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Old June 12, 2011, 09:49 PM   #1
k Squared
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AR-15 Fail To Feed My Reloads What Do I Try Next

I have an AR-15 which fails to feed approximately one out of 20 of my reloads. The bolt picks up the cartridge but only gets it half way out of the mag before it jams. It always chambers the first round when I load the mag and use the bolt release.

I never had problems with factory ammo. I have cleaned the rifle and lubed it thoroughly. I also inspected the magazine (no visible damage), and cleaned and lubed it.

I am using 55gr FMJBT on top of 27 gr of BL-2C and CCI #41 Mag Primer. The COL is 2.230 +/_ .005".

Should I try adjusting the powder charge (and if so, up or down), or should I play with the case length (again, up or down)?

Thanks.
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Old June 12, 2011, 11:55 PM   #2
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After reading your post, i would like to offer the following suggestions to possibly solve your ammo feeding problem:

1. For auto loading rifles which fire bottle-neck cartridges, be sure to full length resize the cases.

2. Check the length of the cases & if too long, trim them to the shortest length recommended for the caliber from reputable sources of this information.

3. Seat the bullet to the farthest you can, which will still permit easy loading into the magazine. Another way to set the bullet seating die to the factory ammo specs.

4. Use a taper crimp die to finish the final step after seating the bullet.

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Old June 13, 2011, 07:35 AM   #3
jmorris
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If you don't already have a 223 case gauge you should get one. Try that first and I bet you are good to go.
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Old June 13, 2011, 12:41 PM   #4
mehavey
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Quote:
only gets it half way out of the mag before it jams. It always chambers the first round
What you describe does not relate to sizing, OAL, or crimping (BTW: don't bother). Rather, it leads me to suggest you borrow another magazine and see if you still have the same issue.
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Old June 13, 2011, 01:21 PM   #5
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Thanks

All good inputs...Thanks!

P.S. I didn't mention it in my original post, but I trimed the cases and used a full-length sizing die.
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Old June 13, 2011, 04:36 PM   #6
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Do you have another magazine to use and see if maybe that eliminates any feeding issues?
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Old June 13, 2011, 04:42 PM   #7
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Never had any issues with that magazine and factory ammo?

Maybe it is not the magazine.

I have seen very hot loads override the base of the round, but dig in around the center of the cartridge. About half of the cartridge gets pushed out of the magazine but since the bolt is halfway up the thing, you get a jam.

Someone with experience with BL-C would have to chime in and say if your load is hot. I don't shoot 55's or BL-C.
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Old June 13, 2011, 05:41 PM   #8
Edward429451
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27.5 grains is max in my book. I use 26.0 gr for 3050 fps with a 55 gr.
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Old June 13, 2011, 08:22 PM   #9
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This is just a wild guess, but since the mags are new, you may be experiencing a problem with the size of the base of the cartrage. Most companies will recommend that you use a X-Small Base full length resizing die. I use a RCBS one and no more FTFs. The other thing is to bump the shoulder of the case to the correct spec's. This is done by using a case length gauge when setting up your dies and press.



This is a case that needs to be bumped. Does make a difference.

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Old June 13, 2011, 08:57 PM   #10
mehavey
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Again, the OP says problem occurs where the cartridge is (not) stripped cleanly/completely from the magazine to enter the chamber. If the round chambers freely after that (i.e., the bolt closes), it is not a small-base sizing problem.

QL tells me 27gr BLC2 under a Sierra 55gr FMJBT w/ an OAL of 2.230" produces a shade over 50,400psi, which is not an overly-aggressive load. (Hornady max's out at 28.1gr BLC2 -- which may be also be case capacity limit.)

My bet it still on a magazine-related phenomenon. (By any chance do you use the magazine for a left-hand hold point?)
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Old June 13, 2011, 09:35 PM   #11
k Squared
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Cartridges do chamber without any problem

Mehavey,

You're right. The problem is getting the round up to the chamber. Once there it chambers and ejects without any problem.

I use a right-handed hold.

I'll try another magazine and let you know what happens.

Thanks again.
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Old June 13, 2011, 09:44 PM   #12
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Mehavey,

Let's see it doesn't strip his cases but strips commercial ammo without a problem, and you think it is not a case issue?? And who said anything about the chamber? (not me)

If you don't resize your cases properly, don't blame it on the gun or mags. Although it could be a follower problem or heavy spring in the mag.

Jim
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Old June 13, 2011, 09:45 PM   #13
grumpa72
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I reload for the .223 and can't see how powder, bullet, OAL, primer or any other component can be a feeding problem. I am guessing that this is a sizing issue. You said you full length resized but I still believe that you have a sizing issue. Can you figure out if it happens with one type of brass?
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Old June 13, 2011, 10:37 PM   #14
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Are you using plastic or the older military aluminum mags? I only use aluminum and have never had a feed problem. My son in SF swears by the plastic mags. It could be the base issue as suggest by a previous post. I have noticed in reloading that some cases will not go into the gauge properly as shown in the photo. I set these aside and resize them. Good luck. Let us know when you figure out the problem.
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Old June 14, 2011, 05:06 PM   #15
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I'll wait for the Different Magazine results before theorizing further.
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Old June 14, 2011, 06:14 PM   #16
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What about too heavy buffer and/or spring for the ammo? Just a thought, sounds like what mehavey is describing and the mag is preventing the round from being fed
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Old June 14, 2011, 06:36 PM   #17
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I'd ordinarily agree w/ you but the load combination K-Sq cited should produce the required military-equivalent dynamics for proper operation (50,000+ psi). (and it's max in Lyman's & Speer's/only 1 grain under max in Hornady's manual).

Like most mysteries, it's always the butler or the magazine that did it.
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Old June 14, 2011, 07:51 PM   #18
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Well ill put my money on the mag too. I wasn't sure on the load, I've never reloaded .223/5.56 just bought in bulk for the time being. If the OP has p-mags he should be able to do a pretty quick test.
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Old June 14, 2011, 08:53 PM   #19
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RCBS sells an ar series die set that may do the trick.
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Old June 14, 2011, 09:06 PM   #20
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Jim 243

I think Jim 243 nailed it, I would start with a L.E.Wilson gage, since only reloads were an issue I would have to assume his rifle functions as it's supposed to with factory ammunition. Setting the sizing die correctly is the first step that has to be spot on. I use a fired factory case minus .002 to set my sizing die, I usually purchase two or three boxes of factory ammo to aid in setting up a new rifle. I will say flat out the first rifle I loaded for was a Remington auto rifle that I cussed until it was traded, only later did I encounter the small base die issue which no doubt would have addressed my failure to feed properly. If I had a auto I was loading for I would have small base dies if for no other reason for my peace of mind. You will learn as you get older that it helps to have the right tools for the task (experience is also a plus too)!. William
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