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.223 Pressure Indications
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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Joined: Jul 27, 2008
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Location: south island New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:08 pm    Post subject: Re: .223 Pressure Indications Reply with quote

looks fine to me too, the guys above have about said it all.

You shot it You pluck it !
Them who eats the most duck eats the most feathers!
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Joined: Sep 25, 2008
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Location: Pine, Az.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:34 am    Post subject: Re: .223 Pressure Indications Reply with quote

Pfft- what pressure?
That primer's rounder than a factory load would be.

Flowing into the pin hole? Well, its been discussed already- esp if you dont have a tight pin fit. No biggie. Wait'll ya see the bolt face grain in the headstamp really clearly, now that's a hot one!

I try and save one round of spent factory loaded brass when working up a load and compare that primer/case/TLT to my handloads for referance if I'm not sure or just curious. Just another tool in lookign at stuff. If all's well and the rifle opperates fine and recoil aint out the window huge and it's accurate I'm happy. And I'm like Elvis I load way under MAX for my arms they like it that way and so do I less abuse and more accurate and conisitent and gives ya wiggle room when air temp goes way up.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:28 am    Post subject: Re: .223 Pressure Indications Reply with quote

Not sure if this adds much and I would welcome any comments..

When I first got my .223 I used American Eagle (Federal) 50-55 grain FMJ and HP rounds, the cases which I then used for my first reloads. The original firing (factory loads) every primer showed cratering. The second firing, after my reloading, again showed some cratering on even moderate charges and worse on near max loads. I started to get concerned about the firing pin hole, neck spacing, my scales, the LEE FL die, primer choice, pretty much everything that could cause this problem. My Lee neck sizing die arrived and I loaded up another batch being careful with every step and detail. The cratering went away. Since then I have fired several boxes of Winchester factory loads as well as a box of Remington's. No further problems until I picked up another box of AE FMJ (TAC) and the problem resurfaced. Now I don't have a comparator but I suspect that the AE ammo is either really hotter than it says or the cases in my rifle's chamber are looser than they should be. The O.A.L. of the AE ammo is only 2.14 - 2.16. I have since FL sized other manufacturers' cases including Lake City and other military brass without any issues. Since I am showing no other pressure signs with the AE TAC ammo and it is cheap, sometimes only $7.00 for a box of 20, I will continue to use it for foulers or just plinking the gong. My rifle (Savage XP10) is marked .223/5.56 but I don't think it has a NATO spec chamber.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: .223 Pressure Indications Reply with quote

my .02 worth..

Factory ammo is set to minimum spec. With a counter set primer and a chamber at the long end of spec you are within headspace safe range but a few thousandths for the case to grow on firing to fill the void and create to flow back around firing pin as the case seats into the bolt face.

If you use the neck sizer and do not set the shoulder back the re-load will fit the chamber from the bolt face very tightly from the beginning. May even be a bit tight on bolt close. no room for primer to flow.

I try to set my shoulders back .001-.003 max. in my AR's using a case gauge that measures to a datum line on the shoulder. I measure about ten fired cases and get a good reading for what the fired brass is then run the sizer to get the reduction desired. With my WOA Wylde chambers they are almost always .001" under Saami when I am done.

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Joined: May 16, 2009
Posts: 7620
Location: Fort Worth TX

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:52 pm    Post subject: Re: .223 Pressure Indications Reply with quote

I got back out to the range today and shot some more loads with the 70gr GMX. I ran 24.0, 24.2, and 24.4 of Varget. As stovey suggested, when compared to all my other loads and factory, only the GMX has a crater around the firing pin impact. This powder level for the GMX may not be over-pressured but indications are its higher than all my others and factory. The Varget is compressed in all these plus I think my OCW is slightly less than 24.0 so I'm not going to push it any further. Hornady suggested that I would be lucky to get much higher than 2900 fps. I'm coming in over 2800 fps as it is.

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