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Do I have a 223 problem?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by glockaviator, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. I successfully loaded 300 rounds of 308, doing the load development thing, varying powder then varying OAL to get a round that shot at less than 1 MOA.

    So I am tackling 223. First problem I run into is it takes quite a bit of force to seat the bullet. The bullet is so tight it wont come out with my inertia bullet puller. I can pull one out with vice grips and pliers (ruins bullet, case ok, but scratched), but JUST BARELY. Whatever neck tension I have seems to be pretty consistent.

    I was used to a lot less tension with my 308's. Just enough to keep the bullet from moving while being chambered in my bolt gun.

    Do I have a problem or am I ok here? (Ive only loaded 10 rounds so far and am about to load up 50 or so more).
  2. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Something doesn't sound quite right. Check your case mouths for a sealant residue that could be gumming up the process. I've never had a round that the inertia puller would not remove; some are tighter than others but they all eventually let go.

    C4W will be around shortly to have you measure the bullet diameter, inside case mouth and your expander plug. I'll agree with him beforehand that all should be measured to insure you have the correct components.

    Then again, if you weren't shooting them thru a bolt gun, the tension would be preferable in an AR...

  3. FiremanMike

    FiremanMike Way too busy

    Jul 26, 2007
    The interwebs
    My inertia puller won't pull 223 either, I always figured it was because the bullet was so light..
  4. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    I've been replaced by a P.C.

    Never thought I would see the day.
  5. GLShooter


    Jan 3, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    The high neck tension will probably raise your pressures somewhat and MAY make a difference on accuracy.

    I have not had any 223 rounds that could not be taken care of by inertial puller. I have had some 20 Tactical that were terribly tight. I ordered up a bigger expander button from the die manufacturer initially then said to heck with it and bought some F/L bushing style sizer dies so I would never have that problem again.

    I'd back the load off MAX and work up to what looked good. I use a chronograph to help in that area as I know how fast they SHOULD be going and I don't really want to see that beat by much. You will have to watch for primer signs and case head expansion if you don't have access to a chrono.

    Just my thoughts.

  6. Bang harder with your bullet puller Mavis (kidding... sort of :whistling: )

    I have found pistol is easier to remove a bullet than rifle.

    Double check everything - especially your seating die. Good luck.
  7. What is "F/L bushing style sizer dies" ?
  8. GLShooter


    Jan 3, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Full length sizer die that uses changeable bushing for neck sizing. Like this:

    With one of these in 223 you can load 223, 6X45 and 20 Practical just by changing out the bushing. They allow the full length sizing and yet et you adjust neck tension as you want it,

  9. GOA Guy

    GOA Guy

    Feb 22, 2010
    I wouldn't worry about the heavy bullet pull to much. If your expander ball is much less than .222 you may be able to get a larger replacement from your die manufacturer. In a bolt gun light pull is OK for target shooting (where you are babying the bolt) but, for field use, and automatics, a bit of extra pull is a good thing. Tiny bullets are sometimes quite hard to pull with the inertia tools. What you use to strike the puller on can also make a big difference.
  10. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    Well, since you didn't say, and since no one asked, I will inquiry as to the brand of brass you are referring to.
  11. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454

    Jun 20, 2002
    Agreed he has a seriously under sized expander or he's using Mil 5.56mm brass in a .223 dies set! Mil cases are thicker then Commercial .223 brass!:whistling:
  12. I have 223 dies from Lee and they have always worked with my 223 or 5.56 brass.
  13. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country

    Same here. My Hornady and RCBS .223 dies don't seem to care about NATO vs non-NATO brass. I've never seen NATO specific .223 dies.

    That said, NATO brass is thicker than non-NATO (at least the one's I've cut up - LC NATO vs LC non-NATO); but the extra thickness was found in the web/case; not in the neck.
  14. Thats good, I just picked up a set of Hornady full length dies for 223. I will be loading both 223 and 5.56 brass. This thread just answered my question.
  15. Dogue

    Dogue Trouble Maker

    Aug 15, 2009
    SW Florida
    Make sure your seater die is set up correctly. You might be applying a crimp before even having the bullet seated if your die is turned down too far.

    As for resizing; .223=5.56
  16. Ya I mushroomed 2 cases trying to get the crimp set right. I am not usre I have it all set right, they dont all feed smooth. I may have to have a local that has experience with 223 come over and check. Feeding them through the AR on a test run I had to tap the forward assist a couple times. All the cases are below max specs, I use donce fired Hornady brass since all the federal brass I have (civ bought 223) are crimped and I dont have the tool to remove it yet.
  17. GLShooter


    Jan 3, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    You might try turning in your sizer die a bit and moving that shoulder back about 0.002 more.

    Then run your seater die down until it just touches the case mouth without seating a bullet.

    Set up the seater stem to seat the bullet to the COL you want (less than 2.260).

    Go shoot them and FORGET the crimp. I bet you will do fine on the rounds holding the bullet with neck tension alone.

    I run about 95% uncrimped bullets in my AR's (four flavors at last count) and have never had an issue.

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010
  18. If you're going to crimp I would suggest seating with a seperate die.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010
  19. jadedragon


    Jun 20, 2007
    I thought I had the same problem as glockaviator. I was slamming the inertia bullet puller without success with my .223 mistakes. I literally split a 2X4 I was using to hammer on. I scratched my head puzzled for several days before I realized I was using an INERTIA bullet puller. A .223 bullet weighing 55 gr just does not create enough inertia to overcome the friction of the case. I got online that very day and ordered a Hornady Cam-Lock bullet puller and now all was well again in reloadingland.
  20. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    It took you 300 rounds to find something your .308 bolt gun liked? :wow:

    As for the .223 - don't crimp them, or crimp in a second stage. Just to be sure - the bullet you're using has a cannelure, right?