Mystery: .223 Case Gages


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hlroquet
September 13, 2008, 12:28 PM
I have been reloading for decades, but mostly for hand guns. I recently began loading .223 Rem for a new Mini-14 and a new Savage Model 16FSS. My reloads were working fine until one jammed in the Mini. My dealer removed this round and returned the Mini along with the round that was jammed. On this particular round, headspace and length all measured properly in the Wilson case gage. I called Wilson and discussed this with them and returned the gage to them for their inspection and comments. I received the following response, "Your gage was just under .001 long, and the headspace was perfect. We have replaced your gage with one that is exact per our requirements".

In the meantime, I ordered and received a .223 case gage from Lyman. And, I just received the new gage from Wilson. Today, I took cases that I resized and 100% of them when in and out of the Wilson gage without a problem. However, only about 60% of these "resized" cases made it in and out of the Lyman gage.

Next, I took once fired brass (not resized) and inserted it in the Wilson gage. 100% of these cases went in and out of the Wilson gage without fail. However, the Lyman gage would not accept any of these cases. Nor would these cases chamber in the Savage.

This is definitely a problem. The bottom line: if the cases measure correctly for headspace and length in the Lyman gage, they are good to go. How they measure in the Wilson gage is rather meaningless.

Until this problem is understood, I have been using the Savage as my case gage. Not very efficient and, actually, a pain in the butt. However, all cases checked this way fire through the Mini and the Savage without any problem whatsoever. And, the groups I'm achieving with the Savage at 100 yards are very good (1/2"). The Mini is less accurate at this range, but still fun to shoot.

I am now going to use the Lyman gage as the "go-no go". Years ago, I used to load .222 Rem without case gages and they were trouble free. Any thoughts and comments would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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rcmodel
September 13, 2008, 01:48 PM
Are you crimping?

It is possible for an over-crimp to buckle the shoulder ever so slightly as to be invisable to the naked eye.

But they will lock up an AR or Mini so tight you have to beat them out!

You might take one of your tight loads and color it with a Magic-Marker or soot from a candle.
Then chamber it, and actually see what is getting tight, where?
You might be surprised!

rcmodel

hlroquet
September 13, 2008, 03:22 PM
I am not crimping (no cannelure). Using a magic marker is a great idea. Will try it. Thank you.

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