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View Full Version : Which .223 Dies for Precision AR15 shooting?


Quinc
11-21-2011, 12:44 PM
Rifle .223 AR15 w/ 26" 1-8 twist WOA upper
Press RCBS JR3 hand press
Goal to shoot 600+ yards as accurately as possible.
Use to reload 55-80gr bullets.

So the more I read/learn about reloading, the more confused I become. Everything I have been reading is saying to crimp for AR15's. However, John at WOA says NOT to crimp.

What do you guys think about the forster-ultra-2-die-set.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/799076/forster-ultra-2-die-set-223-remington

Or if I would be better off going with an RCBS or Forester 2 die set and getting the micrometer seater die separate? :confused:

grant22
11-21-2011, 12:55 PM
I don't have a highly experienced answer for you other than I've been making precision .223 rounds that I can confirm work well up to 200 yds. Maybe longer, but don't know yet.

I'm using Dillon dies (not sure if that matters) and a very slight crimp from what I learned here. The slight crimp should aide in semi-auto feeding and to help keep bullet push back from occuring.

Just curious, are you chamferring and deburring the cases?

SandDiegoDuner
11-21-2011, 1:09 PM
I have the Redding national match dies for .223. They are not cheap but the micrometer seating die is really nice as is the seperate die for crimping.

Dark Mod
11-21-2011, 2:43 PM
The Redding set with micrometer will do great, but at $120+ are a little pricey. You will be capable of producing great quality match ammo with many of the less expensive dies as well.

NRAhighpowershooter
11-21-2011, 3:04 PM
Rifle So the more I read/learn about reloading, the more confused I become. Everything I have been reading is saying to crimp for AR15's. However, John at WOA says NOT to crimp.

NEVER crimp ANY 223 match bullet loads....

TimRB
11-21-2011, 3:08 PM
However, John at WOA says NOT to crimp.

John Holliger is one of the top shooters in the country, and he builds ARs that are used by many of the rest of the top shooters. If he says not to crimp, then don't crimp.

Tim

Quinc
11-21-2011, 4:33 PM
I am NOT going to crimp. That's why I need help finding .223 dies for the AR15. :)

uscbigdawg
11-21-2011, 5:44 PM
Redding Competition dies. You can adjust the neck tension (not crimping) by changing bushings. I use them on my 308 for 1k shooting and it's a super simple process and yields immediate results.

Rich

Ahhnother8
11-21-2011, 6:09 PM
Redding type 'S' sizing die with bushing .002"-.003" smaller than a loaded round
Redding micrometer seating die

Bongos
11-21-2011, 6:17 PM
Hands down, Redding Competition dies

mjmagee67
11-21-2011, 6:29 PM
Before knocking crimping take a look at this: http://www.accuratereloading.com/crimping.html

I have found similar results with my 30-06 if a lightly crimp with the Lee FCD my groups shrink. This is with bullets w/o cannulars.

As far as Dies I have RCBS and Lee and both give me great results. The cheezy Lee die is very consistent for length.

C.G.
11-21-2011, 9:46 PM
Depending on your budget Redding or Forster if you can't afford Redding.

huckberry668
11-21-2011, 10:35 PM
Any regular 2-die set will do for auto loader. I now have a hybrid set with RCBS full length sizing die, Redding comp seating die, Lee Neck die (for bolt gun) & Lee factory crimp die (only on bullets w/ cannelures).

for autoloaders you'll have to bump the shoulder down enough to make sure it loads properly. Bullet seating will need to be mag length at the most anyway so no worrying over touching the rifling. for autoloaders you'd want more neck tension.

on the cheap you can't beat Lee Deluxe set. You'll have all the dies you'll need for autoloader and bolt gun. Just change out the die ring with something with a cross bolt to lock the ring (I like the Hornady steel rings or Forster rings). They load just as accurate rounds as the $200 competitors.

bubbapug1
11-21-2011, 10:45 PM
Forster benchrest seater, and if your brass fits in a case gauge after firing, just neck size..no need to full size. The idea is to get the bullet as concentric as possible into the neck, just kissing the lands....and with the same stresses on the bullet throughout the neck. Thats a tall order if you crimp.

Also, White Oak uppers are chambered tight, so you CAN get close to the lands and still fit into a magazine, like with a SMK.

Check this thread out, these guys ran a ton of scientific tests to come up with the best groups....ever.

http://www.angelfire.com/ma3/max357/houston.html

Botom line is however, no matter what ammo you have the gun still has to be capable of shooting a good group..

This is a very bad 5 shot 100 yard group out of a 6ppc with hand load die made ammo...still working on that wind reading.

http://i481.photobucket.com/albums/rr177/bubbapug1/339group.jpg

BrianRodela
11-21-2011, 10:56 PM
Any regular 2-die set will do for auto loader. I now have a hybrid set with RCBS full length sizing die, Redding comp seating die, Lee Neck die (for bolt gun) & Lee factory crimp die (only on bullets w/ cannelures).

for autoloaders you'll have to bump the shoulder down enough to make sure it loads properly. Bullet seating will need to be mag length at the most anyway so no worrying over touching the rifling. for autoloaders you'd want more neck tension.

on the cheap you can't beat Lee Deluxe set. You'll have all the dies you'll need for autoloader and bolt gun. Just change out the die ring with something with a cross bolt to lock the ring (I like the Hornady steel rings or Forster rings). They load just as accurate rounds as the $200 competitors.

Second this. I'm using the Lee RGB 2 die set and am having no issues at all. Unless the bullets have a cannulure for crimping, adding the crimp will create inconsistencies when chronographing rounds. Make sure each neck is cut to the same leingth and same COAL for each round and consistency will improve. The key is consistancy to everything. I have chrony data for 80gr VLD's all within 5 fps over a 10 shot group with the cheap dies! Keep checking back also for advice!!

thevic
11-21-2011, 11:31 PM
I just got the RCBS x die for .223. It allows me to FL size and keep the neck from getting long. You can set the length to whatever, but I keep it at 1.740 (minimum). The cases are all within .0005. Very useful for non match rounds so it eliminates the trimming step. Plus you dont lose brass from firings/trim.

For match, redding type S all the way.

AlliedArmory
11-22-2011, 12:13 AM
I personally use Forster, but if I could afford it I would get the Redding bushing dies. I use the Redding bushing dies for my match 308 loads.

grant22
11-22-2011, 10:00 AM
Any regular 2-die set will do for auto loader. I now have a hybrid set with RCBS full length sizing die, Redding comp seating die, Lee Neck die (for bolt gun) & Lee factory crimp die (only on bullets w/ cannelures).

for autoloaders you'll have to bump the shoulder down enough to make sure it loads properly. Bullet seating will need to be mag length at the most anyway so no worrying over touching the rifling. for autoloaders you'd want more neck tension.

This is what I was trying to explain in my first post.

GeoffLinder
11-22-2011, 12:42 PM
The Dillon .223 sizing die will do just fine for sub-moa accuracy in an auto-loader. Seating die is more important for accuracy than size die. I highly recommend the Redding micro-meter seating die.

Trimming cases before loading is also very important. Neck shaving is next most important step along with flash hole uniforming.

Doing this level of case prep, sizing with Dillon die and seating with Redding die are my recipe for LD accuracy.

Weight segregating your prepped cases is also very important for tight groups at long distance.

Crimping can also increase accuracy (reduce group size) when done properly with fully prepped cases. I find that a slight taper crimp will reduce SD (Standard Deviation) quite a bit compared to un-crimped rounds of the same recipe. Decreasing SD is well known to decrease vertical stringing at extreme distances.

30Cal
11-22-2011, 1:47 PM
I like the micrometer seating die. It makes setting things up easy (ie. for load X, I turn it to 20 and go). I shoot LC brass--the Redding Techs said not to bother with a bushing die when I called them.

Get a headspace comparitor to set the die up correctly.

ocabj
11-22-2011, 6:19 PM
I'm a little late to the party. But I use:

1. Redding full length sizing die for short line ammo
2. Redding full length S-Type bushing die for long line ammo
3. Redding competition micrometer seater die for conventional BTHP bullets
4. Forster competition micrometer seater die for VLD style bullets
5. RCBS Full length small base sizing die for any brass that didn't come from my own guns.

Nessal
11-24-2011, 9:12 PM
Here is my advice. I assume that you will be single feeding each round because you're shooting for accuracy here. Use the Lee Collet die with the Redding comp seater. No crimp . The Lee collet die doesn't get enough credit. I assume it is because too many people don't know how to use them correctly.

NRAhighpowershooter
11-24-2011, 9:15 PM
regular old RCBS FL die with their competition seater......

kmullins
12-02-2011, 5:17 AM
I'm with NRAhighpowershooter on this one...

You'll find that full-length sizing just enough is the way to go. The Redding Competition shellholder sets take the guess work out of this. For bolt guns, you want to size just enough to get a crush fit (slight resistance when closing the bolt), but for autoloaders you probably want to bump the shoulder back .002"-.004" to ensure proper chambering. Also, I've found that neck sizing causes the neck of the case to be out of alignment with the body; something FL sizing keeps straight.

I like Forster. Nice quality and a lot cheaper than the "gold plated" Redding dies (which I also own a lot of). As far as seating, either a Forster micrometer benchrest die or Redding equivalent will probably work best. I use Wilson hand dies and find they provide the least runout. Good luck!

Quinc
01-05-2012, 2:31 PM
Just waiting on the Forester or Redding micrometer die sets to be in stock at grafs... How important is having a bushing die in match rounds?

http://www.forsterproducts.com/catalog.asp?prodid=700979&showprevnext=1

GeoffLinder
01-05-2012, 4:33 PM
Just waiting on the Forester or Redding micrometer die sets to be in stock at grafs... How important is having a bushing die in match rounds?

http://www.forsterproducts.com/catalog.asp?prodid=700979&showprevnext=1

Less important to start with than you would think.

Most important is controlling consistency in the entire reloading process at the level you need for the accuracy you really need in the "specific" rifle you are using ;)

I highly recommend you look at Glen Zedikers book on reloading for accuracy (Handloading For Competition, "making the 10 ring larger") before you get too hung up on any specific set of processes or gear. The real truth here is that some things matter and some things don't and that the distance you need performance at changes the game ;)

http://www.zediker.com/books/handloading/hlmain.html

Quinc
01-05-2012, 4:43 PM
Less important to start with than you would think.

Most important is controlling consistency in the entire reloading process at the level you need for the accuracy you really need in the "specific" rifle you are using ;)

I highly recommend you look at Glen Zedikers book on reloading for accuracy (Handloading For Competition, "making the 10 ring larger") before you get too hung up on any specific set of processes or gear. The real truth here is that some things matter and some things don't and that the distance you need performance at changes the game ;)

http://www.zediker.com/books/handloading/hlmain.html


I've dropped enough money on reloading to buy another book; can you give me the spark notes. :D

GeoffLinder
01-05-2012, 5:05 PM
Read Glen's book 2-3 times before you decide what really means accuracy to you. Many things, many folks do are no more than religious fervor when it really comes down to it. Spend the $35 bux for this book and spend a lot less time and money down the road depending on your level of requirement. Lotsa' reloading mumbo-jumbo is just plain mumo-jumbo when it comes down to it. Put hard numbers to it and it's relatively easy to sort out, chase a fairy tale and you will never see the light at the end of the tunnel ;)

BAGunner
01-05-2012, 5:54 PM
Redding type 'S' sizing die with bushing .002"-.003" smaller than a loaded round
Redding micrometer seating die

The latest Redding manual recommend .001" smaller.

bruceflinch
01-05-2012, 7:08 PM
Before knocking crimping take a look at this: http://www.accuratereloading.com/crimping.html

I have found similar results with my 30-06 if a lightly crimp with the Lee FCD my groups shrink. This is with bullets w/o cannulars.

As far as Dies I have RCBS and Lee and both give me great results. The cheezy Lee die is very consistent for length.
You shooting a 30-06 auto-loader? Or a Bolt gun? I load for my bolt guns, much differently, than the auto-loaders.

The latest Redding manual recommend .001" smaller.

:iagree:

I think in the long run you will find the brass prep will have more to do w/ your accuracy than the Brand of die that you use.

Madpyro
01-05-2012, 7:28 PM
I think in the long run you will find the brass prep will have more to do w/ your accuracy than the Brand of die that you use.

What Bruce said. ^^