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Pressure Signs .223

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Unread 06-06-2012, 06:43 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3
Pressure Signs .223

Have some cratering using 25.6gr Benchmark with Nosler 55gr Ballistic Tip with Remington SPS 700 - Very Accurate load - 2 on left of pictures are Reloads 2 on Right are Factory - Does the Cratering Look Severe
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Pressure Signs .223-imag0245.jpg   Pressure Signs .223-imag0247.jpg  

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Unread 06-06-2012, 08:18 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,230
Re: Pressure Signs .223

It looks like the problem is that the firing pin hole in the bolt is two big (Two much clearance
between the firing pin and the firing pin hole in the bolt).

Have a smith look at it and see if it needs to be fitted with an over sized firing pin.

It should not do that with factory loads and with hot loads could cause primer failure (Blown

Having a bushing installed will also fix this condition, but may cost more than a replacement
firing pin.

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Unread 06-06-2012, 07:35 PM
RTK RTK is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Left coast, kalifornia
Posts: 331
Re: Pressure Signs .223

J E is spot on, I can flatten primers pretty well and never have anything close to that in cratering and you are not flattening them at all
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Unread 06-06-2012, 07:46 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 4,120
Re: Pressure Signs .223

Plus 3. Thats not a hot load. I reload hundreds of 223's. I prefer the Hornady FMJBT's in 55 grain with H335 or 322, depending on my mood.

That is surely a component/action issue.

You need to be watching your case mouth's as well. I've taken to annealing mine regularly.
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Unread 06-08-2012, 05:01 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3
Re: Pressure Signs .223

I love BM for the 55gr but Varget is "almost" as good and never shows pressure signs. I have to be careful with BM because MAX creeps up fast and below what Hodgdon shows in their manuals for my Howa 1500 bolt and RRA AR15.
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Unread 06-10-2012, 08:57 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 45
Re: Pressure Signs .223

weak firing pin spring/ firing pin hole issue. had a couple like that, a quick trip to Greg Tannel took care of it. Cratering in pics is normal.
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Unread 06-10-2012, 10:10 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,483
Re: Pressure Signs .223

Looks just like my .264 Win. Mag. I had built on a Win. 70 action. The hole in the bolt face was way too big. A 'smith did a hard chrome plating job on the last 3/8ths inch of the firing pin then ground it down to about 2/1000ths smaller than the hole's diameter.

I've seen large rifle primers with very rounded edges indicating a mild load actually have higher peak pressures than SAAMI specs. Such is life with hard, thick primer cups. Soft, thin cups will show their edge sharp at very low pressures. All of which makes it hard to generalize that primer shape after firing is a good indicator of pressure.
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