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Old December 27, 2009, 11:40 PM   #1
Kirbyman
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Join Date: December 27, 2009
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Bushmaster AR15 Jamming

Hi y'all! This is my first post. I've been reloading handguns for 8 yrs. I am now reloading my 223. I use Hornedy L-N-L for all stages except priming. For that I use an old Hollywood 12 die turret reloading press. I have two Bushmaster rifles. One is OEM and the second was bought second hand. It was not fired much at all and was modified for competition. So here is my dilema. The OEM rifle (M4) eats everything I throw into it. The other rifle (A2) jams when I feed it reloaded ammo. It has an after market SS Bull barrel on it. The round goes in about 7/8 of the way in and then gets firmly jammed into the breech. It is then a real son of a gun to get out! I actually have to use a screw driver to pry the bolt back! I am loading once or twice fired Lake City brass trimmed at 1.74- 1.75". I am using H335 @ 25.5 gr pushing Siera, Hornady or Win bullets. Doesnt seem to make much difference if they are 52, 55 or 63 grain bullets. Overall length is right around 2.225" when I crimp at the canilure. I full length resize the brass using standard issue RCBS dies. I compare my reloads to new Federal ammo and about the only thing I can come up with is that my neck diameter is wider than factory new. The Fed ammo is .2445" and I am at .2545". I'm thinking that the issue is either the neck size or perhaps it may even be the rifle. Maybe the throat may be too narrow or made for competition type tolerences. Can any one help?

Thanks!

BTW, is there a better way to ream the primer pockets than using the hand held Hornedy cutting tool? It takes forever and it still doesnt work well with my CCI primers. I still crunch more than I care to admit.
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Old December 27, 2009, 11:59 PM   #2
rjrivero
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You need to either take the bolt out and drop one of your reloads into the chamber to see if it fits, or better yet, get yourself a case gauge to check the sizing of your cases after sizing.

You probably have a chamber thats a bit tight, if it has been set up for national match and you'll need to adjust your sizing die accordingly.

RJ
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Old December 28, 2009, 12:05 AM   #3
bcarver
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case sizes

you can try several things.
1. Use different brass.
2. turn the case necks.
3. Use small bases dies. (it may not be the necks).
4. Remove the barrel and sell or ream the chamber.
Some competition barrels have a tight chamber.
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Old December 31, 2009, 03:15 PM   #4
David Hineline
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Small base sizing dies size the case all the way down till the die bottoms on the shell holder. you just have a barrel with a tight chamber, You can always have a 5.56 chamber reamer ran on that barrel and it will loosen up, might loose a bit of accuracy but it probably already shoots tighter groups than you are capable of.
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Old January 1, 2010, 08:23 AM   #5
stubbicatt
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If you don't have a case gage, you would do well to get one. It may tell you more about your particular dilemma. I *suspect* you will find that a small base die will correct your issue, but I would still get the gage.

Question number 2: How best to get the military crimp from the primer pockets?

I've had good results with this setup. It is the Dillon Super Swage and is a great value at the price.



One last thing to try before purchasing the small base sizing die would be to simply seat a bullet in your sized case but *not* crimp the bullet in place and see whether feeding improves. Many a handloader has inadvertently collapsed the shoulder of his cartridges just a skosh by enthusiastically applying a bullet crimp, thus creating a round that will not chamber in a tighter "match" chamber. -- Just a little something that may reveal your real culprit.
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Old January 2, 2010, 11:56 AM   #6
Kirbyman
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Join Date: December 27, 2009
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Thank you

Thanks for all the replies. My first order of business will be to get a case guage. I have them for other calibers, and rarely use them. But in this case (okay, mabe a little pun intended) I will try it. I have tried many different reloading scenarios. At first I thought that it was a crimping issue. So, I tried with and w/o crimp, different seating depths, different bullets, etc. The cases with no crimp did better, but were still real tight. Again, everything I threw into the other Bushmaster fit with ease. I am now pretty convinced that the issue is with the tight chamber on the competition SS barrel. I like David's idea of the 5.54 chamber reamer. I'll do some Googling to find more on that. I think I will also try the Dillon tool to ream the primer pockets. The Hornady tool is okay, but it makes my hands cramp up after about 20-30 cases or so. My CCI primers are still difficult to insert using my Hornady Lock N Load. So difficult in fact, that I cannot use the Hornady as a progressive reloader. I do all the priming in the Hollywood machine. Are CCI primers good for the AR? I heard that Remington are not so good because they are soft and can contribute to slamfires.

Thanks again to all that contributed!
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Old January 2, 2010, 12:25 PM   #7
rjrivero
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If you do end up needing to ream the chamber, send it to Miciguns. They do a nice job.

www.m-guns.com

They sell the tool, but I'm not sure if you really need to buy the tool for a single barrel.
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