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  1. #11
    Expert NKBJ's Avatar

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    This thread touches upon something that I've wondered about. Having seen "small base" dies I thought hmm, maybe that would be a good idea. But then again I've never used one. My 8x57 FN49 never failed to go bang* so I never worried about it. Do .223 / 5.56 ever really need small base dies? Is it a matter of brass over stressed in a large chamber and subsequently reloaded for a tighter chamber? Or could this be a matter of failure to trim when needed?

    *Except that one time it went full auto with 125 grainers in reduced recoil jack rabbit ack-ack loads.

  2. #12
    Plinker

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    I use a small base die for 223 because Im running my 223 through 1 Remington, 1 Colt, and 2 no-name chambers.

    Every chamber is different. Your chamber determines if its required.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #13
    Shooter

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    If you are running the same round in more than one firearm especially auto, pump or lever guns, small base dies will assure you of rounds feeding correctly in all.
    I run all 223, 308, 30.06 and 300 win that I pickup at the range through small base dies before I use them.
    A few die companies that don't make small base dies cut there regular dies the same as small base dies.
    Small base dies will bring the case to the small side of that cartridge specs.

  4. #14
    Shooter

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    From what I've seen/gauged,
    All 'Small Base' dies are is a little less taper in the lower end of the die body.
    The die sizes the case slightly further down the case towards the head, takes some of the lower case bloat out so it will fit in the next chamber.

    If the 'Small Base' die you get make 'Coke Bottle' rounds, then the bottom bloat is most certainly your problem.

    Before anyone springs for a 'Small Base' die, I have to recommend sticking a feeler gauge under the case, between case and case holder to give the case a 'Bump'.
    This sets the shoulder back also while taking a slight amount of bloat out to let you know if it's case bloating that's the issue.
    There is so much unsupported case in AR clones the case doesn't have to be sized all the way down, so a lot of AR clone shooters can chamber about anything...

    I roll cases between die plates,
    Case rollers like the Case Pro 100 resize the entire lower case back to SAAMI specification.
    Rollers aren't cheap, but they do straighten bent rims to serviceable condition, and they roll the case back to SAAMI size where any top down die can set the shoulder and resize the neck.

    Case-Pro 100

    I can't recommend you run out and buy a roller, the volume you would have to do as a home reloaders wouldn't make sense.
    Speed gunners, machine gunners, etc. need 100% reliability, so it might make sense there, and that's why I first got one, but now I process large volumes of brass without knowing what firearm they might be going into, so SAAMI specification on every case, every time...

    There are two big advantage to case rolling,
    One is MUCH less case lube, with lower case sides pushed back to SAAMI specs, it's basically a shoulder & neck resize.
    The second is with all the bloat taken out and pushed up the case walls, the shoulder set allows the sizer ball to drag out the excess brass very clean and you don't get the wrinkles/waves in the upper shoulder & neck.

    If you are power trimming during processing, you get very consistent length measurements, again getting a SAAMI specification case from processing that will fit any properly chambered firearm.
    Last edited by JeepHammer; 05-19-2019 at 22:00.

  5. #15
    Plinker

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    I would say the cases are not sufficiently resized and too long. Buy a case gauge for 223 and measure each round. Some may be fine and can be fired successfully. Others too long will have to be broken down and reloaded. No need to tear them all down if some are ok.

    https://www.brownells.com/reloading/...prod33287.aspx
    I would not have the patience to tear down 1000 rounds of 223.

  6. #16
    Shooter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Pigeon View Post
    If you are running the same round in more than one firearm especially auto, pump or lever guns, small base dies will assure you of rounds feeding correctly in all.
    I run all 223, 308, 30.06 and 300 win that I pickup at the range through small base dies before I use them.
    A few die companies that don't make small base dies cut there regular dies the same as small base dies.
    Small base dies will bring the case to the small side of that cartridge specs.
    "Small Base" dies are definitely going to make random range brass fit 'Tight' chambers more often.
    It NOT going to bring them back to SAAMI specification so they will fit everything, but 99% of the time they will do the trick.

    They are also about $1,200 cheaper than the machine that will bring the lower case back to SAAMI...
    And they fit any common press, another big selling point.

    What I find with the better grades of dies, particularly if they are sold for "Brass Case Cartridges ONLY!" they are smaller, further down rather than having to buy "Small Base" dies.
    Some dies are deliberately sloppy so aluminum & steel cases will get (more or less) resized in the same dies.

    Something no one has brought up,
    Many once fired cases will be shorter than minimum.
    New, unfired brass you load & fire will get shorter also.
    This is the lower case bloating and making the case 'Shorter'.
    It sometimes takes several firings for the case to stretch & get dragged up the neck for enough for trimming.

    ------

    While a case roller is expensive, it WILL produce brass that fits the tightest/longest chamber since the lower case is restored to SAAMI.
    The second big deal is you need very little case lube to resize brass.
    With the lower sides already smaller than most dies, the sides make very little friction in the dies, so basically it's only the shoulder needs a little lube and you are off to the races with no brass sticking in the dies.

    Like I said before,
    Speed gun guys that want 100% feeding, and a smoother feed/running firearm is faster.
    The guy that makes the Case Pro 100 actually made the machine because he ran speed guns and SAAMI specification ammo ran much better.
    I got mine a long time ago because it was the missing link in getting my speed guns running reliably & smoothly.

    Machine gun guys like case rollers because they rarely have just one, and they wanted the ammo to run smoothy in everything.

    If you all belong to a gun club or shooting club, that might be enough people to look into getting one...

  7. #17
    Grandmaster 1775usmarine's Avatar

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    Would those that dont gauge still work in a bolt action? I ran into the same problem and have roughly 300 but dont want to tear down. I've thought of getting a used 223 bolt to fire them. Once I went to a dedicated press and made some adjustments to my full length die I dont have the issue anymore.
    Son, when the Marine Corps wants you to have a wife, you will be issued one. -Chesty Puller


  8. #18
    Shooter

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    Bolt guns often have longer, tighter chambers...
    The only advantage a bolt gun might bring to the table is you get a lot of leverage on the bolt, and that might resize the brass enough to battery/fire the round.
    It might also jam solid before the bolt locks completely...

    *IF* you just knew where the case was oversized...?
    Once loaded, the ever present danger of setting the round off.
    I've never tried to run primed brass through the roller (reducing lower case bloating) *Might* make them fit a chamber,
    But most times when they won't fit a semi-auto chamber, it's shoulder bulge from a roll crimper or the shoulder simply didn't get pushed back far enough.
    I don't know a practical, safe way to resize either of those conditions once the round is loaded.
    That's why there is a tooling/teardown press next to my progressive loader, if it doesn't fit the 'Last Word' gauge, I tear it down.

    I will admit I've used a hand priming tool to seat primers once they were loaded before.
    The primer didn't quite get seated in the progressive, and I put loaded rounds in the hand primer, held it at arms length away from me and seated the primer.
    I haven't had to do that since I stopped using the Lee Loadmaster, the Dillon seats quite well...

    But I've never tried to straighten/size a buckled shoulder with a case gauge like the guy on YouTube does.
    A case gauge on a loaded round makes a chamber, and then you bring a hammer into the mix? Sounds like you are trying real hard to blow your face or hand off to me!
    After taking a hammer to the gauge, the gauge can't be trusted anymore, it wasn't built to be hammered on.

    I will admit I've had some none too bright ideas...
    Like finishing the primer seating,
    Or pulling bullets on about 500 loaded rounds, then using the vibratory tumbler to knock compressed powder loose from the cases, primers still in the cases, but in my defense, I did run out a 50 foot extension cord into the yard just in case a primer set off the powder...

  9. #19
    JHB
    JHB is offline
    Plinker

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    I had this problem years ago.

    Remove all the guts from the sizing die.

    Lightly lube the bulge on the case and put the round in the press. Raise the ram to the top of the stroke.

    Screw the die in the press until you can feel it touch the case.

    Lower the ram and screw the die down 1/2 turn.

    Raise the ram to TDC.

    Remove the case and check for OAL if it is shorter STOP it won't work with that bullet.

    Check if it chambers. You can go deeper with the die if the bullet isn't being pushed into the case. Lock the die own before running the rest of batch. This should take more than one finger pressure if you need more your cases are not sized correctly
    .

  10. #20
    Grandmaster 1775usmarine's Avatar

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    I got my mistakes when changing between calibers when I use to do the work on a single stage. Looking back I probably should of loaded one caliber till I ran out of components but I use only doing 50 to 100 since I had prepped to the point of powder and bullet and was making enough for a range outing.
    Son, when the Marine Corps wants you to have a wife, you will be issued one. -Chesty Puller


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