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Bolt rifle action question


joshxdm9

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Ok let me start by saying I am very new to bolt action rifles. I have just purchased a Remington 700 SPS tactical in .223 Just started reloading .223 for my AR last winter. I am loading in this order.

Resize, deprime

trim

de-burr inside out

cleaning primer pockets

Then loading on a rl450

So here's the issue I am having, reloads run great in my AR. But in the bolt gun some not all don't chamber very smooth. Some very difficult to get bolt to lock down and some after shot the bolt is difficult to open to eject. When I work the action with no round it's very smooth. So am I doing something wrong with reloads? Is the chamber tolerance tighter in a bolt compared to an AR? Just looking for some advice and wisdom.

Thanks

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Have you checked the case length? Sounds like you may be feeding rounds that are slightly too long for the chamber. Perhaps you are hitting the lands very hard with the chambered rounds? Maybe the bullet is seated too long? If fired extraction is also a problem then I lean more toward somehow the case being long from the start

And yes, the chambers on bolt guns can be much less sloppy than in an AR, especially if it's a true 5.56mm chamber (I think).

Somebody with more bolt gun expertise should be along shortly.

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I've loaded a lot of 38, 357, 40, 45's, all kinds of straight wall stuff for cowboy and semi auto pistols, along with some LR 45-70 stuff both BP and Smokeless. I do not know much about bottle neck rifle ammo, but have reloaded some.

I am curious if you have your crimp die set to go down a bit too far? I doubt it has anything to do with the issues you are having, but that little ring at the top of the case makes me wonder. I know that when that happened with my straight wall stuff, I would back off the depth a little. It really shortens the life of the case. Anyway, I wonder if this could be slightly bulging the shoulder out? Do you see any obvious rub marks on the rounds you are trying to chamber into your bolt gun?

What is the chamber on your bolt gun and what is the chamber on your AR? is one .223 and one Wylde or 5.56? Are you neck sizing or full case? You may not be able to run brass through your bolt gun that has been fired in your AR. With the 45-70 stuff, I would go so far as to only insert the round into the chamber of my rifle one specific side up.

I will be curious what people have to say about this..

wg

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I've loaded a lot of 38, 357, 40, 45's, all kinds of straight wall stuff for cowboy and semi auto pistols, along with some LR 45-70 stuff both BP and Smokeless. I do not know much about bottle neck rifle ammo, but have reloaded some.

I am curious if you have your crimp die set to go down a bit too far? I doubt it has anything to do with the issues you are having, but that little ring at the top of the case makes me wonder. I know that when that happened with my straight wall stuff, I would back off the depth a little. It really shortens the life of the case. Anyway, I wonder if this could be slightly bulging the shoulder out? Do you see any obvious rub marks on the rounds you are trying to chamber into your bolt gun?

What is the chamber on your bolt gun and what is the chamber on your AR? is one .223 and one Wylde or 5.56? Are you neck sizing or full case? You may not be able to run brass through your bolt gun that has been fired in your AR. With the 45-70 stuff, I would go so far as to only insert the round into the chamber of my rifle one specific side up.

I will be curious what people have to say about this..

wg

My AR is a 5.56 barrel. So maybe a little different than the bolt gun that is .223. As far as crimp I do not have a separate crimp die just a seat/crimp die. the sizing die is full case. What I did relized early on was I was not trimming cases when I fist started reloading .223 I was told for just hoser 3gun rounds it was not necessary to trim. After loading 200 and trying to run them thru my AR relized that if the case was to long when it went to powder die the necks were getting crunched down and bulging there for would not chamber all the way and get jammed in the chamber. So I do trim now. I think what you might be seeing on the very tip of the case is just a shiny spot from de burring the outside of the case mouth.
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Try running your sizing die down a little bit. What is happening, is that the shoulders of the case are not being bumped back far enough to fit in the 223 chamber. The 5.56 chamber is longer (nothing to do with case length) than the 223 chamber. Most reloading companies even make a tool called a headspace gauge that allows you to check them. I use one from RCBS called a precision mic cartridge headspace tool.

Find a piece of sized brass (doesn't have to be loaded) that will not allow the bolt to close fully on your 223. Then turn your sizing die down about 1/4 turn and resize the brass. Then try to close the bolt on it. If it does then leave the sizing die in that position. If not then repeat the process until the bolt closes easy.

Good luck.

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Try running your sizing die down a little bit. What is happening, is that the shoulders of the case are not being bumped back far enough to fit in the 223 chamber. The 5.56 chamber is longer (nothing to do with case length) than the 223 chamber. Most reloading companies even make a tool called a headspace gauge that allows you to check them. I use one from RCBS called a precision mic cartridge headspace tool.

Find a piece of sized brass (doesn't have to be loaded) that will not allow the bolt to close fully on your 223. Then turn your sizing die down about 1/4 turn and resize the brass. Then try to close the bolt on it. If it does then leave the sizing die in that position. If not then repeat the process until the bolt closes easy.

Good luck.

I am currently using the L.E. Wilson case length headspace gauge. Is this the same as the one you are talking about?

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Similar. The Wilson and those like it measure the sized case to make sure it is in SAAMI specs. As long as it sits between flush with the top and flush with the little cutout, it is in spec. The one I have actually measures the shoulders with a little micrometer like device. What I did was fire 10 rounds of factory ammo and then took the average reading of that brass. Then I took that number and subtracted .003 from it and set my sizing die so that when I sized my brass it would measure right around that. Most things I have read said to bump your shoulders back .002 - .003.

Being that some fit your 223 chamber and some do not, just a 1/4 turn down on the sizing down will probably fix you right up. You are close, but it looks like it just needs a tad more.

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Similar. The Wilson and those like it measure the sized case to make sure it is in SAAMI specs. As long as it sits between flush with the top and flush with the little cutout, it is in spec. The one I have actually measures the shoulders with a little micrometer like device. What I did was fire 10 rounds of factory ammo and then took the average reading of that brass. Then I took that number and subtracted .003 from it and set my sizing die so that when I sized my brass it would measure right around that. Most things I have read said to bump your shoulders back .002 - .003.

Being that some fit your 223 chamber and some do not, just a 1/4 turn down on the sizing down will probably fix you right up. You are close, but it looks like it just needs a tad more.

Great I will give that a shot. Thanks

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I had a similar problem before with an AR. I was using RCBS 223 dies, and had to lower the dies another 2/5ths of a rotation down. This will "bump" your shoulder back further on the case, allowing easier bolt closing.

If you look up shoulder bumping cases, and how people determine how far, is based off how the bolt closing feels. Highly subjective, and a more precise method is to use a shoulder gauge for your calipers. Then you can measure a fired case, and compare it with a re-sized case. Should be a few thousandths difference (0.002-0.004")

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The best way to check this is to measure a fired case from each rifle. I will bet you that the AR chamber is longer (from base of case to shoulder).

You should also check our seating depth of your bullet. Makes a big difference in accuracy.

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  • 2 months later...

I use Forster dies and have great luck with them. What is more important than the dies though is a way to quantify the work you are doing. How are you measuring your OAL? You need to use some sort of comparator (Sinclair Hex or Hornady, etc.) to measure to the ogive of the bullet. Hornady also sells a tool to measure the shoulder of the case that is worth picking up.

Precision rifle reloading is absolutely maddening. The best advice I have received is to only change one thing at a time. Find where your shoulder wants to be, then once you have that down measure your throat and start loading .02 off the lands and play with your powder/charge. Once you find out what works then start dialing in your OAL. It just depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.

Check out German Salazars "The riflemans Journal" online. He has forgotten more than I could ever hope to know on precision shooting and loading.

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Check out German Salazars "The riflemans Journal" online. He has forgotten more than I could ever hope to know on precision shooting and loading.

Lots of good info on his site.

http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com/2009/08/reloading-headspace.html

Been loading/shooting/competing with a precision bolt rilfe for several years. Use the O-ring under the FL die method to precisely adjust shoulder bump, .0015-.002 bump works for me, brass last a long time. Moving a FL die a 1/4 or 2/5 of a turn is a HUGE difference in the amount of bump.

Suggest to keep your AR and bolt rifle brass seperate.

Buy a Sinclair comp body/bump gauge insert.

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I find precision reloading to be fairly simple and straight forward. When you shoot brass in a 5.56 gas gun, and then try to use that brass in a 223 bolt gun, you are probably going to have some issues. Not everybody, not every time, but you are not setting yourself up for successful precision reloading by doing so.

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Several nailed the problem. The sizing die isn't bumped down enough. Get yourself some Hornady headspace gauges. You will see the difference in headspace when you measure your 5.56 brass vs the 223 bolt gun brass. You should keep the 5.56 brass separate from the 223 brass. I also recommend bumping shoulder of your fired bolt gun 223 brass back 0.002". If you use this setting for your 5.56 and 223 brass, you should be GTG but your 5.56 brass will wear out sooner.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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