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Old September 15, 2006, 03:22 AM   #1
tINY
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223 brass



I'm finally getting to all that 223 once-fired stuff I've held on to for too many years.

A couple of questions on my mind:

Since these were fired mostly form semi-autos and probably will be again, I need a small-base resizing die, right?

There are several years of "LC" headstamps. Was Lake City consistent from year to year enough to put all the brass in one group? I will be swaging the primer pockets.



-tINY

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Old September 15, 2006, 05:51 AM   #2
hodaka
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I shoot a fair amount of 223's through AR's, a Mini-14 and a M700 and reload it all. I have used Lee and RCBS standard dies for years and have never seen a need for a small base die. I have even neck sized for the 700 and the heavy AR's but I have quit doing so because it didn't seem to be significantly better for most loads. For my heavy barrelled AR's and the M700 I sort LC by year but I do not really think it matters that much. Any more I try to stick with Winchester brass for the accuracy loads, since it seems to work best, and I load the LC, Federal and the rest with the cheap bullets for blasting.
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Old September 15, 2006, 07:28 AM   #3
MADISON
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Miscelaneous .223 brass

If it ain't broke don't fix it...
I would seperate the brass; Take a few pieces of each brand and run them trough your existing dies[s]. If they function properly don't buy new dies.
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Old September 15, 2006, 09:10 AM   #4
Edward429451
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I don't use SB dies for 223 and they function fine in my AR. I didn't sort my LC and bent two different rods in my RCBS PP swager. Now I sort it by year and haven't bent another rod since.
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Old September 15, 2006, 05:12 PM   #5
amamnn
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Small base dies are designed for firearms with custom chamberings that are tighter than SAAMI specifications.
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Old September 15, 2006, 05:13 PM   #6
Buckythebrewer
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My only experience is with lee dies.That being said I shoot 100-600 yards with good accuracy with LC brass with no problems and my ar15 has some what of a tight chamber.Buy a comparitor mic(like rcbs) so you can compare shoulder displacement from your fired brass,, normal factory ammo,,,And from that mystery Lc brass..Also a case gauge comes in handy to just double check your loaded ammo quickly.I have re-loaded+fired 1000's of rounds in my ar15's with my cheap Lee pacesetter dies and had no problems.The shoulder is what you wan't to watch for from that(probably machinegun fired) Lc brass because it was probably fired in a machinegun with wicked loose chamber tolerances and you will notice it the 1st time you size them if they were(if you have comp mic)the before and after head to shoulder measurements will be much different).keeping that shoulder .004 loose will keep things alot safer,,BUT on the other hand,IF its sized to mush that can leed to head /case seperation(thats whats nice about that gauge),.I don't think you will need anything more than a standard die adjusted so the shoulder is in check and thats what the rcbs mic will help you do.
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Old September 16, 2006, 04:03 AM   #7
tINY
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I'm not so worried about the shoulders. A FL die will put them in check - anything gets funny and I can toss out that case.

But, the primers were crimped in on a lot of them, so setting up the primer pocket swager is a concern. I will sort by year and adjust for each. I wondered why the LC had years stamped on it - I guess they change the tooling once in a while.....



-tINY

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Old September 16, 2006, 12:06 PM   #8
Dave R
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I shoot a lot of LC .223 brass. FWIW, the only thing I have ever done with the crimped primer pockets is use a chamfer tool to cut off the crimps. Just don't over-do it and bevel the pocket.
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Old September 16, 2006, 01:45 PM   #9
amamnn
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Someone gave me about 50 pounds of LC brass of different years some time ago. After weighing several, I decided to segregate them by year, but there are still different lots within the years and weight will vary a bit from lot to lot. LC also makes a different case for match rounds, which will weigh differently. A better way to sort them might be by weight only. After trimming out the primer crimp, they seem to be just fine for plinking.
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Old September 16, 2006, 03:18 PM   #10
lbenson
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I just finished loading 550 rounds of military brass.Tried an RCBS swager on a few but they were a problem getting them in&out of my Lee primer shellholder and a real pain getting primers to seat correctly each time, I may have adjusted the swager too low in the press and was deforming the casehead. I have a Wilson case trimmer so I purchased the Sinclair 223 case holder and primer pocket reamer.It's adjustable for depth and works great.
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Old September 16, 2006, 07:42 PM   #11
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tINY , one comment you said caught my attention. "I'm not so worried about the shoulders. A FL die will put them in check"

I made the mistake of adjusting my FL die according to the directions and calling it good. Well, since i'm using an AR-15, i can't feel the case as it is chambered. Come to find out, i wasn't sizing my brass enough. I never had a misfeed because of it, but i did destroy the headspacing via skrewing up the bolt. A stoney point headspacing gauge helps a ton and is well worth the 30 odd dollars.
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Old September 16, 2006, 11:23 PM   #12
Buckythebrewer
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Bikenjam,, that is mY experience and that is why I made a point to mention it as well...the comparitor mic helps you confirm that +/- adjustments in your die are correct.
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Old September 17, 2006, 06:43 AM   #13
sleeping dog
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Quote:
the primers were crimped in on a lot of them, so setting up the primer pocket swager is a concern.
Is there some secret to setting up the pocket swager? I just put mine low in the press, and don't try to pull the lever all the way down. I pull down with about 15 lb of pull and then it's done. I do that the same for all the military brass regardless of year or brand.

Is that wrong? I notice that when I get the swager die out of the RCBS box, I have to move some paper that looks like instructions. Should I read that?

Regards.
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Old September 18, 2006, 03:33 AM   #14
tINY
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I like that aproach, dog.....

For the shoulder guys, I will make sure to check the start of the shoulder in realation to the case head. I haven't run into any problems with any other FL dies in this regard - is 223 different somehow?



-tINY

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Old September 18, 2006, 08:57 AM   #15
.499 BigBore
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a little info on .223/5.56mm LC brass.., look at the head stamp, notice the dots stamped in them AND the location of the dots, those which are exactly the same are of the same lot and made on the same machine, weights of same varry 2.5 Gr. +or- .5 Gr. in my observations.
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Old September 18, 2006, 05:03 PM   #16
bikenjam
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I'm guessing by your comment on " is the 223 different somehow" that you haven't run into a problem with other rounds being to long. There is another problem if you set your die so the brass is too short. With short brass, you are stretching out your brass too much each firing, which can result in your brass spliting in two in the chamber, or least less life from your brass. I try to have my brass sized about 1-2 thousands smaller than the chamber in my AR-15, and 0-1 on my bolts. This number might vary for other calibers and rifles.

And no, the 223 is your regular bottle neck CF.
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Old September 23, 2006, 01:10 AM   #17
SteveinAK
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I full-length all my .223 for my AR (Most of which is LC), and have never had a problem chambering rounds.
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Old September 23, 2006, 10:02 PM   #18
Buckythebrewer
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Steveinak,,I would guess your in safe limits but having the measuring tools can guarantee it and also possibly make you brass last longer by working it less every time you resize it.My rcbs precision shoulder comparitor mic lets me know how much the shoulder is displaced and also were I wan't to set my dies to bump it back..It is well worth it IMO because I know what is going on ,and I can size it to help eliminate the possibility of head case seperation from excessively resized brass..I hit inside 6" With little effort @ 625yards and I believe knowing what my brass is doing helps me make that possible..I believe reloading bottle neck cartridges in semi-auto's should include the tools to check shoulder displacement to keep things safe.A very good competition shooter warned me of shoulder displacement and said I need to get the tools to keep an EYE on it.HE said the rcbs tool is O.K. and the sinclair tool is the best.He possibly saved my life by explaining the dangers of neck sizing only and me needing the tools to keep shoulder displacement in check.I listened well and am very glad I use the tool now.
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