Starting to get into reloading .223 Remington


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ziegler44
October 21, 2011, 01:51 AM
Hello everyone. I've started to take an interest in reloading and finally bought most of the gear I need. I just have a few questions about the .223 Remington.

1. Do I really have to tumble/clean my cases?
2. I'll be reloading using PMC Bronze .223. What should my case length be?
3. Also I'll be loading Winchester 55gr. FMJBT. What should be my seating depth in the PMC cases?
4. What powder and powder charges/loads do you like to use for plinking around?

Any additional information would be helpful as well.

Thanks

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TonyAngel
October 21, 2011, 02:04 AM
Sound to me like you need a reloading manual.

Gdbyrd
October 21, 2011, 02:26 AM
Agreed, pick yourself up a good solid reloading manual. It'll be more help than we will until you get the basics down.

1. You will have to clean the cases. I don't shoot a whole lot, so I take the time to clean the cases individually after a good soap/water bath. This is not ideal though.
2, 3, 4. All these will be answered with your reloading manual.

I know "buy a reloading manual," is not the answer you wanted to hear. But it's the best thing you can do if you're just getting started with reloading.

LoonWulf
October 21, 2011, 02:26 AM
I agree, get a manual and read it thru a couple times. I GUARANTEE it will save you from easy mistakes if you read it first. As for your questions. I dont tumble any of my brass, wash them off and i continue on. Case length will be listed in a manual.. and since i have my Speer13 handy ill rattle it off for you
Case trim length: 1.750
Max Cart length: 1.760
COAL: 2.215

My own powerder of choice is 748 at around 26grns

ants
October 21, 2011, 03:07 AM
For plinking you don't have to tumble cases (or clean in soapy water).
But most of us do anyway. It's up to you. It's not a bad habit.

Trim-to length is listed in your manual.
It doesn't matter what brand they are,
trim all cases the same.

Cartridge Overall Length is listed in your manual for each load.
It is specific to the powder, bullet, primer combination.
Most load data calls for 2.220 to 2.260, but you must be faithful to your load manual.

Go do a search on this forum and others, in the reloading section.
There are threads every week on accuracy loads for 223.
Many, many shooters find H335 a good powder.
And 748. And Varget. And Benchmark. And XBR8208. And 4895. And about 20 others.

Best accuracy is gained through careful case preparation, consistent powder charge,
and premium components, especially the projectile.

Go take a walk through the Handloading and Reloading subforum.

1911 guy
October 21, 2011, 08:40 AM
Ditto the manual. Personally, I think the price of every press should be increased to reflect the cost of a manual. Having a press and dies with no manual can result in some pretty poor life choices.

If you pick up a good manual (I like Modern Reloading) and read through it, rather than just flipping to the data page, you'll find many tips about finding the best load for YOUR rifle. Telling you what I feed my Savage doesn't do any good. Yours will be slightly, or maybe radically, different.

GooseGestapo
October 21, 2011, 08:45 AM
1. Realize that that particular bullet isn't especially accurate. The 55gr Soft Points usually are a bit more accurate than the FMJ's. Just seat to the cannulure. Varying seating dept with this bullet is fruitless, as at best they will shoot 1.5-2.0moa. Usually worse. Good plinking bullet, though....
2. A good powder to start with is H335. I prefer BLC2, but powder charges are about 10% greater, so the H335 will load a few more rounds per pound. But, the BLC2 shoots a tad bit more accurate (IMO) and is about 100fps faster with top loads. But, with the 55gr FMJ, the accuracy advantage is lost.... So go with the "cheaper" load...
3. The PMC brass isn't too good. It's OK. But, it tends to be "long" (needs trimming before first load), and has crimped primer pockets. These need to be reamed or swaged before reloading. I prefer Win, Fed, or R-P brass. All the mil-spec stuff needs to be "processed" before reloading.
4. Buy yourself the Lee case trimmer pilot, cutter, shell holder assembly. You can use this to trim the cases and then turn the case in 0000-steel wool to "clean it up". I did this for a couple of decades before the inexpensive tumblers became available in the early '90's.
If you want to see how accurate your .223 is; load some Sierra 55gr flat-base Soft Points over 25.0gr of H335 loaded to 2.24" oal. Use the PMC brass, but make sure you trim it and ream the flash-holes before loading. Also de-burr the necks. I prefer the RCBS/Forster style reamer/deburr'ers..... Use a cordless hand-drill with the Lee case trimmer set up. Every .223 that was capable of sub-moa would shoot this load sub-moa 5-shots or more......

kingmt
October 21, 2011, 02:27 PM
Post 7 was a really good post with good info. BL-c(2) works well. I prefer other powders but probably not good for the beginner. Load data can be had for free from the powder company & the library may have a load manual. Once you read it you may never use it again.

beatledog7
October 21, 2011, 02:57 PM
I consider myself a novice reloader. When I decided to try my hand at it, I studied what other people were doing, what equipment they used for what operations, etc. I think I went into the decision pretty well informed.

I bought the Hornady LNL kit, and it came with Hornady's manual. Before I even unboxed the press and other items, I read the opening chapters word for word. Every new reloader should do the same. I refer to them frequently. Most of what a novice needs to know is there.

NCsmitty
October 21, 2011, 05:02 PM
You can get pertinent up to date data at www.hodgdon.com and www.alliantpowder.com.
Each brand will have the data for the newest powders that are coming on the market that they make/distribute, and won't be in printed manuals for a while.
If you're just starting out, you'll need to know the proper, safe procedure in case prep and working up your loads. The Lyman #49 manual has a plethora of information to digest, and I recommend it.


NCsmitty

medalguy
October 22, 2011, 12:23 AM
I'd also suggest a book, The ABC's of Reloading, and a good manual, or two would be even better. I'd also highly suggest, if you don't already have one, a good case gauge:

http://www.dillonprecision.com/content/p/9/pid/25547/catid/3/Dillon_Rifle_Case_Gages?item=4093#4093

I think the Dillon gauges are the best. They tell you if the shoulder is set back properly, and if the case length is right. Highly useful, and I wouldn't reload without one.

Hondo 60
October 22, 2011, 12:56 AM
I too, am going to say "Get a reloading manual or three"
I have seven on my shelf & still think there's one or two I'd like to add.

1. Do I really have to tumble/clean my cases? "have to"? no, but why run dirty cases through your dies? The scratches aren't worth it.

2. I'll be reloading using PMC Bronze .223. What should my case length be? 1.750 is the "trim to" length

3. Also I'll be loading Winchester 55gr. FMJBT. What should be my seating depth in the PMC cases? seat to the cannelure

4. What powder and powder charges/loads do you like to use for plinking around? my favorite is 26.0 gr of Varget for a 55gr FMJ

Walkalong
October 22, 2011, 08:44 AM
I am with Hondo on this one, except my blasting/plinking powder is cheap surplus. 55 Gr FMJ don't shoot well anyway, unless you spring for the Hornady's, which do fairly well, for an open base bullet anyway.

Do yourself a real favor, and get a manual. You should figure out the bare basics for yourself.

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