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30-30 Saga Continues. Headspace?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by DocRock, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    For those of you that have not yet been amused by my jack-assery in removing a separated case from a Marlin 336: https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/case-head-separation.857168/#post-11253096

    Shot the rifle this morning. First four shots at 100 yards were a reasonable group for the rifle, a bit under 2" at 100 yards. Then, another case head separation. Also on a piece of Winchester brass of unknown number of firings. So, in the last six shots, I have had two case head separations, one before the jack-assery linked above and one this morning (easily removed with a 45 cal brush by the way).

    Have ordered a No-Go and a Field Gauge to check headspace to see whether it's that or poor FL die setting. Ever so slightly backed out primer on one of the four 4 twice-fired Hornady cases from this morning makes me suspect headspace, given no pressure signs.

    Will post pics of fired brass and new unfired on off chance that offers basis for further diagnostics.

    Thanks very much.
     
  2. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Pics of brass as referenced above

    DBA2E75B-2B87-45BB-B280-4B47EF881024.jpeg 20EF9D2D-0EB8-4176-AA30-32CF2B7E0569.jpeg
     
  3. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    Is the brass on the left sized, and the brass on the right fired? If so, and hard to be certain from a pic, but it looks like the shoulder is being pushed way back. How are you setting your sizing die? I learned the hard way not to follow directions. Using a Lee FL sizing die, I followed the directions to touch the shell holder, then 1/4 turn more for cam-over. I was getting shoulder cracks within 2 firings. As thin as .30-30 brass is, there was no resistance during sizing, so I overlooked it at first. Finally, took a piece of fired brass, verified that it would rechamber, and set it in the press. Removed the expander, and carefully screwed the die down until it bumped the shoulder. Slid a feeler gauge between the die and holder, and found that the directions had me bumping the shoulder 0.028". Locked my die down, and have lost track of how many firings my brass has, without a single failure since. Also, again, hard to tell from a pic, but it looks like the fired brass mouth is expanded quite a bit. Have you measured it?
     
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  4. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    rimmed bottle necked cartridges have two options for headspacing...neither of which seems to be doing their jobs.
    Try slowly resizing a case till the action of the rifle will just close with little or no resistance. See where that shoulder is in comparison to your full length resized cases.


    your sure that ain't a .32 special right? :p
     
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  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Reduced loading? What powder, how much. Bullet, plain base or GC.

    New brass? Try fire forming with a full pressure jacketed loading. Then load lead.
    Great idea, headspace gages.

    Light loads will produce a shorter head to shoulder measurement. Slop in the chamber. The case body expands outward, pulling the shoulder back. Shorter trim length. Do not use this brass for full pressure loads. The case may stretch a lot on firing and separate.


    The 30-30 is a cartridge that can get very close to 170 gr jacketed bullets velocity using gas checked hard lead bullets of the same weight or heavier. Using a T/C Contender 10" barrel with IMR 4895 - 27.5 gr- 173 gr gas checked, gave 1500 fps. I didnt check velocity in the Win 94, but it should be higher with more barrel length. Use a Lyman "M" die to open the case mouth for bullet seating. Bullet diameter of .310" after sizing is what i used. If bullets drop undersize from the mold, add linotype. The antimony in the lynotype makes for a larger diameter bullet
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  6. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Brass on left is shiny new unsized Win brass. Right is twice fired Hornady. Looks like the shoulder is much farther forward on the fired case so die adjustment may be the issue but I’d like to check headspace with gauges first.

    243winxb - not sure where the “180 grs .310 lead bullet” quote comes from. The fired rounds that had case head separation were 35 grs Lvr and 160 grs FTX.

    Anyway, headspace check first, then readjusting the FL sizing die.
     
  7. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    As above, treat it like other bottleneck cartridges and adjust your dies accordingly, i.e. headspace off the shoulder instead of the rim. Headspace as measured with a factory gauge could be perfect and still lead to overworking the brass when resizing/firing, resulting in splits/separations. Of course you still have to manage your overall length.

    I had a related problem with a rim recess cut too deep, allowing the round to float and resulting in misfires. When I started sizing to let the bolt just close on a sized case all of that went away.
     
  8. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    The link talks about a 180,gr lead. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  9. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I treat all belted cases like a std bottle neck round. I set the head spacing off the neck. To me it looks like the shoulder is at a different position than the new, like DocRock said. Need to fire some under full power to get a reading as to where the shoulder is. Then set the sizing die up so the shoulder is only set back 0.002"-0.003" and you should be fine. 30-30 brass is pretty light weight, thin. So be careful applying crimp or you can buckle the brass at the shoulder.
     
  10. Old Shooter

    Old Shooter Member

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    Is it just me or maybe just the lighting, but that cartridge on the right looks like it is on the verge of case head separation now.
     
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  11. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I don't have a M1894 but I do have a Marlin 336

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    This is a good opportunity to get on my lubricated case soap box. The chamber in my JM Marlin must have been reamed with a sausage instead of a reamer. It is huge, I think I could rent it out as an Zeppelin hanger. Cases fired in the thing, the shoulders blow out an amazing distance. I hope this picture is self explanatory:

    keOX3rk.jpg

    The case shoulder moves about 0.025" on firing. Now if I fired dry cases in a dry chamber, the front of the case would adhere to the chamber, fixing the cartridge in place. Then, as pressure built up, the sidewalls would stretch to allow the case head to the bolt face. The end result would be case head separations and a very short case life.

    But, I am doing something that is heretical to the beliefs of the shooting community: I am fireforming my cases by lubricating them.

    V3oPBdM.jpg

    My Marlin is not a target rifle but in this thing, lubricated cases also shoot well, about 2 MOA to 3 MOA. And that is about all my Marlin 336 will do at distance.

    AHACaMm.jpg

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    Factory ammunition, not actually bad in this rifle, but my reloads were better.

    2u8OaLD.jpg

    (There is one individual on this site who claims 2 MOA in a 30-30 lever action at 300 yards, but that individual has never shown any ten shot groups at 300 yards, and I am confident never will. Some characters are so eager to poke someone in the eye with a stick, that they trip over the couch before they get there. )

    I have written many pages on how this belief system started, and it is all based on an Army lie dating back before WW1. I have received an amazing amount of hate because people react angrily when someone says their beliefs are lies and their Gods are false. Nether the less, by lubricating my cases I prevent sidewall stretch on the first firing. What is in the picture is a stiff hairgel, which I experimented with as a bullet lube. These hair gels are 99% vasoline and the rest perfumes. Vasoline will work equally well, in fact, case lube will work equally well. Just a little dab will do you, rub the vasoline smooth, chamber the round, and fire the things, like this:

    gVfDIiq.jpg

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    On first firing, instead of the case adhering to the chamber sidewalls, the case slides to the bolt face, the shoulders fold out, and what you end up having is a stress free perfectly fireformed case.

    Lee Enfields are well known for eating cases, and yet Parashooter took his cases an extraordinary number of reloads.

    WS6nFLb.jpg

    After the first firing, size the case so the shoulder is not bumped back by more than 0.003" and only fire those cases dry, in the same weapon. You can lube them up and fire them in any other lever action, but I would recommend using Johnson Paste wax instead of a grease. Greases are messy. Johnson Paste wax works great, it dries hard, and is similar to what Pedersen used on his cartridges:

    KMp8zlZ.jpg

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    I believe the cultural ignorance of the history, theory, and practice of greased, oiled, waxed, cases has been deliberately created by groups I call Hatcherites and Ackleyites. P.O. Ackley gained his fame by claiming that straight cases "reduced bolt thrust", and Hatcher repeated the Army lie that grease and oil dangerously increased bolt thrust, even though he knew of all the pre WW2 mechanisms that used greased and oiled ammunition. His Ordnance Department built over 150,000 of these, and other versions which were used in the Army Air Corp

    w0cxiVk.jpg

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    Greasing the case would obviously invalidate any claims by Ackley that his case somehow reduced bolt thrust, and Hatcher is an interesting case about the infinite capacity of the human mind for self deception. Since Hatcher was an Army man, to point out that the Army was lying to itself, for whatever reason, would have resulted in the Army crushing the man and casting him out of the organization. This is testable, in your organization, just point out where they are doing something stupid, or preferably illegal or border line illegal. And be persistent. See what happens. The greater the organizational stupidity or illegality, the greater the chance you will be wearing concrete shoes on the bottom of the bay. Hatcher had to shape and mold his view of the world in order to advance and prosper in the Army Ordnance Corp. I have no doubt he actually believed that grease and oil dangerously increased bolt thrust, and that he also believed that grease and oil were necessary for the operation of the automatic rifles and machine guns that used greased, oiled, or waxed cases. Like the Pedersen. He wrote this:


    Army Ordnance Magazine, March-April 1933

    Automatic Firearms, Mechanical Principles used in the various types, by J. S. Hatcher. Chief Smalls Arms Division Washington DC.

    Retarded Blow-back Mechanism………………………..

    There is one queer thing, however, that is common to almost all blow-back and retarded blow-back guns, and that is that there is a tendency to rupture the cartridges unless they are lubricated. This is because the moment the explosion occurs the thin front end of the cartridge case swells up from the internal pressure and tightly grips the walls of the chamber. Cartridge cases are made with a strong solid brass head a thick wall near the rear end, but the wall tapers in thickness until the front end is quiet thin so that it will expand under pressure of the explosion and seal the chamber against the escape of gas to the rear. When the gun is fired the thin front section expands as intended and tightly grips the walls of the chamber, while the thick rear portion does not expand enough to produce serious friction. The same pressure that operates to expand the walls of the case laterally, also pushes back with the force of fifty thousand pounds to the square inch on the head of the cartridge, and the whole cartridge being made of elastic brass stretches to the rear and , in effect, give the breech block a sharp blow with starts it backward. The front end of the cartridge being tightly held by the friction against the walls of the chamber, and the rear end being free to move back in this manner under the internal pressure, either one of two things will happen. In the first case, the breech block and the head of the cartridge may continue to move back, tearing the cartridge in two and leaving the front end tightly stuck in the chamber; or, if the breech block is sufficiently retarded so that it does not allow a very violent backward motion, the result may simply be that the breech block moves back a short distance and the jerk of the extractor on the cartridge case stops it, and the gun will not operate.

    However this difficultly can be overcome entirely by lubricating the cartridges in some way. In the Schwarzlose machine gun there is a little pump installed in the mechanism which squirts a single drop of oil into the chamber each time the breech block goes back. In the Thompson Auto-rifle there are oil-soaked pads in the magazine which contains the cartridges. In the Pedersen semiautomatic rifle the lubrication is taken care of by coating the cartridges with a light film of wax.


    Blish Principle….There is no doubt that this mechanism can be made to operate as described, provided the cartridge are lubricated, …. That this type of mechanism actually opens while there is still considerable pressure in the cartridge case is evident from the fact that the gun does not operate satisfactorily unless the cartridges are lubricated.

    Thompson Sub-Machine Gun: … Owing to the low pressure involved in the pistol cartridge, it is not necessary to lubricate the case.

    “Blow-Forward” Mechanism: We have seen above (blowback mechanism) that some method must be provided to hold the breech block against the barrel when the gun is fired, because otherwise the pressure of the powder gas pushing back on the cartridge case would drive the breech block back away from the barrel and let the cartridge out while the explosion was going on. With the blow-back gun the breech block is allowed to move in this manner, but is made heavy enough so that the movement does not occur too quickly.

    Instead of allowing the breech block to move back, it would be quite possible to attach the stock and al the frame-work of the gun firmly to the breech block and then allow the barrel to move forward when the gun is fired instead of allowing the breech block to move back. Several automatic pistols, notably the Schwarzlose, have been constructed on this principle.

    In 1917 an inventor appeared at Springfield Armory with a machine gun made to fire the Krag army cartridge, having the framework of the gun solidly fixed and the barrel loosely mounted so that it could move forward against the action of a spring when the gun was fired. This gun operated, but it was necessary to grease the cartridge case to prevent the front part of the case, expanded by the pressure, from sticking to the barrel as it moved forward.

    One trouble with this system is that it greatly accentuates the recoil. The normal tendency of the explosion in the cartridge case is to push the bullet in one direction and the cartridge and breech block in the other. When there is no provision for locking the breech block to the barrel but instead it is attached to the framework and stock of the gun, and the barrel left loose, it is obvious that the explosion drives not only the breech block but the stock to which it is attached back against the shooter’s shoulder with a considerable amount of violence.

    This inventor had besides his machine gun, a semiautomatic shoulder rifle built on this principle, though the mechanism was only crudely worked out. He demonstrated this gun by firing a number of shots with it and then allowed the Armory officials to fire it. I fired one or two shots with it and the kick was so terrific that I felt as though a mule had landed on of his hind feet on my shoulder. I seemed to be kicked back two or three feet from where I was standing and tears actually ran out of my eyes from the blow, which marvel as to how the inventor, who was a frail, pathetic looking man, managed to shoot it without any signs of discomfort. After showing his model he returned to a nearby factory to complete the mechanism but a few days later we were distressed to learn that he had taken his new gun and deliberately blown his head off with it. Probably the kick was too much for him after all.


    Anyway, as long as you stay within published loading data, lubricating your cases will not cause damage to a rifle in good mechanical condition, but will prevent case head separations, which I consider to be a good thing.
     
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  12. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    FYI, I have had the 336 for about 7 years and have always reloaded for it. This is the first time I have had case head separations. Thus my desire to check headspace first and foremost.
     
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  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Note that a headspace gauge for a rimmed cartridge inspects only the rim space. They don't even reach forward into the shoulder area.
    https://www.grafs.com/catalog/product/productId/4891

    Doing the "ignore the belt (rim) and headspace off the shoulder" trick will take care with a lever action, it doesn't have the primary extraction of a bolt action. I did it with a Contender single shot and it worked but it took fine die adjustment.
     
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  14. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    I rather wish I was wiser by your post before ordering gauges :( Nevertheless, imagine they will eventually move on Fleabay...
     
  15. #1buck

    #1buck Member

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    You're basically treating that thing like a wildcat cartridge. I admire your persistence on making it shoot, but that thing would be either gone, rebarrelled, or rebored if it was mine. Good writeup on Hatcher and Ackley, I've noticed that before in my reading.
     
  16. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    There's nothing wildcat about it. And it shoots fine, has done for seven years. Obviously, I somehow unadjusted my FL sizing die.

    FWIW, the rifle will not close on a Field gauge at all, and while much closer, won't close on a No-Go. So, this is a typical capacious Marlin 30-30 chamber. I reset the FL and it should be fine.
     
  17. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    My presses and dies have threads, threads make my dies adjustable. Had you started out treating your rifle like it was a wildcat you would be finished. A problem for reloaders: Component manufacturers do not manufacturer cases for reloaders that know what they are doing. I do not have cases available to me that will offset the difference in head space for rimmed cartridges and I have never read about a reloader measuring the thickness of a rim.

    I suggest the reloader learn how to increase the length of the case from the shoulder to the case head. It is nothing to me to go to the range to purchases cases that have been fired in rifles with long chambers. For me the longer the better; I am talking about the length of the chamber from the shoulder to the bolt face. I off set the length of the chamber with the length of the case, again, when I am talking about the length of the chamber I am talking about the length of the chamber from the shoulder/datum to the bolt face.

    F. Guffey
     
  18. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    .
    Do go find someone else to talk down to.
     
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  19. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    In first post, it’s obvious that the previously fired case is on the right.
    It shows a bright ring approximately 3/4” above the rim. This is a telltale indication of an incipient case head separation.

    In 50yrs of loading various rimmed bottleneck centerfire cartridges. I’ve had exactly ONE case head separation. It occurred about 5yrs ago with a .22Hornet case I purchased as factory ammo in 1977!
    It had already 2 decades previously been relegated to cast bullet duty, due to repeated trimmings.

    But, I’ve ALWAYS only partially full length sized my brass to reduce stretching.
    After extraction of the remains of the case, I ceremonially disposed of the remnants of the ancient brass stock by dumping it in the recycle bucket. Many fond memories made with those cases!

    I’ve got .30/30 cases even older! But they mostly only see 7gr of GreenDot, Unique, or such for plinking loads...
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019 at 11:46 PM
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