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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I too need some serious help loading for an AR. This is my first one and it's chambered in 20 Practical. The case forming process consists soley, or at least it's supposed to, of sizing the neck in two steps down to a .204. I've read several write ups about making this brass, and there should be no addition forming involved. The .223 case retains it's 23 degree shoulder, it's simply necked down.
The barrel is a Kreiger from White Oak Armmenment.
My issue....
So far, the only way to get a case to chamber and let the bolt cam is to screw the die(Redding dies) a quarter turn beyond touching the shellplate so that it cams over. Even at that, the bolt still has what my local smith says is a little more than he likes to see, but it "should" be OK.
Results...
So far I have found NO military brass that I can FL size enough to make it chamber. I have some Lapua and some Winchester that has been fired in a bolt gun that I can make fit using the above method, but it still feels a little stiff. Since this is my first AR, it's possible I don't know what I'm supposed to be feeling, but there is resistance that requires a little more than fingertip presure to make it chamber.

If I keep going further down in small increments, will I eventuall be able to get a case to chamber with minimal force, and if I go that far, will I create head space issues? I'm wondering if I should send it back to White Oak with some sized cases and have John check it or just keep experimenting. I haven't tried unfired brass yet. I don't have any and I have some on order, but it seems like fired brass should be capable of being sized to fit easily.

Help guys!!! Thanks
 

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No offense. But I think it would have been a better choice to go with 223/556 as your first AR.
 

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IF you selected an AR in .223/5.56 you would have the issue of bumping the shoulder back in order to get the case to chamber freely.

BUT you selected a .204 wildcat, so now you have three issues:
1. You have to neck the case down to 20 caliber.
2. You have to trim the case to proper length so the neck doesn't hit the lands.
3. You have to bump the shoulder back.

If I understand your post, you are doing number 1.
I don't know about number 2.
It doesn't sound like you're doing number 3.

Trim the cases, then go find a procedure for shoulder bump and follow it until the case chambers freely.

Eventually you can figure it all out and shoot that rifle happily. Brass will always be cheap, bullets will be easy to find. The barrel should be accurate if you find an accurate load for it. Don't be discouraged if it takes a lot of patience to work up a load. You selected a cartridge with no conventional load data. You're gonna have to work for it.
 

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1. For any and all wildcats, you need a go-no go gauge set. Get this before sending the upper anywhere. Also, remember, people who shoot wildcats are often after the extreme in accuracy (hence - Kreiger bbl). This typically means tight chambers. Keep this in mind!
1.a. Why would you want to use 556 brass to form something that should be formed from 223 (NOT the same thing)? If you want to do this, which negates the nice Kreiger bbl, you need a dedicated case forming die to do it right.

2. 1/4 turn past contact isnt doing anything for you unless you deformed the die mouth or shell holder. I would call Redding if this is indeed the case. It may have been reamed long, and thus not sizing quite enough for your tight chamber. This easily could be a tolerance stacking problem. Food for thought.

Again, a go-no go gauge set would allow you to determine where the problem is.

Hope this helps! 20P is a fun gun!
 

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As noted it's probably a matter of process on a finely made firearm not a defect.

There is no reason to expect that fired 5.556 military brass necked down with no other changes will fit a quality match style chamber in a Krieger barrel.

Myself I'd strongly suggest a multi-step process or maybe a Redding small base type S bushing die for .223 first with no bushing so that the base case is sized most all the way to the base and the shoulder is located as appropriate then and only then neck the case down - or perhaps in reverse order neck the base case then bump the shoulder and small base size the case without further disturbing the neck. Notice that all the neck bushings fit all the dies so a .223 die can be used with say a .210 -.215 bushing if something like that works.

In sum there is no reason to believe that taking a fired military case as the base case and squeezing the neck gives a properly sized at all points case to fit a tight chamber. Make the case then size the new case or size the base case then make the case or even size the base case and squeeze the neck simultaneously but making the new case from fired military without a pass through a small base die is likely enough the problem.

Maybe not, maybe the chamber demands neck turned cases or some other oddity - but if the rifle came with any cases at all or some can be had that fire then and in that case gage the cases that fit and gage the cases that don't fit and make the cases that don't fit match the cases that do fit. Try also a Cerrosafe chamber cast and gage that against the formed cases.

Although it does not include .20 Practical or any of the other Ruger .204 and such I still suggest a close reading of Designing and Forming Custom Cartridges for Rifles and Handguns by Ken Howell - it's out of print and might be a little hard to obtain these days but worth asking your library to borrow a copy.
 
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