Should I reload .223 for an AR?


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LubeckTech
March 19, 2008, 10:29 PM
With ammo prices in the 39 cents per round I plan on starting!!
I reload 9mm so why not - besides I think my reloads are better than factory.

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gunman42782
March 19, 2008, 10:34 PM
I reload mine. I like to shoot soft points, and nobody makes any cheap SPs anymore! So I reload em. Still not cheap, the way componets have went up, but much cheaper than ready mades!

LubeckTech
March 19, 2008, 10:35 PM
With ammo prices in the 39 cents per round I plan on starting!!
I reload 9mm so why not - besides I think my reloads are better than factory.

FullEffect1911
March 19, 2008, 10:47 PM
what the... I can't see my original post..

rhubarb
March 19, 2008, 10:59 PM
No, you should not. You should buy brass cased ammo for it and shoot at the station to the left of me. I'd appreciate it if you'd shoot off of a rest. I'll just put my bucket right over here.

Seriously, what kind of question is that? That's like going to ar15.com and asking if you should buy an AR or going to Brady's website and asking if you should get rid of your handgun.

Of course you should reload. For the price of cheap steel cased ammo you can load premium ammo. Or you can reload plinking ammo with surplus powder and bullets for less than the cheapest store-bought ammo. Of course you should reload for an AR! You know that.

Sommerled
March 20, 2008, 01:11 AM
Of course, sir, it allows you to pull the trigger without as much remorse......

over the $ you're blasting downrange instead of putting away for the kids college expenses!:eek:

Mojo-jo-jo
March 20, 2008, 01:25 AM
ON TOPIC THREAD HIGHJACK:

Mods, please delete if I'm out of line, but I think this may help this thread. It's already a consensus that the OP should reload .223.

What inexpensive press setup should I and the OP use for .223? I already have a Lee single stage and am familiar with reloading practices, but am not currently loading .223. I want higher output. Also want to continue loading 9mm (just like the OP).

Once again, PM me if the highjack is offensive and I'll make it go away.

ForneyRider
March 20, 2008, 08:09 AM
You bet.

I reload my dad's .22-250 on my progressive press. I bought a Lee double-disk setup and rifle charging die for powder throws.

.22-250, .223, .222 and other small cartridges reload great on pistol progressive presses.

I read that full length sizing is better for auto-loader rifles.

I'm itching to get a bargain bin AR-15 20in HBAR.

stubbicatt
March 20, 2008, 09:03 AM
For most of my reloading needs, I use the recently introduced Lee Classic Cast Turret Press. It moves right along to produce a higher volume than you might get with a single stage, but you don't sacrifice the versatility that a single ram, many station, press offers.

Ferinstance, you can resize your case, remove it from the shell holder, trim and prep it, reinsert it, put a cap in it, proceed to powder charge, seat a bullet and crimp if desired without any inconvenience. It is robust, and inexpensive. You can purchase extra turrets and leave your dies installed and adjusted. It is a great value in reloading.

For my 223 blasting ammo, and for my 40 caliber pistol ammo, I like my Dillon Super 1050. I wish it didn't cost so much, but once set up properly, you just can't beat it. You can load many rounds on one of these. I like how the press removes the primer crimp quickly and without effort.

Even so, I still load most of my 223 prairie dog rounds on the Lee. I HAVE loaded then on the Dillon, but I get a great deal of satisfaction knowing that each round is "handloaded" as opposed to machine loaded when I get to the dogtown.

Hope this helps with your decisions.

FullEffect1911
March 20, 2008, 09:45 AM
I have reloaded .223 before, and the Lee turret press did just fine.

And more so to the point, I was not asking will I save money, It was really a question of is there a significantly higher degree of risk reloading for a service rifle? Bolt action, handguns, lever guns whatever those I know I can reload for safely.

But by bushmaster's description and some other things i've read it seems like if you reload for a service rifle you WILL blow one up eventually.

H1500308
March 20, 2008, 10:56 AM
But by bushmaster's description and some other things i've read it seems like if you reload for a service rifle you WILL blow one up eventually.


Why?

FullEffect1911
March 20, 2008, 11:01 AM
though this is more aimed at cheap ammo, they do throw in there hand loaded stuff too.

http://www.bushmaster.com/faqs.asp#47

It is the paragraph beware the dangers of cheap ammo.


All I am trying to get here is some reassurance that reloading for the ar15 is about as safe as reloading for just about anything else.

SSN Vet
March 20, 2008, 12:05 PM
because you're asking the question....it sounds like you are a cautious and carefull individual.

sounds like a recipe for sucessful reloading to me.

Soybomb
March 20, 2008, 12:08 PM
Right there on their page they tell you the story " We have seen case head failures from overloaded ammo, and from bad brass." This applies to anything you're reloading for. Think of it like "only you can prevent forest fires" for reloaders. When you decide to reload you accept responsibility to ensure that you've not over charged a round, that you'll inspect your brass, work up a proper load, etc. Negligence can lead to things like that with reloading.

Dirtypacman
March 20, 2008, 12:17 PM
With the cost of .223 I have decided to start reloading it. I will be using a Dillon 550 with a dillon die set. I have only done pistol calibers at this point so I know it will take some getting used to.

rodregier
March 21, 2008, 12:15 AM
The key to rifle reloading is brass prep. Getting the brass resized, trimmed to length and chamfered is the harder part. Once that is done the challenges are similar to those of reloading for pistol. I use a LE Wilson headspace gage for rifle brass to confirm dimensional correctness after prep, saves lots of problems later.

Jenrick
March 21, 2008, 01:56 AM
Most ranges will have a LOT of extra once fired brass in .223. Seems everybody went and bought and AR and likes to shoot it. I just use my range pickups once and then recycle them. The stuffs free, and I make a little extra recycling it after I shoot it. Keeps me from worrying about the brass going bad. Just picking up every case in sight for 2 weeks, got me enough brass to last the rest of this year.

-Jenrick

stubbicatt
March 21, 2008, 08:55 AM
I caution against range pickup brass, or brass you don't know the history of. I know that I don't even bother picking my brass up anymore.

For the 223, try to get military brass with the primer crimp intact. That way you know you are getting brass which is only once fired, and is not worn out already. The crimps are easy to remove with the right tools.

greyling22
March 21, 2008, 11:27 AM
just be careful if you reload for multiple calibers. I watched my cousin's bushy AR literally blow into hundreds of pieces while he was shooting it. bushy says he put over 75 grains of varget in the case (not physically possible) we think he accidentally put red dot in the case.


does everybody have a "my so and so blew up __________", yes.
does that stop any of us from reloading, no.
just a word of reminder and caution.

(bushy did give him a small discount on a replacement AR. not much, but some. )

rodregier
March 21, 2008, 01:32 PM
Greyling22 reinforces an excellent point. Standard practice is to only have one type of primer and powder in-progress on your bench at a time. If you have powders with similar-looking containers, add supplemental markings to make the differences obvious.

I would concur with the Red Dot theory. Varget is a volume-limited powder in .223 Rem.

This brings up another useful point for novice reloaders. Picking a powder that almost fills the cartridge case with the proper charge also helps make any double-charges very obvious.

FullEffect1911
March 21, 2008, 04:22 PM
because you're asking the question....it sounds like you are a cautious and carefull individual.

sounds like a recipe for sucessful reloading to me.

Thanks SSN Vet, that's nice of you to say so.

I purchased a LE Wilson headspace gage to confirm my resizing as per the suggestion.

Is there some way to predetermine a case head separation or will a split neck happen much sooner in the cases life?

ForneyRider
March 21, 2008, 05:21 PM
With .223 you can run some compressed charges, so it would be impossible to get an overcharge of powder. H-Varget is one powder that can run compressed charges with .223. Varget measures easy in a quick powder dispenser, so you can load fast.

L.E. Wilson makes case gages. Dillon makes a case gage too. I like the Dillon ones, because they are stainless steel. I got the Dillon catalog the other day. They have both L.E. Wilson gages and their own.

H1500308
March 22, 2008, 06:49 PM
I plan on not buying any commercial .223 in the near future.

I've had great results (plinking ammo that's decently accurate) with bulk Hornaday 55gr FMJBT, 24.6 to 25g of H4895, and a mix of once fired military and commercial brass.

I just ordered 500pcs of 100% processed and primed brass from Top Brass that I'm getting ready to load. $65/500

This is in an Armalite M15

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