Skip to main content
Topic: Alpha Brass - to thick, to tough or just my way of doing? (Read 292 times) previous topic - next topic

Alpha Brass - to thick, to tough or just my way of doing?

I've been shooting Alpha Brass the last few months. It shoots great in my LRP IF and that's a big IF I can get it to resize down to chamber.  The first couple loads no problems, then I notice the bolt closing snug on closure.  Next reload these are Full Length by the way, a lot tighter on bolt closure.  Also some extraction problems along the same lines. No I don't anneal my brass. Never had any of this on any other brass. Also resizing is very hard to do after a few. Sooo anyone else have any experience with this? Lots of Alpha under their belt yet?  I'm thinking the alloy is stronger and the brass is thicker to boot.  Lots of Alpha talk lately but I can't be the only one.  Not bashing Alpha just got questions. induction anealing is next on the list. Thanks
As a young man they said your starting out in the machine shop as a Hambone. Here's a broom, scoop and wheel barrel. Those were some fun days.

Re: Alpha Brass - to thick, to tough or just my way of doing?

Reply #1
The difficulty sizing the case body as the number of firings/sizings increases suggests that its due to hardening of the case body. Annealing only affects the case neck and shoulder so an induction annealer, while an absolutely great addition to anyone's reloading process, may not resolve your sizing problem.

Are you using small base dies?

By LRP do you mean the JP LRP-07? I have one being built - I'd be interested in any other problems you may have had reloading for it.

I'm also interested in Alpha brass and am undecided as to LP vs SP? Which do you use in the LRP?

Dave

Re: Alpha Brass - to thick, to tough or just my way of doing?

Reply #2
I have 6 Creedmoor and it’s like any other brass. It sounds like you aren’t bumping the shoulders back enough and the case is growing causing the hard bolt closure.
RPR 6.5 Creedmoor
Bergara 6 Creedmoor

Re: Alpha Brass - to thick, to tough or just my way of doing?

Reply #3
I’m using the LP Alpha with no problems so far.

Re: Alpha Brass - to thick, to tough or just my way of doing?

Reply #4
daved41   I'm not using small base dies, but that may help as I think the base is enlarging and being the problem.
I use Wilson Full length dies with neck inserts/bushings.  I check them after sizing with Wilson Case gage and Hornady Case gage.
They drop all the way into the Wilson Case Gage and in the begining all the way into the Hornady Case gage, but after a few resizings they don't in the Hornady Case Gage. Hornady has a tighter/smaller size than the Wilson. I probably need to switch to a Small Base Die system for this brass. I don't have any of these issues with Hornady, Starline, etc.
The rifle is Savage LRP with about 600 rnds down the barrel mostly Alpha.
I'm using Large Rifle Primer version.
All this showed up with two trips to the range were not one shot got fired. I had to turn around and return home as they would not chamber. Then I wised up and started using the Case Gages all the time to check and double check.

MLN1963 I've bumped it as far as my special set of Redding shell holders will allow and still after about 5 resizings no dice.
They have grown in the base area I'm thinking.  As they work harden things get worse 4-5th resize and after I'm seeing my problems

.

As a young man they said your starting out in the machine shop as a Hambone. Here's a broom, scoop and wheel barrel. Those were some fun days.

Re: Alpha Brass - to thick, to tough or just my way of doing?

Reply #5
I really really doubt you need a small base die.
Take a fired case and compare it to a sized case from your die setup. If the bump is only .0015-.002 totally possible you’ll experience hard bolt when commanding battery. Try increasing bump in increments of 1/1000” until brass no longer binds when closing bolt. Check this with just case, no seated projectile. This is the most likely cure but there are other considerations to check. Trim length vs your chamber. Also what is the O.D. of a fired neck vs a sized case (neck)? Alpha runs about .0135” neck wall thickness so there shouldn’t be an issue.
RIP Chris Cornell

Re: Alpha Brass - to thick, to tough or just my way of doing?

Reply #6
Are you sure the chamber and neck area are clean, no carbon ring or anything like that stopping the cases from feeding properly?  I mean, if it came out of the chamber without heavy bolt lift there should be no problem going back in. Will empty fired cases drop in and close the bolt without issue?
RPR 6.5 Creedmoor
Bergara 6 Creedmoor

 

Re: Alpha Brass - to thick, to tough or just my way of doing?

Reply #7
Your right Danbonzo I don't need a small base die. MLN1963 I was having trouble with extraction on opening the bolt and removing the brass, this was not a hot load either. Same bullet more powder and Lapua brass none of these problems at all. The good news is Danbonzo I took your advice and stared and compared a long time and took lots of measurements of my resized brass against fired Alpha and new Alpha and found my problem. I had used up all my 5 set Redding shell holder allotment to bump the cases back and had no more to bump and that was not enough. What a difference a couple more thousands make. I had to Mill or Hand Hone the bottom of my Wilson Full length resizer die to get 4 more thousands  .004 and now I have extra bump to play with. Note: I've honed shell holders to get the same result before and had them separate or rip apart on tough brass coming out of dies. Now they all chamber and extract ( I went to the range today and tested 20, the Alpha brass shoots great! ) Not sure why they are different from other brass in this area. Lapua has not given any problems in this rifle. Life goes on. Thanks
As a young man they said your starting out in the machine shop as a Hambone. Here's a broom, scoop and wheel barrel. Those were some fun days.

Re: Alpha Brass - to thick, to tough or just my way of doing?

Reply #8
Different make ups of the brass can react differently to sizing.  Some just spring back more than others.

Re: Alpha Brass - to thick, to tough or just my way of doing?

Reply #9
Im wandering if it may need trimming, or you have a really tight chamber.
I small base resize,bump shoulder .02 anneal after every firing and bushing neck size.
Im still stuck on nosler brass but am hearing alpha is producing some very very consistent brass.
Let us know if you pin point the problem.
I will swap to aplha soon.
"kill em all"

Re: Alpha Brass - to thick, to tough or just my way of doing?

Reply #10
Hi Swamp, my throat on the LRP is 1.939 measured with the Sinclair throat gage. I keep my brass around 1.920 so that isn't a problem on this rifle. The Hornady 147 ELD-Ms off the riffling by 30 thou. The problem was the overall brass bump not being enough because maybe it springs back more than Lapua is my guess. It's working now it seems and I'll check it some more on Wednesday at the range. Thanks for your input.
As a young man they said your starting out in the machine shop as a Hambone. Here's a broom, scoop and wheel barrel. Those were some fun days.

Re: Alpha Brass - to thick, to tough or just my way of doing?

Reply #11
Hey hambone .
Good deal.
I firmely believe in the sinclair guage.
I have a long throat to, so i can go to 1.928. And i do.
This is good advice,  let your brass grow to the end of YOUR chamber.
I really think bu doung this you do it shortens  gap between brass and lands making you have less throat erosion and makes your barrel last longer.
Think about what i said.books give a universal measurement,  gauge gives exact.  I trim VERY LITTLE mine is so long.
I used to thimk shorter necks were easier to control  but have found alot more success this way and after 2840 competitive rounds my 6.5 still is a top competer and still shoot sub 5 in groups at 1000
"kill em all"