Need .223 reloading advice ?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by bigbuck, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    I got the redding .223 die set on its way so what else do I need ? Is there some sort of crimping tool that I need to order ? I need to know what different steps that I should do ? I have been reloading for bolt action rifles for the last couple of years . I need some help .

    Thanks for looking .
     
  2. silvertip44

    silvertip44 Well-Known Member

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    As long as it is a bolt gun, loading bottle neck ammo is almost all the same. Auto loaders may be a bit finicky and the brass life is severely limited.
     

  3. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    Loading for what type of action ?
    What type of Redding dies there is quite a few ?
    Because you mention crimping it leads me to think you are loading for an Auto maybe.
    So more info. would assist .
     
  4. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    Sorry about the lack of Information. I will be loading for mainly AR's . Automatic
     
  5. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    Full length size EVERY CASE. Don't try to to load those MAX bolt action loads or you will beat your AR to death. I personally use a Lee Factory Crimp Die on all loads. The bullet does not need a crimp groove to use this die. Contrary to belief it does not destroy the accuracy of match bullets. Pay attention to the twist of your bore as to which bullets you can shoot. If it has a 9" twist like many do the 77 gr Hornady is about the heaviest bullet you can stabilize. Don't use FEDERAL primers. The ARs have a floating firing pin and can slam fire. Federal is the only primers I have had this problem with. Their cup is thin and sensitive.

    Get all the magazines you ever think you will need NOW before the knee jerk reaction governmental bull hits the fan.
     
  6. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    +1

    I don't use the lee die, but it can be useful at times. I roll crimp my fmj's but let neck tension hold the 75 grainers in place; you may have to use a lee crimp die in some rifles if they feed more roughly than mine. I fl size all rounds for my ar, use cci mil spec or small rifle mag primers only, and clean/trim a few hundred at a time after I mill the crimp out with a de-burring tool chucked into my drill. I use either 4895 or tac and either 55 grain fmj pills or 75 grain hpbt pills depending on what I want to do with it.
    What chamber do you have??? If it says 5.56 nato, confirm that it is as some brands are stamped nato and are really 223. You could run into pressure issues using nato loads in a shorter throated 223 chamber. My dpms is a nato chambered 9" twist, so I'm pretty much home free until I pass 77 grain pills.
     
  7. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    RCBS makes a small base die set that is made to feed thru autos easier. I have never used one, but have also seen others use them. Most AR's have fairly loose chambers anyway, so I wouldn't worry much about it. The crimp deal is something I've never done with the two AR's I own.
    gary
     
  8. RyanG

    RyanG Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the small base dies. I load for my AR a LOT.... Never had a problem with a slam fire on federal primers. All I use are Federal Match. But then again I am not shooting full auto. For that I personally would buy Federal or some other manufactured ammo that has the crimped primers! You WILL loose primers if they are not crimped.

    I may have miss read your post and assumed that you ment full auto shooting. I just got back from a shoot where it was windy and way dusty. I shot over 600 of my reloads with out one malfunction using the small base dies. For my AR they are the only way I will go.

    Hope that helps
     
  9. RyanG

    RyanG Well-Known Member

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    I also ment to mention that if you are shooting once fired brass from the military or the police departments. I use the latter.... You will have to remove the crimp in the primer pocket. It takes quite a bit of time unless you get the right tools. I started out by just using the chamfer tool. THAT SUCKED! Then I got a cutting tool for my RCBS case prep station. It worked but you had to be really careful not to remove too much or you get gas leakage from the primer and you will burn your bolt face. I learned this the hard way and had to replace my bolt. Now I use the RCBS Swager tool. It works great. Some time added to the case prep but way easier and it sizes the whole primer pocket. Not one in over 3000 loads has had any leakage. Also when you are priming your cases if the primer doesnt fit smoothly.... dont force it. resize the primer pocket. Federal cases seem to be hard and it takes a bit more to get that pocket resized.

    Let me know if I can be of any more help.

    Ryan
     
  10. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    The redding part number was RB80111.
    It said that they where the Redding -A die set for bottle neck .223 cases .
    Is this set that you all are talking about ?

    I have 500 pcs of winchester brass on order if it ever gets here .
     
  11. RyanG

    RyanG Well-Known Member

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    No sir they are not the same as small base dies.... the Redding dies are actually more precision that the RCBS. I wouldnt order new dies unless you start having feeding problems. You wont when you keep the chamber area clean and under slow firer. Its when the chamber gets hot that the small base dies feed a bit better. The brass you ordered wont have to have the primer pocket resized either.

    Does that answer your question?
     
  12. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I use the K&M primer pocket tool in a Black & Decker electric screw driver. Primer pockets have always been consider a pain in the butt at my house as well. Primers slipping back out of the pocket have always been a problem for me in just about everything thing I load up if they sit for a year or so. I, have not done in serious investigation over this issue, but kinda think the tool needs to be about five tenths smaller, and maybe two thousandths shallower in depth. But maybe dead wrong on the depth. Never seen a slam fire issue in the AR platform, but also seat the primers .005" under the face.
    gary
     
  13. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    actually Redding as well as RCBS make small base dies. I've seen two sets of Redding small base dies, and they still are a tiny bit bigger than the RCBS dies. Otherwise I see little difference between the two brands. Forster does not make a set as far as I know, and not sure about Hornaday and Lee. AR's seem to be a little more critical of seating depths, plus your limited by the magazine. For that issue the Forster seater would be a must have.
    gary
     
  14. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Bigbuck,

    Couple of things here. One, you're getting into what is undeniably a form of advanced handloding. That's true anytime you load for an automatic of any kind. Service Rifles (like the AR) have a number of things you need to be aware of in order to create proper ammo. The floating firing pin has already been mentioned, and it's a valid point. Use a primer that has a relatively hard cup, in order to reduce the chances of a slam fire. CCI makes a #41 primer that's a duplicate of the primer that Lake City uses in all military 5.56mm production. The primer (whichever type you choose) must be seated properly. That it, below the case head and bottomed out firmly within the primer pocket.

    Sizing. Small Base sizing has already been mentioned, and it's usually the best way to go. Most ARs have fairly generous chambers, and conventional Full Length sizing die will almost always give reliable function. However, the extra reduction provided by the S/B dies also assist in giving easier extraction upon firing, something most folks are unaware of due to the nature of the rifles. But it does ease the stress on extractors and can increase longevity of some parts. The real issue here, is headspace. With a bolt gun, clearance of .001" or so is perfectly adequate, and will allow the rifle to fucntion reliably. This is not the case with autoloaders. Here, you want a minimum of .003" of shoulder setback, and .004"-.005" is even better. The best way to check this, adjust your dies, and verify that the cases are being sized properly, is with a case gage. The simple chamber type gages like those from L.E. Wilson or Dillon, or the more complex RCBS Precision Mic, either will work. Bottom line is, you need to know that the dies are setting the shoulders back sufficiently, without going too far. Yes, you need a gage, and you need to use them, frequently. Doing so will eliminate many of the potential problems, that you'd really rather not run into to begin with.

    Crimping. There's absolutely no need to crimp in an AR, provided you have sufficient neck tension to keep the bullets from moving during feeding. Rarely seen this happen after loading and firing tens of thousands of match rounds for ARs over the years. Crimping generally degrades accuracy, and the more you crimp, the more that degradation can be expected. This is why the 77SMKs have such a shallow cannelure on them; to meet the military requirement that they be cannelured and crimped, without really doing much of either. In otherwords, the absolute minimum they can get away with, and still be within "specifications." They have to do so to meet a government spec. You don't. Don't do it if you don't have to and your accuracy will thank you. If you decide you must, just think, "less is better."

    Autoloaders aren't bolt guns, and several of the techniques needed to load them are quite different than what you may already be familiar with. Take the time to learn about these differences, and you can avoid some potentially serious pitfalls. The Sierra manual has a section devoted to loading for gas guns, but probably the best single source is Glen Zediker's book on, "Loading for Competition; Making the Target Bigger." In it, Glen describes many of these areas and does a superb job of explaining exactly the ins and outs, and most importantly, the "whys" of many of these operations. Good book, and one that needs to be read by someone just getting into loading for gas guns.