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Old January 30, 2012, 04:13 PM   #1
Spydr1299
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Bolt action vs semi auto

Been reloading for my 700sps bolt action now for a while with great success. I just picked up a CMMG AR 15 with 1:7 twist, 16 in barrel and was wondering how much different they both are to reload using the same components. I know COL will be a factor. Could I reload the once fired brass from my 700 using the lee collet neck die or will I have to full length size? Also after spitting out about 130 factory rounds in my new AR, I found all the brass had a ding towards the neck of the case in the same spot of each round, will this brass with the dings be safe to reload?
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Old January 30, 2012, 04:26 PM   #2
wogpotter
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Definitely full length resize for a self-loader. The neck marks may be fine, it depends on how badly the rounds are dented. If there is no sharp fold or crease you're probably GTG. Semi-Autos are much harder on brass than bolt actions so that may factor into your decision & you may even keep separate brass for each gun because of this.

With a bit of research you can probably figure out exactly where the case is striking & put a Velcro "pad" there to minimize the damage.

Firm crimps to prevent set back or walking out of the bullets in the higher capacity magazines & making really sure the primers are below flush are probably the 2 biggest things to review in the reloading process.
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Old January 30, 2012, 04:53 PM   #3
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If the once-fired from the 700 is to be fired in the 700 again, then the collet die is fine. If it is to be fired in the AR, you want to use a press and die to full length resize it.
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Old January 30, 2012, 06:28 PM   #4
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Thanks guys!
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Old January 31, 2012, 09:43 AM   #5
steve4102
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Here is a good read on loading for the AR and other Service rifles.
http://www.exteriorballistics.com/re...sgunreload.cfm
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Old January 31, 2012, 09:57 AM   #6
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Bolt gunners have reloading practices that are positively sloppy when reloading for gas guns.

You have to be much more particular about case size, length, powders, bullets, in gas guns.

If you plan to use brass firing in a bolt rifle in your gas gun, I recommend using small base dies. If the bolt rifle chamber is larger than your AR chamber, a standard sizing die will not reduce the case sufficiently.

Semi auto's ding cases. Your case is a pressure vessel. As long as it does not leak you will be OK. The case head is the most critical part of the case as it is typically unsupported by either the chamber walls or the bolt face. If a lead develops in the case head all that gas vapor goes into the action and you might have a destructive event infront of your face.

I do not recommend firing cases that have cracks or holes in them. Dings if they are far up the case body, I don't worry about them.
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Old January 31, 2012, 04:26 PM   #7
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Regarding small base dies. You may, or may not need small base dies. It's "common knowledge that you MUST use small base dies with self loaders" but I've found the information is flawed considerably, so I suggest standard dies first & a SB sizing die if the rifle chokes on the other ammo.

Some rifles definitely need them but they come at a steep price, over working of brass & shortening even more the case life. I've always started with standard dies & only switched to SB types if the rifle required the extra resizing. So far 3 semi-autos have not needed SB dies.
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Old January 31, 2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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In most cases of AR prepped brass the SB dies usualy only need to be used once. After that FL sizing for brass with a standard FL die will work in most situations. I have a set of SB dies I used twice with my bolt action there was a bit of case stretch but not much. The SB die resized brass shot fine in several different AR rifles. I have since used a standard Lee FL sizing die. The round have fed fine in several AR rifles.
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Old February 1, 2012, 10:02 AM   #9
Spydr1299
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Thanks for all the advice! This forum rocks! I've got several hundreds of factory rounds that I'm going to shoot through first and reload those rounds as opposed to using the bolt action rounds. Looks as if the consequences to not being perfect is much more dangerous out of a gas gun so I'm just going to take reloading it slow until I know how to perfect it. Thanks again!
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Old February 1, 2012, 10:05 AM   #10
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More likely than not if you end up trying to load a neck sized round into a semiauto you will probably need a cleaning rod to get the round out. They tend to stick not quite into the chambe, and the extractor can not get a hold of them to get them out. I made the mistake once, it took a cleaning rod to get the round out of the chamber of an AR.
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Old February 1, 2012, 12:11 PM   #11
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A couple of follow up points.

Loading for a semi-auto is absolutely no more dangerous than reloading for anything else. You are a little more functionally restricted as the load has to effectively cycle the action, something you don't need to worry about with a bolt gun. You might get a couple of feeding/ejection problems even, but no dangerous situations over & above what you'd get with any other type of rifle.

I'm not suggesting neck sizing only, but I am suggesting full length over small base to start with. As you'll be experimenting at first only reload small batches (5~10 rounds) as at the beginning you will make beginner's mistakes & it's easier to both learn & fix mistakes when making "test" batches early on.
Do check you MilSurp is reloadable brass not all of it is. I'd hate to find you;'d collected a bucket full of "reloadable brass" & then found out it wasn't reloadable.
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