Headspace issue on Model 8 32 Rem

Information on Malfunctions and Care of your Model 8 & 81
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Headspace issue on Model 8 32 Rem

Post by Mikeshoe72 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:07 pm

Howdy all,
Had a rough weekend at the range with my Model 8 I got back in January. I've shot around 100 rounds through since I got it with zero problems or jams, till yesterday. First shot, complete head seperation. Gun is fine, it actually ejected the case head and of course jammed trying to feed another round. On a Quality Cartridge case that was only fired once before. Ok, thought it was just bad case, as my 141 pump has never had any issues and shot the rest of the box without a hitch.

I got it home and took it apart and using a 45 caliber cleaning brush, pulled what was left of the case right out. I go back to the range today, and first shot good, and second shot, complete seperation again. This time in Winchester brass I reformed from 30, however I had reloaded it as a 32 about 4 times already.
I was wondering why now this is showing up since I've shot it quite a bit prior. Maybe because the cases were already fired once in the Model 8 and couldn't tolerate any more stretching.
I am going to readjust my loading dies just to rule out the possibility that the shoulder is getting set back too much. I don't think so, because my 141 has been shot several times with the same brass with no issues, and fired rounds Mic out within .001" to .002" of one's full length sized.

Any thoughts? And most importantly, what could be done if the headspace is indeed off on this barrel?

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Re: Headspace issue on Model 8 32 Rem

Post by Phyrbird » Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:24 pm

You might be able to find out; see this post


Of course you would need a factory case(s) as a baseline to figure out the starting dimension. But we could definetly compare rounds fired in 2 rifles for differences.
Another factor could be brass age/hardening....

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Re: Headspace issue on Model 8 32 Rem

Post by Mikeshoe72 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:32 am

That may help. As to the age question of the brass, the first round that separated was new brass I got at Midway last month, only on its second firing. I do have some original Western factory rounds to compare to also. I'm gonna get my calipers out tonight and measure again as well, and back off my full length sizing die too. I've reloaded somewhere near 100,000 rounds in my life and have loaded somewhere around 2,000 rounds between 30,32, and 35 Rem's, never had this problem before.

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Re: Headspace issue on Model 8 32 Rem

Post by jim c 351 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:15 am

If your rifle has a headspace problem I can't think of any solution short of switching barrels and bolts.
Therefore I'd focus on the brass.
Years ago, when I shot an M1 and M14s a lot I would get these separations every now and then. Never kept track of number of times fired.
I started to inspect the brass more carefully. When a case is about to fail a noticeable ring is usually detected near the base.
Time to pitch.
Also I used a dentil pick to search for separations internally. Very effective in rejecting brass.
The long recoil system of the 8/81 is especially forgiving in limiting gas leakage, but even with the M1 it wasn't a big problem.
Jim C

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Re: Headspace issue on Model 8 32 Rem

Post by Sebastian21 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:33 am

It could be firing out of battery. Are you using military grade primers? The model 8 will indent the primers upon loading and May Fire out of battey. It happen to me and blew the extractor off and cracked the bolt. Switch to military grade primers which are harder. This may not be your problem but the model 8 and 81 should never be fired with standard primers. Use only military grade.

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Re: Headspace issue on Model 8 32 Rem

Post by Sarge756 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:59 pm

Think I`ll go get some popcorn ready for responses.......
".......ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

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Re: Headspace issue on Model 8 32 Rem

Post by Mikeshoe72 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:42 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. Like I stated before, I had new brass, that wad only on its second loading. I found a second case tonight that had cracked but not separated. The third one was an older one with several loading under its belt. And also my 141 Gamemaster digested the same loads, 62 of them in fact, yesterday, without any problems.
As to the military primers? I seriously doubt it it fired out of battery. It didn't slam fire. One thing to look for on these rifles is that after too much dry firing, they can develop a burr on the back of the bolt right next to where the firing pin head is. When initially disassembling one of my 8's, I was messing with the bolt assembly and noticed the firing pin protruding from the bolt face. I used a little punch to push it back as it was not moving freely. Upon further inspection, I found the back of the bolt to have been beaten up by the hammer. A few seconds with a small file took care of it. This thing would have possibly fired upon releasing the bolt on a live round! Scarey thought indeed.

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Re: Headspace issue on Model 8 32 Rem

Post by dobletroble » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:42 pm

If it is a headspace issue you can fireform brass to fit just that rifle - essentially treat it like a wildcat. Because the cartridge is obsolete it's essentially a wildcat anyway and you don't have to worry about someone firing factory ammo in the out-of-spec chamber.

Since you are forming from a more narrow neck the only way (I can think of) to do this is by headspacing off the bullet. You'd have to seat your bullet out long enough to engage the lands. A mild load will then blow the shoulder forward to fit the chamber. Then when you resize you just want to kiss the shoulder - move it back only a few thousandths. This will likely require setting the die off the shell holder and slowly turning it in and watching it step down the neck until the shoulder just is touched.

Cast bullets are excellent for this as problems with pressure spikes with bullet in the lands is reduced. For 35 Rem I've found that the RCBS 200 gr FN engages the lands when seated to the crimp groove.

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Re: Headspace issue on Model 8 32 Rem

Post by kenhwind » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:20 am

Well I have an old Model 8 25-35 Remington that I just acquired and I have a .32 barrel assembly. I've been reloading for years myself but do not consider me to be an expert on reloading, but I bought some of the 25 Remington brass from Graf & Sons and it is obviously Quality Cartridge, which Midway sells.
While these is all that seems to be available, I personally wonder about this brass, because I see things when I loaded up the 25 that you usually don't see until after firing.

As for headspacing the case to the rifle it seems to be that you could measure from the end of the barrel extension to the case head to find the dimension from a fired case and then set the resizing die to bump it back about 0.05.

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