RCBS x-die Full Length .223 for BCM Barrels


October 28, 2013, 05:48 PM
I recently purchased the RCBS x-die Full Length in .223. Loading for 3 different ARs. Bushmaster XM15, S&W M&P 15, and a custom rifle with an BCM barrel that is chambered in 5.56 NATO Match (USMC SAM-R Chamber). Whatever that is, I've been having trouble finding out.

Anyway, question is, did I make a mistake? I'm thinking that the BCM Barrel is going to need a small base die. Opinions? I'm not really going to keep the brass separate. Meaning that brass that comes out of the other two will get reloaded and shot out of the BCM and vise-vise versa. Should I have went with the small base x-die?

Also, I do have a small base die, but it's not the x-die.

Here is a gratuitous picture of said rifle.

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October 28, 2013, 08:17 PM
I am one who uses a standard full length sizer for AR ammo. I use a Wilson case gauge to set it up. I never have any problems.

There are those who advocate using small base full length sizers, and I never say it is a bad idea. Not sure they are needed, but it doesn't hurt anything if you set it up properly. The worst it might do is lessen case life a bit.

Comrade Mike
October 28, 2013, 08:43 PM
X-Dies will help you keep trimming to a minimum. They're designed to slow case growth when re-sizing after subsequent firings.

October 28, 2013, 08:55 PM
Should I have went with the small base x-die?

In my experience, if you segregate cases by rifle, a standard resizing die will do just fine.

If you mix cases by rifle, there is a good chance that a standard resizing die will work just fine.

But there is a chance when mixing cases by rifle that you could end up with a accumulation of tolerances between rifle chambers and resizing die that a standard resizing die will not resize the body of a case enough so that the case will not chamber in the other rifle.

I have such a combination so I just resize all my cases for 223 Remington AR-15s with a small base die.

But, i would be aware of the possibility and test out your rifles. If you do not experience problems, the the standard resizing die will be fine.

October 28, 2013, 10:05 PM
Sounds like maybe I should go with a small base die for my bulk reloads that will be used in all 3 rifles. Than in my SPR reloads switch to the FL regular die and keep that brass separate. Another option would just be to use the small base die for everything. Is there any accuracy advantages from using one or the other?

Steve in PA
October 29, 2013, 08:15 AM
I've reloaded probably 10k over the last couple of years for my AR and never used or found the need for a small base die.

The only reason you would need a SB die is if you are scavenging your your brass from a SAW or other similar weapon.

For a few years I used nothing but the RCBS full-length die with no issues. A couple of years ago I went to the RCBS X-die just to prolong brass life. No SB dies anywhere in the mix.

October 29, 2013, 10:28 AM
When I buy dies that will load ammo for any semiauto, I go ahead and get the SB. I used FL dies on 223 for years without problem until I accumulated several ARs-then I ran into trouble with a couple guns which the SB fixed. I try to load ammo that will fit any firearm I happen to pick up of that caliber.

October 30, 2013, 07:50 PM
There's no reason to think that a BCM barrel would require a small base die, any more than any other 5.56/.223 barrel. You DON'T need a small base die, unless you're getting failures to feed.

I don't separate any brass and load tens of thousands of rounds of .223s, using the X die. If you use a Wilson case gage to set up your f.l. sizing die, the rifle from which the brass was shot is totally irrelevant.

And yes, I'm a class 06 manufacturer, and my .223s NEVER fail in any rifle.

October 31, 2013, 05:52 PM
I load for 3 Colt LE6920's, and 2 BCMs. I use Lee's standard FL resizing die for all my reloads. I have a different load for each gun, but use the same dies.

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