Gunsmithing  Sticking cases Saco L461.223A I


Nov 17, 2011
Need some advise, this is a recent( in terms of shots fired) chamber job and I have had the problem of sticking cases right along. The goofy thing is that only about half of the cases stick in the chamber. It happens when I fireform using commercial ammo or new cases with 25 Gr W748 52 Gr bullets. Same problem with FLsized and collet neck sized brass. Headspace is a bit long but within specs. Have cleaned action especially bolt recesses thoroughly. Had my smith take a look with Hawkeye and he says all looks good.
When the case sticks, I remove it by using a soft mallet on the bolt handle (which raises fully and retracts noticably), or I can pry the bolt back using a screwdriver carefully between the bridge and the bolt cam surface. Some cases "free up" after being "pried" about .013" some as much as .034". If I tru to re chamber the sticking case it sticks again just like when fired.
I have carefully examined the cases using a 6X loupe and cant' see any obvious markings. I have miked the cases at the neck, shoulder junction and forward of the head, no difference detected???
What really stumps me is that some cases from the same new box stick and others don't and I cant detect any differences!
Hope someone can come up with some helpful suggestions.

Steven Dzupin

Full Member
Nov 30, 2002
Re: Sticking cases Saco L461.223A I

Robert,if I'm reading you correctly ,you have a .223

Remington Ackley Improved chamber with headspace on the high


Your full length die is most probably not bumping the case

shoulder back enough ,if at all.

Get yourself some machinist Dykem Blue ( they make it

in Red as well)LOL.

Degrease one of your fired sticking case and put a light coat

of the Blue on the case shoulder,let it dry thoroughly.

Chamber the fired case and close the bolt slowly,until you

feel some resistance.

Carefully remove the case and look for any rub marks on the


If there,you'll need a die that will bump the shoulder back

about .003 thousanths.

You might be able to get your die shortened or have to go with

a custom die.

Redding and / or RCBS can help you here.

You can also coat a case or loaded DUMMY round with the Dykem

and see if anything else is rubbing the chamber.

If you coat a case and then lube it you can check your resize

die as well.

Just a tip, use a small artist brush as the supplied brush in the

Dykem can is way too large. A thin coat will do.

Good luck and let me know what you find.