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.223 /5.56 over size case head problem solved

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Big-Bore, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Big-Bore

    Big-Bore Member

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    If anyone has ever had trouble reloading .223 Rem/5.56 for an AR15 where the resized brass will not pass a case gauge and you are getting some reloaded rounds jammed in your AR like I was. I finally found a solution. I have been reloading for over 40 years before starting to reload for an AR15 and ran into a problem with reloaded rounds failing to chamber completely. I did the search thing on all the chat rooms and tried every thing even a new set of small base dies. Bought a Lyman case gauge and found about 10% of the reloaded military brass would not pass a Lyman case gauge even after going through and RCBS small base die.

    I put a micrometer on the case head and found the ones that failed to gauge and jammed my AR15 had over size case heads or rims, that is they were over .376" at the widest part. That's when I started a search for some thing that would resize the case head. The only die I could find was on the Wholesalehunter web site called "223 Remington / 5.56mm NATO Case head Sizing Die" . I bought one and ran over 100 rounds through the die that had failed to pass the Lyman case gauge. After I ran them through this die they all passed the case gauge. I also fired all of them thru my AR with out a single jam. Works like a dream.

    I think that when I used an RCBS primer pocket swagger on some of the military brass, it may have caused some of the case heads to expand and that's why they gave me trouble. But I found a few commercial pieces of brass that failed to gauge too before I ran them through the case head sizer.

    I hope this information is useful to anyone having the same problems that I was.
     
  2. bds

    bds Member

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    You could mic the case head before and after swaging the primer pockets to see if you are indeed increasing the case head.

    If you are, perhaps it would be easier to swage the primer pockets differently so you did not increase the size of case head?
     
  3. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Part of my process on new-to-me brass is to set a micrometer to the maximum case head diameter and reject any case that won't pass through the jaws of the device. It has proven quick, easy and effective. I know before I start to size cases that they are going to fit when I am done.
     
  4. Big-Bore

    Big-Bore Member

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    The strange thing is that most of this brass was originally fired in my rifle when it was new. Why it chambered the first time and not when reloaded can only be caused by the fact I used a primer pocket swagger on them. But that case head sizing die sure did the trick. You install the die like any other in your press and there is a ram that goes in the shell holder, it pushes the brass clear through the die and out the top. If you try and run brass through it that gauged, it has no effect but brass or loaded rounds that failed the gauge are noticeably squeezed down to specs. I have never seen a case head sizing die before or for any other caliber either. Over 40 years of hand loading and still learning new tricks.
     
  5. FLIGHT762

    FLIGHT762 Member

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    O/P, I was curious as to the die you used since I also have never heard of such a product. I went to the Wholesalehunter web site and entered "223 Remington / 5.56 NATO case head sizing die" in the search as you described and got nothing in the search. Would you please post a link to the product or list the actual manufacturer's name and description on the product it's self. Thanks.

    EDIT: I found it, made by LG Outdoors. Manuf #LG223CH. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  6. KYregular

    KYregular Member

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    Of all the thousands of 223/5.56 that I have sized I have never ran into this problem. Perplexes me though, with all the mixes of once fired, I would have thought that I would have saw it. They all seemed to have ran flawlessly through my AR's, so I will keep an eye out. Thanks for the post.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    That would take some serious pressure.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  9. JO JO

    JO JO Member

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    I too have loaded lots of 223/5.56 never have or heard of this, since this was new brass fired in your AR only makes me wounder what AR brand do you have and is it a factory gun ? used gun high round count ? home built ? I would be interested in the history of your AR , I'm curious as this is new to me,
    And the tool in the link looks to be the same thing as their bulge buster I once had for 40 S&W just in 223 caliber ?
    If I remember right the lee 40 S&W bulge buster was for 40 brass that was fired in early glocks with a lack of case support causing case bulge,
    kind of makes me think that your AR may have a oversize chamber ? if this is possible ?
    the rcbs swager that you use is it the press mount one or the bench mount one ?
     
  10. Big-Bore

    Big-Bore Member

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    I actually have 2 AR's one is a Del-Ton and one is a Wyndham. Both guns had issues with some of the reloaded brass. I used the RSBS press mount primer pocket swagger the one that uses a standard reloading press. I'm just guessing that the primer pocket swagger had anything to due with the issue because the new rounds fired fine and commercial brass reloaded fine with a rare exception where a commercial resized brass would not gauge but those few commercial pieces of brass may just of had damaged rims but the new die fixed that problem too. The vast majority of the military brass that was had over size heads was imported Serbia ammo but I had some LC as well as other brands too. But I'm glad I found this new die. I haven't had and issues since. I did notice that once the brass is ran through this new die ad fired again, it will not be over size again. So it's just a one time deal unless you damage a rim. I read a lot about other people having this trouble on several sites, none of the suggested fixes worked for me until I found this new product.
     
  11. JO JO

    JO JO Member

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    So do you think the rcbs press swager maybe causing trouble?
    I had tried one and it dose take some force to get the brass off the swager head ,
    Maybe be the imported brass and the force of the rcbs is a bad combo?
    Either way I glad you found a solution
     
  12. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    It's not the brass, it's the gun.

    I've noticed that the case heads (rims) tend to flatten on cases fired in an AR pattern rifle. It's something regarding it being a gas operated selfloader. Different brands of brass all seem to be affected.

    I've got an older priming tool shell holder that won't accept a case that's been fired more than 2-3 times. As I work my way through a batch of cases. I set aside those that won't fit the priming sheelholder. Rotating the case rim against a grinder wheel for 2-3seconds takes the rims back to ~0.378" allowing an easy fit to the shell holder.
    The o/s rims don't seem to affect accuracy, but are certainly an annoyance.
     
  13. dgod
    • Contributing Member

    dgod Contributing Member

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    RCBS Swager being Hard to release.... Use Lube...
     
  14. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    I have run into this with batches of once fired Lake City 5.56/.223 brass. After sizing, it does not fully drop into the gauge. Sometimes, it will size correctly if the die is screwed in a little, some won't, and it goes in the scrap pile.

    Sometimes, there is something on the case which even though small, causes this as well. If cleaning by wiping the case, as well as the gauge. Metal burr on the case mouth can also cause this.

    Russellc
     
  15. Big-Bore

    Big-Bore Member

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    Interestingly enough I recently started using lube on the RCBS primer pocket swagger and it certainly does make it a lot easier.
    Even though I have been handloading for over 40 years , I have not reloaded .223 brass until recently. But I have been saving it for years. When I decided to put the brass to use, I loaded a few small test batches to check for the best load and setteled on CFE 223 and the cheap Hornady bulk pack 55gr bullets. I had no trouble with the test loads at all. So I loaded a bunch of the mixed brass I had saved up about 1,000 rounds and that's when I ran in to trouble with the over size case heads. When I bought the Lyman case gauge I found that about 100 rounds would not pass the gage. I test fired the different groups and confired only cases that failed the gauge were causing jams. Just swith in to small base dies didn't help either. That's when I found that case head sizer die on wholesalehunter and I ran all the over size loaded rounds through that due and now they all function perfectly.
    There is a lot of people loading for AR's that never run in to an issue but some people that I read about seemed to be having the same problem I was. So this might be a solution for some people that don't want to scrap thier brass.
     
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