Reloading for AR15: Standard or Small base die?


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Mohave-Tec
January 5, 2014, 12:48 PM
Do you use standard resizing die or Small Base resizing dies for reloading for your AR-15? And was this move by choice or by necessity?

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Travtastik
January 5, 2014, 12:51 PM
I just ordered a set of RCBS small base 223 dies last night. I am just starting to reload for the AR. I figured I would be better to start with the small base then to have to add it later if I needed too.

Otto
January 5, 2014, 01:51 PM
It depends....I use a SB die for range brass of unknown origin.
All other cases fired out of my AR's goes through a standard FL die or neck sizer only.

rg1
January 5, 2014, 02:23 PM
I've loaded for several AR's and semi-auto 30-06's and have never seen the need for small based dies. Overworks brass for no good reason. If you have an AR that won't chamber full length sized brass your AR has a defective chamber.

rcmodel
January 5, 2014, 02:35 PM
Standard RCBS die since 1970 for several AR-15's Mini-14's, and Remington & CZ bolt actions.

Never a problem with GI range brass, or any other brass.

rc

Mohave-Tec
January 5, 2014, 06:03 PM
I've loaded for several AR's and semi-auto 30-06's and have never seen the need for small based dies. Overworks brass for no good reason. If you have an AR that won't chamber full length sized brass your AR has a defective chamber.
I appreciate the expertise.

cfullgraf
January 5, 2014, 06:08 PM
I recommend if you do not have dies for reloading for an AR-15, get a small base sizer die. It is good insurance to avoid problems.

If you already have a sizer die, no need to replace it, particularly if you uses cases only fired in your rifle until you run into chambering problems.

With the variety of 223 Remington/5.56 NATO chambers these days, with pick up or purchased once fired cases, you never know what you are going to get.

gahunter12
January 5, 2014, 06:13 PM
Standard Lee FL sizing die works well for my 3 Colts, BCM, and Daniel Defense.

Hondo 60
January 5, 2014, 07:08 PM
I have an AR15 & just use a standard resizing/decapping die.

I would only bother with a small base die if I were having problems chambering rounds

RussellC
January 5, 2014, 07:15 PM
It depends....I use a SB die for range brass of unknown origin.
All other cases fired out of my AR's goes through a standard FL die or neck sizer only.
How did the neck only 0nes shoot? I did 20 like that, and I was told, and have read to use
FLR dies....just wondering.

Russellc

243winxb
January 5, 2014, 07:36 PM
RCBS old standard die. The new has been redesigned.

mtrmn
January 5, 2014, 08:21 PM
2 of my AR's require SB to function 100%, so ALL my ammo that may be fired in any of my AR's gets the SB treatment. I have never understood the fear of SB dies some people have. They only size a bit farther down the case than std dies. RCBS recommends them for semiautos and lever and pump guns to prevent chambering problems. RCBS has been in the reloading business a lot longer than I have so I tend to trust their judgement. YMMV

Otto
January 5, 2014, 11:23 PM
How did the neck only 0nes shoot? I did 20 like that, and I was told, and have read to use
FLR dies....just wondering.
I get 1/2 MOA with Sierra MK's. I neck size brass that's only fired in my guns.
You're right, it's recommended to FL size all brass for service rifles...but I just do what works for me.

savanahsdad
January 5, 2014, 11:44 PM
FL and small base only die , , guess I can't vote :rolleyes: ,and small base only die ,, only if I need to, but my AR is not a 223 /5.56 ,and I see the OP did not say what cal.

Mohave-Tec
January 6, 2014, 12:05 AM
223/556. How's about that?

SWThomas
January 6, 2014, 11:30 AM
I pondered this very question not too long ago and the consensus was that SB resizing dies are not needed.

johnny.44
January 6, 2014, 07:48 PM
I got the sb dies as well, sounds like maybe not needed,oh well-never had a jamb yet in the bushmaster predator.

Walkalong
January 6, 2014, 09:23 PM
223/556. How's about that?
The biggest difference is the 5.56 ammo is loaded a bit hotter and has a longer leade/throat.

It is safe to commercial .223 ammo in a 5.56 chamber, but the reverse isn't necessarily true. Most folks say don't do it.

Mohave-Tec
January 6, 2014, 09:29 PM
I understand this.

blarby
January 6, 2014, 09:39 PM
Unless you are blowin through SAW brass, or have a way out of whack chamber- SBD not necessary

gamestalker
January 6, 2014, 09:57 PM
I've run across some that needed the SB die, but most have functioned just fine with a standard FL die, which is why I voted out of necessity.

GS

cfullgraf
January 6, 2014, 10:55 PM
Unless you are blowin through SAW brass, or have a way out of whack chamber- SBD not necessary

I disagree that SAW cases are the only ones that need small base 223 Remington size dies.

Cases fired in one of my AR-15s then run through a standard full size die will not chamber in one of my other AR-15s. But they will chamber if I use a small base die.

If I segregate the cases by rifle they were fired in, then a standard resize die works fine.

And, yes the dies are set correctly and resize cases gauge properly in a 223 Remington case gauge. (Remember, most bottle neck case gauges do not gauge the body of the case, only overall length and shoulder position.)

medalguy
January 6, 2014, 11:22 PM
I have reloaded many thousands of rounds of military 5.56, most of it SAW fired, and I have never used a SB die to resize any of it. I shoot it in a Mini 14, any of three AR platforms, and an M16 rifle. Never had a problem with any of it. I resize all my rifle brass on a Rockchucker, trim if needed, then prime it on an RCBS bench mounted Autoprime, and then go to a Dillon to complete loading.

R.W.Dale
January 6, 2014, 11:29 PM
A small base die is a gimmick solution for folks who refuse to set a FL die up properly IE a quarter turn INTO shellholder contact.

What isn't a gimmick for ar15 loading and is infinitely useful is a case gauge.

Mohave-Tec
January 6, 2014, 11:43 PM
LOL.

mtrmn
January 7, 2014, 08:14 AM
I disagree that SAW cases are the only ones that need small base 223 Remington size dies.

Cases fired in one of my AR-15s then run through a standard full size die will not chamber in one of my other AR-15s. But they will chamber if I use a small base die.

If I segregate the cases by rifle they were fired in, then a standard resize die works fine.

And, yes the dies are set correctly and resize cases gauge properly in a 223 Remington case gauge. (Remember, most bottle neck case gauges do not gauge the body of the case, only overall length and shoulder position.)
THIS X a million or 2^^^^

Just because most folks' ARs aren't particular doesn't mean they're not out there. I have several ARs, 2 of which require the SB dies, and I refuse to segregate ammo for each one. My ammo better work in any gun of that caliber that I pick up or I have failed my mission.

The JP case gages check every dimension of the body, not just headspace length and overall case trim length.

Mohave-Tec
January 7, 2014, 08:45 AM
I have a JP Enterprises/Bravo Company AR15 that cost about $1700 to build not including optics or lights. I've replaced the receiver. I'm on the third barrel. The M4 feed ramps in the receiver and the barrel extension transition as smooth as glass. I've used multiple spring tensions. I've used 2.9oz and 4.3oz buffer weights. I've used adjustable gas blocks and standard gas blocks, mid length, and checked for gas flow on each.
I've been reloading for many years. I own Go/NoGo gauges. I have the Lyman, Wilson and JP case gauges. I've built my own and own the Hornaday chamber length measuring tools. I own the RCBS SB dies. I own the Redding body only die. I have standard RCBS and Lee dies. I've used every head stamp imaginable and several new makes of 223 brass. I've polished all my dies. I've crimped, not crimped, light crimped. Prepped brass to meticulous standards both chamber length and book length. I've used heavy and light loads with Hornady 55gr FMJBT, VMax, Remington bulk and others given to me. I've used Varget, 4064, H335, Benchrest and others. I've used Pmags and USGI mags. I've mic'ed barrel to receiver alignment. I've checked for any kind of snag of burrs in any part of the chambering path.
Probably 150 hours and 1000 custom built rounds this rifle will not fire 5 rounds without a FTE. I'm going to try one last thing before the smelter. I'm going to do one thing I swore many years ago I'd never do. I'm going to WalMart and buy some factory rounds and try those.

cfullgraf
January 7, 2014, 09:55 AM
The JP case gages check every dimension of the body, not just headspace length and overall case trim length.

Yes, the JP cases gauges check all dimensions.

Most folks, including me, seem to buy Wilson or Dillon case gauges and they are cut generously in the body dimension of the gauge.

RainDodger
January 7, 2014, 09:56 AM
I've never, ever, had a need for small base dies in any AR.

jim243
January 7, 2014, 10:04 AM
I've never, ever, had a need for small base dies in any AR.

It will depend on your rifle and if the chamber was cut to 223 standards or 5.56 standards. 5.56 is slightly (not much) wider and longer. I had one rifle that only could use SB cases all other of my AR's did not care. Since I never knew which I would be shooting, I SB all cases just because and never have a problem in any of the guns.

Jim

savanahsdad
January 7, 2014, 12:43 PM
A small base die is a gimmick solution for folks who refuse to set a FL die up properly IE a quarter turn INTO shellholder contact.

What isn't a gimmick for ar15 loading and is infinitely useful is a case gauge.
a gimmick ? LOL is right , there is a need for them in some guns and you set them up the same as you do a FL die ,

RainDodger
January 7, 2014, 01:24 PM
Jim, my statement stands. "I've never, ever, had a need for small base dies in any AR."

In my ARs (multiple) and those belonging to my friends (also multiple), my handloads produced in a standard die, have never failed to function.

I'm not saying you have had the same experience, merely that I have never needed one. I've heard of some (like you) that may need one.

(even in other calibers, notably .308 lever actions, I've not needed SB dies)

That's only my experiences.

Mohave-Tec
January 7, 2014, 08:22 PM
I take everything I read on the internet with a grain of salt. : )

Walkalong
January 7, 2014, 09:59 PM
I love a good ending. :)

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