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  #1  
Old 02-25-2014, 9:08 AM
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Default First time Reloading 5.56/2.23

Hello ive been reloading for a while now but only .45 acp and 44 special, i recently purchased my first ar and now im looking into reloading for that also. It is chambered in 5.56. Ive successfully loaded a few thousand rounds of pistol ammo and just want to get an idea of reloading rifle rounds in terms of the case prep and if anyone has any recommendations on powders they like to use. Just a quick overview or a link to a good video. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2014, 9:16 AM
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I just started myself with 223 and done a lot of research on the process I use. Like you, I have loaded a few thousand of pistol but no rifle.

decap (universal decappper)
clean primer pockets
tumble for 2 hours
swage
lube
size (leave decapping pin installed)
trim
tumble for an hour
LOAD

I haven't had any issues with this process but I only done 100 of 223.

Last edited by MR_X; 03-08-2014 at 7:03 PM..
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2014, 9:22 AM
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this is probably one of the better videos I saw, at least for me anyway on how to reload on a single stage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXYCHd75a6I

It's long, but I recommend people starting on single stages, regardless of what the progressive loaders say. Its like learning to use a calculator before not knowing how to multiply on paper and doing long division....

hope this helps. another recommendation...start acquiring powders NOW. Go on gunbot.net and look for powders and get it when it shows up.

I would recommend H335, Ar-Comp, Tac, Benchmark, W748, CFE223, and 8208XBR.

This video only shows you how to reload. There is obviously a method to getting precision reloads if you so choose to go this route versus "blasting" ammo which is load to a safe charge weight and take it to the range and blast away. For most of us, the OCW method works well. Here is a link to probably the best reloading OCW process:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hzcxytpKWU

Good luck! If you have any other questions, you can ask here or PM me. I load both precision and blasting ammo
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Old 02-25-2014, 9:26 AM
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I've only recently started loading .223, but here's my brass prep process so far:

Decap with Universal Decapper (no sizing)
Wet tumble with SS pins
Stick shells in a loading block and spray lube, turn blocks aorund, and spray lube again
Resize
Sort cases for trimming/no trimming
Chuck shell into a cordless drill
While spinning, wipe off lube from outside with a paper towel and from inside neck (so powder doesn't stick) with a q-tip
If necessary, trim/deburr
Remove shell from drill
If reloading case for the first time, chamfer primer pocket (I do this even with non-crimped primers, just because)

This takes freaking forever. I need to be doing something else (watching TV, listening to podcasts, etc.) in order to tolerate it.

I'd appreciate any feedback from the experienced guys about ways to make this more efficient.

Last edited by reckoner; 02-25-2014 at 9:31 AM..
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  #5  
Old 02-25-2014, 9:28 AM
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My process... I have 4K of 223 and 1K of 300 Blackout.

1.) Tumble
2.) Resize / Decap (I can't imagine why you would want to do this separately)
3.) Swage (Dillon Super Swage 600 is the only way to go)
4.) Measure Cases (Anything above 1.750 gets trimmed, anything less pass)
5.) Trim, Derbur / Chamfer
7.) Tumble in fine corn cob (Doesn't get stuck in primer pockets)
8.) Prime
9.) Load some boolits! I don't crimp. I like BL-(C)2 because it meters perfect.

I may get flamed for this, but I use a very light mist of WD-40 over my batch of brass to resize and hand mix. Works perfect, never had a stuck case, and a very light film comes off with corncob.

Last edited by bigdawg86; 02-25-2014 at 9:33 AM..
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  #6  
Old 02-25-2014, 9:29 AM
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Case prep will take most of your time, especially if you're doing it all by hand. A case prep station can be had for about $100-$130 and it helps cut the processing time down. Lots of usable powders, just have to find out what your gun likes. My gun hates 55gr bullets on top of H335 powder. Refuses to shoot under 1 MOA with that combination. Other powders it has no problems. But I'm still trying to find the sweet spot. Plus H335 meters HORRIBLY on a Hornady auto dispenser....well at least on mine it does.
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  #7  
Old 02-25-2014, 9:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdawg86 View Post
My process... I have 4K of 223 and 1K of 300 Blackout.

1.) Tumble
2.) Resize / Decap (I can't imagine why you would want to do this separately)
3.) Swage (Dillon Super Swage 600 is the only way to go)
4.) Measure Cases (Anything above 1.750 gets trimmed, anything less pass)
5.) Trim, Derbur / Chamfer
7.) Tumble in fine corn cob (Doesn't get stuck in primer pockets)
8.) Prime
9.) Load some boolits! I don't crimp. I like BL-(C)2 because it meters perfect.

I may get flamed for this, but I use a very light mist of WD-40 over my batch of brass to resize and hand mix. Works perfect, never had a stuck case, and a very light film comes off with corncob.
Not flamming on this. Seen people use motor oil. I'm currently using Hornady case lube and I hate it. Been thinking going with the home made stuff but did think about WD-40. Might give it a try.
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Old 02-25-2014, 9:46 AM
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im reloading on a dillon 550b so the order might be a bit different if anyone has any experience with that and reloading 223, can you trim the case length before resizing? you must trim every case? just trying to get some more insight.
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Old 02-25-2014, 9:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 350skylark View Post
im reloading on a dillon 550b so the order might be a bit different if anyone has any experience with that and reloading 223, can you trim the case length before resizing? you must trim every case? just trying to get some more insight.
i recommend not to trim before resizing. the act of resizing is what stretches the neck out, so its pointless to do it before.

i recommend a case gauge to sort the ones you need to trim over what does not. for me, i make note of what brass is new/once fired and ones that i have already resized and trimmed myself. it takes some time and organization, but in the end, it save me time. Below is the gauge I use for .223.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/456...-223-remington
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  #10  
Old 02-25-2014, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MR_X View Post
Not flamming on this. Seen people use motor oil. I'm currently using Hornady case lube and I hate it. Been thinking going with the home made stuff but did think about WD-40. Might give it a try.
I've actually used cutting oil (for drill bits etc) & it worked REALLY good. Just put it on a rubber glove & rub your hand together to get it all over the glove. Every time you pick up a piece of brass it gets enough lube from the glove.
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2014, 11:50 AM
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I've been doing .223 since last year...

If processing brass that has not been reloaded before:

-Tumble in walnut shell media. Sift and blow well with compressed air.
-About 100 brass in large ziplock bag. Quick spray with Costco canola oil non-stick cooking spray. Seal bag and shake well.
-Wipe off neck, and into single stage decap/resize. Never had a stuck case with spray!
-Trim and hand prime.
-Load powder, then seat boolit (no crimp).
-Back into tumbler for about 45 minutes.
Nice and shiny. Zero failures.

Just keep it simple!
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  #12  
Old 02-25-2014, 3:29 PM
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Lol I'm guessing a lot of people don't use case lube. Just read about some one using hand lotion.
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  #13  
Old 02-25-2014, 3:44 PM
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Default First time Reloading 5.56/2.23

-tumble
-resize, deprime
-tumble for an hour, use compressor and air pistol to clean the heck out of the brass, using a respirator and gloves is a must.
-trim
-chamfer, debur
-remove military crimp, clean pockets
-prime
-load
-shoot

I used generic lubricants like tri-flo which works very well. I recently bought some unique case lube after buying a set of small base dies and getting a bunch stuck, figured I should try something new.

The most important thing to do while reloading is case inspection at every step if you have the patience. One bit of complacency could cost you a rifle. Make a procedure and rigidly stick to it, add and modify if needed.

Also educate yourself on the signs of over pressure.

Last edited by rcschummers; 02-25-2014 at 4:02 PM..
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  #14  
Old 02-25-2014, 4:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MR_X View Post
Lol I'm guessing a lot of people don't use case lube. Just read about some one using hand lotion.
Use case lube, just got two casings stuck in the sizing die last week and it's a b**ch getting them out.

1) tumble
2) lube casings
3) size & deprime
4) wipe lube off
5) measure case length
a) trim if to long
b) debur
6) swag pocket
7) clean primer pockets (optional)
8) prime
9) add charge
10) seat bullet
11) run through Lee FCD
12) test with case gauge

Long process, but ammo is more comparable to $1 per round match ammo than cheap $0.40 a round ammo.
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  #15  
Old 02-25-2014, 5:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdawg86 View Post
My process... I have 4K of 223 and 1K of 300 Blackout.

1.) Tumble
2.) Resize / Decap (I can't imagine why you would want to do this separately)
3.) Swage (Dillon Super Swage 600 is the only way to go)
4.) Measure Cases (Anything above 1.750 gets trimmed, anything less pass)
5.) Trim, Derbur / Chamfer
7.) Tumble in fine corn cob (Doesn't get stuck in primer pockets)
8.) Prime
9.) Load some boolits! I don't crimp. I like BL-(C)2 because it meters perfect.

I may get flamed for this, but I use a very light mist of WD-40 over my batch of brass to resize and hand mix. Works perfect, never had a stuck case, and a very light film comes off with corncob.



This sept no wd, Dillon lube not sure why u would tumble resize deprime then tumble again ...and really not sure I would tumble live rounds... yikes

Last edited by Gardian; 02-25-2014 at 5:46 PM..
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Old 02-25-2014, 6:05 PM
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Just like others have said, prepping brass is going take longer than you think. Loading rifle will make loading pistol like child's play.
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  #17  
Old 02-25-2014, 6:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MR_X View Post
Not flamming on this. Seen people use motor oil. I'm currently using Hornady case lube and I hate it. Been thinking going with the home made stuff but did think about WD-40. Might give it a try.
I'd use Crisco or 1000 other things before I tried Water Displacement 40. It was never formulated or intended to be used as a lube and really isn't a great one. Butter flavored Crisco does work as well as Imperial sizing wax though and makes your shots smell like popcorn.
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Old 02-25-2014, 6:26 PM
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Lots of good advise already, but here's my relatively newb case prep process:

0) Nope, I don't clean them first. I've found no need, especially because...

1) I stick shells in a loading block, and take this opportunity to wipe them off with a paper towel if gritty (almost never a problem if you catch your brass before it hits the ground), and inspect them for any other issues. This is where I decide if a case is still usable, if I'm seeing any signs of headspace issues, overpressures, etc.

2) I then spray the cases from all four sides of the block, up at a 45deg angle so some gets in the neck. I use and really like Hornady's One Shot case lube. Not cheap but it works great, especially with "dirty" cases.

3) Decap/full length resize (always full length resize if shooting in a semi auto)

4) If not already done, decrimp. I either swage or cut it out depending on my mood. Both work.

5) Trim/deburr/chamfer in one step using an RCBS Trim Pro + 3-Way Cutter + chucked up power drill.

6) Optional and rarely: anneal them. Check out the Anneal Rite for a great (and relatively cheap!) at-home option

7) Wet tumble for 90-120mins with ss pins, dawn soap and a pinch of LemiShine. Love those clean primer pockets!

8) Separate cases from the media, rinse off and dry using a heat gun and time (left out overnight on the counter) (I would use an oven if I had one at my shop).

9) Store in an airtight container with the correct amount of desiccant for a rainy day.

Hope that helps and please feel free to fire away with any questions.
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Last edited by BigJ; 02-25-2014 at 6:59 PM..
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Old 02-25-2014, 7:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 350skylark View Post
Hello ive been reloading for a while now but only .45 acp and 44 special, i recently purchased my first ar and now im looking into reloading for that also. It is chambered in 5.56. Ive successfully loaded a few thousand rounds of pistol ammo and just want to get an idea of reloading rifle rounds in terms of the case prep and if anyone has any recommendations on powders they like to use. Just a quick overview or a link to a good video. Thanks!
Just about any you can find at this point, I have used Varget H322 H355 and IMR 4198 (meters like crap) 8208xbr Reloader 7 and Reloader 10. and there are others just check out http://www.imrpowder.com/basic-manual-inquiry.html it will give you a good idea of the powders you can use.
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Old 02-25-2014, 7:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 350skylark View Post
im reloading on a dillon 550b so the order might be a bit different if anyone has any experience with that and reloading 223, can you trim the case length before resizing? you must trim every case? just trying to get some more insight.
If you are going to do it all on a 550, I would use this method.
  1. Tumble
  2. Lube cases
  3. Full Length resize/deprime
  4. Trim to 1.750
  5. Chamfer/deburr
  6. Swage or ream out military primer crimp
  7. Tumble to remove case lube
  8. Prime
  9. Charge
  10. Seat bullet

Do everything in big batches on different days. It will save our fingers some ache.
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  #21  
Old 02-25-2014, 8:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlliedArmory View Post
If you are going to do it all on a 550, I would use this method.



Do everything in big batches on different days. It will save our fingers some ache.
best advice ever. Dont think you're going to run into the garage and pump out a couple 100 like that. You'll get mad the process takes awhile, rush and screw up.

Rifle reloading for 223/556 is a batch job. If you have a casefeeder it will help. I deprime and then wet tumble which adds a step. I'll do a few hundred of each step here and there. Hand prime a couple hundred and store them in a zip lock in an ammo can.

Trimming and primer pocket reaming is the worst. Touching brass cases 3-4 times really pisses me off BUT its a hobby. Turn the radio one and put in an hour here and there, always have some brass ready to load so you dont rush and have to do every step at once.
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Old 02-25-2014, 9:03 PM
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I load my .223 as follows:

dry tumble
lube with hornady one shot
resize/deprime
trim (waiting on giraud trimmer head to speed that process up)
prime
charge
seat (and crimp)
tumble for 15 minutes to remove any oils and residue from hands.
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  #23  
Old 02-26-2014, 5:20 AM
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Definitely get/use a small base die, you will thank us later.
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