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Ammo cartridge checking

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Father of four, May 8, 2010.

  1. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    It seems that the reloads that I have for my .223 have some bad ones mixed in with the good ones. Some of the ammo gets stuck in the chamber about 1/2 inch from sliding totally in place. I have a few thousand to look at. I was told to buy myself a cartridge gauge. Do any of you know where to get one here in Portland? I also have .38 spl and 9mm reloads to check. Do they make universal gauges? As you can tell I haven't even started to learn about reloading. I guess its time. From a reloading noob, Howard. Thanks
     
  2. Douglas

    Douglas Oregon Active Member

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    Ooooooo....I have been on the bad side of finding every cartridge is just a bit too long. Here is what I would recommend, a couple of six packs, a couple of harbor freight calipers, and a couple of friends. Should make it easier. On a more serious note, make sure you check everything at each step in reloading. Having rounds that don't seat is one of the less serious problems that you can possibly encounter while reloading. Reloading is fun but its still serious business.
     
  3. Augustus

    Augustus In a house New Member

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    ..
     
  4. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Douglas and Augustus. The reloads were purchased by my father in law which is now deceased. That was many years ago. The majority are great and work/fit like they were brand new. I do not reload, Yet.
     
  5. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    "Good" reloaders spend more time on case prep than on anything else. I can't tell you what's right for you, but I wouldn't shoot unknown reloads, especially if I saw problems like that. If someone is that sloppy with case prep or bullet seating or whatever the problem is, I wouldn't trust them for any other part of the process either.

    $.02
     
  6. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    I would pull the bullets, dump the powder and resize and reload with fresh powder

    Sounds like they were not full-length-resized properly. .223/5,56 is s bit tricky as far as sizing. You need a small base die set and to check the dies regularly to ensure they are still locked down. And every 20 or so rds you should check one with a case gauge. You need a separate one for each caliber
     
  7. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't trust the primer seating or pocket prep either, especially if it's milsurp brass. I wouldn't trust that they are the correct primers, either.

    I wouldn't re-use pulled bullets because the lead inside the jacket can get stress cracks from the crimp/pulling/knocking out.

    Just my $.02, but those are in my junk category.
     
  8. dario541

    dario541 medford, or 97504 Member

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    I believe that one of the most dangerous things a shooter can do is use somebody else's reloads. For the money you save, it's just not worth the possibility of damaging your firearm - or even worse - YOU!
    Either buy NEW or do your own careful reloading.
     
  9. Ding

    Ding Lighter Side of Oz Active Member

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    calipers and a seating die is all it sounds like you need.get a factory loaded round that is crimped,needed for semi auto.measure a few to see where they are is OAL.then run everyone through the seater die.maybe,depending on the quantity,maybe an hour to seat them all uniform.Irt does sound as thought they are at max OAL or longer..
     
  10. Ding

    Ding Lighter Side of Oz Active Member

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    I bought some reloads,that came is a can years ago.They blew up my H&K 33.they were from oregon to.Can't remember the name.
     
  11. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    the history of them sounds very sketchy. If u don't know who reloaded them,and TRUST THEM with your body parts,have some one dismantle them for you,or get a puller and press,or kinetic hammer to do it .
    THOUSANDS????? wow. I think i"d ask the police or fire dept. how to safely dispose of them in your town/county,and say good riddance to them.I know that would be hard to do,but you're in for a ton of work to try and save any of the component parts. I would not shoot them.
     
  12. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Or, if they are like many commercial reloads, they were loaded in military brass and the brass could be stretched at the shoulder and/or the base. Military rifles have oversized chambers and that's why the brass is so thick - to allow for stretching.

    Or, if the reloader failed to use a base sizing die...

    There are so many things that could be wrong...

    It's your gun and your hide.
     
  13. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all of the reply's. I have shoot hundreds of bullets threw this very riffle. I know it very well. My father in law died 5 years ago and I have shoot it off and on for around 10 years. I myself have never had a cartridge jam on me while I shoot it until last Friday. I talked to my brother in law today and he remembers a few getting stuck years ago when he was shooting it with our father in law.

    I noticed a distinct difference in color of the brass of the cartridges. There seems to be two types. One type is nice and shiny and the other is darker. Only the darker types have the seating problems. I had the gun apart and checked some of the cartridges. The shiny brass ones seated fine. The darker brass ones stopped between 3/8's to 1/2 inch from seating. I will post some pictures of them tomorrow for you all to look at if you are interested. I guess I have close to 5k rounds of .223's. I will check tomorrow and see the ratio of bright casings to dark casings. I hope very few dark, and I hope that they are the only problem. Yes I am a little worried now, this gun has been a great gun and I have shoot hundreds threw it. I would hate for it to blow up and hurt me or someone. I also would hate trying to replace that amount of ammo while I am currently unemployed. Dilemma indeed! Thanks again everyone, Howard
     
  14. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Here are a few pictures. I am a photographing noob, sorry! I hope its not too many pictures. Thanks, Howard

    For those interested. i am attempting to take the pictures with a Canon PowerShot SD850 IS. Yeah I stink. HEHE

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  15. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    +1
     
  16. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    But don't alot you folks here buy reloads and use them for practice shooting? I mean there are plenty web sites that sell the stuff. :confused:
     
  17. spinfree

    spinfree Vancouver Member

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    I noticed your boxes some are .223 and some 5.56, is your rifle chambered 5.56?
    Are the 5.56 rounds the ones that seem to stick?
     
  18. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    My rifle is a pre-ban Polytech Import from Keng's Firearms. It is a AKS-223 CAL .5.56X45mm Semi Auto.

    It seems to be only the darker colored brass ones. The two on the right in the picture below.

    IMG_2708.jpg
     
  19. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I just checked around 50 each. All of the darker casings get stuck before seating properly. All of the brighter casings seated properly.

    They are not marked on the green ammo cases that the are in. I guess that the darker ones are 5.56's and the brighter ones are .223's.
     
  20. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I guess this is my problem.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56x45mm_NATO

    It is derived from, but not identical to, the .223 Remington cartridge.

    The 5.56 mm NATO and .223 Remington cartridges and chamberings are similar but not identical.

    Military cases are generally made from thicker brass than commercial cases; this reduces the powder capacity (an important consideration for handloaders[12]), and the NATO specification allows a higher chamber pressure.

    The 5.56 mm NATO chambering, known as a NATO or mil-spec chamber, has a longer leade, which is the distance between the mouth of the cartridge and the point at which the rifling engages the bullet. The .223 Remington chambering, known as SAAMI chamber, is allowed to have a shorter leade, and is only required to be proof tested to the lower SAAMI chamber pressure. To address these issues, various proprietary chambers exist, such as the Wylde chamber (Rock River Arms)[14] or the ArmaLite chamber, which are designed to handle both 5.56 mm NATO and .223 Remington equally well. The dimensions and leade of the .223 Remington minimum C.I.P. chamber also differ from the 5.56 mm NATO chamber specification.

    This is my problem. My rifle is only chambered for the .223 and not 5.56 Nato or milspec.