.223 reloading advice

Use this area to discuss topics relating to hand loading or reloading ammunition.

Re: .223 reloading advice

Postby jcat » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:14 am

Hornady has a really nice swaging tool that replaces the shell plate with rods that hold the case inverted, and then run it through dies to swage the primer pocket. They have one for .223/5.56 and another for .308/7.62. Right around $110-120 from what I see, but for someone like me who's probably gonna end up rolling out a bunch of plinking ammo using most likely mil brass.
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Re: .223 reloading advice

Postby RImike » Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:16 am

Dem, where/how do you compete? Is it an AR platform that uses optics? I would enjoy shooting my AR in some form of competition, just don't know where to start.

As far as primers go, what's you fancy? Do you use No. 41 or Magnum SR primers?
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Re: .223 reloading advice

Postby n1bsbri » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:33 am

I just want to say, great posts in this thread from you experienced shooters. Thanks much.
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Re: .223 reloading advice

Postby jcat » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:59 am

n1bsbri wrote:I just want to say, great posts in this thread from you experienced shooters. Thanks much.

Indeed. That kind of technical experience is invaluable to a n00b like yours truly :mrgreen:
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Re: .223 reloading advice

Postby demjones » Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:44 am


I shoot in most rifle competitions at NRC. We've got a boatload - at least 2 per month. During winter months we do Rifles of the Snow (any as-issued military bolt-action) and Sunday Service Rifle (Garand, M1A, M1 Carbine, AR). During warm months we do CMP (same rifles as Sunday Service) and Sporting Rifle (any rifle that can hold 4 rounds, any sight). We used to hold scoped rifle matches where we'd shoot paintballs at 100 yds. We've also been holding inter-club matches in several disciplines with Tiverton Rod & Gun Club. They're loads of fun and a chance to get to know some great people. Being a member of both clubs can make that awkward on occasion, though. ;)

I'm also on the NRC team in the RI High Power League. RIHPL has 5 team and 2 individual matches each year using NRA rules (any service rifle (Garands, M1As, AR-15s) or match rifle (mostly AR-based match rifles), iron sights only). Last year we placed 2nd and this year we won the league. RIHPL matches are held at South County (4), Copicut (2) and Wallum Lake (1). There are some amazingly good shooters. I sit somewhere in the middle. Some of us also go to Camp Perry (Ohio) when we can for the CMP and NRA championships. Other clubs in the area (including Copicut, Reading, Nashua and Scarborough) hold CMP and NRA matches on a regular basis. Reading, Nashua and Scarborough have 600 yard ranges, and Camp Perry can go as far as 1000.

Primers: I used Winchester Small Rifle for 7-8 years until I came across a great deal on Wolf, which I'll be using for at least the next couple or three years. Owing to some deals with friends I also have some CCI 41 and Remington #6. Many folks prefer to use some sort of magnum primer in .223/5.56, but I've never had an issue. What's important to me is consistency, which is achieved by using the same primers for a given lot. Winchester got a bad rap a couple years back for being overly sensitive in ARs. I never had a problem with them, simply ensuring that they were seated to the proper depth - which should be done regardless.
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Re: .223 reloading advice

Postby Blast54 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:54 pm

Looks like Dem has the previously mentioned "art" part of rifle reloading pretty well under control. Yesterday I was talking about the limiting factor of shooting out of a magazine fed rifle. I later checked some of my Remington white box 223 and it has a OAL of 2.250 and my hand loads for the Savage (.223, Lapua brass and Scenar 69gr heads over 4895 powder) are OAL of 2.305. Such a huge difference over what I can buy and what the rifle needs to shoot accurately.
That is seated just touching the lands which is what this particular barrel likes. Like Dave, after trying many different configurations, I have found that I only need a moderate load to get excellent results. Also like Dem, if I am plinking with the AR I use the magazine, if I really want to be accurate I need to use a "sled" and seat handloads closer to the lands than what the magazine allows.

To be honest, I find the ability to shoot near one hole groups at certain yardages with certain rifles and ammo is amazing! Glad I did it for a year or so,but I am more of an action pistol shooter and trap shooting. I enjoy moving about or having the targets moving. That might change if I start loading for the 308. My buddy belongs to Bradford (300 yds) and I been bringing the AR-10. Just shooting steel with factory ammo... been really enjoying it, so who knows?
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