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Author Topic: Reloading cases that have been fired in Extended chambers  (Read 486 times)
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« on: September 17, 2017, 11:52:55 AM »

I have been toiling to devise a series of operations that will allow me to reload cases fired in expanded chambers in my two MkIIs. Is there a consensus or recommendation for the procedures to avoid case splitting and also give loose enough fit to provide that wonderful fast reload at which the Ross is great?

My procedure so far is to fire a round in the expanded chamber, extract and smoke the case heavily with soot from a kerosene lantern wick, dip the case into molten Lead at 800 degrees F, decap, run through several dies to nudge back the shoulder,resize just the front half of the neck, and use Bullet Seating dies to nudge in the case sidewalls to achieve easy fit.  All these surfaces are greatly distorted on firing, the case looking like a sausage more than a .303 British round. I hope the annealing will reduce the tendency for case splitting and thus extend case life.  I don't know what to expect from the usual danger of head separation.

Any experience?  Do other just FL size in normal reloading dies and reload away?
 How does that work?
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2017, 04:40:56 PM »

Kudos to your energy to pursue this.  Your descriptor, "toil" seemed quite fitting.  I have no experience to share on this specific topic but I will be eager to follow along.
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2017, 05:34:01 PM »

I reload for a few different .303 calibre rifles, the fired cartridges produced by each are very different in size/shape and some have very generous chambers, nowhere near SAMMI specification. 

Early attempts at full length sizing the cartridges after each session resulted in some cartridges only last two sessions before head/neck failures.

My shooting is only a paper targets, usually at 200 yards and all I ask of my ammunition is that the cartridges obturate on the neck/shoulder area and produce a decent group.  I have no real requirement to shoot maximum powder loads which also shortens the useful life of my cartridges.

My preferred method is dependent upon the segregation of the cartridges used in each rifle.  I also keep a note of how many times they have been reused.

Assuming I had 50 used cartridges from a session on the range my reloading method is as follows:
1.  Choose 10 cartridges at random and check for obturation
2.  90 minutes cleaning in the Tumbler
3.  Visual examination for primer and cartridge condition
4.  I choose 10 cartridges at random and check the cartridge length, diameter of the neck and that they still chamber in the rifle they were used in.  The neck diameter I found usually increases by about 0.008" after being
     fired. If this does not happen then it is good indication that the neck has work hardened and needs annealed.
5.  Assuming all have passed stage 4 I neck size then using a Lee Collet Neck Sizer Die to resize the cartridge neck.
6.  Reprime, fill with powder and insert bullet.
7.  Go to range and make more holes, hopefully where you have aimed!

Looking through my boxes of segregated cartridges I have the following:
HXP cartridges used in a SMLE - currently on their 9th cycle
PRIVI cartridges used in a No.4 - currently on their 12th cycle
PRIVI cartridges used in a P14 - currently on their 12th cycle
NORMA cartridges used in a Ross - currently on their 24th cycle

I use Lee Collet Neck Sizer Dies on my .223, 6.5 55, .303, .308 and 7.62mm rifles. 

The only rifle I have a short cartridge life (after the 3rd cycle the cartridges are scrapped) in is the 7.62mm but this loaded very hot and used for 1000 yard target shooting.
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2017, 08:01:06 PM »

The situation in Australia is that reloading with jacketed bullets actually costs the same as buying PPU 303 at $1.10 per round.And to even achieve that level of cost you must buy primers by the 5000 carton,bullets 500 at a time,powder in large jug,say 4lb+- in US terms.PPU comes in 20 rd boxes at the same price as your reloads.And then include loading gear,time and effort etc.Of course its different with cast bullets.Then the bullet cost can be disregarded,provided gaschecks arent used.They cost something like 7 cents each here.I have also seen Starline 303 cases for sale at around $1 each/Starline.For another 10c ,you can buy PPU loaded with 150 or 174 gn jackets.And good cases ,if you save them.I notice most young guys now discard cases,the range officers put most into the brass scrap,only saving things like 45/70.When I mention reloading ,I get a funny look,....."Like,why would you want to do that?"So my Mk3 never sees jacketed bullets,I just plink away with cast loads that make less noise than a rimfire.And I dont have any idea of case life,because I have buckets full of good 303 cases.If only the same situation with 577/450 cases......PS The range officers still think the Ross is an old Mauser,and have a double take because the bolt handle stays down when its open.Regards John.
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