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  #1  
Old 11-06-2010, 9:16 PM
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Hogxtz Hogxtz is offline
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Default Small base vs. full length?? I'm confused, still!

After years of simple reloading for 40 and 45, I started 223 and 308. I bought RCBS small base dies because I was told that these size just a tad smaller which is good for semi-auto like my Stag.

Than someone in here told me the Full length die does the same thing as the small base die. Than what is the difference between the two dies, why would RCBS make two different named dies that are identicle? And some of my reloads stick and wont go into full battery, and are difficult to pull back on the charging handle to get them out. Does this have anything to do with small base dies I used? I am at a loss.
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Old 11-06-2010, 9:34 PM
huckberry668 huckberry668 is offline
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RCBS small base dies size the base of the brass a few thousandths smaller than the full length sizing die. read 2nd questions on this page. I've reloading for semi-auto for 20 years. never had a problem with regular full length sizers unless it's my fault.

http://www.rcbs.com/questions/dies_questions.aspx
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Old 11-06-2010, 9:40 PM
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huckberry,
so are you saying I should keep using small base or use fl like you use for a ar-15? Woudlnt small base be better for Ar-15 platforms?
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Old 11-06-2010, 9:55 PM
J-cat J-cat is offline
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The differene is the small-base die sizes the base an additional .001" over a standard FL die.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:27 PM
huckberry668 huckberry668 is offline
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if your FL die is not damaged, the problem maybe how you're sizing the cases. You're supposed to run the press ram all the way up w/ the shell holder installed, turn the die all the way down till it touches the shell holder. I usually turn it down hard till it won't go down anymore.

The die sizes the body of the case first which pushes the shoulder up till the shoulder area of the die comes down low enough to bump the shoulder. So you need to make sure it 'bumps' the shoulder down to at least .002" or .003" shorter than the chamber.

A bottle neck round headspaces at the shoulder of the case. if the case shoulder is longer then the shoulder of the chamber you'll get rounds stuck in there. small base sizer will improve extraction/function but won't fix case length problem.

Buy a set of headspace gauges and check new ammo, fire formed cases vs your sized case length (make sure to deprime before measuring fire formed cases). I bet you that's your problem. Your sized cases should be at least .002" shorter than your fire formed cases.
http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-...h-Body-1-Each/

I had a few of them got stuck in my ARs and I've seen more than a few from others too. my problem was, I sized a few thousand cases at a time, the screw-in type die came loose on my RCBS press and i didn't know it. I bought a Forster Co-Ax press for this one reason.

5.56 NATO cases usually have longer necks. You'll need to trim the cases down to the recommend 223Rem length so the mouth of the case doesn't get jammed into the throat of the chamber. also, try not to shoot 5.56x45 ammo thru a 223 Rem chamber for the same reason.
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Last edited by huckberry668; 11-06-2010 at 10:30 PM..
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:54 PM
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huckberry,

Thanks for the clear explanation, you made my light bulb go on. I think you are dead on right about why they are sticking. I sized 2,000 LC 5.56 cases, I have a feeling my die was not seated enough or came loose. And thanks for the link
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