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Having trouble sizing 223

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Burrito, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Burrito

    Burrito Active Member

    I've been reloading 45acp and 30-06 for a little over a year now with a Lee Anniversary kit. So you could call me a newbie. I decided I wanted to start reloading 223 Rem so I got all the components ordered and as of Friday received all I need to load my first 223 cartridges. Well, I'm having some trouble sizing the brass. First I cleaned the brass in a tumbler. Then I lubed the inside of the necks. I've screwed the full sizing die in until it touches the shell holder, and then turned it an additional 1/4 turn - just like the Lee instructions say to do. But when I work the press, the case is very tight to press into the die sometimes even before the primer is removed. I even got 2cases stuck. Those weren't fun to get out. :cuss: Then, when I take a look at what is supposed to be a properly sized case, there is a ridge or swell about mid-way up the neck of the case - with the upper part of the neck being smaller in diameter than the lower part. With just my hands (no die or press) I tried to enter a bullet in the case, but it didn't seem the neck was the right size - too small. Any idea on what my problem is? I'm quite frustrated.:banghead:
  2. ForneyRider

    ForneyRider Well-Known Member

    I have been doing a lot of extra work with .223 than I do with pistol and other rifle. .223 is hard to see on the inside compared to a 30-30 or 270 Win.

    I make sure I have lube everywhere on the brass, but spread thinly. Like making pasta, it works better if you do it by hand.

    Make sure the die is clean and adjusted properly. I crush shoulders quite a bit with .223 as well.

    With Lee dies, I had to remember to only tighten the decapper enough to push the primer out and no more. Else you will get more stuck cases. If it requires more force than normal, back out and see what the cause is.

    Crimped primers require more work to pop. I tear up the decapping pins. So I use a universal decapper. I bust them too. But they are less to deal with than sizing dies.

    Another post mentioned using a clean, empty, resized piece of brass to adjust the decapping pin.
  3. WNTFW

    WNTFW Well-Known Member

    What cases? What Lube?
    I have found the Serbian stuff to be pretty hard to resize. I also found 1 particular headstamp with undersized flash holes - but that should be unrelated.

    A photo of the problem with the case would be good.

    Someone here will get you unfrustated soon enough.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Forget the insides of the neck for a while.

    It's the outside of a bottle-neck rifle case you have to lube before you can re-size it.

    If you don't lube them, they will get stuck in the die and tear the rims off.

    Once you get that part covered, they should re-size normally.

  5. Burrito

    Burrito Active Member

    Lee resizing lube. I tried it straight from the tube, and also did some diluted with water, like the instructions give the option for. Didn't make a difference either way. Applied with a cotton swab - a pretty liberal amount.

    Cases are mixed headstamp. Probably 5 different kinds. Some LC, a few winchester. I'm not familiar enough with all the different headstamps to remember.
  6. Historian

    Historian Well-Known Member

    Lube the outside of the case with just a little Imperial sizing wax. I have been loading .223 for a couple of years and Imperial has never given me a case stuck in the die. BTW have you cleaned the inside of your sizing die? I use a little Hoppe's #9 on a cleaning patch and then run a dry one through a couple of times. If your cases are properly lubed they should not be sticking.

  7. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Well-Known Member

    That way seems to work best. Put a dab about the size of a pencil eraser between thumb and forefinger. Take a case and run it through your fingers with a little rotation. The little dab of lube will do 4-5 cases. Like RC says, lube the outside. The entire exterior surface of the straight part of the case wall and the exterior of the neck. Inside the neck helps a little when withdrawing the case.
    If you get a gob of lube on the case shoulder, it can cause a little dent. You need very little on the shoulder, if any.
  8. jimbeam

    jimbeam Well-Known Member

    Used to use oil based lube, over 30 years. Tried "One Shot lube" from Hornady, no mess or stickyness, just spray a little on all the shells before sizing.
  9. billybob44

    billybob44 Well-Known Member

    .223 die troubles

    Burrito, your on the right track, with your lube on the cases. Be sure the dies are standard .223, and Not small base sizer die. If you combine SB sizer die with brass that has been fired from a full-auto, or worn chamber, you are working the sh@t out of the brass on the first step. If you are leaving a ring on the neck, your decap pin/neck expander button may be out of alignment. If nothing seems amiss, I would go for another die set.:)
  10. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Well-Known Member

    I say its the lube...

    I really like the Hornady Unique sizing lube, get a little on your fingers and apply a very thin coat to the entire outside of the brass, making sure not to get any excess on the shoulder.

    If that doesn't do the trick then you must have a die problem or your brass is way out of spec, is it new brass?
  11. Jenrick

    Jenrick Well-Known Member

    Take however many .223 cases will fit in your palm comfortably (usually 5-6 for me) so that you can roll them back and forth. Put a dab or Lee lube on each case, and roll them all together back and forth to spread it out. Then another smaller bad inside each case neck. Now go forth and size.

    The die's stick on the side of the case neck where the expander grabs when going in and out, and on the outside of the case as it's being mashed back to it's correct dimension. Lubing both the neck and the exterior will help with that immensely.

  12. Frankl03

    Frankl03 Well-Known Member

    I use a case holder ( the blocks that hold 50 pieces of brass) and spray lube, it works great. If I lube them will I get no stuck cases. I have had my share of stuck cases though. Also I don't have my sizer die screwed down that far. As in a 1/4 turn past.
  13. Burrito

    Burrito Active Member

    Thanks for all the replies. I think I figured out my problem. Initially, I was just lubing the inside, not the outside. And then, when I tried lubing the outside, I used just a tiny amount. Late last night, I tried resizing again, but with considerably more lube on the outside, and they resized much easier. I did have to run a few cases more than once through the dies, but that wasn't the norm. I only did about 25last night. I'll give a shot at 50 tonight or tomorrow night and report back. Thanks for all the support. I'm anxious to go ahead and get some loaded because my stripped lower came in yesterday and I assembled my first AR last night. Can't wait to shoot 'er.
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Thats really a poor way to do it.

    Whichever end of the case that is down inside the loading block doesn't get any lube on it.

    And you just ruined a perfectly good loading block the first time you squirt spray-lube all over it.

    Just dump the cases in an old mixing bowl of coffee can, or dump them out on the floor on an old newspaper. Then spray them, then stir them around with your hand and spray again.

    Then don't wipe your left hand.

    Rub each case all over as you pick them up to size them, and you will have just the right amount of lube in all the right places.

  15. Burrito

    Burrito Active Member

    Sorry for not reporting back for a couple weeks. I've figured out my problem. I was under the impression that only the neck and shoulder needed lube. So I was putting a bunch of lube on that area, but none any lower than the shoulder. Now that I'm lubing farther down, the resizing is easy and pleasant. Thanks for the help.

    I got my AR together and shot 30 rounds through it. It shot great.
  16. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    That's what lube pads are for. Put a dab of lube on the pad and work it in to the pad material at each loading session. Simply roll the cases across the pad and you're good to go. I've been using this method for 45+ years, and have stayed with the Lee lube since it came out.
    It seems no one wants to get their hands dirty anymore.

  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The thickest part of the case is closer to the head.

    That is the hardest part to resize so it stands to reason it would have to be lubed.

    The neck & shoulder are childs play compaired to the case web taper further down.



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