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Discussion Starter #1
Norsemans response to Quickdtoo has me speakingof this.

The first cases I sized for my friends 243 would either not close at all, or would just barely let the action close. I thought that was pretty weird as factory ammo would let the action close just fine. More telling was the "click" the actionclosed with. 2 1/2 years of shooting my Handis daily has given me an understanding of what a properly locked up gun feels like on closing.

Anyway, the culprit was the thead slop and streachiness of the Lee Challanger press. Just setting the dies to stop on the shell holder was not enough, they had to be turned in almost a full revolution to allow the case to be fully sized. A difference of a mere .002" at the case head kept the rifle from closing. Once I had the die adjusted to completely resize the case, with the shellholder stopping against the bottom of the die, the cases fit just fine, the action closed properly.

In over 2 1/2 years of hanging out on this and the former H&R board, I have heard many say the chamber was oversize, causing this problem somehow. I don't buy it, especially after my experiences with the 38-55. If anything I believe the chambers are on the tight side of SAMMI tolerances.

I just wonder if the brass that people are having trouble with is over size just a tad and causing the problem. Would seem to fit with the chamber polishing fix, either rough tooling/machining leaving some small burr or bit of trash that is causing the failure to close.

FWIW
 

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JPH45 -- Thanks, that's good to know. I haven't had the problem yet, but I've just started reloading recently, so I'll keep it in mind.
 

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JPH45,

Exactly my experience with the 22-250. I picked up a rcbs jr2 at a garage sale, threaded the die down a 1/3 to 1/2 turn past full contact, and viola, chambers with full lockup every time. I now reload without chambering each round :agree:

My challenger and my lyman all-american had to much spring. Accuracy has improved as well. As the sage Fred M says "lockup is everything".

I'll be out smoking woodchucks with it in the morning :twisted:

Rick
 

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You can also have problems with bullet run out or neck run out but it is less likely in a full length sizing operation being you are reforming the whole case. I have a 25-06 ultra and if I don't full length size it won't close. I did open up my die a little to keep from working the brass as much. Next thing to try, I guess, is a bump die, it sizes the neck and bumps the shoulder back without sizing the body I think rcbs makes them.
 

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I've found that most Lee presses and dies are the way you descibe.Another simple soloution for the die fit is to get some teflon tape and make a wrap or 2 around the die..this takes a-lot of the play out of them.Another soloution is to just buy a better grade die...I know there is a love affair with Lee products here...and if that's the case and you insist upon using them...this will work.My choice is just to use a better die...one that has a tighter control on the threads...RCBS...Redding .. Hornady...and the best I've found so far.. ...Forster...Not all of Lee's dies are sloppy...their factory crimp die is good an tight...but..it's the only one I've found that was that way.

Mac
 

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Mac:

Thank you for bring up this Lee die issue. I've found the same and had not thought of the teflon tape fix.

Wally
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Actually everyone who makes 7/8"x14 thread dies makes them to the same thread standard, Class 1. This means a 70% thread. Class 2 would be 76% and Class 3 is an interference fit. If there is a problem with Lee resizing equipment, it lies in the material the presses are made from and the minimum amount used, not in the thread tolerance itself. This doen't mean I'm taking up for Lee, just a statement of fact. If you have a problem with the figures, take it up with the folks who publish the Machinist Handbook.

RCBS, Lyman, Redding, Hornady etc. all make their threads to conform with ASTM standards which are the standard for the entire bolt/nut/threaded connection industry. Sorry, but Lee doesn't make a product that doesn't conform to industry standards, they just do it at a price that reflects the real cost of doing so.
 

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You guys might have hit my 243 problem on the head. just got a new lee press and quite a few of my 243 cases stuck. Course one stuck before and they were all loaded on my RCBS press. Mine are RCBS dies though, come to think of it.

Hummmm I have to think this one over a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
handirifle, all I can say is the obvious, be sure the shell holder is contacting the bottom of the die. I'm looking at that every case I size.
 

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I have a Lee press,rcbs dies, Lee dies and it works fine. I used remington and black hills ammo to break in my .223 when I first got it because I didn't have the dies yet.

Norse
 

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I bought a used Handi in .280 Remington back in April but, other than firing 3 test shots upon receiving the rifle, I didn't get around to shooting it until today. I put a cheap 4x scope on it and took two boxes of factory ammo to the range, 150 grain Remington Core-Lokt and 140 grain Winchester Ballistic Silver Tips. I didn't take any handloads along with me. The barrel popped open upon firing a couple times with both types of loads. The primers had started to back out of two of the Remington cases.

In computer terminology, is this a feature or a bug?
 

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What have you done to the rifle before shooting it? Did ya read the Cleaning and Lapping sticky? Make sure the latch and latch shelf are clean and dry. If it still pops open after cleaning, and you're closing the action good, ya got 2 choices, send it back to NEF for repair or hone the latch shelf a bit.
 

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If you are looking for a surprise. Set up a dial gauge on on your bench and have the gauge ball on top of your full size die. The number of presses that will show an upward flex, with the die fully loaded by the ram, will be an eye opener.

Some time ago PS Shooting performed tests on quite a few popular presses and a surprising number would deflect during full sizing. Not only that when the shell holder makes full contact with the bottom of the die the die will cock to one side or the other.

Any of this will cause head space trouble and out of square case bottoms.

If the ram and the die threads are not in line causes this problem. By placing a 7/8 o-ring between the die and the lock ring, the die will align itself with the ram and shell holder. Again a dial gauge will tell you how much the die moves. The shell holder must be tight against the bottom of the die.

It has been my experience during years of hand loading, that only the strongest presses are the most satisfactory ones. The touted Lee collet neck dies only respond to my full weight three times on the handle.
I like them in some rifles but not in Handi's I have. While some of the standard Lee dies have worked as well as any other brand.
 

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handirifle said:
You guys might have hit my 243 problem on the head. just got a new lee press and quite a few of my 243 cases stuck. Course one stuck before and they were all loaded on my RCBS press. Mine are RCBS dies though, come to think of it.

Hummmm I have to think this one over a bit.
handi'

i wrote a couple months ago of a tightly-chambered 7mm Rem' mag in a Ruger 77/MkII that i had loaded some rounds for that wouldn't chamber. i pulled the bullets, tightened the sizing die down more, causing the die to 'bump' the shellholder harder, and the press to flex more i would think, but the rounds all chambered then.

i think that the use of Lee tools in many instances is the problem that the Sierra technicians told me it was.......saying that they took more complaint calls for problems from Lee than for all others combined! sincerely, that was told me over the phone by one of their people.

i use Lee's factory crimp die, but nothing else.

take care,

ss'
 

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Very intreristing my 243 has to have the action slammed shut in order to latch I'll have to check this out when my action comes back from H&R. BTW I'm using an RCBS Rockchucker press and dies.
 

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Krochus.

If your sizing operation will not fully chamber the loaded round, slamming the action will not do it either. Think about the press power and the action closing power. Slamming the action will give you inconsistent closure and latch placement. No ammo can be expected to shoot with any sort of consistency with these conditions.

Tighten down the die will not solve the the trouble entirely. Since the location of the die changes the the applied pressure ratio of the press handle, you will take up the elastic limit of the press casting. Next step is of course breakadge.
 

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I'm afraid I'm gonna have to respecttully disagree with you on this one my particular rifle will latch very nicely when unloaded. But when loaded if you just normally close the action the latch will only marginally engauge and will open apoun firing. But with a good slam it will latch 100%. and you can see where nickle from the case head is being rubbed of onto the breech face. in fact believe it or not this barrel will still print a .70" group
I think where I'm getting the xtra headspace is when I set up my sizing die I lower the press handle all the way and then screw the die in wntill it rests on the shellholder. Appearently i need to go a bit farther.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I shoot a lot of cast at low velocity. Dirty, dirty, dirty. The other day my 357 popped open on me twice, binged me hard between the eyes both times, OUCH! :eek:

Had to take the barrel off the frame to spray out all the gunk. The main culprit was a bit of trash trapped under the ejector, wasn't letting the gun close completely. No troubles after that. I think special attention should be given this area on cleaning, it is somewhat hidden from plainsight making it easy to overlook, yet is one of the most critical clearances to the rifle closing and locking up.
 

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JBH45

You are absolutely correct. I too had powder jammed behind the ejector, when a bullet came off and spilled powder all over the action. I was seating bullets with the lands, just experimenting. The bullet stayed in the bore when I tried to take out that load. Also this system gave some extreme accuracy, but not worth the trouble.

Yes the action wont close no matter what if you got some dirt behind the ejector. A case head separation will do it too. That is one other good reason not to slam the action shut.
 
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