.223 bullet setback ... ? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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StoneDog
03-13-2011, 18:38
Hi Everyone,

Last weekend I loaded up about 50 rounds of .223 using Federal brass and Hornady 55gr FMJBT. I pulled the box out earlier today to take a look and noticed one of the rounds had a real problem... The bullet somehow "fell" down into the case. I was stumped because I know I didn't put them away with a bad round.

I set the case down a few more times and noticed more rounds exhibiting the same behavior. Here's my unhappy batch of .223's:

http://webpages.charter.net/stonedog/pics/IMAG0189.jpg

I realized that if I set them down with authority a few more would slip down into the case.

So here's my question: Is this because I didn't crimp them or might I have some other issue with the cases or my reloading setup? The rounds are loaded to 2.200 OAL (case mouth is right at the cannelure).

I'm using standard RCBS full length sizing dies. I also have a Lee Factory Crimp Die but I don't use it because I've read it's not necessary when loading for an AR.

Jon

WiskyT
03-13-2011, 18:42
If everything is right, you don't need a crimp. The crimp is just a little insurance to stop the bullet from moving when it already won't move around. There are at least two different "22 caliber" diameters, I don't know which ones are which. Make usre you have the correct bullet diameter first, since that's pretty easy to check.

Then standbuy for the guys who reload 223 and have dealt with these particular problems before.

rjrivero
03-13-2011, 19:00
I've seen this happen with improperly annealed brass. If the brass is heated too much, it doesn't "spring back" after sizing and will not have the proper tension for the bullet retention.

Ljunatic
03-13-2011, 21:35
Run a fresh piece of brass through the die and then measure the inside of the neck. Should be about .003" smaller than the bullet

EL_NinO619
03-13-2011, 22:16
You may be short stroking on the press, that is if you have the dieset right. You also could be over deburring and not getting enough neck tension. There is more. But I'm on my itouch so I will write again later.

dudel
03-14-2011, 01:51
That projectile has a cannalure. Crimp into it. I load the same Hornady projectile, I believe it only comes in the right size.

On the contrary, it's very necessary on an AR. Less necessary on a bolt action.

Deburring is not a problem. You couldn't deburr the case enough to affect the neck tension.

Your expander ball may be too large. Wouldn't be the first time the wrong expander was sent with a die. After sizing, you should not be able to press a projectile in with finger pressure.

Set the OAL so that the case mouth is at the cannalure, give it a good, firm crimp. AR action is pretty violent.

StoneDog
03-14-2011, 04:41
Using two different calipers I verified that the projectiles have the same diameter as commercial ammo (Federal bulk 55gr FMJ).

I prepped these cases over a year ago so I don't remember how I set up the first die. Does the bullet seating die do anything to the case mouth? If so, is it possible that I didn't have the die seated far enough and to compensate screwed the seating plug down farther than it should go?

EL_NinO619
03-14-2011, 05:48
Deburring is not a problem. You couldn't deburr the case enough to affect the neck tension.

You wanna bet:supergrin: I got some brothers that have done it to me.

DoctaGlockta
03-14-2011, 06:58
That has happened to me when I have not properly full length resized the cases. Also happened when I just tried to use my 223 neck sizing die instead of FL die. Like others have said make sure you crimp.

Patrick Graham
03-14-2011, 07:08
I've had that happen with brass that had hairline splits where the neck meets the shoulder. I couldn't see the splits without a magnifying glass.

Steve in PA
03-14-2011, 10:48
Crimp has nothing to do with his problem. If the bullets are falling back into the cases, the neck was never properly resized. I reload and shoot several thousand rounds of .223 every year, and neck tension holds them in place.

If your bullets are just falling back into the case, you should have been able to detect that while seating the bullets.

byf43
03-14-2011, 11:00
Your expander ball may be too large. Wouldn't be the first time the wrong expander was sent with a die. After sizing, you should not be able to press a projectile in with finger pressure.



This!
Check the expander 'ball' dimensions. It is possible that it's too large or has some 'gunk' on it, and increasing it's size.



I prepped these cases over a year ago so I don't remember how I set up the first die. Does the bullet seating die do anything to the case mouth? If so, is it possible that I didn't have the die seated far enough and to compensate screwed the seating plug down farther than it should go?


Since you prepped these cases about a year ago, is it possible that you didn't size them, at all????

StoneDog
03-14-2011, 11:05
Crimp has nothing to do with his problem. If the bullets are falling back into the cases, the neck was never properly resized. I reload and shoot several thousand rounds of .223 every year, and neck tension holds them in place.

If your bullets are just falling back into the case, you should have been able to detect that while seating the bullets.

I load on an old rock chucker and didn't notice (or I don't remember) any difference in the ones that have fallen and those that havn't. It all seemed to be consistent.

Any chance that if the bullets aren't seated 100% vertical the die will force them in at a bit of an angle and mess up the throat tension?

And to be clear, only one had fallen when I pulled the box from the my cabinet. After setting it down on the table a few more times (with a bit of a smack, but not a really hard slam) the others started to fall.

Because I'm a total newb reloader it is possible I didn't properly full length size them a year ago. I'm also using once fired Federal bulk brass (F C .223 Rem) which I've read isn't great stuff but I should be able to get one or two reloads out of this, right?!

Any thoughts on what I can do with the ones that have fallen through? Are they goners or is there some safe way to salvage the projectile at least?

DoctaGlockta
03-14-2011, 11:07
Crimp has nothing to do with his problem. If the bullets are falling back into the cases, the neck was never properly resized. I reload and shoot several thousand rounds of .223 every year, and neck tension holds them in place.

If your bullets are just falling back into the case, you should have been able to detect that while seating the bullets.

I only mention crimp as he is using these in a semi-auto.

byf43
03-14-2011, 11:38
I load on an old rock chucker and didn't notice (or I don't remember) any difference in the ones that have fallen and those that havn't. It all seemed to be consistent.

Any chance that if the bullets aren't seated 100% vertical the die will force them in at a bit of an angle and mess up the throat tension?

And to be clear, only one had fallen when I pulled the box from the my cabinet. After setting it down on the table a few more times (with a bit of a smack, but not a really hard slam) the others started to fall.

Because I'm a total newb reloader it is possible I didn't properly full length size them a year ago. I'm also using once fired Federal bulk brass (F C .223 Rem) which I've read isn't great stuff but I should be able to get one or two reloads out of this, right?!

Any thoughts on what I can do with the ones that have fallen through? Are they goners or is there some safe way to salvage the projectile at least?


I guess I'm the only one around here that kinda likes Federal brass. I've never noticed any problems with it. (I also don't keep brass forever, either. If one piece in a batch starts showing 'signs' of imminent failure, I watch for more 'signs' or throw the bunch out.)

If you don't have one, get a kinetic bullet puller and pull the bullets.
I have an old RCBS kinetic puller, and I put some styrofoam in the bottom, to protect the bullet, when it drops into the bottom.
Slow process, though, pulling a bunch of bullets.

You can reclaim the powder, too.

PCJim
03-14-2011, 12:26
Since you prepped these cases about a year ago, is it possible that you didn't size them, at all????

This. However, if the primers had been removed, either the OP used a universal depriming die or ???. He could not have inserted new primers without running the cases into a die of some sorts in the past.

OP, if you will not be going thru all of your preparation steps for reloading at a single sitting, start doing what I do. Make a "preparations completed" form to keep with every batch of brass that you begin work upon. The form should list the date, caliber, number of rounds in the batch, brass source, times fired. Then a list of the various steps with a check box next to each (tumble, resize/deprime, tumble, trim, chamfer, deburr, swage). If you get into the habit of utilizing and maintaining such a form, you'll never find yourself lost with your reloading. You could partially prepare some .223 brass and six months later know exactly where you left off. It works much better the older you are.... :cool:

dudel
03-14-2011, 12:28
Deburring is not a problem. You couldn't deburr the case enough to affect the neck tension.

You wanna bet:supergrin: I got some brothers that have done it to me.

Then you should remove all sharp objects from their vicinity.

I think you might be confused with a trimmer. Certainly if you trim all of the neck off, you would affect neck tension.:supergrin:

dudel
03-14-2011, 12:30
I guess I'm the only one around here that kinda likes Federal brass. I've never noticed any problems with it. (I also don't keep brass forever, either. If one piece in a batch starts showing 'signs' of imminent failure, I watch for more 'signs' or throw the bunch out.).

I'm fond of the Federal brass as well. It's worked out quite well for me.

StoneDog
03-14-2011, 13:14
As mentioned earlier I use the RCBS full length sizing die which is how the brass was deprimed.

I suppose it is possible that I didn't fully size the case (maybe I backed the die out instead of tightening it down further) but the expander ball was brand new at the time and when I was finally seating the bullets I could barely get them started. In other words, while seating they were all a tight fit.

I'm stumped more than a bit concerned.

If you have a batch of reloads in something like a MTM case and set down firmly on a hard surface the bullets shouldn't shift downwards, right?!

PCJim
03-14-2011, 13:56
as mentioned earlier i use the rcbs full length sizing die which is how the brass was deprimed.

I suppose it is possible that i didn't fully size the case (maybe i backed the die out instead of tightening it down further) but the expander ball was brand new at the time and when i was finally seating the bullets i could barely get them started. In other words, while seating they were all a tight fit.

I'm stumped more than a bit concerned.

If you have a batch of reloads in something like a mtm case and set down firmly on a hard surface the bullets shouldn't shift downwards, right?!

right!

n2extrm
03-14-2011, 18:01
You have improper neck tension. Neck tension is what holds the bullet in place. A crimp is an extra securing step and only adds this extra if you have a canular.

The bullets should not move in or out when handled roughly. Think of the forces created when the gun cycles, the bullets have to stay put under these conditions.

Measure your bullets they should be .224" The expander ball should be .002-.004 below that to get proper tension. I would size a case and seat the bullet again, then place the bullet tip against the bench and apply moderate pressure. The bullet should not move. If it stays put you know it was you. Cases don't lose neck tension sitting in the box. Do you have a case gauge? I would guess the cases don't gauge or chamber. If you do attempt to chamber one of these be sure you don't leave a bullet stuck in the chamber when you extract it.

StoneDog
03-14-2011, 19:00
Don't have a chamber gauge, just a dodgy electronic caliper that isn't accurate around until after .5 inch and an analog caliper that won't read thousandths... The best I can manage is to measure the outer diameter of the bullets and then slid the inside jaws into the offending case mouths. They slip in fairly easily so yes, neck/throat tension is inadequate.

Does the bullet seating die touch or affect the neck/throat at all? Or is this something with the full length sizer and expander ball?

EL_NinO619
03-14-2011, 19:39
Then you should remove all sharp objects from their vicinity.

I think you might be confused with a trimmer. Certainly if you trim all of the neck off, you would affect neck tension.:supergrin:

No trust me it was the RCBS trim mate deburrer. And yes i have thought them the correct way now, Don't lean on the shell as your deburring :supergrin::dunno:

n2extrm
03-14-2011, 19:59
I have never tried it, but I have been told by those wiser then me (Jack and Fred come to mind) you can ruin neck tension by over crimping while seating. I believe the rcbs die will crimp when seating. Check your die set up. Raising the die should lessen the crimp, lower the seating stem not the die to lower the OAL.

dudel
03-15-2011, 04:52
If you have a batch of reloads in something like a MTM case and set down firmly on a hard surface the bullets shouldn't shift downwards, right?!

I keep all my .223 in MTM cases. Slamming them down has never messed with the OAL. Ever. The MTM case is a poor substitute for a bullet puller.

Although, you may have come up with a product idea for newbs. The mass bullet puller. Set 50 of you mistakes in the case, and slam it down to pull the rounds! There might just be a product there.

dudel
03-15-2011, 04:56
I have never tried it, but I have been told by those wiser then me (Jack and Fred come to mind) you can ruin neck tension by over crimping while seating. I believe the rcbs die will crimp when seating. Check your die set up. Raising the die should lessen the crimp, lower the seating stem not the die to lower the OAL.

The answer is NOT to OVER crimp. It's not that difficult. I would not skip the crimp for fear of overcrimping. Crimping serves an important purpose. Just learn to do it right.

The problem you referr to occurs more in projectiles that lack the cannalure. It's easy to set the crimp into the cannalure. A bit more difficult if there's no cannalure.

StoneDog
03-15-2011, 07:07
I went ahead and lightly crimped the remainder of the rounds but the whole lot is suspect now. I think I will put them away with a warning sticker on the box and start over, paying special attention to the full length size.

I think the RCBS seating die does touch affect the neck or shoulder because I had it set too low initially and squashed a few cases. I then backed it way off, probably too far off.

dudel
03-15-2011, 10:12
I went ahead and lightly crimped the remainder of the rounds but the whole lot is suspect now. I think I will put them away with a warning sticker on the box and start over, paying special attention to the full length size.

I think the RCBS seating die does touch affect the neck or shoulder because I had it set too low initially and squashed a few cases. I then backed it way off, probably too far off.

By "squash the shoulder", do you mean dents? That can be caused by too much lube. I have the RCBS dies in .223 (used them before I got the Hornady set). I've never been able to set the die so low (you want the die base to touch the shell holder - can't get any lower than that!), that I squashed a case.

You might have some other issues. Since there was so much time between the depriming and sizing to the loading, it might be a wise idea to pull the rounds and start over. Since you'll need to ball expander, you can't leave the decap rod off (at least not on the RCBS design). You'll get to reprime them as well. Since this sounds like a plinking load, go slow when easing out the live primers. It they don't go pop, you could reuse them.

Keep us posted.

PCJim
03-15-2011, 10:59
Although, you may have come up with a product idea for newbs. The mass bullet puller. Set 50 of you mistakes in the case, and slam it down to pull the rounds! There might just be a product there.

That would stump the newbies!.... Let's see, now we'll be answering posts on how to get bullets out from the inside of a case... :cool:


By "squash the shoulder", do you mean dents? That can be caused by too much lube. I have the RCBS dies in .223 (used them before I got the Hornady set). I've never been able to set the die so low (you want the die base to touch the shell holder - can't get any lower than that!), that I squashed a case.

You might have some other issues. Since there was so much time between the depriming and sizing to the loading, it might be a wise idea to pull the rounds and start over. Since you'll need to ball expander, you can't leave the decap rod off (at least not on the RCBS design). You'll get to reprime them as well. Since this sounds like a plinking load, go slow when easing out the live primers. It they don't go pop, you could reuse them.

Keep us posted.

Agreed - sounds like too much lube. A little goes a long way, and you should not lube the shoulder of the case. A FL resizing die must touch shellholder/shellplate to effectively resize the case.

No worries with depriming live primers. Go slow and you will not damage the primers. Wear eye and ear protection just in case you get too quick with the operation and set one off. Empty your spent primer catch tray before depriming the rounds so you don't have to sort them to recover the good ones.

StoneDog
03-15-2011, 11:04
By "squash the shoulder", do you mean dents? That can be caused by too much lube. I have the RCBS dies in .223 (used them before I got the Hornady set). I've never been able to set the die so low (you want the die base to touch the shell holder - can't get any lower than that!), that I squashed a case.

You might have some other issues. Since there was so much time between the depriming and sizing to the loading, it might be a wise idea to pull the rounds and start over. Since you'll need to ball expander, you can't leave the decap rod off (at least not on the RCBS design). You'll get to reprime them as well. Since this sounds like a plinking load, go slow when easing out the live primers. It they don't go pop, you could reuse them.

Keep us posted.

By squash the shoulder I mean the bullet didn't seat but instead the die must have made contact with the mouth because the shoulder crumpled up coke-can style.

PCJim
03-15-2011, 11:55
By squash the shoulder I mean the bullet didn't seat but instead the die must have made contact with the mouth because the shoulder crumpled up coke-can style.

Sometimes setting up the seating/crimping die can be a little confusing. If you reread your directions a couple of times, it may make more sense.

Here's a suggestion on how to properly setup the crimp/seating die. Back the seating die out of the press. Insert a case in the shellholder and fully raise the ram. Screw the die in until you feel the die make contact with the case. Back the die out three turns, lock it, and back out the seater plug. Lower the ram, insert a case in the shellholder and set your bullet on the case, and raise the ram. You should not feel any contact. Now, screw in the seater plug in increments, raising and lowering the ram and rechecking the OAL until you get where you need to be.

When you have seated the bullet to your desired OAL and with the ram still raised, back out the seater plug A LOT and unlock the die. Screw the die in until you feel the die engage the case. Lock the die. The die should now be set for no crimp. With the ram still raised, screw the seater plug in until you feel it engage the bullet. Stop. The die should now be properly set for no crimp and for the OAL you wanted.

If you find you need a bit of crimp, back out the seater plug, unlock the die and screw it in 1/8 turn at a time checking for desired crimp. When you get the crimp you want, lock the die and screw the seating plug back down until you feel contact. You should be properly set.

Hope this helps.

WiskyT
03-15-2011, 14:24
The seating die will crush the shoulder when it is set too low, causing too much crimp.

dudel
03-15-2011, 17:40
Sometimes setting up the seating/crimping die can be a little confusing. If you reread your directions a couple of times, it may make more sense.

Here's a suggestion on how to properly setup the crimp/seating die. Back the seating die out of the press. Insert a case in the shellholder and fully raise the ram. Screw the die in until you feel the die make contact with the case. Back the die out three turns, lock it, and back out the seater plug. Lower the ram, insert a case in the shellholder and set your bullet on the case, and raise the ram. You should not feel any contact. Now, screw in the seater plug in increments, raising and lowering the ram and rechecking the OAL until you get where you need to be.

When you have seated the bullet to your desired OAL and with the ram still raised, back out the seater plug A LOT and unlock the die. Screw the die in until you feel the die engage the case. Lock the die. The die should now be set for no crimp. With the ram still raised, screw the seater plug in until you feel it engage the bullet. Stop. The die should now be properly set for no crimp and for the OAL you wanted.

If you find you need a bit of crimp, back out the seater plug, unlock the die and screw it in 1/8 turn at a time checking for desired crimp. When you get the crimp you want, lock the die and screw the seating plug back down until you feel contact. You should be properly set.

Hope this helps.

That's the way to do it. Sounds complicated, but once you've one it once, step by step, you get the hang of it and it goes quickly. However, it's one reason I like to seat in one die and crimp in another. Even faster to setup, and when you change the projectile, you only need to adjust the seating die. Remember that RCBS set I spoke of? I use the Hornady dies (with the seater/crimper seating only). I follow that with the RCBS seater/crimper crimping only). Works like a charm. Pistol is set up the same way using the Lee FCCD.

n2extrm
03-15-2011, 18:33
The seating die will crush the shoulder when it is set too low, causing too much crimp.

Yes Wisky is dead on. I think (and it is hard to say 100% without looking at the cases in person) you have your die set up all wrong and you are applying so much crimp and ruining the neck tension.

Use the seating die to set your seating depth and the die body to set the crimp.