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Having some extraction problems with handloads, need suggestions.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by M4J0R T0M, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. M4J0R T0M

    M4J0R T0M

    Jan 8, 2010
    I finally got some .223 reloaded and I cycled some through my AR by hand just to make sure the OAL was ok. When I did the BCG seemed like it was sticking on something and it was somewhat difficult to pull back and eject the round by hand. I cant figure out what could be causing the issue.

    The brass is mostly once fired PMC with a few other here and there. All the brass in trimmed to the proper length and deburred. The bullets are 55 gr. Hornady FMJ BT's. OAL is 2.24 which is in between what my Lymans and my Hogdon says. My gun is fairly clean and well lubed. The cases were lubed with Hornady One Shot, but they weren't tumbled. Haven't gotten one yet, due to the expense.

    So does anybody have any ideas? I am going to try to find some factory ammo laying around to see if I'm having the same issues with that.
  2. armorplated


    May 3, 2007
    So you haven't actually fired the ammo? You're just manually cycling it and perceive it as sticking?

    I'd really clean the chamber and then fire a few rounds.

  3. rg1


    Aug 5, 2003
    Hornady's recommended overall length is 2.200" in their manuals with the 55fmj Hornady bullet in .223. I seat them to 2.220" just because I prefer to crimp and it puts the cannelure where I want it. Hornady's 55 fmj bullet has a different nose profile or ogive than other military or Win 55 fmj's and the blunter nose calls for a shorter oal than the 2.250" recommended for the sharper profile of some other 55 fmj's. Still don't think at your seating length that it would be contacting the rifling though. A case gauge such as the RCBS Precision Mic or Hornady's headspace gauge set is a good tool to check cases for proper sizing.
  4. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    I run the same brass and projectile. I tend to seat them a bit shorter than you did. I have almost no cannelure visible when I'm done. Without a tumbler, it easy to spray some solvent on a rag and give the rounds a quick wipe down. I do that vs tumbling the completed round. I've read that the tumbling can breakdown the coating on certain powders.

    If you didn't put too radical a crimp on these, you might try running one through the seating die again an see if it helps.

    KIDCOP Rifle Master Millennium Member

    Common problem with first time 223 reloaders. Too bad you loaded 200 rounds. I would guess you did not raise the ram all the way up and turn your size die down against the shell holder. Then lower the ram and turn your die down another 1/4 turn and lock the lock ring. This should solve your problem.
  6. M4J0R T0M

    M4J0R T0M

    Jan 8, 2010
    I hope this isn't the case but it sounds like it could be. Would I still be able to shoot the rounds through the gun? My thought is that the force of the bolt going back will be able to extract the shells without any issues, compared to doing it by hand. Will it be safe, damage the brass, damage the chamber? What do you guys think?

    I wonder if I took the decapper rod out of my full length resizer die would I be able to run the completed rounds back through the press?
  7. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO

    If your AR has a tight chamber like many of the older ones had you may need to be using small base dies.

    Had to use them with my AR back in the 70's but from what I understand the newer guns have considerably looser chambers.

  8. Scott30


    Dec 8, 2006
    Central VA
    That is what I would do. Make sure your sizing die is adjusted correctly. Remove the decapper section and run them back through. Very possible that the rounds are just a little big at the bottom and are causing the tightness in the chamber.

    KIDCOP Rifle Master Millennium Member

    Major Tom.....Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt. I had to run my first 223 reloads through a die again. Makes for crappy shooting ammo but it ran through the gun. I removed the decapping rod and was not interested in expanding the neck again.

    A small base die is hardly ever needed if you set the size die up as I explained.

    I shoot a AR for NRA High Power most of the time. Because of my first time loading 223 and it's problems, I check a sample of resized brass to make sure it fits the chamber. After I've finshed loading I take a sample and make sure the ammo runs through the rifle and check to make sure the short line ammo fits the mags. I don't need a long round to hang up in the mag during rapid fire stages. I set my seating die up with the ogive in stead of the tip of the bullet because SMK's are not always uniform in lenght. But they do shoot good!

    My 308 M-1 never had this didn't seem to care how I set the size die up.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  10. steve4102


    Jan 2, 2009

    Yup, good call.
  11. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    That's not always the solution. I have some once fired 223 brass with a PPU headstamp (Privi Partizan). I raise the ram all the way and have the sizing die screwed down all the way to the shellholder. Still will not pass the case guage. No problem with other 223 brass.

    Looked at small base dies; but decided to toss the PPU brass. Didn't have much of it anyway.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  12. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    My AR had a short lead and would actually pull the bullets on factory ammo if I cleared a loaded factory round. I'd check it with factory ammo first since that only takes a second to do.
  13. GOA Guy

    GOA Guy

    Feb 22, 2010
    For future use get a case gauge. They aren't real cheap but you can sure save some headaches with one. Just check a sized case in it when starting a new batch, then you are covered. :cool:
  14. M4J0R T0M

    M4J0R T0M

    Jan 8, 2010

    I made it to range and shot some of the ammo. It cycled fine through gun. I think I'll go ahead and resize the finished ammo anyways just to be sure I dont have any issues.

    BTW, I did check factory ammo and it was fine. I screwed the sizing die in properly and processed a couple rounds and they cycled fine by hand, so I think that was the problem.

    Thanks again for the help.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  15. GLShooter


    Jan 3, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Get an RCBS Case Mic and set up the shoulder datum line about 0.003 below the fired case size. Chances are you are not sizing them down enough and , at times, just screwing the die down to the shell holder may cause excessive sizing and possible large head space issues.