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  • A problem with my 223 loads

    Hi guys, I’m hoping someone will be able to help me with my reloading problem…

    I’m fairly new to reloading and just started reloading 223. I’ve noticed that about 1 out of 10 shells that I produce will not fire when I pull the trigger and then get stuck in the camber of my AR. Stuck to the point that I need someone else to come over and hold my AR while I pull on the charging handle with all my strength to get it to spit out the unused shell.

    Reload data is as follows:

    Case trimmed to: 1.75
    Over all length: 2.25
    Bullet: Speer 55 HP
    Powder: Ramshot TAC 23.5 grains
    Primers: CCI small rifle
    (When seating the primers I make sure they are slightly below the surface of the shell.)


    So… I am hoping one of you guys can figure what noobie mistake I am making. All comments and suggestions are welcome.

    FYI: The AR seems to fire fine with factory produced ammo.
    ~ Awesome ~

  • #2
    Make sure you are full length resizing your brass. Neck resizing is prefered for bolt actions. Many semi autos, and full autos require full length resizing.
    Those who would trade freedom for security will end up with neither.

    Comment


    • #3
      Awesome

      Are the cases being cleaned (Tumbler)?
      Are the primer pockets clean and free of obstructions (Tumbler media)?
      Are the cases being resized not just trimmed?
      Is your firing pin in good condition?
      Is your firing pin clean at the shoulder stop.
      Is your bolt carrier clean?
      Is your bolt face clean
      Is the chamber clean (not just the barrel)?
      Is any residual oil/lubricant being removed from shells after reloading?
      Last edited by Bayou Blaster; 11-09-2009, 07:16 PM. Reason: Additional Info

      Comment


      • #4
        Dracos and BB thanks for taking the case!


        BB:
        Are the cases being cleaned (Tumbler)? ~~ Yes if anything overly cleaned

        Are the primer pockets clean and free of obstructions (Tumbler madia)? ~~yes

        Are the cases being resized not just trimmed? ~~ I've been using RCBS x-sizer die which I believe is a full length sizer (according to their video on x-sizer die http://www.rcbs.com/ )

        Is your firing pin in good condition? ~~yes

        Is your firing pin clean at the shoulder stop. ~~yes
        Is your bolt carrier clean? ~~yes
        Is your bolt face clean ~~yes
        Is the chamber clean (not just the barrel)? ~~yes

        Is any residual oil/lubricant being removed from shells after reloading? ~~I can probably do a better job of this... but i would say it;s not terribly neglected


        Dracos - Make sure you are full length resizing your brass. Neck resizing is prefered for bolt actions. Many semi autos, and full autos require full length resizing. ~~ I've been using RCBS x-sizer die which I believe is a full length (according to their video on x-sizer die http://www.rcbs.com/ )
        ~ Awesome ~

        Comment


        • #5
          I am going to make the assumption you have the die adjusted in the press so that it sizes the whole case right???

          Check your rifle chamber, separate the uppper, remove the BCG, drop rounds in, see that they rest on the chamber shoulder, tilt upper up and see if round falls back out. If so you are still good to go.

          You may need to go to a Small Base die if rounds are sticking in the chamber.

          Once you have removed the stuck cases, are there any bulges toward the base of the case?

          Is the case neck bulged after pressing bullet into case neck?

          How old are the primers?
          Is the barrel adapter clean?
          Is the bolt retaining pin worn?
          Have you ensured that all the cases are indeed brass and not brass plated/washed?
          Have you ensured that the shells have only one hole in the primer pocket (Boxer primed) and not two (Berdan primed)?
          Last edited by Bayou Blaster; 11-09-2009, 01:15 PM. Reason: Additional Info

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the continued help BB I appreciate it!

            BB:
            I am going to make the assumption you have the die adjusted in the press so that it sizes the whole case right??? ~~ yes

            Once you have removed the stuck cases, are there any bulges toward the base of the case? ~~on a few of them it looks like the sides were scratched a little

            How old are the primers? ~~ new (couple of months if anything)
            Is the barrel adapter clean? ~~ not sure what a barrel adapter is
            Is the bolt retaining pin worn? ~~ no
            Have you ensured that all the cases are indeed brass and not brass plated/washed? ~~yes
            Have you ensured that the shells have only one hole in the primer pocket (Boxer primed) and not two (Berdan primed? ~~ all are boxer primed


            I spoke with RCBS tech support and the guy said it might be because I am not trimming the cases 20 thousandth from the max and the X-Sizer die needs the cases trimmed to that length... Does that sound like that could be the problem? It sounded like he might have been just guessing.
            ~ Awesome ~

            Comment


            • #7
              Awesome see prevoius post (edited).

              Barrel adapter is the rear portion of the barrel that has the locking slots cut into it for the bolt lugs.

              You should have only very minor scratches from when the cartridges leave the magazines; no burrs or displaced metal.

              Quote: "I spoke with RCBS tech support and the guy said it might be because I am not trimming the cases 20 thousandth from the max and the X-Sizer die needs the cases trimmed to that length... Does that sound like that could be the problem? It sounded like he might have been just guessing."

              Answer: Extremely possible if the case is trimmed to it's max length. If there is a slight variation in headspace it can cause this. Basically if the case is trimmed to it's max length and the headspace is at it's minimum tolerance; the case is being slightly crushed into the chamber. The shell casing being bulged into the chamber walls.

              Another thing to check for is if you have pronounced scratches on the case neck. You may have run dusty/dirty brass into the die. It's galled brass collected in the neck. This can also contribute to stuck/sticking cases. Use a good COPPER remover with a brush and patch and clean it out of your dies.

              This firearm is not a parts gun is it?

              Hope this helps.
              Last edited by Bayou Blaster; 11-09-2009, 02:04 PM. Reason: Additional Info

              Comment


              • #8
                BB Thanks for all the helpful hints!

                ~~Barrel adapter is clean (now that i know what it is)
                ~~the scratches on the side seemed like they were minor
                ~~ I didn;t see any scratches on the neck
                ~~No it's a StagArms assembled by them...

                I'll clean out the die and start trimming the cases to 1.74 (which i believe is the length that RCBS wanted for the x-sizer).

                I'm actually away from home (for work) but I will give everything a try this weekend and let you know how it turns out.

                Please feel free to add anything else you can think of

                thanks again!
                ~ Awesome ~

                Comment


                • #9
                  Awesome

                  SAAMI Case length is 1.74 - 1.76 if I'm not mistaken. Your problem is not unheard of with a Stag Arms AR-15. They are very tight when it comes to tolerances. It could be that it is short throated though doubtful. Your situation can manifest itself into a DANGEROUS overpressure condition. One other thing to keep in mind; full length case resizing will shorten the life/reuse of the case. So keep an eye for cracks, rim separation etc.

                  Are your primers excessively flatened after firing?
                  Are you cleaning the bore from the rear of the barrel?
                  Are you using a chamber brush to clean the chamber and barrel adapter?

                  If you don't have them already, I would also invest in a good set of vernier calipers and do comparative measurements. I would compare a new unfired cartridge to one of your reloaded ones.

                  You could also try setting the shoulder on a case back about 0.001 - 0.002 inches more, load a dummy round, and then try it in the rifle to see if it ejects okay.

                  Again Good Luck.
                  Last edited by Bayou Blaster; 11-09-2009, 06:22 PM. Reason: Additional Info

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    check cases that jammed

                    I'm assuming you know which cases jammed.
                    Use blue dykem or a felt-tip pen to mark those cases then rechamber them individualy sans magazine, check for wear marks that will show what part of case is jamming.
                    The road to serfdom is paved with free electric golf carts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      BB:

                      ~~ I didn;t notice anything different about the primers on the spent cases
                      ~~I lean the barrel from the end of the barrel that the bullet comes out
                      ~~I usually use a regular brush/ bronze brush small end

                      I'm not sure how to set the shoulder back on a round.


                      Kenno:

                      Thanks for the suggestion sounds like a good idea. I'm not sure what "sans magazine" means but I think you want me to color the bullets with a marker and then chamber them one at a time and see if they get stuck and where they color is worn off.
                      ~ Awesome ~

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Awesome

                        One other thing to check:
                        Concerning your X-sizer die, if the mandrel is adjusted incorrectly (too far down) it will cause the case to buckle/bulge where the case shoulder meets the case body. If the mandrel is not adjusted far enough, it will allow the cases to continue to grow. I would double check the X-sizer die to make sure it's adjusted correctly and then recheck your measurements periodically to ensure it has not changed. Make sure the die is clean. Additionally if your Stag Arms AR-15 is chambered to except both .223 Cal Remington and NATO 5.56 x 45mm then the chamber has a longer throat, so if the case is properly trimmed it should not be an issue.
                        Last edited by Bayou Blaster; 11-09-2009, 08:20 PM. Reason: Additional Info.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'll have to recheck the x-sizer... The Stag is chambered in 556.

                          Thanks BB!
                          ~ Awesome ~

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Awesome View Post
                            I'll have to recheck the x-sizer... The Stag is chambered in 556.

                            Thanks BB!
                            For the X-sizer die: RCBS does recommend trimming the cases .020 under maximum case length. This is a one-time only preparation:

                            http://www.rcbs.com/downloads/instru...structions.pdf

                            Good Luck.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Awesome View Post



                              Kenno:

                              Thanks for the suggestion sounds like a good idea. I'm not sure what "sans magazine" means but I think you want me to color the bullets with a marker and then chamber them one at a time and see if they get stuck and where they color is worn off.
                              Kenno means without a mag.
                              Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim.
                              ~ Be patient and tough; some day this pain will be useful to you.-Ovid

                              Mus uni non fidit antro.
                              ~ A mouse does not rely on just one hole.-Plautus

                              Non semper erit aestas
                              ~ It will not always be summer.

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