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  #1  
Old 07-11-2018, 9:51 AM
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Default Tooling up for reloading 223 for AR rifle

I have been researching tooling options for reloading 223 AR rifle. My current process for reloading 45 ACP & 9mm is using a Lee Breach Lock Single Stage Press for depriming/full length resizing, Lee Classic Turret Press for flare/seat/crimp. I hand prime & powder charge off the press. I use a RCBS Uniflow small cylinder for pistol, I do have the large cylinder set up if needed. I dry tumble, deprime/resize then wet tumble for bling. I know my process is slow but that's how I roll...

These two linked trimmers are similar in function, one is a little more pricey than the other. I am leaning towards the Giraud trimmer...

https://littlecrowgunworks.com/produ...v=7516fd43adaa

http://giraudtool.com/giraud-tri-way-trimmer.html

I have a lot of saved 5.56 cases, I know I will need to swage the primer pockets. The Dillon Super-Swage 600 looks to be the best option for swaging primer pockets...

https://www.dillonprecision.com/supe...8_8_25263.html

I do not intend to reload match grade ammo so I think the Lee Pacesetter Die set should work for reloading "plinking" grade ammo lol...

https://leeprecision.com/pacesetter-dies-223-rem.html

Any suggestions or other tooling options would be welcomed...
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:47 AM
baih777 baih777 is offline
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Get these gauges for checking the primer pockets after swaging.

https://ballistictools.com/store/rel...-pocket-gauges

And a case guage.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:08 AM
OpenSightsOnly OpenSightsOnly is offline
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If you consistently go through more 250 pieces of 223 brass per month, Giraud Trimmer and Dillon super swager 600 are very good tools for batch processing.
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Old 07-11-2018, 1:42 PM
rsrocket1 rsrocket1 is offline
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Depending on the bullet you use, you may not need to flare and crimp. I shoot mostly fmjbt .224 bullets and there is no need to flare nor crimp the bullets even though the bullets have a cannelure. The boat tail allows a smooth seating of the bullet and neck tension is sufficient to hold the bullet in place even during chambering. You could test it yourself by FL resizing a case, seating a bullet to the right depth and chamber it in your AR. If the COL doesn't change, no need to crimp unless you store your bullets loose or in stripper clips in an ammo can and bounce it around during transportation over the span of months or years the way the military does.
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Old 07-11-2018, 1:55 PM
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Get the RCBS swagger cheap and works fine. You don't need gauges. Use the RCBS dies and set them per instruction sheet and you won't need small base dies. I'd get a good - cast iron - single stage press. Not sure how pot metal Lees hold up the full length resizing of bottleneck brass. Flare & Crimp not necessary. Trimming is not required every time - and rarely before the 3-5 loading.
Get a Forester trimmer they do trim to a specific height from base to top not based on the shoulder.
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Old 07-11-2018, 3:10 PM
Divernhunter Divernhunter is offline
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Bottleneck rifle brass does not get flared. You will want to chamfer them especially after trimming. I got the Lyman Case Prep Center and it works well. Even though it will cut the primer crimp I prefer the Dillon super swagger. I have the RCBS unit and do not suggest it. I would suggest the RCBS dies and powered trimmer. The RCBS press is an excellent choice. You will be able to use the small drum on the uniflow measure for the 223. The Hornady electronic powder measure/scale has worked well for me. The Lyman unit did not.

I do not crimp any of my rifle rounds and have never had any troubles.

If you chamfer the inside of the case mouths it will be easier to seat flat bases bullets or all copper ones without shaving them.

I batch process my brass. I chamfer and hand prime while watching TV. I like to do the processing so that all that is left is charge with powder(usually Win748 for 55gr bullets) and seat the bullet. This I do when the weather is crap and I am staying inside. I do my trimming outside to avoid the shaving getting in my carpet.


Since you say you are in the 209 area code you are welcome to come and check out my set ups. If you want to get an RCBS swagger I have one that was only slightly used I will sell because after about 20 cases with it I got the Dillon unit.
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Last edited by Divernhunter; 07-11-2018 at 3:12 PM..
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:59 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I know in my OP I mentioned "flare/seat/crimp", which is what I do reloading 9mm & 45 ACP but I did figure out that reloading necked rifle brass that flaring was a step I would not do...

I do agree about how well (or not) the Lee Single Stage press will hold up depriming and full length resizing 5.56 brass. The Lee SS press has deprimed and resized a lot of 9mm & 45 ACP brass. A RCBS Rockchucker may be a good upgrade for a SS press...

I figured I will need a "plunk test" type case gauge and gauge to check resized brass length but I did not think about needing a go/no go primer pocket gauge to check swaged primer pockets...

I'll probably go with the Lee dies for now. Amazon has a good deal on them and since I like to prep brass in bulk I can get to depriming/resizing and see how the Lee SS press will hold up. I never bothered to lube brass when depriming/resizing 9mm & 45 ACP but I know this will need to be done working 5.56 brass...

https://www.amazon.com/LEE-PRECISION...pacesetter+223
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:27 AM
Divernhunter Divernhunter is offline
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Yes need to lube and the RCBS Spray lube works great. We had too many stuck cases with Hornady lube.
Never needed a plunk test gauge or go/no go primer pocket tool and I load for about 35 different cartridges and have been loading since the 1960's.

If you are close enough(I am near Modesto) you can trial run my Dillon super swagger and even test the RCBS unit. I buy the RCBS spray lube by the case and can help you out with that. I have RCBS dies(small base and regular) and 2 sets of Hornady dies(bought too many and will sell one pretty cheap). If you buy lee dies then buy some real(Hornady) locking rings for them. I have several presses. You can try out my trimmer and case prep machines and if you like I have hand tool for the different procedures.


You will want a dial caliper to measure OAL and case length. I also have a case length gauge but usually just measure the brass. I start with trimming all brass to a uniform length.

What bullets do you plan to use? Powder? Primers---I use mag primers in all loads. I have some data over my Chrono and for accuracy with 40, 55gr lead core bullets and 36 and 50gr Barnes VG bullets if you are interested.
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Old 07-12-2018, 8:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divernhunter View Post
Yes need to lube and the RCBS Spray lube works great. We had too many stuck cases with Hornady lube.
Never needed a plunk test gauge or go/no go primer pocket tool and I load for about 35 different cartridges and have been loading since the 1960's.

If you are close enough(I am near Modesto) you can trial run my Dillon super swagger and even test the RCBS unit. I buy the RCBS spray lube by the case and can help you out with that. I have RCBS dies(small base and regular) and 2 sets of Hornady dies(bought too many and will sell one pretty cheap). If you buy lee dies then buy some real(Hornady) locking rings for them. I have several presses. You can try out my trimmer and case prep machines and if you like I have hand tool for the different procedures.


You will want a dial caliper to measure OAL and case length. I also have a case length gauge but usually just measure the brass. I start with trimming all brass to a uniform length.

What bullets do you plan to use? Powder? Primers---I use mag primers in all loads. I have some data over my Chrono and for accuracy with 40, 55gr lead core bullets and 36 and 50gr Barnes VG bullets if you are interested.

From my research the RCBS spray lube is a good product so when I get things together that's what I will use. I do a lite taper crimp on the 9mm & 45 ACP and I have a plunk test gauge, I do experiment, seat and not crimp then drop the not crimped rounds in the plunk gauge and get mixed results. The lite taper crimped rounds have always passed the plunk test. I have reloaded a couple thousand 9mm & 45 ACP rounds with no cycling issues. When I get going with the 223 I will stick to this method and see what happens. I don't think I need a go/no go primer pocket gauge...

The Hornady lock rings is a good idea. I do have dial calipers. The thing I like about the Giraud trimmer is that once the trim length is set, it trims, chamfers, and deburrs in one spin. Randall likes the Giraud trimmer, if it's good enough for him it should fine for me. I am picky about sorting brass by casehead, since the Giraud trimmer once set will trim all case uniform I don't think sorting by casehead will be necessary. Getting over my OCD in regards to sorting brass will be a challenge...

In regards to components, I will probably start out with a 1 lb bottle of Varget and go from there. Berry's Bullets has a 55 FMJBT bullet that I am considering. Free shipping over $75, 1000 bullets for $84 shipped seems like a good deal. Link below. I got some good suggestions for primers, I am partial to CCI primers...

https://www.berrysmfg.com/item/blk-22-224-55gr-fmjbt
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:07 PM
Divernhunter Divernhunter is offline
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I have another source of bullets you may want to check out before buying. I can beat that price. They also sell pistol bullets cheap. I have plenty of bullets/powder/primers for us to start.
Pistol rounds need a crimp partly because of the bell you have to do. Forget crimping rifle ammo.
I do not sort my brass when I trim using the RCBS trimmer.
Just buy RCBS or Hornady dies because by the time you buy the lee stuff and then get real locking rings you will have spent as much and not have the service from the manufacture you get with RCBS or Hornady. I have found this out. I have an extra set of dies also.
I can show you how the different powders worked with my Chrono and accuracy results. Wait to get powder. Get mag primers. If it is hard for you to find the stuff I have an excellent place locally that has a great selection and prices on powder/primers.
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Old 07-14-2018, 3:08 PM
Bigedski Bigedski is offline
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I use a Dillon 650 and also a LEE commercial crimp die in the last station.
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Old 07-15-2018, 6:41 PM
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This is my routine for 223. I have 1000 cases that I sized, trimmed and primed that are ready to go.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=w3spVTJbDWk
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Old 07-15-2018, 6:58 PM
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i lube with vaseline i put like 200 in a gallon ziplock back and take a finger dollip and stir it up then as i size i drop them on a cotton tee shirt then fold the tee shirt in half and rub the cases its magic how clean they get with very little residue as i trim with my possum hollow any remaining is dispersed onto my hand i use a lyman debur tool it fits in the possum hollow trimmer power adapter for inside outside debur

dont throw away that tee shirt it comes clean in the wash like magic

i have a hornady primer pocket reamer for the crimp
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:27 AM
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get the dillon swage it. better than the dillon 600 by far.
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Old 07-18-2018, 5:58 AM
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Like others have said - bottle necks need to be lubed . What no one has said , you will ned to remove lube after sizing - before reloading .
Me - after 200 to 300 rounds , the dies go into sonic - others don't .
I / we reload about 15 calibers and change bullet type / style and powders .
I really don't mike or use calipers , just trim .
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Old 07-20-2018, 1:31 AM
SkiDevil SkiDevil is offline
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Default Lee Dies

I just started recently reloading my own .223/ 5.56 rifle rounds.

I purchsed the LEE 4 Die set in .223 and later an RCBS small base dies set in .223.

The LEE dies work very well.

I have loaded some accurate rounds with them.

I have been using 77 grain Nosler BTHP rounds with Varget powder. Some of my rounds have shot very tight groups (under an inch at 100 yards) from a standard LMT barrel and better with a Stainless match 5.56 barrel.

Although most of my reloading gear is RCBS, I do use
LEE products as well.

I would recommend starting out learning to reload .223 with an inexpensive 55 grain FMJ bullet like the Hornandy brand. I have loaded some accurate ammunition with the Varget powder and these projectiles. [24.2 grains of Varget with CCI 400 primers]

Besides having the opportunity to reload with several knowledgeable friends over the last few years, reading several reloading manuals, ABCs of Reloading, and viewing some of the better Youtube channels; reloading is a constant learning process for me.

I am very slow, deliberate, and precise in my reloading.

Take your time, and invest in some quality equipment.


What's worked for myself ( I am reloading for precision, not bulk):
LEE .223 dies
LEE handloader - seating bullets
RCBS reloading presses
RCBS Hand Priming tool
RCBS Trimmer II
RCBS Lube pad
RCBS Lube
Lyman dry media tumbler
Lyman media (corncobb)
Lyman hand tools- Debur/ combination chamfer, primer pocket tool (crimp), flash hole deburrer
Hornandy .223 check gauge
Digital caliber
RCBS 505 scale
Lyman digital scale
LEE powder scoopers
Saturn powder (aluminum) funnel

My process:
3 Hours dry media tumble, inspect brass, lube cases/ resize, deburr flash holes, trim brass, measure brass, remove crimp, deburr cases, chamfer cases, inspect cases and use check gauge, hand prime cases, weight powder, charge cases, seat bullets, measure rounds, use check gauge, apply slight or light crimp, inspect loaded round (ammunition) last time

I batch process my brass and seat/ load projectiles after weighing powder.

I individually weight every charge, and double check with the beam scale.

I spend most of my time on case prepping. The Gaurad will save you time there for sure.
I have given thought to buying one as well.

A really good You tube channel for reloading .223 is Johnny's Reloading Bench. He explains things really well and produces high quality video.

There's some great information on the internet about reloading, but just be selective.

If you don't have a friend who reloads, then consider taking a reloading class [I missed that you relaod pistol already, same principle but more work and detail in my opinion. Also, more difficult to double charge a case too].

I suscribe to starting with a Single stage press too. A Dillon or Hornandy AP press would be good after getting the basics down first.

Good Luck

Last edited by SkiDevil; 07-20-2018 at 1:38 AM.. Reason: Addition
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