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30-06 Remington
Ruger MK77MKII
Stainless Steel
Barrel: 20"
*****************************************
reference #324

Cartridge: Federal
Fired: Once
Trim-to-Length: 2.484"
Primer: Winchester Large Rifle
Bullet Manufacturer/Type: Hornady 150 grain BTSP
Powder Manufacturer/Type: IMR 4064
Powder Charge: 50 grains
Cartridge Overall Length: 3.243"
Approximate Velocity: 2750 fps

*****************************************
reference #321

Cartridge: Remington
Fired: Once
Trim-to-Length: 2.484"
Primer: Winchester Large Rifle
Bullet Manufacturer/Type: Hornady 165 grain BTSP
Powder Manufacturer/Type: IMR 4350
Powder Charge: 58 grains (max)
Cartridge Overall Length: 3.240"
Approximate Velocity: 2850 fps

******************************************
HEADSPACE

There are two ways to look at headspace. First, let's consider the practical definition, and follow up with the technical one.

In practical terms, headspace is the clearance allowed between the base of the cartridge case and the face of the bolt. The position of the cartridge in the chamber is controlled in a variety of ways depending on the type of cartridge case involved. Most rimless automatic pistol cartridges (e.g., 9x19mm Parabellum, .45 ACP) are positioned by the case mouth resting on the front edge of the chamber. Rimmed cartridges (e.g., .45 Colt, .30/30 Winchester) are positioned in the chamber by the face of the rim resting on the rim recess at the back of the chamber. Belted magnum cases (e.g., .300 Win Mag., .458 Win Mag.) are positioned by the belt resting on the recess provided for it at the rear of the chamber, much as rimmed cartridges are. Finally, bottle necked rimless cartridges are positioned by the shoulder of the case resting against the shoulder of the chamber.

So when a cartridge is chambered, it is positioned in one of the above ways. Once positioned, there must be a little free space between the cartridge case base and the face of the bolt, to allow for dimensional tolerances in cases. When the cartridge is fired, the case expands in all directions, including toward the bolt face. If there is the intended clearance space, the case head is not stretched excessively during this expansion. If the space is too much, as the case head is pushed backwards towards the bolt face it may stretch enough for it to significantly weaken the case in the area just in front of the thick portion of the case head, called the web, where the thinner walls of the powder containing part of the case begin. If the case head does not separate on the first firing, the weakened brass may do so on subsequent firing. This is a very bad thing, as hot gas at 50,000 psi will damage at least the stock and magazine, if not the firer's hands or face. Little drops of molten brass and brass shards are carried by the hot gas at near-supersonic speeds. If all the firer gets is a Chicken Pox-like tattoo, he or she is fortunate.

Conversely, too little clearance is a bad thing, too. That is, if there is "negative" clearance and the case has to be forced into the chamber by the bolt, it can wedge the case neck tightly around the bullet, raising pressures by thus delaying bullet release. Then the hot gas will come out the primer pocket...

The technical definition of "headspace" for bottle-necked rimless cases is the dimension between the bolt face and the datum line on the chamber or cartridge shoulder, whichever is being referenced. This is the source of the dimensions found in the Bruce Woodford chamber drawing below:

7.62mm/.308 Win Chamber
7.62mm/.308 Win
Chamber

Click on the picture for the full size version.

The "datum line" is a position on the shoulder defined by the military or SAAMI drawing as appropriate. One measures this dimension by means of a chamber headspace gauge. These can be graduated in explicit headspace dimensions (as are Match Gauges for the .308 Winchester) or in qualitative terms: Go, No-Go, and Field. (Chamber headspace gauges are available, of course, from Fulton Armory; see the Parts and Accessories Page for your rifle of interest!) The amount of clearance allowed for a nominally dimensioned cartridge can be inferred by this measurement of headspace. Of course, the actual headspace obtained (i.e., the clearance between the base of a chambered cartridge and the bolt face) depends on the "headspace" dimension of the cartridge, which can be measured by a *cartridge* headspace gauge

MORE ON GUNPOWDER:

From: Sarge  (Original Message) Sent: 9/2/2002 2:44 AM
As most of you know our original gun powder was called black powder and was a mixture (mechanical) of sulfur, charcoal, and nitrate usually in the form of salt peter. this was only marginally successful and very tricky to mix without exploding. It is historically recorded that China invented gun powder however if you read about the travels of merchants in this ancient time period you will find gunpowder being sold to the Chinese. Somewhere along the line someone tried to mix the three ingrediants with some liquid to keep them from exploding and surprisingly it worked and also made a superior powder. In practice the ingrediants are mixed in a paste and spread in a flat container. After drying they are broken up in small pieces. This is called corning. and a small, all brass machine does the grinding up of the cornned powder. It then is run through various screens each one coarser than the first and the powder particles that drop out are graded by the screen that they will pass through. The screens are called "fines". So the fines count backward with 4 Fine being the finest and 1 Fine the coarsest. 1 F was the big chunks and used in cannons. 2 F in large guns 3 F in pistols and small caliber rifles  and 4 F used as priming for flint locks. There was actually a 5 F but it was so instable that it was thrown back into the pot as was the larger chunks that would not go through the 1 F screen and recorned. The   5 F  was sometimes used to manufacture fireworks. The black powder era lasted for over 600 years but its limitations soon had chemists working to replace it. One reason was, you had to have a large bore to use black powder so you could get off more than a few shots without having to clean out the accumulated crud. Large bullets did not go as far or as fast as small bullets. It took the development of organic chemistery to give the means to achieve the goal of a clean gun powder. The side effect was also less smoke which endeared it to the soldier hiding in the woods.
The first breakthrough in explosives was done independently by a couple of European professors in 1845 and 1846. It was discovered by them that the action of concentrated nitric acid on natural cellulose fibers ( usually common cotton) was to rearrange the atoms and add oxygen and nitrogen molecules to the cellulose. Called nitration. On ignition the cellulose nitrates separate explosively into carbon monoxide,
dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen and steam. These gases expand to a much greater volume than the solid nitrocellulose. And the action releases considerable heat which further increases the volume of gases. Unfortunately the reaction was uncontrollable and unpredictable so for a while nitrocellulose (also called pyrocellulose, gun cotton) was only used in explosives. About 1870, celluloid was invented. It was an early plastic and was a break through in controlling the burning rate of nitrocellulose. That is something isn't it. First came plastic and then came gunpowder. Now you can say paper, plastic or gunpowder and be correct. Of course the clerk at the check out will not have the foggiest idea what you are talking about. It took 14 years later before the French chemist Vieille, applied this discovery to manuracturing smokeless powder. This propelled France to the top of the military heap. And had the other countries scambling to catch up. He found that nitrated cellulose fibers could be colloided into a gelatinous substance with a mixture of alcohol and ether (don't try this at home laddies) It then was rolled into thin sheets (does this sound familiar "corning") cut into flakes and then the solvents evaporated. The dried flakes were strong, elastic and most important burned only on the surface at a much slower rate than the untreated material. This was the final basic development that made modern smokeless propellents possible.
Later discoveries that the buring rate could be controlled by the granule shape and by the addition of additives and coatings that functioned as a sort of temporary fire proofing of the powder granule and further slowed its burning rate. One unexpected benefit from the deterrents was that they reduced the flame temperature of the burning powder and thereby reduced barrel erosion and gave longer barrel life.
There is more to the gunpowder story as the saga is not over yet. The invention of double base powders and substitute black powders are chapters in themselves. I have always been interested in guns and to learn their history and beyond is a added pleasure and appreciation of their uniqueness.  Hope you enjoyed this history lesson.
Sarge
 
Reloading tips:
I am sure most of you have some idea of how to reload. If not then get a good reloading manual and read the thing until you get to the loading table. That should get you started.
But as an old reloader I have learned a few things along the way.
Let us assume you are starting with a single position press.
This is the way I do it:
1.   Clean all cases.
       a. If you have a vibrator bowl type case polisher    
           you can just dump them in and turn it on but I
           like to go through them and check for rocks,
          other cases inside the brass, and make sure they
          are all the right caliber case. (.380 cases can
          sneak into the batch of 9 mmL)
      b. If you don't have a brass polisher then the least
          you can do it is put them in very hot water
          and shake them and stir them with some dish
          soap in the mix. Use hot water so they will dry
          faster.
      c. Then for a single station press I size and decap all
          my cases in a batch. My batch is usually about
          500 cases.
      d. Then I expand and flare all the cases if they are
          pistol or straight sided rifle.
      e. Then I Prime all the cases using a hand held
          primer. A hand held prime seater is a necessity.
          And they cost very little. I like the Lee because
          of it's ease of changing shell holders. Then comes the place where I differ from the books and from all the gun writers. They all say you should hold the shell holder block up and fill every empty shell. And then they say, be sure and look into every case to make sure you have not double charged any.
And I say. Why charge all the cases at once and take a chance on double charging them, not to mention the chance of bumping the loading bench or loading block and spilling all the powder. After I have all my cases sized, expanded,primed and ready to load, I just pick one case up at a time and charge with powder, put a bullet in the top, and seat and crimp. The case never leaves my hand from the time I pick it up, charge with powder and seat and crimp the bullet. No double charge is possible. I find that I can go very fast with this last stage of reloading. In an hour or so I can complete the last stage of loading of 500 rounds or so of ammo. You can buy little labels to put on your box of reloads and I urge you to do that. Do not think you can remember what that load was. I have two ways to keep my loads. The first one is a 3x5 card index that I write the load on and file under the cartridge name, the other is a book that has two cartridges per page to write all the information on. And I also write it on the box with stick on labels that are available for a couple of dollars.
Next up on the board I will tell how to work a progressive press (two different types)
Sarge

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