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Old 03-17-2012, 13:31   #1
LanceL1
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Help with excessive headspace 223 loads

My brother , before he passed away 2 yrs ago loaded some (actually around 4K) .223/5.56 loads on his dillon 1050. Towards the end he, understandingly, was not operating with his normal patient/thoughtfull process.
When I was checking over this ammo for use by my nephew/myself (Checking in a wilson case guage) the shoulders were excessively pushed back...probably .02-.04 (basically dropped into the guage about the rim thickness below the low step) didn't even think a full length size die could push them back that far....
(I can also see the cases were not trimmed and are a bit long too boot)
I know they would not be safe to fire so my questions are

1. quickest way (If there is such a thing ) to pull the bullets to be able to reuse them and the powder.

2. Can any thing be done for the remaining primed case besides for tossing them all....maybe some type of one time low pressure bunny fart load or?

Thanks for the assistance

Last edited by LanceL1; 03-17-2012 at 13:35.. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-17-2012, 16:48   #2
fredj338
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Depends. If the brass is once or twice fired, the slight excessive HS isn't likely to pose a problem. Too long could be an issue if they exceed SAAMI max. A pinched case mouth w/ max or near max loads can really raise pressures.
If I were even thinking about pulling 4K rds, a collet puller on a SS press is teh fastest way. You could then trim the cases, resize w/o a decapping pin & load as normal.
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Old 03-17-2012, 17:14   #3
LanceL1
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A. resizing (without decapping) would correct the shoulder placement?

B. I know a number of them were fired in a AR and functioned normally but the comments were that they felt like "hot" rounds......I believe they were 24.7gr of 2230 under a 55fmjbt.......so its hard to know whether those comments were due to a borderline max powder charge (depending on manual/bullet, etc) or rising pressures due to headspace/ and or caselength issues.
I guess I would have to be a guinea pig and fire a few and check and see what the cases look like?

Thanks for you input and time
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Old 03-17-2012, 17:59   #4
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I'd pull the bullets, dump the powder and put a light charge in it. That should fire form the brass back to original chamber specs. Make sure you have a suck case extractor in case it separates.
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Old 03-17-2012, 18:31   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LanceL1 View Post
A. resizing (without decapping) would correct the shoulder placement?

B. I know a number of them were fired in a AR and functioned normally but the comments were that they felt like "hot" rounds......I believe they were 24.7gr of 2230 under a 55fmjbt.......so its hard to know whether those comments were due to a borderline max powder charge (depending on manual/bullet, etc) or rising pressures due to headspace/ and or caselength issues.
I guess I would have to be a guinea pig and fire a few and check and see what the cases look like?

Thanks for you input and time
No, the shoulder is setback, you can't change it by the sizing die, only by shooting. Excessive HS does NOT increase pressure, just allows the case to stretch more. This can eventually cause the case to separate just above the solid case head, that is bad. You can't really "feel" hot vs normal, just not possible. DIff powders have diff reports & recoil charactersitics. The only way to know what is in the round is to have the data recorded. If you KNOW the powder type, weighing a pulled round will tell you if it's within book limits. You can't "believe", you have to know. Again, if the brass is only once or twice fired, an excessive HS of 0.002-0.004" isn't going to harm anything but stretch the case a bit more & shorten it's useful life. If the reloaded ammo is unknown, then it should NOT be shot but pulled down & reloaded.
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"Given adequate penetration, a larger diameter bullet will have an edge in wounding effectiveness. It will damage a blood vessel the smaller projectile barely misses. The larger permanent cavity may lead to faster blood loss. Although such an edge clearly exists, its significance cannot be quantified".

Last edited by fredj338; 03-17-2012 at 18:33..
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Old 03-17-2012, 20:27   #6
LanceL1
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Thanks again for the feedback
To Clarify ...The powder charges are 24.7gr 2230 under a 55fmjbt....pretty much at the top end by most manuals.
Worst of all the case is falling into the case guage about the same thickness of the case rim....02-.04 not .002-.004...did not realize a full length size die could even push a shoulder back that much
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Old 03-17-2012, 21:35   #7
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.02-.04 is a lot.
after firing, which I think would be ok, I would imagine that a lot of thinning has occurred.

I would recycle it after firing it.
Get some $ back and use that to purchase other components.

I think being at the top end of most manuals is ok as I feel that most manuals are a little conservative since everyone is so anxious to sue!

Last edited by squirreld; 03-17-2012 at 21:36..
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squirreld View Post
.02-.04 is a lot.
after firing, which I think would be ok, I would imagine that a lot of thinning has occurred.

I would recycle it after firing it.
Get some $ back and use that to purchase other components.

I think being at the top end of most manuals is ok as I feel that most manuals are a little conservative since everyone is so anxious to sue!
It would be a lot but he said 0.002", that is not a lot. That is about 1/2 the thickness of a sheet of paper.
They are max loads as per AA data, so shooting max loads designed for one gun in another is not wise. A BIG IF, they work in your gun, the slight excessive headspace is NOT going to be an issue BUT for the increased case stretch. IF the brass is longer than SAAMI max, you could be putting yourself in an over pressure situation. Lots of things to go wrong, the excessive headspace is the least of your concerns IMO. The longer brass & max load is the real issue.
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Last edited by fredj338; 03-18-2012 at 09:46..
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:24   #9
LanceL1
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actuaaly the shoulder setback is .02-.03...not thousanths
I really appreciate all the feedback....guess I knew the answer before posting but was hoping there may be a easier softer way then pulling them all.
I guess they will eventually have to be pulled- trimmed and reloaded at a lower starting charge....toss/scrap the brass after firing
Thanks again for all the feedback
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Old 03-18-2012, 16:51   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LanceL1 View Post
actuaaly the shoulder setback is .02-.03...not thousanths
I really appreciate all the feedback....guess I knew the answer before posting but was hoping there may be a easier softer way then pulling them all.
I guess they will eventually have to be pulled- trimmed and reloaded at a lower starting charge....toss/scrap the brass after firing
Thanks again for all the feedback
At 0.040", you could actually have an insipient head sep on a single firing if your rifle does not have min headspace. At 0.020", your cases are going to stretch quite a bit. IMO, you are risking a head sep inside your chamber firing these. Sorry I missed that, but 0.030" is easily seen by the naked eye, case gage would not be needed. The only way to get a die to do that is by grinding the base off. My RCBS X die touching the base w/ a slight cam over barely makes ammo that fits my gage & AR.
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"Given adequate penetration, a larger diameter bullet will have an edge in wounding effectiveness. It will damage a blood vessel the smaller projectile barely misses. The larger permanent cavity may lead to faster blood loss. Although such an edge clearly exists, its significance cannot be quantified".

Last edited by fredj338; 03-18-2012 at 16:54..
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Old 03-18-2012, 17:49   #11
LanceL1
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Yes...amazingly they were loaded on a 1050 with dillon dies
As a double check I dropped a number of factory rounds in the same guage and they fit quite normally...cant figure how the shoulders got pushed back so far but they are....
Some day down the road there will be a lot of work to do ....I'm not excited about the prospect
Thanks again for everyones time
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