223 case stretch AR.

223 case stretch AR.

This is a discussion on 223 case stretch AR. within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I'm using manly LC brass and I'm trimming this brass every time after shooting it an AR. Is this a phenomena with the 223 because ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    223 case stretch AR.

    I'm using manly LC brass and I'm trimming this brass every time after shooting it an AR. Is this a phenomena with the 223 because I don't have to do this after shooting 308s out of my M1A?
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    Member Array Mr. Habib's Avatar
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    Have you checked the head space in the AR? if it is on the long side you will have this problem.

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    Are you shooting "hot" loads? Trimming cases after every load is unusual. ARs and the like do tend to have looser tolerances for functional purposes, but everytime? With thicker-case Mil brass?

    I shot mil brass for years from a Rem. 788 in .223 and rarely had to trim (on initial reloading and then maybe a tad after 8-10 reloads). I didn't load hot, as I found it was less accurate.

    You could have a headspace issue, which needs to be checked by a gunsmith or someone with the proper gage.
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    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    What length are you trimming to? What is the average fired case length?
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    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    Haven't checked the Headspace in My 3 AR's lately but I will be sure to do that. I'm running really light loads using VARGET just for plinking. This why Im' scratching my head. This also has been occuring in my buddies AR he has been reloading for over 25 years and noticed it to. My best friends father who has been reloading for over 30 years has noticed this to. I'm wondering if they are throating mil-spec chambers deeper causing the brass to stretch? Possible due to the more extensive use of heavy grain bullets such as the 62 grain/ 69 and 75 grain. Just a theory?
    “Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room”?--Chuck Swindoll

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    i have 6 AR's, all stretch brass.... i have to trim every 2 or so. in my bolt gun i neck size, so i get zero stretch, i can shoot the same brass maybe 10 times

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    Senior Member Array jem102's Avatar
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    Most AR's are chambered to NATO specs or slightly shorter OAL version with the same body dimensions. Most dies are "chambered" for SAMMI .223 Rem. These dies will push the shoulder back to far if set up to kiss the shell holder and or to "cam over" at the top of the press stroke. Back your die out of the press till you have the thickness of a dime showing between the shell holder and the bottom of the die at the top of the stroke. This gives you plenty of body sizing for good function but does not set the shoulder back quite so far and keeps the head space where it should be for the NATO chamber.
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    For those of you who have to repeatedly trim your cases, keep a CLOSE eye on the base of the case for signs of impending head separations!

    When brass flows forward, it comes from the base/head area. Don't just look for the tell-tale line across the base; take a straighted-out paper clip and use it as a feeler on the inside of the case. You will feel a groove on the inside of the case before you'll see the line on the outside.
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    Senior Member Array jem102's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majorlk View Post
    For those of you who have to repeatedly trim your cases, keep a CLOSE eye on the base of the case for signs of impending head separations!

    When brass flows forward, it comes from the base/head area. Don't just look for the tell-tale line across the base; take a straighted-out paper clip and use it as a feeler on the inside of the case. You will feel a groove on the inside of the case before you'll see the line on the outside.
    +1

    I check mine every third loading.
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    Standard dies resize cases to "standard" sizes. Not all chambers are the "standard" size. Most cases are sized slightly smaller than chamber size to ensure feeding and chambering. All cases "fireform" to the chamber of a particular gun when fired.

    Here's something you can try:
    Take an un-resized fired case and blacken the shoulder with candle soot. Remove the decapping pin from your resizing die. Raise your seating die up some from its usual setting (a couple-3 turns). Run the case thru the die several times, lowering the die slightly each time, until the soot begins to rub off the shoulder but no more. Set the lock ring.

    Try the resized case in your firearm. It may still be too tight (or not). If too tight (bolt won't close), adjust the die slightly again. What you're trying to do is find that minimal resizing needed to allow chambering of your case, custom-fitted to your AR.

    Once you hit the right sizing length, the cases should work finein your AR and minimize case stretching. They may not work in anyone else's. Load up some rounds and try them on the range for proper feeding.

    But do keep an eye out for the "ring." Hope this helps.
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    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jem102 View Post
    Most AR's are chambered to NATO specs or slightly shorter OAL version with the same body dimensions. Most dies are "chambered" for SAMMI .223 Rem. These dies will push the shoulder back to far if set up to kiss the shell holder and or to "cam over" at the top of the press stroke. Back your die out of the press till you have the thickness of a dime showing between the shell holder and the bottom of the die at the top of the stroke. This gives you plenty of body sizing for good function but does not set the shoulder back quite so far and keeps the head space where it should be for the NATO chamber.

    the case dimensions from 556 to 223 are the same.... only diffrence in the 2 is the throat cut in the riffeling...

    and that wont cause any stretch..

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    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majorlk View Post
    For those of you who have to repeatedly trim your cases, keep a CLOSE eye on the base of the case for signs of impending head separations!

    When brass flows forward, it comes from the base/head area. Don't just look for the tell-tale line across the base; take a straighted-out paper clip and use it as a feeler on the inside of the case. You will feel a groove on the inside of the case before you'll see the line on the outside.
    haveing loaded and trimmed the same brass 12+ times, the necks will crack long before that...

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array jem102's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ring View Post
    the case dimensions from 556 to 223 are the same.... only diffrence in the 2 is the throat cut in the riffeling...

    and that wont cause any stretch..
    Originally Posted by jem102 View Post
    Most AR's are chambered to NATO specs or slightly shorter OAL version with the same body dimensions. Most dies are "chambered" for SAAMI .223 Rem. These dies will push the shoulder back to far if set up to kiss the shell holder and or to "cam over" at the top of the press stroke. Back your die out of the press till you have the thickness of a dime showing between the shell holder and the bottom of the die at the top of the stroke. This gives you plenty of body sizing for good function but does not set the shoulder back quite so far and keeps the head space where it should be for the NATO chamber.

    You are correct the main difference is in the leade angle and freebore. I thought I had made that clear (see underlined above).
    The Stretch comes from moving the shoulder back too far caused by setting up dies to touch the shell holder.
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