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overtrimmed & overbelled 223 brass concerns

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bootcamp, Apr 4, 2010.

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  1. bootcamp

    bootcamp Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    Hi All,

    I thought I got a good deal on about 1k once fired and prepped .223 brass.

    I received them and about 75% of the case mouths were overbelled almost look like an hour glass.

    About 30-40% of these brass cases are also trimmed too short. They are measuring between 1.730" - 1.749", at least the ones that are bad. I'm thinking I could use the ones that are 1.745" and up but how about the excessively short ones around 1.730"

    I am a little PO about it to say the least. I was hoping i'd be getting uniformly trimmed cases 1.749"-1.752"

    Are these short ones safe to use? How about the excessive belling? My hornady FL resizer expands my cases JUST enough for my FMJ-Boat Tails to wedge. These excessively belled ones look horrible, about 1/4 of the bullet sits in the hour glass belling.

    When I seated a dummy load, I had to recalibrate my seater die because it crushed the shoulder on the case.
  2. Myke_Hart

    Myke_Hart Member

    Jul 17, 2008
    In a house.
    Is this new brass or once fired?

    It is common for new brass to be short, need a trim, or need a good sizing. Most of the time the measurements are all over the place. I see it all the time, with winchester and remington brass, and it really ticks me off when my expensive norma brass exhibits this randomness as well.

    Shorter necks will just lower the grip on the bullet and slightly reduce pressure. Never fear as the brass will grow slightly after each firing.

    As for bell, it should not be there, but if it is not too bad your sizing die should take care of it.

    I would full length size that brass and then measure it again, you may get different length after.

    Yes, you do have to size new brass because the mouths get out of round in shipping. At the least give it a good neck size. But if you do not have a case gauge to check headspace, I would full length.:)
  3. Steve Marshall

    Steve Marshall Member

    Sep 8, 2009
    Grafton N.H.
    There should be no belling at all. Your concern should be wondering if the sizing was done properly. Anyone who trims brass with that much variation probably sized them with less attention to detail than would be prudent. You can take the belling out with your sizing die. The short ones will shoot just fine, BUT, you really ought to buy/borrow/steal a case gage. Who knows where those shoulders are?
  4. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Member

    Jan 2, 2009
    I've run .223 brass as low as 1.735. I asked RCBS about it (in conjuction w/ my use of the X-Die), and they said just shoot 'em. I have, and no issues.

    Shorter than that? Dunno.

    The above comments are all spot-on. Casemouth belling in .223? Why? My understanding is that one chamfers and deburrs the casemouth to ease entry of the bullet into the case, but belling it? No.

    It's possible, I suppose, that if you resize them (FL resize) they may grow long enough to use effectively.
  5. medalguy

    medalguy Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    New Mexico
    If possible, I would seek to return that brass to the seller and get a refund. The cases should NOT be belled and the length should not be that short. It appears that the seller either did not know what he was doing in preparing the brass, or DID know and sold the brass because he did not want to use it himself. Either way I would consider it a bad deal for you. Fully prepped brass should fall within the recommended case length, size dimensions, and should have no bell at all. I deal with a guy who does case prep and he's done over 30,000 rounds for me and every single one has been within spec.
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Hopewell Big Woods
    RCBS X die instruction say to trim .020" under max. trim length of 1.760". This means 1.740" is OK. FLRS before taking a measurement.
    Only way to crush a shoulder is by having the crimping part of the seating die screwed into the press to far. Back it out some. If you can get proper neck tension on the short cases, i would load and shoot them.
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