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Would my AR blow up?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by total recoil, Oct 12, 2017.

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  1. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    A friend gave me a bunch of .223 brass for my AR. I full length sized them and only checked a few for length as they seemed to be once fired. I commenced to load them. While seating the bullet , my press encountered a blockage.
    I immediately stopped pulling the handle and inspected the round which almost had the bullet seated.
    The case was a 204 Ruger. What! never heard of it. It is almost identical to the .223 Remington, but in this case the brass was about 1/10" longer in the neck department. Somehow this one odd brass got mixed in with the .223's. Had I attempted to trim or check all for length I would have discovered the problem.
    What would have happened if I had trimmed the case to the same 1.750 as my 223's and fired it???
    After FL sizing the case looks almost the same.
    oavodl.jpg
    The long one is the 204 Ruger after FL sizing in the 223 die.
     
  2. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Check all of your loads to see if you have anymore of those hidden. Blowing up the gun? Well, the overly long case might prevent it from chambering all the way, and it certainly would have rattled with all that extra room around it! Looks like you avoided an expensive lesson with a warning from the reliable press.
     
  3. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    If you would have trimmed it enough to fit in the chamber it would have fired and you would have likely never known any difference. There is no reason you can't form 223 brass from 204 ruger brass. The 204 ruger is after all just a necked down 222 magnum.
     
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  4. Tinybob

    Tinybob Member

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    I've ran into this full length sizing before. The brass felt a little funny going in the die. After pulling it out I saw the shoulder looked like it was pleated in four spots. Then I looked at the headstamp: 204 Ruger. I scraped that one and started looking closer on the pre-sorting.
     
  5. redbullitt

    redbullitt Member

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    As to blowing up I imagine it depends on how hot you are loading lol.

    Any confirmation as to whether or not it would chamber? I have zero 204 ruger experience, though it looks like a fun little thing.
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    If it chambered the neck would be jammed in the throat and pressures would indeed be up there, maybe to the level of damaging things.

    Always check each piece of previously fired brass for proper caliber, internal rut, excessive dents, splits, length, trash inside,.....
     
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  7. TheDomFather

    TheDomFather Member

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    This is why brass prep is so important, Its a long painful tedious process, however, you should have multiple inspection points along the way.

    1. Pickup brass from range
    2. Sort by caliber
    2a. Further sort (for .45 ACP sort by primer size and separate mil crimp cases) For .223 sort by headstamp and then by mil crimp so you dont forget to swage.
    3. Universal Decap cases
    4. Wet tumble with Dawn and lemishine and warm water (cleans cases inside, outside and primer pockets)
    5. Dry cases in case dryer or for those of you who aren't worried about marriage retention in your oven.
    6. inspect cases now that they are clean for splits in necks, big ejector swipes, rim bends etc.
    7. Lube cases
    8. resize cases
    9. clean lube off of cases ( I just wipe down with a rag by hand)
    10. prime cases inspecting seating depth of each primer for below flush.
    11. Load em up.
     
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  8. SC_Dave

    SC_Dave Member

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    Dom, sincere question, do you trim after resizing? I generally do but I full length resize also that is how I was taught by my mentor Mike (RIP).
    David
     
  9. TheDomFather

    TheDomFather Member

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    David,
    Good catch yes I trim after full length resizing if it is at the max length or above it. So for .223 if its 1.760 or greater it gets trimmed if its < 1.760" then I dont trim
     
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  10. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    This is a good time to point out that everyone's reloading procedure should include a through visual inspection of the case some time near the point where it is received and taken into the "reloading stream".

    I have my reloading procedures written down in the form of a checklist. Each time I start to load a batch (be it 50, 100, 200 or some odd number), I print out a fresh checklist and it stays with that batch from initial inspections through final inspection and packaging for storage. My reloading procedures are structured so that I have hands and eyes on the brass at least three times before it is completed.
     
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  11. TheDomFather

    TheDomFather Member

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    Great best practice here. I would also suggest a seperate brass prep session from the actual reloading session. This allows you to break the number of tasks in two and when you want to reload you already have a batch of brass prepped and maybe even primed and read to go.
     
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  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Nothing would have happened in that case. Since both the 204 Ruger and 223 Remington have the 222 Remington case as it's parent, if you trimmed and resized that 204 Ruger case with .223 dies the only difference would have been the headstamp.

    The others have already gone over the dangers if you didn't trim the case.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  13. 444

    444 Member

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    Just within the last couple weeks I was loading some .308 and had a case that felt funny as it entered the die. I stopped immediately and examined the case and a casual inspection it looked OK. But, eventually I realized it was a .308 case that had been sized in a 6.5 Creedmoor die.

    What had happened was that about a month before this happened, I had cleaned some brass in an ultrasonic cleaner and laid the brass out on a towel to dry. I had a pile of 6.5 Creed and a pile of .308. I went to load 6.5 and realized I had gotten a .308 case mixed in. I started to size it and realized there are a problem right away and took the piece of brass out of the press and threw it in the .308 pile and didn't think any more about it. I didn't think it had run up into the sizing die enough to do anything but I didn't actually look at it closely. Well, I eventually found out that it had in fact gone far enough into the sizing die to do something. The case mouth was definitely sized down to 6.5 or close to that.

    I don't think this would have gotten through the whole process even if I didn't catch it when I did. And I am not sure anything would have happened if it did.

    FWIW: I spend a lot of time prepping my brass. It takes me hours to load 50 rounds of rifle ammo. So something like this not being caught would be almost impossible. I size, then I clean the lube off of every case, I clean the primer pockets, I trim, I champher and deburr every case even if I didn't trim it. I hand prime, I weigh every powder charge............. There is nothing I do quickly.
     
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    That is a problem when forming brass from other brass. The head stamp is incorrect. I think the on my problem if you had sized to .6.5 Creedmoor and back to .308 would be a brittle neck from work hardening.
     
  15. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    Luckily the roll crimp of my seating die stopped my bullet seating. I was loading 23 grains of TAC on 55 grain FMJ's, a mild load, but it looks like I could have split the case and gotten some nasty blowback I dug the Ruger brass out of my trash can to take the picture, then for laughs, since I had primed the case, decided to fire the primer.
    Dropped it in the chamber, pulled the trigger and click, It went deeper into the chamber than the firing pin could reach. Missed the primer completely! Back to the trash can with the Ruger brass.
    Thanks for all the feedback. I have taken a jewelers loupe to my loaded ammo. No more Ruger204/Hornady head stamps. I could have avoided all this re-checking if I had taken the time to properly interrogate my brass.
    Lesson learned!
    .
     
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  16. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...204 ruger is after all just a necked down 222 magnum..." .223 is based on that too. However, the OAL, shoulder diameter and case diameter at the head difference will prevent chambering a Ruger in a .223.
    Case drawings are here. http://stevespages.com/page8d.htm
     
  17. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Not after its been sized in a 223 die and trimmed to length
     
  18. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Did you trim it before trying to put it in the gun? If so the bolt would not have gone into battery due to the case being too long. The hammer would still fall but the firing pin would not be unblocked by the bolt carrier group so it would not hit the primer.
     
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  19. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    Someguy2800......Nope, never trimmed it ever, just deep sixed it for safety. You are right. I Did not think the hammer would fall unless the bolt was locked. (I did not closely inspect the bolt, but it sounded like and looked like it was full forward when released.) Interesting.... informative..... next test..........
    Pulled the brass from the trash. Closed bolt on empty chamber to observe position of the bolt when home. Loaded brass, released bolt and Voila' like you said... the bolt was far from being closed!!!!!!! I had no idea Mr. Stoner would let the hammer fall with a condition like this even though the firing pin is blocked. I can see a compression on the case mouth caused by the lead area or rifling in the barrel.
    Youre the man!!!! Thanks- brass to make 3rd or 4th trip to the trash. I learn something new every day............usually the hard way! :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  20. Hardtarget

    Hardtarget Member

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    My friend gave me a bag of brass (several shooters at his farm home range). as I sorted I spotted an odd looking case. It was split, badly bulged except the 1/4 inch at the case head. The neck was in a stepped appearance. I compared it to one of the .35 Rem. cases and I think it was shot in the .35 Rem chamber...but this was a .30-30 case! Thinking how this ever happened was just weird. The cases...rimmed vs no rim...length, ect.....nothing makes sense...but it sure looks like the .30-30 was shot in a .35 Rem chamber...
    I have the case but no pic. Every time I'm on "High Road" I find more reasons to up my case inspection process.

    Mark
     
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