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Old May 9, 2013, 11:38 AM   #1
kmherring911
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Reloading .223 need tips!

Hey guys,

I just started reloading and I need some tips or some useful info on reloading .223. I am using a lee breech lock challenger press, just bought my lee pacesetter dies and I have some cases that have been fired once.. Needing some info on what primers are good, what bullets work best, and what powder is good. I am reloading for target shooting.

Thanks! Any info is great.
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Old May 9, 2013, 12:25 PM   #2
MJFlores
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That's a lot of questions.

This is only my opinion but, things are scarce right now but try to pickup a reloading manual, Winchester or Fed small rifle primers, and for target shooting...any sierra match king bullets. Bullets are tough to find right now so you may need to settle on what you can easily find. I assume you have good brass. For powder, my first choice would be H322 but there are many useful powders to have for the .223. A lot of people have great luck with H335 also.
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Old May 9, 2013, 12:38 PM   #3
BigTex308
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Re: Reloading .223 need tips!

I like CCI or federal primers. When working up your loads STAYING CONSISTENT IS KEY.

Use the same primer, same brass same trim length, same bullet depth.

My favorite powders are h335 varget and blc(2)


Hornady Sierra or speer are the bullets I like.



What rate of twist is your barrel?



Ike
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Old May 9, 2013, 12:44 PM   #4
BigTex308
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Re: Reloading .223 need tips!

Also a good manual is vital. For load data I like to get it from my powder manufacturer. Hodgdon Winchester IMR has the best. Go tho their website and you can print of load data from them.


I like to cross check data from several manuals and online.


Do you have a caliper? Case trimmer? You need those to trim your cases to the correct length and verify your COAL.

Ike
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Old May 9, 2013, 12:46 PM   #5
histed
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easy cartridge to reload, but, yea,stay consistent!. I likee CCI primers, W748 powder, H335 powder and any bullet under 55 gr made by sierra, speer, or hornady. You didn't state the intended use or rifling twint in teh rifle, so its hard to be more specific. Above all READ THE MANUAL, then do it again
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Old May 9, 2013, 12:46 PM   #6
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If you are using these in an AR platform rifle, stray away from Federal primers as they are softer and slam fires may result. I use CCI 450 primers with ball powders like H335 or H322, it helps with load consistency.

Get at least 1 load manual. I like the Lyman 49th, but each bullet company prints one and so do the powder companies. I like Hodgdon's paperback manual. You can find it at the news stand.

Bullets are tough to find, but they can be had. I use Hornady FMJ bullets, Sierra and these from Everglades
http://www.evergladesammo.com/

Be aware that loads listed in the manuals will be for specific length barrels, so if yours is shorter, you will not see the velocities they list. A 16" carbine will be upwards od 200 fps slower than the listed velocities.
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Last edited by Wyoredman; May 9, 2013 at 01:03 PM.
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Old May 9, 2013, 12:57 PM   #7
SVTCobra306
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I've been loading Hornady 55 grain FMJ-BT over H335 with CCI Small Rifle primers, can't seem to find much of anything else for primers. This is for my AR also, though I am working up a similar load for my Mini 14 as well.

FYI Cabela's has Hornady 55 grain .224 FMJ bullets in stock right now online, but get them ordered fast.


Pay attention to reloading manuals, most list data for bolt-action .223 but Sierra also has data for an AR-15, they can apparently take hotter loads. You can find it on the internet or get one of the little ring binder .223 books, I like them especially now due to the fact that you may not be able to find the same brand bullet over and over right now so having more load data is a good thing.

Pay close attention to all your details, read and reread your manual, and don't get in a hurry to make hot loads, paper isn't hard to make holes in
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Old May 9, 2013, 01:29 PM   #8
Farmland
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There are a ton of options for the 223.

First of all bullets are pretty easy to get so do not over pay even during these times. You just have to check daily at different sources but you can find Hornady 55g FMJ/BT for around $12/100 each week. I have bought 5,000 in just under two weeks from a total of three places.

Of course you may be needing hunting bullets such as ballistic tips and you can still find them easy enough.

Powder for the 223 is really by your choice. I like RL 7. However there is a lot of different powders you can use. Since I reload a 55g bullet these are some that you can use, RL 7, Varget, IMR 4064, IMR 4320, IMR 4198, H335, W748, I think you get my point there is a lot of different type of powder you can use.

With my AR this works best 55gr RL 7 21.5 grains for accuracy.
55gr H335 35.7 grains for hunting
@NOTE THESE ARE BOTH MAX LOADS!!!!!!!!

For the AR reloading I like Remington small BR Primers. CCI will also do well.
I tend not to use Winchester for the AR.

Good luck and have fun
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Old May 9, 2013, 03:35 PM   #9
Wyoredman
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Quote:
55gr H335 35.7 grains for hunting
I sure hope this is a typo. Hodgdon lists 25.3 grains of H335 as max for any 55gr bullet!
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:20 PM   #10
kmherring911
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Okay so I just found out that my barrels rate of twist is 1 to 7..so what might be the best for that rate?
Thanks for this info guys every bit helps!
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:44 PM   #11
Farmland
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It sure was!!! Should be 25.7.
Sierra 5th edition page 218
Starting load at 23.6.

Probably the best reason to double check any load info given here.
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Old May 10, 2013, 01:40 AM   #12
BigTex308
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Re: Reloading .223 need tips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmland View Post
It sure was!!! Should be 25.7.
Sierra 5th edition page 218
Starting load at 23.6.

Probably the best reason to double check any load info given here.
Haha that could have been bad.



Ike
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Old May 10, 2013, 01:42 AM   #13
BigTex308
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Re: Reloading .223 need tips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmherring911 View Post
Okay so I just found out that my barrels rate of twist is 1 to 7..so what might be the best for that rate?
Thanks for this info guys every bit helps!



With a 1:7 twist you'll be better off with heavier bullets. I'd say 69gr and higher. Stay away from anything in the 50s. 72gr and 84gr will be your friends. Great hunting weights



Ike
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Old May 10, 2013, 05:19 AM   #14
HiBC
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Given the 1 in 7 twist and you are targetshooting.

I suggest looking at the Hornady 75 gr bthp match.They sell a 600 ct box for a reasonable price.You might also look at the 77gr Nosler Comp.

There is a 77 gr Sierra MK that is very good,and there is a version with a cannelure,allowing a light crimp with a Lee factory crimp die.

Thats cheap to expensive,and all good.

With these bullets,my best results were with RE -15,but I have not tried H-4895 yet.The Hornady book has an AR-15 load section.

If you can find them,the mil-spec CCI primer is good.

I can tell you of one recurring mistake beginners make with .223.

The seater die has a built in crimp function.If you screw the die in to contact the shellholder,things will not go well.Likely you will be setup to over crimp,causing the case shoulder to collpse a bit.This will cantilever the dia to a larger dia at the shoulder.You will then ask us why you have a round stuck in the chamber.Find a washer or something you can use like a feeler gage to set the die up .050 or .060,thereabouts,off the shellholder.Do not worry about crimp just yet.

There are a number of ways to set the sizer die.Crunching into the shellholder is not best,you will likely over shorten your brass.Causes problems.One solution,get a Wilson or Dillon case gage,about $20.It rather like a precision chamber with a step ground in it.It lets you set your die so your cases are to factory spec for length.

Later,you can get fancy and measure over it to see how many thousandths you set your shoulder back.

That will do for now.
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