Semi-Auto .223 reloading - neck size or full-length size???
wxd6 said: Hi, I've been reading and searching this and other forums and most of the answers that I've found are not conclusive since the answers are mixed with answers for bolt rifles. What I have is a semi-auto .223 black rifle. I don't have bolt rifles. And I only have one rifle, so far ;) I'm about to start reloading for this one rifle. I've half-way through setting up my reloading press. Still waiting on some parts and dies and accessories. My initial reloading will be for small plinking exercises while I gain more confidence in my reloading. Later on, I'll would like to reload for accuracy and hopefully get into service rifle. Here's what I know now: Neck size only can extend the life of the brass and it will fit the same chamber. But needs to full-length resize for new brass, or after a few usage. I've purchased and read (some portions of) the following books: Modern Reloading 2nd Ed, ABCs of Reloading 8th Ed, and Hornady's 7th Ed Handbook of Cartridge Reloading. My question to all semi-auto .223 users out there, what do you use for your resizing? Neck size or full-length size? :confused:
m*ynard said: You will be working your brass harded running it through a semi auto than you will full length resizing it. If it was going into a bolt gun, neck sizing is okay if you fired it from that rifle. For a semi auto I would at least full length resize, if you run into feed problems go with small base dies.
BC_G*y said: For a semi auto, you're going to want to FL size every time, or you'll likely run into jams. Case life is going to be a lot less than normal anyway, because of the violent ejection process etc. You'll be chucking the cases for other reasons way before you see split necks. For service rifle, your own personal skill will count 100 times more than the load you have in your rifle. If that's your end goal, you should start doing it or practising for it asap, and worry about the reloading stuff as a secondary thing. Many of the better shooters I've met are using issued ammo (which is actually quite decent), or plain old bulk federal 55grain.
t*riaq said: With semi autos it is very important that the round chamber cleanly and easily. You MIGHT be able to guarantee that neck sized rounds would always chamber freely. But FL sized is the better way to go. .223 brass is so available that case life is hardly a consideration. I FL size, have not found it necessary to SB size, although this might be necessary depending on the chamber and rifle.
m39*2 said: Full length and small base dies. The reason, semi auto's usually have very week primary extraction power, doesn't have a lot to do with the chambering, you could easily chamber neck sized brass in a semi auto chamber but getting it out might be a bit tough! Scott
wxd6 said: Thanks to everyone for the quick reply. Very much appreciated. Sounds like I have to full-length size everytime. Next question is: What I have is Hornady LNL with Redding 3-Die set. I've tried the full-length resize die. I've cleaned the case, and lube the outside case and inside neck area. I've cleaned the dies as well. When the case initially goes up / into the die, there's a slight nudge which is ok. But coming back out, it needs a little more force than when going up. Is this normal? What am I missing? I'm using RCBS Case Lube-2. Is my setup wrong? I've set the middle pin long enough to push the primer out. But I can't think of what I'm not doing right. :confused: (very likely I need this too :slap:) With the neck size die, it only have the same initial nudge going in, but a whole lot less force required to back the case back out. But I guess this die is now going to be sitting inside the case and in a drawer collecting dust.....
wxd6 said: and what's a "small base die"? I remember reading it sometime, but could not understand what's the difference. :confused:
s*nray said: "...have to full-length size everytime..." Yep. Semi-autos require it. Either a small base die(it resizes the whole case a couple thou more than the FL die) or an FL(Full length resizing) will do. "...needs a little more force than when going up..." That's the expander button doing its job. Nothing to worry about. The lube on the inside of the case mouth should ease it out.
m*ynard said: Your neck sizing die doesn't have a resizing button on the decapping pin. That's why more force is needed with the FL die.
h*kx said: Always full length resize for autoloaders.
P*ulinski said: I reload for my AR-15 and full length resize each case.
wxd6 said: Your neck sizing die doesn't have a resizing button on the decapping pin. That's why more force is needed with the FL die. I took off the middle pin from the neck die and the FL die and both of them looked the same. So, what is a "resizing button"? Aside from this new info, I think I'm good to go, for now. Still awaiting the rest of the components to arrive. Thanks again to everyone who has responded. Really appreciated. :wave:
t*enahlake said: If you don't full length size, you may have an out of battery firing causing much damage to your weapon, or yourself. Brass is comparatively cheap don't you think.