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Old 04-15-2016, 10:26 AM
Ballistic147 Ballistic147 is offline
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Default Sizing 223?

Last night I was sizing/depriming some 223 brass with mixed head stamps. I had already set up the sizing die and run 30 once fired PMC brass through it and checked each one with a Lyman head space gauge and all was good. Then I sized/deprimed the mixed head stamps, all of it being 223 with various head stamps. I ran about 150 cases and once finished began spot checking it in the head space gauge. Ended up finding a bunch of them that were still too tall. The Winchester, FC and PMC head stamps were all good but the G.F.L., Geco, and one other I can't remember came out too tall. It was getting late but I did tighten the die down a tad more and ran a couple that now checked good.

For my question, is it common for 223 of various head stamps to require a slightly different sizing die setting to get the correct head spacing?
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:00 PM
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Mixed brass is always problematic. When you say too tall, you mean too long or they stick out of the case gauge? I had to set my sizing die so I get a slight cam over to get all mixed brass cases to size properly to fit 3 diff ar.
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:09 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by "too tall." Do you mean the overall length? If so, you need to trim the cases to the "trim to" length.

If over 1.760, then trim to 1.750.

Sizing will not correct OAL.
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:24 PM
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By too tall I mean they stick up out of the case gauge by a few thousandths so it's a head space issue. It's not a trim problem although once I get the sizing right they will all be trimmed just for consistency. Both my wife and son's AR's will chamber these cases no problem but they get a little sticky in mine if the head spacing is slightly over on the gauge. When I originally set up the die for the PMC brass it was screwed down until it hit the shell plate and then maybe another 1/16th turn to get proper head spacing. I'm guessing the different brass alloys could be bouncing back more than others? Pretty sure I have enough room to adjust for the other brass but being a little lazy I was kind of hoping for a one size fits all. Looks like I'll be sorting all my brass and sizing it according to head stamp. Pretty sure once it is all sized properly and trimmed the rest of the loading process should be consistent regardless of head stamp but I've been wrong before.

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Old 04-15-2016, 03:29 PM
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I load 3 or 4 different brands of brass for my rifles. Can I presume that you are resizing once fired brass that you purchased? If that is the case, there is a very good chance that the cases that seem to be too tall were most likely fired in a rifle with an oversized chamber. If they were fired in your rifle, have the chamber and throat measured.

As a caution, segregate the cases that are "too tall" by head stamp and keep them separate from the correct height cases, since setting the shoulders back may excessively work the brass.
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:41 PM
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I load 3 or 4 different brands of brass for my rifles. Can I presume that you are resizing once fired brass that you purchased? If that is the case, there is a very good chance that the cases that seem to be too tall were most likely fired in a rifle with an oversized chamber. If they were fired in your rifle, have the chamber and throat measured.

As a caution, segregate the cases that are "too tall" by head stamp and keep them separate from the correct height cases, since setting the shoulders back may excessively work the brass.
Yes, this is all once fired brass but it was all new factory ammo and was all fired in 4 of our AR's. Since we shot each head stamp in each of the 4 rifles I don't think it's a rifle issue.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:05 PM
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Measure case length with you caliper not a case gauge. A gauge is fine for seeing where the shoulder is but for length a caliper is much easier and faster.

What method of trimmer are you using?? Just because a case is a tad over the trim to length it is still fine, it is not a headspace issue.

You have the Max length and the trim to length to play with. As long as they are not to long you are fine and the can actually be shorter.

What case gauge? If it is Wilson, if the case head fits correctly in the gauge than the headspace is correct.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:32 PM
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Measure case length with you caliper not a case gauge. A gauge is fine for seeing where the shoulder is but for length a caliper is much easier and faster.

What method of trimmer are you using?? Just because a case is a tad over the trim to length it is still fine, it is not a headspace issue.

You have the Max length and the trim to length to play with. As long as they are not to long you are fine and the can actually be shorter.

What case gauge? If it is Wilson, if the case head fits correctly in the gauge than the headspace is correct.
Yes, I measure case length with calipers. For that I'm getting anywhere from 1.755 to 1.763 or so. After sizing I trim everything to 1.752" just so everything is consistent. I use the Lyman case trimmer. And yes, I realize overall case length and head space are two totally different things. My issue on certain cases is with the headspace being too long after resizing.

I'm using the Lyman Headspace/ case length gauge and to be honest I didn't realize it measured case length until last night. I prefer to use the calipers. According to this gauge, the case sticks up above the upper limit which would mean the headspacing is too long. I do understand all this.

What I'm trying to figure out is why some head stamps (Winchester, FC, and PMC) come out fine and others (G.F.L. and Geco) using the same die at the exact same setting come out with the head spacing a few thousandths too long.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:34 PM
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This may be totally irrelevant to your question but I'm kinda-sorta experiencing something similar with my .300 REM Short Action Ultra Mag.

All my brass is one brand, Remington, which is the brand I use in most of my rifles and don't experience this with any rifle but this stainless steel Model 700BDL. The box of 20 pieces of brass that originated as a box of factory ammo that I use for testing recipes became difficult to chamber after three or four loadings - the bolt needs a lot of encouragement to close and case heads have scuffing indicative of a tight chamber fit. I neck size only so I full-length sized them but the condition remains. I use all RCBS or Redding does so I'm not using any el-cheapo equipment although I accept that any company can produce a product that could be slightly out of spec.

When fired, the cases extract easily, the rifle prints 3/4-inch or smaller groups and I do not load maximum loads. The condition has taken place after testing loads that chronographed as slow as 2,800fps to a maximum of 3,281fps with 155-grain bullets. The 40 rounds of Remington brass (which also originated as factory ammo) that we use for hunting and the occasional 800-meter target shoot that have been neck-sized and loaded three times all chamber fine and are from boxes bearing the same lot number as the 20 used for testing.

I don't have another .300SAUM in which to try that brass and don't know anyone else who has one so I can't tell if I should suspect the rifle, the brass or the dies. Any thoughts?

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Old 04-15-2016, 04:50 PM
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I think your saying the head of the case (rim) is proud of the case gauge. If that's so your not rolling the shoulder back enough. Like fredj338 said, I also have to set my sizing die for 223 to cam over to get the cases to head space correctly in my case gauge (mine is by Wilson). I'm not thrilled with this as the directions for my RCBS carbide sizing die says not to cam over as it could crack the carbide ring.
I've never used them but do small base die sets cure this?
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:26 PM
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I used a Small Base die on a 20,000 batch of purchased brass of mixed military head stamp. and never had an issue with the end product fitting any 5.56 or 223 chamber. It sounds like you have minor issue with the "plus or minus" of all the different specs! Will all the Long Range bolt gun ammo or the AR platform ammo, I always set up for the minimum size on the case, and never had a fail to fire due to sizing issues.

Some brands of sizing dies, the end product is large because the reamer was worn past usefulness, RCBS has always replaced the die weather I was the original purchaser or not! Never had an issue with Redding or Bonanza. With Lyman, well you are screwed. Haven't used enough Lee to have an opinion except on presses with thick heads (like most progressives) Lee dies can be too short.

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Old 04-15-2016, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ballistic147 View Post
Yes, I measure case length with calipers. For that I'm getting anywhere from 1.755 to 1.763 or so. After sizing I trim everything to 1.752" just so everything is consistent. I use the Lyman case trimmer. And yes, I realize overall case length and head space are two totally different things. My issue on certain cases is with the headspace being too long after resizing.

I'm using the Lyman Headspace/ case length gauge and to be honest I didn't realize it measured case length until last night. I prefer to use the calipers. According to this gauge, the case sticks up above the upper limit which would mean the headspacing is too long. I do understand all this.

What I'm trying to figure out is why some head stamps (Winchester, FC, and PMC) come out fine and others (G.F.L. and Geco) using the same die at the exact same setting come out with the head spacing a few thousandths too long.
Well I am not familiar with the Lyman gauge, I use the Wilson for 223 and 308. The length of the total brass is not the headspace,it is the length. The HS is where the shoulder is in relation to the dimension(datum line) of the whole case.

What you can do is separate the brass by headstamp and then set you die to size one brand, then set the sizing die for the next brand etc, Yes, brass can vary in thickness so it may be changing your overall dimensions.



http://www.saami.org/pubresources/cc...0Remington.pdf

http://www.ar15barrels.com/data/headspace.pdf

Different caliber but the same thing,


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Old 04-15-2016, 07:14 PM
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I also use a SB FL sizer, just belt & suspenders. The likely issue is not the shoulder but the area above the case head. Even 0.002" can make the diff. So 1/16 turn, not enough IMO, go 1/8 turn, see if that fixes it. Also note some nicks can occur on the rim that make them not fit a gauge. Turn the round over, see if it will fit into the gauge head first. I have issues with my Springfield 1911/9mm, very tight, min spec chamber. Even 0.001" over size may cause a FT chamber 100%.
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
What I'm trying to figure out is why some head stamps (Winchester, FC, and PMC) come out fine and others (G.F.L. and Geco) using the same die at the exact same setting come out with the head spacing a few thousandths too long.
Setting the sizer die "just right" only works if the cases are all the same, and "range mix" brass varies in elasticity, as you surmised above. Only real choice is to set the sizer for the problem cases you have, and consequently oversize the others, unless you want to sort and size each different type with a different setting (UGH!) like you were shooting a benchrest rifle instead of .223.....
Basic question is are you loading blasting ammo, or do you want to load match grade, which would mean the mixed cases have to go.
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Old 04-15-2016, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ballistic147 View Post
Last night I was sizing/depriming some 223 brass with mixed head stamps. I had already set up the sizing die and run 30 once fired PMC brass through it and checked each one with a Lyman head space gauge and all was good. Then I sized/deprimed the mixed head stamps, all of it being 223 with various head stamps. I ran about 150 cases and once finished began spot checking it in the head space gauge. Ended up finding a bunch of them that were still too tall. The Winchester, FC and PMC head stamps were all good but the G.F.L., Geco, and one other I can't remember came out too tall. It was getting late but I did tighten the die down a tad more and ran a couple that now checked good.

For my question, is it common for 223 of various head stamps to require a slightly different sizing die setting to get the correct head spacing?
Yes, It is common.
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Old 04-15-2016, 09:45 PM
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Thanks for all the input! I think OKFC05 has explained it and while it's not really the answer I wanted to hear I do believe that to be the problem. I'm not really looking for match grade ammo but I don't want to run into any issues either. The ammo I'm reloading will be shot in any of the 4 different rifles we own. Because of this I feel like sizing within the SAAMI specs will insure reliability in all of them since they have been 100% reliable on factory ammo. Three of them will cycle the brass fine but mine wants to stick with anything that is even slightly over length in the head space gauge (The Lyman gauge looks just like the Wilson gauge). If I bump the shoulder down just enough to be flush with the max length of the gauge it cycles just fine. Seems the chamber on mine is at the tight end of the specs.

I've read up on the small base dies a little and if I understand it correctly they just size the brass to a slightly smaller diameter. As far as diameter goes my brass is measuring well within specs there and I do t think that's my problem. It's just certain brands of brass that will need the shoulder bumped back just a little more as they seem to be springing back a little due to elasticity.

Looks like I'll be sorting everything out and adjusting the sizing die for each brand. You can bet I'll be taking a lot of notes so in the future I can simply sort by headstamp and know to tighten the die up on certain brands of brass. It is a little extra work but shouldn't be too awfully time consuming. Anyway, thanks again for the advice. You guys have helped this rookie out more than you know!
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:11 PM
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If they "stick" and won't fire and the difficultly is then with extraction, a small base die will fix the issue.... (this is generally a base/web area issue)

If they won't fire, then extract with ease, your shoulder is to far forward and die adjustment will fix the problem......
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:45 PM
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I am still confused. If the FL die is adjusted to touch the shell holder, the headspace for all cases should be pretty much identical, no matter what the headstamp. Maybe I don't understand the situation. My fired cases are always neck sized only (using a neck sizing die) to get constant zero headspace in my bolt action Savage 112V. Keeping case length and case weight uniform (I match case weights) is more important to good grouping than what the headstamp is. The only time I ever use a FL die is for cases not fired in my rifle. Having said that, my rifle prefers Israeli 5.56 military brass for peak grouping performance, and I have about 400 matched Israeli cases.
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Old 04-16-2016, 12:49 AM
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[QUOTE=DWalt;139047192]I am still confused. If the FL die is adjusted to touch the shell holder, the headspace for all cases should be pretty much identical, no matter what the headstamp.[/QUOTE

I think someone has written that differences in case metallurgy could result in differences in case headspace. Even if the die is adjusted the same. IDK. I'll take it on faith that this is possible. I've never had a problem with .223 headspace anyway. Not an issue for me.

But, I'll test this theory, tomorrow at the range. Got a new red dot scope to try out. May have to shoot a couple hundred rounds to see if I am getting any headspace issues.

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Old 04-16-2016, 03:44 AM
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Quote:
The ammo I'm reloading will be shot in any of the 4 different rifles we own. Because of this I feel like sizing within the SAAMI specs will insure reliability in all of them since they have been 100% reliable on factory ammo. Three of them will cycle the brass fine but mine wants to stick with anything that is even slightly over length in the head space gauge (The Lyman gauge looks just like the Wilson gauge). If I bump the shoulder down just enough to be flush with the max length of the gauge it cycles just fine. Seems the chamber on mine is at the tight end of the specs.
I have a similar situation with various people in the family that shoot .270, some semi-auto. I size for our tightest chamber, which is in a Rem semi-auto.
I strongly suspect that if you set your sizer so that your troublesome cases are sized enough to chamber reliably in your tightest chamber, the resulting ammo will run in all your guns without exhibiting any "headspace problems." I would surely try that before deciding I have to custom load for each headstamp just for blasting ammo. I'd load up a hundred sized about the middle of SAAMI specs (instead of trying to work right at max length) and try them in all the rifles.

I doubt you'll notice a couple thousandths slack in the headspace of some of your reloads regarding rifle function. Anyway, full length sizing to run in semi autos works the cases more already than just having ONE BOLT ACTION RIFLE and neck sizing like Dwalt, above. If you were trying to maximize case life you would not be loading mixed brass and shooting it in ARs.
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:09 AM
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Default This thread has become very valuable to me....

I've had the same problem with 30-06 that I haven't yet taken enough time to try to figure out (I'm shooting more pistol at the indoor range). I use mixed brass, too.

It's been a while and didn't take notes because I had no problem before:

I didn't have any problems with the old Lee Hand Tools, which neck sized only.

Using the RCBS die set (adjusted to the shell holder) gave probs and I thought I'd solve it with a FL die, and I don't think that fixed anything. I've been meaning to study the problem in depth, and maybe bring it up here if I couldn't figure things out.
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:31 AM
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I use a plain RCBS FL two-die set. I check some sized brass and some finished rounds with the Lyman case gage.

Never have a problem with headspace, feeding, firing, or extracting.

My brass is 95%+ range brass, different ranges even. Scores of different headstamps, including G.F.L., and Geco. They all work just fine except for the Bosnian IK 03 that has skinny flashholes and will break your decap pin.

If they are the correct OAL and fit in the Lyman gage, they should be just fine. Perhaps your sizing die is off?

I did come home with some Wolf brass the other day for the first time. Comes out of the tumbler very pretty. Haven't reloaded it yet, but it looks good.
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:01 AM
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So, I think I have the problem solved. This morning I reset the sizing die. Went in another 1/8 turn. Double checked a couple of the out of spec cases per the Lyman gauge and they were still out of spec. Ran them through the die and checked again and they are now within specs according to the gauge. I then chamber a few of the out of spec cases in my rifle (AR 15). The bolt will go fully into battery but is really tight. Pulling the charging handle to extract the case takes some effort but they do extract. Next I run these cases back through the die and try them in the rifle again. Chambering is now very smooth and extracts normally. Just for the record my rifle is a Palmetto State Armory with the CHF chrome lined barrel chambered for 5.56 and I assume the chamber is on the tight end of the specs.

All of the brass in question is 223 that I had bought to try out. My "stockpile" of ammo is all 5.56 which is from 3 different manufacturers. I have about 5k rounds of that. The 223 I'm working on reloading right now there are only about 250 pieces of brass. For simplicity I might chunk it after the first reload.

The equipment I'm using is the Hornady LnL AP press with Hornady dies. So far I've reloaded 2,500 rounds of pistol ammo on this set up but this is my first attempt at bottle neck stuff so I knew there would be a learning curve. Obviously I have now learned with bottle neck ammo some adjustment on the sizing die most likely will be necessary on different brands of brass to get the correct head spacing.

Again, thanks to all for the advice and help. I keep two notebooks in my shop. One is to record all of my loads for each caliber and the other is for notes on problems I've run into and the fix for each.
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:30 PM
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By way of them not fitting yours but everyone else's, are they all chambered the same? Besides 5.56 rated at a higher pressure, the chambers are slightly different:



Also, depending on who made it will have a variance also:



On the brass itself, yes there are differences in thickness and annealing. One thing it could be is thin brass and not enough lube inside the case mouth so that the spindle is pulling the shoulders back with it.

I have a turret but also a single stage. I prefer to load bottle necks on the single though I can set the turret to single stage operation and do it as batches.

One thing that I do as habit with bottle necks is double stroke both the sizing of the shell and bullet seating. I'll send the shell up into the resizer, drop it down, rotate it a third to a half turn and send it back up. You could try that and it seems you may have inadvertently with your last post.

For the bullet seating, I'll set the bullet half way, rotate the shell as above and then fully seat it. I find it reduces runout.
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Old 04-16-2016, 04:07 PM
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No reason to "chunk" the .223. Your 5.56, once it has been fired and then sized in your die, actually becomes .223. You can reload that .223 brass many times without any problems.
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Old 04-16-2016, 04:28 PM
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... explanation I've seen of the 'some minor differences' between the .223 and the 5.56 Nato. Thanks

Why is there any difference? Was the .223 introduced before the 5.56 was finalized?

Wikipedia, that most prestigious of sources, say that the two cartridge are identical in dimensions. Obviously this isn't true.
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Old 04-16-2016, 05:24 PM
Taipan01 Taipan01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
... explanation I've seen of the 'some minor differences' between the .223 and the 5.56 Nato. Thanks

Why is there any difference? Was the .223 introduced before the 5.56 was finalized?

Wikipedia, that most prestigious of sources, say that the two cartridge are identical in dimensions. Obviously this isn't true.
Actually, the .222 came before either and is the grandaddy to both. I have to dig back in my head when the two actually split. I think when they came out with the A2 and longer, heavier bullets is when you'll see the separation.

There is a backwards situation when you speak of the 7.62 Nato vs the 308. It's also different by way of chambers but most assume the are also the same:



And the 308 actually has higher pressures.

Saying Nato, in and of itself, is a mixed bag. If you can picture all the various places that the ammunition and the firearms are produced, the tolerances and quality control variances, countries of origin, metallurgy and so on, it gets a bit deep.

I get into some of it here but I don't know if it's verboten to post to another website? Maybe not:

A second run at my style (this time bottle necks) written mainly for newer reloaders. - AR15.COM
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:38 PM
moxie moxie is offline
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And to further confuse things, the M193 55 gr. 5.56mm round was never approved by NATO as it was deemed too devastating. Nevertheless, it's often called the 5.56 NATO, and often has the NATO bullseye on the headstamp. And it was the primary U.S. issue round in Vietnam and all through the '70s, well into the '80s. The first 5.56 round actually approved by NATO was the 62 gr. M855.
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:32 PM
Ballistic147 Ballistic147 is offline
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As far as I know 223 and 5.56 cases are identical on the outer dimensions, at least that's what it shows in the Hornady manual as well as everything I've read on the web. The only real difference between the two are the chambers on the rifle. All of our rifles are the 5.56 barrel. We have two from PSA, one Colt, and one of them (my son's) I'm really not sure of the manufacturer but all are 5.56.

My military crimp remover should be here next week so I'll be able to load some 5.56 brass. Once I get into that I'll find out if it will all size the same or if it will have to be sorted by head stamp too. For now I'll be loading plain old blasting ammo and maybe get into more accuracy down the road.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:12 PM
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fredj338 fredj338 is offline
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The biggest dimensional diff between 223/5.56 is throat length. Longer throat allows more powder & highr vel & still stay within acceptable pressures.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:09 PM
Ballistic147 Ballistic147 is offline
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Just wanted to update this thread since I have solved the problem. Here's where I'm at:

Using the Hornady dies in my Hornady LNL press I have sized PMC, Fiocchi, and Winchester 223 brass with no issues. I've also sized PMC, LC, and IMI 5.56 brass with no problems.

I have tried everything I know of to size the Prvi Partizan 5.56 brass I have and can't get it to the correct length for proper headspacing. What seems to be happening is as it goes into the die it feels much tighter than the other brands of brass. Once the ram has been raised to the very top reversing it to extract the brass from the die is really tight almost as if it's going to stick. It will finally break loose with a pop which I'm really not comfortable with the force it requires to break it loose. Now I think what is happening is the shoulder and/or neck of the case is nearly sticking in the die and before the case breaks free of the die it is actually stretching back out a little causing it be slightly out of spec according to the headspace gauge. At least that's all I can come up with.

Anyway, I picked up a Lee full length sizing die and set it up tonight. Ran about 20 of the PPU cases through it and they run through the sizing die very smoothly and also check good in the headspace gauge. Still not sure why the Hornady die works perfectly fine with all the other brands of brass but not the PPU.

Either way, I'm just glad I have a way to size the PPU brass since I have about 3k rounds of it unfired. Thanks to all for the help. You folks have made the learning curve much easier!
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