.223/5.56 reloading question

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by texaswoodworker, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    If I run 5.56 brass through a .223 die, does it change the brass to .223 so that it would be safe to use in a .223 only gun, or is it still 5.56?
     
  2. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The dimensional differences are minute. These are corrected by resizing in a .223 sizer die. You will likely find 5.56 brass to be significantly over length after resizing. Most are longer than .223 specs when unfired.

    The main difference in the ammo si the pressures to which each are loaded. I have loaded and fired many thousands of rounds of 5.56 brass resized in .223 dies. Just measure and trim.
     

  3. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    Trimming won't be a problem. Thanks. :)
     
  4. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    Yes, case dimensions are the same, so running your brass through your 223 die will allow you to use it in a 223 only gun. It will also allow you to use it in a 5.56 chambered gun. There is no such thing as a 5.56 die, they are all 223.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  5. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    The difference is in the throat of the rifle. Use 223 bullets and seating loading data for such and trim to length and its a non issue.
     
  6. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    No problems - been doing it for some time in my Lee dies for my 5.56mm chambered SA vz-58.
     
  7. farmallcrew

    farmallcrew New Member

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    5.56 and 223 are the same thing. size,trim, prime, and seat the same. The only difference is in the manuals, they say to reduce loads by 10% in military cases.

    That is because the cases are a little thicker, on the inside of the case.

    Me personally i don't reduce my loads, and have had 0 problems. I load for 5.56/223 in AR, bolt, and single shot rifles. Same load, same bullet, same primer, same powder charge, with mixed commerical and military brass.

    Load and go.
     
  8. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    Although this is true for Military 308 and 30-06 cases it is less true for the 223/5.56. In fact most Military 5.56 cases have More case capacity than civilian 223 cases.

    This is from Sierra #5 Manual.
    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.


    Here is more. Scroll down to the "223 Rem Case Weight vs Capacity" chart. Note the Military cases carry the highest case capacity.

    http://www.6mmbr.com/223rem.html
     
  9. sniper762

    sniper762 New Member

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    i concur with farmall
     
  10. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    From Ramshots Web Site.

    Case volume does affect the internal ballistics, and a smaller volume will produce higher pressures and velocities, and vice versa for a larger volume at any given chargemass. However, it depends what the real difference in volume is.In the case of rifle calibers, this question are most often asked when cases are compared in the two popular calibers which are also “military” calibers i.e. 223Remington/5.56mmNATO and the 308Win/7.62x51NATO.

    Instead of assuming that military brass always has smaller volume, we strongly suggest that a simple volume measurement be done by filling both (or more) cases with water (preferably distilled water) and to weigh the water.

    Then reduce or increase the load by the same proportion (%).

    Although it can be indication, do not go by the weight of the cases.

    From our recent experience the latest generation 5.56mmx45 cases have close to/or similar volumes than commercial cases. In the early years of the 5.56mmx45 ca early 1960’s, some cases were smaller in volume; however those cases have mostly been purged form the market.

    In the case of 7.62×51 we have found that “MIL” cases are between 3 to 4% smaller in volume requiring a reduction in chargemass as published in our loadguides.

    Please keep in mind that this applies to all calibers and when cases of different manufacturers are used we strongly recommend determining the volume with water.


    Link
    http://www.ramshot.com/faq/
     
  11. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    Ok, this .223 vs 5.56 case capacity debate got me interested, so I tried it out for myself.

    I tested 2 pieces of .223, and 2 pieces of 5.56. I rand them through a sizing die, then filled them to the brim with IMR 4320, here's my results.

    Hornady .223 - 28.3 gr capacity
    Hornady .223 - 27.95 gr capacity
    Lake City 5.56 - 28.4 gr capacity
    Lake City 5.56 - 28.2 gr capacity

    It's possible the powder settled down more in some of these then others, but from what I see, their pretty close in capacity.

    I'll probably test a few more casings later to get a better average.
     
  12. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    BTW, I can't seem to find a good .223 recipe for what I'm using. I'm using IMR 4320 and a Barnes 55 gr JHP FB bullet. The closest thing to a JHP FB bullet I could find was data for a Barnes 55 gr TSX FB. That recipe called for 22.1 gr of powder. Does that sound like a good starting load? These rounds will be used mainly in my AR.
     
  13. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    When testing case capacity accurately you should do the following.

    The internal case volume has to be established by weighing empty once fired cartridge cases from a production lot then filling the cases with fresh or distilled water (H2O) up to the point of overflowing and weighing the water filled cases. The added weight of the water is then used to establish the liquid volume and hence the case capacity. This liquid volume measurement method can be practically employed to about a 0.01 to 0.02 ml or 0.15 to 0.30 grains of water precision level for fire arms cartridge cases. A case capacity establishment should best be done by measuring several fired cases from a particular production lot and calculating their average case capacity. This also provides insight in the uniformity of the sampled lot.

    When data for a specific bullet is not available it is safe to use data of same weight bullet of similar construction. Similar construction are the key words here.
    Your Barnes 55gr JHP is a cup-n-core bullet, that means it has a soft lead core with a copper jacket. Your Barns TSX is a Solid copper bullet, no lead and no jacket. These two bullets do not fall under the guidelines of "Similar Construction" and data should not be swapped.

    Hodgdon has the load data you need. Use their data for 55gr SPR-SP and IMR 4320. SPR-SP stands for Speer Spire Point, which is a bullet of similar construction to your Barns FMJ. They are both cup-n-core bullets and data is interchangeable as long as you , Start low and Work Up.

    http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
     
  14. tri70

    tri70 New Member

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    Barrel length may play a factor as well. Shorter barrels may like a fast burning powder. I have good luck with Reloader 7 & 10, also Varmint, H335, AA2015 and BR 8202.
     
  15. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    As all the powder that is going to burn is burned up in the chamber and the first few inches of the bore, the powder that gives the highest velocity in a long barrel will also give the highest velocity in a shorter barrel.
     
  16. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    use water :)

    thats ok if all guns had the same size chambers... after firing the inside volume of a case will vary ever so slightly from gun to gun due to varied chamber volumes. thats why you cant use fire formed brass in different guns other than the one its fire formed in. thats what hogden and powder companies do in test barrels that have EXACTLY measured test chambers. this doesnt translate directly to production firearms.

    not true. you can see the difference in barrels as long as 16" and 20" in 556/223. take your flash hider off fire a shot at nite from a 16" barrel and same thing with a 20" barrel there will be much more flash of burning powder from a 16" barrel and almost none from a 20".

    something has to be happening to the powder in that extra 4" of barrel.

    all the powder that is going to burn is ignited in the first few inches and continues to burn and produce gasses as the bullet moves down the barrel. thats where burn speed matters if your trying to find an efficient powder. you want the burn rate to equal the time the bullet spends in the barrel. thats where the confusion comes in when talking about this issue.

    the powder isnt burned up in a few inches its ignited in the case and chamber and throat and continues to burn as the volume increases from the base of the case to the base of the bullet as the bullet moves forward.
     
  17. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    Not true. Muzzle flash is the result of the gasses that were created by the "burned" powder igniting when they exit the muzzle and enter an oxygen rich environment not burning powder.

    http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-090.htm

    From John Barsness of Handloader Magazine.

    Muxxle flash is caused by hot gases reigniting when they hit the atmosphere, but unburned powder. At least 99% of the powder is burned in the first few inches of any centerfire rifle barrel
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  18. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    Ok, I measured them again (with water). All of the cases were run through a full length sizing die since they came from different guns. Here's my results.

    PMC .223

    29.10 gr
    29.55 gr
    29.00 gr
    29.30 gr
    29.20 gr

    Average - 29.23 gr

    PSD 5.56

    28.75 gr
    29.15 gr
    28.90 gr
    29.40 gr
    29.30 gr

    Average - 29.10 gr

    WWC (Winchester) 5.56

    29.45 gr
    29.30 gr
    29.40 gr
    29.20 gr
    29.65 gr

    Average - 29.4 gr

    Lake City 5.56

    29.70 gr
    29.75 gr
    29.50 gr
    29.50 gr
    29.95 gr

    Average - 29.68 gr

    Hornady .223

    29.95 gr
    29.70 gr
    30.60 gr
    30.60 gr
    29.95 gr

    Average - 30.16 gr
     
  19. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    Thanks for sharing. As you have found, Military brass does not have less case capacity and reducing the charge is not necessary.
    You have done what many handloaders have done and busted the 223-5.56 Myth. Good Job!
     
  20. tri70

    tri70 New Member

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    This says nothing about burn rates and the % of powder burned from a specific powder, the article speaks in general terms. It's an interesting article but barrel length and powder do make a difference otherwise they would not publish so many manuals and load recipes. Nosler manuals will list most accurate powder for bullet weight and specific barrel length, water weight of the case capacity, COL.