.224 Valkyrie trouble chambering

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by jmkasza, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. jmkasza

    jmkasza

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    Need some help with .224 Valkyrie reloading. Thank you in advance. I’ve done quite a bit of reading on chambering and cycling issues with hand loads, as well as tried a few things to make it work, but I need some help.


    Gun is a Wyndam Weaponry 22” 1:7 barrel that is mostly stock, trigger and JP silent buffer being the only modifications. It shoots okay with factory ammo, about 1 moa most of the time. It’s shot the 75gr Federal American Eagle FMJ, Federal 90gr Fusion, and Hornady 88gr match. It shoots the Hornady the best, but no chambering or cycling issues with any factory ammo. Approximately 800 rounds shot.


    The first batch of hand loads were FL sized with RCBS dies (standard series not small base). I loaded ten of each of the following test loads:


    Hornady ELD-M 88gr at 2.250”

    Sierra TMK 69gr at 2.200”

    Nosler Varmageddon 62gr at 2.180”

    Hornady V-Max 50gr at 2.180”

    Barnes Varmint Grenade at 2.200”

    **Maximum COL is 2.260”


    None of these rounds would fully chamber and none could be fired. My next step after doing some research about many of the Valkyrie’s having a tight chamber and potentially a die setup related issue was to pull all the bullets and re-size the cases again making sure to cam over my press as much as reasonable. I re-checked the COL for each bullet (except Nosler, not available to my knowledge, but in my mind a reasonable place to start) and loaded up the same groups of ten except the Barnes.


    The 69gr Sierras all loaded, fired, and grouped about 1 moa. Cycled just fine.

    The 88gr ELD-M all loaded and fired, but groups were 2-2.5 moa. Cycled just fine.

    The 62gr Nosler would not load or could be fired.

    The 50gr V-Max would not load or could be fired.

    I shot some factory rounds that day as well which all did what they should do.


    Now I’m left scratching my head. Maybe it’s the length of the case? I did not trim these as they all measured about 1.595: to 1.601” after sizing. Max length should be 1.600. All were chamfered and de-burred. Should I trim a batch down to the trim length of 1.580?? I also read about how carbon ring / powder residue can contribute to chambering issues and found the gun to be very dirty. I gave the upper, chamber, and barrel a very thorough cleaning over the weekend, but have not shot it since.


    Last night I’m still thinking about it… why would some of the hand loads fire and some not if the cases are all the same length it shouldn’t be due to residue build up, right? The cases were all sized the same, so that shouldn’t be the issue either. Are some of the loads getting stuck at the lands?


    I did the marker test on a 62gr Nosler and it showed marks below the ogive. There was a scratch above the ogive towards the tip, but I am pretty sure that came from extraction. I also measured a case and a loaded round to compare with the SAAMI dimensions are they are the same or slightly under. No evidence of an over-sized case.


    Any help with this? What should I look into next? If there is an existing thread on this I apologize, I couldn’t fine one that led me any further than where I am at now.


    Thank you
     
  2. Rsadams

    Rsadams

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    Use small base dies , make sure trim length is good... With the AR small base dies set to push the shoulder back .003 should solve the problem and brass life should be good because the platform is so hard on brass anyway...

    Some Chambers need small base dies and some don't , regular F/L dies just don't size down the case far enough to get the round chambered.... I wouldn't think it's a bullet problem I would think the brass is hanging up... I use small base dies setup like I said in .223 and don't see any problems with brass life because the system is so hard on it..
     
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  3. waltkrafft

    waltkrafft Gold $$ Contributor

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    How does the brass chamber after sizing and before loading? Trim to specified trim length. Do not crimp. Keep the rifle clean.
     
  4. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full. Gold $$ Contributor

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    Have you checked for a carbon ring? Also, would stick with what the rifle was designed for, heavy for caliber bullets like the 88s and 90s for best performance. Trying to shoot 50s in a 1-7 twist will likely be an exercise in futility.
     
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  5. blisle78

    blisle78 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Have you checked how much you are moving the shoulder? If you are now measuring that you have no idea how much you are actually resizing the case. If you do not have something to measure from the base to the shoulder datum get something like the Hornady headspace comparator

    Hornady HK66 Lock-N-Load Headspace Gauge Kit with Body https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000PD5VN8/?tag=accuratescom-20
     
  6. Rsadams

    Rsadams

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    If he has the dies setup per the instructions he is moving the shoulder plenty probably double what he needs even for an auto... The problem is F/L dies don't size far enough down for some auto resulting in brass that won't chamber....
     
  7. Nick Caprinolo

    Nick Caprinolo Gold $$ Contributor

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    You need Small Base die. Set the die in the press and raise the ram all the way up. screw tthe die in until it touches the ram. Lower the ram and turn the die one half turn further in and lock it down. When you raise the ram, you will feel a resistance continue to raise it, It won't take much effort to get it all the way up. This will reset the very base of the case so it can fit in the chamber.

    This is always a problem with auto loaders and especially with those on an AR platform.
     
  8. jmkasza

    jmkasza

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    I have not tried to chamber any brass before loading, but I will tonight. I should have tried that already (but have not), thank you. Brass is at or below max case length. Rifle was thoroughly cleaned and will be cleaned regularly.

    Question on the crimping: Doesn't the RCBS seating die roll crimp?
     
  9. jmkasza

    jmkasza

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    After reading about carbon ring I thoroughly cleaned the upper, chamber, and barrel. Have not shot since.

    Yes, I know the 50gr are not likely to be great at that twist rate, but I wanted to try it to see if it would work.
     
  10. jmkasza

    jmkasza

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    I do not have a headspace gauge or case gauge for this cartridge. Is this the best way to determine if the dies simply won't work for this rifle?
     
  11. jmkasza

    jmkasza

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    Yes, I have setup the dies exactly how RCBS instructs.
     
  12. jmkasza

    jmkasza

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    At this point, it sure seems like purchasing small base dies the next logical step. Any other suggestions? Thank you all for the information so far.
     
  13. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full. Gold $$ Contributor

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    You may want to invest in one of these.

    https://lewilson.com/case-gage/
     
  14. Pres100

    Pres100

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    Depends on the actual RCBS seating die and how it is set up in the press. You should be able to adjust a seating die that crimps high enough to still seat bullets without crimping the case. That would be controlled by how far you screw the die down a quick and easy experiment with a dummy round.
    That should also be in the die instructions.
     
  15. Rsadams

    Rsadams

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    Get a Hornady headspace comparator and set the small base dies up to only bump the shoulder back .003 for autos and .001-.002 for bolt action... There's tons of threads on here on how to do it... Your brass will live ALOT longer... Just a guess but your probably bumping shoulder back .007 or more with the dies set up per the instructions now which is working your brass twice as much as it needs to be which will lead to case head separation, which you do NOT want to happen.... Look up the paper clip trick to check for this with the search function or maybe you tube....

    As far as crimp , which I do for automatic I use the Lee factory crimp die instead in a separate and final step... Just a light crimp will do it... Some don't crimp for automatic I do it as extra insurance... Since the rifles I own are iron sights the crimp isn't going to effect the accuracy because I can only see them so we'll anymore.. I don't crimp for bolt action though....
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  16. jmkasza

    jmkasza

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    I've never measured headspace before, but sounds like it is time to learn. I'll look at getting the tools before long. That and small base dies of course, those I ordered today.

    Thank you
     
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  17. jmkasza

    jmkasza

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    Update: Made a trip to the range today and was very pleased with the results. I ordered small base dies and the Hornady headspace comparator, but they won't be here till midweek. So, nothing has changed other than I cleaned the ever living snot out of this gun. It fired 10 factory rounds and 30 hand loads flawlessly today (the case checker gauge did arrive and all my handloads fit perfectly). Some decent groups too. Very excited to get the Hornady tool soon to measure the headspace, but I expect to find out the chamber is very tight and with proper cleaning and setting the headspace correctly it should be smoother from here on out.
     
  18. fatelvis

    fatelvis Silver $$ Contributor

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    So any updates on your sizing? Have you measured them with your new Hornady tool?
     
  19. 5spd

    5spd

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    Glad to hear your on the right path.
    I built 3 Valkries for ranchers and have had zero issues with standard Lee dies (Not small base).
    I got the barrels from Midsouth so they are not close to top line, but they sure shoot like they are.
    One thing I know for a fact is that the 1/7" twist will shred 50-55g bullets before they hit paper or if they do it will be sideways. 60g bullets on up do very very good.
     

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