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Thread: Why am I having trouble chambering cartridges in my 1886?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Kev18's Avatar
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    Why am I having trouble chambering cartridges in my 1886?

    Im making ammo and the batch I jsut finished has issues chambering. It feeds up the ramp and into the chamber until the bolt stops about 3/4 inch away from the receiver. As you can see in the picture, I sharpied the cartridge to see where it was rubbing. There is a clear ring around the neck of the cartridge. Im not sure what it means? Is that part of the bullet to fat for the chamber itself? I slugged my barrel to .409 so I beagled my .406 mold to get decent boolits. ANY HELP IS APPRECIATED.


  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Looks to me that the boolit is too fat for the chamber. Take a fired case from this rifle and measure the fired case mouth inside just below the crimp. This is the full size that your chamber will accommodate bullet diameter wise.

    Normally this is the diameter your particular rifle/cartridge wants to shoot best.

    Your picture shows one of two things;

    1 ... the crimp is too severe and bulged your case ... or

    2 ... the boolit is too large and bulged the case ... OR

    3 ... i know i said 2 but here is a third possibility, the boolit is seated crooked in the case and bulg's the case on one side.

    Prolly a few other things it could be but these come to mind first.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    My guess on second look is too severe a crimp and results in a bulged case where it begins to wrinkle from too much pressure on the case mouth while seating AND crimping in the same operation.

    Normally i seat all my boolits first, then adjust a crimp to just grip in the crimp groove. Trying to crimp into a bullet that has no crimp groove or missing the crimp groove can result in this very problem.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigted View Post
    My guess on second look is too severe a crimp and results in a bulged case where it begins to wrinkle from too much pressure on the case mouth while seating AND crimping in the same operation.

    Normally i seat all my boolits first, then adjust a crimp to just grip in the crimp groove. Trying to crimp into a bullet that has no crimp groove or missing the crimp groove can result in this very problem.
    I dont have a crimp groove so that might be it. Is there dies that just crimp? I have a reddings die set for these cartridges. It says it can do a taper crimp but the instructions arent very clear.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Ditto ,, Ditto ,, to bigted .

  6. #6
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    Also could be the shape of the bullet ogive, just saying..

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Try one of your bullets in a fired case ( unsized) it should enter and seat easily. if not you may have thick brass or slightly big bullets.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    Try one of your bullets in a fired case ( unsized) it should enter and seat easily. if not you may have thick brass or slightly big bullets.
    Im using starline brass. its for 40-82. I've been trying to reload one cartridge that would chamber properly all day. I shot the rifle hundreds of times but ive always had reloading issues. I have buffalo arms cartridges and they fall in the chamber with no friction at all. But when I drop in one of my bullets in a fired case, it dosent want to chamber for some reason. Hers what i've been doing all day.

    Some fired brass doesnt want to enter the chamber like I mentioned. And again... this is just the brass(no bullet)
    I pass it through a resizing die
    It then decides to fall into place, similar to the Buffalo arms cartridges.
    Now I load a bullet in. Dosent work.

    I had this **** issue before. Some times I'd reload and out of maybe 20 cartridges. 2-3 wouldn't chamber.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



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    bigted correctly pointed out the two major sources of chambering problems...
    good call
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  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Kev18's Avatar
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    Even if I dont crimp it, it dosent go in. I really dont know what to do. I even used a reloading tool made for 40-82. And it dosent chamber properly still.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev18 View Post

    I really dont know what to do.

    What don't you understand about "the boolit is too large and bulged the case ... "…………………


    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pietro View Post
    What don't you understand about "the boolit is too large and bulged the case ... "…………………


    .
    My bore is .409, I cant see how I'm supposed to chamber anything smaller then that . I was shooting a .406 dullest before beagling my mold and I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn ten yards away .

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    There is also 3b. If these bullets are loaded as cast, could your Beagling job resulted in out of
    round bullet? Would be similar to bullet being seated slightly crooked. I have seen same trouble
    with 38/55 in a original 94.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
    There is also 3b. If these bullets are loaded as cast, could your Beagling job resulted in out of
    round bullet? Would be similar to bullet being seated slightly crooked. I have seen same trouble
    with 38/55 in a original 94.
    Maybe but I passed them through the resizer on the tool. And they still dont work.
    Fully resized brass= works, drops in, no friction.
    Bullet in resized brass crimp/no crimp dosent work.
    pulled the bullet, retried the brass. Dosent work.

    Even if I get a really nice mold, if the **** bullet is to big, it still wont chamber...
    How come the buffalo arms cartridges drop in with no friction. I pulled the bullet out of one, and added my bullet. Dosent work. Il try adding their bullet in one of my cases, see what happens. I've literally been trying all day.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    I suspect the brass cases are too long.
    Either the cases are too long or the chamber perhaps a bit short up front.

    New brass often needs a trimming to at least put some uniformity to the OAL on the lot.
    Many can be too long and that may be the cause of the problem.
    Sometimes you have to trim to a bit less than the 'spec' for these old ones.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev18 View Post
    Im using starline brass. its for 40-82. I've been trying to reload one cartridge that would chamber properly all day. I shot the rifle hundreds of times but ive always had reloading issues. I have buffalo arms cartridges and they fall in the chamber with no friction at all. But when I drop in one of my bullets in a fired case, it dosent want to chamber for some reason. Hers what i've been doing all day.

    Some fired brass doesnt want to enter the chamber like I mentioned. And again... this is just the brass(no bullet)
    I pass it through a resizing die
    It then decides to fall into place, similar to the Buffalo arms cartridges.
    Now I load a bullet in. Dosent work.

    I had this **** issue before. Some times I'd reload and out of maybe 20 cartridges. 2-3 wouldn't chamber.
    Kev, have you miked the diameter of the Buffalo Arms cartridge cases in the same place that you're seeing rub marks on your cartridge in the supplied picture? I suggest you mike diameters of both the Buffalo Arms cartridge cases at that spot, and your own.
    If the Buffalo Arms bullets are working for you figure out which one they're using, buy a box and mike them.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeywolf View Post
    Kev, have you miked the diameter of the Buffalo Arms cartridge cases in the same place that you're seeing rub marks on your cartridge in the supplied picture? I suggest you mike diameters of both the Buffalo Arms cartridge cases at that spot, and your own.
    If the Buffalo Arms bullets are working for you figure out which one they're using, buy a box and mike them.
    Il need to measure exactly the dimensions tommorrow. It must be my bullets. I pulled the Buffalo arms bullet out, expanded case mouth, and dropped my bullet in. Dosent work.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Walks's Avatar
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    Starline brass has very thick necks. I use the BERTRAM BRASS from AUSTRALIA. Yea, I know It's soft, but it works great in my 1886 in .40-82, my bore is .405dia. I cast the LYMAN #403169 of 1/20 , it drops at .406, so I'm really only Lubing them in a .406 die. I use White Label Lube's BAC on everything now. Except for Black Powder. My 1886 is a std 28" Octagon bbl MADE IN 1889.

    And I bought those 5 boxes of BERTRAM BRASS 25yrs ago from GRAF&SONS, I think they were less than $30 A box. They are still working great. Loaded them 6-8 times haven't lost a case yet. Trimmed twice I think. Light charge of IMR3031. And I use a LYMAN Taper Crimp Die.
    Last edited by Walks; 07-06-2018 at 01:21 AM.
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  19. #19
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    I don’t know if your boolit is too large, but your crimp is definitely not correct. You can see a lot of lead that is shaved/deformed near the case mouth.

    Are you expanding the case mouth before seating the bullet? A taper crimp should remove the flair and that’s about it. The case is not rolled into the bullet.

    To correct your die setting, you will need to screw out the seating die several turns. Run a case in with a bullet and get the correct seating length. The case flair will still be there. After the bullet is the correct depth, turn the seating stem out by 4 or 5 turns. You can even completely remove it. Now, turn the seating die in by about 1/2 turn and see if the case flair is removed. It probably won’t be. Keep turning the die in by 1/2 turn and check the flair until it is removed. This is your taper crimp. Then, run the case back into the die and turn the bullet seating stem back down until it touches the bullet and stops. This should seat a bullet and set the proper crimp.

    It is never a bad idea to seat and crimp in a different step but both can commonly be done at the same time.

    I have also run loaded rounds partially through the sizing die with the decapping stem removed. The die is started high and the cartridge is run into the die. It shouldn’t touch anything. With the round in the die, screw the die into the press until the case is contacted. Lower the ram, then screw the die in about 1/2 turn, run the case into the die and see if your round will chamber freely. Keep screwing the die in and testing the fit in the rifle. It will probably take a couple revolutions of the die after the contact is made before the round chambers freely. This should produce the equivalent of a taper crimp. It could also size the bullet where it contacts the case walls, so go slow.
    Last edited by garandsrus; 07-06-2018 at 01:11 AM.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walks View Post
    Starline brass has very thick necks. I use the BERTRAM BRASS from AUSTRALIA. Yea, I know It's soft, but it works great in my 1886 in .40-82, my bore is .405dia. I cast the LYMAN #403169 of 1/20 , it drops at .406, so I'm really only Lubing them in a .406 die. I use White Label Lube's BAC on everything now. Except for Black Powder. My 1886 is a std 28" Octagon bbl MADE IN 1889.

    And I bought those 5 boxes of BERTRAM BRASS 25yrs ago from GRAF&SONS, I think they were less than $30 A box. They are still working great. Loaded them 6-8 times haven't lost a case yet. Trimmed twice I think. Light charge of IMR3031. And I use a LYMAN Taper Crimp Die.
    I measured the neck yesterday and it showed up as 0.08 I think. And I looked at the brass you mentioned from Australia but it is very expensive.

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