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Need .223 HELP!!

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by GCSOA38, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,692
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    My guess is a few things:

    Are the cases trimmed to the correct Trim-to length listed in your manual? You first size the cases then check for trim length. If any in the lot are longer than the max case length then trim the entire lot to the listed Trim-to length.

    Over crimping can bulge the cases at the shoulder. Back the seating die out to not crimp in the seating die. Crimp using the LEE Rifle Factory Crimp Die that squeezes the case horizontally rather than vertically. It uses a collet that pushes the cases in rather than folding the case down. It is too easy to over crimp (it is a taper crimp the seating die does, not a roll crimp) in the seating die.

    The sizing die should be a full length sizer for use in any AR, not a neck sizer. It should be set up exactly as per the instructions. Most FL sizers are suppose to be low enough in the press such that you can barely feel the press go over center as you operate the handle. Read the sizer die instructions. A sized case should drop into the chamber and extract easily if it is trimmed correctly. If not then you need a small base sizing die that makes the case dimensions fractionally smaller for easier loading.

    I had a similar problem years ago with a Browning BAR in 7mm Mag. The barrel had missed a reaming operation that made the taper from the chamber to the rifling. The bullet would jam into the sharp end of the rifling and stick requiring great effort to get the bolt open. An inspection of the chamber might reveal such a situation in your chamber (??).


    LDBennett
  2. GCSOA38

    GCSOA38 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Messages:
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    Thanks for the info. All cases are trimmed to 1.750 (+/- .002). The sizing die is a full length size for the ar. I screwed the sizing die in the press another 1/4 turn and it chambered and extracted easier. So I put another 1/4 turn on it and now it chambers and extracts nicely. But now it seems like the die is limiting my press from rising to its full height (dont know correct terminology there). Does this sound normal? I will also try seating and crimping in 2 steps. I have a lee FCD die in the basement still in the box so I'll get it out and give it a try.
  3. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

    Joined:
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    1,274
    Location:
    Las Vegas NV
    I'm not a big fan of progressive loading bottle neck cartriges for this reason. I would recommend removing all but the sizing die, get the brass sized correctly and then add the PM, seating and crimp stations back in to assemble the cartriges in progressive manner.
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Messages:
    6,692
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    GCSOA38:

    The press should cam over the top, not stop before it gets there. Test it without a case. Follow the instruction set that came with the die set and/or the one that came with the press.

    I reload on my Dillon for all sorts of semi-auto cartridges including 223 used in my AR. Progressive loading is no different that single stage if you only do one station at a time. Even when progressive reloading is used, progressive presses make ammo as good as a single stage press, at least my Dillon does and I suspect so does the Hornady LNL.

    Did you trim AFTER you sized? Sizing makes the cartridge cases longer and you MUST trim after you size.

    Are you testing the fit to the chamber without the bullet? If so the case should easily drop in and extract easily.

    Did you inspect the chamber to see if the taper from the chamber to the rifling is there? If you can not tell visually you'll have to do a chamber cast to be sure.

    How does the gun do with factory ammo? If it feeds and extracts factory ammo correctly then compare one of your finished rounds to the factory round and see where the differences are.

    The problem you are having is normally from over crimping or insufficient sizing or cases trimmed too long. If all else appears correct then you may need a small base sizing die. I have never had to resort to that but every gun is different. At a minimum I would recommend the LEE Rifle Factory Crimp Die and re-reading the instruction set that came with the sizing die.

    This is not a problem induced by progressive reloading in my 20+ years of progressive loading experience!

    LDBennett
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Screw the die in until it touches the shell holder and then add 1/8 turn and set the lock ring. As LD stated it should slightly cam over. that extra 1/8 turn will give you the cam over.
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