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Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL

18 Feb 2018
@ 12:17 am (GMT)

Scott Rees

Hi Nathan,
Love reading all your articles. Only just come across them recently.
I'm trying to find max COL I can run in my tikka t3x 300 wsm. Say up to 0.02 off the lands as a start anyway. I'm using ADI 2213 sc at max rec. load with 208 eld-m but want to know if I can run them longer as the charts are saying 2.9 inches max COL which places the bullet really deep in the case.
I plan to run a longer bolt stop and custom mag.
Any help would be great.
CHeers

Scott

Replies

18 Feb 2018
@ 07:28 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Hi Scott, glad you posted, there is much for you to learn. I can see that you do not yet understand the mechanical aspects of this, therefore, it is also possible that you may make mistakes which could lead to harm. Note also that your Tikka is not exactly a robust action design and has less than ideal gas / failure handling.

To proceed:

Each rifle chamber must be treated on an individual basis, Tikka especially, being that they are inclined to use their own style of reamer. Understand that the slightest, and I mean slightest change in angle from reamer to reamer, effects the max OAL by a huge margin. You must therefore learn to measure the OAL for your individual rifle.

I would prefer that you utilize my book series to gain a firm understanding of this subject, following the how-to steps one by one, working up loads to suit the rifle, not what such and such says about his rifle on the internet.

As for mag length, yes, the Tikka could do with a longer magazine if using the 208gr but the max OAL for the ELD-X is a bit shorter. Having said this, both can handle a bit of jump if running mild velocities in the region of 2600 to 2700fps. Still, if you can modify your mag or find a longer unit, go for it.

Powder cramping should not be a major issue. The Tikka .300's respond very well to 2209 (H4350).

A more worrying issue is the stock design at this recoil level. In fact the entire rifle (lite version) is not ergonomically suited to increases in velocity above 2600fps (200-208gr). Still, the Tikka .300's can shoot very well with solid technique although a superior stock design would help a great deal. Unfortunately, rather than demanding a superior stock design, most kiwis slap add ons all over the rifle, hoping this will fix all ills.

In any case, please take heed of what I have said here. Increase your understanding of the rifle, of OAL issues and so forth before continuing on. Do not try to source OAL data from the internet. Your rifle is unique and the throat is constantly growing as you shoot it. It cannot be compared to any other rifle with regards to hand loading.

I have had a great run with the Tikka .300 WSM with modified mags (mods somewhere within the book series), but I also know its strengths and limitations. If you understand the fundamentals, you can exploit its potential.
18 Feb 2018
@ 02:07 pm (GMT)

Scott Rees

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Thanks for the reply Nathan. I'll go out and buy a modified case and find the correct gauges. When you say powder cramping, do you mean the projectile sitting down in the powder?
Cheers

Scott
19 Feb 2018
@ 06:55 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Hi Scott, yes, just that.

Gauges can be useful but there are simple methods to work it out manually as shown in the reloading book. A few ways to skin this cat.
19 Feb 2018
@ 07:50 pm (GMT)

Scott Rees

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Evening Nathan,

I've read your article on this site to do with COAL. I'll use the hornady gauge as that sounds the most practical and most accurate option for a beginner.

Thought this was an interesting vid, he talks about at the end the importance of measuring head space of a fire formed case from your chamber as the modified case from Hornady can be different, affecting your calculations. If you watch from 18 minute mark. Not sure if many people know this.

Be interesting hear your thoughts on it, if you have time to watch it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whln3B3DFAY

Thanks again
19 Feb 2018
@ 10:22 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Scott the books are just as thrilling and a lifetime purchase. You can get the family to buy you a book each for your birthday or the whole set in one go. You wont regret getting them and if you read them and decide you don't like them Ill have another set. Lol
20 Feb 2018
@ 12:41 pm (GMT)

Scott Rees

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Cheers Warwick, I might just have to do that.
20 Feb 2018
@ 04:21 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
That's a pretty safe offer, Warwick. You know you won't be getting them.
21 Feb 2018
@ 01:30 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Isn't there something wrong with that video at 20:25? Maybe it's too early in the morning, or the meds aren't working, but there is something that doesn't make sense there.
21 Feb 2018
@ 06:19 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Hi Scott, yes I talked about differences between the gauge and actual head space in the book.
24 Feb 2018
@ 07:04 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
So now I'm wondering if it was just me or if nobody watched the video.
25 Feb 2018
@ 08:18 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Hi Paul, I have watched the video. His conclusions are correct. He could perhaps have explained that one method is measuring from the shoulder to the leade while his FF case (provided there is no spring back) is a more accurate measure of the bolt face to leade measurement. Perhaps an exaggerated picture of the leade would have helped.

But then there is also the issue of cartridges designed to utilize a much higher degree of freebore such as the .308 he was using. Hence why I chose to structure the book steps to take freebore and mag lengths into consideration. Very easy to make this subject over complicated.

Even when we do get the measurements right, there is no means to estimate at what OAL the harmonic timing will be best. A couple of weeks ago I had a foreign client pass through, he wanted to use my reloading bench, then carry on with his journey. But he also had a new projectile he wanted to try. I literally had minutes to guess a load for him and hope that it would work. So I partially neck sized a case, took an average of the pill lengths, part seated a pill, rammed it home via the chamber, extracted it and measured it, repeat, repeat one more time. I noticed a bit of a scuff mark where I had rammed it home so I figured I better take off an extra 5 thou. So I opted for 15 thou off the given max OAL, a safe mid point powder charge, then sent him on his way. Well I fluked it, the load shot inside a half minute. But as you know, things don't always go so well.
25 Feb 2018
@ 12:51 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Without trying to sound like a dick, I still don't get it.

What I see is this guy telling us that he is measuring from the bolt face to the point of contact on the leade. To my thinking, that number does not change no matter what case you put in. Even if there was no case, the measurement from the bolt face to the leade would be the same. Just because the shoulder moves forward by way of a fireformed case, how does that change the distance between the bolt face and the leade? And how could the stated measurement (.799) be the same between the modified case and the fireformed case when the shoulder is supposed to have been moved forward? Did that fireformed case somehow move the leade forward so that the .799 would remain constant? That .799 number is bogus and he is either not aware that his arithmetic needs editing or he is using misinformation to prove a point that he can't explain.


Or that I just can't figure out what the hell he is talking about. That could be it.
25 Feb 2018
@ 01:47 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Without trying to sound like a dick, I still don't get it.

What I see is this guy telling us that he is measuring from the bolt face to the point of contact on the leade. To my thinking, that number does not change no matter what case you put in. Even if there was no case, the measurement from the bolt face to the leade would be the same.

* That is correct Paul.

Just because the shoulder moves forward by way of a fireformed case, how does that change the distance between the bolt face and the leade?

* Well, in this instance, it can be a misleading description because yes the shoulder moved forwards but when we measure this, we measure the growth to the rear. One could for state that the shoulder stayed put and the case stretched back to the bolt face.

And how could the stated measurement (.799) be the same between the modified case and the fireformed case when the shoulder is supposed to have been moved forward? Did that fireformed case somehow move the leade forward so that the .799 would remain constant? That .799 number is bogus and he is either not aware that his arithmetic needs editing or he is using misinformation to prove a point that he can't explain.

* He is correct but so are you. It just depends on how you look at it. I think it would be much easier for you to think of it as the .799 remaining constant while the case body stretched back. Such an anology is fine because realistically, the firing pin pushes the case fowards, after which the case flows in all directions. Others tend to think in a more linear fashion from bolt face to muzzle.

Or that I just can't figure out what the hell he is talking about. That could be it.

* Well we all see things from different perspectives. Several billion people each having a unique experience in an ever expanding universe.
25 Feb 2018
@ 01:50 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
The one point he is trying to make is that this type of comparator can never be truly accurate. Nevertheless, it does have a built in margin of safety via its error.
25 Feb 2018
@ 02:31 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Well...let's say we'll agree to disagree. I get what you are saying, Nathan, but I still think he needs to change his numbers.

If the .799 were to remain constant, this would mean that the case had moved forward, as you say, from the striking of the firing pin. This is well known and accepted, and we all use it when we fireform. No argument there. Now, when the case stretches back to contact the bolt face, we have arrived at where we want to be, and that is fireformed with as close to perfect headspace as we can get. And the case length to the datum line has a new value. Nothing wrong with that, either. But, the distance from the bolt face to the leade has not grown by .007", and that's the part I have a problem with.

It would just be better and easier for everyone involved if they would just, as you say, keep it simple. Use the methods in the book. But Hornady, Sinclair, and the myriad of others who prey upon the unsuspecting mortals that haven't read the "Book" will continue to market new products that even though they seem to work, just complicate the simple and usable methods that have been there forever.

Reading in the comments below the video, there was one poster who summed it all up quite succinctly. He stated that this was not an OAL gauge, per se, but a comparator at best, as it did not really give you a number that was a true OAL, but rather a measurement to the ogive. Even though the use was valid, the name is misleading.
25 Feb 2018
@ 02:46 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Quite true, the difference from the bolt face to leade is the same. The case grew and gave different readings, not the bolt face to leade- unless it was me reloading about 20 years ago setting the lugs back (fireforming my lugs).
26 Feb 2018
@ 09:55 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Tikka T3X 300 WSM COL
Hornady do offer a service to help fix this elevating any confusion & minimizing measurement error. You send 2x fire formed cases and they will machine the case with the thread to accept the comparator tool!

First job for me on a new rifle that is being set up for target/LR work is to fire off 5 rounds then drill and tap (hopefully only one!) to suit my comparator, keeping the others to set minimum shoulder bump on the dies.

Worth mentioning for new reloaders that these measurements are not "set for life" as stated, for example throats wear & to a smaller degree (hopefully) lugs lap/bed in. Just as all projectiles out of a batch/box may not measure up the same.
Nathans reloading book is still my go to for a clear understanding of all these things.

 

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