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Old December 29, 2013, 08:15 AM   #26
Jeff2131
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Oh, and dont crimp your 223's....its completely unneccesary. Youll get all the tightness youll need from proper next tension.
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Old December 30, 2013, 04:18 PM   #27
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Here's what I've done so far: I've ordered a small base die and a cartridge gauge. The die will be here tomorrow, the gauge later this week.

I did adjust the sizing die as it was about a turn off of the shellholder. I don't have a picture handy, but what I see after running the shell through the die is that there is just a bit of a bulge in the neck, right above the shoulder, and maybe 1/8" or so down from the mouth. So that makes me question the sizing die. That bulge is, if I remember right, about .258", which is outside of spec. All of the other measurements are within the SAAMI specs.

With no crimp at all, just seating the bullet, the round will chamber, but only with quite a bit of force - nothing short of pulling the charging handle all the way back and letting it slingshot forward will chamber the round. And to eject it is a Herculean task.

This was tested with the once-fired brass that I bought from Widner's (they claim no SAW brass), quite a bit of which looked pretty sketchy. I am thankful for stainless steel pins.

Anyway, I'll know tomorrow if the sizing die is causing my grief.
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Old December 30, 2013, 08:43 PM   #28
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The way the die mfgr's usually instruct you to setup a sizing die(not a carbide) is to have it down against the shellholder tight enough you feel a toggle bump over at ram up.Thats not a "wrong" way,it is one way.

It is not unusual for tolerances to add up so that sizes the shoulder back more than necessary.Your load manual should tell you about case stretch and brass thinning and case head separations.

With measuring tools,like a case length gage or your caliper attachment,you have control over how much you set the shoulder back.So,doing a before and aftersizing measurement from brass fired in your rifle,you can see how much "head clearance" you induce.

If you have about .004 head clearance you have a good ,safe margin for reliable lockup ,yet minimal brass stretch.(.002 for bolt guns,.006 for M1/M-14)

Do these dies have some use on them?

If brass has not been cleaned before sizing,it tends to carry fine abrasive range grit on it.As the brass is sized,this grit embeds in the brass and makes fine teeth that cut the steel out of your die.One part of the die that might see a lot of wear is at the neck.As the steel disappears,your brass does not get sized down.

One plan is,use a Lee universal decap die to decap,then tumble your brass to clean it.All shiny polish is unnecessary,but clean is good.

Then lube and size.
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Old December 30, 2013, 08:59 PM   #29
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Others have posted this, and I will mention it as well: The crimp is the culprit.

Most seating dies have the crimp shoulder already built in. This is usually a ROLL crimp. If you try to put a heavy crimp on bottleneck rifle cartridges, you will buckle the shoulder.

As others have also said, case/neck tension is what holds the bullet in place.

That being said:

Here's a word of caution for those who reload .223 or 5.56 ammunition.

Remember--the original spec that the military standardized called for a 55 grain FMJ, leaving a 20" barrel at around 3200 fps, plus or minus 50 fps. With the 55 grain bullet or lighter, case neck tension does the trick.

When you go up to the 62 grain or heavier bullets--and you load from the magazine--you might well end up with problems. The bullet seated to the proper OAL will push past the neck's bearing surface, down into the case.

The AR15's feeding system has the potential to beat up a cartridge. This is especially true if you're using a carbine, or if you have mated a carbine barrel and a rifle upper--or the other way around. This creates what is known as the dreaded "carfle"--a hybrid carbine and rifle does doesn't work very well.

In these cases, the bullet can be jammed back into the case upon feeding. Sometimes, these will let you know what's happening by refusing to chamber; you'll see the bullet pushed back into the case.

If you DON'T see it, and a round like that chambers, you will have a serious overpressure problem.

The solution?

If I am loading 55 grain bullets or lighter, I will seat with no crimp. These work fine.

If I am using heavier bullets, I use the Lee Factory Crimp die. Adjust it to crimp right into the cannelure of the bullet, and you'll do fine. You do not have to "gorilla grip" the bullet--a slight crimp will do fine. (Unscientific method--adjust the crimp die until you see a light impression on the mouth of the case.

Of course, if you're using heavy match bullets, your best results will come from single loading each round. But...be careful of your overall seating length.
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Old December 30, 2013, 10:34 PM   #30
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Two things...

1. Not to sound harsh but, youre wasting your money buying other dies. The pressure your putting on the round as you seat the bullet is too much. And it doesnt take much to buldge the shoulder. You should be "feeling" the seat as you operate the press lever. Once the GENTLE stroke of the ram stops, if you slightly push it further your hitting crimp and risking buldge. I speak from experience, ive done it plenty of times when after switching to a different press. I didnt realize the buldge until i went to the range and had issues. And with that being said...

2. How to easily remove the stuck round from you ar....point the gun down range and pull the trigger so there is no chance of firing the round. Then seperate the upper and lower. Take theupper and firmly band the charging handle down on the wooden bench to push the bolt forward. One or two bangs usually works fine. Tug the charging handle and the round shouldpop right out. Charging handles are cheap so if you ding it or something its not a big deal to replace it.
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Old December 31, 2013, 04:02 AM   #31
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Jeff,I get what you are saying,and case collapse is,as you said,one of his problems.He understands that now./
From what you describe,may I make a suggestion?
A sensitive touch on the handle is one way to avoid case collapse.Maybe I misunderstand,but it seems you describe feeling your way to the crimp feature in the die then stopping the strokeAnother way is to back the seater die body maybe the thickness of a nickel off the shellholder and lock it down.That takes the die's crimp feature out of the picture.
Feel is still a good thing seating,but then set your seater stem so you fully stroke the press to get seating depth.My apologies if I misunderstood.
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Old December 31, 2013, 07:27 AM   #32
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No, your also correct. My suggestion was because he already said he readjusted the die.
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Old December 31, 2013, 02:50 PM   #33
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Good advice from all, but one thing that I pointed out earlier is that a full length sized case with no bullet in it is still very hard to chamber.

When I say "hard to chamber", I mean this: I drop the case into the chamber. It does not fall all the way in - the only way to get it to go all the way to the shoulder is to pull the charging handle back all the way and let it slingshot forward. But then it takes a monumental amount of force to eject the case.

When I say that the case doesn't go all the way to the shoulder, I mean that it is about a quarter to a half inch from being fully chambered.

There's no doubt that I was causing a problem by improperly seating the bullet - it was apparent in both observing the deformation of the case and by measuring the bulge at the shoulder. But there is something else going on with the case neck when resizing that's causing the neck to bulge.

The dies that I was using are brand new. Using the Hornady headspace gauges (I'm still waiting for the cartridge gauge to arrive), I am setting the shoulder back about .004" from a fired case. I cleaned the brass prior to sizing it.

Should have more info this evening. Again, thank you all for your suggestions.
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Old December 31, 2013, 04:49 PM   #34
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Did you trim the brass after you sized it? I know it may sound silly to ask. I load .223 for a bolt action. I have loaded up thousands of them for shooting out AR rifles owned by friends. All of them have fed just fine.

Note all of my brass is range pick up. Also it is dog gone nearly all fired out of AR rifles. With most all of them being once fired as well. (Love the mall ninjas that come with a case of ammo, and 30 minutes later leave me with a huge pile of brass.) As a rule of thumb AR rifles stretch brass with the extraction process. I trim all brass after the first resizing. I have never had a single one that trimmer did not take at least a little bit off of. That is in near onto 15 to 20 thousand of them over the past 4 years.

Try trimming, chamfering, and deburring after sizing it, and then load up a dummy to see if it chambers.
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Old December 31, 2013, 06:47 PM   #35
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I've found the problem. It was the sizing die. I just ran a couple of cases through the RCBS FL sizing die and made up a couple of dummy rounds. They chamber perfectly. As far as I can see, the Lyman die is putting a bulge in the case neck during the sizing process and that's preventing the case from chambering.

I'll contact Lyman and see what they have to say. I've got a lot of their dies and this is the first one that's given me trouble - it happens.

Again, thanks for the help and I hope that everyone has a happy and prosperous 2014.
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Old December 31, 2013, 07:18 PM   #36
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Did you lube inside the case mouth before sizing? I use a pipe cleaner with lube on it to lube inside the case mouth of each case. It also helps to keep the sizing button from pulling the case necks too far off center from what I hear. I just do it because it makes the down stroke smoother.
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Old December 31, 2013, 07:20 PM   #37
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Quote:
I loaded up 50 with Sierra Varminter 55 grain SPT bullets.
Quote:
I didn't put much of a crimp on the bullet - should I have?NO!
Those two are the main reasons for the failure to chamber. A non cannelured bullet and the attempt to crimp said bullet with a roll crimp type die. Add to that the failure to check the case length after resizing. You can't get a uniform crimp without uniform case length.

The shoulder is clearly bulged, it will never chamber like that. A body die would solve the problems with any loaded shell that has a bulged shoulder.

Quit crimping .223, it is unnecessary. As long as your case neck tension is enough to hold your bullet, you need no crimp.
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Old December 31, 2013, 07:39 PM   #38
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Quote:
I'll contact Lyman and see what they have to say. I've got a lot of their dies and this is the first one that's given me trouble - it happens.
LOL, Good thing it wasn't a Lee or we would another long lasting thread claiming how all Lee dies are junk.
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Old December 31, 2013, 07:51 PM   #39
Hardcase
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M&P, I did lube inside the case mouth. And Snuffy, I agree with you 100%. No more crimping 223s.
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Old December 31, 2013, 07:59 PM   #40
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Quote:
I did adjust the sizing die as it was about a turn off of the shellholder. I don't have a picture handy, but what I see after running the shell through the die is that there is just a bit of a bulge in the neck, right above the shoulder, and maybe 1/8" or so down from the mouth. So that makes me question the sizing die. That bulge is, if I remember right, about .258", which is outside of spec. All of the other measurements are within the SAAMI specs.
If that bulge was there when you had the sizing die a turn off the shell holder, that would not be a surprise, as you might simply never have sized the neck all the way down and the .258" number might simply be the width of your chamber neck. 0.257" is actually SAAMI max for a chamber there, but calipers can be off that much. The way to tell is to compare it to a measurement of fired brass at that same point that has not yet been resized.

The way to set up a sizing die for the AR is normally full length. If you have a long chamber, you can then back it out slowly until you get two or three thousandths shorter head-to-shoulder measurements than the fired brass had. But for most chambers and dies less than an eighth of a turn off the shell holder is about all you need to accomplish that.

To see how to set a sizing die up properly for full length sizing, this Lee help video is a good demonstration, including how to look for a light crack between the shell holder and the die.
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Old December 31, 2013, 11:45 PM   #41
Jeff2131
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Oh...hahahah, im using the rcbs fl die...never thought to ask what die u were using.
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