Why Am I Getting Failures to Eject?


May 8, 2003, 09:32 PM
I have just begun reloading for my FAL. Accuracy with the reloads is very good, but the brass fails to eject about 50% of the time. The ejected brass turns 180 degrees lengthwise in the receiver keeping the next round from fully chambering. Portugese surplus functions flawlessly. The brass is once fired Hirtenberger.

Velocity with my reloads is 2700fps. Portugese surplus velocity is 2750. The FAL fails to extract even with the gas system completely closed (set to 1). Portugese functions at 3.

I've checked the gas system on the rifle. It's clean. I even scrubbed the gas plug. No effect.

I'm wondering if my press is sizing the brass excessively and sealing itself in the chamber extra tight. When I set the gas system to 7 and tried to manually extract the case I couldn't do it. I had to knock the bolt handle against the table a little bit (not as hard as I thought I would have to).

I'm using an RCBS X-die for sizing... full length. Should I crank this die out a bit? If so, would that not size the bottom of the case? If so, is that a problem.

My only other guess is that the lip on the case's base is a little bent from previously firing it and the extractor is letting go of the case prematurely.

Any and all ideas are appreciated.

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May 8, 2003, 09:39 PM
Mikul said: Why am I getting failures to eject?

Not sure but you could try more fiber in your diet.:scrutiny:

May 9, 2003, 01:32 AM
First off, I do not own a semi-auto, but, the principles are the same.
The bent rim on your previously fired case will interfere with proper headspacing. In this case it will make it shorter than it should be. However, it sounds like you need a "small base" sizing die. These are available from RCBS.
I don't know anyone who loads those bent rim cases. There are some, I'm sure. I have seen it on cases fired from commercial guns as well as those FALs. It ruins a case as far as I am concerned. It's a good thing there is cheap surplus ammo out there.

May 9, 2003, 09:54 AM
you should go to the FAl files site and study up on adjusting the gas port ring......i don't have an FAL any longer so i can't remember which way to tell you to turn it but as i recall you turn it until it goes to slide lock when fired and then turn it another click or two.....the reason you may be having trouble with your reloads may be due to the powder you're using....the port pressure may not be high enough so you would probably need to give the action more gas by opening up the gas adjustment.....hope that helps.......

as far as to how much to resize them here's what i do.....most 308 shooterw will tell you all sorts of stuff about how far back the shoulder needs to be and to buy one of those Stoney point things to help with measuring....but all i use is a 308 case guage that i drop the resized cases in to set my die......if it goes flush in the die then I'm ready to go and if it is tooo long then i trim them (TRIMMING BRASS IS NOT OPTIONAL}......i load a bunch of ammo at one time and i'll probably still have it long after that rifle is traded or sold so i don't want a bunch of ammo that was tailored for a rifle that i no longer have........also....i've been loading 308 and 223 for longer that i care to remember and have had bunches of all sorts of military rilfes and i have never owned a small base die.....DICK

Steve Smith
May 9, 2003, 10:24 AM
I agree with Dick, there is no reason that you should have to use a SB die. Well, there's a caveat there...RCBS' "standard" die does size them bigger than most other company's "standard" dies...so if you have an RCBS standard, you might consider another company or an RCBS SB.

I would suggest you check headspace using fired factory rounds (not Hirt because the brass is so strong...maybe some American manf. commercial stuff) and then set your sizing die to bump that shoulder back about .003" and see what happens then.

Powder could ultimately be your problem.

May 9, 2003, 10:38 AM
Do you have a tool that you can use to measure one of your sized cases and compare that with some of that commercial stuff that works? It's possible the brass you're reloading stretches more when fired and it's sticking a bit. I've never tried those X-dies, see if you can find a set of standard 308 dies and try them.

May 9, 2003, 07:52 PM
get yourself one of these....i've never had a problem with a case sticking or not chambering after setting up my sizer to make the cases drop in one of these..... Good shooting.....DICK


mark mcj
May 10, 2003, 02:14 AM
Are you using a chrono for your velocity or going off the the reloading manual?
You stated " with the gas setting at 7, you had to bang it against a bench to open it", I would try 8 or 9.
It sounds to me, that your running lighter loads and need to open up the gas system.
I'm not 100% sure until you say if you are using a chrono for your velocities.
From what I'm reading, it seems like your rifle is short stoking.- With your FAL running great with surplus ammo, it would appear to be your reloads.

May 11, 2003, 06:44 PM
if you're having to bang it on a table to get the bolt back i would guess you've got sizing problems or maybe cases that are too long....the dillon guage i noted will show you both problems.....DICK

May 12, 2003, 11:31 AM
After firing off a bunch of rounds this weekend, the problem appears to be that the bottom 1/4" of the case is too large. This is the part of the case that does not get resized in my Dillon 550b because the sizing die does not go down that far. I have the sizing die screwed in until it hits the floorplate and then I turned it another 1/4 turn.

This is the RCBS X-die on a 550b. Is anyone else using this setup?

May 12, 2003, 11:46 AM
you'll probably hear all sorts of comments about loading rifle cartridges on progressive loaders.......but i along with a lot of others use a progressive loader to only put in the primer, powder and bullet.....the case prep is most always done on a single stage loader........i think if you'll do your sizing on a single stage loader your problems may go away.....have you got the case guage die yet???? Me and a lot of others do the sizing on a single stage i think because it may be more uniform and you don't have to worry about damaging your shellholder platform.....just my 2 cents worth......Dick

May 12, 2003, 02:24 PM
I have the case gauge. My reloads go in ALMOST perfectly. They stick out at the base about a hair's width.

May 12, 2003, 05:38 PM
Drop in a factory round........is it a hairs width from going in???? If yours is hanging out any at all then tighten the sizing die down until a sized casing quits sticking out.....Do you have brass sticking out of the neck end????If so then you need to trim them.... Good shoot'n ......Dick

May 14, 2003, 01:18 PM
I have the die cranked all of the way down and turned 1/4 turn beyond.

Either the RCBS die doesn't size down far enough, or the Dillon 550b prevents the die from going down far enough.

RCBS told me to send the die back to them (with fired brass) and their technician will check it out.

May 14, 2003, 01:49 PM
i suspect that the good ole boys at RCBS can cure your problem........one thing good about using your Single stage sizing for rifle is that you can always take a little metal off the shell holder if you want to get more casing up in the die.....i've done that with my 38 super to help get that area at the bottom of the casing that your typical sizer won't get...A problem that may arise by grinding on the shell holder is that you take some strength out of the shell holder when you grind on it and the part of the shell holder that goes into the rim may break off.....i've done that before.....DICK

Steve Smith
May 14, 2003, 02:11 PM
The portion of the case jsut above the web is not being sized.

Possible reasons:
Die was incorrectly made (reamer went too deep) so the distance from the bottom of the die to the part that sizes is too great.

Shellplate of Dilon press is too thick. Ultimate problem is the die, not the shellplate as this issue would come up using several brands of presses.

There is another possibility that I have just spaced...I'll get back if I can remember it.

Corrective actions:
Send die back to RCBS.

Have a smith/machinist measure the "chamber" of the die or do so with a new unfired case (pull a bullet from a new round) Note how far the case will go into the die. Consider chucking the die into a lathe and taking some metal off the end, depending on measurement results.

I would not recommend thinning the shellplate. It is essentially one large boss with recesses for each case. It relies on its entire thickness to operated correctly. You would have to thin the whole thing, or at least remove support from the case area at each case location.

The only advantage of a single stage (in this instance) is that you could use Redding adjustable shellholders to adjust how deep the case goes into the die. This is STILL a band-aid for a poorly made die.

May 18, 2003, 01:28 AM
That a full length die? Semi's, all of 'em, require full length resizing.

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