del-ton upper - are these problems?


June 6, 2009, 11:56 PM
Hey all- I ordered my del-ton middy just before the elections and have had it now for a few months

16" middy, flattop, ff yhm tube, c/l 1/9 bbl, delton built upper and lower with 2 stage RRA
6 pos commercial buffer tube

It is extremely accurate sub-moa when I do my part but for a couple things:

1st issue
my full length re-sized reloads are very hard to extract / cycle through manually
requires two hands on the charging handle

but never had a failure to extract when firing

What could this mean? Perhaps the chamber is too tight/not to spec? Anything to do with headspacing?

I backed off the crimp on the cases totally and I can't seem to detect any case bulge on the shoulder...these are re-loaded cases that have been fired by the same upper.
using hornady FL sizing dies for .223 with sellier and bellot cases

2nd issue - the forward assist does not seem to function properly
simply banging on the button won't engage the notches on the carrier 100% of the time
seems like one has to twist the palm a bit more and then it engages the notches maybe 50% of the time

what do you guys think?

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June 7, 2009, 01:43 AM
Like you said it sounds like you don't have a 5.56 chamber.
In fact it sounds like the upper may have a few problems. Not that unusual with Del-Ton I am afraid.

June 7, 2009, 02:13 AM
I have a del-ton middy too. I don't reload for it yet but on the 1st issue does this problem happen with factory ammo or just with your reloads? If it doesn't happen with factory ammo I would say you need to look at your reloads. I can't help you on the second issue. Mark

June 7, 2009, 08:43 AM
I have 3 Del Ton uppers, and none have any issues. I have not heard anything about chamber issues with Del Ton. I would suggest calling them and discuss.

The forward assist is probably fine. Mine act that way. I don't use them on any of the rifles I have, so I can't add anything.

June 7, 2009, 09:49 AM
I've had a Del-ton carbine upper for 2 years now.... no failures of any kind.

I'd contact them post-haste if I were you.

-- John

June 7, 2009, 12:08 PM
I measured a loaded case and it was 1.755 and another empty once or twice fired was 1.758 which is below the max of 1.76

loaded oal is 2.228 to 2.223 with a 55gr fmjbtwc win projectile
just after the loaded case mouth is .245-.2445 diameter
the shoulders are .3505 diameter
base is .370 diameter just above the sizing line
the rim is .374 diameter
.319 measured in a straight line from shoulder angle to case mouth (about)

any thoughts?

it is sunday so I'll try my luck at calling them tomorrow - I heard they were almost too busy to answer the phone now a days...

measured a circa 2001
55gr sellier and bellot round in .223 and it comes at

1.755 case length
2.223 oal
.350 at shoulder
.372 at base
.374 rim

pretty much the same as the loaded round....

the only difference I can see to my naked eye - is the crease at the first transition from the mouth diameter out to the shoulder is not as crisp as on the unfired case

June 7, 2009, 12:15 PM
consolidated above

June 7, 2009, 12:40 PM
i used to get sticky hand extraction- I just trimmed slightly shorter and the problem went away. My del-ton kit has been fantastic.

June 7, 2009, 12:51 PM
how much shorter did you trim?

Badger Arms
June 7, 2009, 12:58 PM
Hmmm, the cartridge does not headspace anywhere you're speaking of. Did you try running the die down slightly further? If you're bottoming out on the die and the chamber is still tight, I'd suggest you just go to a gunsmith and have him PROPERLY check for headspace. I say PROPERLY in all caps because even gunsmiths often don't know how to do this right. It's easy to do on an AR-15, just take the ejector out... but you still need the gages.

June 8, 2009, 11:18 PM
tried running the die down further

and I trimmed, sized the next batch of cases with the possum hollow .223 case trimmer
and used the hornady deburring tool on each case

don't have my notes in front of me so will have to update the case length later

Still have sticky extraction...had to use two hands, a firm grip and a bit of the back on a chambered round

They cycle normally though...the groups I got with new new batch of 55gr grouped Worse than the unsized/ untrimmed batch.

Weird...but I was using 27gr of W748 on the unsized rounds and 26.6gr on the trimmed and sized lot. Also the OAL was slightly shorter on the sized lot which had the looser group.

June 9, 2009, 09:21 AM
A lot of people will flame me for this but I had trouble with my reloads in a M-16 I have. With the same problems you're having. Worse on the second and third loads. I made a call to RCBS and their response was I needed to switch to a small base sizing die. Once I made that switch, all my problems went away. Funny thing is, those same rounds would chamber and extract from my Mini-14 just fine.

June 9, 2009, 09:40 AM
I had some cases that were sticky. I didn't have my sizing die turned down low enough. I know with Lee they suggest turning the die all the way down to the shell holder and then an 1/8th of a turn more.

Also I keep my cases to 1.750 and OAL to 2.250. Don't know if this helps.

June 9, 2009, 10:12 AM
+1 on the small base resizing die. I know it "over works" your brass but it has definately saved many a semi-auto shooter the headache you are talking about. I use them on my .308, .30-06, and .223. I have yet to see a forward assist that actually did what it was supposed to. If the round doesn't chamber normally the forward assist probably will only make the problem worse by banging on it. And then you will definately have a hard time getting it out by pulling on the charging handle. Lastly, this is often a problem that works its self out after the rifle has been shot a few thousand rounds.

June 9, 2009, 01:10 PM
I don't have any recommendations, but my Del-Ton 20" has never failed in the past 1.5 yrs. They have a great reputation and customer service..

June 9, 2009, 05:57 PM
Its not Delton's fault if it functions fine with factory ammo but wont take your reloads. I cant think of any ordinary manufacturer that doesnt specifically prohibit use of handloads. As for the forward assist, its a leftover from a bygone era and next to useless for any civilian or even police use, so even if it doesnt work exactly as it should, I see no negative impact on anything. If a round wont chamber, I cant see any benefit from jamming it into place, when the rifle should be cleaned and maintained instead.

June 9, 2009, 07:35 PM
ok - so it works fine with factory rounds for extraction of a non-fired round
where to get a small-based sizing die and how is that different from a full-length resizing die?

so now, the forward assist problem.

I'll send them an email about it and see what they say.

to be continued

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