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Old 10-07-2011, 03:00 PM   #11
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For those of you that reload 5.56, I have not found a 5.56 bullet for reloading. So do you reload 5.56 brass with .223 bullet within the .223 charge range or .223 bullet with 5.56 charge?

These may seem like elementary questions, I'm just a newbee trying to learn.
.224 bullet

What powder are you looking to use?
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:25 PM   #12
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Shade,

I have no idea. Just getting into researching. My plan is to take advice of much more knowledgable and experienced reloaders and experiment with what works best for my rifles. I plan to reload both plinking and match rounds, both for the same rifle until I can build another rifle and have dedicated plinking and match rifles.

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Old 10-07-2011, 06:00 PM   #13
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The 5.56mm metric is the same and uses a .224 caliber bullet that you can buy anywhere reloading supplies are sold.

Winchester W748, Hogdon H335 and H4895 have been excellent powders that I've had very good luck reloading 5.56/.223 with. I've heard people also say that BLC-2 is real good too.

ETA: You'll be hard pressed to find anyone who has reloading data on 5.56mm NATO. The answer is you need to forget about 5.56 and reload using .223 Remington loading data. It'll be plenty hot enough for you if that's what you want, but that won't always yield the best accuracy.

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Old 10-07-2011, 09:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Shade View Post
The SAMMI specifications for .223 Remington outside dimensions and the
MIL-SPEC outside dimensions for 5.56 NATO are the same; within the same
manufacturing tolerances. The difference when reloading this round is that
5.56 NATO specification rounds allow for a thicker case wall so the ammunition can handle more storage abuse than civilian ammuntion. The
thicker case wall makes for a smaller volume in the case and as a result higher case pressures.

The same is true for .308 Winchester vs. 7.62 NATO.
I used to believe this, but was challenged on it.

I weighed 10 piece samples from a variety of commercial .223 cases and numerous different mil spec 5.56 cases. There is no reason to believe this is true. IIRC, R-P brass was the thinnest (lightest) and Winchester Commercial was the heaviest. WCC, TW, and LC brass were "middle of the road"

Generally speaking, 7.62 X 51 (NATO) brass is decidedly thicker (heavier) than .308 commercial brass.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:15 AM   #15
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I have found that 5.56 compared w/ .223, the difference really lyes w/ the legnth of the case neck. If you don't own a 5.56, Wylde, or CIP chambered rifle, don't shoot surplus or 5.56 spec ammo. My CZ 527 Varminter has a CIP chamber. I can interchange between 5.56 surplus, commercail cartridges, or reloads and see no major difference. My Bushmaster DCM was a different story.

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Old 10-08-2011, 12:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post
I used to believe this, but was challenged on it.

I weighed 10 piece samples from a variety of commercial .223 cases and numerous different mil spec 5.56 cases. There is no reason to believe this is true. IIRC, R-P brass was the thinnest (lightest) and Winchester Commercial was the heaviest. WCC, TW, and LC brass were "middle of the road"

Generally speaking, 7.62 X 51 (NATO) brass is decidedly thicker (heavier) than .308 commercial brass.
At my previous job, I have supplied drawing lubricants to the Ammunition
plants in Lake City, Anoka and Lonoke. I shared the Lonoke and Lake City
plants with another gentleman, he was also an avid pistol shooter.

Both of us had long talks with the engineers at all the plants. Several
conversations were around the 5.56 NATO vs. .223 Remington. Long story
short the manufacturing tolerances, especially on case wall are wide enough
on both sets of specs and overlap 80-90 of their ranges that it is very
possible that you will find Lake City brass to be lighter that commerical brass.

You also have to keep in mind that most of the presses in use today at all of
the above plants are from the early forties. The tooling is obviously not the
same. But the presses are the same.

All the brass comes from the same plant Olin Brass.
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:03 PM   #17
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It's a myth that US military 5.56mm cases are thicker than .223 commercial cases. i've been weighing the cases for my accuracy loads since about 1968. The thickest US made cases are .223 Federal Gold Match and .223 Federal American Eagle. The thickest cases of all are Lapua. Some Brit military 5.56mm cases are very thick.

http://ar15barrels.com/data/223weights.xls

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Old 10-08-2011, 06:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockhouse View Post
Shade,

I have no idea. Just getting into researching. My plan is to take advice of much more knowledgable and experienced reloaders and experiment with what works best for my rifles. I plan to reload both plinking and match rounds, both for the same rifle until I can build another rifle and have dedicated plinking and match rifles.
You are doing the right thing, finding out as much about your endeavor before wasting money and time, getting it right the first time.

Load them both the exact same when you start. Same brass, powder, primers, bullets, to the same specs. Use the loading data and trim lengths and overall load lengths as listed in your reloading manual.
As you begin working your loads, experiment with different powders and bullets. Always follow the loading data in that book. NO THERE IS NOT a separate listing for 5.56 round in most loading books.
As you progress and begin to learn what to look out for in performance and pressure signs, you will better be able to increase your loading pressures, powder charges, for your weapon into the realm of the normal 5.56 loads. But only if your weapon is marked as being a 5.56 chambering.
Things to remember:
A) Always full length size new or new to you brass (unless being fired only in one bolt action rifle, always full length size.) Trim to length also. This is a good thing to do each loading.
B) Always begin with the suggested starting loading. Only move up after you have determined it to be safe.
C) Sort your brass. Thicker, heaver brass is made by different manufacturers. These differences can and will make pressure differences in your loads.
D) The change of components will make a difference in pressures.
E) Consistency is the rule for safety and accuracy.
F) Unless you have access to a Crono, you will be hard pressed to tell a book spec 223 loading from a 5.56 loading. Unless you have a true need and have learned where the safe limits are, high velocity loads are not worth the time.
G) Load to find that special loading that meets your needs with your weapon. A combination of function, accuracy, energy and cost is your true goal.

Loading is fun, produces better ammunition, tailors that ammunition for your weapon and gives you a better understanding of your weapon and its loading capabilities. Loading will not save you money. It becomes addictive and you will only want to shoot more and more.

All ways error on the side of safety.

Enjoy,

OSOK
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Loading will not save you money. It becomes addictive and you will only want to shoot more and more.
LOL!! I keep reading that.

Rockhouse, nice thread man. You beat me to it. I am also just starting out. I have had 99% of the reloading gear for about 13 years and never used it. It was a case of....... "oh you may as well take this stuff also if you want it" ...... when I bought a handgun from someone in the family. It's an older RCBS RockChucker and has been packed away in a crate up at my storage unit.

No More!

I was going to ask similar questions so I hope you do not mind if, rather than start a new thread, I ask here?

1.Is it a good idea to only use spent 5.56 brass for either .223 and 5.56 reloads?

2. If using .223 spent brass is okay to reload with, is Remington UMC brass any good? (for .223 loads of course)

3. What is the best way to mark your brass so you know how many times it has been reloaded? Considering that when sweeping up brass at the range, there will be some cross contamination with other shooters brass and you may not know who's is who's.

4. Is there a good article, book, PDF etc out there that concentrates purely on reloading the .223/5.56 cartridge?

(I know that all the reloading folks have nice fat reloading manuals and I do intend to get one or more.)


Again, hope you don't mind me asking here Rockhouse?
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:56 PM   #20
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The thread is for reloading, not me. You've asked some questions I haven't thought of. I guess we'll figure this out together.

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