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Posted: 4/9/2017 7:41:53 PM EDT
I've been reloading now for maybe 3 years. I've definitely learned a lot, however I'm no expert. I recently have run into problems loading .223. When loading a round it gets stuck in the chamber. The round even fits in my lyman case gauge. But will lock up my DDM4V5.

Any ideas what this could be?

Chamber is clean.
I've tried Lee Full Length Dies and RCBS Small Base dies.

I am at a loss. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Also brass is moslty L.C. however it happens with other headstamps as well.
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 7:45:41 PM EDT
I've also tried running some of the rounds through the SB and FL die with the expander removed to try to resize the body/shoulder. So far seems hit or miss. Cannot find anything consistent to help identify the problem.

And I understand from reading that some people would recommend great caution putting a live round back on the press. I assure you, safety is always first!
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 7:59:34 PM EDT
Does that rifle cycle factory ammo fine? Have you tried those reloads in any other AR?
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 8:08:57 PM EDT
Adjust your sizer die to bump back the shoulder a bit more.
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 8:18:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 8:19:48 PM EDT
It does cycle factory ammo. I placed some m855 in the case gauge to get a baseline and it sits in the gauge a little lower than the reloads, however I don't think I can size the reloads any smaller without ordering custom dies, or taking material off the top of the shell plate.

I have tried the reloads in other rifles with similar results.

The weird part is the reloads fit into the gauge, but will stick in the rifle. And not all of the reloads lock the rifle up. However the reloads that lock the rifle up, and the ones that chamber correctly both fit just the same in the case gauge.

This would lead me to believe that the necks are getting caught on the way out of the die and stretching the shoulders a bit, but they both fit fine in the gauge. And I tried resizing a few I know would stick,  and afterwards most were still getting stuck in the chamber.


To make things even more complicated, I started with some once fired LC brass today and loaded them up. All of them fit the chamber beautifully. I used the lee FL die. I use a Hornady progressive press, and it has cam lock bushings. I didn't adjust the die at all since the last loading session, which produced the problematic reloads.

So in short, I don't understand how the case gauge would tell me the individual reload is good, then not fit the chamber. And further more, that I can run the same round through the RCBS SB die with expander removed and still get stuck cases...
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 8:22:55 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Adjust your sizer die to bump back the shoulder a bit more.
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I have it pretty low already. It cams over pretty good. May try adjusting it a tad more.
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 8:25:37 PM EDT
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Quoted:
You need to lower the sizing die a little more.

Lube and size a case, wipe off lube and attempt to chamber. 

Repeat until die is adjusted correctly.

The Lyman case gauge is an ok tool, Are you reading it correctly?

http://i250.photobucket.com/albums/gg272/dryflash3/Case%20Gauge/PB290317.jpg

Dillon CG shown, a Lyman works the same way.

You want the end of the case below the end of the gauge, but above the cut.

Good luck.
View Quote
Well, they fit basically flush with the top cut. I tried adjusting my dies further to get the shoulder back further, however I couldn't seem to get it to size enough to get it below the top cut. I am thinking maybe I need a better gage?
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 8:45:13 PM EDT
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Quoted:


Well, they fit basically flush with the top cut. I tried adjusting my dies further to get the shoulder back further, however I couldn't seem to get it to size enough to get it below the top cut. I am thinking maybe I need a better gage?
View Quote
Consider measuring them instead of a drop in type gage, then you'll have an actual number instead of how they look in a gage.
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 9:13:30 PM EDT
What is your C.O.L. of the rounds that are giving you problems?  Maybe the bullets are getting stuck in the lands before the bolt locks up.

I had this same problem recently and found the remedy was to just screw the die down another 1/4 turn.  So now, I screw the die in until it makes tight contact with the shell holder, then lower the ram and screw the die down another half turn.  Who'da thunk it would take an extra 1/2 turn to get things right?  But, that's what it took.
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 9:22:30 PM EDT
The weird part is the reloads fit into the gauge, but will stick in the rifle.
View Quote
Understand how the gauge works, they can "fit" into the gauge and still jam up your rifle. The gauge is not for measuring or checking circumference, it's for checking the distance from the base to the shoulder, which is why that step is there on the end.

If you're at or above that upper step, the shoulder may not be back far enough, so when you chamber the round (if it chambers), you're basically using the bolt and chamber to resize the case that last .001 or .002. This tight fit will hold the bolt back against the lugs on the barrel extension and make the round very difficult to eject.

So, with that slightly more detailed explanation- as has been said, you're likely not bumping the shoulder back far enough.
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 10:07:15 PM EDT
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Quoted:


I have it pretty low already. It cams over pretty good. May try adjusting it a tad more.
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You're making the die come in contact with the shell plate, correct? You should make it so it takes a little bit of pressure to make the handle go all the way down.
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 10:16:14 PM EDT
Some hard brass I could never get to size with RCBS SB in 223 and 308 when running on a LNL Progressive. Worked fine on Lee turret at the time. What press are u using?
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 10:46:16 PM EDT
Yep get your shoulders set back further, if you die is screwed tight even after it cams over pretty hard, then you got a high shell holder or a long die, I have ground down shell holders with good results.
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 12:44:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 7:01:22 AM EDT
I'm using a Hornady LNL progressive.

I will be picking up a Hornady shoulder measuring tool (the exact nomenclature escapes me at the moment) today.

For those who asked, yes my shell plate does make contact with the die. I believe I'm at about a 1/4 to 1/2 turn more than that so the action in the press cams over to remove any play in the system.

The goal tonight will be to fire a round from my rifle and then measure it with the Hornady tool. (Comparator?) Then play with the seating depth of my die to bump the shoulder back .004.

I believe the ultimate end goal here, is to fire a round out of each of my rifles, find the smallest chamber, then size accordingly to that chamber. That way I will not have any issues going forward.
(For general plinking ammo that's the plan, obviously precision loads will need to be tailored to the individual rifle)


This may be a stupid oversight on my part, however do they make dies that are able to resize to factory specs? Again I will play with my dies tonight, but based off of comparing a factory round in my case gauge, and a reload, it doesn't seem I could get the reloads sized back down quite to factory measurements.


Again thank you guys. Yall have given me alot to go off of. It can get frustrating by yourself in the basement when nothing you try seems to make work or make sense!!
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 8:06:07 AM EDT
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Quoted:
I'm using a Hornady LNL progressive.

I will be picking up a Hornady shoulder measuring tool (the exact nomenclature escapes me at the moment) today.

For those who asked, yes my shell plate does make contact with the die. I believe I'm at about a 1/4 to 1/2 turn more than that so the action in the press cams over to remove any play in the system.

The goal tonight will be to fire a round from my rifle and then measure it with the Hornady tool. (Comparator?) Then play with the seating depth of my die to bump the shoulder back .004.

I believe the ultimate end goal here, is to fire a round out of each of my rifles, find the smallest chamber, then size accordingly to that chamber. That way I will not have any issues going forward.
(For general plinking ammo that's the plan, obviously precision loads will need to be tailored to the individual rifle)


This may be a stupid oversight on my part, however do they make dies that are able to resize to factory specs? Again I will play with my dies tonight, but based off of comparing a factory round in my case gauge, and a reload, it doesn't seem I could get the reloads sized back down quite to factory measurements.


Again thank you guys. Yall have given me alot to go off of. It can get frustrating by yourself in the basement when nothing you try seems to make work or make sense!!
View Quote
I reload and shoot them out of any of my 14 different ARs. I had issues like this at first.

The Lyman gauge was between the upper and lower points. One gun I had just would have issues. I bought a the Innovative technologies headspace gauge. Once I used this to set the shoulder I have not had any issues.

When I first get a gun I run 200 rounds of commercial ammo through it to make sure there is no issues and to break things in a bit before using hand loads. I did have a barrel that during the panic had a very rough chamber and it would have extraction issues. I used a little JB Bore paste on a 410 mop chucked in a drill and polished it up. After that  it worked like a champ. Does yours work good with commercial ammo?

Have you checked the headspace on this gun to make sure it is in spec?

If you buy the Hornady tool pull apart one commercial round and compare the shoulder on that to your resized brass you can then try to size to that spec. Then if you still have issues you have a tight chamber and may need a small base die.

One other thing you can get which will help you is the Sheridan gauge. I like the idea of these as they are cut like a chamber.
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 9:16:47 AM EDT
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Quoted:


I reload and shoot them out of any of my 14 different ARs. I had issues like this at first.

The Lyman gauge was between the upper and lower points. One gun I had just would have issues. I bought a the Innovative technologies headspace gauge. Once I used this to set the shoulder I have not had any issues.

When I first get a gun I run 200 rounds of commercial ammo through it to make sure there is no issues and to break things in a bit before using hand loads. I did have a barrel that during the panic had a very rough chamber and it would have extraction issues. I used a little JB Bore paste on a 410 mop chucked in a drill and polished it up. After that  it worked like a champ. Does yours work good with commercial ammo?

Have you checked the headspace on this gun to make sure it is in spec?

If you buy the Hornady tool pull apart one commercial round and compare the shoulder on that to your resized brass you can then try to size to that spec. Then if you still have issues you have a tight chamber and may need a small base die.

One other thing you can get which will help you is the Sheridan gauge. I like the idea of these as they are cut like a chamber.
View Quote
Thanks for the suggestions. I will check out the gauge.

I'll play with it some more over the next few days and will report back my findings.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 9:48:27 AM EDT
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Quoted:
Yep get your shoulders set back further, if you die is screwed tight even after it cams over pretty hard, then you got a high shell holder or a long die, I have ground down shell holders with good results.
View Quote
Be careful with that.  I took a few .001s off my shell holder a few years back and about a year later started having case separations caused by bumping the shoulder too far back.  Pretty far up the case, they looked like 9mm's coming out.  It took another year to get all the brass I'd oversized back out of my supply.  I now set my dies to only get to the top to the middle of the case gauge groove, not the bottom of it.
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 10:44:26 AM EDT
Try your single stage press and rule out LNL. As I mentioned above, the RCBS die and LNL was a bad combo for me. I went to a Forster die and all was good.



Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I'm using a Hornady LNL progressive.

I will be picking up a Hornady shoulder measuring tool (the exact nomenclature escapes me at the moment) today.

For those who asked, yes my shell plate does make contact with the die. I believe I'm at about a 1/4 to 1/2 turn more than that so the action in the press cams over to remove any play in the system.

The goal tonight will be to fire a round from my rifle and then measure it with the Hornady tool. (Comparator?) Then play with the seating depth of my die to bump the shoulder back .004.

I believe the ultimate end goal here, is to fire a round out of each of my rifles, find the smallest chamber, then size accordingly to that chamber. That way I will not have any issues going forward.
(For general plinking ammo that's the plan, obviously precision loads will need to be tailored to the individual rifle)


This may be a stupid oversight on my part, however do they make dies that are able to resize to factory specs? Again I will play with my dies tonight, but based off of comparing a factory round in my case gauge, and a reload, it doesn't seem I could get the reloads sized back down quite to factory measurements.


Again thank you guys. Yall have given me alot to go off of. It can get frustrating by yourself in the basement when nothing you try seems to make work or make sense!!
View Quote
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 12:00:29 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Try your single stage press and rule out LNL. As I mentioned above, the RCBS die and LNL was a bad combo for me. I went to a Forster die and all was good.
View Quote
That's odd that the different manufacturers equipment didn't work well. Just out of my own curiosity. Did you ever figure out exactly why they didn't play well together?

I will try my Lee and RCBS single stage tonight and see if there is a discernable difference.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 1:20:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 1:47:05 PM EDT
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Quoted:
That's odd that the different manufacturers equipment didn't work well. Just out of my own curiosity. Did you ever figure out exactly why they didn't play well together?

I will try my Lee and RCBS single stage tonight and see if there is a discernable difference.

Thanks!
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Try your single stage press and rule out LNL. As I mentioned above, the RCBS die and LNL was a bad combo for me. I went to a Forster die and all was good.
That's odd that the different manufacturers equipment didn't work well. Just out of my own curiosity. Did you ever figure out exactly why they didn't play well together?

I will try my Lee and RCBS single stage tonight and see if there is a discernable difference.

Thanks!
Like Dryflash said..

Another forum member ended up shaving a little off the bottom of die and they then worked. But later I got a deal on other die and then got a new press...

I can probably find my old thread on here asking basically your same question. ;)
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 2:04:51 PM EDT
First Clean Your Dies with a good solvent.  Clear Vent Hole.
Next, how are you cleaning your brass ( if you are using SS pins this can be an issue as the case neck will stretch even more id the interior of the case neck is not lubed or a carbide expander ball is not being used.)
Next, when sizing cases are lubing the inside of the case neck? Get lube inside the case neck to ease the expander ball over the case neck otherwise you will be stretching the cases.
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 2:05:32 PM EDT
double tap
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 2:05:52 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Yep get your shoulders set back further, if you die is screwed tight even after it cams over pretty hard, then you got a high shell holder or a long die, I have ground down shell holders with good results.
View Quote
Listen to dennyd

I have 4 ar's and one bolt gun all in 5.56 or 223. My Hornady dies adjusted all the way down making contact with shell plate and I still need to use a shoulder bump die to work in all my firearms.
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 2:56:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 1:44:19 AM EDT
Might be useful to ink up a cartridge with a black sharpie or some Dykem and then chamber it.
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 7:06:08 AM EDT
Ok so I believe I have figured out that I needed to lower my die just a tad.

I previously had it to where it would make the press cam over. It now cams over even more so. Obviously it's hard to describe the feel over the Internet, but it "pops" even more now.

Just always thought that you didn't want it to cam quite that hard.

Do you guys have your dies set to cam over pretty hard?

Again it's hard to describe the feel. It doesn't take a ton of force, or anything too crazy drastic, but it is definitely more pronounced now.

Out of my analness I'm still considering chucking it into a lathe and removing. 001-.002 off the bottom in an effort to hopefully extend the longevity of the linkage in the press.

Would yall put the die in a lathe, or leave it as is now that it's dialed in?

Thanks!
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 7:37:27 AM EDT
It sounds like you may need to remove about .005''. It sure wouldn't hurt the die and will help save your press.

I have all mine set to cam over so slightly that it's hardly noticeable.

You need a way to actually measure the headspace. If you have access to a lathe and are competent with it you can make your own device like I did here :
" />

It's just a piece of round stock with a hole drilled through. I forget the hole dimension but you can figure that out, just make sure the ends are square and then measure fired and resized cases to see how far you are bumping back. It would take about 15-30 minutes to make one.
If lowering your die fixed it then that is what you need to do. Actual measurements are better than guessing with a guage.
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 8:19:08 AM EDT
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Quoted:
It sounds like you may need to remove about .005''. It sure wouldn't hurt the die and will help save your press.

I have all mine set to cam over so slightly that it's hardly noticeable.

You need a way to actually measure the headspace. If you have access to a lathe and are competent with it you can make your own device like I did here :
http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n26/PirateBill666/063A.jpg" target="_blank">http://http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n26/PirateBill666/063A.jpg

It's just a piece of round stock with a hole drilled through. I forget the hole dimension but you can figure that out, just make sure the ends are square and then measure fired and resized cases to see how far you are bumping back. It would take about 15-30 minutes to make one.
If lowering your die fixed it then that is what you need to do. Actual measurements are better than guessing with a guage.
View Quote
I purchased a headspace comparator from hornady. A factory m855 measured 1.455. It looks like with this specific rifle I need to bump the shoulders down to atleast 1.460 to get them to chamber freely.

I still need to fire a round to get an exact measurement. However I'm pretty sure that's where it needs to be. I kept resizing and measuring until it chambered freely. Right at 1.460 is where it was consistently chambering with ease.

My question now is, if my chamber needs the shoulder backed down to 1.460, should I shoot for sizing to that or maybe try slightly smaller to ensure everything meets that minimum?

Obviously for plinking ammunition that will be shared amongst my other rifles I plan on firing a round from each to determine the smallest chamber I have. I guess my question is, once you find your chambers tolerance, how far back do you bump your shoulder from that?

Again, thanks!
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 8:27:07 AM EDT
I would remove a little off the bottom of the die so that there is no pressure on the shell plate.
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 8:30:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 8:35:17 AM EDT
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Quoted:
I move the shoulder back .003, but ammo is for 1 AR.

In your case .004 to .005 should work for you.
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Quoted:
Quoted:


I purchased a headspace comparator from hornady. A factory m855 measured 1.455. It looks like with this specific rifle I need to bump the shoulders down to atleast 1.460 to get them to chamber freely.

I still need to fire a round to get an exact measurement. However I'm pretty sure that's where it needs to be. I kept resizing and measuring until it chambered freely. Right at 1.460 is where it was consistently chambering with ease.

My question now is, if my chamber needs the shoulder backed down to 1.460, should I shoot for sizing to that or maybe try slightly smaller to ensure everything meets that minimum?

Obviously for plinking ammunition that will be shared amongst my other rifles I plan on firing a round from each to determine the smallest chamber I have. I guess my question is, once you find your chambers tolerance, how far back do you bump your shoulder from that?

Again, thanks!
I move the shoulder back .003, but ammo is for 1 AR.

In your case .004 to .005 should work for you.
I have 14 ARs in my collection. Adding a 15th today. BRD in full swing.

I bump the shoulder back .002-.003" from the smallest chamber which ends up being just about the same as a new commercial round when I compare it.
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 9:56:44 AM EDT
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Quoted:
Ok so I believe I have figured out that I needed to lower my die just a tad.

I previously had it to where it would make the press cam over. It now cams over even more so. Obviously it's hard to describe the feel over the Internet, but it "pops" even more now.

Just always thought that you didn't want it to cam quite that hard.

Do you guys have your dies set to cam over pretty hard?

Again it's hard to describe the feel. It doesn't take a ton of force, or anything too crazy drastic, but it is definitely more pronounced now.

Out of my analness I'm still considering chucking it into a lathe and removing. 001-.002 off the bottom in an effort to hopefully extend the longevity of the linkage in the press.

Would yall put the die in a lathe, or leave it as is now that it's dialed in?

Thanks!
View Quote
I have to screw my die in a full 1/2 turn after the shell holder contacts the die on a raised ram to get an acceptable shoulder dimension.  I don't like stressing the linkage on the press that hard, so I am still mulling over taking a few thousandths off the bottom of the die.
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 10:53:21 AM EDT
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Quoted:


I have 14 ARs in my collection. Adding a 15th today. BRD in full swing.

I bump the shoulder back .002-.003" from the smallest chamber which ends up being just about the same as a new commercial round when I compare it.
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Since you have multiple rifles this^^^^would be the right way to do it.
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 11:14:21 AM EDT
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Quoted:


Since you have multiple rifles this^^^^would be the right way to do it.
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Agreed ....if you can do it without over-camming your press.  If not your choices are to shave the die, or the shell holder, or try another die and/or shellholder.
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 12:44:20 PM EDT
Thanks for everyone's help!

I plan on taking a little off the die like many have suggested.

I wonder why manufacturers don't/just barely give you enough adjustment to resize your brass...

Maybe liability so you don't over do it?

Anyway thanks!
Happy shooting!
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 2:02:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 2:44:13 PM EDT
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Quoted:

That's the issue, too much adjustment.

Look up the term Tolerance stacking, so you can understand.
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Too much ability to adjust the die is better than not enough ability to adjust the die, imo.  If the die were too short, you can screw it in or out to properly size the case.  If the die is too long, you may not be able to properly push the shoulders back.  I don't understand the need to have the die touch the shell holder to properly size a case.  If the die were several thousandths too short, it gives the reloader the ability to manually adjust up or down as needed.

Tolerance stacking can be overcome if we have the ability to adjust the die BOTH ways.
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 3:17:45 PM EDT
I had so take a bit off the bottom of my hornady 300 blackout die to get it to work without camming over too much on my progressive
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 3:34:01 PM EDT
OP are you crimping your reloads?

If you are, I suggest you stop it.

As noted by a previous poster, the crimping operation can cause this sort of problem by buckling the brass.

I've been reloading 5.56 since 1988.
The last 5.56 round I crimped was in 1989.

Crimping 5.56 is not necessary.
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 5:12:55 PM EDT
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Quoted:

Crimping 5.56 is not necessary.
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I have never crimped mine.  I have never had an issue with not doing so.
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 8:52:39 PM EDT
Am I missing the post where the OP tells us what his case length is? I can't find that little tidbit anywhere.
Link Posted: 4/13/2017 4:49:12 PM EDT
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Quoted:

That's the issue, too much adjustment.

Look up the term Tolerance stacking, so you can understand.
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I understand tolerance stacking, just wondering why they even make it an issue. Make dies that give plenty of room to resize the brass and people won't run into tolerance issues.

Unless for some reason I'm missing, my best guess would be to keep the average Joe from over sizing.
Link Posted: 4/13/2017 4:51:46 PM EDT
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Quoted:
OP are you crimping your reloads?

If you are, I suggest you stop it.

As noted by a previous poster, the crimping operation can cause this sort of problem by buckling the brass.

I've been reloading 5.56 since 1988.
The last 5.56 round I crimped was in 1989.

Crimping 5.56 is not necessary.
View Quote
I crimp with a lee fcd. Just barely a kiss though on my fmj loads. Anything else I forego it. Don't use a taper crimp either way though...
Link Posted: 4/13/2017 4:53:25 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Am I missing the post where the OP tells us what his case length is? I can't find that little tidbit anywhere.
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Case length is trimmed to 1.750. Shoot them until  they exceed 1.760 and trim back down. I can usually get at least 2 firings before needing to trim again.
Link Posted: 4/13/2017 4:58:34 PM EDT
Update:

I took .005 off the bottom of my dies. Works beautifully so far. So far I've discovered that as long as I size the shoulder to 1.460, according to my hornady headspace comparator, everything functions great. I think I will be sizing to ~1.458 to be safe, especially on larger batches of plinking/range ammunition. Everything else will be loaded specific to each individual rifles preferences.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 4/13/2017 6:51:10 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Update:
I took .005 off the bottom of my dies.
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How did you do it?
Link Posted: 4/13/2017 7:05:23 PM EDT
So far I've discovered that as long as I size the shoulder to 1.460...
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Using that same tool, what number do you get when you measure a round of factory-new m-193 or similar?
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