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· Corps Commander NGV
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I got out to test some more loads through the .264 Win Mag this morning. The first three test loads had fed, fired , and ejected fine but accuracy was less than stellar. I had hoped I could get to book max as listed by Hornady. They published 66.1 gr of Ramshot Magnum as maximum with their 140gr SST bullet. I had loads of 65.8gr and 66.1gr with me today. The 65.8gr load shot into 2 inches without any issues. I shot other guns while the barrel cooled. The first shot with the 66.1gr load resulted in difficult bolt lift. Yanking it up and back ejected a case with obvious problems. The case had partial head separation with a crack about half way around the circumference in front of the belt. I did not attempt to fire any more of those. I will pull the bullets and recycle the components. I will stay with the 65.8gr charge as it has good power
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I got out to test some more loads through the .264 Win Mag this morning. The first three test loads had fed, fired , and ejected fine but accuracy was less than stellar. I had hoped I could get to book max as listed by Hornady. They published 66.1 gr of Ramshot Magnum as maximum with their 140gr SST bullet. I had loads of 65.8gr and 66.1gr with me today. The 65.8gr load shot into 2 inches without any issues. I shot other guns while the barrel cooled. The first shot with the 66.1gr load resulted in difficult bolt lift. Yanking it up and back ejected a case with obvious problems. The case had partial head separation with a crack about half way around the circumference in front of the belt. I did not attempt to fire any more of those. I will pull the bullets and recycle the components. I will stay with the 65.8gr charge as it has good power View attachment 186527
and acceptable accuracy for my needs.
View attachment 186528 View attachment 186529
I have never fired a .264 win mag, or any belted case round, but my gut kinda wants to ask could it have been a bad case?
 

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Ruger .44 Carbine, Security-Six, Service-Six, Mini-14, .30 Carbine Blackhawk
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I have never fired a .264 win mag, or any belted case round, but my gut kinda wants to ask could it have been a bad case?
That was my thought as well.
I had a Hornady 5.56 case separate similarly.
It was NOT a reload, it was a factory round, first firing.

The round fired fine, no obvious problems, but the next round would not load.

As I cleared the AR, I saw the partially ejected case and realized the other part of it was still in the chamber.
Removed it and continued firing.
 

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I was wondering about headspace after your thread on the initial range testing. It seemed to me that the accuracy was lacking for such a nicely crafted rifle. I was going to post but am not familiar with the accuracy standards of the .264 WM and didn't want to chime in.

Might be a bad case. Might be a headspace problem. I think I'd get a headspace comparator, if you don't have one and do some measuring before firing it again. Hang on to a couple of those fired cases for reference. Measure up some factory ammo also if you have some.

Bepe
 

· Corps Commander NGV
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Now I don't reload for rifle but did you notice anything in the "feel" when you pulled the trigger? Do you think it was the charge or maybe a bad piece of brass?
The case was on its 2nd reload. It was a Winchester case from a Super X factory load. Its first reload was a mild charge of Ramshot Magnum as i began to work up a load. The case was full length resized, trimmed to length, and cleaned prior to being primed with a handheld tool. It was handled and inspected frequently. Nothing was visible from the outside. The charge was weighed individually on my Lyman scale. I was throwing charges a little light from my Redding powder measure and using a trickler to come up to full weight. There could have been an internal flaw, but I wasn't going to shoot any more to find out if it would destroy other cases. The 98% load is fine with me.
 

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Just for kicks I'd get a paper clip and fashion up a head separation tool. Normally when a case is getting ready to separate you will see a white line on the outside of the brass near the base. I don't see any evidence of such on your other brass that did not separate.

Bend a paper clip into a sharp bend and then sharpen the end on a knife stone. You can then reach down inside the case and run the sharpened end up the inside from the bottom. Scraping the inside of the case.. If you are developing a separation the sharp paper clip will catch the ridge.

No disrespect if you already know this info. Trying to help.
Bepe
 

· Corps Commander NGV
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just for kicks I'd get a paper clip and fashion up a head separation tool. Normally when a case is getting ready to separate you will see a white line on the outside of the brass near the base. I don't see any evidence of such on your other brass that did not separate.

Bend a paper clip into a sharp bend and then sharpen the end on a knife stone. You can then reach down inside the case and run the sharpened end up the inside from the bottom. Scraping the inside of the case.. If you are developing a separation the sharp paper clip will catch the ridge.

No disrespect if you already know this info. Trying to help.
Bepe
I will certainly be doing this. I have made the little tool in the past, but will need to make a longer one for the magnum rifle brass. After i pull down the remaining rounds I will be inspecting those cases very carefully. I will use that tool as well as a digital bore camera to look inside.
 

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Hornady makes a good universal tool. I've used it extensively on everything I load. Measure a couple of fired cases and then set back shoulder .001 - .002 when sizing. It prolongs the life of the brass, reducing the need to trim. Adds to safety and enhances accuracy.

Calipers Watch Wood Clock Gauge


I recently bought a dedicated caliber RCBS Precision Micrometer gauge for my 30-06 1903A3. It is superior to the Hornady but limited to only one specific caliber. I don't know if one is made for the .264. If not the Hornady will suffice.

Bepe
 

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I shoot 30-30 a lot and had a few heads ripped off. Heads are thicker than the body so it doesn't flex like the rest of the brass. Can only get four shots out of it before it happens, so I either toss it or put the third loading in storage. Some folks do that annealing stuff to resoften the brass for a few more rounds. I just by new.
 

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@ngashooter, the old paperclip trick could have helped here, it’ll let you know what’s going on long before a ring shows up on the cartridge.

I size belted cases just like the rest. If I can re-chamber and close the bolt on a spent cartridge I’ll only work the neck. I’ll do that until I can’t close the bolt. Now I know the shoulder is all the way forward and I adjust my dies accordingly. They’ll last a little longer.
 

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Add me to the group that thinks excessive headspace might be the issue here. The gauges mentioned will tell you if your chamber is 'standard' and that is a good reference for shooting factory ammo. Custom rifles can vary in chambering, yours might be at the maximum end of allowable length while you are full length sizing the fired brass down to minimum. We'd like to believe that everything is always 'right on the numbers' but that doesn't happen too often. I have 4 .308 Winchester chambered rifles, they all get ammo sized with the same die, BUT I have a set of 'die shims' and each rifle uses a different shim to be sized 'enough' without pushing the shoulder back as Mark talks about in his reply. Yes, that means that the ammo does not easily interchange between the rifles but they are used for different purposes and having the brass fitted to the individual rifle is worth it to me.

Bruce
 

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Add me to the group that thinks excessive headspace might be the issue here. The gauges mentioned will tell you if your chamber is 'standard' and that is a good reference for shooting factory ammo. Custom rifles can vary in chambering, yours might be at the maximum end of allowable length while you are full length sizing the fired brass down to minimum. We'd like to believe that everything is always 'right on the numbers' but that doesn't happen too often. I have 4 .308 Winchester chambered rifles, they all get ammo sized with the same die, BUT I have a set of 'die shims' and each rifle uses a different shim to be sized 'enough' without pushing the shoulder back as Mark talks about in his reply. Yes, that means that the ammo does not easily interchange between the rifles but they are used for different purposes and having the brass fitted to the individual rifle is worth it to me.

Bruce
I agree. I had the brass splitting problem on an old 7mm Mauser. It turned out to have excessive headspace.
 

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I got out to test some more loads through the .264 Win Mag this morning. The first three test loads had fed, fired , and ejected fine but accuracy was less than stellar. I had hoped I could get to book max as listed by Hornady. They published 66.1 gr of Ramshot Magnum as maximum with their 140gr SST bullet. I had loads of 65.8gr and 66.1gr with me today. The 65.8gr load shot into 2 inches without any issues. I shot other guns while the barrel cooled. The first shot with the 66.1gr load resulted in difficult bolt lift. Yanking it up and back ejected a case with obvious problems. The case had partial head separation with a crack about half way around the circumference in front of the belt. I did not attempt to fire any more of those. I will pull the bullets and recycle the components. I will stay with the 65.8gr charge as it has good power View attachment 186527
and acceptable accuracy for my needs.
View attachment 186528 View attachment 186529
I got out to test some more loads through the .264 Win Mag this morning. The first three test loads had fed, fired , and ejected fine but accuracy was less than stellar. I had hoped I could get to book max as listed by Hornady. They published 66.1 gr of Ramshot Magnum as maximum with their 140gr SST bullet. I had loads of 65.8gr and 66.1gr with me today. The 65.8gr load shot into 2 inches without any issues. I shot other guns while the barrel cooled. The first shot with the 66.1gr load resulted in difficult bolt lift. Yanking it up and back ejected a case with obvious problems. The case had partial head separation with a crack about half way around the circumference in front of the belt. I did not attempt to fire any more of those. I will pull the bullets and recycle the components. I will stay with the 65.8gr charge as it has good power View attachment 186527
and acceptable accuracy for my needs.
View attachment 186528 View attachment 186529
I got out to test some more loads through the .264 Win Mag this morning. The first three test loads had fed, fired , and ejected fine but accuracy was less than stellar. I had hoped I could get to book max as listed by Hornady. They published 66.1 gr of Ramshot Magnum as maximum with their 140gr SST bullet. I had loads of 65.8gr and 66.1gr with me today. The 65.8gr load shot into 2 inches without any issues. I shot other guns while the barrel cooled. The first shot with the 66.1gr load resulted in difficult bolt lift. Yanking it up and back ejected a case with obvious problems. The case had partial head separation with a crack about half way around the circumference in front of the belt. I did not attempt to fire any more of those. I will pull the bullets and recycle the components. I will stay with the 65.8gr charge as it has good power View attachment 186527
and acceptable accuracy for my needs.
View attachment 186528 View attachment 186529
If not a bad case I would maybe back down on your 65.8grn charge, it,s seems strange that .3 tenths of a grn would cause that to happen unless you were right at that breaking point already, I have used the paper clip trick but never had a good trusting feel for it, I just like to cut the case length wise and file the burrs and you can see what maybe going on, what is the lose of one case compared to safety, my thoughts, Ron.
 

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I had an older 189 series Mini 30 that shot awful. Shotgun splattering on the target with no rhyme or reason. After getting the Hornady Headspace Comparator I discovered why.

A few pictures will explain it. Number 1 is a picture of some Federal 7.62x39mm Factory ammo.
Watch Calipers Product Analog watch Wood

I'll just use the last two numbers from the dial caliper for simplicity. Headspaces at 25.

Next is a photo of a fired case from my newer production 583 series Mini 30.
Calipers Watch Wood Clock Gauge


Headspaces at 31. Recommended maximum headspace is .006 so the Mini 30 is within spec.

Next up is the older 189 series Mini 30. Headspaces at 40.
Calipers Watch Product Tool Wood


So .015 headspace from a factory Federal case. Not a big deal on the low pressure 7.62x39mm round. Factor in the pressures on the Magnum and easily could blow a case.

Bepe
 

· Corps Commander NGV
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I will order the Hornady gauge. Since I have no history on the rifle except what I have found online it's possible it was an art project. My thought is that a gunsmith known for making bench-rest rifles wouldn't sign his name on anything shoddily assembled. Just the time spent jeweling the bolt shows he cared enough that I doubt he was negligent setting headspace. The Hornady page with load data for this cartridge had a specific warning of over pressure signs appearing suddenly.
 

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I only own one rifle that uses a belted case, a 30-338 (which, other than neck diameter is the same case as your .264), single shot Mauser action gun built for 1,000 yard prone shooting decades ago so only have a little practical experience with them. From much that I have read, the belt was originally intended to prevent cartridges like the .300 H&H from having ignition issues because they did not have much of a shoulder to position the primer consistently against the bolt face. Belts then came to represent a symbol of a 'high power' cartridge so they were put on any round that the manufacturers wanted to 'hype', whether it really helped anything or not. The .264 has plenty of shoulder and doesn't 'need' a belt but, it got one anyway. If your .264 Mag seems to function fine with factory ammo you may not really have a rifle headspace issue but your sizing die could be short enough that you end up bumping the shoulder back and creating an ammo headspace issue. After checking your brass to insure that there isn't a really thin section right ahead of the belt (no point in tempting fate with more head separations) try turning your sizing die out a turn. Then work in slowly from there until the cases fit and you can close the bolt on the case with just a little effort.That will keep the shoulder where it fits your rifle and should prevent the problem.
That at least worked in my Wimbledon gun, I lost a number of cases to neck splits because I didn't know much about annealing 30 years ago but never had any head separations.

Bruce
 
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