Discussing headspace and what it did for my rifle

I am by no means an expert on rifle reloading. So when I found that my primers were backing out of the primer pocket, I scratched my head for quite a while until some tips from a few good friends here on TRN led me to investigate a headspace issue. I purchased the Hornady headspace comparator bushing and realized that my rifle has somewhat of a loose chamber. The measurement to the datum point on my .223 cases from the case base averaged around 1.450 inches and my fire formed brass measured to 1.4585′. I was setting the shoulder back .008″ and didn’t even realize I was doing it. Once I set my resizing die to the correct amount of headspace, I no longer saw any issues with primers backing out of the primer pocket upon firing, as well as prolonging my brass life by not over working the case shoulder. I hope this video helps a few people and thank you to Eagle Eye Shooting, 243 Outdoors, and Uncle Jim for sharing potential causes of my wacky primers.

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Jerry 1911
Jerry 1911

When I had a 5.56 case head separation from an out of battery detonation, that scared the daylights out of me, and trying to analyze why. Fortunately, Kenny (Eagle Eye) was kind enough to spend some time with me on the phone, so we could discuss the possible causes. It was soon after that I ordered the headspace comparitor, and began dismantling my 5.56 reloads! Overpressure! 5.56 doesn’t have the volume of .223, and I was loading both the same. A prime example of how helpful and supportive this community is. Needless to say, ALL of my rifle reloading is… Read more »

The Big Man
The Big Man

Good write up and good video.

FortuneCookie45LC
FortuneCookie45LC

TinMan – Good you brought this out, plus you are lucky that the primers backing out alerted you to the problem. If the loads were different, the brass heads of the cases would have driven back to the bolt face so that the primers would not have backed out to alert you of the excessive headspace present. And that brass would have stretched at the web portion just above the heads causing weak spots there that might have head separation dangers either immediately or later. .006″ is the maximum safe excess headspace, so you were over with your .008″. Phil… Read more »