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Old February 10, 2013, 06:30 PM   #1
jal5
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Reloaded rounds jam in AR15

I have been reloading for various calibers for 4 yrs. and casting my own for 2 yrs. This was the first time reloading for the AR15 DPMS Oracle, .223/.556 rifle. I started out with jacketed Midway 55 gr FBHP, Federal brass, CCI SRP and Re7 five cases each, OAL 2.240 for .223 rounds. This was range pickup brass, all cleaned, sized, prepped and loaded according to specs. I did five each starting at 20.1 working up by .3 to 21.5 at max.

First reloaded round at 50 yds. was 1" to the right of the bullseye, using the Vortex Strikefire scope. The second round cycled but locked up in the chamber and I could not budge it using the charging handle which barely moved at all.

I took the rifle home after ejecting the magazine but the safety button wouldn't work either so it was still in fire mode with a live round in the chamber. After a little research online I used the "mortar" method and just lifting the butt about 4" off the ground and simultaneously putting pressure on the charging handle, released the BCG and the round ejected.

The question is why did this happen? and what to do to avoid this?
The only thing I can see differently between round #1 and #2 is that the shoulder of the case in #2 is slightly more angled than in #1. They are the same size case length and overall look the same other than that shoulder. Some other rounds in this test batch have similar shoulder irregularities.
Could this be the cause?

Or is it that this small charge of RE7 won't cycle the action effectively?
Any other reasons you can think of to cause this?

Thanks.

Joe
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Old February 10, 2013, 07:40 PM   #2
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Have you tried any of the other rounds? A misadjusted die can slightly bulge a shoulder and cause a jam. Too bad that you don't have a case gauge.
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Old February 10, 2013, 08:33 PM   #3
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Are you using a full length small base die? Does your die have a built in crimp feature? I know from experience over crimping can damage the shoulder and jam the rounds! There is a lot of stuff that could have caused it, just trying to ask a few of those questions.

Just wondering, what powder are you using?
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Old February 10, 2013, 08:47 PM   #4
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Hard to tell from your photo, but it sort of looks like the bullet has some striations on it. Any chance that it was jammed into the lands?
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Old February 10, 2013, 08:58 PM   #5
mjm
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I had similar problems using a competition AR. My problemwas solved by adusting my die. I now check every piece of resized brass with a case gauge. Using the case gauge, I have found about 1-2% bought cases will not full length resize.
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Old February 10, 2013, 09:34 PM   #6
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I did the same thing.... over crimp was the only thing i could pin it on...
bit yours does not look like it...
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Old February 10, 2013, 10:18 PM   #7
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When you are resizing your brass, is the shell holder touching the die at the top of its stroke? (with brass actually in the die) A case that isn't quite resized all the way can jam in a tight chamber. Secondly, if you are trying to apply crimp a bullet with no cannelure, you could be distorting the neck and/or shoulder. It also does appear there might be rifling marks on the bullet, but that could just be the photo. If there are, you need to seat the bullets deeper. That by itself probably would not prevent a round from going into battery unless crimp was applied. I didn't see you mention if you tried pulling the trigger on that second round, but since you mention that you could not engage the safety, I take it that the round did not quite chamber fully and did not fire, nor would it eject. I would first make sure that you are sizing the brass as fully as possible, and if you still have problems you might need to use a small base die - at least when first resizing range pickup brass.
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:46 PM   #8
jal5
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Let me try to answer some of your questions.

No case gauge for .223

The round got stuck with the charging handle unable to move and nothing but a click when I tried to fire the round. The primer had a very faint indentation.
I couldn't try any of the other rounds since the rifle was jammed.

Dies are Lee set and I crimped in a separate step on a single stage press, just barely enough to smooth out the bell on the mouth of the cases.

Reloader 7 is the powder.

There is one small rubbed spot on the bullet, rubbing on the lands would have appeared all around the bullet I think?

My thought is that in resizing the brass I didn't quite set up the die correctly, but that would have applied to all of those rounds wouldn't it? And the first round fired perfectly, just the second one got jammed in the chamber.

I think I will take some measurements of the other rounds and see what I can find with that, especially the shoulder measurement of the cases. I will keep you posted.

Joe
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:16 AM   #9
mehavey
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I assume full length re-size w/ a slight cam-over

1. Don't bell. Jacketed bullets don't need it.
2. Don't crimp. Again, w/ normal neck tension on jacketed bullets, you don't need it.

3. Try that and see if it doesn't clean things up.

Last edited by mehavey; February 11, 2013 at 12:22 AM.
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:43 AM   #10
TXGunNut
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+1 on mehavey's excellent reply. Your loaded round did not allow the bolt to go into battery and an oversize case body or neck will cause that in a tight chamber. All FL resize dies may now be small-base dies but it was an important distinction when I bought mine.....awhile back. A set of go-nogo gauges may be money well spent if your chamber is a bit on the tight size.
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Old February 11, 2013, 02:39 AM   #11
chris in va
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Wrong powder.

Use Reloder 15. Numerous reports of jamming with RX7 with anything over 45gr bullets.

Last edited by chris in va; February 11, 2013 at 02:46 AM.
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Old February 11, 2013, 03:32 AM   #12
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Its usually almost always Headspace... check your headspace, i bet youre off just enough to have that happen. Turn the resizing die down a quarter turn at a time until they chamber properly and you should be fine from there.. Good Luck!

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Old February 12, 2013, 01:28 AM   #13
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My new Sig 716 did something very similar to what you are describing. I had to use persuasion on the charging handle to get the action back open.

A set of small base dies fixed the problem.
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Old February 12, 2013, 09:48 AM   #14
oldpapps
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Sound like shoulder set-back.

Re-set your dies.
Let the expander ball do all of the case mouth expanding, don't bell.
Don't use any crimp, none, zero. (This is where I think the shoulder set-back.)

Crimp only if you are having a problem with too little neck tension. I would prefer to polish the expander ball (makes it a little smaller and smoother) over crimping, but that's just me.

A gauge would be nice, I guess. I don't have one and most likely never will. My 'gauge' is the chamber of what I'm feeding.
Small base sizing dies.... Got a set some place in the stack of stuff I don't use. SAAMI spec sizing dies, the standard ones, seem to have been working just fine for me for the last 40 odd years. Oh yea, I did use those SB dies when I built a target bolt action in true .223 chambering, but the regular base sized brass worked just as well. Maybe your chamber is ultra tight and you need them.

Your charge is not in question (at this time), you are not getting a good chambering.

Be safe,

OSOK
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:50 AM   #15
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I agree with oldpapps and Ifishsum and recommend that you reset your resizing die with the shell holder touching the die at the top of its stroke (with brass actually in the die). After resizing, I would then check the case length and if it is over 1.76", trim it back to 1.75". A case that is over 1.76" can and will cause a jam.

If you do both of those things and still have a stuck case issues, then your AR probably has a very tight chamber and you probably will have to go to a small base sizing die.

There are many threads on crimp vs no crimp. Personally, I would not crimp a .223 bullet unless it had a cannelure. If you need to crimp because of bullet setback issues, then you may have additional sizing die issues, further justifying the need for a small base sizing die.

Hope this helps...
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Old February 13, 2013, 03:30 PM   #16
jal5
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Here is what I found on measuring cases and rounds.

Trim length was 1.750 on all the brass after sizing.

One fired round that cycled fine:
1.745 brass length
.311 from mouth of case to just below shoulder where cs flattens
.356 dia. at top of shoulder just below the neck
.170 neck length

One loaded round that jammed:
1.740 brass length
dia. at top of shoulder .358 (where it looks like bulge)
.187 neck length
.309 from mouth of case to just below shoulder where cs flattens

One loaded round that wasn't in the mag:
1.737 brass length
dia. top of shoulder .368 where it looks like bulge
.184 neck length

checked Several cs not loaded:
1.750 brass length
dia. at top of shoulder varied from .354- .368
.184 neck length consistently


Since the SAMMI standards show .3542 just below shoulder where cs flattens- mine are all bigger, especially the one that jammed as well as the one that wasn't in the mag and is unfired.
I think this must be from the resizing step or maybe the seating step. When I get the case gauge that I ordered in the mail, I will set up the dies using that hopefully that will cure this problem.

Joe
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:07 PM   #17
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Looks like your seating die is not adjusted correctly. You are "smashing" the case during the seating step and "bulging" the shoulder. Hence your shorter cases after bullet seating than after sizing. This will happen.

Back your seating die out a few turns and re set the seater plug.

I bet that solves your problem.
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Old February 13, 2013, 05:05 PM   #18
mehavey
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You do not have a case-length problem.

Two questions:

1. Are you full length resizing with slight cam-over ?

2. With newly sized cases (per Step #1) -- but not loaded -- will they chamber and the bolt close ?
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Old February 13, 2013, 05:51 PM   #19
chris in va
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Oh, ok...you smushed your shoulder. I've had a couple.

Here's a pic of a x39 I reloaded. Normal is on the right.



Re-set your FLSD back a hair and make sure the sizing grease/spray doesn't get on the shoulder.

I still suggest you try something else besides RX7 though.
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Old February 13, 2013, 07:35 PM   #20
jal5
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Chris that picture is exactly how some of mine look with the smushed shoulder.
I plan to try to resize these cases and will check them with the Dillon gage when that comes in mail.

I have H335 to try with these too
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Old February 14, 2013, 01:11 AM   #21
chris in va
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Don't bother resizing, just toss them.
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Old February 14, 2013, 08:59 AM   #22
oldmanFCSA
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I use an old RCBS Taper Crimp die for my 223 (5.56x45) loaded rounds.
Do not roll crimp.
Taper crimp to smooth out & uniform neck imperfections only for smoother feeding in semi-autos.
And use a Small Base die when resizing.

Not required - but works for me, many thousands of rounds with no problems.
Taper crimp does not require exact case length like a roll crimp.

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Old February 14, 2013, 10:04 AM   #23
Wyoredman
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Jal5, I would bet the farm that your seating die is turned into the press too far. I made this mistake in the past with a 270 and needed a ramrod to get the case out.

ETA:
Quote:
Re-set your FLSD back a hair and make sure the sizing grease/spray doesn't get on the shoulder.
It isn't your FLSD. They are made to be "camed over" when set against the shell holder inorder to set the shoulder back a bit.

The seating die, on the other hand, will crush the case if it is set too close to the shell holder. It is trying to apply an exsesive taper crimp to the case and pushing the neck back into the case shoulder.

place a sized, primed, and charged case in the press; raise the ram to top stroke; screw the seating die into the press untill it hits the case and stops; lower the ram and case; unscrew the seating die 1-2 turns; place a bullet in the case and raise it agian to top stroke lower it, check seating depth and adjust seating stem. Repeat untill desired OAL is achieved.

This is your problem. Nothing else.
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Last edited by Wyoredman; February 14, 2013 at 10:12 AM.
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