Crimping .223 for an AR

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by firelt, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. firelt

    firelt New Member

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    I've read that you should not crimp .223 because it can cause a pressure build up that will damage the upper receiver on an AR-15. I'm considering doing it because I'm having an issue with slightly over sized casing necks when I reload .223. It's become an issue because I'm finding that after case prep some of the necks are so over-sized that the bullet will actually drop all the way through the neck into the casing when I seat the bullet. Very messy, and even more annoying. Then I have a wasted casing that has a live primer in it. On that note, I'm afraid to run a casing that has a live primer through my decapper because I'm afraid it will go off. Is there any way to save a live primer in a bad casing? :confused:

    So back to my original question- can you safely put a mild crimp on a .223?
     
  2. TheAlmightyBob

    TheAlmightyBob New Member

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    Yes. You should crimp. Dont over do it. I would recommend a lee factory crimp die.

    Take your decapping pin out to resize primed brass.
     

  3. jjfuller1

    jjfuller1 New Member

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    .223 for an AR should be crimped. as its jostled around in the mag and chamber you dont want the bullet being pushed in.

    the case neck size seems too big. ive never had that trouble. is your sizing die set correctly? perhaps its dirty inside?
     
  4. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Occasionally you will get this situation especially with .223. It is caused by over worked brass. .223 is shot and loaded repeatedly and will lose its springiness. Aneal the necks to get best results.
     
  5. Sport45

    Sport45 New Member

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    Crimping won't help that a bit. It's case neck tension that holds the bullet in place.

    I don't crimp anything for my AR's, but don't see any problem if crimping into a cannelure.

    You could be over-expanding. Does the bullet drop through after sizing? Do you use a powder-through expander die that is opening up the neck?
     
  6. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    You need to mic the expander ball on your sizing die. It is ideal when the bullet falls free into a case neck that has not been sized. This indicates that the neck has not thickened. After the case neck has been sized the bullet should not drop into the case. A case neck that is oversized on the ID will not be cured by crimping. Crimping only works on necks that are holding the bullet in a secure position. The crimp is used hold the bullet against external force or recoil. :)
     
  7. tri70

    tri70 New Member

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    How many times has the brass been fired & reloaded? Annealing seams to be the fix to keep using the brass or the neck will split soon.
     
  8. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Brass that has been reloaded to the point of edging on incipient separation is not likely improved by heat treating. If the brass is so hard it will not reform you will have thick uneven necks from brass flow. The case will likely indicate seperation marks around the case just above the web. The case web in a semi auto is very important. I would not risk a damaged rifle for brass that is as cheap as .223. :)
     
  9. steve4102

    steve4102 New Member

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    You got sizing issues, Bud, and it ain't work hardened brass.

    Getting your sizing set up correctly before you even think about loading or crimping
     
  10. Shade

    Shade New Member

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    Who every wrote that is wrong, you should crimp ammo for semi's, military ammo is all crimped.

    I also use the Lee Factory Crimp die with good success.

    If your dies are not closing the case mouth enough to hold the bullet securely you have worn dies and they should be replaced.
     
  11. Sport45

    Sport45 New Member

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    The bullet should be held securely long before any crimp is applied.

    Crimping is optional, neck tension is mandatory.

    I've got nothing against a properly applied crimp, but often the cannelure isn't at the top of the case when the bullet is seated where I want it to be.
     
  12. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Only bullets i crimp are my bigbore 45's (458winmag 458lott 45-70) and revolver bullets. I dont see a need to crimp 223/556 unless your chambering the same round over and over.

    Only wayyour not getting a proper sizing on the necks is if your sizing die isnt set correct. Or your expander ball is the wrong one.

    The way it works is the expander ball goes down the neck then the die squeezes the neck a little smaller than the ball. Then the ball comes out expanding the nec to the right size. If your dies arent set right the neck never gets squeezed.
     
  13. tri70

    tri70 New Member

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    I like a very slight crush feel when seating and I have good luck not using the crimp die. Just make sure you are getting a full stroke seating.
     
  14. Shade

    Shade New Member

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    Jon, I will respectfully disagree; concerning ammunition to be used in a semi-
    automatic I strongly urge crimping bullets. Cartridges will get rattled around
    in a magazine and the bullet can get pushed back into the case at that point;
    or as the cartridge is being fed into the chamber, the bullet could hit some
    part of the action it could get set back in the case. In either situation that could
    result in high chamber pressures due to reduced volume in the case.

    This could also happen in magazine fed bolt actions, but is less likely.

    In addtion, I like the Lee Factory crimp dies as they do not require a
    cannalure, also the amount of crimp can be easily adjusted and with
    rifle (collet) style dies all of the force is normal (90°) to the long axis
    of the cartridge.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  15. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    If the bullet drops in the case or has no real case tension you have not sized it correctly. Crimping will only mask the real problem. Fix the actual problem, and crimp everything with a Lee factory Crimp die.
     
  16. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Bingo!!! Its a sizing problem.
     
  17. firelt

    firelt New Member

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    Whats the best way to correct the sizing problem? I use Lee factory dies and I can't accept they are worn out-, they have less than 1000 rounds through them.
     
  18. Shade

    Shade New Member

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    Are they correctly adjusted?
    What press are you using?
    Do you have a micrometer?
     
  19. steve4102

    steve4102 New Member

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    This is good. You have set your sights on the real problem. Now lets fix it.

    What dies are you using?

    How did you set up the sizing die, and please do not say according to the instructions, step by step details only.

    Have you measured the expander ball(button)? What was it's diameter?

    What about your seating die? How did you set it up? Did you set it up so there would be no unwanted crimp?
     
  20. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Use a LEE FCD.

    When your brass gets old, shyt-can it, and buy more MilSurp. 5.56 brass is far too cheap to bother with annealing. I usually get 10 reloads out of 5.56, but if i get a hard lot, ai have no problems with gtting rid of it after 2 or 3 loading.

    (I won't risk "my babies" with questionable brass)

    And what you describe appears to be a sizing problem. Get those necks tight, and apply a light to moderate crimp and you'll be good to go.:)