Question regarding 223/5.56 dies.

dale1386

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Watched a youtube video on loading 223 for AR's and the guy referred to his dies (rcbs) as 223 remington AR series dies. My question is if I'm going to load for my 223/5.56 wylde do I need to be shopping only for these small base AR series dies or any quality 223 dies? I have several Hornady Custom dies for other calibers which I like ok but got a little confused when I heard about the AR series dies.
 

243winxb

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RCBS AR series dies.

If shooting range brass, fired from different guns, then yes. Small base dies may be needed.
The seat die taper crimps. This is useful if brass is not trimmed to all the same length.

I have used a standard RCBS die set for many years, in many different gun. They all chambered* Never crimped any rounds, not even for M16 or Mini14 or Ar180 .
 
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dale1386

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Thanks for the reply i'll be ordering brass if i can find it and also be looking at my local gun store which has 223 brass every once in a while which is range brass and i doubt its sorted so i might be better off buying the small base AR dies. My BCA AR has never screwed up with about 1000 rounds of factory ammo through and i dont want it to start now.
 

243winxb

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If I was buying a die set now, it would be a REDDING Type S fl sizing bushing die. With 223/5.56 , case neck failure has been an issue. Plus the expander can be almost impossible to pull thru the lubed necks on some brands of brass.
 

dale1386

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Lol...I just completed an order through Scheels for the RCBS AR series die set. I hope it works out and i can find primers. Any suggestions on a brand of 223 brass that forms good?
 

cohunt

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If I was buying a die set now, it would be a REDDING Type S fl sizing bushing die. With 223/5.56 , case neck failure has been an issue. Plus the expander can be almost impossible to pull thru the lubed necks on some brands of brass.
I've been reloading 223/5.56 for almost 30 years and never had a neck failure-- Ive use syd rcbs sb dies since the begining-- I run range brass but I sort by brand-- all my good loads go into lc brass
 

243winxb

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Best brass i have is Black Hills Match that was given to me. I neck turn it for a bolt action. The problem with cheap ammo is they skip some of the annealing during production. The neck may work harden & crack.

Dies that over work necks seems to be the cause. Had 100 PMC brass that came from factory ammo. 97 of them had neck splits after the 2nd reloading/firing.
My old fl die is dated 1979. The new is only a few years old. Both RCBS over work the necks.
FCBrass1997.JPG
 

243winxb

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Its been posted online, that Winchester makes Black Hills Match brass. No idea if true ??
 

dale1386

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Very interesting stuff there. Thank
I reload a few hunting calibers that i shoot but the 223 reloading seems a little more complicated with the primer pocket issues with different brass mtg. I dont range shoot at all and actully just need to reload 223 for coyote and feral hogs and probably wont load over 50 rounds at a time so what tool can i order to put in my lathe to ream the case pockets to accept the small rifle primer without spending another $100 for a Dillion 600 swage tool.
 

RT2506

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I have loaded THOUSANDS of rounds of 223/5.56 ammo for numerous different rifles bolt and AR and used nothing but a set of Lee full length dies and never had a problem. I have been handloading over 40 years and I have only had to use SB sizing die on one rifle. A Rem 700 308 Win bolt rifle with a Heart barrel that had been built for hunter class benchrest target shooting. The chamber is very tight and I have to turn the necks but it shoots bug holes.
 

Lowlander

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I have loaded THOUSANDS of rounds of 223/5.56 ammo for numerous different rifles bolt and AR and used nothing but a set of Lee full length dies and never had a problem. I have been handloading over 40 years and I have only had to use SB sizing die on one rifle. A Rem 700 308 Win bolt rifle with a Heart barrel that had been built for hunter class benchrest target shooting. The chamber is very tight and I have to turn the necks but it shoots bug holes.

Same here... I've been using this old Lee 223 FL Die set for over a decade. All of my 223 reloading is for AR's. I've never had any issues with my brass being improperly sized.

I run mostly Lake City, sorted by year. I have my RCBS case prep center set up to remove primer crimp, ream primer pocket, deburr flash hole and two chamfers for inside/outside case mouths. I work the primer pockets over, then put a neck brush on.

I brush the neck, then leave the case spinning on the brush. Take a Q-tip and apply Hornady Unique lube to the case while it's spinning. Gives a nice, even coat and is faster than doing it by hand. I resize, clean the lube off, trim to 1.750", chamfer inside and out, inspect and done.

I've fired hundreds, if not thousands of 223 reloads in multiple AR barrels using this die and have never had an issue. But, the small base die is good insurance for an AR to be honest. I'm building my son a 223 trainer bolt action, I'll likely be looking for a nice, new set of dies to load for it.
 

nksmfamjp

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Frankly, I have produced very good, concentric, accurate ammo for my AR’s with std Hornady dies on a MEC press. So, I think this is a good solution.

I did buy some Forester dies due to better neck tension control and sliding chamber seater....but I haven’t worked with them much yet.

In general, I find small base dies a waste of time, even for a tight chamber. No AR really has a tight chamber. I’ll bet getting some machine gunned LC brass ready for a nice 223 varmint chamber would require sb dies.
 
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Kansaswoodguy

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I have idk maybe twelve 223’s and 10 of them are AR’s any 223 die should be fine I’ve never needed a small base die not saying there maybe a mis-cut chamber out there somewhere that may require it but I’ve never seen it yet.
 
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