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  #1  
Old 05-08-2011, 4:23 PM
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Default Questions about reloading .223 before I start

I have a Dillon 550B and have setups to load .45, .38, .40 and 9mm. So far all I've used are Xtreme plated bullets. I've heard you shouldn't load these plated bullets to velocities higher than about 1400 f/s, which is fine for all the handgun rounds I load.

Yesterday while shooting my Mini-14 at about .40 cents a round for the factory ammo I have, I had the strong urge to start reloading .223 so I can shoot without guilt or remorse. So I was wondering:

1) Since .223 travels at over 3000 f/s, is it safe to use plated bullets for .223 loads? I see that Xtreme bullets does manufacture .223 bullets.

2) How is loading for rifle different than handgun as far as extra equipment needed? Do I need to lube the cases for rifle even if using Dillon carbide dies? Is case stretching for .223 common or can you load them several times before the cases stretch and need to be trimmed etc.?

3) Is a case trimmer necessary equipment to go along with loading .223?

I've jumped right into reloading for pistol calibers and haven't had a problem, but have hesitated about reloading .223 because it seems like there may be more steps involved to reload good ammo. I'd appreciate answers to my questions from those who know so I can learn more and feel comfortable about starting to load .223. Thanks
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Old 05-08-2011, 4:40 PM
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necked cartridges= calipers and trimmer yes... check out the possum hollow for $35+- in a small drill press..

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=249854
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Old 05-08-2011, 5:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg30 View Post
2) How is loading for rifle different than handgun as far as extra equipment needed? Do I need to lube the cases for rifle even if using Dillon carbide dies? Is case stretching for .223 common or can you load them several times before the cases stretch and need to be trimmed etc.?
With bottleneck cartridges, the shoulder should be "set back" or "bumped" (002"-.004" (generally speaking, less for a bolt-gun more for an autoloader). Meaning you take a measurement of a fired case and want to size it so that it is that .002-.004" smaller after sizing. You'll need a comparator to use with your calipers to measure set-back to set up your sizing die. You can use a RCBS Precision Mic but they're $50 -
the Hornady Comparators and Comparator Body (part that attaches to caliper) are much less and easy to use.
Second item, for $36.06: http://www.sinclairintl.com/.aspx/pi...ace_Gauge_Tool

Cases will stretch, the Possum Hollow trimmer is inexpensive and indexes off the shoulder datum point, not off of the casehead, very nice. Get the LE Wilson powertool adapter for it, chuck it into a drill and go, the adapter will also hold a chamfering tool.

Try Imperial Sizing Wax for sizing.

Given the post-sizing case-prep rifle cases sometimes receive (trimming/chamfering/primerpocket cleanup), I'm sure some Dillon users will weigh in on their methods/process.
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Old 05-08-2011, 5:55 PM
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+1 for imperial sizing wax, a lil jar you can do 5000+ cases
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They don't believe it's possible, but then Alison didn't believe there'd be 350K - 400K OLLs in CA either.
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Old 05-08-2011, 6:20 PM
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Extreme's .223 bullets are jacketed.
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Old 05-08-2011, 9:28 PM
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Are you talking about the ones from Carson City, NV in a box that says 223-55gr.FMJ M-193 QTY 500 on the side?
They are full metal jacket with an exposed base and shoot just fine at 3050+fps out of my AR.
I load them with 25g h335 and love 'em. I seat them to the cannelure with no crimp and they work great.

#2. Full length resize them every time for your Mini-14 and always use a case lube. A uniform thin coat of whatever lube you use is much better than a spotty thick coat. .223's easily get stuck in the die if the small edge of the rim slips out of the shellplate.

With my AR, I can go many firings without case trimming. YMMV with your mini, but keep your calipers handy and check your cases after each resize.

Case prep is a good idea with rifle cartridges. That includes tumble, deprime, measure/trim. Then you can put the prepped cases through your 550 to prime, charge and seat (and crimp if you insist).
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:04 AM
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I use lee dies and case trimmers chucked to my drill, works just fine. You can also get the possum hollow if your doing hundreds or thousands of cases.
Key is case prep and be consistent, you'll be surprised how accurate your mini could get. With my set up I can get 1 MOA out of my mini @ 100 yds with 52 and 53gr HPBT on top of 25gr of H335.

Good Luck and safe loading.
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Old 05-09-2011, 6:12 PM
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Thanks for the responses guys. So now I need to start looking at some extra equipment to reload .223 the right way. This will be the next step in my reloading adventure. One thing is sure: I'd never go back to factory loads after reloading. This was the first time I have shot factory ammo since I started reloading and also the first time I've felt sick about the amount of money blown away from shooting factory instead of reloading my own.

The Xtreme .223 bullets I was talking about are the ones from Carson City, NV. I've only used their pistol bullets which are plated so it's good to hear the .223's are jacketed because I've had good results with their bullets and prices so far.
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Old 05-09-2011, 6:29 PM
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Quote:
I've heard you shouldn't load these plated bullets to velocities higher than about 1400 f/s
maybe for hunting since FMJ bullets retain their shape better than others and may go through the animal. for target practice, the rate which a bullet expands on impact is not as relevant. Other than that, i don't see why FMJs be unsafe.
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Old 05-10-2011, 3:20 AM
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Click on the RELOADING. 223 VIDEO below my signature.

It may help answer some of your questions. It is not the only way to skin a cat...but the way I chose to do so.

In Christ: Raymond
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mnguyen84 View Post
maybe for hunting since FMJ bullets retain their shape better than others and may go through the animal. for target practice, the rate which a bullet expands on impact is not as relevant. Other than that, i don't see why FMJs be unsafe.
I think it has more to do with the plating seperating from the core rather than any hunting considerations.
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Old 05-10-2011, 9:49 PM
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My guess is that the Mini14 is going to be pretty hard on brass. You will have to resize and probably trim for each loading, and don't try to get too many loadings before you toss the brass. Use a bent paper clip to run inside the case to see if you have thinning at the base (indicative of imminent case head separation, which can be really exciting, in a bad way).

You also may want to consider getting a small base resizing die. They size all the way down, conventional sizing dies don't resize all the way to the base. I personally think spending extra for carbide bottleneck dies is a waste of money; you still have to lube and the carbide pretty much just makes the die last longer. If you clean your cases first, and keep your dies clean, you won't wear them out in this lifetime.

Loading for gas guns is more complicated than loading for bolt guns. The Mini14 is not known for its accuracy, so your ammo doesn't need to be to match specs, but you may want to read some of Glen Zediker's articles on loading for the M14 (http://www.zediker.com/downloads/m14.html), there might be some good tips for you there.
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