Am I screwed?


November 23, 2007, 09:22 PM
Loaded about 300 mil sup 223 and only neck resized them. Went to the range, they wouldn't let the bolt close all the way. Is there some way to fix this, or do I have to pull them all down and start over?:cuss:

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Ol` Joe
November 23, 2007, 09:31 PM
You got some work ahead of ya.......

November 23, 2007, 09:35 PM
they wouldn't let the bolt close all the way.

Why not?

Is the shoulder too far forward?

Is the base too large?

You can color a cartridge with a marking pen, then see where chambering scrapes it off.


November 23, 2007, 09:42 PM
Were the cases from cartridges fired in the same rifle? If fired in the same rifle, what type of rifle was it (I'm interested in how springy the action is, which would indicate how necessary full-length sizing would be)?

If you bought fired military surplus cases, you have a fair chance of them having been fired the first time in a Squad Automatic Weapon, with really loose headspace, REALLY requiring full-length sizing.


lee n. field
November 23, 2007, 10:20 PM
oaded about 300 mil sup 223 and only neck resized them. Went to the range, they wouldn't let the bolt close all the way.

Last time these cartridges were used, were they shot out of this rifle?

Get yourself a kinetic bullet puller and get to work. Shouldn't be too hard, just time consuming.

November 23, 2007, 10:31 PM
you can try a redding body sizer die. to un intercourse your self.:what:

Don't Tread On Me
November 23, 2007, 10:34 PM
I wouldn't get the kinetic bullet puller. Been there done that. .223 bullets just do not have the mass and the neck tension is tight, especially if you crimped too. Pain in the butt to pull .223, especially a large lot like anything over 20rds.

Get the Hornady collet puller. It is a die with a handle, and a collet. All together should be like $24 tops. You can pull a bullet in about 2 seconds. It is fast, painless and works great. Some people complain these damage the bullets. It doesn't damage the bullets at all if you set it right. Enough tension to grip the bullet, but not enough to dent it is where you set it. When set right, it doesn't even leave marks or scratches either. You can't tell they been pulled.

With the kinetic, you will have to really smack that puller on a hard object at least 4 times per bullet if the neck tension is good. It will beat up the puller and is a slow and annoying process. It is also more messy as the bullet drops into the powder. (Been there done that). The kinetic pullers (looks like a hammer) are much better for cartridges with heavier bullets. More mass, means they move out of the case faster/easier. For pistol, those bullets drop out with 2 medium-light taps. It's better for that kind of pulling. I like the kinetic for moving a bullet back out a few .001's if I accidentally seat them too deep.

If I had to use a kinetic to pull 300rds of .223, I'd rather just throw that ammo away.

November 23, 2007, 10:52 PM
If I had to use a kinetic to pull 300rds of .223, I'd rather just throw that ammo away.

Or try to feed it to a 223 Saiga, or other AK variant. Regardless, I don't envy you your task.

+1 on the Hornaday collet puller. I really didn't want to sit and beat the snot out of ammunition, so I picked one up. The die is not cheap, but the collets are only 8.99 or so, and cover a range of calibers. This setup can be frustrating if you suddenly find yourself needing a 9mm and all you have is a 40cal. You might only use partial pressure on it, rather than locking it down to avoid killing the bullets. It is quite possible to pull them without damaging, as stated above.

November 23, 2007, 10:54 PM
do I have to pull them all down and start over?


follow tread's advice...

November 24, 2007, 08:10 AM

This is a dumb question, but what do you do about the primers?
Just FL resize with them seated, punch them out? The most I've
deatl with was about ten and I just shot them off and punched
them out.

November 24, 2007, 08:18 AM
This is a dumb question, but what do you do about the primers?

Just remove the decapping pin on the sizing die & resize them. Lube the neck with dry neck lube so you don't contaminate the powder of the new loads though.

I would presume this problem occured in a semiauto. You don't just neck size cases meant to be fired in a semiauto, pump or lever action.

November 24, 2007, 10:34 AM
FWIW I'd try to get one good round before doing all of them so you have an idea of what's needed. (eg. Can you just FL resize them or do you need a small base die, etc.)

I had a batch of LC .308 brass that I FL resized and then had to rework with a SB die because they wouldn't chamber in my Savage. Luckily I only had 100. :)

Have a good one,

November 24, 2007, 06:23 PM
Remove the deprime punch and expander ball from your resizing die, lube the cases and full length resize the loaded rounds. No big deal!

November 24, 2007, 06:33 PM
I would remove the deprimer pin, but not the expander button.
If you full length size them, you will need to expand them again.

November 24, 2007, 06:36 PM
full length resize the loaded rounds

November 24, 2007, 06:41 PM
That will squeeze the bullets down considerably undersize.

Don't do that!

November 24, 2007, 06:48 PM
Hummmmmm, I have had to resize loaded rounds with small base resizing dies to function in autoloaders. Haven't noticed any changes in performance of the ammo, and there were no ill effects. I'd throw them away before I'd pull bullets on 300 .223 rounds!

November 25, 2007, 05:05 AM
Next time I'm sure you'll test your handloads in small batches like I never did.

Might also look into purchasing a Lee Factory Crimp Die. It will gently resize your case and the crimp will be helpful if the resizing makes your bullets narrower.

Don't run your loaded cartridges through the FL or Neck sizing dies. You will squeeze your bullets and you will make it possible for them to work loose while chambering a round- leading to a nasty outcome. (esp. in an autoloader)

Dave P
November 25, 2007, 06:54 AM
Sounds like a lesson for everyone to pay attention to: always full length resize for a gas gun!

November 25, 2007, 06:57 AM
Should have mentioned that I use the LFCD as the final operation on all my reloads. As rcmodel mentioned, the bullets will be slightly undersized after postsizing the loaded round. The LFCD will insure correct bullet pull for proper function. Can't expect benchrest accuracy, but you still have decent plinkers. Beats pulling the pesky little bullets for sure!

November 25, 2007, 07:02 AM
: always full length resize for a gas gun!

Ain't it the truth! I use small base resizing dies to insure function in any autoloader I might run them in!

November 25, 2007, 10:51 AM
Welcome to the board...and to reloading F-ups.!

do you shoot at Wolverton by chance? I'm in washougal myself.

When I 1st read ur post I thought it said 3 THOUSAND rounds.
Heck,300 is not THAT big a problem...unless it's my problelm of course.:)

I"d try and find that Hornady body sizer and see if it would work.It isn't like 'lightning' doesn't strike twice for relaoders.:(

November 25, 2007, 11:18 AM
Instead of a kinetic type puller, try a plier type. Run the ammo up in the press (no die) grip bullet and run down. Quicker and easier than a kinetic.
Available through Sinclair International (

November 25, 2007, 12:53 PM
I live near Clark Rifles and shoot there

November 26, 2007, 06:01 PM
Any friends have a 223? Will it chamber in their rifle?

That might be a solution.
If the base is too large, try an empty 38 SP/ 357 Magnum FL die.
If too long, does a friend have a 221 or 222 seater die? Run it into the empty seater die carefully to set the shoulder back. That won't affect the neck size. You could grind a bit off the bottom of your seater die and do the same.


November 26, 2007, 09:42 PM
Pull the bullets...


Load again...



November 26, 2007, 09:50 PM
If you have a single stage press, I'd reccomend the RCBS collet puller. I finally got the collets for pulling 223 and 30 cal bullets and it's a breeze.. it also does not damage the bullets too much so long as they are not sealed in with that black stuff.

You can salvage your whole load that way..

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