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#1316779 - 06/26/09 11:50 AM Small base dies for .223 AR's?
fw707 Offline
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Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Good idea, or absolute necessity?
I'll be loading mostly once-fired brass that WAS NOT fired in my AR.

Thanks!
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#1316780 - 06/26/09 12:02 PM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: fw707]
skol Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 09/07/07
Posts: 210
Loc: MW,Texas
Thats what I use. Was told thats what to use when reloading for the AR.
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#1316781 - 06/26/09 12:51 PM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: skol]
odawgp Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 893
Loc: Utah
Good Idea but not necessary

It will save you some time at the trimmer
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#1316782 - 06/26/09 01:06 PM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: fw707]
CatShooter Offline
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Registered: 01/24/02
Posts: 9094
Loc: The Socialist Republic of CT.
Quote:

Good idea, or absolute necessity?
I'll be loading mostly once-fired brass that WAS NOT fired in my AR.

Thanks!




I use SB dies for all the cases I shoot in gas guns, all fired cases that I buy in bulk, and all range pickups.

Kinda like starting from scratch.

It's not necessary, but it make life easier.

Some folks believe a SB die will stress the cases too much - it will not - the cases come out fine.

If you polish cases, then they look much nicer, cuz the bulge at the base of the case is gone.

.
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#1316783 - 06/26/09 07:08 PM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: CatShooter]
SodakJim Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1658
Loc: Gettysburg, South Dakota
I hesitate applying general rules to all gas guns since they are not created equal by any means. Since we are talking about the AR-15, I would guess that 90+ percent will have no problem with standard FL sized cases. Some full length dies are on the small side of the spec when it comes to the base diameter anyway.

I fail to see why a small base die would save you any time at the trimmer. The more you reduce the base diameter the longer the case will get, if your not using an X-die. In most AR-15s the headspace dimension is more likely to cause you problems than the base diameter. The Wylde chamber is a bit larger around the base and gives you even more clearance.

If your not going to load a case more than 5-6 times, I doubt you will gain much case life with standard VS small base dies. If you have determined that your chamber is on the small side of the spec, by all means use the small base dies. Some 223 chambered ARs are tighter than most 5.56 or Wylde chambers. If your chamber is rough or not cleaned often enough, the small base sized brass may give you less chambering problems.

There may be some that might debate this, but I have found that ammo that fits the chamber better shoots more accurately in nearly all rifles. It kind of depends on if your loading for P-Dogs at 200 yards or coyotes at under 100 yards.

Finally, to answer your questions. Good Idea? Maybe. Absolute Necessity ? NOT Likely.
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#1316784 - 06/26/09 08:41 PM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: SodakJim]
2muchgun Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 14660
Loc: Michigun
I use Redding type S full length bushing die with comp. seater die on the "good stuff".

For plinkers, I just use standard Redding FL die set.......
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#1316785 - 06/27/09 10:05 AM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: 2muchgun]
Utahdogger Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 2001
Loc: Roy,Utah
I'm using Dillon Dies on a Dillon 550B and haven't noticed any problems yet.
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#1316786 - 06/28/09 10:17 AM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: Utahdogger]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Thanks everybody for the replies.
I forgot to mention that one of the rifles I'll be loading for will have a DTech upper with Mike's chamber job on a Shilen barrel.
I'm assuming they probably are chambered a little tighter?
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#1316787 - 06/28/09 03:41 PM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: fw707]
Evil_Lurker Offline
PM senior

Registered: 07/30/05
Posts: 6721
Loc: Oregon
Quote:

I forgot to mention that one of the rifles I'll be loading for will have a DTech upper with Mike's chamber job on a Shilen barrel.




You would have to ask Mike about that.
However, I saw in the other thread you were considering the Oly SUM.
That barrel has a minimum spec. SAAMI .223 chamber and I always use SB dies when loading for mine.
I've sized pick-up brass before that was so oversize at the base it seized in SB dies and ripped the rim off.
I'm just sayin.
If I was loading for a mil. spec. 5.56 chamber I really doubt the SB would be any advantage.
You may want to discuss that with Mike, he won't give you bad advice.
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#1316788 - 06/28/09 08:13 PM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: Evil_Lurker]
Aznative Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 06/11/02
Posts: 771
Loc: Phx
Catshooter: good to see you back.

As far as the question of how necessary is it to use small base dies? I shoot several different gas guns and mix the brass up between them, and I've never had a problem. With that said, it doesn't mean you won't. It all depends upon how tight the chamber is on your new ar and if the standard dies are able to resize the brass enough to feed properly in your gun. If it is an extra purchase and you've already bought a set of dies, I would give the regular dies a try before spending money. If you can get a set of dies that come with a small base size die, you might just save yourself some agravation buying that set to start with.

FYI Dillon's size dies are small base. Dillon sells to a lot of class three owners who want the brass to feed properly. They don't really advertise it, but call them and they will tell you so. However, I wouldn't recommend Dillon dies on a single stage. Just MHO.
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#1316789 - 06/28/09 10:35 PM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: Evil_Lurker]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Quote:

Quote:

I forgot to mention that one of the rifles I'll be loading for will have a DTech upper with Mike's chamber job on a Shilen barrel.




You would have to ask Mike about that.
However, I saw in the other thread you were considering the Oly SUM.


You may want to discuss that with Mike, he won't give you bad advice.




Yep, I'm leaning toward the Shilen, but the SUM is still an option.
I'll see what Mike says.
_________________________
“better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.”

Carl Sagan

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#1316790 - 06/28/09 10:39 PM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: Aznative]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Quote:

FYI Dillon's size dies are small base. Dillon sells to a lot of class three owners who want the brass to feed properly. They don't really advertise it, but call them and they will tell you so. However, I wouldn't recommend Dillon dies on a single stage. Just MHO.




I've got a single stage (T7 Redding) press. Why not the Dillon dies?
Not being a smart a$$, just new at this.
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#1316791 - 06/30/09 11:16 AM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: fw707]
Aznative Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 06/11/02
Posts: 771
Loc: Phx
Dillon's rifle dies are a three die set whereas most major brands use two dies. Dillon's dies have a bullet seating die and a seperate taper crimp die. This is combined with the other brands. IF you wish to crimp, it would require a die change and a seperate pass thru a single stage press. The extra step amounts to zero extra work on a progressive. If you don't care to crimp or don't mind the extra work, it won't matter. BTW: IMHO crimping isn't necessary except for large caliber boomers and tube feed lever guns. Other than that they are great dies. The resize die has a built in stuck case remover which is really great to have if you stick a case on a progressive press.

30 minutes later I decided to edit in the following:
Dillon has a limited offering of calibers for their in house dies. What they don't offer in house they offer with Redding Dies which are top drawer too IMHO. I checked and Dillon does offer 30/30 which is the only caliber that I feel crimping is necessary.
On Dillon's web site they offer this description for their size die:
"Dillon Three-Die Rifle Die Sets include a sizing/ depriming die, a bullet seating die and a taper crimp die. Dillon Two-Die Rifle Die Sets include a sizing/depriming die and a seat/crimp die.
Sizing/Depriming Die
The sizing/depriming die is full-length, to minimum tolerances, sizing cases down to function in semi- and full-automatic firearms. We strongly suggest that a headspace case gage be used to correctly adjust the size die.
For high volume users, such as commercial reloaders, law enforcement agencies, and high power or service rifle competitors, we also offer .223 and .308 die sets with a full-length carbide sizing die. Lubrication is still required, but the increased scratch resistance and die longevity of carbide are of great benefit to these groups of users.
The depriming assembly includes a carbide expander ball for "squeak-free," effortless neck expansion. This expander ball is located in the middle of the depriming stem to take advantage of superior initial leverage for easier extraction.
In the event of a stuck case, the design of the depriming assembly allows it to function as a stuck case remover."


Edited by Aznative (06/30/09 11:38 AM)
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#1316792 - 07/01/09 01:14 AM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: Aznative]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Thanks Az.
I just bolted my T7 to the bench this evening. It's not a progressive, but it IS a turret type with 7 holes in the turret, so the extra die wouldn't be a big deal.
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“better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.”

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#1316793 - 07/01/09 10:22 AM Re: Small base dies for .223 AR's? [Re: fw707]
Aznative Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 06/11/02
Posts: 771
Loc: Phx
Welcome to the great hobby of reloading. I don't know why you are jumping in, but it is a worth while endeavor. I started out to save money. Today I do it to tune loads to my guns, accuracy. You will find that you have a better selection of bullets you can now use by reloading. Bullet quality and barrel quality are probably the two most important factors for accuracy.
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