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Old April 5, 2011, 01:57 PM   #1
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need .223 Rem Bullet Seating Help

By way of introduction I have been reloading for several years, but almost exclusively handgun ammo. I recently acquired a .223 Remington carbine (AR-15 style) and am a rookie at loading this caliber, or really rifle cartridges.
When I started my first batch, (using Lee 3 pc die set)of course I performed full-size resizing. When I began seating the bullets (Overall length 2.193"). However each cartridge came out of the press with a flaring of the brass at the lower end, like it had been vertically crushed. This occurred where the cartridge begins to taper from the head to the bullet – diam at head and down the case 0.340", at the crush point flaring out to 0.380 where the taper to bullet diam begins. (See img 1)
What am I doing wrong, how to fix this? Also, can I safely resize the cartridges this happened to? (All three of them so no big deal anyway, but I am a cheap old fart!)
Thanks so much in advance for anyone’s help!

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Old April 5, 2011, 02:12 PM   #2
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The Image Didnt Post fr last Msg Sorry!

Sorry, I AM one of those DOS Dumbies!
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Old April 5, 2011, 02:23 PM   #3
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I get that if I have the crimp die set down too far. Is your seating die screwed in too far? I think the lee instructions say to raise the cartridge all the way to the top and screw the die down until it touches the cartridge. Lower the arm down and screw in 1/4 to 1/2 turn more. Set the locking nut.
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Old April 5, 2011, 02:24 PM   #4
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Your over crimping. Back that die out and then with a sized case in the shellholder screw it in slowly until you can feel the top of the case.
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Old April 5, 2011, 06:33 PM   #5
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I agree with the over crimping observation. Run a sized case in the shell holder and run it t othe top then srew the die down untill you feel it touch the case mouth. Then work on adjusting your seating plug. I have loaded for 4 of my friends AR rifles none have needed to be crimped, the bullet tension has been enough to keep the bullets in place through the loading and firing cycle.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old April 5, 2011, 08:38 PM   #6
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I did the exact same thing this past fall. I had been away from shooting since a 2006 motorcycle accident that messed up my right arm for a few years. So it had been a while since I did any reloading. My very first .223 round ended up looking just like yours. Problem was just as pointed out, improper die set up / over crimping. I doubt you will be able to iron out something like that. Even if you could, there will now be a weak spot in the brass. I saved the ruined case and keep it next to my reloader to remind me never to do it again.
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Old April 5, 2011, 09:22 PM   #7
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Man you were putting some pressure on those boys, classic over crimping, don't ask how I know.
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Old April 5, 2011, 09:33 PM   #8
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Well it is because the dies can crimp as well as seat. Read the directions which came with the dies. It explains everything.
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Old April 6, 2011, 06:17 AM   #9
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It could also be that the cases were not chamfered to remove the inside berr.
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Old April 6, 2011, 12:51 PM   #10
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We're opposite- in that I don't reload for our handguns (haven't found it to be cost effective) I don't know the specifics about crimping handgun cartridges.

So no offense if I'm stating the obvious to you- you are aware that over-crimping can increase case pressures to a dangerous level?

We shoot both bolt and semi-auto .223's, and I do not crimp for either.
I realize that some do crimp particularly for the semi's, as they have concern about bullets coming "loose" from getting loaded and jarred around in the mag...but I've never experienced any of those issues.

Just a suggestion to proceed very cautiously when crimping a high-power centerfire round. If you're going to crimp, you need to start with a very light crimp- and if you feel it necessary increase the amount of crimp incrementally, watching for overpressure signs. No different that working up a load...
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Old April 7, 2011, 06:04 AM   #11
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I have been leaving my 223 uncrimped. Just seat them and go. With the type of magazine that an AR uses, there shouldn't be an issue with the bullet moving in the mag. I've measured the first round put into a mag, shot the magazine full EXCEPT that one. Then measured again to make sure the bullet didn't move. That way no chance of overcrimping.
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Old April 7, 2011, 12:56 PM   #12
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Thanks for Everyone's Help

I reset my seating die, and worked well, no crimping on the brass. (was called away for a few days before having time to try it) Again, thanks for your advise.
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