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Old August 15, 2018, 10:13 AM   #1
ninosdemente
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223 not chambering

I finished loading 60 .223 in 4 groups of 15. I am using 2 different powders (IMR 4064--23.8gr/Varget--24.4gr) and using 2 different small rifle primers. Lyman book says case length 1.750" and OAL 2.260". When trimmed they are all around 1.743", I checked to see if they chambered and they did. Did not check all, per group I only checked 3 cases.

When powder was added and bullet seated, the OAL came to at 2.2585"-2.2595". Now my first mistake was not chambering the 1st group I made. All of them fall at/below 2.2595".

After all that work I finally checked to see if they chambered and they didn't. They had to be forced. After a bit of checking 3 groups... none chambered as they should.

My thinking was the projectile had to be seated more. To compare I grabbed store bought Remington .223 and its OAL was at 2.233" and case length was very slightly above book recommendation 1.7505"/1.7525". Those obviously chambered as it should without force.

So I took two and seated it more and got 2.252" and 2.2235". Thinking it was going to solve the problem but still didn't chamber. When I placed the rounds and tried closing the action before seating, they did not go in well. Had to force it in, sure this was not a good idea either. After seating again and placing the same rounds in and when tried to close the action I had to give it a hard push so the action can close. The same with a third round, had to give it a push for it to close after it was seated again.

I just don't know what step I did wrong. Don't know if I set up the sizing die incorrectly or the seating die incorrectly. Seems as I will have to pull them out and start from scratch again.

And yes I did try to chamber them in the correct bolt action rifle (.223) and am using VMAX 60gr (.224 diameter).

Here are some pictures:
http://www.mentegraphics.com/pictures/38.jpg
http://www.mentegraphics.com/pictures/39.jpg
http://www.mentegraphics.com/pictures/40.jpg
http://www.mentegraphics.com/pictures/41.jpg
http://www.mentegraphics.com/pictures/42.jpg

The first two are rounds I tried chambering with force before seating. When seated again... tried chambering once again.

The last two pictures are the same round. This one I seated again and then tried chambering. As mentioned, had to give it a push for it to close. As you can see it left a mark on the projectile.
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Old August 15, 2018, 10:18 AM   #2
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The loading manual offers a general guideline on over all length. Every bullet has a slightly different ogive (the shape of the bullet which determines which part of the bullet hits the rifling first). You can use one bullet and if it has a rounded tip and another with a very pointy tip and they will hit the rifling at different over-all lengths. Just seat the bullet a bit deeper and you should be fine. Note: google "bullet ogive" for a better/in depth description than I just gave. Once you understand it this won't be confusing in the future. Good luck.
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Old August 15, 2018, 10:22 AM   #3
dallasb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninosdemente View Post
I finished loading 60 .223 in 4 groups of 15. I am using 2 different powders (IMR 4064--23.8gr/Varget--24.4gr) and using 2 different small rifle primers. Lyman book says case length 1.750" and OAL 2.260". When trimmed they are all around 1.743", I checked to see if they chambered and they did. Did not check all, per group I only checked 3 cases.

When powder was added and bullet seated, the OAL came to at 2.2585"-2.2595". Now my first mistake was not chambering the 1st group I made. All of them fall at/below 2.2595".

After all that work I finally checked to see if they chambered and they didn't. They had to be forced. After a bit of checking 3 groups... none chambered as they should.

My thinking was the projectile had to be seated more. To compare I grabbed store bought Remington .223 and its OAL was at 2.233" and case length was very slightly above book recommendation 1.7505"/1.7525". Those obviously chambered as it should without force.

So I took two and seated it more and got 2.252" and 2.2235". Thinking it was going to solve the problem but still didn't chamber. When I placed the rounds and tried closing the action before seating, they did not go in well. Had to force it in, sure this was not a good idea either. After seating again and placing the same rounds in and when tried to close the action I had to give it a hard push so the action can close. The same with a third round, had to give it a push for it to close after it was seated again.

I just don't know what step I did wrong. Don't know if I set up the sizing die incorrectly or the seating die incorrectly. Seems as I will have to pull them out and start from scratch again.

And yes I did try to chamber them in the correct bolt action rifle (.223) and am using VMAX 60gr (.224 diameter).

Here are some pictures:
http://www.mentegraphics.com/pictures/38.jpg
http://www.mentegraphics.com/pictures/39.jpg
http://www.mentegraphics.com/pictures/40.jpg
http://www.mentegraphics.com/pictures/41.jpg
http://www.mentegraphics.com/pictures/42.jpg

The first two are rounds I tried chambering with force before seating. When seated again... tried chambering once again.

The last two pictures are the same round. This one I seated again and then tried chambering. As mentioned, had to give it a push for it to close. As you can see it left a mark on the projectile.
Do you have a chamber gauge? A quick look online states that that bullet should have an OAL of 2.25". Do you have the sizing die set correctly?

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
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Old August 15, 2018, 10:38 AM   #4
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Listed COAL's in bullet manufacturer manuals are typically pretty safe to use numbers.

Is this new brass, verified once fired or a bag of cheap brass from the discount store?

Did you use a sizing gauge or case comparator as part of the resizing process?

Discount brass or any brass that you did not original buy as factory ammo or new brass may be work hardened. When that happens it may resize but will often return to it's post fired state. It's very frustrating but there is a cure and that's annealing.
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Old August 15, 2018, 10:46 AM   #5
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1.750" is the trim-to. It's the SAAMI Max case length. Minimum is 1.720". Max OAL is 2.260". Minimum OAL is 2.125". Anything up to that 2.260" should chamber in any .223 chamber. However, it sounds like your chamber is a tick short of SAAMI Max of 1.857". Easiest fix is to seat 'em in a bit more.
"...slightly different ogive..." Ogives have nothing to do with OAL. OAL is measured from the point to the flat of the case. Ogives are about the unnecessary off-the-lands stuff.
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Old August 15, 2018, 11:34 AM   #6
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No. 1.760" is the SAAMI max. In the 1992 standard, 1.740" was the minimum, so trim-to was in the middle range at 1.750". In the 2015 standard, the minimum was reduced to 1.730", so the new trim-to is 1.745". Things change.


Ninosdemente,

The problem, from your photos, appears to be that the bullet has a short ogive that is jamming the throat. Hornady says 2.250" is the maximum COL for it. Use that.

Note that the SAAMI COL illustrated in most drawings is just the maximum that will still fit in magazines. It's not required for a load. SAAMI's standard has COL at 2.125" to 2.260" for Spitzer nose bullets in the .223 Remington in general, and it will be even shorter with non-standard shapes. A wadcutter would be an extreme example of that.

This illustrates why same-weight bullet and same COL don't always match:
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Old August 15, 2018, 11:36 AM   #7
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Different ogives in many calibers can cause feeding problems. OAL is a better indicator of what will feed through a magazine. T.O'Heir is correct about ogive having nothing to do with AOL, but he doesn't understand what or how ogive can cause issues with feeding the bullet into the chamber and having an interference. If you do google "ogive" and understand it, you'll see how some bullets will have a problem feeding into the chamber.

Oops! Uncle Nick beat me to it. I hit enter after he posted. As usual, his explanations are very, very good.
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Old August 15, 2018, 11:38 AM   #8
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As my illustration shows, the ogive can affect COL significantly. If you don't believe it, take the shortest ogive bullet there is, the wadcutter, and seat it out to the maximum COL and see what occurs when you try to chamber it.

Note that AOL is America OnLine. You had the old initials right the first time.
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Old August 15, 2018, 11:47 AM   #9
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Thanks guys for the reply.

I do not have a case gauge for this round. I found this one.... have the same manufacturer for 30-06.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M7D03PA...detail_3?psc=1

The brass I have is picked up brass from range/with some of my owned once fired brass.

Will try and seat more and will give update later today. Thanks again.

If I did set sizing die incorrectly, would the brass chamber correctly as it did when I first tried it prior to powder and seating? Would this give some type of false confirmation of chambering as it is not a complete round that is being chambered.
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Old August 15, 2018, 12:05 PM   #10
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First mistake?

Quote:
When powder was added and bullet seated, the OAL came to at 2.2585"-2.2595". Now my first mistake was not chambering the 1st group I made. All of them fall at/below 2.2595".
I will disagree; the first mistake is not knowing the length of the chamber from the shoulder of the chamber to the bolt face. After that there is room for another mistake; A reloader can size the case and without a bullet and powder attempt to close the bolt. If the bolt closed the case has enough clearance to allow the bolt to close and the case is not bulged. The bulge in the case requires the case to be sized when the bolt closes.

And then there is the problem with crimping and seating. If the reloader does not understand crimping only requires a hint of effort he can create a bulge at the case body shoulder juncture/

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Old August 15, 2018, 12:11 PM   #11
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Nino, when you are experimenting with your seating depth do yourself a favor and mark your test rounds with a felt-tip marker. Cover the ogive completely then test your round. You should be able to then see where it is making contact. If you keep marking and pushing back, you'll find the point at which those bullets start touching the lands.
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Old August 15, 2018, 12:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninosdemente View Post
Thanks guys for the reply.

I do not have a case gauge for this round. I found this one.... have the same manufacturer for 30-06.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M7D03PA...detail_3?psc=1

The brass I have is picked up brass from range/with some of my owned once fired brass.

Will try and seat more and will give update later today. Thanks again.

If I did set sizing die incorrectly, would the brass chamber correctly as it did when I first tried it prior to powder and seating? Would this give some type of false confirmation of chambering as it is not a complete round that is being chambered.
Ok, so unless you see someone load fresh factory ammo dont pickup range brass. If a reloader leaves behind brass, first he has no clue about range etiquette and second he no longer wants to reload it. I'll probably catch grief for saying that but I dont do it and I dont think you should either.

Sort your brass by manufacturer and only reload one manufacturer's brass during any given run.

Now for the test. Get yourself a case gauge. Some refer to them as head space gauges but a round of ammo does not have headspace, a gun does and the bullet has to be sized to fit in it. Not to little and not too much. The gage will tell you when you die is set correctly.

Once you've resized, set the brass aside for a couple of hours and then use the same gauge to re check it. If it's the same then go ahead and chamber and empty case and see how it fits. You should only be able to feel the tension of the ejector spring.

If you're good at this point, put a primer in it and measure a medium load of the recommended powder as per the bullet manufacturer and then put a bullet in it at .01 below COAL. Put that round aside for an hour and then remeasure it. Try it in the case gage and see if it's still a go. If not, use a bullet puller and disarm the round including primer removal. The brass may benefit from annealing but its typically just as easy to go get some new brass.
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Old August 15, 2018, 02:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
If I did set sizing die incorrectly, would the brass chamber correctly as it did when I first tried it prior to powder and seating? Would this give some type of false confirmation of chambering as it is not a complete round that is being chambered.
Depends on which direction the die is set incorrectly. If it is pushing the shoulder back too far, the brass would chamber easily. But, a bullet seated to normal COL in such a case might well hit the rifling before the case shoulder meets the shoulder of the chamber. In other words, the COL might be spot on, but the case shoulder to bullet ogive dimension could be too long. The Wilson case gage that you linked to would tell you if the case head to shoulder dimension is within spec.

It's hard to tell from your pics, but do any of those bullets have rifling marks engraved on them after you tried chambering them?

Last edited by higgite; August 15, 2018 at 06:59 PM. Reason: to correct my own spelling.
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Old August 15, 2018, 03:40 PM   #14
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if you have a bushing type die there is a easy way to find the distance from the bolt face to where the bearing surface of the bullet enters the rifling.

1 - set up the sizing die as usual but remove the depinning rod and expander button. Leave the bushing adjustment turned all the way to the top.

2- Raise the ram with the case and leave it raised. Screw the bushing adjustment down. Stop when you feel when the bushing contact the neck.

3- Lower the ram, tighten the bushing adjustment 1/8th turn and size the case. This will size only the very end of the neck.

4 - Seat the bullet so that only about .1 of the bearing surface of the bullet is in the case.

Check the tension with you fingers and this is a judgement call. You want enough tension that you can slide the bullet with effort but not too loose. Tight enough to hold the bullet but not so tight that when you close the bolt the bullet sticks in the lands and damages the copper. You may have to repeat step 3 a couple of times to find the sweet spot

5 -Chamber the round completely, eject carefully being sure not to push the bullet in farther.

Carefully measure it either base to metplat or base to datum. This is probably where you find you need to repeat step 3 if you are heavy handed on the calipers.

6- repeat this process three times with fresh bullets and brass. Average the numbers and you should have a real good idea of where that bullet hits the lands. You can measure metplat to case head or case head to datum it does no matter as long as you only use that number for that bullet

You now have a reference number for seating that particular bullet. Recheck every few hundred rounds as that number will change as the throat wears.

Repeat for every new style bullet you want to try
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Last edited by hounddawg; August 15, 2018 at 04:13 PM.
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Old August 15, 2018, 04:27 PM   #15
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Those OAL's given in reloading manuals are the ones they used in working up data for their rifle or universal receiver . It is not written in stone and will not ensure chambering in your individual rifle with it's individual chamber.
Years ago this number was not listed , we used our gun as the gauge to set the bullet seating depth. Once the depth allowed easy chambering , a dummy round was made and used to set the dies with the next time that bullet was to be used .
Just use the book OAL as a starting point....adjust it as required to fit your gun. Remember that just because it fits your's ....it may not fit your buddies gun .
And I still make up dummy rounds to quickly set my dies with.
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Old August 15, 2018, 04:28 PM   #16
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Higgite,

It looks to me like he's either got rifling marks or scraping from the mouth of the freebore. It's where his arrow is pointing. That's what made me think they were seated too long.

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File Type: jpg 2018-08-15_17-10-19.jpg (63.2 KB, 454 views)
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Old August 15, 2018, 04:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenick View Post
Higgite,

It looks to me like he's either got rifling marks or scraping from the mouth of the freebore. It's where his arrow is pointing. That's what made me think they were seated too long.

Looks like the bullet needs to be seated deeper 1 1/2 times the length of those scrape marks....and I say 1 1/2 times just so you have the bullet clear of the rifling or freebore.
That should do it .
Gary
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Old August 15, 2018, 04:41 PM   #18
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Higgite, there are marks after I tried chambering when round was at 2.259". This is on picture 39.
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Old August 15, 2018, 04:50 PM   #19
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The picture above was after the projectile was seated again.
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Old August 15, 2018, 05:22 PM   #20
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Ah. So those are pre-existing marks. If you got a second set of marks, the rifling wouldn't be expected to be realigned in the same position, and that would explain them not being more distinct.

Have you tried seating to Hornady's recommended 2.250" COL yet and checking for chambering?
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Old August 15, 2018, 06:12 PM   #21
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Take this with a grain of salt:

I've only been reloading for about five years now, but I've been reloading .223 rem since the very beginning, and reloading Hornady V-Max and Nosler 60 grain varmint rounds for the last four years, and in my inexpert opinion, your rounds are too long. What I mean is, that just looking at your photos, my first thought was, "those bullets aren't seated deep enough." And if I can see that the bullets are too long in a photo, then they're probably too long by a good bit.

If I were you I'd go back and check to make sure you're measuring your cartridges' lengths correctly, or if there might be a problem with your calipers before considering anything else.

Like I said, I'm no expert, so take my suggestion with a grain of salt, but that was my first thought.

Oh, and i seat my 60 grainers to approximately 2.245-2.255
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Old August 15, 2018, 06:43 PM   #22
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The rather brutal straight-shank-to-curved-ogive transition of Hornady bullets can give no end end of nasty surprises in some rifles.
(My Model-70 30-06 was one, and initially I'd thought I'd lost my mind. )

Seat to Hornady manufacturer's OAL of 2.250 for VMAX (or even a tad less) as req'd for a a non-interference bolt closure.

Last edited by mehavey; August 15, 2018 at 07:56 PM.
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Old August 15, 2018, 07:09 PM   #23
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You can make a dummy round , first by sizing the case to where it chambers without resistance , then seat a bullet long slowly chamber the dummy round , it won't chamber , put back in your seating die and lower the die alittle at a time until it Chambers without resistance that would be your zero setting for ogive measurement . From there you can jump or jam your rounds . My Remington on the stock barrel I had so much free bore the bullet was almost at the end of the case neck before it hits the lands . When I had it rebarreled the new barrel had very little free bore. Good the know your chamber measurements for sizing your cases an seating your bullets . The feel method may not be exact but very close . Good starting point . At least you will know all your reloads will chamber safely . I don't think it's a tight chamber , just have to know the lengths.
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Old August 15, 2018, 07:47 PM   #24
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I've only been at this a couple of years, and luckily haven’t had any issues with .223, but I did have a small problem with 9mm which may be similar to your problem.
My first few hundred rounds of 9mm performed as expected, so I was quite disappointed when one day some wouldn't chamber. Two factors contributed, I reckon. First, I was using a CZ clone, which I found out tend to have tight chambers, and second, I started using Hornady XTP's instead of plated round nose. The XTP's seem to suffer from the ogive issue that some here have mentioned (I'm no ogive expert), but since I wasn't loading to max, I was comfortable seating them a little deeper until they chambered. All was good again after that.

The XTP bullets seem to be just a smidge wider closer to the tip, which apparently was causing them to hit the lands when seated at the published OAL.
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Old August 15, 2018, 07:58 PM   #25
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This is a bullet shape/leade start problem somewhat unique to Hornady.
Again, see Post 23.
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