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Old 03-13-2011, 18:38   #1
StoneDog
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.223 bullet setback ... ?

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:

Reloading

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
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Old 03-13-2011, 18:42   #2
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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.
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Old 03-13-2011, 19:00   #3
rjrivero
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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.
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Old 03-13-2011, 21:35   #4
Ljunatic
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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
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Old 03-13-2011, 22:16   #5
EL_NinO619
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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.
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As Reloaders we should adapt the load to the gun, not the gun to the load.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:51   #6
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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.

Last edited by dudel; 03-14-2011 at 01:56..
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:41   #7
StoneDog
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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?
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:48   #8
EL_NinO619
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Deburring is not a problem. You couldn't deburr the case enough to affect the neck tension.

You wanna bet I got some brothers that have done it to me.
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25acp,.223,25-20win,.308, 8mm M, 7mm Rem Mag, 9mm,.40,10mm .45acp, .475 Wildey Mag
On 2 Hornady LNL's And a Super 1050

As Reloaders we should adapt the load to the gun, not the gun to the load.
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:58   #9
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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.
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:08   #10
Patrick Graham
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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.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:48   #11
Steve in PA
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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.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dudel View Post
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.



Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneDog View Post
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????
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:05   #13
StoneDog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
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?

Last edited by StoneDog; 03-14-2011 at 11:14..
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:07   #14
DoctaGlockta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
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.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:38   #15
byf43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneDog View Post
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.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:26   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byf43 View Post
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....
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:28   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EL_NinO619 View Post
Deburring is not a problem. You couldn't deburr the case enough to affect the neck tension.

You wanna bet 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.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:30   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byf43 View Post
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.
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Old 03-14-2011, 13:14   #19
StoneDog
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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?!
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Old 03-14-2011, 13:56   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonedog View Post
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!
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