I've had trouble getting some rounds to chamber or go into full battery.


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Mags
October 10, 2010, 10:06 PM
I bought some primed 308/7.62 brass on here last year. The brass was mostly military stuff like LC and WCC. I don't know if it was not sized correctly or if it was MG brass but every now and then the cartridges fail to chamber into full battery, causing me to pogo my DPMS 308/7.62 to extract the live round. The working cartridges and ones that fail to chamber both use the same OAL and bullet brand & type.

What do you guys think; improperly sized, MG brass or both? I will try yo get a pic up of the most recent two I pogoed.

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taliv
October 10, 2010, 10:10 PM
one of two problems:

trim your brass
or
you're not sizing it enough

doesn't really matter if it was MG or not, afaik

Mags
October 10, 2010, 10:16 PM
Taliv, the brass measures good on length. Also this brass came primed, trimmed, and sized already.
doesn't really matter if it was MG or not, afaik Thanks, on that info. I heard sometimes you need to size MG brass twice.

taliv
October 10, 2010, 10:27 PM
never heard that before.

I had a mac10, and have an m16 and m60. can only afford to shoot reloads in all of them. never sized brass more than once.

mbogo
October 10, 2010, 10:34 PM
The brass you bought may need to be run through a small-base die. This is not uncommon with semi-autos.

mbogo

Randy1911
October 11, 2010, 02:28 AM
I had the same problem with some 30-06 military brass I bought. I finally had to take a few thousandths off the top of a old shellholder and set the shoulder back a few thousandths. This was even after FL sizing. Worked great after that.

steve4102
October 11, 2010, 09:38 AM
Pull the decapping stem out of yur FL die and size them.

Mr. Dark
October 11, 2010, 10:16 AM
I have had that happen two times. Once it was not sized enough, the other time the crimp was set to low and it bulged the case just below the shoulders. I would just double check both of those.

Pardoner
October 11, 2010, 10:17 AM
+1 What Steve said above..

Walkalong
October 11, 2010, 10:22 AM
Once it was not sized enough, the other time the crimp was set to low and it bulged the case just below the shouldersTwo classic reasons. Most of us have done one or the other at one time. I slightly buckled some .223 shoulders once that caused chambering problems in one tight chamber. Doesn't take much.

A case gauge (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=880646) is a good tool to have when loading for semi autos. It will ensure the brass is sized properly, as well as short enough. Then all we have to do is be careful loading it.

rcmodel
October 11, 2010, 01:03 PM
+1

If you are crimping on purpose, don't.
If you are crimping by accident, back off the seating die just a scooch.

rc

mdi
October 11, 2010, 01:38 PM
Have you measured the "bad" cases? Larger dia. above/at base? A chamber is just a hole and a cartridge is just a peg. If the peg is larger than the hole, it won't go in...

rcmodel
October 11, 2010, 01:46 PM
The simplest way to find the problem is with a Magic Marker or Dry-Erase marker.

Just "color" one of the tight ones and try to chamber it.

Where the marker rubs off is your problem.

That will tell you more, faster, then measuring things.

rc

USSR
October 11, 2010, 03:31 PM
The simplest way to find the problem is with a Magic Marker or Dry-Erase marker.

Just "color" one of the tight ones and try to chamber it.

Where the marker rubs off is your problem.

That will tell you more, faster, then measuring things.

+1. 99.9% of the time, it's either the shoulder needs to be bumped back more (screw your sizing die down a bit more) or the web area needs to be sized more (you need a small base die).

Don

rcmodel
October 11, 2010, 03:34 PM
The other .1% (or way more) is due to a crimp buckling the shoulder imperceptibly.

You can't see it, but they won't chamber, and you can't get them back out after an AR trys to stuff them in kicking & screaming.

rc

Walkalong
October 11, 2010, 04:05 PM
you can't get them back out after an AR trys to stuff them in kicking & screaming. Darn tootin' :banghead:

SlamFire1
October 11, 2010, 04:34 PM
The predominant view of the reloading community is that all cases can be sized with a regular sizing die, sized to the shell holder “plus a quarter”, and everything will turn out OK.

There are those who rightfully point out that buckling of the case occurs during seating of the bullet, and crimping can cause issues. I stopped crimping anything but lever action and cast bullets; crimping causes more problems than it solves for jacketed rifle bullets.

I use small base dies whenever I can. This is also anathema to the shooting community, but I have found that I need to small base size cases for best function in gas guns.


I also believe in cartridge head space gages, I use them every time I set up my rifle dies. If you don't have the means to measure what you are doing then you do not have the means to control your process. Without gages and the measurements they provide, all the ink split to date on trouble shooting is well meaning philosophizing.

If you want to really know what is going on, buy the gages.

Often you have cases that were fired in some huge military chamber and a regular sizing die won’t reduce them enough to fit in the chamber. To show this I took this series of pictures and actions:

I have 308 and 30-6 gages, cut by Gene Barnett which are a little out of the ordinary. He cut these gages with his chambering reamer. Standard cartridge headspace gages are cut with a special reamer that is wide in the middle. A standard cartridge headspace gage measures length, not “fatness”. A reamer cut headspace gage will show you if the case is too long and too “fat” for that chamber.

I have a number of 308 small base dies, and I still have my Lee standard die.

I sized a number of my match cases in the Lee die. All of them dropped in the reamer cut case gage. So, if you said you don’t need small base dies, you would be correct most of the time.

So now I had to scratch around trying to find cases that would prove my point.

These two cases are once fired range pickup brass that I found in my brass box. I had to go through about 20 cases before I found a set of really ballooned cases. On the right is the Barnett reamer cut gage.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Small%20Based%20Sized%20Cases/OncefiredWRA68caseheads.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Small%20Based%20Sized%20Cases/OncefiredWRA68unsizedincasegages.jpg




If you notice one case has completed dropped into the Wilson cartridge headspace gage, while the other has not dropped into the Barnett reamer cut gage. This shows how much they have swelled up after being fired. Must have been a big chamber.

The second picture is of the fattest of the group after sizing in with Lee Die. I trimmed the thing to make sure that the case neck did not interfere with the throat in the gage.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Small%20Based%20Sized%20Cases/WRAtrimmedandLeediesizedcase.jpg


Hopefully you can see that the case did not drop all the way in the case gage. At least on its own. It would have taken a good hard push to get that base all the way in.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Small%20Based%20Sized%20Cases/WRAsizedinLeedie.jpg



This is after resizing in my RCBS small base die. I could not find the RCBS box, so the case/gage are sitting on a Redding small base box. However, that little additional sizing removed the interference fit.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Small%20Based%20Sized%20Cases/WRAresizedinRCBSSmallbasedie.jpg



Sometimes cases are so ballooned that even a small base die won’t reduce the case to factory dimensions. It all depends on the chamber the round was fired in.

I know it is extra effort to size cases with small base dies, if you use a good lube like Imperial Sizing wax or RCBS case lube, the effort is somewhat reduced. Still for all the extra bother involved in sizing with small base dies I'll do it for my Garands and M1a's. With those rifles I don’t want any resistance to chambering, I don’t want any delay to bolt closure. Because as the bolt stops and the lugs are turning, that darn free floating firing pin is just tapping the heck out of the primer.

Your rifle, I would not worry about an out of battery slamfire, but as you have found, fat cases will cause jams.

angus6
October 11, 2010, 05:53 PM
The other .1% (or way more) is due to a crimp buckling the shoulder imperceptibly.
You can't see it, but they won't chamber, and you can't get them back out after an AR trys to stuff them in kicking & screaming.
rc

BTDT, got 2000 rds that wouldn't run in 1 of the AR's , other 2 don't miss a lick with them :banghead:

USSR
October 11, 2010, 08:13 PM
The predominant view of the reloading community is that all cases can be sized with a regular sizing die, sized to the shell holder “plus a quarter”, and everything will turn out OK.

There are those who rightfully point out that buckling of the case occurs during seating of the bullet, and crimping can cause issues. I stopped crimping anything but lever action and cast bullets; crimping causes more problems than it solves for jacketed rifle bullets.

I use small base dies whenever I can. This is also anathema to the shooting community, but I have found that I need to small base size cases for best function in gas guns.


I also believe in cartridge head space gages, I use them every time I set up my rifle dies. If you don't have the means to measure what you are doing then you do not have the means to control your process. Without gages and the measurements they provide, all the ink split to date on trouble shooting is well meaning philosophizing.

If you want to really know what is going on, buy the gages.

Often you have cases that were fired in some huge military chamber and a regular sizing die won’t reduce them enough to fit in the chamber.

Good post SlamFire1, and if you don't mind, I would like to expand on it? First, when faced with an overly expanded web area of brass, as in machinegun fired 7.62x51 brass, someone will say that they simply screw a regular FL sizing die down farther to reduce the web area dimension. The only problem with this is, while you ARE reducing the case dimension farther down the case, you are also increasing your case headspace. No way around it; size further down the case - bump the shoulder back farther. I use a smallbase die whenever I acquire once-fired brass, and once they are fired in my chambers, I revert to a regular FL sizing die. On this, I agree with SlamFire1 completely; the best way to set up your bottle-necked rifle case FL sizing die, is to use case headspace gages. I also do not crimp my rifle cases, as I have alway found neck tension to be sufficient. I control neck tension thru the use of bushing dies. There are 2 scenarios where I would crimp: a rifle with an under the barrel tube magazine, and a heavy recoiling big bore rifle. Just MHO.

Don

SlamFire1
October 11, 2010, 08:23 PM
Good post SlamFire1, and if you don't mind, I would like to expand on it?

Good job Don :D

fguffey
October 12, 2010, 01:04 PM
Megs, manufactures of brass do mot make brass that does not fit the chamber, everything they make is sized to minimum dimensions, the target market is too small, with an exception, R-P makes cases called cylinder brass, a 30/06 type case with a straight wall that is 2.650 thousands long stamped 35 Whelen for about $35.00 for 20. Forming first then fire never caught on, for most it is easier to size first then fire to form.

I make chamber gages with the same reamer I use to cut the chamber, to use my gage for a case fired in a different chamber would be only for demonstration purposes and no I can not use my reamers to cut a sizer die, the reamer dimensions used to cut a sizer die are smaller than the dimensions on the reamer that cuts chamber. then there is case recovery, memory and or spring back.

308 W: I do not paint everything with one brush, that is too simple, cases purchased without a history requires more thought than blaming everything on the machine gun, in my opinion this blaming the MG is like R. Lee claiming Federal primers are more powerful. Case head expansion, if the case head was not measured before firing the information gained by measuring after firing is less than nice to know, The case head that protrudes from the bottom of the die is not sized, the shell holder deck height is .125 on my shell holders, the deck height of the shell holder prevents the case from being sized, then there is the radius on the bottom of the die. Then there is case head protrusion and understanding the column of brass the case body sits on (when standing up), military case head thickness when measured from the head of the case to the top of the web (and yes I know the web at the top is not flat and I understand that makes it difficult for some to measure). Military brass in 30/06 measures .200 thousands, commercial R-P measures .260, the 260 AND THE .200 extend above the deck height of the shell holder from .100 to .160 thousands, SO! Why is it necessary to size the base of a case if it was fired once with factory or commercial loads if the only way to expand the column of brass the case sits on (against the bolt face) if the first firing expands the case head .001 +/- the first time it is fired, painting with the other brush, someone is greasing the cases (slide and glide shooter), the cases are fired with heavy loads the first time, OR the cases have been fired more than once, twice three times +, who knows? Ifthe history is not known.

Everyone go out and purchase a small base die? If the case head has expanded and will not chamber and no one knows why smack the case with a hammer, be a discerning reloader. I have no ideal what gages cost, but the price of a gage has to cost more than a hole.

I make chamber gages, I do not sell them, if I did I would include instructions, I have extra barrels for most of the pistols I load for, I also have case gages that are not chamber gages, fired cases and sized cases can be checked with a case gage. If I have a barrel with a chamber I do not need a chamber gage, a good source for chamber gages is 'THE TOMATO STAKE'.

F. Guffey

Mags
December 11, 2010, 02:54 PM
Fellas, I think a set of small base dies might be finding their way under the tree. So can I resize my FL sized brass in the small base dies or will I need to fire them first?

Trent
December 11, 2010, 03:21 PM
Regarding crimping; it's necessary in some rifles and handguns beyond those mentioned. In semi-auto rifles, when the bolt pushes the cartridge out of the magazine and it first impacts the feed ramp, the bullets can be set back in their casings.

I've noticed this on several weapons when I've loaded smooth bullets (no cannelure (spelling?)). 55gr VMAX does it on my AR15, 180gr Sierra Matchking do it on my FN-AR, and 200 gr Sierra Matchking does it on my 8x57 Yugo M76.

On my AR15 I quit shooting smooth sided bullets, and just opt to load and shoot cheap Winchester cannelured bullets. I can put a slight roll crimp on those and it prevents bullets from setting back on chambering. I save the smooth sided bullets for my 22-250.

On the FN-AR, I switched to a Redding die which accepts bushings, and got a tighter neck bushing. This also means I *DO* have to pay careful attention to my brass neck thickness, which does add another tedious step to brass prep.

On the 8x57 Yugo M76, I purchased an 8x57 crimp die and put a VERY small crimp on the loaded rounds. It's so easy to push the shoulder back on those, you can't do much with a smooth sided bullet. This DOES deform the sides of the 200 gr matchkings, but most of the bearing surface is behind it, and the rifle still shoots decent groups (about 1.5" wider at 300 yards than if I don't crimp). But, good enough is good enough. If I want to go lay down groups, I don't use the crimp die and single-load the rounds.

I use small base dies on ANY once-fired brass I buy in bulk, no matter how "good" the batch looks. I've also found that occasionally I'll find a bloated case from brand spanking new Winchester or Remington brass. I always run new factory brass through a standard full length sizer, mainly to true up the necks. If it feels different, or I notice that there was a remarkable amount of sizing done to the body of the casing, I'll set it aside and small base size those. I've found some remarkably crappy brass that has slipped through the Q&A over the years, so I'm thorough about inspection even on factory new.

(Once found a coil of brass shavings inside a 300 Win Mag case that, when extracted, weighed over 100 grains. It was "spun" around the bottom of the case and very difficult to see with the Mk 1 eyeball. I missed it when doing my first inspection, and if I hadn't weight sorted them, I never would have found it before loading).

Just some of my .02.

Brass inspection is NOT a step that can be skipped, ever, period, whether loading factory new-brass, range pickups, or once-fired out of your own rifles. After spending a few years doing weight-sorting for match loads on once fired factory brass, or brand-new factory brass, I've truly become frightened of running any factory loads through a rifle.

Aside from the crazy wad of brass in that one case, I've found some spooky stuff over the years. Pulled a dud 223 Sellier&Beloit apart once and found that the flash-hole hadn't been punched! While inspecting a brand-new batch of 45 ACP casings (Starline) I found a flash hole that was 2x normal size. Had so many crap cases in that batch, I won't buy starline again. Found a factory-new 22-250 case once (Winchester) that when weight sorting weighed 30 grains less than the other cases. Cut the case apart and found that the webbing was paper thin. That case would have separated if fired, for sure.

This isn't to mention the number of factory recalls I've seen, either; double charges, overcharges, etc. I feel much safer loading my own ammunition.

USSR
December 11, 2010, 03:47 PM
Fellas, I think a set of small base dies might be finding their way under the tree. So can I resize my FL sized brass in the small base dies or will I need to fire them first?

If your already FL sized brass fits your chamber, just shoot them as is. If not, then resize them using the small base die.

Don

SlamFire1
December 12, 2010, 11:35 AM
I use small base dies on ANY once-fired brass I buy in bulk, no matter how "good" the batch looks. I've also found that occasionally I'll find a bloated case from brand spanking new Winchester or Remington brass. I always run new factory brass through a standard full length sizer, mainly to true up the necks. If it feels different, or I notice that there was a remarkable amount of sizing done to the body of the casing, I'll set it aside and small base size those. I've found some remarkably crappy brass that has slipped through the Q&A over the years, so I'm thorough about inspection even on factory new.


This is a sad commentary on the poor quality of components being shoveled out to shooters.

I have a HM Distinguished bud who has placed several times in the President's 100 and has placed second in the Garand match, upper 10 a couple of times.

Anyway he is a hard enough holder that I take his commentaries seriously.

He buys Sierra match bullets in bulk and then weighs them all. He says he has found seriously out of weight bullets, like 150 grain bullets in the 168’s, or 168’s that have reduced lead cores so they weigh far less than 168. It used to be that a Sierra match was as good as you could buy.

Sad, sad, sad. :(:(:( It used to be that you could simply buy good components, load them and shoot them.

ironhead7544
December 12, 2010, 09:55 PM
With some brass I have found that a sizing in a standard FL die and then a second sizing in a small base die is necessary to get them to chamber. Just using the SB dies didnt work. There are also full length hammer type dies that size the entire case.

Trent
December 15, 2010, 10:40 AM
ironhead: brass will "Spring back" when sized. It wants to hold it's original shape. The "harder" the brass the more this seems to happens. I've noticed when neck sizing only, that there's sometimes some different feel to seating bullets.

On my rifles that I neck turn for, I "doubletap" my brass now on the neck sizer (which I use on that setup without an expander die) prior to powder/ final seating. On handgun rounds I'll *still* get the occasional 9mm/45ACP bullet that just "falls in" even after being sized. Those brass get relegated to the great dumpster in the sky.

EDIT: The more brass is fired / worked, the harder it becomes, and the more likely you are to see this phenomenon. When it gets hard enough, a split will form because the brass is too hard to "work" anymore, so it'll split instead of sizing. With rifle brass you can use a tray of water up to the case neck and a torch to anneal the brass (get them red hot, let them cool slowly, the water keeps the rest of the case from getting hot). When pistol brass gets hard - which you can usually tell because you'll start getting split case necks on some cases - it's done for. Pitch it.

As a side-note, I had a bad batch of S&B 9mm one time, loaded on my Dillon progressive. Dies are adjusted fine on it (checked later). Anyway the bullet became lodged in my barrel at a pin shoot when I extracted the last round on the all-clear. Checking the others, the bullets were moving IN the casing just by hand pressure. The ROLL CRIMP was still there, and visible, but that was ALL that was holding in the bullets. I quit using once-fired S&B after that - I was able to reproduce it once I got home, so I went through thousands of rounds culling them all out..

EDIT #2: ^^ the hardness of the S&B brass was pretty damn hard from the factory. Much harder than normal brass, hence my sizing problems. Makes good scrap to recycle though.

ranger335v
December 15, 2010, 10:56 AM
"The predominant view of the reloading community is that all cases can be sized with a regular sizing die, sized to the shell holder “plus a quarter”, and everything will turn out OK."

Yeah. Dumm tho. For any kind of adjustment to be true all presses need to have exactly the same spring and slack in the toggle links; they don't.

Thus, the minority view of die set-up is to know what the heck you're trying to accomplish and adjust until it's right.

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