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223 brass not fitting in the case gauge

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by DeoreDX, Feb 26, 2019.

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  1. DeoreDX

    DeoreDX Member

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    46500285704_84baa530c0_c.jpg

    New RCBS Rock Chucker owner. I thought I would start with 223 so I bought the RCBS FL resizing die set for 223. I didn't realize the shell holder didn't come with the resizing die and the local store only had Hornady 223 shell holders so I bought the #16 Hornady shell holder. Resized and decapped some brass. Checked my brass in the Lyman MSR ammo checker box and the rear of the brass isn't flush with the checker block. I measured resized LC, Wolf, and PMC brass. I tried unfired factory rounds and they fit flush so it's not the block. I had done the whole 1/4 turn tighter thing when I first installed the FL die. I upped it to a 1/2 turn and it didn't seem to help any. My previous search on mixing shell holders and die mfgs said that the shell holders should fit between manufacturers, but maybe not? Anything I should check before I order and wait a few days for a RCBS shell holder?
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    A shell holder is a shell holder if in spec, and most are close enough it won't be the issue. It should be .125 between the flat part the case head sits on the the top of the shell holder. (Not counting the special Redding shell holders which come in different heights.)

    You may not have sized the case enough and the shoulder is holding the case out, or you could have a dent or burr on the case.....

    Could be brass that is too hard and resisted sizing.

    How did you set up the sizer? Did it barely touch the shell holder (and the only time the top part of the shell holder matters is if we have the die set to press against it when actually sizing a case. That is when the .125 matters, and only then. It is a limiting factor only if the die body hits it.
     
  3. eam3clm@att.net

    [email protected] Member

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    Check and make sure that there are no burs on the case rim. Some carbines have a rough extraction and cause the case rim to deform.
     
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  4. CMV

    CMV Member

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    1. Swab the gauge real good with an alcohol soaked q-tip. Hit it with some compressed air. A tiny spec of gunk can cause fails.

    2. Can you get another 1/8 turn or so on the die? Might just need to bump the shoulder a hair.

    3. Do you have a 9mm shell holder? If so try it. Just lube well as it won’t grab as well to pull out of the die. In fact size a pristine case with what you have, then lightly lube again and try the 9mm just so you don’t get a stuck case to compound your problems. But I’ve interchanged lee #4 and #19 shell holders before. That will at least rule out the shell holder....
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
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  5. kwg020

    kwg020 Member

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  6. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

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    The die you linked to was a standard base body die. Should he get the small base body diehttps://www.brownells.com/reloading/reloading-dies/rifle-dies/small-base-body-dies-prod35349.aspx

    I have Redding body dies in .308 for both standard base and small base. I have had cases run through the standard base that would not fit in a case guage, as the OP posts.
     
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  7. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Member

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    Not sure how your case gauge works but does case length effect the results? Might be your cases are to long and need trimmed?

    Work the problem your having with the equipment you have before running out and purchasing a small base die or body die. Chances are you don't need anything else and just need to figure out whats not quite set up right. 99% of the time a standard FL die will resize any 223 brass just fine, this small base dies craze was started by people that couldn't figure out how to set up there equipment and purchased the small base die as a crutch to solve a non issue.

    Are the cases pulling out of the sizer die hard? It could be a simple as the inside of the case necks need a little lube so they move over the expander ball easier or the expander ball could use some polishing to reduce friction. If the case necks are dragging on the expander ball when coming out of the sizing die the case shoulder can be pulled out a little. Easy check here is remove the decapping stem and expander ball, resize a few cases and check them in your gauge.
     
  8. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Have you compared the size brass to a unfired to check/confirm your pushing the shoulder back. If you don't have a tool for measuring head space you can use any pistol brass that will fit over the mouth of the 223 and contact the shoulder. Use your calipers to measure the as fired first for a reference, then check a sized piece. The sized piece should be 0.002"-0.003" less. If not the shoulder needs to be pushed back some more. They way I have read your post you already cranked the sizing die down 1/2 turn. Make sure you use plenty of lube but keep it away from the neck/shoulder area. If its not moving the should back take a business card and cut it down so it will fit between the shell plate and base of the brass. This will raise the brass ~0.003" resize, measure the shoulder position to confirm. If you need more add another layer of paper. Have you trimmed any of the brass as this is the first firing? Mil spec brass which has a crimp will need trimming the first time. Also the expander can pull the neck/shoulder are if its hard on extracting. As mentioned the base can also have a burr from extraction. Just flip the brass over and see if it fits into your case gauge.
     
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  9. DeoreDX

    DeoreDX Member

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    Good thought. I had checked the overall length on a few cases thinking maybe they needed to be trimmed but even ones under OAL were long in the case gauge.

    Some tend to pull on the die harder than others. Some slide out with almost no resistance. I pulled the stem and the expander ball did have a little grit on them where maybe I didn't do a good job of cleaning the neck out well on some cases. Without the expander ball it's still over length but it made a couple of thousandths difference. I started at over 15 thousandths long. I cleaned the expander ball and put a light coating of lube on it.

    I measured the Hornady shell holder and it was .125 from the "top" surface to the surface the case rests on. Since I had ordered the RCBS shell holder I took some 400 grit wet dry and a flat plate and sanded it down to 0.120. Now it's pretty close probably need to come off another 4-5 thousandths.
     
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  10. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Isn't that Lyman gauge only for LOADED ammo??
    But as mentioned case may be to long, there may be lube or "gunk" in the hole or on the brass.

    I would fiddle with the die adjustment some more, shell holders are not all that different or complex.
     
  11. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    Sorry if this seems too simplistic of a question - but it doesn't appear to have been mentioned: Is the press/press handle camming over when you size? If not camming over then maybe going from 1/4 turn to 1/2 turn accomplishes the same thing. But making sure that case was really getting pushed all the way into the die was key to getting mine to work right.
     
  12. DeoreDX

    DeoreDX Member

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    I've since taken the die out and put it back in per the normal instructions (1/8 turn after it touches Ram)


    I am assuming this is cammed all the way over.
    47231766291_9a59513331_c.jpg

    Hard to see but the die and the shell holder are shoulder to shoulder.
    33355998068_70ea96b9b9_c.jpg

    Brass is on the long side but within spec.
    47231766311_c6e819a855_c.jpg
     
  13. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    Load one with no primer nor powder as a dummy round, see if it fits in the gauge then.
     
  14. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    This tool also checks the diameter of the case body, not just case head to datum. Same as Lymans cartridge gauge.

    Rifle chambers are cut some where in the middle, as are dies.

    If sized brass lets the bolt lock, forget the ammo checker.

    Or buy a small base die.

    See SAAMI link below for drawings.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  15. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Neck looks funny? 20190227_175943.jpg

    As you push the case deeper into the die by shaving the shell holder, the body diameter is made smaller. The die follows the taper of the case body. This will allow the sized case to fit the gauge.

    But the shoulder, head to datum will get shorter also. On firing, the case will stretch. To much stretch and there will be a case separation.

     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  16. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Doesn't anyone else see a problem with this? Or just me? :thumbdown:
     
  17. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Case mouth almost looks flared??
     
  18. kwg020

    kwg020 Member

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    I have never had an issue with standard base dies in any of my rifles as long as I got the shoulder right. I can't attest to fitting in a case gauge as I only have one for .223.
    kwg
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, that would be a red flag for me.

    Are you sure the expander is not pulling the shoulders forward? Size a couple with lube on the case mouth and lube on the expander and see what they do.
     
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  20. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Or remove the decapper/expander and size a couple.
     
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  21. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    To check if its a case body diameter problem, cut the shoulder off a sized case. See if it fits the gauge.

    A case sized with a normal shell holder.

    Or skip the gauge and see if sized brass allows the bolt to lock when chambered.

    download.jpeg.jpg
     
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  22. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Do the cases fit the firearm?
    Guages are nice for loading several different rifles, but if the cases work in your rifle, then they work, simple as that.

    The dies are easier to grind than the hardened shell holder. Removing material from the die may also make a tighter base size than shortening the shell holder.

    If I was certain the cases wouldn't chamber I would have RCBS replace the die. They would love to have you happy with them.
     
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  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    And would not affect any other calibers it might be used for.

    If a shell holder is modded it will affect any die used with it and so the SH should be marked. I'd rather mod the die, but I want to be 110% sure it's needed.
     
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  24. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I have a RCBS 223 Remington sizing die that sizes on the high side of the tolerances. Cases fired in one of my 223 Rem rifles that has a chamber on the high side of the tolerances then sized in this RCBS die will not chamber in other 223 Remington rifles. (note for all the die setting "experts" out there, the dies ARE set up correctly).

    This may not be your exact situation but just a point that you may be running into a tolerance build up problem.

    If the cases chamber in your rifle without problems, you'd be good to go but be aware, your ammunition may not chamber in other 223 Remington rifles.

    If being able to use your ammunition in multiple rifles is important try a different sizing die or even a small base die. If you have a buddy with a sizing die you can borrow, then you can minimize expenditures.
     
  25. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    I use range brass exclusively so I get all sorts of blown out damaged cases from every chamber in the universe. 90% of it will run thru a gauge so I know the die is set up correctly. About 10% won't pass a gauge. The rim just won't seat in the gauge. Probably something going on with the shoulder and not being resized correctly, maybe old brass that's work hardened, who knows. If I can get 9 out of 10 to pass the gauge after sizing and trimming I'm happy. Some brass just isn't going to resize properly so it goes in the garbage. I've noticed that LC brass is the biggest culprit but I like it the best.:D
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
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