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Once fired Lake City 5.56 brass prep for Ar15???
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Hi Folks! I just built an AR, and I’m in the middle of building a couple more. Just bought 1,000 once fired LC headstamp 5.56 cases. They have all been deprimed, polished and the primer pocket crimps removed. I’m wondering about the best way to procede? I will be cloning M193 and MK262 Mod 1 5.56 loads. Will it be necessary to run all of this brass through a small base die? Is a chamber-type case gauge a good idea? Thanks


Matt
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Heed the words of Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984:

"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."
 
Posts: 2913 | Location: Northern Colorado | Registered: 22 November 2005Reply With Quote
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NO!
Small base dies are for people who don't know how to load ammo. And made just to sell more dies. Only if your rifle chamber is not to spec, would it need special treatment, and why did you buy it if it wasn't made to spec?
Gauge? The rifle chamber is your gauge.
You know how to reload; this is no different.
 
Posts: 12680 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by dpcd:
NO!
Small base dies are for people who don't know how to load ammo. And made just to sell more dies. Only if your rifle chamber is not to spec, would it need special treatment, and why did you buy it if it wasn't made to spec?
Gauge? The rifle chamber is your gauge.
You know how to reload; this is no different.


Thanks Tom! I’m using two new criterion, and one take-off S&W barrel, so the chambers are most likely great.


Matt
FISH!!

Heed the words of Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984:

"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."
 
Posts: 2913 | Location: Northern Colorado | Registered: 22 November 2005Reply With Quote
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I’d probably get the case gage anyhow. Depending on your die set (especially Dillon) you can easily set the shoulder back too far and have excess headspace issues.

If you are loading for multiple rifles, it’s easier to set with a case gage and not worry.

I do agree that unless you have a small chamber, or are trying to get top velocities and over expanding the brass, a small base die is an unneeded step.
 
Posts: 5828 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
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I use a Wilson gauge to assess fired brass. Am looking for way over-stretched stuff. Can do it while watching TV, by feel. Not that there's anything worth watching on TV. Don't often encounter over-stretched 5.56/.223 tho - unlike 7.62x51 bulk stuff.

Loading for one upper, chamber is all the gauge you need to set the sizer. But loading for multiple M-16 uppers I use the gauge to set the sizer - just to simplify things. So far so good.

A SB die can be set so not to bump shoulders too much. Till recently all I had was a .223 SB die.

A SB die can be worse than just a solution in search of a problem. Sizing badly overstretched pieces to make them chamber is asking for a separation. BTDT, too.
 
Posts: 661 | Location: Dover-Foxcroft, ME | Registered: 25 May 2002Reply With Quote
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I reload LC brass as you describe, and all I have ever had to do is run them through the standard Redding FL sizer die and then load them with primers and powder and then seat bullets via the standard Redding seater die and they shoot great. I have never had any cycling hiccups shooting these rounds in two different ARs.


Dennis
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Posts: 1073 | Location: Ft. Morgan, CO | Registered: 15 April 2005Reply With Quote
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You will have to load them to fit your shortest chamber; and there is no guarantee that a gauge will achieve that. I have loaded for a dozen 223s and never had a gauge. Never owned a small base die either.
 
Posts: 12680 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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I'm going to tell you all something that may make some of your eyes pop. I've shot neck sized cases in all the semi-autos I've ever owned. Nary a problem. I've done some work with RCBS and one of their engineers told me he wished they never made small base dies. No need for them.

dpcd is right that you need to fit the case to your particular chamber. Been doing that all my life.
 
Posts: 643 | Registered: 15 May 2018Reply With Quote
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How many times in reloading forums have you read about someone using brass fired in someone else's chamber and it will not fit in his chamber when resized.

Its called brass spring back after sizing and many times the case will not fit in "YOUR" chamber.

I buy bulk once fired Lake City 5.56 and 7.62 brass and size them all the first time using a small base die.

Right now at accurateshooter.com there is a posting about .257 Roberts cases fired in another rifle not chambering in his rifle after full length resizing.

A case fired in a semi-auto should be .003 to .005 smaller in diameter after resizing than its fired diameter. This allows the case to spring back from the chamber walls and extract reliably.

Below is a Wilson, Dillon and JP Enterprise .223/5.56 case gauges and the case were put in base first to show the gauge inside diameter. And if the resized case and loaded round passes a plop test in the JP Enterprise gauge the cartridge will chamber and extract in any rifle.



Nothing is written in stone and chambers and dies vary in size. Example I have a standard Lee .223 full length die that will reduce the case body diameter more than my RCBS .223 small base die. And when buying once fired Lake City brass you do not know if the ammunition was fired in a machine gun with a larger chamber.

Below a RCBS AR Series .223/5.56 small base taper crimp die.



Bottom line, they make small base dies for a reason and resizing brass fired in another chamber is a good reason.
 
Posts: 196 | Registered: 29 July 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by bigrdp51:
I buy bulk once fired Lake City 5.56 and 7.62 brass and size them all the first time using a small base die.......Bottom line, they make small base dies for a reason and resizing brass fired in another chamber is a good reason.


You need a SB die, or you don't. Not knocking your approach, sounds like you want to use every piece of bulk brass.

Get the point of your pic, but the SB body sizing was a solution in search of a problem for me. Culling over-stretched stuff, have no chamber that won't accept cases resized in a standard die. Using the old SB sizer, backed it off some. Have a dozen Colt uppers in a drawer, plus a K2, just now. As said, I'm miles ahead in terms of avoiding a separation. Badly overstretched pieces should be culled.

The need to cull is much more likely with bulk 7.62 brass. No need to go into .308 vs 7.62x51 here. IME, but M-16s and Minimis don't seem to stretch brass much. HK93/53s create different issues.

Again, not knocking your approach. If my uppers were "builds", PSAs, eieio might feel as you. Oddly, the only rifles for which a SB die would have been helpful in my 56 years at this were/are one .300 Win and a .375 R. Bumping the shellholder hard just got me to full battery. Otherwise needed a mallet. Better answer is a Willis die, suppose.
 
Posts: 661 | Location: Dover-Foxcroft, ME | Registered: 25 May 2002Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by dpcd:
You will have to load them to fit your shortest chamber; and there is no guarantee that a gauge will achieve that. I have loaded for a dozen 223s and never had a gauge. Never owned a small base die either.


Something we can agree on 100%


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Posts: 7211 | Location: South East Missouri | Registered: 23 November 2005Reply With Quote
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The real question is how many of you buy bulk once fired Lake City brass and replied here.

The JP Enterprise case gauges are made for semi-auto rifles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmyqx_F-oHY

Again if a resized case and a loaded round fits in a JP Enterprise gauge it will chamber in any rifle. This is because this gauge checks case body diameter and brass spring back after sizing.

Dillon .223 Case Gage vs JP Enterprises Case Gage
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gjpf6GbQPlw

Below a "FIRED" Lake City 7.62 case in a Dillon gauge. This case may have been fired a machine gun.



Below the same "FIRED" case in a JP Enterprise case gauge. These gauges check for the proper case body diameter after sizing for a semi-auto.

 
Posts: 196 | Registered: 29 July 2009Reply With Quote
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I have never owned a piece of commercial 223 brass and not more than 50 308s; All my reloading has been with military brass. In the thousands.
50 BMG too; all WW2 military. I do have lots of LC 7.62 Match brass.
I once had to trim off a 308 die to make the brass short enough to fit the chamber of a rifle I have now forgotten which one, but it definitely was NOT the base diameter that was the issue. It was the base to shoulder length. That one make of die (Lyman) was too long to work. Dies are not all the same length, a situation unknown by many reloader. Each maker has his own specs.
Small base dies are a solution looking for a problem, as someone above said, is the right idea.
 
Posts: 12680 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by dpcd:
I have never owned a piece of commercial 223 brass and not more than 50 308s; All my reloading has been with military brass. In the thousands.
50 BMG too; all WW2 military. I do have lots of LC 7.62 Match brass.
I once had to trim off a 308 die to make the brass short enough to fit the chamber of a rifle I have now forgotten which one, but it definitely was NOT the base diameter that was the issue. It was the base to shoulder length. That one make of die (Lyman) was too long to work. Dies are not all the same length, a situation unknown by many reloader. Each maker has his own specs.
Small base dies are a solution looking for a problem, as someone above said, is the right idea.


Mike Venturino said once in one of his writings that you can make your own small base die by cutting a little off the bottom of your regular full length sizing die. That's not correct because not only does that size your base (actually the whole case) smaller, it pushes the shoulder of the case back further then where it is suppose to be.

Dany well believe dies are all different. There are min/max dimensions on them too just as there are on barrel chambers. I'm not going to say what brand, but I have a size die in 8x57 Mauser that I don't have to use lube on the case! Fit's my chamber good.
 
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Below three types of Forster .308 resizing dies.

 
Posts: 196 | Registered: 29 July 2009Reply With Quote
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HANDLOADING FOR COMPETITION
by Glen Zediker.

ONCE FIRED [twice fried]
https://www.zediker.com/downloads/14_loading.pdf

Fit Ammunition [ammunition that fits]

"Insufficient sizing is probably the most common and costly mistake made in loading for theM14. “Insufficient” is in both die design and operator discretion.
Conventional full length sizing dies may not do the trick. As started on, a rifle with a “match” chamber, which “should” (not necessarily wise, but likely) be a little shorter and bigger diameter, may not get along with a standard die. Since the case has to be sized down a little more than most from most other rifle types, a conventional full length die may not be up to it. If the rifle is performing well with full length sizing, run with it, but a small base sizing die will not negatively affect ammunition performance in any M14 rifle and is a recommended purchase, regardless of chamber specs. I’ve seen 14s shoot better groups after a switch to small base sizing. “Aw, c’mon...” No, really. There are high-theory ideas as to why this might happen, and, of course, just keep reading to find them, but it’s mentioned mostly to emphasize that small base sizing will in no way hurt accuracy in this rifle."
 
Posts: 196 | Registered: 29 July 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by bigrdp51:
The real question is how many of you buy bulk once fired Lake City brass and replied here.


I do. Stand by my policy of culling fired pieces that stand out in a Wilson die. Which means the tighter JP gauge is not going to bring anything additional to the table. Culling stretch-damaged pieces - rather than sizing them to fit - has made feeling for incipient separations unnecessary.

None of my .308 chambers (four at the moment) are so tight that a standard sizer fails, assuming cases pass the above test. So I don't need a SB .308 die right now.

A more rational, if less common, use for a SB die is to size undamaged brass for a very tight chamber....whether bolt, lever, semi, slide.

ETA. I have Zedikers books on the shelf. In other sections he goes in great detail about the effect of oversizing and brass life. In the very chapter you quoted he stresses never firing .308 brass more than 4 times. Total number firings, not reloads. Yes, you can make accurate ammunition with a SB die, tho. Said this ad nauseum but you either need a SB die or you don't. I solved the issue by culling stretch-damaged pieces. YMMV.
 
Posts: 661 | Location: Dover-Foxcroft, ME | Registered: 25 May 2002Reply With Quote
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And Glen Zediker also tells you the case body diameter with a full length resized case needs to be .003 to .005 smaller in diameter than its fired diameter.

This allows the case to spring back from the chamber walls and extract reliably. If the case body is not reduced enough on a over gassed AR15 the bolt will start to rotate while the case is gripping the chamber walls, and this causes case head swipes.

And when Zediker is talking about over resizing the case he is talking about bumping the case shoulder back too far. And I'm talking about reducing the case body diameter enough and brass spring back.

And the OP is asking about sizing "ONCE FIRED" Lake City brass fired in a multitude of chambers. And a small base die will bring the case body back closer to SAAMI minimum diameter.

Then after the cases are fire formed to "HIS" chamber a standard die "MAY" work just fine. And this depends if the die reduces the case body diameter enough. And a vernier caliper will give him the answer to this question.

And below are just some of my .223 dies and the three type of .223 rifles I reload for. And the best part about reloading is the person pulling the press handle decides how to do it.



 
Posts: 196 | Registered: 29 July 2009Reply With Quote
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None of these dimensions means anything because each maker of reamers, barrels, dies, brass, and ammo, uses their own specifications for them. Yes, SAAMI has a set of drawings, but they are voluntary, and it is a miracle that all our stuff works so well together.
Reamer dimensions are immaterial too; you don't know how deep your chamber is; the difference between go and no go is fairly generous. Relatively.
And yes, all dies are different.
My recommendation is, as always, start with a standard die; size the brass to fit your chamber. If it won't, find out why; DO NOT just jump on the small base die wagon until you determine you really need one. Which as I said, I never have.
What is best, is to take one constant (probably your chamber unless you are a gunsmith), and make any other variable fit it. It's actually easy to do but there is more than one way to do it.
Of course, each loader is free to do whatever he thinks best, whether it is the optimal solution or not. He thinks it works, which is all that matters. It works.
And, consider this; I have reloaded 223 for many barrels, since the late 70s when I got a 788 and before ARs were common. Got all my brass from the range; we had it by the literal ton. Never used a small base die for many ARs over the years; I guess I violated all the "rules" above. Which proves they aren't rules at all; just opinions.
But if your chamber and die aren't compatible, then you will have problems.
 
Posts: 12680 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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On an over gassed AR the bolt starts to rotate sooner then it should no matter what the case diameter is. It's called timing. It's this timing, when it's early, that causes flat primers on loads that are known as mild. This is why David Tubbs came out with his carrier weights. Now that's handled with adjustable gas valves. With the operating pressures of the commercial and NATO rounds it doesn't matter where you size your cases at as the pressure forces the case walls against the chamber walls. What does effect spring back is the hardness of your brass.
 
Posts: 643 | Registered: 15 May 2018Reply With Quote
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Lets see the OP has once fired Lake City brass that is very hard brass fired in a mutitude of chambers and posibly machine guns. And it will spring back the most when fired in "FAT" large diameter chambers.



And below is the milspec hardness gradient chart.

 
Posts: 196 | Registered: 29 July 2009Reply With Quote
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You can put all that jibber jash up with charts, doesn't make any difference. No matter what form of hardness the case is it all springs back from firing or firearms just wouldn't work huh? Those specs you gave are for the new manufacture of.
 
Posts: 643 | Registered: 15 May 2018Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by vzerone:

Mike Venturino said once in one of his writings that you can make your own small base die by cutting a little off the bottom of your regular full length sizing die. That's not correct because not only does that size your base (actually the whole case) smaller, it pushes the shoulder of the case back further then where it is suppose to be.



Mike Venturino was talking about straight sided black powder dies and not your "jibber jash." There is brass hardness and then just hard headedness.

Have a nice day Mr "jibber jash."
 
Posts: 196 | Registered: 29 July 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by bigrdp51:
quote:
Originally posted by vzerone:

Mike Venturino said once in one of his writings that you can make your own small base die by cutting a little off the bottom of your regular full length sizing die. That's not correct because not only does that size your base (actually the whole case) smaller, it pushes the shoulder of the case back further then where it is suppose to be.



Mike Venturino was talking about straight sided black powder dies and not your "jibber jash." There is brass hardness and then just hard headedness.

Have a nice day Mr "jibber jash."


Don't do any reloading, you're too stupid. Adios!
 
Posts: 643 | Registered: 15 May 2018Reply With Quote
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We’re just having a friendly discussion. No need to act like the folks in the politics forum. Thanks to ALL for your opinions!


Matt
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Heed the words of Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984:

"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."
 
Posts: 2913 | Location: Northern Colorado | Registered: 22 November 2005Reply With Quote
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Think everyone gets your charts. As suspected, your 5.56/.223 chambers are a more diverse lot than mine. We do what works for us. Body dimensions either work or they don't. Which harkens to...SB dies are either needed or not. For me, and most here, not.

Culling overstretched (I call them damaged) 7.62 cases has worked for the last few decades.

ETA - agree with Matt.
 
Posts: 661 | Location: Dover-Foxcroft, ME | Registered: 25 May 2002Reply With Quote
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Well I want to know where I can buy small base dies for straight walled black powder cartridge???!!!!!

I think that if a gun is so chambered that you can't size a case with regular dies that you should take a hard look at the actual chamber dimensions. I'm talking about over camming the press, changing different height shell holders, etc. If a case is so "mangled" as some of you have mentioned, I wouldn't want to use it. I have an acquaintance that prefers the 7.62 NATO brass that was fired from a machine gun so that he can tailor it to fit the chambers he uses. Myself I feel the case has been stressed when it gets the excess bulge. I feel the same way with 40 S&W cases with bad bulges that I believe LEE makes a dies to push the whole case through. Nope, I don't want to do that or use those. I feel those too have been over stressed.
 
Posts: 643 | Registered: 15 May 2018Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by ColoradoMatt:
Hi Folks! I just built an AR, and I’m in the middle of building a couple more. Just bought 1,000 once fired LC headstamp 5.56 cases. They have all been deprimed, polished and the primer pocket crimps removed. I’m wondering about the best way to procede? I will be cloning M193 and MK262 Mod 1 5.56 loads. Will it be necessary to run all of this brass through a small base die? Is a chamber-type case gauge a good idea? Thanks


I size all my bulk once fired Lake City brass through a small base die the first time.

Thereafter if a standard full length die reduces the case diameter .003 to .005 smaller than its fired case diameter the standard die is good enough.

And my JP enterprise case gauges tell me if the diameter has been reduced enough during sizing for my AR15 rifles.

This is not rocket science, its how much "YOUR" die reduces the case body diameter.

I use the Hornady cartridge case headspace gauge below to measure fired cases headspace length. I then set the die for .003 to .004 shoulder bump. And the JP Enterprise gauge is just used as a plop gauge and checking the case body diameter.



Chambers and dies vary in size and nothing is written in stone.

 
Posts: 196 | Registered: 29 July 2009Reply With Quote
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JP’s case gage is undersized by SAAMI spec.

Yes, I have one.

If you use that as your baseline, your brass is being oversized. Brass life will be compromised. John Gangle will tell you that himself. I’ve got 3 of his rifles. They all work fine without using small base dies.

I’ve loaded lots of bulk lake city brass without resorting to small base dies, that I shoot through JP rifles.

The issue that can well happen is stacking of tolerances- get a die that was made at the maximum side, and a chamber cut to minimum, and sometimes it doesn’t work.

If you like small base dies, fine, but as others are saying they are not “necessary”. Set your dies to minimal resizing to meet a case gage and it will work in everything except a small cut match chamber.

I can sympathize with culling “too large” brass, and agree it will reduce splits/head separation, but that has been so rare in my experience, I don’t bother- but since I shoot 3 gun with the semiautos I tend to lose my brass before I develop trouble anyhow. The only time I had trouble was when I assumed the dies were made right (Dillon if it matters) and had very excessive headspace issues- then maybe 1-2 out of 100 had head separations. Really wreaked my match score... set the die up right and I’ve had no real problems.
 
Posts: 5828 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
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Read the link below from the CMP reloading forum. You will find people who use small base dies and people who say they are not needed.


Small base dies developed for those who dont use headspace gauges?

http://forums.thecmp.org/showthread.php?t=123939
 
Posts: 196 | Registered: 29 July 2009Reply With Quote
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all .308 RCBS dies are small base for that matter, just check with RCBS if you have doubts.
I did and thats what I was told..mostly because of the automatic 308s out there..

I have a 6x45 that requires, required, small base dies and resized .223 won't fit..

There are instances werein small base dies are required.

Some of the information on this thread is surprising for lack of a better word..


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Posts: 36564 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Internet forums are like this. Each poster feels he has bigger ball then the rest and all he's doing is trying to convince EVERYONE else to use his methods. Not going to happen that way.
 
Posts: 643 | Registered: 15 May 2018Reply With Quote
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I'm not trying to convince everyone, the OP asked a question about sizing Lake City brass fired in other rifle chambers.

And a small base die and the JP enterprise case gauge will insure the ammunition will chamber and extract in any rifle.

I reload for my AR15 rifles and my sons AR15 rifle, and "DAD" isn't going to be blamed for making bad ammo.

USAMU Reloading Tip — Prepping GI 5.56 Brass for Match Use
http://bulletin.accurateshoote...brass-for-match-use/



My comment, The USAMU does not reload once fired Lake City brass for competition because they want 100% reliability with their ammo. And I want 100% reliability with my once fired Lake City brass so I use a small base die.

"NOTE: The USAMU Handloading (HL) Shop does not RE-load fired 5.56 brass. We use virgin LC brass with our chosen primer already staked in place. However, our staff has extensive personal experience reloading GI brass for competition, which will supplement the Shop’s customary steps. In handloading, as in life, there are many ways to accomplish any given task. Our suggestions are note presented as the “only way,” by any means. Time for loading/practicing is always at a premium. Readers who have more efficient, alternative methods that maintain top accuracy are invited to share them here."
 
Posts: 196 | Registered: 29 July 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by bigrdp51:
I'm not trying to convince everyone, the OP asked a question about sizing Lake City brass fired in other rifle chambers.

And a small base die and the JP enterprise case gauge will insure the ammunition will chamber and extract in any rifle.

I reload for my AR15 rifles and my sons AR15 rifle, and "DAD" isn't going to be blamed for making bad ammo.

USAMU Reloading Tip — Prepping GI 5.56 Brass for Match Use
http://bulletin.accurateshoote...brass-for-match-use/



My comment, The USAMU does not reload once fired Lake City brass for competition because they want 100% reliability with their ammo. And I want 100% reliability with my once fired Lake City brass so I use a small base die.

"NOTE: The USAMU Handloading (HL) Shop does not RE-load fired 5.56 brass. We use virgin LC brass with our chosen primer already staked in place. However, our staff has extensive personal experience reloading GI brass for competition, which will supplement the Shop’s customary steps. In handloading, as in life, there are many ways to accomplish any given task. Our suggestions are note presented as the “only way,” by any means. Time for loading/practicing is always at a premium. Readers who have more efficient, alternative methods that maintain top accuracy are invited to share them here."


Why can I get my AR's to function reliably with neck sized only cases and you have to small base size all your stuff? No before you jump to conclusions I DON'T always use neck size cases and when I don't I use regular dies, not small base. I do very much cast bullet shooting from my AR's and if anything shows up unreliable ammo cast is it. Don't believe that you cannnot shoot cast from AR's. So far I've never owned any semi-auto that I had to use small base dies and I sure have a bunch of different types BESIDES AR's. There may be chambers out there, and they don't have to be on semi-auto, that are on the very very tight side. In any kind of competition I would never want my ammo on the excessively small side for my chamber. One final note it was said long ago that the military never meant for the 5.56 case to be reloaded. Maybe. From what I've seen it definitely isn't like the old days when military brass was thicker and softer. From all the internal volume measurements I've done on military 5.56 cases and commercial cases I have seen a huge different as compared to 7.62 NATO and 30-06 military. When Federal and LC are under the same company wouldn't you tend to think the military and commercial cases are dimensionally same? I've never have found fault with 5.56 brass.
 
Posts: 643 | Registered: 15 May 2018Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by vzerone:

Why can I get my AR's to function reliably with neck sized only cases



vzerone

Go to the range and pickup five Lake City 5.56 cases at random. Now neck size these five pieces of range pickup brass and keep neck sizing them until they fail to chamber or extract. Then come back and tell us the results of "YOUR" sizing methods.

The OP just bought 1000 once fired Lake City 5.56 cases and asked if he should use a small base die. And my answer is "YES" because these cases were "NOT" fired in his chamber. And these cases should be sized closer to minimum SAAMI diameter. This will ensure the cases will spring back from the chamber walls and extract reliably.

Then after the cases have been fired in his chamber he can try a standard full length die. And if the cases are .003 to .005 smaller in diameter than his fired cases diameter he will be good to go.
 
Posts: 196 | Registered: 29 July 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by bigrdp51:
I'm not trying to convince everyone,

It sure looks like that from all you've said.

I reload for my AR15 rifles and my sons AR15 rifle, and "DAD" isn't going to be blamed for making bad ammo.

This seems to be the crux of the matter...entirely!
 
Posts: 271 | Registered: 24 December 2002Reply With Quote
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How-To: Handloading Tips for the AR-15
https://gundigest.com/gear-amm...on/handloading-ar-15

"Before I began this project, I asked for advice from longtime Sierra Bullet employee Carroll Pilant. Carroll is an active three-gun competitor and has had much experience with AR-15s and handloading. His first statement with regards to handloading was, “Get a case gauge!”

New brass should be no problem, but once-fired cases might be. With once-fired, I full-length size and check every case after sizing using the gauge.

 
Posts: 196 | Registered: 29 July 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by bigrdp51:
quote:
Originally posted by vzerone:

Why can I get my AR's to function reliably with neck sized only cases



vzerone

Go to the range and pickup five Lake City 5.56 cases at random. Now neck size these five pieces of range pickup brass and keep neck sizing them until they fail to chamber or extract. Then come back and tell us the results of "YOUR" sizing methods.

The OP just bought 1000 once fired Lake City 5.56 cases and asked if he should use a small base die. And my answer is "YES" because these cases were "NOT" fired in his chamber. And these cases should be sized closer to minimum SAAMI diameter. This will ensure the cases will spring back from the chamber walls and extract reliably.

Then after the cases have been fired in his chamber he can try a standard full length die. And if the cases are .003 to .005 smaller in diameter than his fired cases diameter he will be good to go.


That's a real smart statement about picking up brass at the range and neck sizing them. As you mentioned what's the chances of cases fired in different rifles fitting your rifle. One would have to full length size them first, but that's another matter. I'm leery about cases at the ranges. How do you know it's history...yeah you can gather a little information from it's appearance, but never the total history of it's life. I've seen too many people damage their rifles by using unknown brass.

At the most I use once fired cases. After I clean and inspect them I full length size them. Never had a problem. If I'm after the most accuracy from my special built AR's I'll neck size. I'll tell you another semi-auto rifle that I have neck sized for with nary a problem and it is a problem weapon. That's the Russian SVT 40. My near mint Garand gobbles up a lot of neck sized cases. I remember a friend I had in OK. He had a semi-auto Remington 30-06. A 742 Deluxe. All he ever used to reload it was a LEE hand loader. Yes he was just neck sizing for years. Never had a stitch of trouble. I don't believe he ever full length sized them because he didn't have a press or dies. BTW that rifle was exceptionally accurate. On many rifles, and they don't have to be semi's, after many neck sizings the case will get a little snug. Then you full length size it to bring it back. Neck sizing really does add life to a case along with annealing them occasionally. Small base dies over work your brass. You sound like you're not a cast shooter. With cast bullets you're often shooting bullets over sized as compared to jacketed ones. Neck tension is set different on cast bullets. So you don't want to size the neck down far as for a jacketed bullet and then expand it up to where you set it. We use dies that only size the neck portion to where we want it. The cases last much longer then if you size them in full length dies. Much much longer especially the necks!! I would never small base size them. I've had rifles that had very tight chambers. One was an early 6.5 Grendel. Part of the problem was the manufacturer had things all screwed up far as chamber dimensions and reloading die full length sizer die incorrect data to the die manufacturer. I had to cam over my ram fairly well to get them to chamber. They did chamber nicely then too. Later on these problems were corrected. If I get a rifle that won't chamber using a variety of sizer dies (not small base) and shell holders I'll then investigate what the exact problem is and have it corrected. To automatically small base size your brass right of the bat is crazy. Makes me wonder with all this talk about using virgin brass why you talk so much about resizing and small base dies. For the military in combat, yes they need cartridges that fit and chamber reliably, their lives depend on it. More often that brass is going to be way undersize especially in the machine guns. Doesn't matter they aren't reloading it. It only ends up to us for reloading because the scrap vendors figured out they could sell it for reloading brass and make more money then scraping it. The military sells it as scrap.
 
Posts: 643 | Registered: 15 May 2018Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by vzerone:

That's a real smart statement about picking up brass at the range and neck sizing them. As you mentioned what's the chances of cases fired in different rifles fitting your rifle.


The OP bought 1000 once fired lake City 5.56 cases fired in a multitude of different chambers.

How many times in reloading forums have you read about problems using brass fired in another chamber.

The small base die will reduce the case body diameter closer to SAAMI minimums that new brass would be.

Then after these cases are fired in HIS chamber he can try a standard die.

If the OP does not have a small base die he can try pausing for 4 or 5 seconds at the top of the ram stroke. This will reduce brass spring back after sizing. And many times the case may need sizing twice with a standard die. And with a small base die the case only need to be sized once.

Chambers and dies vary in size and nothing is written in stone. I have a standard Lee .223 die that will reduce the case body diameter more than my RCBS small base die.

The JP Enterprise gauge pictured above is made from a finish chamber reamer. Meaning the gauges case body diameter is the same as the rifles chamber. So if the loaded cartridge fit in the JP Enterprise gauge it will chamber in any rifle. This is the same reason compeditive pistol shooters use plop gauges to check their loaded rounds.


Dillon .223 Case Gage vs JP Enterprises Case Gage
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gjpf6GbQPlw

Sheridan gauge vs Wilson Case gauge for reloading
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt9JhJAQRBo&t=6s
 
Posts: 196 | Registered: 29 July 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
New brass should be no problem, but once-fired cases might be. With once-fired, I full-length size and check every case after sizing using the gauge.


You should be able to determine if the case has been sized before lowering the ram.

And then there is that part about getting a case gage; the case gage has been with us since about 1939. That has to be 80+ years, I have given up on reloaders learning how to use it.

F. Guffey
 
Posts: 297 | Registered: 16 February 2010Reply With Quote
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