The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 1, 2011, 09:59 AM   #1
Lilswede1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2008
Location: NW Wash State
Posts: 181
.223 Black Hills LC brass - wont resize

Purchased 1000 rds of Black Hills ammo several years ago and have now accumulated enough to start prepping it for reloading. All ammo has been fireformed by my .223 Tikka T3.
The LC brass (with various headstamp dates) come out of the Rock Chucker .005"+ short at the shoulder.
Tried trimming cases prior to depriming, backing off FL sizing die, cleaning die and resetting it and running cases thru different press (Dillon 550B). All with the same results - shoulder set back too far.
It is only the LC cases from the Black Hills collection the have a problem. Headstamps like FC resize to correct shoulder length.
Have loaded 1000's of LC brass with no problem but these particular cases are baffling me.
Any suggestions?
Lilswede1 is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 11:22 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
First thing I would say is that trimming comes AFTER sizing, not before. Sizing cause the cases to grow and not necessarily uniformly from one to another. Trim AFTER sizing.


On the final shoulder dimensions, you should compare the presize shoulder measurements of the cases that come out "right" vs those that are "wrong". The wrong ones are probably shorter before they are sized. The sizing die can only do so much. One firing may not be enough to exactly form to your chamber.


PS- No reason to be full-length sizing cases fired once in a bolt gun if they're going to be used in the same gun....
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 11:40 AM   #3
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,773
LC brass is thick and hard.

1. Clean it.
2. Lube it, especially the inside of the neck.
3. Deprime.
4. Resize.
5. Trim.

Steps 3 and 4 are the same if you have a full length sizer that also deprimes.

You shouldn't be able to crush the shoulder down .005 unless your dies aren't adjusted correctly. What type of dies are you using?

Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 12:11 PM   #4
mehavey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 17, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 3,059
Quote:
The LC brass...come out of the Rock Chucker .005"+ short at the shoulder...[even after] backing off FL sizing die,...
I can understand why different brand brass might resize slightly differently due to different shoulder anealing/"springback" conditions. But the above statement is physically impossible in my universe. By the very definition of "backing off" you remove the die shoulder from the sizing equation.

Can you give us some more details ?






**postscript: by "...short at the shoulder..." you meant case headspace dimensions were left short (excessive)?


.
mehavey is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 12:17 PM   #5
PA-Joe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2010
Location: NEPA
Posts: 745
It sounds like the thinner brass is springing out to the longer length. How are you measuring the shoulders? You should be able to unsrew the FL die so that it does not move the shoulders at all.
PA-Joe is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 12:23 PM   #6
Lilswede1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2008
Location: NW Wash State
Posts: 181
thanks guy but

I measure all cases prior to starting prep. Shoulder length and OAL. Just like to be sure of what I am working with.
All cases fired from the same gun (mine) are fireformed to that gun correctly and all come .001" or less of the correct measurements.
Certain LC cases, when resized and deprimed, are .005" shorter than other cases.
The LC cases I purchased from Gib fireformed thru the same gun with shoulder measurements all the same resize correctly. R-P, F C, PMC, headstamp cases also resize properly.
BUT, the Black Hills cases fired from the same gun with the same measurements correct for a fireformed case from that gun come out .005" shorter.
The Black Hills ammo tends to be longer after the initial firing (1.70+ sometimes) and I thought that possibly the neck was hitting on the upper end of the die and causing it to push the shoulder back, that is why I trimmed prior to depriming. Guess I should have made that clearer in the first thread.
Anyway, still looking for an answer.
Thanks guys.
Lilswede1 is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 02:27 PM   #7
A_Gamehog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2009
Location: Central Oregun
Posts: 559
Lilswede1,

Quote:
The Black Hills ammo tends to be longer after the initial firing (1.70+ sometimes)
The "Trim to length" of .223 is 1.75 inches after sizing.

Was this Nato or .223 ammo? Nato has a longer neck. crimped primers? Military Nato head stamp?

I have used Lake city brass for years. Mixed head stamps are no big deal. MOA brass or better.

Trim AFTER you re-size.

Black Hills is not the cause of the problem. They reload quality stuff.

What's done with it AFTER it's shot they can't control.

+1 peetzakilla
__________________
"Happiness is knowing the Barred Owl is Eating the Spotted Owl and environmentalists are watching Nature take it's course"
A_Gamehog is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 06:59 PM   #8
Lilswede1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2008
Location: NW Wash State
Posts: 181
Doesn't make sense to me either

Still looking for an answer.
Just tried resizing some of that LC brass again.
Took the FL RCBS die out and cleaned it thoroughly then reset it.
Resized 15 LC cases perfectly.
Then resized one of the LC cases from Black Hills ammo.
Came out .005" shorter then the rest.
Also tried resizing a few of the Black Hills on the Dillon press with a Dillon FL die.
Same results - shoulder set back too far.
Hope to have a reloading buddy try so of it tomorrow.
Til then - still looking for answers.
Lilswede1 is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 07:40 PM   #9
mehavey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 17, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 3,059
Let me get this straight: You can/did back off the die (e.g., a half turn) and it still oversizes the shoulder of the LC cases?

Or are we talking about overall case length (base-to-mouth) here?
mehavey is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 08:04 PM   #10
mrawesome22
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 9, 2005
Location: Ohio, Appalachia's foothills.
Posts: 3,779
What tool are you using to measure the shoulder set back?
mrawesome22 is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 08:51 PM   #11
Mobuck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2010
Posts: 2,389
It is physically and mechanically impossible for a die to size different cases to different dimensions. Simply backing off the sizing die one turn should not allow any sizing in the shoulder area. I think there's some variation with your measurements. What happens when you load those cases you've determined to have shorter shoulder to head dimension?
I don't know of anyone who does this type of measurement. I've sized many different brands of cases using the same die setting and never really noticed a big problem. An occasional hard bolt closing which is related to the sizing of the area immediately above the extractor groove.
Mobuck is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 09:24 PM   #12
Tim R
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2004
Location: God's side of Washington State
Posts: 1,601
OK, does the sized case fit the chamber? I load a lot of 223 for an AR service rifle. If I don't do things right the brass won't chamber or eject. And I love Lake City.

Quote:
LC brass is thick and hard.
Jimro this has not been my experiences with Lake City. Now that federal is doing the Lake City contract things might have changed a bit but it seems to me the mil spec brass is still pretty good. Some time back I weighed LakeCity compaired to Winchester and found the Lake City a little lighter. This is not the same with 308 or '06 brass where you do need tp reduce powder charges when comming from Comm brass.
__________________
God Bless our Troops especially our Snipers.
Tim R is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 09:46 PM   #13
jepp2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2008
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 1,370
Quote:
Some time back I weighed Lake City compared to Winchester and found the Lake City a little lighter.
My experience as well. Note the data shown below:

jepp2 is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 09:57 PM   #14
Jim243
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Location: Just off Route 66
Posts: 4,649
Are you sure the Black Hills cases are NOT brass coated steel cases???

If you have a magnet it is easy to find out. I have some 7.62x39 cases that you would swear are brass, but they do not pass the magnet test.

Just a thought.
Jim
__________________
Si vis pacem, para bellum
Jim243 is offline  
Old December 1, 2011, 11:49 PM   #15
Lilswede1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2008
Location: NW Wash State
Posts: 181
Tools are as follows:

The Hornady Lok-N-Load tool which is used in combination with a caliper.
Also the
Precision Mic guage.
Both measure shoulder length very accurately and both tools are being used in my measurements.
Also, I use three different calipers in my measurements - one attached to the Hornady tool and 2 others, one Digital.
Between postings I have continued my attempts of locate the problem with these cases but still haven't come up with and answer.
I agree with most of your statements in that if the resizing die is "backed-off" so that it does not contact the shoulder of the case then it cannot set the shoulder back. BUT, there lies my problem. The shoulders on these cases ARE being set back.
Other cases being prepped with the exact same procedure are resized correctly. All cases have been fireformed by one gun and all have the same measurements prior to prepping.
Lilswede1 is offline  
Old December 2, 2011, 06:08 AM   #16
Tim R
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2004
Location: God's side of Washington State
Posts: 1,601
Quote:
Are you sure the Black Hills cases are NOT brass coated steel cases???

Black Hills makes very good reman ammo as well as new. I doubt there would be any steel cases in Black Hills. In fact Black Hills has in the past at least had the contract to build the US Marines Marksmanship unit Match ammo.

Black Hills reman. 223 loaded with the 52gr. SMK's shoots awesome. If your 223 won't shoot this stuff there is something wrong with your rifle.
__________________
God Bless our Troops especially our Snipers.

Last edited by Tim R; December 2, 2011 at 06:20 AM.
Tim R is offline  
Old December 2, 2011, 06:19 AM   #17
Tim R
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2004
Location: God's side of Washington State
Posts: 1,601
I think I would stop using the tools for a minute, set your size die up according to die instructions. A question I have is if these are being shot in a bolt gun, why are we trying to F/L size instead of sizing the necks?

Be very careful with Federal brass. Ypou might work up your load just for Federal brass. No, I'm not kiddng.
__________________
God Bless our Troops especially our Snipers.
Tim R is offline  
Old December 2, 2011, 09:29 AM   #18
243winxb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2011
Posts: 1,070
223/5.56mm- Sizing-Shoulder Bump Measurement.

At least 3 firing are needed to "fire form" brass to the true chamber measurement. Neck sizing only, lets this happen better and faster. When you have a crush fit (bolt action) on chambering a round, you have "fire formed" the brass. FL sized brass, on firing, can become shorter, when measuring head to datum line/shoulder. It only gets shorter if the body of the brass right behind the shoulder expands to the chamber wall. When pressures are on the low side, the datum line/shoulder does not move forward fully. When the fired brass is FL sized, the body is compressed by the die, moving the datum line/shoulder & trim length forward. If the brass is harder than most, it may not expand the same as softer brass. The FL die will not compress the body, moving everything forward, to contact the dies shoulder. This may give different results on sizing.

Last edited by 243winxb; December 2, 2011 at 09:35 AM.
243winxb is offline  
Old December 2, 2011, 09:54 AM   #19
higgite
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 21, 2010
Posts: 288
Noobie here with what might be a dumb question. There seems to be some uncertainty as to how hard the brass is, but IF the Black Hills LC brass IS harder than other brass, won't it be stretched less by the expander button? If so, wouldn't that give the harder brass a shorter head-to-shoulder length than the softer brass?
higgite is offline  
Old December 2, 2011, 10:08 AM   #20
243winxb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2011
Posts: 1,070
Shell Plates-Full Length Sizing Bottle Neck Cartridges

A defective shell plate can give 4 different FL sizings with the same setting. Each station can be different. Resulting in different COL & shoulder bump. If the full length die is adjusted on the thickest station, its no problem. But any of the other 3 will result in different sizings. Some can cause excessive cartridge headspace. Pushing the shoulder back to far will result in case seperations near the head or in the body. Standard shell holder measure .125"
243winxb is offline  
Old December 2, 2011, 10:52 AM   #21
Lilswede1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2008
Location: NW Wash State
Posts: 181
That makes sense

The cases in question have only been fired once thru my gun.
They are approx. .002" larger in dia. then the other LC cases.
I think that in resizing the pressure to bring the dia. back to the die dimensions is what may be causing the base to shoulder datum setback.
I need to load some samples up and take them to the range.
If they shoot good then this thread is mute.
It's really good to get all the info and ideas in here. Learn something new or am reminded on something I have forgotten each time I enter here.
Thanks.
Lilswede1 is offline  
Old December 2, 2011, 10:56 AM   #22
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobuck
It is physically and mechanically impossible for a die to size different cases to different dimensions. Simply backing off the sizing die one turn should not allow any sizing in the shoulder area. I think there's some variation with your measurements.
Actually that's not always true. It just occurred to me that I have had a problem similar to the OP.

As suggested by 243winxb, I have found that a single, or even a couple, of firing does not necessarily result in brass that exactly matches the chamber dimensions. Basically, the shoulder measurements on some are shorter than others.

If my Redding body die was set to bring the LONGEST shoulder down to a certain value, there was a certain percentage of cases that were enough shorter than the FINISHED value of the longest cases that, even after sizing, the shoulders were STILL shorter than the length set by the die.

It is exactly as 243winxb describes. When the body of the case is sized, the sides are forced in which necessarily lengthens the case since the only direction it can move is up. The longest cases hit the shoulder portion of the die and the shoulder is forced to the set dimension. The shorter cases do not grow enough to reach the shoulder sizing region.

However, the OP indicates that the cases were all +- .001 prior to sizing. That in itself is hard to explain as none of my cases from multiple guns and several brands of brass have ever been within .001 on the shoulder dimensions after a single firing. Even virgin Norma brass all from the same lot and fired with identical loads does not come out within .001 in a single (or even 2) firings.

The only explanation I have is that the different brass is being stretched differently by the neck expander button.

I'd like to see the results of that brass sized in a Lee collet neck die and then a Redding body die.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; December 2, 2011 at 12:02 PM.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old December 2, 2011, 12:32 PM   #23
mehavey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 17, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 3,059
Lilswede1 --
Quote:
I think that in resizing the pressure to bring the dia. back to the die dimensions is what may be causing the base to shoulder datum setback.
Usually that causes just the opposite: The case/shoulder get squeezed forward.

Peezta --
Quote:
The only explanation I have is that the different brass is being stretched differently by the neck expander button.
I would agree... I can't help thinking that the LC cases would have been annealed slightly softer than commercial, and hence offered less resistance to the expander ball pulling the neck shoulder out -- especially as the OP says this effect happens even when the die is backed out. At that point only the expander is really in play.

But...not only is (-)0.005" a lotta difference, but the OP says the LC case headspace/shoulder point actually shrinks from what the case starts from before sizing even with the shoulder not in play.

Ya got me on this one....
mehavey is offline  
Old December 2, 2011, 01:39 PM   #24
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
I couldn't remember the exact problem that I was having so I looked up the old thread. Though I have far more discprepency in my fired cases, the problem with my short ones turns out to have been almost exactly the same... See this thread:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=453917
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old December 2, 2011, 02:40 PM   #25
mrawesome22
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 9, 2005
Location: Ohio, Appalachia's foothills.
Posts: 3,779
Do you inside lube necks? Do you get any screeching sounds from the long ones as they come over the expander ball?

Try taking the expander ball out then resize the long ones and see if they measure any closer to the LC measurement.
mrawesome22 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12239 seconds with 7 queries