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Discussion Starter #1
So was at the range with my hand loads. Had a weird issue happen twice. Gun fed a round into the chamber, but it only went part way. Couldn't pull the charging handle to extract it either. Had to hit the charging handle with a rubber mallet to get the round out. Im wondering if my seating die was pressing the shoulder out some? Its supposed to have a crimp built into the seating die (RBCS). The COAL was fine as I fired 18 other hand load rounds no issues.
 

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I use the Lee factory crimp die rather than the one in the seating die.


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So, it must have been dimensionally different from the others you tried. What did an inspection reveal?
 

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So, it must have been dimensionally different from the others you tried. What did an inspection reveal?
Haven't had time to inspect. I was able to clear tbe jam both time at the range. After the second I put it away. Will look at them today. I know one was visibly ballooned by the bullet. Didnt see that when I loaded the mag though.
 

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I can think of two possible causes.

Either a stubborn flat based bullet getting squashed through a tight neck, or using the seating die's crimp feature.

I've had flat based 110 grain Vmax's in 30 caliber getting shaved by the brass in the neck of some 300BO loads I was doing. But I didn't notice that action affecting the brass, just the bullet. There's a universal flare die in my MidWay shopping cart to help those flat-based bullets into the brass for next loading session.

I have noticed the seating die crimp causing buldge problems on my loads, and have switched to Lee's dedicated crimp die as BGREED mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok thanks guys. Ill order a lee crimping die. Im using a Lee press anyway. My other dies are Lee as well. Just the RBCS was at the local store.
 

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Ok thanks guys. Ill order a lee crimping die. Im using a Lee press anyway. My other dies are Lee as well. Just the RBCS was at the local store.
Confused!!!!!

This is a reload?
Did you resize brass to set shoulder back enough for headspace?

If you set die per instructions, you may not have. Manufacturers instructions are generic and may not be right for your chamber. Did brass fit rifle beforeyou loaded brass?

Best not to use crimp on seating die.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Confused!!!!!

This is a reload?
Did you resize brass to set shoulder back enough for headspace?

If you set die per instructions, you may not have. Manufacturers instructions are generic and may not be right for your chamber. Did brass fit rifle beforeyou loaded brass?

Best not to use crimp on seating die.
Yes this was a reload.

All brass was resized. All brass was once fired Federal. 18 out of 20 had no issues, 2 got stuck. COAL was 2.26. Had 0 issues from my first batch a couple weeks ago, though that was all virgin brass with a shorter COAL. I think the issue was trying to use the built in crimp die, which I will not do again.
 

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When I first started reloading I had this same exact issue with my rcbs dies using the crimp feature. If you don't trim the brass after each firing, it will crimp the brass more because it is longer. I thought I wasnt pushing the shoulder back enough but it was the crimp feature causing the brass to swell from excessive crimp.
 

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Using the integral crimp feature in the bullet seating die can cause too many issues. As others have said, Lee Collet it the pest options. Ensure the seating die is backed out so that the integral crimp feature is far enough away from the case neck to not touch it. I've had it but small bulges in the case neck that I couldn't even see but it caused the same issues you had.
 

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So was at the range with my hand loads. Had a weird issue happen twice. Gun fed a round into the chamber, but it only went part way. Couldn't pull the charging handle to extract it either. Had to hit the charging handle with a rubber mallet to get the round out. Im wondering if my seating die was pressing the shoulder out some? Its supposed to have a crimp built into the seating die (RBCS). The COAL was fine as I fired 18 other hand load rounds no issues.
Couple of things about the RCBS dies. IF yours are in a green box, those are made for bolt action guns, and it doesn't have a crimp function in the bullet seat die. The black box set of dies are made for semi-auto (AR15) type guns. The black box dies called small base, squeeze the lower portion of the case tighter for smoother operation in a semi-auto loader and has a crimp function built into the bullet seat die. You'll have to carefully read about the crimp function on the black box die set as to do the crimp properly into the cannelure bullet.
 

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A Lee Factory Crimp die will also mess up the shoulder if it gets jammed up with dust, lube, etc. The crimping collett won;t move and pushes the shoulder back and creates a bulge just below the shoulder. The moral is to keep the insides of the FC dies clean. I ran in to this recently just as I was finishing loading about 8000 5.56 rounds. Had just made some "off label" modifications to my Dillon 550. These allow me to use it as a true progressive for short to medium length rifle cartridges 5.56, 6.8, 7.62, .243, etc.
 

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This is an interesting post. Just started reloading for 6.8. Had a box of different bullets for grain weight, etc. to try out. Had a Chronograph set up to measure. Put the first set in the mag, pulled the rack back, and click. Nothing. The first set is an 85 grain MPG bullet, in SSA brass. Using a STAG Varmiter Upper by the way.

Took the mag out, and reseated it. Racked it again, don't remember if the first bullet came out, or if it never racked in the first place. Pulled the trigger again, click. Now I am at the point where this thread started. It's jammed. I can't unpack it on the lower. So I take the upper off and really give the charging handle a pull. It comes out, the BCG comes out right into the freaking sand. Did I mention my neighbor has the great 66 acre pit we shoot in. Like having a private club. So I am done for the day. Please stop laughing to read the rest of the post.

So reading here about Lee and RCBS, and of course I can't remember which die I used to seat, I think RCBS. It's a green box but it says right on it, for 6.8 SPC, which I would think RCBS knows that's a semi auto, mostly. So after reading about neck sizes, I go to my test box and start measuring. The necks start out okay, under the size listed in the Lyman book. That first round did seem to get to .307 about 3/4 the way down the neck. Is that what caused the jam? How far down should the neck stay sized to that .306 spec?

I am using Harbor Freight calipers, are they good enough, or are there better?

So I go downstairs after reading this, and start measuring. Measured a PPU round, unfired, and the neck is .300. The next set of test rounds are in Federal cases, seem to be okay. So, first I need to not be an idiot and start taking better notes. Any and all suggestions will be appreciate. Thanks.

G.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just backed my seating die out. I put my ram all the way up with an empty case, then screwed the die down till it made contact. Then for safety i backed off a 1/4 turn. Havent had an issue since. Im also using the 2 piece RBCS green die set. Your COAL can still be set by turning the screw on top.
 

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I just backed my seating die out. I put my ram all the way up with an empty case, then screwed the die down till it made contact. Then for safety i backed off a 1/4 turn. Havent had an issue since. Im also using the 2 piece RBCS green die set. Your COAL can still be set by turning the screw on top.
Yeah, I am still not sure what happened, It was supposed to be just me and my neighbor doing the Chronograph work, and he invited others there, so it gets a little screwed up when people are shooting from other angles, etc. I may have a bad magazine as well. Going to check that out.

It's possible the neck size was a little large. Checking my other loads, looks okay, but not sure where it actually seats on the bullet.
 

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I found an interesting phenomena with my sizing die. There is a setting range where the brass is sized hard enough to push the shoulder forward from where it is when it comes out of the chamber. That brass, left like that, will reload normally but absolutely won't chamber. I have to set my die to assure at least two thou shoulder setback, most AR reloaders recommend three, three and a half.

You can do a effective a job of gauging your brass pre-sized, and post sized with a 38 spcl or 357 mag case and a pair of calipers, just make sure the case mouth on the 38/357 case is trimmed nice and square. I bought the Hornady case comparitor stuff because it's not too pricey but I have use a 38 case sucessfully. A 9mm case would also work.
 

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Well, I went to the range today and shot different setups of bullets with both my 16 inch Stag upper and my 20.77 inch Stag Upper. The 16 inch 5L shot every round with no jamming. I was using a Chronograph at the time. The 20 inch gun kept jamming. I am using the same lower for both uppers, so there is that. The spring shouldn't make a difference. It looks like when I rack the 20, it doesn't have enough force to push the bullet in, or it doesn't like the magazine. Tried the 16 inch bolt carrier on the 20, it shot one round and jammed. Getting frustrating, but someone did suggest I lube the heck out of it and rack it a lot to see if it breaks in. I don't get it, because when I was sighting it in, I shot a lot of rounds. Something ain't right. Where can I find a 6.8 left handed bolt carrier?
 

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I have not posted here very much at all if any, but really like reading the posts here alot. I'm a long time member on another forum since 2006 and like many here have reloaded tens of thousands of rds. Ive got enough supplies to reload 70k 😁

Maybe I've been lucky, I do not know. But I'm pretty anal about reloading. When I build my home 20 years ago.

After the building inspector left and before the concrete was poured in the room downstairs that was going to be my reloading/gun room. I built a stilt house using concrete. I pulled back the plastic and wire and dug a hole big enough for a 30 gal plastic drum that was lined with spray foam. I stuck it in the hole filled in around it and cut a hole in the top. Stuck in a 2x4, laid wire and plastic back down and told my concrete guys to go ahead. They were friends of mine.😁

I had a way to test fire rounds I loaded in my reloading room before going to the range. I'd cycle entire 30 rd magazines. No sound at all, it was like a giant suppressor built into my floor. That said, I've never had any issues at the range except a case head separation every once in a while. It was nothing to shoot a 1000 rds of ammo back in the day.

But have you guys used case gauges. JUST scanning this post quickly I did not notice any mentioned to check that the brass was sized properly and even load properly by using case gages like L.E. Wilson case gages or the numerous others available out there. That can check the brass after it is sized and even after it is loaded simply by inserting it into it the gages.

I use the 6.8 spc but I also use the .277 WOLVERINE and many other calibers both rifle and handgun and use case gages on every caliber. They are an invaluable tool in reloading. To me anyways

Also as stated here by other members. I've NEVER used the seating die as a crimping die together. The LEE crimping dies are the way to go. If I do not crimp. I use dies with bushings to add extra tension on the bullet. PLUS small base dies. Do you really need small dies. No not really, but it does not hurt if loading for a semi. Bolt guns you can play with a whole lot more and are way ore forgiving.

But I always use case gages and have never had a problem. Either that or I've just been lucky.
If I've say anything wrong or missed a post already covering this. Please ignore my rambling.

But again this is a fantastic forum and I really enjoy reading it. When I started in the 6.8 spc this is where I can to and learned a lot. Bought to thermals also because of you guys to hunt hogs with.
 

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The 16 inch 5L shot every round with no jamming. The 20 inch gun kept jamming.
Every barrel is unique and chambers can vary... another reason to guage your fired brass. Just saying you won't know til you check, maybe you fix your problem, maybe not, but at least you've will have crossed a possible culprit off the list of suspects.
 
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