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I've reloaded for 40 some years so not new to it but I recently purchased a Ruger ar556 and having trouble getting reloads to fire in it. I've full length resized the cases, trimmed to 1.760, reamed primer pocket and seated new primers. The unloaded cases with primers do fire, however when I dump powder (Varget 25 grains) and seat bullet to overall length of 2.162 with Hornady 55 grain soft point and try to chamber a round It won't fire. I hear the firing pin drop at the pull of the trigger but it wont fire and the loaded case is hard to eject. I've checked specs on shoulder, case and neck and all seem to be at or under the specs for .223 What am I missing? Factory new ammo does fire without any problems
 

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Welcome to the shooters forum.

My guess is the seater die body is adjusted to far down. It may be crimping the neck before the bullets is fully seated and bulging the shoulder to prevent chambering. Try backing the body off the case then moving the seater stem down to arrive at the desired cartridge overall length.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm beginning to wonder if I have either a bad set of dies or the tolerances on my ruger are too close and possibly the chamber is too small. I took once fired brass that was brand new and fired in the gun, resized it and primed it. The primer will fire but hard to eject at that time. Also, if I just put the resized case in the chamber and close the action it is hard to remove. My resizing die is all the way down and just touching the shell holder on my RCBS press. The dies were RCBS as well. Bullets seat just fine, I have chamfered the mouth of the neck
 

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Will the fired case (not resized) chamber and extract with normal effort?
 

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rcbs does make a "small base die" that they intend for use in this application. from the q&a on their website:

"The Small Base Die set is intended for use for ammunition to be used in auto, semi-auto, and lever action rifles so that the loaded round chambers and extracts easily. The Small Base Sizer Die sizes the case from the shoulder to the head of the case a couple of thousandths smaller than a Full Length Sizer Die. In certain calibers it also sets the shoulder of the case back a thousandth or two more than the Full Length Sizer Die. The Full Length Die Set or Neck Die Set is not normally recommended for ammo to be used in auto, semi-auto, or lever action rifles. The Full Length Die set is recommended for ammunition used in bolt action rifles, particularly for ammunition to be used for hunting. The Neck Die Set can also be used to produce ammunition for use in bolt action rifles. The Neck Sizer Die sizes only the neck of the case so it will hold the bullet firmly. It does not size the body of the case nor does it set the shoulder back. Neck sized cases will usually chamber for three or more firings, depending on the powder charge and chamber dimensions. However, over a period of time, a slight drag will be noticed when the bolt is locked. At this point, cases will need to be full length sized and the shoulder set back so they will chamber and extract easily."


however, i have used the standard dies in all my ar's for years with no problems (when things went well). i have, in the past, had some rounds that will not chamber because when the bullet is seated, it pushes down on the case and bulges out at where the shoulder meets the body, which i believe someone before me alluded to. iirc, it was a case length or crimp depth issue, but if your cases are all trimmed and you backed the crimp right off, thats probably not your problem.
 

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You can waste a lot of time and maybe money messing around trying different suggestions or you can get some cerrosafe from Brownell's and do a chamber casting, see what your dealing with and go from there.
 
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I've never used Cerrosafe but sure agree with casting the chamber.
 

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A chamber cast probably wouldn't be a waste of time. If the problem is a die or ammo related it still would not offer an answer.
 

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Seat a bullet in a piece of brass, no powder necessary for this. Then color the bullet and the brass with a sharpie, drop it into the chamber with your fingers, don't feed it from the magazine in other words. Drop the bolt on it, slowly extract it from the chamber. Then inspect it to see where the sharpie came off, this will show you where it's binding.

My first thoughts would be that the bullet is resting against the lands, instead of the shoulder, this would absorb firing pin inertia.

or,

the web area binding, this would create a similar condition to the above and can be rectified with a small base die.

I load for a couple tight custom barreled AR's, neither one will chamber or shoot factory ammo, but they function 100% with reloads resized with a standard RCBS FL die. That said, I've never had to use a SB die.

Take the barrel off, manually push a loaded cartridge into the chamber, make sure you push it in with some force. then tip the barrel vertical, does the cartridge drop out by gravity, or does it stick in the chamber? Try the same thing with an empty resized piece of brass, this should help eliminate some of the possible culprits, it's either the brass, or the bullet is contacting / resting against the lands.

SMOA
 

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There is probably the problem

:eek:
I'm beginning to wonder if I have either a bad set of dies or the tolerances on my ruger are too close and possibly the chamber is too small. I took once fired brass that was brand new and fired in the gun, resized it and primed it. The primer will fire but hard to eject at that time. Also, if I just put the resized case in the chamber and close the action it is hard to remove. My resizing die is all the way down and just touching the shell holder on my RCBS press. The dies were RCBS as well. Bullets seat just fine, I have chamfered the mouth of the neck

" My resizing die is all the way down and just touching the shell holder on my RCBS press."
^^^
You need to turn in your size die 1/4 to 1/2 a turn AFTER the die touches the shell holder. Your press must "Cam Over" to fully resize your case. Your sized un primed case should drop in and out of your chamber. The bolt should lock up easy + the case should extract easy...Bill:eek:
 

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Sounds like your chamber may be one of those that needs a SB die. No biggie, you can purchase just the SB die for about $25.

SMOA
 

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I didn't see the question, but how do different brands of factory ammo work for you? It might give you a sense of where the problem is actually occurring.
 

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My daughter bought one of the cheaper ARl5 clones. Shoots factory ammo fine. Won't chamber reloads. Bought small sizing die set and still wouldn't chamber. varied the bullet seat depth down to ogive just entering mouth - no dice. Carefully trimmed cases, chamfered and neck turned. Nada.

Figured the manufacturer was eaking out the last bit of use on chamber reamer and it was barely meeting SAMI specs. Told daughter to buy her own ammo ! :rolleyes:
 

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In your first post say
I hear the firing pin drop at the pull of the trigger but it wont fire and the loaded case is hard to eject.
Is the case chambering fully? Is the firing pin/hammer actually falling? Is the bolt closing completely? Not an AR aficionado, but my Garand won't allow the trigger to function if the bolt is not fully in battery...
 

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I've reloaded for 40 some years so not new to it but I recently purchased a Ruger ar556 and having trouble getting reloads to fire in it. I've full length resized the cases, trimmed to 1.760, reamed primer pocket and seated new primers. The unloaded cases with primers do fire, however when I dump powder (Varget 25 grains) and seat bullet to overall length of 2.162 with Hornady 55 grain soft point and try to chamber a round It won't fire. I hear the firing pin drop at the pull of the trigger but it wont fire and the loaded case is hard to eject. I've checked specs on shoulder, case and neck and all seem to be at or under the specs for .223 What am I missing? Factory new ammo does fire without any problems
You say that the cases are trimmed to 1.760 and oal is 2.262, 1.760 is max for an unloaded case and 2.260 is max for a loaded round to fit in an AR magazine, that could be the problem, trim the empty cases to 2.150 and keep oal to 2.260 and see what happens.
 
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