Starting to reload 223


General Tso
August 14, 2010, 10:15 PM
OK I currently reload several straight-wall pistol calibers. I've decided to start doing 223 as well. What do I need? I was looking at the lee dies. Do I size the whole case or just neck? What do I need for case prep? Do I just lube the outside of the cases then spray case lube on the necks?

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August 14, 2010, 10:24 PM
Lee dies are fine. Lube the case, none really needed on the neck, but I always get a little on it. Use a nylon neck brush with a small amount of lube (just roll it on a lube pad, or on your fingers with lube on them) to lube the necks, or use a carbide expander ball. I would recommend you start of full length sizing. If you are shooting an auto, you should really FL size anyway.

August 14, 2010, 10:33 PM
what type of 223 weapon will you be reloadinf for?

General Tso
August 14, 2010, 10:38 PM
AR and plr16

General Tso
August 15, 2010, 12:40 AM
Also if I get a lee case trimmer, do I need a headspace gauge?

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August 15, 2010, 12:49 AM
Get the Lee Zip Trim, Lee case trimmer and .223Rem case length gage. Twist a couple of times and the brass will be the proper size. Then get the Lee Pacesetter 4 die set. The Zip Trim is $20, the case trimmer is probably $5-10 and the length gage is about $5. The Pacesetter Die set is $25-35. I use this equipment and the Lee Delux Turret Kit and it spits out great .223 rounds. Also, that crimp die in the pacesetter kit is good because I reload for my AR and it practically eliminates the already small chance of a bullet seating deeper upon chambering. I use CCI primers, various brass, pulled 55gr FMJ bullets, and 23.5gr H335. Very cheap, but accurate loads. I have not had a malfunction or problem yet.

General Tso
August 15, 2010, 01:55 AM
Thank you for the info!

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General Tso
August 15, 2010, 02:53 AM
Also if I use CCI primers, should i use standard or military?

August 15, 2010, 04:28 AM
Is this just plinking ammo you're loading or are you loading for accuracy?

For lubing cases, considering the volume that most people load in for shooting out of an AR, lubing with a pad is impractical. I use Dillon spray on lube. Dump a couple hundred cases in a plastic bad, two squirts of lube, shake, another two squirts of lube, shake, done.

As for primers, I found that lots of guys that shoot for accuracy like the Remington 7 and 1/2 bench rest primers. What really shocked me is that you can find them for around $30 -$35 a thousand.

I reload for an AR too. The biggest down side to loading is case prep. There are some good pointers that have been posted above, but for case trimming, chamfering and deburring, look for something fast and easy. That Lee Zip Trim looks cool. Personally, I think I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and get a Giraud trimmer. Yes, expensive, but the thought of being able to process all of my cases for OAL in less that an hour or two just makes me really happy.

August 15, 2010, 08:52 AM
The Possum Hollow trimmer is very fast if you have a way to power it, and is inexpensive. You will still have to deburr and chamfer by hand.

August 15, 2010, 09:10 AM
Be sure to lube the inside of the case neck, it was mentioned above, but not clearly. I like Imperial Sizing Wax! If you coat your fingers and palms, you can roll 6 or so cases between your hands at once, you can lube a bunch of cases pretty fast. Case prep flat out bites! the Guirad would be awesome to have, and if your prepping military cases.....I feel for ya man!!:D

August 15, 2010, 01:47 PM
The standard SR primers will work fine. Unless you are firing your rounds out of a machine gun or other full auto weapon, the regular SR primers are fine. Either will work and I do not know of anyone who would tell you that the military are necessary or better than the regular SR primers. Just get whichever is cheapest.

Hondo 60
August 15, 2010, 01:59 PM
I reload for an AR as well. I bought a Lyman Power Trimmer.
Once set, just tighten the set screw & every one comes out the same size.
Just let the motor do the trimming.

To lube them, I put the brass in a loading block & spray w/ Hornady One Shot, turn the block 180 degrees & spray again. So far the only stuck case was my fault.
(Grabbed another box & started to resize w/o the spray. That was a bad one too.
Ripped the bottom out trying to get it unstuck. Even Lee said forget it & just sent a new die)

August 15, 2010, 02:16 PM
Might I suggest you stop using the loading block to spray cases?

The neck & web end of each case is the most critical part to put lube on.
That is the same parts shielded by the holes in the loading block from the spray no matter which way you stand them up in the holes.

Just dump them loose in an old mixing bowl or something, spray lightly, stir them around with your hand, and spray lightly again.
That way, the whole case gets lube on it.


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