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what the heck?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by bradley, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. bradley

    bradley salem area Member

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    OK so I kind of new at reloading. But I have succesful until now. I loaded some .223 with brand new dies and the base of the cartridge isnt getting sized. AKA they wont feed into the chamber. Is there a different Die I should be using to size the base? The die that I have cannot go down any further than it is.
     
  2. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    Are you attempting to shoot this ammo in a semi-auto, pump action, or lever gun? If so you might want to try using a small base die instead of a full length die.

    Also when you are setting up your sizing die in your press make sure that the base of the die makes contact with the shellholder at the top of the press ram stroke. I usually screw the sizing die down until it touches the shellholder then lower the ram and give the die another quarter of a turn. You can feel the press "cam over" when you fully lower the handle ensuring you are getting the case fully sized.

    If you have done everything in the 2nd paragraph and are using full length sizing dies, then you need to switch over to a small base sizing die that gives your 223 brass a little tighter "hug" at the base of the case.:thumbup:
     
  3. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Funny but I've loaded and shot tens of thousands of rounds of .223/5.56mm brass and have yet to need a "small based die", even brass from a SAW.

    Proper adjustment of most dies will yield a case that will fully chamber in all but the tightest of "Match Grade" or "Custom" chambers.

    What I have found is that many people try to crimp their cartridges, especially those used in AR's, by using the seater die. If the die isn't adjusted exactly right, it bulges the shoulder area just enough that the bolt won't go fully into battery.

    For this reason I, along with thousands of others that crimp their .223 "AR Food" have done away with crimping with the seating die and use a Lee Factory Crimp Die in a separate operation. If using a Progressive press that has an extra station available it's simple. Just put the die in the last station and adjust the seating die so it doesn't crimp, just seats the bullet at the desired length. The collet type Lee FCD will do a far better job and doesn't risk distorting the case.
     
  4. bballer182

    bballer182 Molalla Active Member

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    This^^^
     
  5. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Get a small base die. Easy fix.
     
  6. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    How does that fix a shoulder problem?
     
  7. FA9

    FA9 Hillsburrito, ORgun Well-Known Member

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    :funnypoint:
     
  8. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Some think the problem lies with the case not being sized all the way to the head. Probably read it somewhere.

    Best way to diagnose a problem with a case/cartridge that won't allow a bolt to go fully to battery and gets stuck is to use the good old "Sharpie".

    "Paint" the whole case with a sharpie and then cycle it through the action (preferably at the range rather than in your living room) and then examine the case/cartridge. Where the black ink has been rubbed off is where the case is sticking. In the scenario described by the OP it's likely that this test would show a wiped area at the shoulder and perhaps just behind where it was bulged due to the crimp/seating being done at the same time.

    Not to say that their "Might" be a need for a small based die, I just haven't seen it in tens of thousands of pieces of military brass.

    BTW, check out the Hornady CG New Dimension sizing die. It sizes my brass all the way down to a point about half way through the case "web" area.
     
  9. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    As DS2 stated the problem could be over crimping as well wich causes a shoulder bulge or deformation inhibiting the ability to fit the chamber properly or at all. If the oversize problem is at the shoulder, then you are crimping too much! If the oversize problem is at the case head, then you need to use a small base die to reload for your particular chamber.
     
  10. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Read the orginal post...he said the base isn't getting sized. Small base die fixes that.
     
  11. bballer182

    bballer182 Molalla Active Member

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    Just do as DS said. "Paint" the case with a sharpie and see what is actually going on. And quit guessing.