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Old May 22, 2020, 11:51 PM   #1
Necromors
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5.56 dies?

Sorry, I’m sure this is mentioned somewhere, but I’ve seen about 7,000 posts and articles that kinda answers my question, but nothing is straightforward. My brain is mush.

I recently decided to reload, and purchased the Dillion XL750. I want to reload 5.56, and eventually 300 blackout.

I have seen that a 4 die setup is good, and that there isn’t really a true 5.56 die set. The dies used for 5.56 are .223.

What is a good die setup for 5.56?? Thank you for any information.
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Old May 23, 2020, 12:00 AM   #2
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Wow. Good question.

This is a really good question. I load 223 so I'm not going to be able to help you.

I know there is a difference in the two bullets 5.56 and 223, and I think it has something to do with head space.

I know that if your barrel is made for 5.56 you won't have any trouble shooting 223. But if your barrel is made for 223 you might had trouble with 5.56.

My GUESS is that you could load 5.56 with 223 dies, but I'd want the opinion of someone who knows a great deal more about this before I tried.

I'll try to remember to ask the guy who owns the range where I shoot. He is a walking encyclopedia of gun knowledge.

Lotta guys on this forum should be able to help as well. Good luck and be careful.

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Old May 23, 2020, 02:28 AM   #3
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5.56 dies?

5.56x45mm uses exactly the same specification of ammunition cartridge dimensions. You don’t buy 5.56mm dies because they are exactly the same as 223 Rem dies.

The difference in specification is in the chamber throat not the ammunition. You MAY be able to load slightly longer for shorter jump to lands in a 5.56mm chamber, but if you’re magazine fed you’ll be limited by magazine length first.


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Last edited by lordmorgul; May 23, 2020 at 02:34 PM.
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Old May 23, 2020, 04:10 AM   #4
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Same dies, no changes.
i use the Lee set for years but the rifles it fed were milspec rifles with milspec barrels/chambers, looser tolerances for combat use. I guess the TINY bit of "too big" the Lee die sized at the base was just enough for my civilian 5.56 and .223 Wylde chambers to occasionally choke on, failing to chamber all the way. So, I still use the 4 die set from Lee, but I replaced the sizing die with an RCBS Small Base die, which sizes all the way down, and no more issues.
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Old May 23, 2020, 06:44 AM   #5
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Hornady 223 die set will serve you well. The difference between 223 rem, 5.56 NATO, and 223 Wylde is all in the throat....no effect on die set.
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Old May 23, 2020, 07:41 AM   #6
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Same dies, difference is the chamber and how they come to the pressure specifications.

Although i'd look for 223 Rem dies, NOT 223 Win dies.
It'll save you some grief..
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Old May 23, 2020, 02:34 PM   #7
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5.56 dies?

Oops good catch there. ^^ fixed


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Old May 23, 2020, 02:36 PM   #8
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I also use the 4 die set from Lee, for 5.56mm and 223 Wylde chambered Mini14 and AR15 rifles, for plinking, defense, and regional service rifle competition loads. I haven’t shot larger events, but the Lee dies are doing well enough for my ability.


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Old May 23, 2020, 06:42 PM   #9
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so... as stated above make sure your gun is rated for 5.56. the case dimensions are the same as 223, however 5.56 is loaded to higher pressures and is not safe in a 223 rifle.

So to answer your actual question, its complicated.... it depends on several things, most importantly what platform you will be shooting, semi or non semi. After that it comes down to budget and personal preference. I cant give you a direct answer without knowing but I will try to explain as best i know how. It comes down to these following questions
1 semi auto or non semi auto
2 do you want to crimp
3 do you want to neck size (no an option for semi auto)

neck sizing does not work well in semi auto guns, but can give more accurate round in a bolt gun with fire formed brass from your gun. if you want to neck size, get the lee 4 die ultimate set. their neck sizer is excellent and great for beginners to neck sizing.

crimp. there are 3 styles of crimp that I know of, roll, taper, and the lee factory crimp. my understanding is that with roll and taper you need bullets with a cannalure and you have to crimp on the cannalure to use the crimp. the lee factory crimp die you can crimp what you want where you want but it is an extra step and not built into the seating die. You don' have to crimp, but I like to.

my personal recommendations
1 non semi auto, if you want to neck size, hands down, get the lee 4 die ultimate set

2, non semi auto, don't care about neck sizing/crimp, hornady 2 die set

3 non semi auto, don't care about neck, want crimp, hornady 2 die set buy lee crimp die

4 semi auto dont care about crimp, hornady 2 die set

5 semi auto, care about crimp hornady 2 die set, buy lee crimp die

I have the lee ultimate 4 die set for 223. It has been a good die set but i regret it because shoot semi auto and i never used the neck sizing die, it was a waste. If i had to do it again i would get the hornady 2 die set and buy the lee crimp die. I like the hornady set because of the bullet allignment sleeve, and that you can buy more seating stems for different bullet styles and a micrometer adjuster add on the the bullet seating die. the lee crimp die is the best crimp IMHO, and its only like $14.

Lastly, I like the hornady dies for the reasons listed above, no brand preference. With that said, in all honesty any 2 die set will get the job done. It just depends on your budget, and what features you want/how you want to load.

sorry i know it was a bit long winded, hope this helps clear things up, not make it more complicated
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Old May 23, 2020, 06:45 PM   #10
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As mentioned above, the difference is in the throat section of the chamber. The 5.56 has a slightly larger diameter and length in the throat section. 5.56 also has a pressure rating of 60,000 psi. The 223 has a max pressure rating of 55,000 psi.

Some 5.56 Nato brass has a little less case volume than some 223 brass, although I have Norma 223 brass and Lake City 5.56 brass that has nearly Identical case volume.

The reason IMO why you might run into trouble shooting 5.56 ammo in a 223 chamber is the shorter throat aiding in building pressure much faster than the same ammunition would build pressure with a longer throat dimension. Effectively increasing the maximum pressure generated.

I use RCBS 223 Rem dies in a 5.56 Nato with no issues.
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Old May 23, 2020, 08:13 PM   #11
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I will be shooting semi-auto.

Thank you everyone for the info!
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Old May 23, 2020, 08:43 PM   #12
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Case dimensions for the .223 Rem and the 5,56mm are the same. Differences are in the rifle barrels.

.223 Rem dies load 5.56mm. I doubt you will find any dies marked 5.56mm only.
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Old May 24, 2020, 12:51 AM   #13
lordmorgul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow9mm View Post

5 semi auto, care about crimp hornady 2 die set, buy lee crimp die
Shadow that was great advice there, as I do have the 4 die Lee set too and only actually use 3 of them, the full length size, bullet seater, and crimp (very lightly, not all load configurations).

The neck resize die is unused, and so is the neck flare and pass thru powder extension since I do not use the Lee powder measure on top anymore for rifles (still use for pistol). So yeah anyway this is good advice.


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Old May 24, 2020, 09:53 AM   #14
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Crimping case mouths into bullets degrades accuracy. It adds another variable in cartridge performance.

Nobody winning centerfire matches with best scores and setting records crimps their rifle bullets in place.

Show me a box of commercial centerfire rifle match ammo with crimped in bullets.

Bullet making companies don't crimp 22 caliber bullets testing them for accuracy.

One bullet company knurles a 22 caliber bullet that tests worse accuracy than those without the knurle. Crimping case mouths into the knurle further degrades accuracy.

Last edited by Bart B.; May 24, 2020 at 10:14 AM.
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Old May 24, 2020, 10:52 AM   #15
lordmorgul
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5.56 dies?

Bart, good add also, yes I don’t crimp any Match ammo at all, only the defense stuff and so barely that pulled bullets don’t even show a crimp line. Its more of a verify case mouth is not flared wider than bullet step. Could skip it entirely probably and not really have any effect.


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Old May 24, 2020, 03:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Nobody winning centerfire matches with best scores and setting records crimps their rifle bullets in place.
No, they don't. Won't argue that at all.

However, millions of people who use their firearms for hunting, personal defense, and other general uses do shoot crimped ammo, and of course the military crimps all its service ammo.

For many things, reliability of function is more important than the nth degree of accuracy possible.
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Old May 24, 2020, 05:49 PM   #17
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glad to help, let us know what you end up going with. Also one thing i forgot, a lot of 223/556 have crimped primers. they make tools to to get rid of the crimp. i use a rbcs swager tool that goes in my press. they also make cutters for case prep stations that cut the crimp off.
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Old May 24, 2020, 05:55 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
No, they don't. Won't argue that at all.

However, millions of people who use their firearms for hunting, personal defense, and other general uses do shoot crimped ammo, and of course the military crimps all its service ammo.

For many things, reliability of function is more important than the nth degree of accuracy possible.
i use a very light crimp for all my 223/5.56 loads for my 16" ar, it will never be a match gun but i really prefer a crimp in my semi auto guns. I manage to get 1 moa groups with it if i do my part behind the trigger.
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Old May 24, 2020, 06:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
of course the military crimps all its service ammo.
None of the 7.62 NATO M118 and M852 service match/sniper ammo nor M118LR sniper ammo had crimped in bullets.

Last edited by Bart B.; May 24, 2020 at 06:57 PM.
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Old May 24, 2020, 07:07 PM   #20
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Sniper and match ammo are different from service ammo, or at least they were when I was in the service. Of course, that was decades ago. DO they not crimp general issue ammo anymore??
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Old Yesterday, 10:22 PM   #21
Necromors
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Thank you everyone for the awesome responses!

I am leaning towards Shadow9mm suggestion of the Hornady 2 die set, and Lee crimp.

I will be shooting semi-auto, and because of this neck sizing is not an issue? So, Lee's ultimate 4 die is over the top because it would have an unused die? This will be more for fun, multi-purpose, and not for matches, so for now i want to crimp.

Should I get a shell holder? I am not sure the Dillion XL 750 comes with one.

Does the Hornady 2 die set deprime and set a new primer?

Thanks again for all the help.
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Old Yesterday, 10:48 PM   #22
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The sizer die will deprime, but the die will not I stall a new primer
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Old Yesterday, 11:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
. Should I get a shell holder? I am not sure the Dillion XL 750 comes with one.

Does the Hornady 2 die set deprime and set a new primer?
You will need to get a Shell plate from Dillon for the 223 case. Unless you purchased a cartridge specific kit along with the press.

Priming is not a function of the dies in any set. It is a function that is part of the Dillon press.

You have a lot to learn about before you load your first round. Read the instructions carefully, and then read them again.

I recommend that you watch as many reloading tutorial videos as you can. Both on single stage presses and the Dillon 750. You just jumped into a race car without taking driver education. There is a potential for very bad things to happen. Do you have a friend that already reloads who can coach you in person? We will help you as much as we can, but we won't be there watching you. There is no way we can catch a small mistake that could be very unsafe. I am not trying to talk you out of reloading, just urging you to start slowly.
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