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Old March 19, 2012, 01:24 AM   #1
ms6852
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RCBS Dies question 5.56 or 223.

Getting back to reloading after a 15 year absence. I was at Bass Pro shot today and was looking at the 223 stuff since I just recently purchased a RRA predator pursuit for coyote. I noticed that RCBS has 223 dies in a green case and has also the 5.56 x 45 and 223 dies in a black case. Since my RRA has the wylde chamber it can handle 5.56 nato rds. My question is what is the difference between these dies. I like to shoot long range but know that I am limited to 75gr bullets as this will allow me the length necessary to fit in a magazine. I almost purchased the 5.56 dies but would like some insight from more experience loaders. I am not new to loading but it has been a while. I am retired military with extensive knowledge of 5.56, just not the dies. Thanks for reading my post.
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Old March 19, 2012, 03:54 AM   #2
TMD
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5.56 and .223 use the same dies.
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Old March 19, 2012, 07:20 AM   #3
higgite
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Did the label on the black box say ".223 REM/5.56X45 SB T/C DIE SET"? If so, that's RCBS' "AR" series dies. The "SB" means small base. The FL sizing die sizes further down on the brass than standard FLS dies, supposedly to insure reliable semi-auto feeding. The "T/C" means the seating die can also apply a taper crimp. They will work fine for your RRA PP, but mine works fine with reloads done with standard .223 Rem dies. Some say the SB dies work the brass more and wear it out with fewer reloads, others say it's insignificant. Me, I dunno.
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Old March 19, 2012, 04:48 PM   #4
ms6852
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I do not remember exactly how it was labeld but I believe that it did have 5.56/223. I did not know it crimped. Higgite thanks for the response, you have answered my question. I'll purchase the regular 223 dies.
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Old March 19, 2012, 09:26 PM   #5
Toolman
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You should be able to use the .223 Rem dies.
There's not a whole lot of difference between the .223 Rem & 5.56 cartridges. Once the 5.56 cases are run thru the .223 Rem dies I'm good to go. I started out with a Bushy XM15A2 chambered in .223 Rem/5.56 & used .223 Rem deluxe (Lee 3-die set for semi-auto rifles). This die set FL sizes the cases & has the factory crimp die (as the 3rd die). I've run standard .223 Rem brass & 5.56 NATO thru the .223 Rem dies for 10 yrs with no probs. On the 5.56 brass I use a RCBS swaging die to remove the primer crimp on the primer pocket after de-priming & FL sizing. I use the same dies on my RR 24" varmint rifle W/Wylde chamber.
I have two sets of .223 Rem dies. One set is in a toolhead for my 550B for high volume loading & the other set is used for load development on my old cast-iron single stage press.
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Old March 19, 2012, 09:35 PM   #6
Toolman
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I get about the same amount of re-loads per case on commercial vs mil brass when FL sizing. On crimp, I use only enough to barely mark the case neck & so far have never had a prob with bullet set-back.
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Old March 19, 2012, 11:34 PM   #7
ms6852
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Thanks Toolman, one more question, offhand do you know what the heaviest bullet I can reload without exceeding the length for the magazine? I am getting ready to order some online but am not able to remember if I can go as high as 75gr or 80gr. Getting ready to teach my younger brothers how to use their scopes without kentucky windage so they know how to dial in. I would like to shoot to 600yds maybe 700 yds.
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Old March 20, 2012, 12:26 AM   #8
Tim R
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The wylde chamber was made to shoot either 223 or 5.56 pretty well. I have the wylde chamber in my match AR's. The wylde chambers in my AR's have not required the use of small base dies. A regular 223 F/L die does just fine but it must be set up according to instructions. The bullet weight will depend on which barrel twist you have. I have a 7 twist which shoots everything well from 52 to 80 gr SMK’s and all the weights between very nicely. The 77 gr. SMK’s are the heavist loaded to mag length. If you use Varget or Reloder 15 and seat a 77 gr SMK to mag length, you will be compressing the load. This is not a big deal as long as you use a seating die other than the Redding Micro. The Redding will not with stand repeated seating of compressed loads. (There is a plastic piece under the micro top which breaks) This is well documented in the High Power circles. The better seater is the Forester Ultra Micro which is about $20.00 cheaper than the similar Redding. The Forester is built like a tank but is the better seater any ways and I have owned both. I do not crimp my AR ammo. I use neck tension so I do not deform the jacket of the SMK. I’ve had good results using a Hornaday bushing F/L die. This way I can adjust the amount of neck tension I apply to the bullet. I found the Remington 7 ½’s to be a great primer for 223. A great shooting combo for my rifle other than match bullets is the Hornaday 55 gr. V max on top of some Varget in a Lake City case and started with a Rem 7 ½ primer makes small groups out of my rifles using the NM irons.
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