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Small Base or Full length die set

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by spectra, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    Just finished a new AR in 5.56 and am going to reload for it just because I have a press. My question is what is the general consensus on the dies set top pick up. I load 300 BLK now and do not have this issue.

    Thanks!;)
     
  2. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Full length is the general use die. Small base squeezes the base just a little bit more to aid in cycling semi autos. Both are actually full length. If your shooting bench rest bolt gun, a neck sizer may be used as the spent brass will be fit to the chamber from the last time fired and all is needed is to resize the neck for the bullets sake. This is ultimately the best for case longevity and give a slight advantage in accuracy. Though the neck sized rounds have one downside, they can only be fired in the rifle they were originally fired in. I would use this for bench rest only style firearms. Everything else I would FL size so as to aid cycling.
     
  3. Steve M

    Steve M Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    The advice I usually read is to start out with a standard FL die and if you have feeding problems to try the small base die. I'm just getting starting reloading 5.56 and 7.62 NATO so I've yet to discover if I need a small base die for one or both.
     
  4. ridnjon

    ridnjon vancouver wa Active Member

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    Only use small base die! Lee die for 223 is already a small based die. If you ever shoot somebody else's gun and use your ammo and they have a tight chamber it will stick in there really good, I had this happen to me, not pleasant. Just better to make ammo you can shoot in everything.
     
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  5. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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    :s0101:

    I gave this some thought too, and decided to deal with this problem IF it comes up. I reload mainly for my three (BCM) AR's. So far (after about a bazillion rounds reloaded) there has been no issue with cycling. Sounding snobbish it is not my intention, but no issue even when shooting them through a couple of my buddy's lower tiered AR's. :s0006:
     
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  6. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    I use a small base die for the INITIAL re-loading of 7.62 x 51 brass because the vast majority of MILSURP brass that I have were fired in a machine-gun with larger chambers. Subsequent loadings work fine with a standard FL sizing die.
     
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  7. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    Well bought a SB die set and ran with it. You never know what is going to happen and not looking at 10 plus reloads on my brass;) In the end I will have probably 5K in brass and well it will take a while to get through it.

    Thanks for the replies!
     
    skydiver likes this.
  8. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Get yourself a stuck case removal tool as well from Rcbs. Not that I'm saying you'll need it, but the milsurp stuff and the SB die can be fun sometimes. I've been using hornady's spray on lube for a couple of years now. I toss a bunch of brass in a large zip lock and spray a way then mix them together. It works well. Don't skimp on the lube if sizing military once fired stuff though. I've had a few stuck cases before SB sizing that stuff.

    This is my project for the weekend! Resizing this batch.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1414258615.527017.jpg
     
  9. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    Another option I've tried when sizing MILSURP is to use my progressive press with the FL die in Station 1 and the SB die in station 2, to minimize the possibility of a stuck case (I've yet to have one, but I've come close when sizing some batches using the SB die without the FL die first).
     
  10. PotshotJim

    PotshotJim Oregon Member

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    I have the RCBS FL223 die set and the AR556 die set. The reason is that I like the full length sizer die, but not the roll crimp seating die that comes with it. I use the taper crimp seating die that comes with the AR556 die set.
     
  11. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I too used the taper crimp. However, in case of use with ar15s I prefer the lee factory crimp die. Worth the money to get when using with semi autos.
     
  12. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    I have as Lee for the crimps. After having a 300blk I use the Lee crimp die.
     
  13. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I use the standard RCBS full length dies. I shoot NRA High Power matches
    with ARs over many years. Never had any feeding problems. Over
    the years I have worn out several different barrels from various
    manufactures. Barrels I use have match grade chambers.
    I layout the cases in a metal tray and use Dillons spray lube. Don't use
    too much or you will see dimples on or just below the case shoulder.
    I also do not crimp any rifle cases. This goes for 223, 308 and 30/06
    fired in semi auto rifles.
     
  14. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    SB Dies, Always trim to length and champher the inside of the necks.;)
     
  15. Steve M

    Steve M Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    You rely on neck tension, correct?
     
  16. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I believe Ron means "Roll Crimp". That may tend to distort the neck, or shoulder of the case. Taper crimp is fine. Just don't use too much pressure.:cool: