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Old 05-21-2013, 02:26 AM   #21
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Looking on ebay and I see dies for .223. Question, are .223 and 5.56 the same die?

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Old 05-21-2013, 02:41 AM   #22
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for all practical purposes, yes

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Old 05-21-2013, 02:44 AM   #23
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Thanks. Going to get one off of ebay

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Old 05-21-2013, 04:42 AM   #24
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.223 and 5.56 are BASICALLY the same, but they are slightly different.

5.56 has thicker brass than .223. This causes a change in pressure. It is not advisable to use 5.56 in a rifle marked .223. (MIGHT be fine if you load them light, correct me if I'm wrong Jon). It is perfectly safe to use .223 in a 5.56 though.

Is the gun a bolt action .223, or something like a AR or a Ruger Mini 14?

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Old 05-21-2013, 04:53 AM   #25
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On the gun itself, it say .223 or 5.56 which means to me that it will shoot both. But whats in qustion here is I have .223 brass from federal. Will a die that says .223/5.56 work. I'm seeing one on ebay and wanted to buy it but not sure if there is such a die or th e owner is just putting it out there that it will do both. I'm not buying this for me, I'm buying it for my father in law. I don't reload .223 so I haven't read to much about it.

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Old 05-21-2013, 05:39 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazycastor View Post
On the gun itself, it say .223 or 5.56 which means to me that it will shoot both. But whats in qustion here is I have .223 brass from federal. Will a die that says .223/5.56 work. I'm seeing one on ebay and wanted to buy it but not sure if there is such a die or th e owner is just putting it out there that it will do both. I'm not buying this for me, I'm buying it for my father in law. I don't reload .223 so I haven't read to much about it.
If the gun itself has 5.56 on it, you are good to go. What gun is it?

The external dimensions of .223 and 5.56 are the same (see below though), so a 5.56 die should work for .223.

The main differences between .223 and 5.56 brass is that 5.56 may have a slightly longer neck (can be trimmed), and thicker brass. If the rifle says 5.56 on it, you don't really have to worry about this. If the rifle says .223, then beware of using 5.56 brass. If you do use it, make sure to load it light because the thicker brass causes it to have a higher pressure.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:39 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texaswoodworker View Post
.223 and 5.56 are BASICALLY the same, but they are slightly different.

5.56 has thicker brass than .223. This causes a change in pressure. It is not advisable to use 5.56 in a rifle marked .223. (MIGHT be fine if you load them light, correct me if I'm wrong Jon). It is perfectly safe to use .223 in a 5.56 though.

Is the gun a bolt action .223, or something like a AR or a Ruger Mini 14?
The real difference is the ogive length allowed in military bullets is a scootch longer than civilian bullets combined with slightly higher pressure allowance. Most 556 in fmj format is generally ok but when you add in a steel core as found in ss109 you get a slightly longer ogive with a higher pressure.

What this means is in a shorter throated 223 chamber you can get the bullet pressing against the lands combined with a higher operating pressure due to thicker case walls you can end up with a kaboom.

Since there is no real reliable way to measure charge weights case thickness and ogive length and knowing what powder and primers are used and then determining if that roumd is safe presure levels for your chamber on milsurp its best to avoid that stuff if you have a 223 chamber.

To make ap and tracer for the m16 the military had to have a longer throat on the m16. The true difference is the chamber not so much the round. Some 556 is safe for 223 some not. Knowing what is and isnt is a bear of a task. When a ap or tracer is loaded extra long ogives are used and bullets seated a bit deeper as well. Most military loads are compressed loads. Longer throat lead is terrible for great accuracy. Most civilian shooters want accuracy so the wylde chamber was created. Tighter dimensions than 556 looser than 223 but still enough lead to fire 556 safely.

Other than that its the same. It is safe to use surplus 556 brass in a 223 as long as your not using max loads.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:02 PM   #28
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The RCBS hand primer is a picky beast. In mine I have to use an RCBS shell holder, Hornady, Lyman, Lee nothing else will work even though they look the same.

Make sure you have the plastic holder and the shell holder seated all the way. I have to take mine and seat it as good as I can with my gorilla thumbs then take and press the plastic tab on the side of my reloading bench to fully seat the shell holder. Also make sure you are holding the hand primer at an angle that allows the primers to drop into the hold but now so much that more than one can get in there. Never ever short cycle that primer as that is a sure way to get 2 primers in the tube headed to the primer pocket.

I will also third the purchase of the ABC's of reloading. You need that book and you need to take your time read it and read it good. Ask questions here if you don't understand something in the book. Many of us here have been reloading for a long time.

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Old 05-21-2013, 05:04 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM View Post
The real difference is the ogive length allowed in military bullets is a scootch longer than civilian bullets combined with slightly higher pressure allowance. Most 556 in fmj format is generally ok but when you add in a steel core as found in ss109 you get a slightly longer ogive with a higher pressure.

What this means is in a shorter throated 223 chamber you can get the bullet pressing against the lands combined with a higher operating pressure due to thicker case walls you can end up with a kaboom.

Since there is no real reliable way to measure charge weights case thickness and ogive length and knowing what powder and primers are used and then determining if that roumd is safe presure levels for your chamber on milsurp its best to avoid that stuff if you have a 223 chamber.

To make ap and tracer for the m16 the military had to have a longer throat on the m16. The true difference is the chamber not so much the round. Some 556 is safe for 223 some not. Knowing what is and isnt is a bear of a task. When a ap or tracer is loaded extra long ogives are used and bullets seated a bit deeper as well. Most military loads are compressed loads. Longer throat lead is terrible for great accuracy. Most civilian shooters want accuracy so the wylde chamber was created. Tighter dimensions than 556 looser than 223 but still enough lead to fire 556 safely.

Other than that its the same. It is safe to use surplus 556 brass in a 223 as long as your not using max loads.
I hadn't heard about the bullet causing the pressure. I had always heard it was the thicker brass and slightly longer neck.

Thanks for the info Jon.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:34 PM   #30
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Default 223/5.56

They are all most identical except the 5.56 has a little thicker brass. The same die will work on either one. I've been buying once fired military brass for over 20 years and reloading them without any problem, using a small base die. If there is any pressure differential in the two, the pressure is retained in the brass it's self, so that should not be a problem. I don't advise using a small bass die to reload 223 brass as it does work the brass more than a full length or neck sizing die. If your shooting a bolt action rifle, once you fire a cartridge in a specific rifle you only need to neck size it, as long as your going to shoot it in the same rifle. This save the life of your brass. Annealing your brass also extends the life of the brass. I anneal my brass about every third loading and I have some I've loaded twelve times.

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