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Old May 1, 2013, 04:40 PM   #1
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Join Date: February 27, 2011
Location: WI, USA
Posts: 279
AR - violent ejection with handloads

I suppose this thread could potentially go under the Reloading section, but I am thinking it may actually be related to the rifle, so checking here first…

I recently started hand loading for the AR I built myself two years ago (one of these days I’ll post a write up on it, I think it came out really nice). First trip to the range with my test loads… I found that it really flings the brass out quite violently during ejection. Factory loads also do fly pretty good, but the ejection on the hand loads was just over the top. After the first shot I actually thought I must have measured my powder charge incorrectly and loaded it too hot. I finished out that day shooting factory 55gr ammo and went home, pulled the remaining 4 hand loaded cartridges and checked the charges. Everything was well within spec and on the lower end of the data (I always start low and work up on the other cartridges that I load for). I loaded a few more and went back to the range a few days later. Same thing, violent cycling of the action with the hand loads, brass flying up into the ceiling (the shooting benches are in a sheltered structure) and ricocheting all over. Didn’t see any signs of excessive pressure, just a lot of dented brass from bouncing off of everything after ejection.
Then a thought occurred to me… I was loading “heavier” 68gr BTHP bullets. I wonder if I need to go to a heavier buffer/spring system? Is the heavier bullet just too much for the standard buffer assembly?
If it matters, the rifle has a 16” government profile barrel with “carbine” length gas system, and standard weight buffer and spring.
Load data includes minimum/low end charge of Varget, CCI Small Rifle primers and 68gr Hornaday boat tail hallow point “match” type bullets.

Any insight would be appreciated.
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