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Old 06-28-2012, 06:21   #1
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Any 30.30 Reloaders out there?

Have a couple of questions as I switch over to reload 30.30 for awhile. Specifically about headspace with a rimmed case. Anybody use an L.E. Wilson headspace gauge with the rimmed case? I have not previously but wondered if anyone considers it a must have item.... I am reloading for a lever rifle....

Last edited by Jim Duncan; 06-28-2012 at 06:45.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:37   #2
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I reload for quite a few rimmed bottleneck high-powered rifle cartridges including the .30-30. I do not consider a case gauge a must have item. Some of the rifles reloaded for are lever-actions.

If the rifle for which you are loading exhibits normal fired cases then a full-length resize will suit fine. If the rifle has a head space problem then it needs gunsmith attention.

Head space issues frequently show up as a bright stretch ring, sometimes a bit swollen, around the base of the case in front of the rim and is known as an incipient case head separation. If head space is out of whack enough then the case head completely separates from the case body.

Head space issues in lever-action rifles can also show up as backed out primers, something that ought not be with factory loads or handloaded equivalent. Even very mild loads can show primers backing out. I once had a Winchester Model 1894 .32-40 that had a distinct head space problem that both stretched cases and backed out primers with the mildest of handloads. I once had a Winchester Model 1895 .30-40 that ruined cases in a couple of firings due to head space problems.

This is not only an issue related to lever-action rifles used with rimmed cartridges. I've handloaded .303 ammunition for two No. I Mk III rifles, a No. 4 Mk 1, and a No. 4 Mk 2 rifle. All rifles of the SMLE bolt-action design that I've used have had oversized chambers. Factory loads fired in them typically come out with cases that have shoulders pushed forward. A full-length resize reconfigures these cases to original specifications. A couple of reloads and the cases are ruined through being overworked. A simple method to gain additional life from .303 cases used in SMLEs is to just partially resize, leaving the shoulder alone. This method of resizing could give extended life to cases fired in lever-action rifles with only a bit of head space problems.

Take some measurements of an unfired case, a fired case, and then a full-length resized case with micrometer and caliper and see what you find. I'm betting everything will be within tolerance.
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Old 06-28-2012, 18:14   #3
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Good info... thanks. I am sure it will all be okay.... just wondering since I became so dependent on the headspace gauge for reloading .223. Will measure up some cases tonight..
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Old 06-29-2012, 00:08   #4
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I've only been reloading a year or so and I've been wondering about headspace gauges overall myself. I load for .223, 30-06, 30-30, 45-70 and .357 mag but I haven't purchased gauges yet. I mostly load 30-06 (multi-rifle) and .223 (186# Mini-14) by setting the sizing die as per instructions, trimming to length (lee gauges) and seating bullets to their min. OAL or a few thousandths over.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:48   #5
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Originally Posted by KillerSalmon View Post
I've only been reloading a year or so and I've been wondering about headspace gauges overall myself. I load for .223, 30-06, 30-30, 45-70 and .357 mag but I haven't purchased gauges yet. I mostly load 30-06 (multi-rifle) and .223 (186# Mini-14) by setting the sizing die as per instructions, trimming to length (lee gauges) and seating bullets to their min. OAL or a few thousandths over.
KillerSalmon, I had some issues with .223's not firing a couple of months ago. I was advised to get the L.E. Wilson headspace gauge to check the same. I found that even though I was close there were quite a few that were out of spec. The gauge quickly and easily caught these. Ultimately the mis-firing issue was not headspace related in my opinion... (I think) never the less I became quite fond of the gauge and will order one for most of my rimless calibers in the future.

I use a Lee Classic Turret press and one of the "pins" came out and I didn't notice it. On each side of the linkage assembly where the linkage attaches to the red base.... there is a large barrel shaped pin that is inserted into the body and keeps the linkage secure. For a few days I was resizing with one of the pins "out" and that led to my problems it appears. I found the missing pin and replaced it easily. Now my resizing is all good again.

I suggest you try the L.E. Wilson for your .223 and see if you don't become a fan.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:10   #6
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My 30.30 fire formed brass measures 1.495 headspace. My resized brass measures 1.470 headspace. My factory ammo before firing measures 1.470 headspace. Isn't this quite a spread? Anybody out there have some input on this?
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:55   #7
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25 thousands sounds pretty big-maybe you should have a gunsmith mike your chamber!
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:27   #8
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Originally Posted by Jim Duncan View Post
My 30.30 fire formed brass measures 1.495 headspace. My resized brass measures 1.470 headspace. My factory ammo before firing measures 1.470 headspace. Isn't this quite a spread? Anybody out there have some input on this?
Umm, the REAL problem is that you don't know what headspace is.
Headspace is the distance between what stops the cartridge from moving forward and what keeps it from moving backwards. In the case of a rimmed, or belted, case it's the thickness of the rim. Period, end of discussion.
Chambers have positive HS, cartridges have negative HS. For most cartridges, the chamber is datum to datum +.007, the cartridge is datum -.001 to datum -.008 or a allowed clearance of .001 to .015.

You can, if you desire, shorten up the amount of shoulder setback, but lever guns don't have the camming force to seat a round that's slightly oversize (unlike a bolt gun), so expect to find yourself with the occasional round jammed in the chamber.
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Old 07-01-2012, 15:12   #9
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Originally Posted by Tailgunner View Post
Umm, the REAL problem is that you don't know what headspace is.
Headspace is the distance between what stops the cartridge from moving forward and what keeps it from moving backwards. In the case of a rimmed, or belted, case it's the thickness of the rim. Period, end of discussion.
Chambers have positive HS, cartridges have negative HS. For most cartridges, the chamber is datum to datum +.007, the cartridge is datum -.001 to datum -.008 or a allowed clearance of .001 to .015.

You can, if you desire, shorten up the amount of shoulder setback, but lever guns don't have the camming force to seat a round that's slightly oversize (unlike a bolt gun), so expect to find yourself with the occasional round jammed in the chamber.
Agreed.
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Old 07-03-2012, 16:54   #10
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Jim
I found a link that should tell you (and anyone else) everything you know about a 30-30 case/chamber
http://www.saami.org/PubResources/CC...Winchester.pdf

Note the spec for headspace (rim cut) is .063-.070", while a case rim between .053 and .063 is "in spec" (0.000 to 0.017 clearance)
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Old 07-13-2012, 20:32   #11
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I've been reloading for over 45 years and dozens of different rifles, handguns and shotguns in 30 or so calibers. NEVER even thought about checking headspace and never will. Set up your dies as the instructions tell you and your good to go. Headspace being off is so rare I doubt if it happens in one of onehundredthousand guns. Maybe less. FRJ
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Old 07-20-2012, 16:46   #12
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Headspace is in the chamber and gages are useful when chambering a firearm. In some 47 years of reloading, neither I nor any one I've met has or even wants a 'headspace' gage. Many of us do have and use cartridge shoulder gages that commonly get called headspace gages but they aren't.

Anyway, it's easy enough to adjust dies for any bottle neck cartridge so it fits the chamber snugly no matter what the actual headspace is. Reloaders should measure all bottle neck cases at the shoulder, matters not if they are rimmed, rimless or belted. Case gages are helpful but certainly not 'necessary' to do this. I prefer to do case head-to-shoulder measuring with the simple tools sold by Hornady and Sinclair that attach to the jaws of precision calipers, dial or digital,

Last edited by Fuzzball; 07-20-2012 at 17:04.
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