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Old 06-09-2013, 07:47 AM   #1
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Default Need basic reloading help

I'm getting close to being able to reload my first rounds. After reading through my reloading handbook (lymens 49th) I feel confident and comfortable enough to start. However I have some VERY basic questions that may be on the stupid side but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I am only reloading 223 right now so all questions are for that caliber.

1: in the manual all the loads they have call for a Remington case, am I limited to only using that case or will any brass case in the same caliber work, assuming it has been trimmed, ect. And will a 556 case work for 223. To my understanding the case itself isn't any different.

2: do I need to use a primer that is the same brand as the case I'm using or are they cross compatible.

3: in the Manual for 55 grain loads they call for a 55 grain Sierra jacketed SPT. Can I use any 55 grain bullet, even if it is not a soft point or do I have to use that bullet.

Still trying to figure everything out before I even try to start so thank you in advance for the help!

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Old 06-09-2013, 11:36 AM   #2
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1-Any 223 case that is reload-able, (not Blazer brand, etc. Not a steel casing, with a Berdan primer system, etc,) but made of brass and uses a Boxer primer system (1 flash hole in the center) like Winchester, Remington, PCM, Federal, etc, etc, will work. If your gun specifically says it can shoot both 223 and 5.56, then yes, you can use 5.56 also. And there is a difference in cases between the 2.

I would like more information on question number 2 before I give my opinion. Are you using a bolt rifle, or an autoloader?

3-generally any 55 grain 223 soft point, fmj, boat tail, etc, will work. If they are cast lead bullets, then there is a big difference. What that manual is telling you that is the CUP pressure and velocities, etc for that bullet, and they didn't test every bullet ever made by all the companies in that specific weight.

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Old 06-09-2013, 11:48 AM   #3
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for question number 2, until I here what you are reloading for.........

When I load for a bolt action rifle in 223 I use mostly CCI-400 primers.

When I load for a semi-auto it's usually a CCI #41 primer. According to CCI their #41 and #34 primers are magnum strength primers.

Note the CCI 400 and the Fed 200 have the thinnest cup. I do not use these in my AR's.

http://www.jamescalhoon.com/primers_and_pressure.php

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Old 06-09-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
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#1. No you are not limited to Remington cases, you can use any brand you wish as long as it id Boxer primed and brass.
Yes, the 5.56 case will work, there is no difference between the two except the 5.56 will most likely have a crimped primer. The crimp must be removed before seating a new primer.

#2. No, you do not have to use the same primer either, use whatever you have and can find as long as they are Small Rifle primers. There is one exception to this, That would be the Rem 6 1/2 primer. It is designed for low pressure rounds like the 22 Hornet and should not be used in the 223/5.56.

#3. It is perfectly safe and acceptable to use data of Same Weight and Similar Construction of different manufacturers and types. Similar construction would be Jacketed to jacketed, all copper to all copper and Lead to lead.

Start low and work up.

Don't forget to check all the great free On-Line load data available from the powder manufacturers.

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Old 06-09-2013, 02:01 PM   #5
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Every case has a different thickness. Thickness dictates internal volume which affects pressure. In my experience R-P cases are the thinnest, lightest cases. Any data developed for the R-P case must be reduced for other cases.

Once fired, cleaned, sized and trimmed, .223 brass is the same as 5.56 brass EXCEPT for thickness. 5.56 brass MAY be thicker than .223 While the ammo is different, there is no appreciable difference in the brass.

Segregate the brass by headstamp and work up a load for each brand. OR just keep you load on the mild side (about 1.5-2 gr UNDER max) and load them all with out regard to the name on the case or the maker of the bullet (as long as the bullets weigh the same)

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Old 06-09-2013, 03:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
.223 brass is the same as 5.56 brass EXCEPT for thickness. 5.56 brass MAY be thicker than .223
Most like not. In most instances 5.56 Military brass has more case capacity then 223 Rem brass.

Scroll down to "case weight vs capacity".

http://www.6mmbr.com/223rem.html

Here is what Sierra has to say about it.

The conventional wisdom to reduce loads with military brass is familiar to most reloaders and is generally good advice. The rationale here is that the military cases tend to be somewhat thicker and heavier than their civilian counterparts, which in turn reduces capacity and raises pressures. This additional pressure normally requires a one or two grain reduction from the loads shown in most manuals or other data developed with commercial cases. While this is most often the situation with both 308 Winchester and 30-06 cases, it is less true with the 223 brass. We have found that military cases often have significantly more capacity than several brands of commercial brass. Again, take the time to do a side-by-side comparison of the cases you are working with and adjust your load as needed. There may be no need for such a reduction with the 223. Know your components and keep them segregated accordingly.


Link

http://www.exteriorballistics.com/reloadbasics/gasgunreload.cfm
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:46 PM   #7
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And when they say start low and work up, Do not go lower than the manuel suggests. Start at their suggested low and work up. If you get too low in pressure, you could have the bullet stop down its path in the barrel, and then all that dangerous pressure would come back to you.

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Old 06-09-2013, 03:53 PM   #8
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Old 06-09-2013, 05:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noahlanier9 View Post
I'm getting close to being able to reload my first rounds. After reading through my reloading handbook (lymens 49th) I feel confident and comfortable enough to start. However I have some VERY basic questions that may be on the stupid side but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I am only reloading 223 right now so all questions are for that caliber.

1: in the manual all the loads they have call for a Remington case, am I limited to only using that case or will any brass case in the same caliber work, assuming it has been trimmed, ect. And will a 556 case work for 223. To my understanding the case itself isn't any different.
2: do I need to use a primer that is the same brand as the case I'm using or are they cross compatible.
3: in the Manual for 55 grain loads they call for a 55 grain Sierra jacketed SPT. Can I use any 55 grain bullet, even if it is not a soft point or do I have to use that bullet.
Still trying to figure everything out before I even try to start so thank you in advance for the help!
Rule one - deviation from published data is developing a new load. Start low and work up.
You can also help matters by downloadin as much possible data as possible for comparison. Start with the powder maker's data. I like my Lyman 49th Edition manual, but it is by no means the be-all, end-all for data.

1. There will be small case differences from brand to brand.
2. Matching primer brand and case brand is probably impossible after a point, as well as unnecessary. In a perfect world, using the primer recommended by your data would be ideal. But, with the world we are living in, you take what you can get. And of course, if you are deviating from established data, start low and work up. For instance, data uses CCI and all you can get are Winchester...
3. Yes....but, you want to be very cautious. Different shapes & brands of bullets go down a barrel differently. Resistance due to jacket thickness, bearing surface, variations in diameter and so forth. I try to find data for bullets that are similar to what I'm using. Exact may not always be possible, but get as close as possible. And of course...say it with me now: start low and work up.
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Last edited by Overkill0084; 06-09-2013 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 06-09-2013, 05:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
5.56 brass is likely to be a bit thicker, so pressures will rise faster.
Although this is true with 308 and 30-06 Military brass, it is not true with 223/5.56 brass. Do not assume your 223 brass has more case capacity than your Military brass. Read the charts in the link provided above.
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