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Sticky AR Handload

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Blue Dawg, Aug 7, 2009.

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  1. Blue Dawg

    Blue Dawg Member

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    I have been reloading some IMI brass for my AR. It likes 55 gr. and heavier bullets because of the 1:7 twist. In order to try to improve accuracy I have only been neck sizing my fired brass. It cycles and ejects well and the accuracy is about 1 MOA. The problem is that a reloaded chambered round fits so tight that I cannot extract it with the charge handle. I suppose I could FL size, but that seems to open the groups up. A good chamber cleaning did not seem to help. Any ideas?
     
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    First off welcome to THR

    You answered your own question, In my experience neck or partial length resizing for anything other than a turn bolt rifle is a complete crapshoot. Honestly I'm surprised you can get the rounds to chamber well enough to shoot
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +1

    You always need to FL size for an AR.

    I doubt it will open the groups up.
    Some of the most accurate factory Match .223 ammo made is in effect, FL sized ammo.

    The bullets you use will have far more effect on accuracy then anything else you can do to it.

    Try some V-Max, Nosler Ballistic-Tips, or Match HP's if you want to see what it will do.

    Figure four times worse then that with FMJ GI style bullets.

    rc
     
  4. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    Yep, I'm with krochus on this one. If you think the first reload on those shells are sticky, wait to you reload them a second time. The chambers on some ARs are so tight, you have to full length size with a small base die to insure reliability in chambering and extracting. The first go round is fine. It's those second and third loadings that start to cause problems in some guns.
     
  5. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    Yup you can't neck size for anything other than a bolt action.
     
  6. Blue Dawg

    Blue Dawg Member

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    Thanks, I guess I will set my sizing die to squeeze a little tighter. The barrel is a chrome lined Colt HBAR machine gun barrel and it is tight. Bought it in 1988. I do not shoot it much but I like to hit what I shoot at, hence the handloading.

    This was my first post and I thank you all very much.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    If it's a Colt M-16 barrel as you indicate, it has a 5.56 NATO chamber, and it is not tight.

    And it's not a matter of "squeeze a little tighter".
    You aren't pushing the shoulder back where it came from when you neck size.

    You just need to FL size what you have to return the cases to factory dimension, as for any AR-15.

    rc
     
  8. Blue Dawg

    Blue Dawg Member

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    Thanks, I guess I will set my sizing die to squeeze a little tighter. The barrel is a chrome lined Colt HBAR machine gun barrel and it is tight. Bought it in 1988. I do not shoot it much but I like to hit what I shoot at, hence the handloading.

    This was my first post and I thank you all very much.
     
  9. Blue Dawg

    Blue Dawg Member

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    Sorry about the double post. "Post Quick Reply" worked for 5 min. and I did not realize it had posted until I hit "Go Advanced". Newby did a dummy.
     
  10. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    It happens.
     
  11. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    I own and shoot two AR15's, one of which is a NM rifle, and I second the comments from Rcmodel's post. He's the expert! :)
     
  12. VegasOPM

    VegasOPM Member

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    I tried that once.... ONCE. I have since switched to Full length sizing and undersized dies. Problem solved.
     
  13. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I size my AR cases in two steps. First I neck size and then I use a body die to bump the shoulder back to SAAMI specs. The reason I do this is twofold. I want to minimize the increase in case length between loadings and I want to minimize the amount of cold working of the neck. As for reliability in chambering and extraction .... 100% ... as for accuracy .... two 5-shot groups at 100 yards last weekend with two different powders but the same 77gr SMK bullet. One group was 0.436 MOA and the other was 0.490 MOA from a non-custom AR barrel.

    :)
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I have yet to own a .223 Rem. or 5.56 NATO chambered rifle in the last 39 years that required a Small Base sizing die.

    That includes several AR-15's, Mini-14's, and Remington & CZ bolt-actions.

    I really believe that 90% of the problems people have is due to not adjusting the standard FL sizing die properly to take all the slack & flex out of the reloading press.

    The other 10% are due to too much crimp buckling the shoulders imperceptibly.
    That will lock up an AR-15 tighter then a knats rear end!

    Screw the die down to touch the shell holder like the instructions say, and you will have problems.

    Screw it down another 1/4 turn or so to take out all the slack & flex in the press, and you won't.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
  15. kelbro

    kelbro Member

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    +1 on the body/neck die combo. Makes good straight brass that yields many accurate reloads.
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I agree with rcmodel. I have never needed to use a small base die either, as long as I don't get sloppy sizing (leaving the shoulder too far out), or sloppy crimping. (buckling the shoulder just a hair, which is all it takes).

    I had a tight chambered AR where it was necessary to check these things, but most chambers are pretty tolerant unless one is just careless in their loading.

    Get a case gauge and check your sizing, then check them after seating/crimping. If they pass the gauge, they should chamber in any rifle. If not, unless it is grossly undersized or buckled, it will still chamber in many of them. My Mini 14 will take rounds that fail the gauge by a few thousandths, no problem at all.

    This round in the pics is one of 500 assorted cases I loaded not long ago. This case happens to be an FC case, but there where many LC cases (assorted years), and a few other brands as well. Plinking/blasing ammo.

    All the case heads were at least flush with the inner cut on the gauge, showing me that I had none with artificially induced (over sizing) headspace.

    Most (97ish%) were in between the two surfaces of the gauge meaning they were within specs. Not too much or to little headspace. A few really hard/springy cases (a few LC cases) did not size down as much and were sticking out past the gauge a few thousandths, meaning they had too little headspace, but I know they will all chamber in the .223's I have now, both AR & Mini 14.

    A handful out of 500 (3ish%) were more than .005 over (I had one that was .016 over), but will still chamber easily in my guns. Your guns may have a tighter tolerance. I could cull these, but I know they will work in my guns and this is plinking ammo for my guns which doesn't have to meet the same strict requirements as other ammo I might load. (Rainy day ammo which would need to work in any .223 out there)

    Those who do not gauge their .223 reloads, if they bought a gauge and checked their reloads, might find the results very interesting.

    Gauge and loaded round - Roll Crimp
    [​IMG]

    Case Length OK. Started at 1.750 before crimp.
    [​IMG]

    Headspace OK. Not too much, or too little.
    [​IMG]
     

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  17. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    Back in the 80s, my AR would start having trouble on the second reload. The third reload turned the jun into jam-o-matic. Mini 14 ate everything I made. This was with a Rockchucker and the RCBS FL die and I was camming over with the press. And I did not crimp. One call to RCBS and they said they had seen this problem a lot. That's why they make the small base die. Once purchased, I never had a problem again. Fast forward to today. A friend loads for his 308 bolt gun and an M1A. Never a problem. Until he started loading for a DPMS LR-308. Sticky extraction. No matter how much he tried, it still had sticky extraction. A small base die cured his problems also. RCBS does not recommend a regular FL die for semis.
     
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