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Old 11-06-2019, 7:58 PM is offline
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Default First time riffle loading--223

I hope I don't regret asking this question as there are a whole lot of egos here but here I go. I have been loading straight walled pistol cartridges for 3 years----a little over 80K of them----I've shot about half of those. I've been rather successful with little to know problems. Guess I had a good teacher. Quick start on a rock chucker then right to a 650 and now a 750---and I love the 750. I did a run of 50 pieces of 308 on the RCBS but had riffle problems so never fired those. Here's where I start asking questions----I want to start loading 223. I have asked many questions from people and read several articles. I had one person state---lube, toss in the 650 and go---no trimming just roll with it. I've seen others with two tools heads, one for sizing and trimming and the other for loading. I've seen people get very down into the weeds hundred thousands of an inch for case length. Where is the happy medium? I'm not a clover leaf shooter. I punch holes in paper and shoot steel. Its a fare statement that 223 is easier than larger riffle loads? Is it a fare statement that progressives are made for throw it in the hopper and lets roll? Where's the sweet spot here without turning it into a 7 day project to load 100 rounds. Looking for advice not criticism----too much of that on here at times. Thanks
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Old 11-06-2019, 8:22 PM
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Dooder Dooder is offline
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In my experience, for blaster 223 loads, it takes some time for the initial reload. Take the time and do all the pita work of swaging or cutting out the primer crimp, trimming - doing the whole process and that brass will be good for a few loadings before needing to trim again. I find that works fine for blaster loads. Actually most of all that ae223, xm193, wolf gold stuff doesn't need a trim for a couple loadings. Thats why there's a min and max length. Just a majority of folks feel that any more than min needs to be trimmed.

IMO loading blaster 223 isn't worth it anymore. Buying a case of ammo to blast and then selling the brass comes really close to the cost of loading and the difference of 2 cents isn't worth my time to process and load, seek components and what not. Specific stuff yes have to load it but not for blaster ammo.

I think larger rifle cartridges are easier to load...or maybe I just have more fun loading them haaha. Hope thay was helpful. Stay safe.

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Last edited by Dooder; 11-06-2019 at 8:31 PM..
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Old 11-06-2019, 8:58 PM
JackEllis JackEllis is offline
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There are two safety issues to be concerned with. First, the cases length should not exceed the maximum, which IIRC is 1.75 inches. Second, you don't want to bump the shoulder back too far in order to avoid a case head separation. For blaster ammo you don't need to trim to a consistent length and I'd argue that for distances under about 300 yards its not going to make enough difference to worry about.

Like Dooder says, once you trim to min length you shouldn't have to worry about trimming again for a couple of reloads.

Speaking from painful experience, I suggest you make sure a few randomly selected, empty (no primer, no charge, no bullet) cases will chamber in your rifle before you start loading them, especially if you buy cases that are advertised as ready to load. I bought some .243 brass from a reputable firm that sells used brass and it turned out I needed to size all of it before I could load it. My fault, not theirs.
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Old 11-06-2019, 9:00 PM
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3006 3006 is offline
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Not worth reloading unless you need lead free or want better accuracy.
It is easier to reload then say a 3006 as it takes less force .
But most of the time you need to ream the primer pockets out the first time as pointed out above a extra step that takes a few seconds for each case I do will watching TV.
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Old 11-06-2019, 9:25 PM
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bohoki bohoki is offline
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i reload using the cheapest bullets 8 cents or so each and win 748 or tac and my powder load comes out to be about 13 cents primer is what about 3 cents so i am busting my butt to make ammo for about the same price as you could buy wolf

but sometimes wolf was failing to eject untill i clean the chamber my reloads have yet to fail me i am only shooting random cans and other range garbage

i started out reloading 45 acp and then 30 carbine when it got to expensive

223 and 308 which are about the same process but 308 costs double the bullet costs twice as much and it uses double the powder

the act of trimming and deburring adds more labor
lubing the cases then cleaning the lube is also another step

its worth it to me

i use the possum hollow trimmer its adequatly consistant for my use
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Old 11-07-2019, 5:10 AM
koehn,jim koehn,jim is offline
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I lube and size the brass than tumble to get the lube off. Than I mike the cases for length and trim if needed. Than I throw them in the hopper and load, than check the rounds with a case gauge to assure that they will chamber. I don't worry about the cost as much, I enjoy the loading and having match grade ammo that works every time. Same procedure for all my rifles.
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Old 11-07-2019, 6:59 AM
scotty99 scotty99 is offline
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I’m not going to argue costs. Maybe it doesn’t make economic sense to reload .223, but if you want to do it efficiently on a progressive, here’s my procedure.

Buy a Lyman case length gauge:

At your leisure, maybe sitting in front of the TV, use it to check lengths on your brass. You can do hundreds during a football game. Set aside the ones that are significantly too long (you will have to determine what that means with your barrel). Set aside also anything with a crimped primer.

Using the brass that was neither excessively long or crimped, spray with a light coat of Hornady One Shot lube, and load on the progressive. Take the finished rounds, 50 or 100 at a time, and place them into an old pillow case. Roll them around gently between your hands or on the ground to wipe the lube off.

Once you build up a decent quantity of really long and/or crimped brass, you can decide if you want to trim, swage, or just discard.

I have found it is not at all difficult to source .223 brass that is not crimped, and have found that most commercial AR barrels are very forgiving on case neck length.

If you want to make some “precision” .223, just do it on the single stage as you would other precision rifle ammo.

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Old 11-07-2019, 7:47 AM
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Red9 Red9 is offline
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I find if all the brass is trimmed to the same length, it's just easier overall. My OCD won't let me not trim the brass.
I run two heads on my 550. Prep and one for reload. I wet tumbler to get the dirt off. Lube, resize, trim, then decrimp the pockets.
Nice wet tumble with pins to get the lube off.
And I run a light crimp on most of my auto loader ammo.

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Old 11-07-2019, 5:04 PM is offline
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Thanks everyone for the positive inputs! I have some good starting points. Thinking about decap and size on the RCBS, I like the suggestion to clean the lube with a pillow case---thanks on that. I do have a Rockford Arsenal trimmer that I bought to do the 308. Think I will use that for quick trim then its straight to the 750 and let er rip! 223 is like 9mm---lucky to break even but as mentioned above its a hobby and they are my own rounds. Thanks everyone!! Off to get a RCBS sizing die.
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