I have researched rifle reloading for .223 and I know what kind of stuff I need to buy. I am not sure of some things that were mentioned in the sources I used and I have a few questions. My reloading will be for sub-MOA accuracy but component price is also a great concern. Sorry for the long post.
What I do know:
I know I need dies, a press to hold said dies, a scale, a case trimmer, calipers, a trickler, blocks to put shells in, a funnel for the powder, a hand primer, tumbler to polish cases/media, case lube?, powder dispenser, and a bullet puller. Are there any additional tools?
I know I need powder, primers, brass, bullets.
I will be buying powder from Widener's (WCC844-mil surplus and is $11.00/lb shipped). I will be getting small rifle primers locally ($13.50/1000). I will obtain bullets from Midway (Winchester 55 grain FMJ Boat Tail $37/1000 shipped). I have not decided on brass yet (see below).
The process as I understand it:
1. Polish brass with tumbler and corn cob media (make sure primers are out).
2. Resize using a die in your press.
3. Use hand primer to put a primer in (make sure to use same pressure each time).
4. Use another die in the press to spread the top of the brass to fit the bullet.
5. Throw a designated charge onto the scale with the powder dispenser.
6. Trickle the rest of the charge into the scale pan with the trickler so it is EXACTLY the same for each charge.
7. Place charge in brass. Repeat to charge whole block of brass this way.
8. Seat bullet and crimp with press with yet another die.
What I don't know:
1. In resizing, can't I buy carbide dies for rifle that will allow me to avoid having to use the sizing lube or are carbide dies only available for pistol reloading?
2. Is there a better way to prime your brass to make it more consistent? Maybe set a stop somehow so you can press the primer only so far? I learned that if you don't use the same amount of hand pressure on the hand primer each time you could get different shooting results just from the primer not being seated the same each time.
3. When seating the bullets for my bolt action rifle I want the bullet to almost touch the lands and grooves in the barrel. I am told that this also helps accuracy. I have read descriptions of doing this but they all vary.
The most common one involves putting the bullet in the brass casing loosely without crimping and chambering this round in your bolt action. Chambering the round sets the bullet to a point where it is right on the rifling. Carefully unchamber the round and use the calipers to measure the total length of the round. Subtract a little bit from your measurement so the bullet is not on top of the lands and grooves but so that it is just behind it. You may then seat and crimp every bullet to this determined length each time thereafter. Is this even remotely correct? There isn't much info about this out there.
4. I understand that the military brass is smaller or shorter or something like that. It is also primed using a different method (boxer?). Should I buy military once fired brass or is that not a good idea? It is much cheaper than commercial once fired brass. The commercial stuff is the other one I was considering buying. In other words, does the priming system and case size of the military brass cause reloading problems? Do I need special tools or primers, etc. for the military stuff?
Please "fix me up" on these issues. Once these questions are answered I can start my reloading adventure. Please don't tell me to buy some "how to" reloading book. I will be getting a reloading manual for loading data.