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Old August 23, 2015, 02:09 PM   #1
rtpzwms
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bumpimg 223 shoulder

any one using Redding Small Base Body Dies to bump the shoulder back on 223 for an AR? How good are they? Should I just buck up and spend more for Forster's Bushing Bump Neck Sizing Die Kits 223 Rem - Bushing Bump Neck Sizing Die & 3 Neck Bushings?
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Old August 23, 2015, 02:58 PM   #2
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I ordered a .245" honed out FL 223 die from Forster. With some brass, it will not hold a bullet. So then it is then acting as a body die. I then use the Lee collet neck die and all is well.

I would not recommend doing what I did. Either get it to work as a FL with a .244" or less......... or get a real body die that is a .246" or greater. Don't get stuck on the edge like me.
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Old August 23, 2015, 03:38 PM   #3
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Rtpzwms,

While there are a few AR's you hear about that need small base die sizing to function reliably, the operative word is few. I, and many other AR owners I know have had no issues using standard dies, and this is so even though I have a fairly tight match chamber in mine. The extra narrowing does work the brass more and shorten its reloading life. So before you invest in a solution, first be sure you have the problem that needs it.
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Old August 23, 2015, 05:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
I ordered a .245" honed out FL 223 die from Forster.
I hone my own. The last Redding 223 die I honed to .2433" and I have never found any brass it doesn't give adequate neck tension with. I use the Redding carbide expander. The case necks have less than 0.001" TIR.

I load for about 10 AR's including barrels by Lilja, Krieger, White Oak Armament and many others. I have a small base RCBS die set sitting on the shelf I have never used.

Are you planning to neck size for your AR? It isn't what I would recommend. Just curious what you are trying to accomplish?
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Old August 23, 2015, 09:46 PM   #5
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uncle nick,

I am aware that few need the small base. I have one of those. I first tried the std 223 dies and several rounds would NOT chamber. I checked them with the Dillon case gauge and they were fine according to the gauge. I then moved to the small base die and have had no issues since. With the price of 223 brass I'm not very concerned about the extra working of the brass. I will monitor the brass age and condition.

I know I could do other things to move the shoulder or even toss the brass if I choose not to deal with the issue at all. I'm looking for input on the two items that I listed to see if there is a better mouse trap and what it might look like. I know the Forster product will work and allow me to do more in controlled movement of the shoulder. But I have no personal experience with either. So I am asking about the performance of these two items. I was hoping that someone here might have first hand experience with either of these tools.

I do appreciate the input that everyone has put in this thread. But I would like someone address the question I put forth. Is the Redding Small Base Body Die a good idea or would I be better off just spending the extra and getting the Forster Bushing Bump Neck Sizing Die.

Jepp2
No I am not planning to just neck size. I have a couple of items that use 223 so I believe that FL resize is the best option.
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Old August 24, 2015, 07:13 AM   #6
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The die having a small base has nothing to do with moving the shoulder back. They make the base of the case smaller. You can move the shoulder back with any 223 die.
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Old August 24, 2015, 09:08 AM   #7
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This isn't exactly the answer to your question, but you may not be aware that a Redding Type S FL sizing die can be used as a body die if you remove the bushing. If Redding makes a small base FL bushing die, and I assume they do, it can be used as a body die also, if the bushing is removed. And I suggest that you buy a wide spectrum of bushing sizes, since the thickness of case neck walls can vary a bit. I know the frustration of not having the bushing size I needed.

If you want a neck sizing die, the Lee Collet Die works very well for me, and case neck wall thickness (as long as it's a safe thickness) doesn't matter.
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Old August 24, 2015, 09:44 AM   #8
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rtpzwms,

Out of curiosity, was the brass that failed to chamber once-fired brass?

It's not unusual to need to use a small base die on once-fired brass because it is often stretched way over normal by extraction from a SAW. Such brass can have too much spring-back to be properly resized by a standard die on the first pass. Even previous firing in a loose AR chamber can make it too big to be sizes all the way down for a tighter chamber by one pass through a standard die.

Board member F. Guffey likes to cut shim stock to fit between the case head and shell holder's case insertion slot on the bottom side so the case if forced further into the sizing die than normal. This can make a standard die work for the first pass with badly stretched once-fired cases. But once you've fired the brass one time in your chamber, the standard die should work thereafter unless you have one of the few AR's I mentioned before. If you do have one of them, I would recommend checking your magazine lips for proper release timing (try some surplus military ones for comparison). You could also gauge the rifle completely, if you have the armorer's tools. The few picky AR's will have something different bout them than can be measured somewhere. I just haven't had one in my hands to figure it out.

The case gauge won't necessarily tell you if your cases are too fat. Dillon tells me they cut theirs with a chamber reamer to SAAMI chamber standard minimum, but that is a full thousandth larger in diameter than SAAMI maximum case size, and most commercial new cases are about 0.004" smaller in diameter than SAAMI maximum. So about 0.005" would be the diameter clearance for a typical new case going into a SAAMI minimum chamber. What you know from the gauge is that any case it accepts will chamber in a bolt gun loading singly, but that's not going to guarantee you suitability of the diameter for magazine feed, which will need to be at least -0.001" smaller than the gauge diameter, and -0.002" or more is better and -0.005" is normal.

As to the Redding Body Die, if you are using a Lee Collet Die to size the neck, a body die will work fine to size the rest of the case, as it doesn't touch the neck. The Lee die leaves necks very true on runout, as this video demonstrates, but they only size the neck. But if you are looking to resize the neck and body all in one step, get a Redding S type full length sizing die in the size you want and let its neck bushings do the neck sizing.

The Forster bump dies are not small base and don't size the case body diameter at all; they are a form of neck size-only die, that also lightly bumps the shoulder back to center it and the neck up. It won't help with a diameter-related feed problem. Moreover, if you neck size-only for a military style self-loader with a floating firing pin, you increase the chance of getting a slamfire or worse, an out of battery fire, so there is hazard associated with doing that (more for the Garand and M14 systems, but just not zero even in the AR). This hazard would be made worse if using the bump die exclusively with once-fired brass. It's really a tool for benchrest bolt rifle shooters.
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Old August 24, 2015, 02:09 PM   #9
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Old August 24, 2015, 08:01 PM   #10
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Uncle Nick,

Yes the brass was once fired in the AR in question. I at first started with a Hornady FL resize from the 3 die set. Now I'm using a RCBS small base FL die. I did try shimming under the case head to attempt to move the shoulder back to no avail. I had read F Guffey's threads many times when he talks about doing that. As far as the Dillon gauge not telling how fat a round is I found that out the hard way. But I've done very well with the small base die so I think we can put that to rest. So for now my only issue is the location of the shoulder. If I can move it in a controlled environment that would be great.

603Country
Yea I kind of figured that out but again the only issue I have is the location of the shoulder. It needs to be bumped back just a little bit. I already have two die sets just for 223. other than 40/10 and 357/38spl I don't normally double up on dies especially when there is no good reason to do so. I'm pushing it with 40/10 and 357/38 don't really need them just nice to have them.

PA-Joe
I've tried everything with two FL dies. From a fairly heavy cam over to shimming under the case head. And the shoulder hasn't moved enough.
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Old August 24, 2015, 08:08 PM   #11
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"I ordered a .245" honed out FL 223 die from Forster."

What does that gain vs an over the counter 6x45MM small base sizing die?
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Old August 24, 2015, 08:46 PM   #12
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rtpzwms, having read this discussion a couple of more times, I'm wondering why you want to do a shoulder bump of the cases you are going to shoot in an AR. Admittedly, I'm not an AR pro, having had to return the one the USMC loaned me. That said, if your rifle handles regular factory ammo well, then I think I'd just resize the cases to factory (SAAMI?) specs. You shouldn't need small base dies for that, I'd think, and the small base dies will work your brass pretty hard.

I believe that you can purchase some different shellholders that will allow the regular FL dies to bump the shoulder back a touch more with standard FL dies. I'd give that a try. I can't see any need whatever for you to buy or use neck sizing dies. That won't fix any problem you have.

Again, if the rifle feeds and shoots factory rounds, there's nothing wrong with the chamber size. Standard dies should work, if they will size the brass to factory dimensions.

There are bound to be some reloading tricks the big-time AR guys use, but I don't know them. I reloaded for a BAR in 270 for years, and did use small base dies for it. The more I got into reloading, the more I went toward bolt guns for better accuracy and longer case life, and not having to look for my fired brass. :-)

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Old August 24, 2015, 09:06 PM   #13
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I have a similar issue. AR fired brass I pick up at the range just isn't getting resized well enough to chamber in my CZ carbine without really having to force the bolt. Factory ammo is fine.
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Old August 24, 2015, 11:46 PM   #14
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rtpzwms

To answer your OP . Uncle nick did well on that and I'd add that some dies don't size down cases as far as others . My Redding bushing dies ( both 308 & 223 ) size/bump the shoulders back when using standard shell holder and hard contact with cam over . At least .006 below GO gage and some times more . If All you are getting is GO gage lengths with your dies . Maybe a Redding type S bushing die is what you need .

Have you been or do you have any factory NATO fire formed cases you have shot from your rifle . I have found when measuring my AR case head space ( datum to head ) using fire formed cases . They must be full pressure loads or my measurements are not consistent . No 223 factory rounds will give me a consistent measurement when fired from any of my AR's both NATO & match chambers .

That said , Why do you need to bump your shoulders back a little more . Are your cases not chambering after FL sizing with hard contact between the shell holder and die and cam over ? What measurement are you trying to get to and what measurement is that from ?

Do your full pressure fire formed cases fit in your Dillon case gage ?? If not then the likely issue of you needing a small base die is do to your AR's over sized chamber .

Sorry if this is all off topic . Feel free to say so and I'll stop my line of questions
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Old August 25, 2015, 12:44 AM   #15
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I initially had the same problem with my first AR, the chamber required that all cases used in it needed to be small base resized (very tight chamber). So I went with the RCBS X-Small Base FL resizing die. Problem went away and everything I loaded worked and worked well. Well, I now have an AR with a 5.56 chamber and probable do not need to do it anymore, BUT --- since I have the proper dies for setting back the cases to proper dimensions, there is no reason not to use it. So every 223/5.56 case is sized with that die.

Ever since i started using it 7 years ago, I have NEVER had a reload that did not work properly no matter what gun it was fired from, now that's priceless.

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Old August 25, 2015, 12:53 AM   #16
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Jim :

You seem to be the perfect one to ask since you have been sizing all your cases with a small base die . Do you feel it over works the brass ? How many reloads do and or can you get ?
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Old August 25, 2015, 01:05 AM   #17
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Do you feel it over works the brass ? How many reloads do and or can you get ?
No... it only works the cases the same way any other die set will. Over working the case will depend on how many times you re-size it. I have tons of cases that are all once fired. So I do not have a count on the number times, I do reload my own reloaded cases without any problems. The neck will split before you will over work the case, I would guess I have reloaded some cases at least 5 or 6 times. When you re-size a case and it becomes difficult to move the ram on that case, it is time to toss it, this would be after about 5 to 7 uses.

Good luck and stay safe.
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Old August 25, 2015, 08:20 AM   #18
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Bumping the shoulder: I do not know how you reloaders do it, when I bump the shoulder my case body bulges, 'UNLESS!' I have case body support and while we are at it we should throw in neck support. When I bump I bump every thing. If the press I am using is not a cam over press I am SOL (simply out of luck). I know, throw in 'bump' and others have to take you seriously.

I have bump presses, I have presses that do not bump. When sizing I use control sizing, my presses have threads and my dies have threads, Threads make my dies adjustable.

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Old August 25, 2015, 08:37 AM   #19
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Metal God:

I appreciate everyone's input. This is not my first rodeo. I load for about 20 different calibers about 1/2 rifle and 1/2 pistol. I have a handful of cases right now that if placed in the Dillon go /no go tool are a no go. The case head is beyond the tool sticking out and the neck is coming up short. The overall length is correct. Conclusion the shoulder is in the wrong location. Too high on the cartridge, If I can reform that area of the cartridge to the correct location I will be able to reuse the cartridge, there are no other signs of concerns. The cartridge is smooth on the inside so if stretched its not significant. I want control of the bump because this is on its way to be a target AR. In the end I want to be able to push this over 600yds. That's a lot to ask when working for Sub MOA. Buy the way I also returned my M-16 to the same outfit (76-80).

Jim 243
looks like you and I had similar experiences. First shots with this AR were factory rounds approx. 100. Then reloads the first 100 reloads better than a 50% failure to chamber without being forced. I only forced 1 with mag removed for safety. It fired fine and ejected but no reason to continue. Then did like you did picked up RCBS 223 small base dies and no more chambering issues.

I could just toss the bad cases there not worth that much. But I check every case. When I find one that doesn't work I stop and look for an answer. I don't normally load max loads. Just haven't found a good reason to be there. I normally find a great round that will do exactly what I want below max. In this case I have a pair of firearms that will use the loads. A T/C with a 14 inch barrel and the AR with a 20 in bull barrel. With the T/C I can hit gongs at 600 yards, not bad for a pistol. I haven't used the AR in such a way as to measure its performance but the shooting I have done shows that I'm on the right path.

I would like someone address the question I put forth. Is the Redding Small Base Body Die a good idea or would I be better off just spending the extra and getting the Forster Bushing Bump Neck Sizing Die?
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Old August 25, 2015, 09:43 AM   #20
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would I be better off just spending the extra and getting the Forster Bushing Bump Neck Sizing Die?
Dies are like wrestling, In the big inning I remember they were naming wrestling holds, my favorite names were combination holds, one that just broke me up was the step over toe hold with a half nelson. Dies? same thing.

Forster Bushing Bump Neck Sizing die? If someone in my small group of builders/reloaders informed me he purchased a Forster Bushing Bump Neck Sizing die I would respond with "SERIOUSLY?" or 'FANTASTIC'.

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Old August 25, 2015, 10:00 AM   #21
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would I be better off just spending the extra and getting the Forster Bushing Bump Neck Sizing Die?
Quote:
The Forster bump dies are not small base and don't size the case body diameter at all; they are a form of neck size-only die, that also lightly bumps the shoulder back to center it and the neck up
Quote:
when I bump the shoulder my case body bulges, 'UNLESS!' I have case body support
Based on the above I'd say not likely what you want . Even if The Forster will bump the shoulder you would still need to know if it will bump it more then the the dies you already have .
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Old August 25, 2015, 10:57 AM   #22
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Based on the above I'd say not likely what you want . Even if The Forster will bump the shoulder you would still need to know if it will bump it more then the the dies you already have .
I am the only reloaders that can determine the die's ability to size a case back to minimum length/full length size. My shell holders have a deck height, then there is that part about determine if the case won or the press won. I am the only reloader that uses the companion tool top the press, the feeler gage. And, I understand, anywhere I use a feeler gage I can use a dial caliper or height gage and on occasions I can use the dial indicator.

then there is the perceived problem, will the shell holder accommodate the head space gage when determining its ability to size the case to minimum length when minimum length means from the shoulder /datum of the case to the case head.

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Old August 25, 2015, 11:19 AM   #23
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Is this whole thing just a matter of not being able to push the shoulder back with an existing die or has it developed into something more complicated than that? If just unable to push the shoulder back, I have encountered that on several occasions and the easy answer is to grind off a portion of the mouth of the die, thereby allowing the die to be screwed down farther against the shell holder. No doubt to some that sounds like you are really ruining the die (or may not be practical if the die is carbide) and may suggest grinding down the shell holder instead. But with a standard die, this is quickly and easily done with a small grinding wheel attached to an electric drill. Using a file takes a little longer of course.
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Old August 25, 2015, 11:58 AM   #24
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If I were to grind anything down it would be the shell holder . No need grinding on the more expensive part to replace .

The OP said he tried using a feeler gage shim to shim the case in the shell holder to fix the need for a small base die but it did not work . I wonder if he has tried shimming the case up in the shell holder while using the small base die . I can shim my 223 case up as much as .008 in the shell holder . If the OP can shim the case up .006+ using the small base die while at the same time making hard contact between the die and shell holder . If that does not bump the shoulders back enough I believe there is more to this then a simple shoulder bump issue .
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Old August 25, 2015, 12:31 PM   #25
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In order, till one works:
- Grind down the top of the shellholder to allow a bit more sizing.
- Buy and try the small base die.

Also make sure, if you haven't already, that you haven't slightly collapsed the shoulder when you were sizing. I managed to do that recently, and the shoulder bulge was so small that I didn't even notice it until I went to chamber one.
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