223 Brass Problems


September 22, 2008, 09:21 PM
223 Brass Problems


I just started loading 223 for an AR.I aquired a set of Lee Dies in a lot of equipment I bought so I thought I would load a couple boxes.I load rifle and pistol all the time but have not had these problems.I keep pulling the head off the brass even with good lube on them.I have a #4 shell holder in the Lee set which shows to be right.The main brass giving problems seems to be marked nny which is what?Military brass gives problems also.If it does not pull the head off it pushes the decap pin all the way backout no matter how tight you tighten it.Does anyone have any ideas?I can cull the brass but I need to know what to look for.

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September 22, 2008, 10:01 PM
NNY is privipartisan brass. Good stuff and maybe a little thick. Are you lubing your cases inside the neck? What were they previously fired in? If they were fired in an auto they might have stretched a little more than normal and will be a bear to resize.

September 22, 2008, 10:07 PM
I reload 223 brass with a Lee Classic Turret press. If you are trying to size military brass you will have problems. First it needs to be decapped for this I used a single stage press and a Lee Decapping die (works great). Next you have to swage the primer pocket. I use a swaging die from C&H Machine in Ohio. Then it needs to be lubed inside and out and sized with your sizing die.

When I tried to size military brass with out decapping the pin on the sizing die just slid up out of the way.

I have never seen a head stamp nny but that doesn't mean anything. I'm sure I have not seen them all in any case.
Hope this helps!
Frank L

September 22, 2008, 11:28 PM
is there a red sealant around the primer? sounds like it is wolf gold 5.56 ammo. I resized a few and a few were a pain to get into the shellholder before sizing. the primers are crimped so when they popped out they were in a semi-cirle. even mil surp doesnt do that to primers. My opinion is it is not worth the effort.

September 22, 2008, 11:35 PM
Scrap the die and get an rcbs .223 small base die. I have done atleast 2500 military casings through mine with no problems at all. You will have to swage them though. I use the dillon super swager for that.

September 23, 2008, 12:02 AM
Sorry, but I doubt it's the die. You can blame the die if you want, but it's probably not the die. Don't throw away good equipment. (Isn't it funny the way people on the Internet are so eager to throw away your good money?)

If you can ram the case all the way into the die, but it pulls the head off (or the rim) when you try to withdraw the case, it may be likely that the neck expander ball is getting stuck in the neck. Make sure the pin is adjusted right. Make sure the ball is clean and hasn't been damaged or roughed up. Lubricate the inside of the neck, graphite works extremely well. Make sure carbon isn't built up inside the neck.

Also, inspect the cases carefully. If fired too many times with max loads, all brass cases weaken just above the base, then the head busts free when you try to withdraw it from a sizing die.

September 23, 2008, 12:09 AM
Pretty sure NNY is Monarch brand.
What lube are you using? I can use Hornady one-shot for most brass. I needed better lube for Serbian brass. Lee lube, Lanolin & Mink oil have all worked. Dillon Dies on a 550B. I also have some Lee dies & the Universal depapper. The slip shaft on some Lee Die just won't bite strong enough. Checking for burs etc. to remedy helps.

The primer removal works just fine in the Dillon dies as long as you have good lube the ability to feel is there. With One-shot the dies would not have a good feel. I would really notice it when drawing the brass from the die. The one-shot felt like it was about to stick and sometimes it did. I had some that stuck enough to bend the rim. The other lubes required little to no effort.

I have not had to use small base dies yet. The only cases that don't gauge have rim defects or some had mouth damage.

September 23, 2008, 12:41 AM
Are they clean?

I Tumble my once fired milsurp 223 brass with treated corncob media before using a redding small base die and never had a problem or seperated head. Have had a few stuck cases that were underlubed. Using Hornady one shot by spraying the brass while its in a five gallon bucket works for me.


September 23, 2008, 01:12 AM
Nny -

rvi Partizan-Namenska Proizvodnja, Titovo, Uzice 31000, Yugoslavia. These are actually Cyrillic letters equal to "PPU in the Western alphabet.

Copied from here -


September 23, 2008, 02:20 AM
My .223 brass prep procedure:

1. Deprime (and swage with Dillon Super Swage if necessary)
2. Tumble
3. Resize (using Imperial Die Wax)
4. Tumble
5. Trim with Giraud (which also deburs and chamfers in one step)
6. Clear flash holes
7. Prime

I shoot a lot of .223 considering my competitive shooting is strictly High Power service rifle.

September 23, 2008, 07:40 AM
Yes I did clean the cases and I use Hornady Oneshot Lube on them.Maybe I need a new decap pin or more lube?I have not had this problem on other calibers of rifle I load.I have not had rims pull off like this before.

September 23, 2008, 08:14 AM
I just finished de-capping over 5000 .223's, all makes and models with absolutely no problems,(except when I found a few Berdan's). I used the Lee universal de-capping die with my LnL Hornady press.
The same setup with the same die also worked with everything else I've been de-capping.
I haven't started the sizing on this bunch and won't until I get the head stamps sorted but the last batch I did, about 1000, went really fast. I dumped all the cases in the ultrasonic then I used a bottle of Break-Free for the inside/outside.

My swage tool is an 82deg counter sink on the the drill press at about 100 rpm. Works for me anyway;)

September 23, 2008, 09:13 AM
NNY is Privipartisan and they supply the brass for Folf gold. It seems to be a little thicker and most folks using it seem to like it a lot. It almost never comes up for sale on any of the dale boards I look at unless someone is selling everything.
I decap everything with the Lee decapper and base then resize on a single stage. Everything gets primed by hand then trimmed and stored. I don't see the need for a small base die, especially with tough brass. Full length sized should be just fine for an AR. Mic the neck of the expander and see how close it is to spec. If it is tight, chuck it in a drill and bring it down a thou with some emery cloth. Try Imperial wax and lightly lube the inside of the case neck, it works for me.

September 24, 2008, 06:42 AM
It's the lube !

I've had simular problems with .223.

I went to good old STP oil treatment many years ago. Still working off the same 16oz bottle I bought 20yrs (and many,many thousands of rounds) ago.

Also using the same RCBS lube pad I bought when I was in college in the mid '70's.

September 24, 2008, 08:47 AM
it pushes the decap pin all the way backout no matter how tight you tighten it. RCBS dies will fix this.

September 24, 2008, 02:20 PM
It's the lube !

I've had simular problems with .223.

That's my first guess too. I ran a test on some spray lubes, and Lee and Hornady waxy lubes in a tube. The spray lubes just would not small base size cases. Cases would stick in the darn die. The waxy lubes worked great, until they dried. Then the cases would stick in the darn die.

I have found nothing better than Imperial Sizing wax and RCBS water soluble case lube. Or put it this way, I stopped experimenting when I found these lubes.

I use RCBS most of all, I can tumble cases with a wet patch in a can. Cuts lubing time. After sizing, they go in the sink and everything gets washed off in hot soapy water. Imperial, you have to put on with your fingers.

A greybeard in the club recommended not using Imperial. His experience was, Imperial is so slick that it will allow you to get the case in the die, but he had instances where the interference fit between the case and the die was so severe, he could not get the case out of the die! (He must have been forming cases from 50 BMG to .22 Hornet, or something equally strange)

Lube makes a big difference. Change that first.

September 24, 2008, 07:56 PM
One Shot can work, but it gives a lot of people headaches. On this avenue, carefully re-read the instructions and follow them religiously. It also definitely needs time to adequately dry.

I'd also pull the die apart completely. Clean it very well with alcohol, reassemble and give it a quick squirt w/ One Shot. Again, let it dry thoroughly.

I'm not a big fan of that collet system that lee uses to secure the decapping pin.

Also, some .mil brass types have undersized flashholes and will require an undersized pin. I think Hirt or Guatamalan, but I can't recall right offhand.

A universal decapping die wouldn't be a bad idea.

September 24, 2008, 08:58 PM
It's the Hornady One shot. Switch to Imperial sizing die wax, RCBS lube or STP oil treatment on an RCBS pad. All of these will work well. Make sure you lube inside the mouth of the case. Once you get the die lubed up good, the rest of the process goes fairly easy from there.



September 24, 2008, 09:29 PM
If it does not pull the head off it pushes the decap pin all the way backout no matter how tight you tighten it

When you put the decapping rod in the die make sure it's dry (no oil). Put some never-sieze on the collet threads. This problem should go away.

WHen you see the decapper rod start to move up in the die STOP. Otherwise you will push the neck sizing button up into the neck of the die and there's just not enough room there for the case neck with the button inside it as ants said.

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