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Lemme make sure I have this correct, neck only sizing AR brass?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Typetwelve, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

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    Ok...so here's the skinny:

    I took once fired 223 match brass, cleaned, fully resized, trimmed, reloaded and then shot in my 223 Wylde AR.

    After doing that, I cleaned the brass again...and now want to neck size them only.

    Is this correct?

    I know neck-sizing is typically for bolt action only, but I also thought that it is good to go IF (and only if) you shoot it in one AR, then neck size it and only shoot it again in the same AR again.

    Also correct...or incorrect?
     
  2. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Nope. AR’s only close the bolt with the force of the recoil buffer spring. Neck sized only brass will be a snug fit in the chamber it was fired it. You need more force than a spring will reliably provide.

    Neck sizing is for bolt guns only. Unless you enjoy clearing jams. Sticky jams.
     
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  3. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I personally wouldn't do it, but if it's your only AR, trying it with loading up a couple and chambering them both fast (bolt slamming it in) and slow (riding the bolt down, and maybe hitting the forward assist if needed) and if they chamber and fire, you might be OK. If they were to ever get into another AR, it'd be a crap shoot (possibly literally) as to whether it wouldn't KABOOM. Not worth the infinitesimal gain in accuracy you might get.
    If the Camp Perry bunch did it with their Tubb 'space gun' AR's, then it might be worth looking into. Slamfire, what say you on this?
     
  4. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Generally, if neck sizing for a bolt rifle, it is most reliable if fired in the same rifle. Not all chambers are created equal.

    Generally, besides semi-auto rifles, folks do not neck size for lever action rifles. Lever actions do not have sufficient mechanical advantage to chamber over size ammunition.
     
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  5. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    You have to bump the shoulder back at least a few thousandths... for reliable chambering.
     
  6. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    In general, you don’t want to neck-size only for any rifle action. Doing so for bolt action rifles was a short term fad based on theory which has since been disproven.

    Beyond the disadvantage for all actions, neck-sizing-only comes with inherent mechanical risks for levers, pumps, and semi-autos. With a few firings, the case expansion will typically be sufficient to cause excess resistance to chambering, and these other actions simply don’t have the mechanical advantage available to close on an oversized case.

    So neck-sizing-only is a bad move, and exceptionally bad in AR’s.
     
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  7. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

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    Got it...and completely noted. Thanks for the replies, I'll stick to full size only.

    In all honesty, I mas mostly wanting to do it because it is far less work and I was being lazy...
     
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  8. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Same number of strokes on the press. Just use a FL die instead of neck-sizing die.
     
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  9. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Now I haven’t loaded for bottle neck cartridges that head space on the shoulders for a decade or more, and if wrong I know I’ll be taken to task here, but pushing the shoulders back a few thousands sounds like a recipe for case head separation.
    Full length resizing should involve the case body and neck diameter only, or so I thought.
     
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    That right there is a good reply. Just bump the shoulder back a little for reliable clambering and you will still get the benefits of using the brass fired in your chamber.
     
  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    If you want to save time use an RCBS X die. After the initial trim you usually don't need to trim the case again.
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012280346?pid=194698
     
  12. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    All full-length sizing moves the shoulder. They’re saying to move it only a little.
     
  13. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Consider yourself “taken to task,” as your statement is not correct.
     
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  14. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    what he said.
     
  15. whughett

    whughett Member

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    I stand corrected. As I mentioned it’s been a while. These days it’s all hand guns.
     
  16. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    Gentlemen,

    ANY cartridge case that's resized enough will fail at some time. It could be a split at the neck/mouth or a head separation. When a case is resized to a smaller diameter, the brass has to go somewhere. It's not going to go to the web or case head where the brass is thicker but will go toward the front of the case. That means during each resizing, the brass gets thinner above the web of the case. If there is a big difference between chamber diameter and die diameter, more thinning will occur with each resizing and a head separation will occur sooner.

    Head separations are more likely to occur with high pressure cartridges; either straight wall or bottleneck. Splits around the mouth are more likely to occur with low pressure cartridges.

    There are some very compulsive individuals that have dies made that size to pretty much exactly the chamber size of their rifles. They can get far better case life than most of us. I am not that compulsive.
     
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  17. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Most of the time we can eliminate case head separations entirely, and annealing can almost entirely eliminate neck/shoulder splits. Such the remaining failure mode for the last ~20,000 pieces of bottleneck cartridge brass I have worn out has been case head expansion/loose primer pockets.
     
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  18. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    +1

    (Gas Guns and FL Resizing go together like peas & carrots)
     
  19. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    ^^^ You forgot the butter!;)
     
  20. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Bottleneck cases in a semi-auto rifle... particularly something with a violent extraction cycle like the M1a... are an expendable commodity. Truthfully, I've never experienced a case head separation in 5.56mm, I usually lose my brass in the weeds before I have a chance to load it more than 2 or 3 times, but I have experienced it in 7.62mm with my M1a. The primary concern is reliable cycling and feeding, and full-length resizing, even if it's just bumping the shoulder back, gets you there. Brass life is what it is.
     
  21. whughett

    whughett Member

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    I started reloading in the 70’s, hand loading 30/30 for me and the kids. Then 358 30/06 308 243 358 and some 7.62x39.
    Dies were carefully set on the Lyman T Mag according to instructions, brass was lubed in a big stamp pad. Care was taken not to oversize or move the shoulders back. Case mouths were carefully check for thickness and brass trimmed as needed. Cases were checked for signs of stretching using a sharpened paper clip inserted and pulled up the sides near the web for any signs of the separation that would start there.
    All this for hunting rounds for me and the sons. Never had any problems. Except learning early on that most auto feeding rifles required a small base die. The 308 sure did. As mentioned haven’t loaded a bottle neck cartridge since around 1991. Boys all grown and gone and I lost interest in hunting except for the annual week trip to Maine.
    Always tip toed around changing head space.
     
  22. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I load for 3 different AR's, 3 different .308's (an M1a, a Savage bolt gun, and a Savage 99 lever-action,) and a .30-06 Garand, among other rifles. I don't use SB dies for anything, reasonable resizing with standard dies has always worked well for me... although I understand some rifles have different chambers and require SB sizing. Even in the .308's, they each get their own brass (for various reasons) and even for the bolt gun I bump the shoulder. I have to on the M1a, and it is prudent to on the lever-action... the 99 does not have the mechanical leverage to ram an overlength case into the chamber and lock up.

    Different strokes for different folks, I guess... that would be press strokes. :)
     
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