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Need some explanation, advice, or direction!


nj4020
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Reloading LC once fired brass, trying to determine a load that my RRA LAR-15 likes. I am using 62 gr. bullets and H335 powder. I loaded and shot some beginning loads with no problems. I worked up some more to check for accuracy and decide on a recipe. When loaded from the magazine, they all failed to fire, even after slapping the forward assist. When following a factory load in the same magazine, they fired most all of the time. After loading the first directly into the chamber, followed by the rest in the magazine, they fired most all of the time.

1) Why the fail to fire?

2) Why will they fire following a factory round?

3) Will they work better the next time after being fired through my barrel?

I'm thinking it is a case sizing issue, but looking for ideas and past experience. Thanks in advance.

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Sounds to me like your gun isn't quite going into battery until they feed from a magazine behind the factory load. When they feed that way, they are being slammed home enough to make battery, allowing the gun to fire. This is assuming the trigger won't pull on your reloads? Or if the trigger pulls but won't fire, that is a different issue altogether. However, I bet it is a sizing issue. I ground a few thou off my lee dies using them in my dillon 650 to be sure they size enough. If it isn't your brass, it could be your bullets themselves.

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+1 with mimiller1, my friends new rifle would just go into battery with my reloads. Worked fine in my rifle but his chamber is just a little tighter than mine. I used an older set of Dillon standard dies.

We changed the dies to a new set of Lee making sure the first stage sizer kissed the shell plate and those loads worked fine.

The Dillon dies may have worked if adjusted just a little closer to the shell plate but were loaned and lost.

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550 press, Dillon dies, sizing die could be turned down a little more. All cases sized, trimmed, tumbled, case gauge checked, then loaded. Initially I loaded 30 rounds, 5 each of different powder charge. They worked fine. I then loaded 30 more trying to fine tune the powder charge. This is when the problem started. Nothing different from the first batch. I will adjust the sizing die and try again. Will these cases run better next time, after being fired from my barrel?

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With bolt guns it is good to let them form themselves into the chamber the opposite is true of the semi auto the first priority is reliable cycling. Try running the sizer all the way down to the shell plate. Some have mentioned here that they ground the bottom off I have the Dillon carbide in a 550 and found it to be reliable if down as far as possible. I ran a Rock River and it did not care but my Stag 3G sure does. I believe all Dillon 223 are small base but not sure.

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OK, round two?

I ran the sizing die down to the shell plate. I resized some LC brass, and also some once fired commercial brass. I got the same results; the LC would not go into battery, but the PMC did and fired correctly. The LC did fire when following the commercial and when operating the bolt catch. I then measured the casings, there is only one difference that I can find. The rim thickness of the LC is, on average, .020 thicker than the PMC. When I drop them in my case gauge the LC rim is above the high step, while the PMC is flush. I guess there could be a difference at the shoulder, but I can't see it and don't know how to measure it.

Thanks in advance.

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Screw the sizer down 1/4 - 1/2 turn past touching the shellplate and try that...if that doesnt work, get a Body die and bump the shoulder a bit. It will sharpen the inside corner at the neck/shoulder which will help fit a tight chamber.

jj

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Third time's not a charm!

Ok, I ran the sizing die down to the point of sticking the brass and ripping off some rims, yes they were lubed. I then backed it off a little. They did case gauge better, but they still will not go into battery unless following a commercial round. After they had been fired I happened to drop them back into the case gauge. They looked good, so I lubed, resized, and loaded again. They all went into battery and fired as they should.

So, short of loading and shooting all 3 thousand behind some commercial rounds just to get them all twice fired, does anyone have any more suggestions? If I buy a body die to bump the shoulders, would that be a Redding die? Thanks in advance.

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The problem is something tiny. What were you getting on the third round when you were starting with commercial then reload? What was the third round doing? If you try to eject the reload after allowing it to be chambered by firing the commercial round, does it eject freely? Whats your trim length? How does your crimp look?

I know this is insanely frustrating, but if you will stick with it, the source of the prob will become apparent.

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Do you have anybody you can borrow a 223 sizing die from? I keep two sets of dies for autoloading rifles for issues like this. I've had my best success with Hornady & Redding. What is your brass trimmed to? a slightly long case neck can cause this sort of grief too, if coupled with a short chamber throat or a tight throat. Also, do you have a single stage press too? You could try sizing the brass in it, with the die screwed down to the shell holder. Since I'm rambling, some Dillon dies seem to have a pretty heavy chamfer at the bottom of the sizing dies to aid case alignment in a progressive press. could your cases be hanging up at the base, rather than the neck? A different sizing die might make a difference in this situation too.

Edited by anachronism
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Now that I seem to have more interest let me start over from the beginning.

I'm using a RL 550 B and Dillon dies. For .223/5.56 I'm using a two tool head setup. Tool head #1: lube, size/decap, followed by trim to 1.750, swage, and tumble. Tool head #2: universal decap, charge, seat, crimp.

I have a supply of factory PMC. I have also reloaded some of it successfully. I have a quantity of once fired LC brass that I have sorted by head stamp. The Lake City brass is what is giving me trouble. I agree it is probably something simple, and yes, it is frustrating.

The problem seems to be a sizing issue. When placed in a magazine and charged into the rifle, it will not fire; even after using the forward assist. Obviously it is not going into battery. However, when following a factory round in the same magazine, it goes into battery, fires and ejects properly, every time. Or, if you leave the bolt back, load a mag and release the bolt catch, it goes into battery and fires. After firing the LC reloads once, I loaded them again and they worked fine.

I have adjusted the sizing down as far as I dare. The PMC brass drops into my Dillon case gauge flush with the low step. The Lake City brass is flush with the high step and above the low step. Using a micrometer, it appears the LC has a thicker rim than the PMC. If the problem is in the shoulder, I don't know how to determine that or correct it, short of bumping the shoulder with a die that I'm not familiar with.

I'm sorry for rambling and thanks in advance.

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Have you tried ejecting one of your reloaded rounds that did go into battery? If it will eject normally, compare that round very carefully to one that hasn't chambered. Is it setting the bullet back some? Is it making shiny spots on the brass? You might try using a marker or something & coloring your brass then chambering that round & ejecting it to see if you can figure out where it is oversized. Also, be sure your chamber in your rifle is clean. A dirty chamber can give you similar issues. A round that the bullet itself is hitting the throat can also cause that but it is kind of hard to have your bullets loaded too long in an AR but is possibly doable. Keep at it, you will get it soon.

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On my Stag i had (or have) an occasional problem and tried measuring the spent cases (on the high side of the wilson gauge and measure .001 longer than spec with a RCBS mic) and then running some shoulders out .006 (that is the longest i could find) and had no problem feeding several of them through. can you compare the neck and crimp (OD) to make sure you are not bulging some where?

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Sounds like the problem I had with one upper but more pronounced. Asked a ol head buddy and he didn't even flinch when he said, "get a body die"

After analyzing what the body die does it made perfect sense. It will bump the shoulder and sharpen the inside corner at the neck/shoulder junction. You need the sized case to drop into your case gage the same way a factory load does. Put the body die after the trim die and adjust it until the case drops the same as a factory round.

Hope this helps!

jj

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It is full length and small based. Personally I think they ream them just a bit too deep, cause I have seen lots of people have problems on here with being able to get them down far enough. The directions say to take em down to the shellplate, but most have to take em a bit further into over-cam. Proper use of a good wet lanolin based case lube is essential. Other than that they (espcially the carbide) are good dies.

JMHO

jj

Edited by RiggerJJ
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If the above is the case, then you could file/grind off a little of the bottom of the die which would allow a few more thousandths of sizing. This is something some people do on pistol dies used with calibers that develop a bulge when shot in Glock factory barrels.

Edited by Steve RA
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True, but then you loose some lead-in and probably the warranty. They usually work by over-camming, some chambers are really tight and need something else. There is usually more than one road, what's important is getting there.

jj

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I believe you are over crimping. Its not enough to be a problem on the thinner PMC brass but is bulging the thicker LC brass just enough to keep it from going into battery. The inertia from the carrier is enough to force it into batter after being fired.

Edited by LSnSC
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