as possible. If you do not have a bullet run out gage, then simply roll the loaded case across a clean flat surface. Get down to the same level as the bullet and observe the bullet tip. If the bullet tip goes up and down as it rolls you have a bunch of run out. If you can not detect the bullet tip going up and down and stays a constant height above the flat surface at least you know you do not have a lot of run out and you can look else where for the problem. Let us know how your bullet run out test does.
 

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Are your FL dies adjusted right? It almost sounds like you are squishing the case down too much. Check the case length. If it is correct, check case length on a fired cartridge and compare the two.

Another thought: is the chamber too long causing case stretch? In that case you would want to neck size only, then trim the case to length before priming, charging and seating the bullet. If you full length resize evry time, the case life will be severely shortened. Most of my reloading is with a Lyman 310 tool which neck sizes only. I don't FL resize until the cases will no longer feed into the chamber (I check this after sizing, before I go on to the priming and subsequent steps).

Let us know how you make out!

-WH-
 

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You can set up the FL die so that it only partially FL sizes the case enough to permit entry into your Handi's chamber. That way you'll get better case life.

Mc
 

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i'd check & see what's going on with your brass 1st..drop a fired piece of brass into the chamber & see if it stick's out..then check a re-sized piece of brass & see if it is flush..or stick's out..or drop's down into the chamber below the end of the barrel..hope that make's sense..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the good suggestions y'all. trotterlg: It seems handirifle shooters are split about FL sizing vs NS only. Owners are saying many handis will load NS brass and some won't. I've noticed that it helps when loading empy fire-formed brass to load the brass the exact same way the brass was shot because the chambers are not concentric. I'm hoping to get mine to load NS brass and am afraid that FL sizing may only be covering up the problem. You see, I too have a theory of why my rifle won't load cartridges using fire-formed brass unless COL is very short, but I wanted to hear others opinions first without being influenced by mine.
LaOtto: I just eyeballed my bullets and found no obvious runout. If the problem is runout, would you expect the bore to contact the bullet at the same place each time no matter which way I loaded the bullet. Seems to me that the bullet would contact the bore each time whichever way the bullet was slanted if it was runout. In my rifle, the top of the bore contacts the bullet no matter which way I load the cartridge.
Winter Hawk: I use RCBS dies. I actually only encounter the problem when I neck-size only.
Dave: 8 out of 10 fire-formed brass load just fine or by turning the brass until it loads. The 2 out of 10 I assume just get stretched out too much to load without FL resizing.
What do y'all think.
 

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quickbeam..i would just f.l. resize..i have only loaded for three handi's..two of them i f.l. resized & didn't have problem's..one i tried bumping the shoulder back 0.001-0.002..& experianced pop open's..i'm not saying my thought's are absolute..i think over in the faq's..tim posted some of my adventure's there..i also very well may lack the reloading skill's of other's..again follow the instruction's that came with your die's..& they made need adjusted slightly to make sure your case head is flush with your chamber..i have stoney point head space guage's & randomly check the shoulder's usually the die pushe's them back 0.004-0.005..& that seem's to work..yeah probably shorten's brass life..i just don't have time for problem's..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
LaOtto: I got a Lee Collet die as you suggested and now I can seat the bullet out as far as I want. Man, my gun has a lot of free-bore. Turns out that the RCBS dies were causing runout. I love the Lee dies though. Thanks everyone for the help.
 
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