.223 reloading


August 30, 2011, 08:24 PM
i'm getting ready to start reloading .223 for my new AR and was curious as to how you guys seat/crimp the bullet? does a .223 require a crimp? i have used lee dies so far and like them, so i'd kinda like to stick with lee dies if possible. i know that i need to full length size for an autoloader and all that, i'm just wonderin' about the crimp? i have some h4895 i bought at the gun show, so, please share your loads if you'd like. thanks in advance guys, hvychev77

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August 30, 2011, 08:28 PM
I do not crimp my AR-15 loads. Besides 223 Remington, also AR-15s in 204 Ruger and 17 Remington.

Also, i do not crimp my M1 Garand loads.

August 30, 2011, 09:00 PM
I do not crimp 223 Rem. Lee dies should be good. H-4895 should work fine, but I would chose H335, AA2230 or TAC which flow much easier in a powder measure and give good performance. Lyman #49 manual has data for IMR-4895. See Hodgdon's web site for H-4895 data.

August 30, 2011, 09:11 PM
There is no need to crimp the bullet if your neck tension is proper. .002" smaller inside neck size to bullet size will normally be adequate.
I use H4895 in my 14" T. Contender. I use 26.5gr under a 52gr Nosler Custom Competition and a CCI primer, for around 2880fps average.
I suggest looking at www.hodgdon.com for your rifle work up from the recommended start load.


August 31, 2011, 05:33 AM
thanks for the info. guys. so, as stated , i purchased some h4895 for my loads to start with. Does anyone know how that powder flows in the lee auto disc set up?

Miata Mike
August 31, 2011, 06:24 AM
I use the Lee crimp die in my AR. My set came with it and it only takes a moment extra for a light squeeze. Good neck tension is key however. I have used H335 and WC844 powder so far and am sure they would meter like water.

I use my RCBS Loadmaster 1500 for dispensing my rifle powders even though I have a double disk set for my Lee Pro 1000 presses. Good steady pulls that allow enough time to fill and dump that amount of powder are the key. Just dump and measure enough powder drops to be very sure of your powder measure.

August 31, 2011, 08:12 AM
I crimp all my auto-loaders with the Lee Factory Crimp Die. It not only helps secure the bullet it increases accuracy as well. I use the LFCD on bullets with and without a cannelure.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
August 31, 2011, 08:19 AM
I have seen bullets pushed into cases and I have seen bullets get stuck on the lands and become detached from the case when the unfired cartridge was removed from the chamber - dumping powder all over inside the action.

For these reasons, I prefer a fairly strong crimp in the cannelure of the bullet using an RCBS roll crimp die.

I do not crimp along with seating the pill, but instead perform one last step to crimp using a separate die with the seater plug removed. I do make sure every case is within certain lengths and trim/chamfer as needed for uniform crimps.

August 31, 2011, 09:29 AM
I've loaded for various autoloaders from 223 Remington to 30/06, have not crimped for any of them and have not had any problems with bullets being mashed in the cases or coming out. Crimping sometimes improves accuracy but, in my experience, most of the time makes no difference.

August 31, 2011, 10:12 AM
I don't crimp my Ar15 rounds but I only load 50-100 at a time and I load for accuracy. If I were loading large numbers to store and use in emergencies I would use a 55gr WC and crimp,perhaps use primer sealer.

Simply depends on use and how you handle the ammo.

Sin City Shootist
August 31, 2011, 12:59 PM
I haven't crimped any 223, but I did order a FCD last week just to have if needed to patch up a not so tight neck tension. I've been running Tac and I really like the powder for both my 223(AR) and my 308(semi auto).

Hondo 60
August 31, 2011, 04:34 PM
steve4102 said: I crimp all my auto-loaders with the Lee Factory Crimp Die. It not only helps secure the bullet it increases accuracy as well. I use the LFCD on bullets with and without a cannelure.


Tim the student
August 31, 2011, 07:11 PM
I'm a non-crimp kind of guy myself. Like cfullgraf, I also don't crimp for my M1.

August 31, 2011, 07:19 PM
Went through the crimping phase about 40 years ago. Decided there was no benefit to crimping and gave it up.

August 31, 2011, 08:22 PM
I don't crimp my 223s and have not had any issues in my ARs. I use H322 now but I have had good performance with H335 and IMR 4064.

August 31, 2011, 10:44 PM
From Sierra.

Neck Tension

When we stop to consider the vigorous (read, downright violent) chambering cycle a loaded round endures in a Service Rifle, it becomes pretty clear it suffers abuse that would never happen in a bolt-action. This is simply the nature of the beast. It needs to be dealt with since there is no way around it.

There are two distinctly different forces that need to be considered: those that force the bullet deeper into the case, and those that pull it out of the case. When the round is stripped from the magazine and launched up the feed ramp, any resistance encountered by the bullet risks having it set back deeper into the case. Due to the abrupt stop the cartridge makes when the shoulder slams to a halt against the chamber, inertia dictates that the bullet will continue to move forward. This is exactly the same principle a kinetic bullet puller operates on, and it works within a chamber as well. Some years ago, we decided to examine this phenomenon more closely. During tests here at Sierra’s range, we chambered a variety of factory Match ammunition in an AR-15 rifle. This ammunition was from one of the most popular brands in use today, loaded with Sierra’s 69 grain MatchKing bullet. To conduct the test, we chambered individual rounds by inserting them into the magazines and manually releasing the bolt. We then repeated the tests by loading two rounds into the magazine, chambering and firing the first, and then extracting and measuring the second round. This eliminated any potential variation caused by the difference between a bolt that had been released from an open position (first round in the magazine) and those subsequent rounds that were chambered by the normal semi-automatic operation of the rifle. Measuring the rounds before chambering and then re-measuring after they were carefully extracted resulted in an average increase of three thousandths (0.003") of forward bullet movement. Some individual rounds showed up to seven thousandths (0.007") movement. Please bear in mind that these results were with factory ammunition, normally having a higher bullet pull than handloaded ammunition.

To counteract this tendency, the semi-auto shooter is left with basically two options: applying a crimp or increasing neck tension.


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