1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

5.56 split necks

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mookiie, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. mookiie

    mookiie Well-Known Member

    I have been having some split necks after firing some 5.56 shells. They were reloaded 3 times thus far and it is 1 or 2 cases ever 200 rounds. Are these just inferior specimens or is this a indicator of over pressure?
  2. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Well-Known Member

    You may have to look into annealing your case necks to get more loadings out of the brass.
  3. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Be sure you clean those other one's up good, and then closely inspect them for impending splits or other anomalies.

    What are some of the specifics of the load and firearm? It's difficult to even guess without a little bit more information. Has the brass been kept trimmed to within SAAMI spec.? Is this the first time you've experienced splits, or any other type of catastrophic case failure?

  4. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Well-Known Member

    I've seen guys at the range with factory 223 5.56 ammo, their done shooting, I go over and be a brass rat, and a lot of them have split necks.

    Pressure in a wide case comming out a little opening that is not close the the case width, is going to create stress on the neck and shoulder of the caseing.

    I had factory Federal 30-30 ammo given to me, because my buddy bought the wrong grain. I shot the box, and 5 out of the 20 had split shoulders when I picked up my brass.

    The brass manufactures are cranking out as much brass as they can, so the quality has diminished severely over the last 10-20yrs.

    So you will get culled 1 time fireing pieces, 3 reloads is about right for 5.56 .

    Just remember every time you fire a round, you weaken the case, annealing only puts a bandaid on the weakening case.
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I am getting 8 to 12 reloads with .223 brass sizing to fit a case gauge and running a little under max. I toss them in the scrap box when the primer pockets get too loose or I feel a rut inside. Most are scrapped because of loose primer pockets.

    Split necks happen sometimes. Don't over think it. Just toss them in the scrap bin.

    Yes, higher pressure wears out brass faster, sometimes much faster. If you want to run your race car wide open, you have to rebuild it more often.

    Annealing works well, but I just haven't found it worth the effort with .223 cases.
  6. mookiie

    mookiie Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies guys. Because the frequency was low I figured it was probably more due to imperfections in the brass and not pressure. I am loading a fairly mild load of 55 grn bullets and IMR 4064. The brass was trimmed after the first firing but not the second I was going to check the case lengths today. It could have been an issue with dirt build up as the cases were cleaned in a vibrating case tumbler. I just recently switch over to SS wet tumbling so I can least eliminate that variable. The cases were fired from a Stag model 3 ar. The only other case failure I have ever experienced was with S & B British 303 reloads in my MK III, I had case head separation occur on the first two rounds fired - stopped there and have never fired the remaining rounds. I researched it and believe it was due to excessive head space - since I hear that enfields can have head spacing issues due to age. I ave not fired the rifle since I am looking to get go/no-go gauges just have not gotten around to it yet.
  7. cacoltguy

    cacoltguy Well-Known Member

    I'm up to 8 reloads on some of my .223 brass (AR-15) and have no split necks or signs of case-head seperation so far. I am noticing some of the primer pockets getting loose which will probably case me to scrap them before split necks. My powder charges are within spec although on the high side (just below max.) I do anneal my necks after every firing however. (this is only done for ammo I load for Highpower competition) I also don't resize excessively and only set the shoulder back about .002 of an inch since I am only concerned with these rounds functioning in my particular rifle. For non annealed, more thoroughly resized brass it seems like 5-6 reloads for .223 in an AR-15 is normal. Could be more or less depending on the load, brand of brass and how much you are setting the shoulder back during resizing.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  8. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Well-Known Member

    1% split necks after 3 reloads isn't bad imo
  9. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    Had some PMC, 97 out of 100 split by the 3th loading. Some brass is just bad. A good polsih job on the expander cant hurt.
  10. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Well-Known Member

    IME PMC brass case splits on my 4th reload, so I don't reload it 4 times anymore.
  11. Nalgi

    Nalgi Well-Known Member

    thats why I started to anneal them prior to sizing. The last thing I want to have happen is to run out of brass when the Zombies come through the front door!
  12. lightman

    lightman Well-Known Member

    It seems like everyones QC slipped during the 2008 shortage. I've had new cases split at the neck after one loading, lately. This has caused me to buy an annealing machine! I put a lot of work into my brass and hate to loose it that quick. Lightman

Share This Page