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Crushing the shoulder on .223 cases

upstate88

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I am reloading .223 for the first time, and running into a problem. The attached image shows that the shoulders are getting crushed when I am seating the bullet. They mostly look like the two on the left, but it was hard to get on camera, so I over did one to get a picture. I would like to add the the re-sizing die is RCBS, and the bullets the 55 vmax (square bottom).

My theory is the ball on the de-capping die is out of spec (under sized). There just seems to be too much force needed to get the bullet into the neck, thus crushing the shoulder. We cleaned out the neck very well and used a camfer tool to clean up the neck.

IMG_3476.JPG
 
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I've experienced this before. I had an expander ball that was too small. It also recently happened to me loading 30-06 chamfering the inside of the case neck gave me enough of an advantage to get the flat base bullets started inside the case.
 

v0lcom13sn0w

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my first guess is the expander is too small. second, do you have the seater die set up to crimp? if so, dont. IF you want to crimp(i dont) buy a factory crimp die and add a step.
 
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upstate88

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Lube is very closely monitored, we are very sparing when using it. We are not using the seater die to crimp, I have tried that, but stoped for this reason. I did enough chamfer that it felt silly, and it was helping, but the bullet its still really fighting me on the way in, and the shoulders getting crushed.

These dies are OLD, not used much, but we do not know the history on them. My thought is that the necks were not scrubbed out and the carbon created enough abrasion to wear down the ball. It's also possible the ball was just too small to start.

Do I just buy another die and hope that the expander ball is the right fit.?
 

gmerkt

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If a new expander ball is needed, you can buy just that part without going for a complete new die set. If the die set is used goods, it very well may be that the exp. ball is worn down. .224 bullet wants a couple of thou under, like .222 or .221 maybe. Another problem with used die sets. Scratched die body cavity from dirt/careless use. I can't tell from your pictures if your brass is being scratched by the use of the sizing die. But I don't like die-scratched brass, myself.

I've got a lot of die sets. Mostly I've bought new for reasons stated above. But when I have bought used, I looked them over very carefully. You wouldn't be able to know the size of an exp. ball by eyeball but if the rest of the parts looked dirty, that would be a good clue. Also something to think about when considering buying used dies online.

Some big retail stores have RCBS replacement parts hanging in bags on hooks in their gun accessories section. Cabela's, Sportsman's Warehouse come to mind. Or you can buy them online.
 
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Yeah...

You have to measure the largest part of your expander ball. It should be a couple thousandths under bullet diameter. I doubt it is that far out of spec to crush shoulders. That is unless somebody tried polishing the expander ball in the past, and took way, way too much off.

That is not RCBS's fault.

Do you have the original instructions for seating die set up?

Brownells has every RCBS part under the sun.
 
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Try unscrewing the seater stem three turns, then unscrew the die one turn, lock everything back down and try seating again. Since you unscrewed the seater stem three turns you'll have to start adjusting for OAL again.
 

JO JO

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Two ideas
1, die is not adjusted correct " screwed in to far "

2, if you are wet tumbling the case neck is to clean and with the flat based bullet the friction is to much , try a dry seating lube to slick up the neck a bit
 
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I am reloading .223 for the first time, and running into a problem. The attached image shows that the shoulders are getting crushed when I am seating the bullet. They mostly look like the two on the left, but it was hard to get on camera, so I over did one to get a picture. I would like to add the the re-sizing die is RCBS, and the bullets the 55 vmax (square bottom).

My theory is the ball on the de-capping die is out of spec (under sized). There just seems to be too much force needed to get the bullet into the neck, thus crushing the shoulder. We cleaned out the neck very well and used a camfer tool to clean up the neck.

View attachment 624466
For sharp edged, soft lead bullets you must flare the case mouth and many reloaders use the Lyman M die. It'd certainly work with your plain base jecketed bullets.

 
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What seater die? Also an old RCBS?

Flat based Bullets are tougher to seat because there's not much leeway as far as them not being perfectly straight when they go into the case mouth. A competition seating die will do a MUCH better job of aligning the bullet and case mouth.

Very heavy inside chamfer is recommended.

In case I missed it, did you measure the expander button yet?
 
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upstate88

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the expander button button measured just over .219, I ordered some boat tails and will see if that resolves the issue, if it is still not working I will start messing with the dies.
 

erslll

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Since your expander is actually.002 bigger than mine, I’m guessing that isn’t the problem. I have loaded a “few” 55 gr Vmax bullets with my dies. Never had this problem.
 

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