Reloading for single shot .223 Rem


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CTI1USNRET
October 6, 2003, 12:19 PM
I just bought a new NEF Handi Rifle bull barrel .223 Remington. 12" twist.

I do not have a workspace that will accomodate a bench so I use a Lee Hand Press and measure powder with a Lee Safety Powder Scale. I've been doing this for about two years for 45 ACP and 45-70 Govt and have produced over 10,000 rounds (95% 45 ACP). (We don't have a TV, so I reload every night).

1. Will other brand dies fit my Lee hand press?

2. What do you recommend for dies? There are so many I don't know where to start. Full length or neck only? Prices range from $25 to $200 for a set!

3. I use a Lee Factory crimp die. Do I need to crimp for a single shot rifle if my loads are not compressed?

4. Are hand funnels available specifically for .223?

5. Should I get a new scale?

6. I've heard that there are carbide expander ball dies that negate the need for lubing inside the neck. Who makes them?

7. Can you recommend a manual trimmer?

8. Fire lap the bore?

8. Tell me everything you know about reloading that will enable me to shoot a 1 hole group at 200 yards.

And then there's the scope ... I'll ask about that in another thread.

Thanks in advance.

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swifter
October 6, 2003, 01:12 PM
For a break-open, you'll want to FL resize. (dies and presses are standardized at 7/8"X14 threads. all brands will fit.) Suggest you look at Redding "S"type FL die, the bushing will enable you to size the neck (as much or as little as you need to) while bumping the shoulder and resizing the body. It is a great die for break-open actions.
You don't need to crimp.
Sinclair sells a "Quick Trim" that works well for about $20.
Do Not firelap. Blasting grit down your bore is not a good idea.
Start with bullets about 0.005" off the lands (with a less than max load!!),shoot groups, moving 0.005" farther off the lands with each group.
Don't load into the lands with a break-open, it lacks the camming power of a bolt gun, and will cause problems.
Have fun,
Tom

Clark
October 6, 2003, 02:47 PM
1. Will other brand dies fit my Lee hand press?

Don't know, but I have Lee Reloader presses that cost $20 and mounted to a board, they will "C" clamp to your bench at home, to a table at the range, and maybe to your bumper in the field.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=260370

2. What do you recommend for dies? There are so many I don't know where to start. Full length or neck only? Prices range from $25 to $200 for a set!

I like full lenth dies and then only resize the necks 3/4 the way down by not screwing the die all the way down to touch the shell holder.
Lee RGB die sets are cheap.
Take out the expander ball and stem.
See if a bullet will seat without the neck being opened back up.
The pulling the ball through the neck bends the neck becuase the shell holder does not pull straight and nothing is holding the case in the center.

A Forster benchrest seater die looks like it costs allot. But it is a good buy.

I like Imperial sizing wax as a lubricant for bottle necked cases being resized.

3. I use a Lee Factory crimp die. Do I need to crimp for a single shot rifle if my loads are not compressed?

No.

4. Are hand funnels available specifically for .223?

There are small funnels. My RCBS funnel is frustrating to use with .223.

5. Should I get a new scale?

No.

6. I've heard that there are carbide expander ball dies that negate the need for lubing inside the neck. Who makes them?

Avoid using expander balls.
The make the neck crooked. Not enough to see, but measureable with a concentricity gauge. There is a math derivation published by the NRA of how much concentricity run out corresponds to how much error in the group at 100 yards. Any neck bending you could see with the naked eye would get straightened out by chambering the round. Chambering will still allow the neck to be bent enough to prevent any 1" groups.

7. Can you recommend a manual trimmer?
Avoid RCBS.
Forster is good and fast.
Wilson is better but slower.

8. Fire lap the bore?
Fire lapping may have a place, but I don't unless I can rechamber the barrel to ream new throat where the lapping shot it out. The bore will get pollished from cleaning out the copper fouling with an abrasive like JB Bore Paste or Flitz.

8. Tell me everything you know about reloading that will enable me to shoot a 1 hole group at 200 yards.

That took me 10 years, but in the last year I went from 5 shot groups at 100m 1.05" best 1.4" average with .223 down to most all groups less than 1". I made a list of 100 things I did. I don't know which is needed and life it too short to do all the controlled experiments to find out.
The book on handloading with no loads in it by Sinclair has many of the things I did.

I like sliding sleeve seater dies from Forster to get maximum concentricity.
I prepare the brass by chamfering the neck inside and out so that pulled bullets have no scratches.
I measure over all length of cartridges with a Sinclair bullet comparator.
I shoot with a steady rest and rabbit eared rear bag.
I like Lothar Walther barrels.
I like to clean the products of combustion from my bore every 10 rounds and copper fouling every 50 rounds.
I use moly coated bullets, Lyman Moly bore paste, and wash my bore out when done shooting with baking soda and water to get the burned moly products out.
I like guns that don't kick hard, so that the rifle does not move far before the bullet exits.
I have 40X Leupold scope that shows if the shooting bench is shaking.
I glue and screw the scope mounts to the rifle [epoxy like JB Auto Weld]
I practice dry firing to see how much the cross hairs move on the target from me pulling the trigger.
I glass bed the action. If the stock is a cheap injection molded synthetic, the surface must be scored for the epoxy to get traction.
Cheap barrels can shoot very accuratelty if not copper fouled and not hot.

And then there's the scope ... I'll ask about that in another thread.

I like used Leupolds from the gun show. I used to get old Weaver K4s for $20 at the gun show. I have a Burris 36X and a Baush and Lomb 4x12x40AO that cost WAY more money new than it is worth. I have a scope junk yard of Tasco and the like. The less the adustments are moved and the less recoil and the less critical shots are, the more cheap scopes can be tolerated. A Bushnell on my 10/22 is OK. On a 30-06 to go deer hunting, pay for the used Leupoldl.
Avoid cheap scopes. They don't just waste your money and time, they waste your enthusiasm for the sport.

Mylhouse
October 8, 2003, 11:49 PM
Bravo to Clark for a most excellent post!

CTI1USNRET
October 9, 2003, 10:03 AM
Clark and swifter - Thanks for the input. I learned a few things and am considering several of your suggestions.

So far, this is what I've bought from D&R Sports Center https://www.dnrsports.net/

RDD84111 DELUXE DIE SET 223 REM $45.24
RED11010 SHELLHOLDER - SIZE 10 $5.10
RED11610 COMPETITION SHELLHOLDER SETS - SIZE 10 $29.58
RED05000 MODEL NO 5 POWDER TRICKLER $13.50

I was concerned about my ability to initially size the brass to my chamber to control headspacing (and the repeatability of that step) and the rep at Redding guided me to the Competition Shellholder sets. The Redding Deluxe Die set comes with a full length and a neck sizer die as well as a seating die.

I'm thinking of getting a reemer to better control neck tension.

I wasn't kidding about trying for 1 hole groups at 200 yards. I may not have the rifle for it, but it's a start.

I've found that control of the trigger and body movement and the PATIENCE to perfectly repeat your sight picture goes a long way in shrinking your groups. On a calm, bright cloudy day I'm still able to get 1"/100 yd groups with my Mini-14 using the original sights and S&B 55 gr FMJ. (1977 Model 180, bought it new in San Diego of all places.)

I've started another thread re scoping it.

Here's a page of links I've collected in the past few years that is very convenient. It's constantly updated and growing.

http://home.earthlink.net/~cti1usnret/shooting.html

If you enjoyed reading about "Reloading for single shot .223 Rem" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!