Reloading .223 for an AR-15


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HOOfan_1
March 21, 2012, 09:06 AM
Does anyone find it necessary to use small base sizing dies?
Can you neck size only or is FL resize a must?
Is it better to crimp your bullets?

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Bowfishrp
March 21, 2012, 09:15 AM
I am getting away without using a small base die but you really must FL size. I do not crimp but many guys do.

Wahoo95
March 21, 2012, 09:18 AM
Small base dies aren't needed if you set your standard dies up correctly to FL size. I do use a Lee Factory Crimp Die because my load grouped better during testing.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk

MtnCreek
March 21, 2012, 10:26 AM
I use a small base die. That's the only way dillon sells them and it gives me a little extra confidence in my reloads that are 90% LC surp. I’ve also loaded .223 w/ Lee FL and neck only dies. It’s been a long time, but I don’t remember having any issues neck sizing. With 55gr FMJ’s, I use a moderate crimp with a separate die. Most others don’t get a crimp.

For plinking, Hornady 55gr FMJ purchased in bulk is a good bullet for a decent price. I’m currently loading that w/ IMR8208. IMR4895 and Varget are two other really good powders. A good accuracy load for me has been a 69gr SMK over a stout charge of Varget. I’ve read where a lot of people use only CCI or even CCI mag primers for AR’s, but I’ve never had a slamfire with plain-jane WSR primers.

Tex4426
March 21, 2012, 11:18 AM
I use 0 crimp on mine...I have found that out of my gun it is consistently more accurate not to crimp

rjrivero
March 21, 2012, 11:36 AM
FL Sizing die. Never used a small base, nor had the need to.
FL Sizing for semi autos. I don't "custom load" for a single gun.
No crimp for me on my .223.

moxie
March 21, 2012, 11:37 AM
Full length dies. No crimp needed. Push a loaded round against the edge of a bench with a fair degree of firmness. If the bullet doesn't move it's good to go.

rcmodel
March 21, 2012, 11:48 AM
No.

I have used standard RCBS .223 dies for 40 years to reload military 5.56 brass for various AR-W's, Mini-14's, and Remington & CZ bolt actions.

Any chambering problems I have ever experienced can be traced back to not adjusting the sizing die to push the shoulder back from whence it came.

Or imperceptible buckled shoulders from trying to crimp untrimmed brass.
Trimming, or a Lee FCD, or just don't crimp in the first place cures that.

rc

rockn30809
March 21, 2012, 12:02 PM
I only FL size my .223 for the AR. I also put a slight tapercrimp on them. Not really necessary to crimp but I do anyways.

cfullgraf
March 21, 2012, 01:00 PM
Does anyone find it necessary to use small base sizing dies?
Can you neck size only or is FL resize a must?
Is it better to crimp your bullets?

Small base die for an AR? It depends.

Cases fired in your rifle, a standard full length die should be fine.

With the variability of 223 Remington.5.56 NATO chambers and the manufacturing tolerances of dies, you can get into a situation where cases fired in one rifle and full length sized will not fit into the chamber of a different rifle.

How do I know, I have such a combination of rifles and a particular full length resizing die.

Adjusting the die, short of maybe machining off the base of the die, makes no difference. The die bumps the shoulder more than adequately for both rifles.

My advice, if you have a standard full length sizing die, stick with it but be aware of potential problems when sizing cases fired in another rifle. After a while, you will know how finicky your rifle's chamber is.

If you need to buy dies, I would get a small base die set and not worry about it.

I do not crimp any loads fired in my ARs.

General Tso
March 21, 2012, 07:00 PM
I needed dies so I bought small base just to be safe.

GLOOB
March 21, 2012, 07:23 PM
If you don't need small base, wouldn't you be killing your brass, faster?

cfullgraf
March 21, 2012, 09:56 PM
Maybe, but you probably will not see any difference in case life.

I do not.

Damon555
March 21, 2012, 11:03 PM
I full length resize all my 223 brass with regular Lee dies. No need for a small base die.

Waywatcher
March 22, 2012, 01:47 AM
I use a Small Base die for my AR (and a Precision Mic to measure shoulder-bump.) It is technically correct to use Small Base dies when loading a cartridge that will see use in an auto, lever, or pump. I'm the kind of guy who reads and follows instructions, so YMMV.

I crimp if there is a cannelure, and I don't if there's not.

Canuck-IL
March 22, 2012, 06:19 AM
Why is it "technically correct" to use a SB?

IMNSHO, what's correct is what works reliably and is safe. I've 2 ARs used for HP shooting ... one is a tight chambered WOA and the other a slightly looser RRA. Each has it's own batch of brass and each batch is FL sized with a regular die and a .002 - .003 shoulder setback for each use. Never crimped for either one.

The current barrels have 1240 and 2170 through them without a single issue of any kind.
/Bryan

MtnCreek
March 22, 2012, 08:08 AM
If you don't need small base, wouldn't you be killing your brass, faster?

I've never had .223 brass die from head seperation or too thin a wall above the head, so I can't say my small base sizing has shortened brass life. Typical cause of death for my .223 brass is: 1) Brass not collected. 2) Loose primer pocket. 3) Cracked neck/shoulder.

Waywatcher
March 22, 2012, 09:28 AM
Click here. Small Base because the manufacturer recommends it. (http://www.rcbs.com/guide/#faq) It is the second FAQ in the "die" section, and I recall reading it in a few manuals as well.

sugarmaker
March 22, 2012, 09:47 AM
I load for 2 AR's, i don't sort brass between the 2 guns (my son and i shoot HP together, brass collects in the stool) and do not use SB dies nor do I crimp. I do neck expand so the finished case mouth is .221 to .222. No issues so far.

gdcpony
March 22, 2012, 10:10 AM
I FL mine. I tried just necking and it worked for accuracy, but if you go to unload, you are in for a work out getting the round out. Oh well, it was worth a try.

I crimp too, but only because I think it allows for a more uniform tension on the bullet. May or may not be true, but it doesn't hurt.

Canuck-IL
March 22, 2012, 10:30 AM
Click here. Small Base because the manufacturer recommends it. It is the second FAQ in the "die" section

They sell dies so, yeah, I'd kind of expect them to promote suggestions that may or may not actually be necessary. If the brass didn't didn't come from an open-bolt gun, I've never seen the need for a small base, including in very tight match chambers. A SB base die isn't needed by an attentive reloader and it won't save a sloppy reloader from issues.

OTH, if it provides some sort of peace of mind, go for it.
/B

jinxer3006
March 22, 2012, 11:52 AM
Click here. Small Base because the manufacturer recommends it.

Hmmmm. They recommend small base dies for lever action rifles, but they don't have a small base die in .30-30 WCF.

They sell dies so, yeah, I'd kind of expect them to promote suggestions that may or may not actually be necessary.

Yep.

medalguy
March 22, 2012, 11:58 PM
I load for an M16A1, a match AR, and three ARs I and my son shoot. I don't use small base dies on any of the ammo we shoot. I DO use a case gauge and have never had a problem.

Waywatcher
March 23, 2012, 12:26 AM
Yeah, manufacturer's recommendations are a conspiracy to get you to buy a small base die set instead of a full-length die set. :rolleyes:

Like I said before, I am the kind of guy who follows instructions. YMMV.

M1key
March 23, 2012, 12:38 AM
I always full length size brass.

Recently, I been factory crimping for AKs and Mini-14s not ARs.

I have used a SB die exactly once, in 35 years of reloading, on some else's recommendation...I'll never do it again.

M

Canuck-IL
March 23, 2012, 07:08 AM
Yeah, manufacturer's recommendations are a conspiracy to get you to buy a small base die set instead of a full-length die set.

That's just being deliberately naive. Most everyone starts out w regular FL dies; the vendor would like you to add the [likely unnecessary] SB dies - you know, like "New Improved Tide" and the latest gizmos that absolutely antiquate all your other gizmos!
/B

Waywatcher
March 23, 2012, 08:02 AM
It was deliberately true. I started reloading with a blank slate a few years ago. The first rifle I loaded for was a Mini-14. I followed the manufacturers instructions and purchased a small base die set. (Then I ditched that Mini 14 for an AR.)

BigG
March 23, 2012, 09:58 AM
No need for small base dies on any .223 or 5.56mm I've owned.

jinxer3006
March 26, 2012, 02:18 AM
Like I said before, I am the kind of guy who follows instructions.

Then how would you load for a lever action .30-30?

Waywatcher
March 26, 2012, 11:04 AM
Then how would you load for a lever action .30-30?

I don't reload for .30-30. If there was any doubt in my mind about which dies to use, I would consult the manufacturer of the die about it. (I think that cartridges that headspace on a rim, as opposed to a shoulder, are different when it comes to resizing.)

MEHavey
March 26, 2012, 11:46 AM
If reload military once-fired, you may need/use a small-base die the first time you resize to mitigate the
effects of a (deliberately)
oversize chamber in a machine gun. After than, a regular die is sufficient for continued reloading.

The only rifle bullets I crimp are 375H&H and 458Win (you get the pattern). You do not need to crimp
223/AR with normal neck tension

provoartkaa
March 26, 2012, 12:43 PM
Had to use SB dies when reloading for a Browning BAR in 7mm Rem. Mag.

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