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Old November 13, 2012, 05:44 PM   #1
Reef
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Die Setup Error

I set up my RCBS 223 die incorrectly and didn’t catch the mistake until after bullet seating. Here’s what happened:

I primarily reload pistol ammo and recently purchased a Sig M400 so I decided to try some reloading of the factory 223 brass that I fired. I misread the RCBS instructions for the full-length sizing die. Not exactly sure why but I screwed the die in until it was about 1/8 of an inch from the shell holder with the ram at the top of the stroke. The instructions actually say to screw the die in until it touches the shell holder with the ram at the top and then lower the ram and adjust the die 1/8 to ¼ further down so the press cams over center.

Now I have 50 rounds loaded that have been incorrectly sized. What are my options?
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Old November 13, 2012, 06:07 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Do they chamber in your gun?
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Old November 13, 2012, 06:27 PM   #3
F. Guffey
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“The instructions actually say to screw the die in until it touches the shell holder with the ram at the top and then lower the ram and adjust the die 1/8 to ¼ further down so the press cams over center”
Actually they, the person that wrote the instructions should have said not all presses cam over, some jam over, cram over. lock up or go into a bind. Again, I have 4 Rock Chuckers, two are mounted to Piggy Back presses, none of my Rock Chuckers cam over, I know, It would sound cool if I said ‘cam over’ I had rather sound like I knew the difference between a cam over press and a non-cam over press, I have Herter presses, All of my Herters cam over, all my cam over Herter presses bump, not once but twice when I adjust them to bump, when I want to determine the amount of cam over I use a feeler gage.

Back to actually, actually if the author of the instruction understood the concept of ‘the incline plane’, minimum length, full length sized, multiple chambers with variable chamber lengths they would include instructions for determining the length of the chamber first.

I have two chambers, one in the rifle the other inside the die/shell holder. the task is to size a case for a chamber the reloader is unfamiliar with a die and shell holder the reloader knows less about. I have a chamber that requires a .014” gap between the top of the shell holder and bottom of the die, in keeping up you can immediately see there is nothing about adjusting the die to the shell holder with an additional 1/4 turn (.0175”) has nothing to do with sizing cases for my chamber.

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Old November 13, 2012, 06:35 PM   #4
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First, I think the instructions say to turn the die an eighth of a turn (not an eighth of an inch) after it touches the shell holder.

Second, it seems to me that if you didn't get the case into the die as far as RCBS intended, the main problem would be that the distance from the base of the case to the shoulder could be too long cause you didn't squish it back.

If so, the bolt might not close all the way. So, I think the first poster asked the right question. Can you chamber the round?
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Old November 13, 2012, 07:07 PM   #5
F. Guffey
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“Not exactly sure why but I screwed the die in until it was about 1/8 of an inch from the shell holder with the ram at the top of the stroke”

Reef took a wild guestimate of 1/8 turn = to .125 off the shell holder when adjusting his die, at best he was neck sizing, not a bad thing, the .125 of the case neck that is not sized when the die is adjusted off the shell holder helps center the case in the chamber at the neck.

Problem? Most reloadrs are neck sizer die neck sizers, they do not perceive the full length sizer die as a versatile die, I size cases for short chambers, I size cases for minimum length, go-gage length, no go-gage length and field reject length and all the length between from –.012 shorter than a minimum length case to infinity or a more particle .016” longer than a minimum length case from the head of the case to its shoulder.

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Old November 13, 2012, 07:51 PM   #6
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Woody,

Quote:
First, I think the instructions say to turn the die an eighth of a turn (not an eighth of an inch) after it touches the shell holder.
I didn't say the instructions said 1/8 of an inch, but 1/8 to 1/4 further down. I mistakenly adjusted the die 1/8 of an inch for some unknown reason.

This is my first AR platform rifle, so please forgive my ignorance here…but are there any safety issues with loading a magazine of these rounds and pulling the charging handle to see if there are any chambering issues?
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Old November 13, 2012, 08:15 PM   #7
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No, just put the safety on, keep your finger off the trigger, be muzzleconscious, and see if they chamber. If they do, you're good to go. If they don't, start pullin'.
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Old November 13, 2012, 08:30 PM   #8
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I re-sized a batch of cartridges that were short sized for neck sizing purposes.
I removed the decapper stem and applied case lube and run the loaded rounds through.
Of course that might make some nervous but closing in an action, particularly a semi auto is more jarring than a press stroke.
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:44 AM   #9
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“I removed the decapper stem and applied case lube and run the loaded rounds through”

You did not say “You are not going to believe this....etc..” If you do not give me an option I will take one. The diameter of the bullet is? The diameter of the neck after sizing is....? To seat a bullet after sizing requires an expander plug/sizer ball to be pulled through the neck when the ram is lowered. After sizing the neck of the case with the bullet the outside diameter of the neck was ...?




“Of course that might make some nervous but closing in an action, particularly a semi auto is more jarring than a press stroke”

When the neck is sized down the neck gets longer, when the neck is sized up it gets shorter. I have sized loaded rounds with limited case travel into the die, when loading 45 ACP I am forced to remove the appearance the case swallowed a bullet, meaning my 45 ACP cases must have a straight wall, a bullet that swell the case will not feed in two of my 45 ACP pistols.

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Old November 14, 2012, 10:28 AM   #10
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Reef,

Didn't mean to be critical on the turn vs. distance thing. Just wanted to make sure you were squared away since RCBS instructions generally are in turns or ratations.

I agree with Ed. As long as you just chamber them and not fire them, I don't see why there should be an issue.

I once did something similar with .308 rounds for a bolt action rifle and the bolt would not close. I took the rounds apart and tried again.
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Old November 14, 2012, 10:48 AM   #11
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Reef,

If you're going to chamber a round in an AR, please do so at the range with the muzzle pointed downrange, or at least into a clearing barrel. Whenever you chamber a round in an AR there is always the possibility of a slam fire. Remote but possible.
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Old November 15, 2012, 06:17 AM   #12
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Thanks to all for the advise, I appreciate it very much.

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Old November 18, 2012, 08:58 AM   #13
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Update

Sig M400 Enhanced 1 month old
PMag 30

Range update:
At the range with the safety on and the muzzle pointed downrange, I inserted a magazine with 5 rounds of the incorrectly sized cartridges and pulled the charging handle. Moved the safety to off and fired a round downrange. Pulled the trigger again, click, no bang. Dropped the mag and checked the chamber, empty. Reinserted the mag and again pulled the charging handle and got the same results, one bang, then click, no bang.

Cleaned the gun and returned to the range the next day to shoot some 5.56 tracer rounds at surplus pumpkins (Halloween) with a coworker and his kids. First few fired as advertised, then, the same thing started again. One bang, then click no bang. So I tried some factory Remington FMJ, same thing.

I also had some extra military aluminum magazines on hand that when loaded had the same results.

??
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Old November 18, 2012, 09:18 AM   #14
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Sounds like your rifle is short stroking. Clean the gas system as best you can and try again.

Another possibility is that you didn't seat the magazines all the way in (operator error). With the bolt forward, insert a loaded magazine and slap up on the bottom with a little firmness to hear it "click" into place. Sometimes the mag retention button can press the mag against the magwell with enough force to keep it there without being properly seated.

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