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Old October 21, 2011, 06:16 PM   #1
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New to reloading


I am new to reloading and looking for some advice. I have done a lot of Internet research and have the Speer reloading #14, still need to get some more books. I have purchased the RCBS rock chucked supreme master kit and a set of full length .223 dies. I have the basics of the basic stuff figured out but still have a long way to go. I was looking for some easy recipes to start to reload, I have a Colt AR-15 A2 that I plan to shoot fairly often at maybe 100-300 yards. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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Old October 21, 2011, 06:54 PM   #2
Steel Talon
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Use your speer book for the recipes.

If you have a 38/357 you may want to start with a pistol caliber ...

Anyway I'd say start with the Hornady 55gr.power point
Powder wise Try Varget pretty accurate powder easy to learn with
Small rifle primers I've always used Winchesters

Make sure you get a dial caliper, have a triming system chosen. Get your self a Wilson Case guage it will make things easier for yoou.
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Old October 21, 2011, 07:11 PM   #3
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Rifles do not use recipies. Shotguns use recipies.

You have to work up loads for your rifle watching for excessive pressure, best accuracy, good velocity...

Your speer book should explain all this stuff. Get your reading glasses on.
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Old October 21, 2011, 07:36 PM   #4
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The 223 is a very easy cartridge to load.

First: Full size completely for that AR.

Second: I suggest anything from a 55gr to 69gr bullet to start (assuming 1-9 twist)

Third: Go with IMR4895 powder for now. It's the do-all Chevrolet of propellants.

Fourth: Use CCI small rifle primers -- NOT Federal as they are too soft for the AR.

Fifth: Pick a powder charge about halfway (or lower) from min-to-max for whichever bullet you choose.

Sixth: Seat to the recommended OAL in the Speer book for that bullet.

Back the seating die off contact with the case mouth a half turn before locking down (i.e., no crimp).

Eighth: Adjust the seating stem to the specified OAL after that.

Ninth: Relax and read the Speer manual in the bathroom as necessary. It's one of the 3 best manuals.

Last edited by mehavey; October 21, 2011 at 07:46 PM.
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Old October 21, 2011, 07:46 PM   #5
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Start off with whatever bullets and primers your local store has for sale cheap, preferably 55gr or less (and preferably Speer, since that is the book you have. You can also look for one of these, most stores that sell reloading supplies sell them. Your Speer book has the basics, those loadbooks have the load data from all the different bullet manufacturers.

As to Powder, it is pretty hard to go wrong with Varget. It meters well, is very temperature tolerant, and will work in damn near every rifle load.

Follow the instructions that came with your dies, and make up a dummy round, with no primer or powder. Use the overall length from your manual for the bullet you are using. If you have the neck tension right, there is no need to crimp, and you shouldn't crimp anyway if the bullet doesn't have a cannelure.

Once the dies are set up start with the minimum published load for your powder/bullet combination, and make 5 rounds. Write the details down on a piece of paper, and put the paper, plus the 5 rounds in a ziplock bag.

Increase the charge .5 grain, and make 5 more. Same deal, notes in a new baggie. Repeat until you have 4 or 5 baggies, or have reached the max charge in the book. Frankly, I wouldn't come anywhere near the max charge yet. Plenty of time to push the envelope later.

Go shoot, starting with the light load, (preferably at 100 yards minimum), from a bench/sandbags/rest, focusing on making the best shot you can. Look for signs of pressure, (should be explained in your Speer book).

Shoot the contents of the baggie at one target. Take notes. Wait for the gun to cool, shoot the contents of the next baggie at a different target. Take notes. Repeat until you are out of baggies.

Decide which group is best, and load the rest of your bullets with the load that made it.

This is really basic load development, gets your feet wet, and will probably make some decent ammo.
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Old October 22, 2011, 10:28 AM   #6
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I prefer the Sierra manual and have been using different editions of it for over 30 years. For my AR ( DPMS Prairie Panther) I like 26 gr. of Varget with a 55 gr. Sierra BK bullet. Lethal on coyotes out to 400+ yards. The 223 is a very easy cartidge to reload and I crank them out on a Dillon 550B.

if shooting an auto, COAL case length is critical so stay within recommemnded lengths. In addition FLS all cases and check die set up with a case guage such as Wilson. Check length of fired cases and trim, deburr and chamfer if necessary. Have used Forster trimmers for years and work well. One of most important and frequently used tools while I am reloading is my calipers. If you can afford it, buy a Starrett dial caliber since it is both accurate and durable.
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Old October 22, 2011, 04:43 PM   #7
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Get a Lyman Reloading Handbook too. It's worth the money. You're gonna enjoy reloading. And...Semper Fi...Iwuztoo, though it's been so long ago that maybe I just imagined the whole thing. Nah...
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Old October 23, 2011, 04:36 AM   #8
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Lots of good powders out there for the 223/5.56, some are ball type and some are "rat ****". If you are going to load volume and use you RCBS Powder measure I would start out with a good ball type powder. That would be Tac, 2230, X-T, 335, 748, or 2460.

If you are loading for blasting ammo it's hard to beat the Hornady 55gr FMJ. They shoot pretty good and are cheap. If accuracy is your goal then I would start out with Sierra, Hornady V-Max or Nosler BT. My vavorite bullet for my Colt is 53gr Sierra HP.
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Old October 23, 2011, 07:26 AM   #9
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Welcome to your newest addiction! Once you get the hang of reloading, you will be turning them out like a pro and shooting more often.

Where are you located? Maybe if your close enough someone will show you how to do it. I think I read all my reloading manuals at least three times before I actually reloaded my first round. I use the RockChucker also and I love it.

Go through your book(s) (You really need to get a few more reloading manuals) and pick out the bullet/powder you want to use. I would highly recommend post #4 as a starting point.

I have only been reloading for a few years and I have called my combinations recipes. I keep them on a recipe card and write notes about the way the round performed, which guns it was used in and I keep them all in a recipe box.
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Old October 23, 2011, 08:24 PM   #10
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Okay, so you're new; we've all been there.

When you start, I strongly suggest you full length resize maybe three or five cases and check to see that they chamber fully and the bolt locks before you go any further. Meaning, don't load a batch of ammo before you KNOW your resized cases are done properly.

Get both a stuck case puller and a bullet puller along with the rest of your loading gear - you WILL need them.

Thanks for your service young man, from an old ex-airman. BUT, I have one fine grunt jar-head grandson-in-law who has been to both Iraq and Afganistan and have another grandson that's on his way to Parris Island soon, so I'm not ALL bad!

God bless you and good luck! (And we both know there is no such thing as an 'ex-Marine'!)

Last edited by wncchester; October 23, 2011 at 08:32 PM.
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Old October 26, 2011, 06:19 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the good info, all very helpful.

I have reloaded 30 rounds so far, 10 a couple days ago and 20 tonight. Out of the 30 I have 3-4 that are a little short on the COAL. Speer book says 2.175", the short ones are 2.168 +\- They are random threw out the run, I am using he same stroke on the press each time. Is this normal or something I should fix .

Calipers are a descent set from lowes (kobalt brand)

Load data:
Speer 55gr sp. #1047
Remington .223 brass. (new)
IMR 3031. 24 gr
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Old October 26, 2011, 06:32 PM   #12
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Speer 55gr sp. #1047
Because the bullets have an exposed soft lead tip, any slight deformation in that tip causes the OAL measurements to vary. (measure the bullets themselves and you'll see.) But since the bullet is seated using an internal circular collar in the die that only contacts the bullet's hard copper sides, that tip never comes into play as far as seating depth goes.

You're fine.
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