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Reloading for ARs

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  #1  
Unread 10-11-2011, 10:43 AM
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Reloading for ARs

I'm pretty new to the AR thing, but I reload for all my firearms. A buddy of mine told me that these rifles can be finiky to reload for, and he said that I needed to use "small base" (I think that's what he called them) dies. Is this true?

Hicks
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  •   #2  
    Unread 10-11-2011, 11:06 AM
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    Re: Reloading for ARs

    Not true but it does not hurt. Try the search on the tool bar at the top of the site it has been discussed quite a bit. search my name or Kevin thomas
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      #3  
    Unread 10-11-2011, 12:36 PM
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    Re: Reloading for ARs

    Not true at all. You'll be amazed how easy an AR is to load for and how accurate they are. 1/4" groups are not unusual with these guns. They'll give a bolt gun a real run for their money. You'll enjoy it.
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      #4  
    Unread 10-11-2011, 12:40 PM
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    Re: Reloading for ARs

    Hicks,

    If you're already reloading, that's a good start. Hate to see guys trying to load for gas guns without having a solid background in reloading for bolt guns and the like, since this is an advanced form of handloading.

    No you (probably) won't need SB dies, but they won't hurt anything, either. Most ARs will get along fine with standard F/L dies, especially something like the Reddings, which tend toward minimum dimensions anyway. Get a gage if you don't already have one, and use it when setting up your sizing die. Make sure you're bumping the shoulder enough to provide at least .003" clearance. Again, these aren't bolt guns, and they need to be treated differently. I might suggest some of Glen Zediker's books or website, since he deals a great deal with reloading for gas guns, specifically. There's a chapter in the Sierra manual on this, as well as some excellent material in some of the specialty books put out by Sinclair and Precision Shooting magazine (all of which should be available through Sinclair).

    Hope this helps, but don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions.
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      #5  
    Unread 10-11-2011, 02:09 PM
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    Re: Reloading for ARs

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kevin Thomas View Post
    Hicks,

    If you're already reloading, that's a good start. Hate to see guys trying to load for gas guns without having a solid background in reloading for bolt guns and the like, since this is an advanced form of handloading.

    No you (probably) won't need SB dies, but they won't hurt anything, either. Most ARs will get along fine with standard F/L dies, especially something like the Reddings, which tend toward minimum dimensions anyway. Get a gage if you don't already have one, and use it when setting up your sizing die. Make sure you're bumping the shoulder enough to provide at least .003" clearance. Again, these aren't bolt guns, and they need to be treated differently. I might suggest some of Glen Zediker's books or website, since he deals a great deal with reloading for gas guns, specifically. There's a chapter in the Sierra manual on this, as well as some excellent material in some of the specialty books put out by Sinclair and Precision Shooting magazine (all of which should be available through Sinclair).

    Hope this helps, but don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions.
    Thanks for all the info guys! I figured that I'd at least have to full length size, which is sort of a departure for my rifle cartridge reloading as all mine are sized to head space off the shoulder (even the belted cartridges). I do have the Sierra book, but I never looked at the chapter on gas guns as I've never had one. I'll be sure to check out that section, and look at that site too.

    Hicks
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      #6  
    Unread 10-11-2011, 04:26 PM
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    Re: Reloading for ARs

    I had a DPMS that i turned into a short tactical rifle. The chamber was custom cut and only SB dies would work for it. I hear that a mil spec chamber is very loose and a FL die will work. As to the truth to that i have no idea.

    I found for reliability if you set up the sizer die the way the book tells you to (Almost touching the shell holder) you will not have any problems. Now i have also found that using light loads would not cycle right. Now i had a 13" barrel with a 3" Novske flass suppresser (an back pressure enhancer). Using a longer barrel might fix this though.
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      #7  
    Unread 10-19-2011, 03:29 PM
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    Re: Reloading for ARs

    I shoot quite a bit of AR-15, and just finished loading up these 2,500 cases. I got a really good deal on 5,000 bullets from Wideners.

    Widener's Reloading and Shooting Supply INC

    These bullets are some of the best 55 Gr. FMJ bullets I have come across, and are very consistent. My load was 25.7 Gr. of H-335. This stuff flows through a powder measure like water, and meters very consistently. $390.00 for 5,000 comes to only $ 7.80 a hundred.

    I have both an RCBS Small Base set, and a set of Lee dies. I can't tell the difference with a micrometer which die was used. Both resize to the same dimension at the base. Both fit my Dillon Case Gage exactly the same.

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