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Old October 8, 2013, 01:40 PM   #26
steve4102
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when checking headspace on the cases, the majority of them do not fall into the "flush" or just below flush on the headspace gage. Some are just "a hair" above. NowI did talk to a local reloader about this(reloading for 40 years), and he said he doesn't pay much attention to that. He says "as long as his case length and COL are good he's not concerned."
Then he may have not learned as much as her should have in the past 40 years.

Let me ask you a simple question, If you are not going to use your case gauge as a case gauge and are going to take advice from someone telling you not to use your gauge, Why did you purchase it and why do you still try and use it?
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Old October 8, 2013, 03:20 PM   #27
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Steve I appreciate your help, but if you want to quote me...quote accurately. You left out a key sentence. "However, if I can, I would prefer getting it at least flush".
Doesn't sound like I'm choosing NOT to use it, nor did I say I would take his advice. There are a lot of knowledgeable people here, and I just want to get it right. Thanks.
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Old October 8, 2013, 03:41 PM   #28
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Set up your sizing die by screwing it into the press until you cases are flush.
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Old October 9, 2013, 06:07 AM   #29
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Heres a very easy way to get the seating depth for your rifle and have next to zero headspace. Take and empty case, seat a bullet just enough so the it is held firmly in the case, now draw the bolt back on you rifle, gently slide the round in the chamber and now let the bolt come forward and push the bullet into the case. Now draw back the bolt, and let it go forward again, and one more time....now what youve just done is seated that bullet specifically to that rifle. Double check the OAL to verify its in spec and youve done this correctly. Now you can reload away and they will all feed and fire just fine.

I use this method with my AR and my bolt action .308
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Old October 9, 2013, 06:23 AM   #30
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Heres a very easy way to get the seating depth for your rifle and have next to zero headspace. Take and empty case, seat a bullet just enough so the it is held firmly in the case, now draw the bolt back on you rifle, gently slide the round in the chamber and now let the bolt come forward and push the bullet into the case. Now draw back the bolt, and let it go forward again, and one more time....now what youve just done is seated that bullet specifically to that rifle. Double check the OAL to verify its in spec and youve done this correctly. Now you can reload away and they will all feed and fire just fine.

I use this method with my AR and my bolt action .308
These rounds fit in your AR magazine? If I used this method the resulting round wouldn't fit in my magazine.
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Old October 9, 2013, 07:10 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Jeff2131
Heres a very easy way to get the seating depth for your rifle and have next to zero headspace.
Bullet seating depth or COAL/OAL have nothing to do with "Headspace".
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Old October 9, 2013, 08:13 AM   #32
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By headspace, we are referring to the space between the surface of the bullet and the lands of the rifle,.are we.not? By allowing your bolt/rifle to push the bullet into the case until the bolt fully closes, that is creating zero head space or damn near close to it. And that is where i seat the rest of my rounds. And of course they fit in my mag, if they fit in the.rifle, bolt closes and rifle fires, why wouldnt they fit in the.mag. im a little confused at what the questioning is...maybe im using the wrong terminology?
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Old October 9, 2013, 08:25 AM   #33
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I don't know this from personal experience because I've never done it, but I've read that with AR15s and .223/5.56 ammo, you can easily load a round that fits into the chamber but OAL is too long for the magazine. IIRC, the person involved was reloading with 77-grain bullets or some such thing. He then seated his bullets to just barely fit the mag.

I'm not a tech expert on these things, but my understanding is that headspace is usually done from the datum line to the shoulder. Based on that, I wouldn't expect bullet seating depth to be a factor in determining headspace.

I also recall that there's a second way of determining headspace, but don't quote me on that.

For me, I got the Hornady headspace gauge kit for my calipers and then gradually adjusted my full-length resizing die from no headspace until I got 0.004" headspace. (Which, when I think about it, doesn't involve the bullet, so that's another reason why I don't think bullet seating depth is involved.)
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Old October 9, 2013, 08:32 AM   #34
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Ah, ok. Well that makes sense with a 77gr bullet. I only load 50-55gr. Which is why i guess ive never had an issue. I accually read this technique on ghjs forum somewhere awhile back when i started loading. I started with my .308's for my bolt action and when i got comfotable and moved onto .223's for my AR i just applied the same method and it worked great. Sorry if i inadvertantly added some confusion to the mix...just thought id reply with the very easy way that has worked for me since day one. You guys shooting those competition 77gr+ bullets would know a whole lot better then i would....lol.
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Old October 9, 2013, 08:58 AM   #35
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Ok, just googled it...lol. sorry, my terminology was wrong. The headspace is the space between the primer side of the case and the face of the bolt. The space i was referring to is the ogive. Lol...all this time i had the right philosiphy and using the wrong terminology...hahaha. the method i was refering to eliminates the jump from the case to the land/rifling.
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Old October 9, 2013, 12:59 PM   #36
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Well,you are getting closer on your terminology.

Headspace does not have anything to do with ammunition.It is all about the firearm.It is about the depth the chamber is cut,or the wear/setback of the firearm.
When the gunsmith chambers the barrel,the chamber is cut to a depth that will accept a "go" headspace gage,and not accept a "no go" headspace gage.

There is a longer gage called a "field" that is used to determine a firearm is worn and should be taken out of service.

Ammunition is manufactured to tolerances to function in chambers cut to these specs.

When we reload,we resize the brass,and,with bottleneck cases,what we do setting our sizing die controls the case shoulder location,which is the ammunition's factor in HEAD CLEARANCE. Head clearance allows the bolt to close and lock without interference.Too much head clearance will result in excessive brass stretch.As brass stretches,it gets thinner.The thinning will be localized in a ring inside the case just forward of the case head.Look up "stretch ring" and "paper clip test".

If you back your resizing die out so you do not bump the shoulder,imagine this:

Put a banana in your hand and squeeze it down.The banana gets longer!Same with brass.And,this lengthening is not controlled.We want some shoulder bump to reform the shoulder and put it precisely in the right place.

If you carefully creep your sizing die down,not 1/4 turn at a time,but try 5 minutes on the clock face,you can size your brass to fall between the high and low step on your Wilson gage.If you do that,you will have sized your brass to factory load tolerances,and your ammo should work well.
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Old October 9, 2013, 01:57 PM   #37
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Well said! Very informative. Thats whatvi like about this forum...althought the OP was not mine, i got involved and ended up getting learned...hahaha. thanx, i always appreciate the knowledge of others.
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Old October 9, 2013, 06:11 PM   #38
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If you carefully creep your sizing die down,not 1/4 turn at a time,but try 5 minutes on the clock face,you can size your brass to fall between the high and low step on your Wilson gage.
Well, I've just tried that method exactly the way you just said, even at the point where the die bottomed out and still the case head refuses to go flush with top of gauge.
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Old October 10, 2013, 02:17 AM   #39
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OK,I am not there,and I do not know all things.I will try.

Are your dies and shellholders the same brand,and,are you sure you have the correct shellholder?They work as a team.It is one place a tolerance error could occur.

Are you checking loaded rounds,or sized brass?If loaded rounds,there are some bullet seating topics.For now,lets just talk about sized brass.

Just to be sure you understand how the gage works,no dis intended,there is the top surface of the gage,(the gage overall length),and there is a shallow groove ground across it.The case head should be between these two.

Is there any friction on the diameter?The case should fully enter to rest the shoulder of the case on the shoulder of the gage.If the diameter is dragging,if the gage scuffs magic marker off the case,you may have some brass that is overly expanded.High pressure can do that,and the 5.56/.223 will sure expand at high pressure.I would expect fairly loose primer pockets if this occurred.Your resizing die only sizes the case down to close to the shellholder.Try turning your brass around and seeing if it will just start into the gage.

You could have a worn out sizing die.Gritty,unclean brass can cut them pretty fast.That would cause an oversize diameter.

Are you getting just a little bump-over feel on the lever at the top of the stroke?That would tell me all the slack is out of the system and you are sizing it as short as it will go.

Die out of tolerance? Shellholder out of tolerance? Bushing gage out of tolerance?Every once in a while,a bad part escapes from a manufacturer.

A work-around idea.Measure,with calipers,how much your brass sticks up high.You can measure the gage,then measure over the brass in the gage.

Lets say you are .003 high.

Redding makes a series of competition shellholders in + and - heights.If you got a -.004 or -.005 shellholder,that should fix you up.

But,it seems weird and you should not have to do that.

That's abnout all I've got,for now.

Last edited by HiBC; October 10, 2013 at 02:28 AM.
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Old October 10, 2013, 07:56 AM   #40
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Are you checking loaded rounds,or sized brass?
This is resized brass
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Just to be sure you understand how the gage works,no dis intended,there is the top surface of the gage,(the gage overall length),and there is a shallow groove ground across it.The case head should be between these two
It protrudes a bit above the top surface
Quote:
Is there any friction on the diameter?
No, it slides in and out very easily
Quote:
Are you getting just a little bump-over feel on the lever at the top of the stroke?That would tell me all the slack is out of the system and you are sizing it as short as it will go
Basically what I'm doing is when the I screw the die down just to where it hits the shell holder, I back the ram down and screw the die down another 1/4 turn. My understanding is that will eliminate the cam over effect.
Quote:
A work-around idea.Measure,with calipers,how much your brass sticks up high.You can measure the gage,then measure over the brass in the gage
I have done that. The gauge is 1.760 and most of my resize brass is falling between 1.766-1.768. So 6-8 thousanths too high.
Quote:
Redding makes a series of competition shellholders in + and - heights.If you got a -.004 or -.005 shellholder,that should fix you up
I didn't realized that. Definitely something to think about. Considering I'm over by 006-008 which do you recommend...-005? Redding shows the sets as including +002, +004, +006, +010 ?
Quote:
Are your dies and shellholders the same brand,and,are you sure you have the correct shellholder?They work as a team.It is one place a tolerance error could occur
No this is my original Hornady shell holder.

In a bit of irony, as a keepsake I actually saved my very first reloaded round. A .223 cartridge that just so happens to fit flush on the Wilson gauge-at 1.762 to be exact.

Thanks for the extra effort HIBC.

Last edited by Swampman1; October 10, 2013 at 08:58 AM.
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Old October 10, 2013, 04:20 PM   #41
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Hmm.Well,if your first round was good,that tells me everything was made correctly when new.

What has changed?

Note,I think if the Redding shellholder is a +,its going the wrong direction.I suggested that from memory,I did not look them up.

I'm going to make a suggestion,try cleaning the bushing gage.you may have some media or powder residue glued in by case lube that is confusing the issue.
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Old October 11, 2013, 04:36 AM   #42
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Another possibility.

Your press is springing.

when the ram is at the top of its stroke when you are sizing

see if you can fit a .004 or .005 feeler gage or shim between the shellholder and die when it is under full load.
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Old October 12, 2013, 07:01 PM   #43
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Your press is springing.

when the ram is at the top of its stroke when you are sizing

see if you can fit a .004 or .005 feeler gage or shim between the shellholder and die when it is under full load
OK I will try that. What is the conclusion if I can/can't?

And also just to sum things up, is it the general consensus that the way I'm setting up my die, that I'm doing it correctly? (That is to say, bringing the ram all the way up, then screwing the sizing die down til it touches the shell holder. Then back the ram down and screw the die in 1/4 turn more.)
I'm not without believing that this could be an error in something I'm doing...I just can't figure out what it could be. Is it possible it's not bumping the shoulder back at all for some reason?
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Old October 13, 2013, 06:03 AM   #44
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Your method is pretty much what the die instructions might tell you.

What is common :That method pushes the shoulder back more than necessary.Brass life may be better if we don't do that,so not quite screwing the die in all the way helps.

You don't have that problem.

What to do if your press is springing?

If it is a $29 lightly engineered press,you may need a better one.If its old,the pins/links may be worn
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Old October 13, 2013, 10:42 AM   #45
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If it is a $29 lightly engineered press,you may need a better one.If its old,the pins/links may be worn
This is a Hornady single stage press.
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Old October 13, 2013, 02:23 PM   #46
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Is the press springing?Is it the 007 Lock-n-load? The O-type design is strong but it is aluminum....Still,it ought to handle .223.The quick change bushing thing might be the culprit.

Call Hornady's tech line.Ask.
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Old October 25, 2013, 04:01 PM   #47
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Update:

Sorry, I've been busy for a while, but an update on the headspace issue I was having. I ordered the competition shellholder from Midway, and it worked like a charm. Now I can get the head to fit flush or just barely below flush on the Wilson gauge. Thanks to all who chimed in...especially HiBC for the tip about the shellholders. Thanks pal.

That being said...I have pulled the bullets and removed the powder from about 15 cartriges. Is it safe to resize with the primers still inserted, or is it best to remove them? And if so, can they safely be removed by simply depriming?

Last edited by Swampman1; October 25, 2013 at 04:17 PM.
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Old October 25, 2013, 06:40 PM   #48
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Is it safe to resize with the primers still inserted, or is it best to remove them? And if so, can they safely be removed by simply depriming?
Best thing to do at this point is to remove your depriming pin and size the brass with the primer in place. No danger in doing so. You could always carefully deprime the live primers and size as normal, but it is not necessary to deprime.
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Old October 25, 2013, 08:55 PM   #49
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OK thanks Jepp, that's kind of what I was thinking, but wanted to make sure.
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Old October 28, 2013, 02:47 AM   #50
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Don't forget to lube the case.
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