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Old August 27, 2012, 03:33 PM   #1
Wyoredman
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.223 AR - Bullet came out in chamber

Hey all,

Never had this happen before with my reloads, but I yesterday I had a bullet stick in the lands. About halfway through a 30 round mag I had a no-fire. I noticed the bolt was not locked. I used the forward assist and still couldnt get the bolt to lock. I then used charging handle and ejected an empty case. (at this point I didn't notice that the primer was still unfired).

I tried loading another round and it wouldn't load. I then looked at the empty case and the unfired primer was evident. I removed the AR upper and could see the bullet lodged in the lands. It was easy to remove with the cleaning rod.

It seems that the forward momentum of the bolt caused the bullet to come out of the case durring loading. Has anyone ever had this happen? They were Hornady 55gr Sp bullets with a taper crimp.

Do I need to apply more crimp? Any help would be great.
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Old August 27, 2012, 04:07 PM   #2
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Did you have fun getting the loose powder out of the action?

Check first with a case gauge to see if the extracted case is now shorter at the shoulder than your new loads. If it is, it sized in the chamber enough that the neck may have flowed forward. If so, you want to know if the bullet went far enough forward to touch the lands because of the neck elongating or because the bullet actually got loose. If it's the former, you want to trim your necks a little shorter so the crimp cannelure is lined up with the case mouth at a shorter seating depth. Military minimum case length is 2.000". SAAMI is 1.995". Aim at the military number and don't fret a thousandth or two under if it happens.

The next question I have is about the crimp. A crimp can sometimes actually loosen a bullet by pressing the case mouth and bullet down hard enough to bulge the sides of the neck beneath it away from the bullet. I never crimp my AR ammo and have never had a problem with it. You might try some not crimped. I assume you don't have a bullet pulling gauge for this activity, but you might be able to tell with a chronograph. If you can shoot some crimped and uncrimped rounds side by side (alternate them to compensate for fouling and barrel heating) and detect any increase in the average velocity for the uncrimped ammo, then you are likely loosening rather than tightening the case grip on the bullets.
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Old August 27, 2012, 06:59 PM   #3
moxie
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Amen. No crimp. Let case neck tension hold that bullet in place. Check by pushing a loaded round against the side of your bench. The bullet shouldn't budge. If it does, check adjustments on sizer/expander.
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Old August 28, 2012, 07:05 AM   #4
rebs
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Just a word of caution on using the forward assist. Unless you are in a combat or personal defense situation I see no need for trying to force a round that does not feed normally. If a round won't feed there is a reason for it and forcing it could have a devastating effect. Why blow up your gun when it could have been avoided. If I have a problem I always check the barrel first before doing anything else. Just my own opinion, take it for what its worth.
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Old August 28, 2012, 07:11 AM   #5
steve4102
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Forget the tapper crimp and get a Lee Factory Crimp die. It will secure the bullet and it may even improve your accuracy as it does for me.
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Old August 28, 2012, 09:32 AM   #6
Wyoredman
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Unclenick,

I measured the case with a Hornady HeadSpace gauge and it is 0.002" shorter than one of my fired cases and the same as an unfired round. What does this indicate? I thought that this is normal, I was bumping the shoulder back 0.002" durring reloading. Maybe I had it trimmed too short?

As far as the crimp goes, the bullets do not have a cannelure and I am just putting a small amount of traper crimp to them. I read somplace that a semi-auto needs crimp to keep this from happening. Not true?

Thanks.
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Old August 28, 2012, 01:03 PM   #7
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Your measurement shows the case did not size down at the shoulder during loading, which was one way the bullet could have been pushed forward too far. Doesn't look like that happened. Do you know how far off the lands you are seating your bullet to?

The crimps are actually designed to keep the bullet from being pushed deeper into the case during chambering. If the bullet is in the case well enough to get into the chamber without the bullet being pushed deeper into it, it should not be loose enough to slide forward into the throat by inertia alone unless the whole case neck somehow escaped resizing. That is possible, btw, as most once-fired cases will rechamber without resizing. They just won't do it reliably and when they fail, you're increasing risk of a slamfire. Anyway, that's why I was looking for some way to explain why the bullet got out far enough to catch in the throat. It could also just have been seated a little long if the ogive is near the throat already.

I've shot Garands, M1A's, and the AR for years and never needed a crimp yet.
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Old August 28, 2012, 08:57 PM   #8
ky hunter
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If the shell & bullet fit in a mag the bullet must have been seated wright so my guess is neck size but how can you prime with out sizing the neck do you use a decap die? If so maybe you missed sizing this one.
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Old August 29, 2012, 09:56 AM   #9
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Well, here is what I found after examining the rest of the ammo in that batch (unfired):
I re-measured the case in question last night and I had measured it wrong on Moday. It measured 0.005" LONGER than an unfired round and the same as a empty/fired/unsized case. Just opposite of my post yesterday!

It looks like Unclenick was correct in his first diagnosis.

I found three rounds that seemed to have a slight bulge where the shoulder meets the case body. It looks as if the shoulder was pushed down durring seating of the bullet(yet the case actually grew in length), causing the bulge. It is very hard to see, but I could feel it as I moved my finger from the case head towards the shoulder. I am wondering if the bulge kept the case from chambering and momentum of the bolt dislodged the bullet, seating it in the lands? I came up with this theory while dismantaling these rounds in my kinetic puller.

Question on case length: My Lyman manual says that max case length should be 1.760" and trim to length is 1.755". This does not jibe with Unclenicks' 2.000" military length?
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Old August 29, 2012, 10:51 AM   #10
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Sorry. I absentmindedly gave you the .308 Win spec as if you had an AR10. So many gas guns, so little time.

SAAMI specs on the .223" was 1.760" -0.020" in 1992, so trim-to length is 1.750" by that standard. In 2001 they changed it to 1.760" -0.030" for some reason, putting the trim-to length at 1.745". The military spec is 1.760"-0.015" IIRC, so 1.7525" would be the nominal trim-to length by their system. Just aim for the middle point in the length spec. I think the best thing is just to use the 1992 1.750" so you have some growth room and are within all three specifications and one and three quarters inches is easy to remember.

The bulge you feel does sound like you are crimping too hard. That's a common result. When you chamber hard the chamber narrows the bulge, pushing the bullet forward and may add some shoulder to the neck that way. Hatcher gave an example of chambering .30-06 in a 1917 Enfield shortening headspace -0.006 just with fast bolt work. A chamber can move brass around some.
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Old August 29, 2012, 01:16 PM   #11
Wyoredman
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Thanks Unclenick. Mystery solved. Corrective actions being taken to remove any crimp from my die setting. Thanks again.
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Old August 29, 2012, 01:23 PM   #12
moxie
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And check by pushing per post #3.
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Old August 29, 2012, 01:25 PM   #13
Wyoredman
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Will do, thanks Moxie.
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