Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

223 case trimming, Highpower load

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Key-Hay, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    159
    I have been loading pistol for a while (with a square deal) but stepped up to a 550B. Have done a lot of .45 and .357 on the 550B and have beed satisfied with results.
    I have 223 dies for the 550B and have tried a couple of runs with less than stellar results. My Savage Bolt takes um ok but the bushmaster DCM and Rock River Arms AR. will not chamber properly (Jams into chamber but not far enough to fire) I'm trying to load 60 gn V-Max and Sierra 69 gn Matchking Molys. when they do function I get good velocity numbers. Trimming with a Lyman universal trimmer to specs.
    I have seen some threads about sizing then reloading (Dummy me I thought you could do it like Dillon says in there ads) so I think I'll follow those recommendations.
    Questions:
    1) Trimming/chamfering is there any good ref info on proper trimming and chamfering without spending $425 on a Giraud.
    2) Anyone using the RT1200? how do you handle chamfering?
    3) Anybody got a good recipe for the 69 gn Matchking
    4) How do I get them to function in my ARs?
     
  2. doug

    doug Tacoma Member

    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Size first then trim. Sounds like you may have not done it in this order.

    In regards to trimming and chamfering I've done it with the RCBS 3-way trimmer head, works great. But I did step up to the Giraud, works great and fast.
    I'm sure you will get lots of responses that will answer all your questions.

    Have fun.
     
  3. alfack

    alfack Marysville Member

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had the same trouble, when I first started with the .223. I had to run my die down to touch the shell holder, + a bit further. Also, I had some PMC brass that wouldn't take a size too well. It would spring back a little, after coming out of the die. Lake City brass doesn't seem to have this problem.

    The rounds that would not fit my AR chamber would fit in my case gauge perfectly, which I would recommend getting, if you don't have one. I think some chambers are sized a hair small.

    If cranking the die down a little more doesn't help, you may need to try a small base sizer. Some folks will swear that you absolutely need small base dies for autos, but most of the time they just need to crank the normal die down a hair further.
     
  4. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    159
    I'm using mostly Remington brass. I am running the die all the way down minus 1/4 turn. I have read some were using the SB sizer but does that have any effects on accuracy?
     
  5. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    159
    I do have a Dillon Case gauge and my rounds seem to fit just fine.
     
  6. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    2,804
    Likes Received:
    1,859
    Hey man, this is actually a fairly simple problem.

    ALL BRASS you expect to function in a semi-auto MUST BE SMALL BASE SIZED. Dillon claims the dies they sell to accomplish this, however when I process brass that will be sold as reloads I first size it with an RCBS small base sizer, followed by a redding small base sizer. The results are flawless. When you have brass that looks funky after small base sizing (the web expanded too much) THROW IT OUT!

    This is not a trimming issue, this is an issue of how much the dies touch the brass.

    I use an RT-1200 for case processing, it does not chamfer the edge at all, it just flattens it. If you want a chamfer look at the gracey (Match Prep, Home Page of the Gracey Power Cartridge Case Trimmer) or the giraud trimmers (url unknown). I bought the gracey trimmer years ago and use it for all my match ammunition. There are plenty of people who argue about which trimmer is better, the giraud may be the end-all-be-all, but the gracey is half the price, and it's helping the grandson of the owner put himself through ME school.

    In your bolt action, you should save your brass, and know how many times you've shot it, and not comingle it with your semi-auto brass. You have probably noticed that when you take brass which has been full length sized you really need to crank the bolt handle to get it to close... that is a sure sign of a die which is too lose.

    If you really want high performance out of your bolt action and it's ammunition, go buy some boxes from berry's or MTM and separate your brass, everything that comes out of the box goes back into the box. and get a decent neck sizer. Your brass will last in the 5-10+ reloadings without issue.
     
  7. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    159
    OK let me see if I got this.

    For Bolt action, Size/trim with the Dillon die/RT1200. Keep Bolt action segregated from Semi Auto.
    For Semi Auto, Size with SB Die (i.e. RCBS) then with Dillon die/RT1200.
    (Question Why 2 SB Dies?)
    Do I need to worry about the chamfer with the RT1200?
     
  8. alfack

    alfack Marysville Member

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    You may not need SB dies. Try turning it down to touch the shell plate then + 1/8 turn, instead of -1/4 turn.
     
  9. PDXGS

    PDXGS Aloha... yes, Aloha, Oregon Member

    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    23
    I agree with AMProducts- SB dies are the only way to go for semi autos.
    I've tried not using SB dies for .223 and .308 in ARs and M1A for High Power and have always experienced some odd behavior with the loads.
    Hope this helps.
    J
     
  10. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    159
    Was searching to see if Dillon makes a Small Base die and found they claim all their dies are Small Base. Here is what they say:
    small-based dies is mostly a marketing description. Any modern reputable die maker offers dies that size a case to fit a minimum-spec chamber. Before doing anything else, size a case and see if it fully chambers, the bolt locks completely, and the case easily extracts. Often this requires running the size die down not just until it touches the shellplate, but up to 1/4-1/2 turn beyond that, to take all the play out of the linkage, toolhead, etc. A headspace case cage makes it easier to adjust the size die, as it substitutes for your chamber, and indicates where maximum and minimum headspace are.
     
  11. Larry Gibson

    Larry Gibson University Place, WA New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would suggest RCBS .223 X-Die for FL sizing. The regular one works just fine with milspec and standard SAAMI spec chambers. Unless you have a tight match chamber the small base die is not necessary. Also with the correct use of the X-Die you will not need to trim and case life will be much longer.

    I load a lot of 5.56.223 on my 550B. My procedure is fast and gives reliable ammo of very good quality.

    1. Clean the cases
    2. FL size using a correctly adjusted X-Die at station 1 or in a regular single stage press. If you use the 550 for this make sure the die is down far enough so the shell plate bumps the bottom of the die.
    3. Delube the cases
    4. Clean primer pockests and inspect for defects
    5. I use a NS die at staion 1 to keep the case aligned and makes sure no residue is in the flash hole.
    6. Prime on down stroke at Station 1
    7. Charge case with powder at Station 2
    8. Seat bullet at station 3
    9. if crimp is wanted I use a Lee factory crimp die at station 4

    This goes very fast for me and i can load a lot of quality ammo quickly.

    Larry Gibson
     
  12. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    2,804
    Likes Received:
    1,859
    Here's a more specific order:

    Range pick-up brass: Small base size all of it, trim it, and ream primer pockets

    Semi-auto brass: always small base size

    Bolt action brass: if starting from new ammo, or new brass, fire in the gun and neck-size only. (neck-sizing will make this ammo only good for this gun, it may chamber in others, but will require small-base sizing before re-use in this gun)

    For just plinker ammo, the RT1200 does a fine job, for match ammo, chamfer the case mouths inside and out.

    The reason for two SB die sets is one gets it small, and the other gets it smaller. Brass has a spring coefficient which must be overcome to deform the brass, Doing this in two steps seems to work better for whatever reason.

    Just remember to throw out any brass which starts to show signs of excessive pressure, or wear, as over-used brass tends to split, and tear off heads.

    Also, as far as dillon SB dies... I'll admit, I don't like dillon dies, or most of their products, however for production reloading they are the only game in town (part of the reason for their success). Dillon tends to cut their dies with an eye towards making them work with progressive loaders, hence the generous chamfers on the die mouths. Yes you can "just screw the dies down farther" with mixed results, the best way to start out is with small base dies. The RT-1200 trim dies supposedly have some functionality for sizing in them. After running cases through the redding SB die set, pushing a case into the rt-1200 die is like throwing a hot-dog down a hall-way. Doing the sizing before-hand allows you to set the die where it needs to be to trim most efficiently, not where it needs to be to size most efficiently (yes, these two can be mutually exclusive).

    Hope that clears up any confusion.
     
  13. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    159
    OK so here's a question cause I can't remember from the last time i did 223 on the 550. Does the powder measure bell the mouth like on pistol casings?
     
  14. Larry Gibson

    Larry Gibson University Place, WA New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes.

    Larry Gibson
     
  15. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    159
    Thanks AMProducts. Looks like I'm going to get my shopping list going. Think Im going to go with the Gracey and a couple Small Base Dies. I need to order about half a dozen tool heads from Dillon (Need another for 38/357 anyway cause I'm tired of of switching back and forth).

    Larry, Not sure about the X-Dies just yet. Sounds like either people love um or hate um.
     
  16. twoclones

    twoclones Tri-Cities, WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,129
    Likes Received:
    180
    Exactly what does "small base size" mean?
     
  17. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    159
    RCBS says:
    The Small Base Die set is intended for use for ammunition to be used in auto, semi-auto, and lever action rifles so that the loaded round chambers and extracts easily. The Small Base Sizer Die sizes the case from the shoulder to the head of the case a couple of thousandths smaller than a Full Length Sizer Die. In certain calibers it also sets the shoulder of the case back a thousandth or two more than the Full Length Sizer Die. The Full Length Die Set or Neck Die Set is not normally recommended for ammo to be used in auto, semi-auto, or lever action rifles. The Full Length Die set is recommended for ammunition used in bolt action rifles, particularly for ammunition to be used for hunting. The Neck Die Set can also be used to produce ammunition for use in bolt action rifles. The Neck Sizer Die sizes only the neck of the case so it will hold the bullet firmly. It does not size the body of the case nor does it set the shoulder back. Neck sized cases will usually chamber for three or more firings, depending on the powder charge and chamber dimensions. However, over a period of time, a slight drag will be noticed when the bolt is locked. At this point, cases will need to be full length sized and the shoulder set back so they will chamber and extract easily.
     
  18. Larry Gibson

    Larry Gibson University Place, WA New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    mikeli

    Larry, Not sure about the X-Dies just yet. Sounds like either people love um or hate um.

    I've found those that hate them haven't got them set up correctly. Mostly failed to read the directions (every one already knows how to adjust dies, right!) and they are a bit different to set up than normal FL dies. With once fired cases I do skip the initial trim also as with milspec chambers I've not found that initial trim necessary at all.

    twoclones

    The Small base dies are made for use in SAAMI spec chambers and are good for tight match chambers. Many forget or don't know that milspec chambers are more generous in dimensions. The use for SB dies for milsurp ammo shortenes case lift simply because it over sizes the cases. They are not needed. I have been using regular RCBS FL dies and now the X-dies in .223s including bolt guns, single shots, ARs, Mini 14s, AKs and a couple others since '68 without any problem or a single need for SB dies. I have seen several who use them get very short case life and have to trim the cases excessively after sizing.

    Larry Gibson
     
  19. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    2,804
    Likes Received:
    1,859
    For bolt action brass, the only time you need to small base size is if it's range pickup, or was fired from a different gun. If it's going to be reused over and over in the same gun, neck sizing will give longer case life and typically, better accuracy

    For semi-autos, always small base size, this is the only way to guarantee good function. Larry is right, most guns with milspec chambers are more forgiving than bolt actions and match chambers, however, full-length sizing isn't always enough. For production ammunition, (ammo I sell) I _ALWAYS_ small base size, because you never know what the customer is going to do. Yes, this does shorten case life, however this fact is not a concern for me.
     
  20. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,801
    Likes Received:
    836
    My greatest concern here is that a new person to reloading started with a progressive press. (If I've read correctly.)

    The basics of reloading, the whys and wherefores (listed astutely here by others) are best learned and retained if the novice begins with the basics: including basic equipment.

    It goes a long way toward diagnosing new problems that may erupt, and especially toward the close observation and constant monitoring that is required with a progressive press.

    There are reasons we don't learn to drive in double-A fuelers, and we don't learn to fly in 747's.