Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

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lsj74
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Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#1 Post by lsj74 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:40 pm

I'm starting to reload for my AR for the first time and I have a few questions.
1. Can I load cases from 223 round like a 5.56 or are they made different?
2. Do I measure and trim the cases before or after I size them?
3. What beginners mistakes should I avoid?
My rifle is chambered in 223 Wylde and I'm using RCBS small base AR dies.

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Marlene
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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#2 Post by Marlene » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:05 pm

1. yep, but the same powder charge in different brass can make pretty different pressures, this is especially true of the difference between military and commercial cases. I'd sort by headstamp and weigh a few samples of each to see how different from each other they are (heavier brass is thicker and therefore smaller case volume and higher pressures)
2. after
3. not asking questions?
your dies should keep you well out of trouble
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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#3 Post by lsj74 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:24 pm

Most of the brass I have is from American eagle ammo I bought so it should be all the same.
Bottleneck cartridges make me nervous. This seems like a whole different ballgame than pistol rounds.

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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#4 Post by Marlene » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:46 pm

It's not that different.

DON'T FORGET TO LUBE YOUR CASES!
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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#5 Post by lsj74 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:11 am

I got a can of One Shot that works good and I have lube pad and lube that I didn't even open yet.
I'm thinking I need a better trimmer. I have the Lee manual trimmer with wooden ball and it's a pain in the ass.

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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#6 Post by Marlene » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:28 am

Pull the cutter out of the wooden ball and stick it in a drill
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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#7 Post by Marlene » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:28 am

Or put the case holder in the drill
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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#8 Post by beaurrr » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:44 am

Marlene hit it.

Also, I dont crimp my rifle stuff because it introduces another variable into the finished product.
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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#9 Post by lsj74 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:19 am

I have been having a helluva time getting the crimp right so if it's not needed then I'm not going to worry about it.
I got length set almost dead on at 2.23.

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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#10 Post by Marlene » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:04 am

Generally, if you don’t HAVE to crimp, don’t.
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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#11 Post by shinzen » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:30 am

Marlene nailed it. As you start to reload more and run into different (military) rounds, crimped primer pockets will be something that pops up. Easy to fix, but something that will drive you crazy if you don't think about it.

With One Shot lube, be sure to shake the hell out of the can. The one and only stuck case I've ever had was because of that stuff- I hadn't mixed it enough and managed to stick a case in my RCBS small base die early on in the process.
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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#12 Post by eelj » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:32 am

When using lanolin based case lube which is very superior to the old petroleum based crap you will need to clean and put a thin film of oil on the internals of your dies. Lanolin and alcohol lubes are water based and will cause rust if stored for a while after use. I think the biggest mistake that a beginning reloader makes is being impatient and strive for max velocity. Work your way up slowly and if you find a load that is very accurate but in just the mid range between starter and max load up around 50-100 rounds and check for consistency, it may be the load of your dreams and who cares what it does to ballistic gelatin. For case trimmers I'm partial to the hand cranks, Le Wilson are considered by many to be the best, I get by with my Forster just fine and it is easily converted to drill use by replacing the handle with a nut and a socket set on my drill. If you find a lot of crimped primer pockets start a thread about it before you buy a crimp remover.

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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#13 Post by lsj74 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:38 pm

I have one of those hand help crimp remover that bevels the edge of the primer pocket. I have used it on some pistol brass just to see of it works and it seems to do fine.

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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#14 Post by eelj » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:19 pm

lsj74 wrote:I have one of those hand help crimp remover that bevels the edge of the primer pocket. I have used it on some pistol brass just to see of it works and it seems to do fine.
If your happy with it good for you. You might not be quite so happy if someone offers you a large bucket of lake city brass that needs the crimps removed. Good luck be safe and have fun.

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Re: Reloading 5.56 for the first time.

#15 Post by AndyH » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:27 am

I started with .223 and a tube of Lee's case lube that I rubbed on by hand. Aside from being really slow, I had plenty of dents around the shoulder from too much lube. All of that went away when I started to put a small dab of the lube in a plastic food storage box and shake the brass around in the box. Good, consistent lube application and no more dents.

Fast forward to skip the comparisons. https://youtu.be/XbGEwqwtKdE?t=30m55s
eelj wrote:When using lanolin based case lube which is very superior to the old petroleum based crap you will need to clean and put a thin film of oil on the internals of your dies. Lanolin and alcohol lubes are water based and will cause rust if stored for a while after use.
Thanks for this reminder! (I've got to clean my resizing dies...)
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