.223 loading questions - 1911Forum
1911Forum
Advertise Here
Forum   Reviews   Rules   Legal   Site Supporters & Donations   Advertise


Go Back   1911Forum > >

Notices


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-27-2020, 10:28 AM
flechero flechero is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,111
.223 loading questions

Considering starting to load .223 (for a MSR) and wanted to ask a few questions:

Is a crimp necessary for AR type guns?

Is trimming required after each firing/resizing?

Anyone use the RCBS X sizing die? (supposedly reduces or eliminate trimming after initial trim) My hope was that I could load it on the 550 in a single pass if I didn't have to trim each time.

My purpose is generally paper/steel and coyotes. (50yds to 250yds, occasionally steel to 500yds) I'm low volume, (I know it would be cheaper to just buy ammo) but enjoy loading so this would be an opportunity to venture into another caliber. And I usually shoot at a home range so can recover my own brass and not end up with mixed range brass.

Any common pitfalls with .223 or anything I need to be wary of? Any specific die recommendations?
__________________
-flechero
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-27-2020, 11:15 AM
markm markm is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Northwest
Posts: 2,267
I always crimp for semi's except for long range ammo where I use a sled and hand feed. Reason is pretty simple, they get slammed into the feed ramp.
I suppose you could use a bushing neck die for more neck tension but not all brass is consistent in neck dimensions. I prefer bullets with a cannalure to reduce deforming the bullet with a light taper crimp.
Trimming? Depends on how much they have grown or how much you trimmed them to begin with but I usually trim for consistency in the crimp. This with a taper crimp but I suppose it's less important with say a factory crimp die that doesn't depend as much on case length.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-27-2020, 11:15 AM
Grandpas50AE's Avatar
Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Waxahachie, Tx.
Age: 69
Posts: 13,355
I loaded many thousand rounds of .223 on my 550, and found that I only needed to trim every third time or so. The problem is that some range brass always gets in with your brass when you pick it up, so a bit of case prep before the loading step is recommended. Any crimped in primer brass I found during case polishing and inspection for case mouth cracks would include looking for crimped in primers, and I would decap them and remove the crimp with either a burring tool or the Dillon pocket swager depending on volume of cases to prep. I never found a need to crimp the case mouth, but I ended up doing so anyway with a Lee factory crimp die (with the collet) for bottleneck rifle for the .223, so I don't know if you would need to or not - chamber a few times and check OAL; if shortened, get the factory crimp die, and if not shortened you are probably okay with case mouth crimp.
__________________
Roger - Life GOA, CCRKBA, TSRA, VCDL
NRA Benefactor - Certs -Chief RSO; Instructor - Basic Pistol (D.E.), Rifle, Shotgun, PPIH, PPOH

Army M.P. 1971 - 1972
Wilsons: Several; Kimbers: 10mm (Wilsonized), .38S (Wilson barrel)
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 02-27-2020, 11:58 AM
jjfitch jjfitch is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 6,101
Calipers and SAAMI spec's!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandpas50AE View Post
I loaded many thousand rounds of .223 on my 550, and found that I only needed to trim every third time or so. The problem is that some range brass always gets in with your brass when you pick it up, so a bit of case prep before the loading step is recommended. Any crimped in primer brass I found during case polishing and inspection for case mouth cracks would include looking for crimped in primers, and I would decap them and remove the crimp with either a burring tool or the Dillon pocket swager depending on volume of cases to prep. I never found a need to crimp the case mouth, but I ended up doing so anyway with a Lee factory crimp die (with the collet) for bottleneck rifle for the .223, so I don't know if you would need to or not - chamber a few times and check OAL; if shortened, get the factory crimp die, and if not shortened you are probably okay with case mouth crimp.

This is my regular routine as well.

The term "crimp" means different things to different people.

To me "crimp" means restoring to SAAMI specifications and does require a quality means of measuring both case length and "crimp".

I usually trim to -.010 from max and "crimp" just enough to restore to original diameter.

If the "crimp" fails the "push" test I'll add a little more. I'll also feed a few through the action using the bolt release to make sure reloaded rounds will feed, bullets won't depress into cases and the COL allows full bolt lock.

Once you get going with your own routine you will find what works best for you.

Smiles,
__________________
John, Retired LEO, CA POST Certified Firearms Instructor, NRA Endmt., NRA Instructor, NRA RSO, Blue Lives Matter
Gun Control: Acquire target, align sights, press trigger, only after you have identified your target and what is beyond it and made the decision to shoot!

Last edited by jjfitch; 02-27-2020 at 12:01 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-27-2020, 01:18 PM
blindshooter blindshooter is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 182
My experience loading for .223 service rifle was I needed no crimp and if crimped the accuracy suffered. I did use bushing dies mostly and looked for about .002 neck tension. Measure loaded rd with case and bullet your using and subtract .003, that will be the bushing size and most times will leave you with about .002 grip.
I'd prep about 1k at the time, size and trim with Dillon trimmer (neck opened up), de-burr and tumble lube off. Take care of primer crimp if needed. Most short line loads were then assembled on a progressive press. 600yd stuff single loaded, weighed charges etc.
Recycled brass after 3 loads so no more trimming. Throw that lot of brass away and change to new barrel and start over....
__________________
Rifle Distinguished
Has been...
LR HM
NMC HM
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-27-2020, 01:46 PM
Rifter's Avatar
Rifter Rifter is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: The People's Republic of Illinois, most corrupt state in the Union.
Age: 69
Posts: 5,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by flechero View Post
Considering starting to load .223 (for a MSR) and wanted to ask a few questions:

Is a crimp necessary for AR type guns?

Is trimming required after each firing/resizing?

Anyone use the RCBS X sizing die? (supposedly reduces or eliminate trimming after initial trim) My hope was that I could load it on the 550 in a single pass if I didn't have to trim each time.

My purpose is generally paper/steel and coyotes. (50yds to 250yds, occasionally steel to 500yds) I'm low volume, (I know it would be cheaper to just buy ammo) but enjoy loading so this would be an opportunity to venture into another caliber. And I usually shoot at a home range so can recover my own brass and not end up with mixed range brass.

Any common pitfalls with .223 or anything I need to be wary of? Any specific die recommendations?
I'll take 'em in order.
1. You DO NOT NEED to crimp .223 (or any bottleneck case) provided you have sufficient neck tension. That means you have to measure things so that you have proper dimensions. Case neck walls should be about .011-.012" thick, the expander button should be a minimum of .003" smaller in diameter than the ID of the case neck. That will give a neck tension of .0015" minimum. You can increase tension by spinning the expander spindle in a drill and using a strip of 600 grit to adjust its diameter a bit at a time. Be sure to chamfer case mouths inside and outside so you can start a bullet easier.

2. If you are properly sizing your brass, you will likely not have to trim more than once during its useful life, maybe not at all. Set the sizer for no more than .003" shoulder set back. Measure several fired cases with the Hornady Headspace gauge, average. Let's say it comes out to 1.500". Adjust the sizer so that sized cases, average .003" shorter, or 1.497". If the brass has been reloaded more than twice, its a good idea to anneal it on the third reload. Anneal prior to sizing. Trim if needed AFTER sizing. Once you start sizing your brass this way, you will seldom need to trim it because it doesn't stretch. I haven't trimmed any of mine in several years and all are within proper length spec.

3. If you size your cases as I've outlined above, you don't need to buy X dies or small base dies.

4. Use brass from the same basic batch so that you don't have to constantly adjust your charges to compensate for minor differences in capacity. Generally speaking, .223 and 5.56 use ball type powders. Most ball powders have heavy coatings to regulate the burn rate, so use of magnum primers is beneficial. Work up your loads from the beginning with the mag level primers and you won't have any issues. If you have loads already with standard primers, always drop by 5% and work back up if you substitute magnum type. Don't shoot 5.56 NATO marked rounds in guns stamped for .223 Rem. 5.56 NATO barrels have a longer throat and can handle higher pressures. A .223 Wylde chamber can shoot either .223 or 5.56 without any problems. Make sure you know which yours is.
__________________
Vietnam Combat Vet - U.S. Navy 1970-1974
NRA Benefactor Life Member

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice - Barry Goldwater
When Injustice becomes Law, Resistance becomes Duty - Thomas Jefferson

Last edited by Rifter; 02-27-2020 at 01:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-27-2020, 01:48 PM
Viper_29 Viper_29 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,462
I do not crimp, I don't think it's necessary and introduces another variable to accuracy and is just an uncessary time waster for my needs. My .223 rarely needs trimmed but I do use the WFT trimmers though cut so smooth that I rarely need to debur.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-27-2020, 05:07 PM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 6,378
Well crap, I was going to bring the X die into the mix, but Rifters way is better. Im kind of a slob compared to that ritual.
I have a ton of brass that has been trimmed to the X die specs. I am at the point now that I can load 223 (after a touch of One Shot) nearly as fast as any of my pistol loads. I got tired of constantly trimming, so I took a shortcut and it works pretty good for me. Of course, taking your time with bottleneck cases will most likely yield more accurate results, but the stuff I churn out is pretty darn good.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-27-2020, 06:15 PM
Tom Freeman's Avatar
Tom Freeman Tom Freeman is offline
More Cowbell...
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Colorado
Posts: 7,438
Quote:
Originally Posted by flechero View Post

Is a crimp necessary for AR type guns?

Is trimming required after each firing/resizing?

Anyone use the RCBS X sizing die?

Any common pitfalls with .223 or anything I need to be wary of? Any specific die recommendations?
I dont crimp for 223. I have yet to see it actually help accuracy at short or long range. Even when I use bullets with a cannelure, I dont crimp.

I dont trim between firings. I initially trim to 1.740 and go from there. By the time its time to trim again, the primer pocket is toast or I have lost the brass.

I dont use the X-Die as it is mostly a gimmick.

223 is painfully easy to reload with light bullets. Even cheap bullets like the Hornady 55 FMJ will shoot 1 MOA or less with most powder combinations.

I really like Varget for a powder, but it is hard to find right now. Benchmark is also a good choice for 223. RL-15 and Vhit N140 are good, but expensive.

Most all of my 223s have been rechambered to 223 Ackley these days. It gets me a couple hundred FPS for free and the sharp shoulder further cuts down on brass stretching.

I like Forster and Redding dies. If you are reloading on a progressive, consider a Redding body die where a crimp die would go. It is one last step to be sure your shoulder is bumped back and the bottom of the case was resized.
__________________
I am a rather brilliant surgeon, perhaps I can help you with that humpÖ
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-27-2020, 06:23 PM
Grandpas50AE's Avatar
Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Waxahachie, Tx.
Age: 69
Posts: 13,355
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Freeman View Post
I dont crimp for 223. I have yet to see it actually help accuracy at short or long range. Even when I use bullets with a cannelure, I dont crimp.

I dont trim between firings. I initially trim to 1.740 and go from there. By the time its time to trim again, the primer pocket is toast or I have lost the brass.

I dont use the X-Die as it is mostly a gimmick.

223 is painfully easy to reload with light bullets. Even cheap bullets like the Hornady 55 FMJ will shoot 1 MOA or less with most powder combinations.

I really like Varget for a powder, but it is hard to find right now. Benchmark is also a good choice for 223. RL-15 and Vhit N140 are good, but expensive.

Most all of my 223s have been rechambered to 223 Ackley these days. It gets me a couple hundred FPS for free and the sharp shoulder further cuts down on brass stretching.

I like Forster and Redding dies. If you are reloading on a progressive, consider a Redding body die where a crimp die would go. It is one last step to be sure your shoulder is bumped back and the bottom of the case was resized.
Before Varget came out, I experimented with the VV powders (N135 and N140) which worked plenty well; my best group was with BLC-2 out of my Rock River, so that is what I ended up staying with, from the 45 gr. Barnes-X up to my own swaged 6-s Spitzer 69.5 gr. pills. That Rock River REALLY liked the 69.5 gr. pills with the BLC-2. At 50 yards using military peep sights, I got a 10-shot group that I could cover with a dime - I didn't even think my eyes were good enough for that still.
__________________
Roger - Life GOA, CCRKBA, TSRA, VCDL
NRA Benefactor - Certs -Chief RSO; Instructor - Basic Pistol (D.E.), Rifle, Shotgun, PPIH, PPOH

Army M.P. 1971 - 1972
Wilsons: Several; Kimbers: 10mm (Wilsonized), .38S (Wilson barrel)
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-27-2020, 06:48 PM
No Expert No Expert is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 39
I accidently trimmed some once fired brass to 1.730 and I never had to trim them again. The Hornady 55 grain FMJ bullets are better then most give credit. They outshot some 52 grain match bullets in my national match AR. Sounds like you will be using a single stage so pick a powder and go. If on a progressive I prefer ball powders with 223.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-27-2020, 08:16 PM
Capt. Methane Capt. Methane is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The South
Posts: 8,865
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rifter
2. If you are properly sizing your brass, you will likely not have to trim more than once during its useful life, maybe not at all. Set the sizer for no more than .003" shoulder set back. Measure several fired cases with the Hornady Headspace gauge, average. Let's say it comes out to 1.500". Adjust the sizer so that sized cases, average .003" shorter, or 1.497". If the brass has been reloaded more than twice, its a good idea to anneal it on the third reload. Anneal prior to sizing. Trim if needed AFTER sizing. Once you start sizing your brass this way, you will seldom need to trim it because it doesn't stretch. I haven't trimmed any of mine in several years and all are within proper length spec.
Well, dang...where were you with that bit of wisdom a few years ago when brass was scarce and I (and legions of others) were ordering X dies?

On the other hand, if you jumped on the band wagon and bought an X die, they do seem to work as advertised...I may keep the one set up for .308 but I really like the set of Dillon dies in .223 and may try going that way for .223.
__________________
The Second Amendment-America's Homeland Security!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-27-2020, 09:44 PM
flechero flechero is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,111
This is great info, Gents! Thank you and please keep it coming!
__________________
-flechero
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-28-2020, 06:44 AM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 6,378
Iím just going to continue on with the X Die. Iíve got my arms crossed and Iím kicking rocks.......(I also own a FCD)
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-28-2020, 07:14 AM
Rifter's Avatar
Rifter Rifter is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: The People's Republic of Illinois, most corrupt state in the Union.
Age: 69
Posts: 5,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Methane View Post
Well, dang...where were you with that bit of wisdom a few years ago when brass was scarce and I (and legions of others) were ordering X dies?

On the other hand, if you jumped on the band wagon and bought an X die, they do seem to work as advertised...I may keep the one set up for .308 but I really like the set of Dillon dies in .223 and may try going that way for .223.
I've been doing it that way for 40 odd years, Capt. I remember when RCBS brought out those X dies. I thought it was a gimmick then, and still do. Just another way to separate you from your money. If you have the Hornady Headspace Gauge kit, that covers 99% of cartridges out there that you are ever likely to load for.
__________________
Vietnam Combat Vet - U.S. Navy 1970-1974
NRA Benefactor Life Member

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice - Barry Goldwater
When Injustice becomes Law, Resistance becomes Duty - Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-28-2020, 08:08 AM
scubadad scubadad is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 3,303
I'm with Tom on the varget. Glad I picked up a few 8 pounders last year.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-28-2020, 09:17 AM
Rifter's Avatar
Rifter Rifter is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: The People's Republic of Illinois, most corrupt state in the Union.
Age: 69
Posts: 5,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitro.45 View Post
Iím just going to continue on with the X Die. Iíve got my arms crossed and Iím kicking rocks.......(I also own a FCD)
Geez, I try to teach you guys, and you just won't listen.
__________________
Vietnam Combat Vet - U.S. Navy 1970-1974
NRA Benefactor Life Member

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice - Barry Goldwater
When Injustice becomes Law, Resistance becomes Duty - Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-28-2020, 06:39 PM
Capt. Methane Capt. Methane is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The South
Posts: 8,865
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rifter View Post
I've been doing it that way for 40 odd years, Capt. I remember when RCBS brought out those X dies. I thought it was a gimmick then, and still do. Just another way to separate you from your money. If you have the Hornady Headspace Gauge kit, that covers 99% of cartridges out there that you are ever likely to load for.
I've been looking at some of that kind of stuff since I started with 6.5 CM. It has been slow getting things up and running and I'm still working with the new brass I bought but getting close to the first reload.

Is this the right thing?

https://www.amazon.com/Hornady-HK66-.../dp/B000PD5VN8

Since I've only got the one rifle in 6.5 CM I went ahead and got the Forster Bushing Bump dies to go with the Co-Ax seating die...
__________________
The Second Amendment-America's Homeland Security!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-29-2020, 08:06 AM
Rifter's Avatar
Rifter Rifter is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: The People's Republic of Illinois, most corrupt state in the Union.
Age: 69
Posts: 5,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Methane View Post
I've been looking at some of that kind of stuff since I started with 6.5 CM. It has been slow getting things up and running and I'm still working with the new brass I bought but getting close to the first reload.

Is this the right thing?

https://www.amazon.com/Hornady-HK66-.../dp/B000PD5VN8

Since I've only got the one rifle in 6.5 CM I went ahead and got the Forster Bushing Bump dies to go with the Co-Ax seating die...
Yes, that is the correct Hornady gauge kit. Some of the best money I ever spent on reloading tools.
__________________
Vietnam Combat Vet - U.S. Navy 1970-1974
NRA Benefactor Life Member

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice - Barry Goldwater
When Injustice becomes Law, Resistance becomes Duty - Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-01-2020, 03:57 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 7,832
Reloading for my AR-15 rifles....

When I purchased my first AR-15, from Rock River Arms, it also purchased a set of carbide dies from Dillon....the die set at that time was $107.00. In a few years, the cost of the carbide set was over $150.00, and I have no idea if they are still offered by Dillon.....

Even though I had a carbide resizer die, I still used my home-made case lube to make things easier when resizing.....

For competitive 3-gun matches, our range seldom has rifle shots over 150 yards. I use a relatively light load using 23 gr. of VV N-133 powder with a 52 grain Sierra MK bullet. I can get sub MOA accuracy at 100 yards with this load. My Rock River uses a 1:8 twist, so I can also use 77 gr. Sierra boat tail bullets with Reloader 15 and/or Ramshot TAC with MOA or better accuracy for longer ranges or windy conditions when needed
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-04-2020, 04:37 PM
Capt. Methane Capt. Methane is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The South
Posts: 8,865
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rifter View Post
Yes, that is the correct Hornady gauge kit. Some of the best money I ever spent on reloading tools.
Outstanding, thanks!
__________________
The Second Amendment-America's Homeland Security!
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-05-2020, 08:31 AM
jmorris jmorris is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,752
Quote:
Is a crimp necessary for AR type guns?

Is trimming required after each firing/resizing?
No, if a bullet doesn’t have a cannelure, I don’t crimp it. Neck tension is what holds them in place.

No, trimming is only required if the case is longer than it should be.

Crimped primer pockets is generally the “pitfall” that frustrates .223 reloaders but if you are using your own brass over and over you should have smooth sailing. If you are having to trim every firing, you are sizing your cases too much and it is just a matter of time before you have case head separation.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-05-2020, 01:48 PM
JamieC JamieC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 892
I set up my drill press with a Lee case trimmer in it, set the hard stop so I end up with 1.750", run 'em ALL through, the long ones get trimmed the short ones don't. I also chuck up a 60 degree counter sink to deal with the crimped primer pockets. I de-burr in and out, tumble. Generally don't crimp much, if at all, (the 1.750 cases will crimp, the 1.740" ones won't). If I'm loading bullets with a cannelure, I will use cases I know I trimmed to 1.750" so that the crimp die will do it's thing consistently.
__________________
"the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-15-2020, 05:38 PM
bbqncigars bbqncigars is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 202
My 5.65 and 7.62 gas guns have been happy with ammo made with X dies. One shared load for each caliber to keep things simple. It took some fiddling to find that common load that would shoot acceptably in every gun.
Once you find a magic combination, buy each component in bulk to stash away. This saves money, keeps everything in the same lot numbers, and lets you ride out any panic buying scenarios.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 03-16-2020, 06:39 AM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 6,378
Oh yeah, the old 5.65........
Are you saying you use the same load for for all your calibers?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:01 PM.


NOTICE TO USERS OF THIS SITE: By continuing to use this site, you certify that you have read and agree to abide by the Legal Terms of Use. All information, data, text or other materials ("Content") posted to this site by any users are the sole responsibility of those users. 1911Forum does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity, or quality of such Content.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2015 1911Forum.com, LLC. All Rights Reserved