.223 Remington Bullet Seating Depth vs. Pressure

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.223 Remington Bullet Seating Depth vs. Pressure

Post by jpdeal on Mon May 07, 2012 8:04 am

Newb question:

I just reloaded my very first batch of .223 Remington last night and plan on going to the range with them this afternoon. Being a beginner, I am somewhat apprehensive about actually pulling the trigger.

Last night I was triple-checking everything and noticed that I had seated my bullets slightly deeper than the minimum overall length. I realize this number is intended for loads with using the maximum recommended charge. I used the minimum charge for my loads, but am concerned about the seated depth, here is a snapshot of my load data:

Accurate 2230 powder, 21.2gr charge, 55gr Winchester FMJ-BT bullet, CCI small rifle primer, seated to 2.225 overall length, minimum overall length for max. charge of 26.1gr is 2.260.

I will be running these thru my Ruger Mini 14.

So, am I going to have a problem with excessive pressure?

Thanks!
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Re: .223 Remington Bullet Seating Depth vs. Pressure

Post by Reload3006 on Mon May 07, 2012 8:18 am

I would hazard a guess you are just fine. as long as the bullet doesnt fall in the case and you are not at max charge. Fire away. You are in safe territory.
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Re: .223 Remington Bullet Seating Depth vs. Pressure

Post by hawcer on Mon May 07, 2012 8:27 am

Doesn't the Win FMJBT have a cannelure? Kinda hard to mess the OAL up too bad unless your brass is trimmed more than normal. You should be ok...

Prime example of why one need to work up loads, not start at max.


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Re: .223 Remington Bullet Seating Depth vs. Pressure

Post by jpdeal on Mon May 07, 2012 9:04 am

Thanks guys!

Relaod3006: I put a light crimp on the bullet, so I should be okay.

Hawcer: yes, the bullet does have a cannelure and slightly protrudes from the neck of the loads in question. I did take my time trimming the brass with my Lyman universal trimmer, but still had some slight varations with case length; within 5/100 of an inch. Iguess that will improve with experience??
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Re: .223 Remington Bullet Seating Depth vs. Pressure

Post by hawcer on Mon May 07, 2012 9:36 am

I hope you mean 5 thousandths (.005), not (.050). 5 thou isn't too bad...variations could be due to variations in the rim of the case and how the trimmer is locking on to them.

BTW...I didn't mean you cut them way too short....I meant, that is a way of getting oal too short when seating to the cannelure. You seemed to seat them just right according to your description.

Imo, 2.260" is a little long for 55fmj...that's about the minimum for a 69gr SMK, which is way longer than the 55gr fmj.

Keep seating them where you have been and work up the loads a bit more....remember, you don't have to reach maximum loads to have a good load.

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Re: .223 Remington Bullet Seating Depth vs. Pressure

Post by jpdeal on Mon May 07, 2012 12:29 pm

Just got back from the range and I'm still in one piece!

No major problems, but I do have some concerns. Out of the 50 rounds fired here are the issues (which may be non-issues):

One of the cases suffered a small crack in the neck area (it was nickle plated Winchester).

One case was difficult to extract. It was the last round in the magazine and the bolt on my Mini did not lock back into the open position. However, I did not need to exert much force to pull the bolt open.

A couple of primers may have flattened out in the primer pockets. I'll have to take a closer look when I deprime the cases.

Any red flags?
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Re: .223 Remington Bullet Seating Depth vs. Pressure

Post by Reload3006 on Mon May 07, 2012 12:40 pm

was some of your brass range pick up? the split neck can be from old brass reloaded several times. Primers aren't necessarily a sigh of high pressure. Get a stiff piece of wire and bend a 90 degree hook in it and stick in inside the case and see if you can feel a bump close to the bottom coming up the side of the case. If you can you have very high pressure and need to back off. that would be a sigh of excessive stretching and soon case head separation.

also on the nickle plated brass I have noticed you will get far fewer loads out of them. I dont know why but it has been the case for me anyway.

a much better way of checking for High pressure is get a zero to one inch micrometer Fire a factory round out of your rifle and check its dimension just slightly up from the case head area. (the thick portion on the base of the shell ... Just slightly up from there) compare that dimension to one of your reloads. (the absolute best method for checking operating pressures in your gun.
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