HELP Some of my first 223 reloads are not chambering

Nov 9, 2017
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#1
So I finally got my reloading press set up and I loaded my first 20 rounds of 223 last night. 10 rounds of Lehigh Defense 55 grain controlled chaos and 10 rounds of 55 grain vmax. Each were for load development. Once fired hornady brass fired through my howa 1500 for lehigh load and once fired federal brass for my vmax load. I am using a RCBS two die set with a full length resizing die that I set up using a wilson case guage. COL was set at 2.245 for the leigh defense as stated in the load data. No crimp was given for either.

Went to shoot the load today and two of the lehigh loads would not chamber fully. The bolt would not close on my Howa 1500 for the two rounds. When I got home I checked the rounds and they wouldn't fit in my Lyman cartridge guage but looked fine in my LE wilson case gauge. I used the wilson gauge to set up my sizing die.

What do you guys think is the problem?
 
Nov 9, 2017
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#3
What do they measure compared you your fired dimensions? Can you see any imprint of the lands on the bullet?
What measurement are you talking about? And Im not sure what those imprints look like but on one bullet there's definitely scrapes on it I think from me trying to get the bolt to close.
 

spife7980

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Feb 10, 2017
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#4
The diameter of the case right above the solid case head where it can first expand, the diameter of the shoulder, the distance from the face to the datum point on the shoulders (this would be the fired length of the cases in your Wilson gauge and then the sized length of these that are jamming).


But it sounds like your bullets are jamming if you’re getting ugly scoring on them.
Do this to see where your bullet first contrasts the landslide the barrels rifling.

Edit: color a case in sharpie and you’ll see where it rubs
 
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Codiekfx400

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 29, 2018
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#5
If it was just the bullet hitting the lands you should be able to force the bolt closed. My suggestion would be to clean your chamber area in your barrel. If that does not fix your problem then screw your sizing die in a half turn.
 
Nov 9, 2017
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#6
If it was just the bullet hitting the lands you should be able to force the bolt closed. My suggestion would be to clean your chamber area in your barrel. If that does not fix your problem then screw your sizing die in a half turn.
bullet marks.jpg

These are the marks getting left on the bullets. The vmax chambered. Lehigh defense did not.
 

pell1203

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Dec 27, 2007
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#7
glockguy56, perhaps you are loading a tad on the long side. What is the Overall length (OAL) of your loaded rounds?

Can you provide the length from the cartridge base to the tip of the bullet on both kinds of loaded rounds?
 

spife7980

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Feb 10, 2017
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#8
That’s lots of interference. Clean your throat really well as Codie said to make sure you don’t have a carbon ring from hell and then test your seating depth like in the second video posted above.
 

sinister

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 16, 2002
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#10
Two things:

First, your Howa bolt rifle chamber is probably on the minimum size for maximum precision. If you're sizing brass that was previously fired in a semi (with a fatter mil-spec chamber for self-loader feeding) you'll need a small-base sizing die.

Second, you are not seating your bullets deep enough. You can see the bullet ogive hard-contacts the lands at the leade where they're scuffed.

A cartridge drop-gage only tells you if the shoulder was sized back for headspacing and if it needs to be trimmed-to-length. It won't tell you if it was sized far enough, particularly 1/8 to 1/4 inch above the head and extraction groove. You'll probably want a Stoney Point / Hornady gage to find proper seating depth. From your photo I can clearly see both bullets may be seated a few thousandths long.
 
Nov 9, 2017
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#11
glockguy56, perhaps you are loading a tad on the long side. What is the Overall length (OAL) of your loaded rounds?

Can you provide the length from the cartridge base to the tip of the bullet on both kinds of loaded rounds?
The length of my loaded rounds are 2.245" which is what lehigh defense gives as a COL in there load data.
 
Nov 9, 2017
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#12
That’s lots of interference. Clean your throat really well as Codie said to make sure you don’t have a carbon ring from hell and then test your seating depth like in the second video posted above.
I just recently bought the rifle from cabelas and have only put about 60 rounds through it. I bore snake it after every range trip. It was used but in really good shape. Is there a good way to know if the throats dirty or should I just try to clean it out?
 
Nov 9, 2017
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#15
Are the marks only on one side? Will the round chamber if you put some pressure on the back of the bolt to close?
Yeah the marks are only on one side and I didn't ever try putting pressure on the back of the bolt but I did push a good amount forward on the bolt handle when I was trying to close it.
 

spife7980

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#17
I just recently bought the rifle from cabelas and have only put about 60 rounds through it. I bore snake it after every range trip. It was used but in really good shape. Is there a good way to know if the throats dirty or should I just try to clean it out?
That shouldnt be enough to make a carbon ring. A bit dirty sure but not a "ring" leading to premature interference. It would take a few hundred. Bore snakes dont really do jack shit other than wipe the loose debris that blows out and gets replaced on the next shot anyways.

Follow the video above for seating depth. Strip your bolt of the firing pin and ejector. The firing pin will make it impossible to feel the bullet on the lands and the ejector will push the bullet into the side of the chamber leading to false results and scratches like youre currently seeing. Once you do that you will know exactly where your bullet is in the throat instead of wildly guessing.
 
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Apr 4, 2017
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#20
Sounds like you need to size them deeper. When you have brass that was already shot out of your rifle, resize it long then test chamber it. Keep sizing until the bolt closes easily.
 

pell1203

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#21
All, note glockguy56 said he’d bought the rifle “used” from Cabelas. He has put approximately 60 rounds through it so a thorough deep cleaning is probably advisable in case a carbon ring may be an aggravating factor.
 
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spife7980

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#22
All, note glockguy56 said he’d bought the rifle “used” from Cabelas. He has put approximately 60 rounds through it so a thorough deep cleaning is probably advisable in case a carbon ring may be an aggravating factor.
God, I glanced over the used part. Good observation. Could very well be a carbon ring then. And some actual measurements as well wont hurt.
 

sinister

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Apr 16, 2002
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#23
The hint that closing the bolt is difficult on resized cases means you are using the locking leverage of your bolt lugs to do the final case sizing to fit the chamber.

If closing the bolt on a factory-loaded round is easy that should be a hint. Same with virgin brass.
 
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