I have lots of questions.....


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HOODLUM
June 16, 2013, 03:40 PM
I just unpacked my Lee classic turret and am buying dies, etc. In the loading manual it says not to use reloads in a Glock .40 cal. I didn't really understand the reasoning can anyone explain? Can you run a .40 case through a .357 Sig die to size it for .357 Sig? Will a Lee decapping die deprime all brass? I can't find different decapping dies. Is there any advantage to using CCI bench rest primers? Is there any load for 9mm, .40, .357 Sig, .270 Win, .308/7.62 NATO, .223/5.56 NATO that asks for a magnum primer? I read the warning but couldn't find any load in particular for those calibers that asked for a magnum primer. You guys have been awesome so far, I learn volumes of info here even when I can't find the answers to the questions that I have!!!! Thank you guys so much in advance!!!!!!

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HOODLUM
June 16, 2013, 03:45 PM
Also, are there any advantages to using CCI 5.56 or 7.62 military primers over just large and small rifle primers? Rounds will be fired out of both AR weapons with NATO chambers and bolt rifles with .223 and .308 chambers.

dmazur
June 16, 2013, 04:07 PM
I didn't really understand the reasoning can anyone explain?

Obviously, a quality reload is no different from factory ammo, but the manufacturer has no assurance of this quality. So, the disclaimer is a simple way to avoid liability for damage to gun or user.

I can't find different decapping dies.

Almost all resizing dies perform the decapping step...no need for a separate die.

...are there any advantages to using CCI 5.56 or 7.62 military primers over just large and small rifle primers?

Even with full-length resizing, there is some danger of slamfires with semi-auto rifles with floating firing pins.

Military-spec primers have either harder cups or are less sensitive and, I believe, are recommended for reloading AR's, M1A's, etc.

It should also be noted that lots of reloaders ignore this recommendation, but that doesn't make the concerns of slamfires invalid.

david bachelder
June 16, 2013, 04:11 PM
I can answer one.

"In the loading manual it says not to use reloads in a Glock .40 cal. I didn't really understand the reasoning can anyone explain?"

Sounds like horse crap to me. I reload .40 S&W for my Glock. As a matter of fact it gets a steady diet of reloads. It has had more reloads shot through it than anything else.

FYI
Maybe it's the dreaded "Glock Bulge (http://www.gundigest.com/reloading-handloading-articles-advice/shooting_fixglockbulge)" they are so concerned with, if so then why do they make a die to remove it?

the count
June 16, 2013, 04:11 PM
In fact I am pretty sure most manufacturers say that reloads are not authorized in their guns... covering their rear, I can understand that.

HOODLUM
June 16, 2013, 04:27 PM
It's not in the weapon manual, it's in the Lee reloading manual. It says on page 546, "Do not use reloads in Glock or similar guns with chambers that do not fully support the cartridge due to the intrusion of the feed ramp". I understand what they are saying, I just don't understand the reasoning unless it is a liability issue.

HOODLUM
June 16, 2013, 04:30 PM
So military primers for my AR weapons. This shouldn't cause a problem firing these rounds in a bolt gun from what I understand, right?

Magnum Shooter
June 16, 2013, 04:33 PM
Can you run a .40 case through a .357 Sig die to size it for .357 Sig?

No, the 40 case is not long enough to allow for the shoulder and still be the proper length.

Will a Lee decapping die deprime all brass?

If it is the Universal decapping die then YES, except it does not work for 50BMG.

Is there any advantage to using CCI bench rest primers?

Not for a new reloader

Is there any load for 9mm, .40, .357 Sig, .270 Win, .308/7.62 NATO, .223/5.56 NATO that asks for a magnum primer?

You might find one or two.

So military primers for my AR weapons. This shouldn't cause a problem firing these rounds in a bolt gun from what I understand, right?

Right

HOODLUM
June 16, 2013, 04:42 PM
Thank you guys very much. So, I'm not going to be concerned with buying magnum primers. And since I'm not trying to group 10 into a dime at 100 yards, I'm not looking for bench rest primers either. I need to also get a die for the "Glock bulge" and a universal decapping die would probably be a good investment to deprime everything before cleaning and polishing and then resizing. I'm guessing that just because a .357 Sig is a modified .40 case, it doesn't mean that we can do it, like it can be done with some similar rifle caliber.

beatledog7
June 16, 2013, 04:57 PM
I'm guessing that just because a .357 Sig is a modified .40 case...

Well, yes and no. There's not a 357Sig case that's ever been a .40S&W case. As was said above, the .40 cases are two short to be formed into a safe-to-use 357Sig case.

You can, however, size 357Sig in two stages: full size with a .40S&W carbide .die, then neck size with a 357Sig die. This allows you to skip lubing the cases then somehow removing the residual lube. For me, a worthwhile option.

Rule3
June 16, 2013, 05:09 PM
This is from the Hodgdons reloading web site:

http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

You will find the 40 SW and un supported Chambers in a lot of reloading manuals an gun manuals. So do not load for a Browning HP in 40 SW either.;)

It's a liability thing. Millions of Glock 40"s out there and folks reload for them. I am not one of them but do not hold it against anyone.:D I have 40 SW's just not Glocks. which are fine, just not for me.




"40 S&W: This data is intended for use in firearms with barrels that fully support the cartridge in the chamber. Use of this data in firearms that do not fully support the cartridge may result in bulged cases, ruptured cases, case-head separation or other condition that may result in damage to the firearm and/or result in injury or death of the shooter and/or bystanders."

HOODLUM
June 16, 2013, 05:53 PM
When you say full size the .357 Sig, you mean with a .40 carbide die, right? Also, what are recommended bullets for a jhp round in my 3 pistols? I carry with and keep Winchester Ranger ammo. I know everyone has their favorite for whatever reason....but if I could find their bullets, that would make my day. Even if they are out of stock currently, I could get them in the future.

glc24
June 16, 2013, 05:54 PM
I need to also get a die for the "Glock bulge"

Do you really have to? Are Lee dies that much different than Dillon?
I reload for my Glock 23 with a Dillon 550B,and the resizing/decapping die works perfectly fine for taking the "Glock Bulge" out of the case.:)

HOODLUM
June 16, 2013, 05:59 PM
I'm not sure, I'm asking more than telling.

david bachelder
June 16, 2013, 06:41 PM
I have RCBS dies for the .40 and they would not remove all of the glock buldge. I bought the Redding die and that got me back on track.

I usually keep the .40 brass seperated so I can run it through the redding die. Some slip right through it some take a bit of force. I'll do a couple hundred at a time. Next I toss them into the ready to load bucket.

I go through a lot of .40 S&W in my Glock 23. My Glock doesn't even bulge the brass much. I like my Glock, it has been very dependable and shoots well.

ocymmv

HOODLUM
June 16, 2013, 07:09 PM
I just saw where Lee also has a "bulge buster" die kit. Anyone have or have used one of these?

HOODLUM
June 16, 2013, 07:11 PM
Am I correct in assuming that .223 dies will load 5.56 brass and .308 dies will load 7.62 brass?

glc24
June 16, 2013, 07:12 PM
I go through a lot of .40 S&W in my Glock 23. My Glock doesn't even bulge the brass much.

Is it a Gen 4? I pretty much see (or should I say don't see) the same thing as you do. Very little if any bulge. Where I do see it,is in the "other" once fired that I reload.:)

PapaG
June 16, 2013, 07:13 PM
When I worked in the gun store I took time to read every mfrs owners manuals. Each and every one had a disclaimer about honoring t he factory warranty should hand loads or reloads be used. Typical "bottom feeder" boilerplate to cover their butts. How the heck are they going to tell what was fired in a gun returned for repair? Know what you are doing, don't rely on bubba advice, use a load manual, don't interpolate data, and be responsible for your own actions and you will be fine. That said, guns that leave much of the case unsupported are not the best candidates for reloads. They are why some die mfrs have push through dies to remove the base bulge. If it bulges, it "can" burst.

cfullgraf
June 16, 2013, 07:14 PM
Also, are there any advantages to using CCI 5.56 or 7.62 military primers over just large and small rifle primers? Rounds will be fired out of both AR weapons with NATO chambers and bolt rifles with .223 and .308 chambers.

Most important when seating primers for semi-auto rifles is to have the primer seated properly. The primers should be slightly below flush with the bas of the case.

A high primer is an invitation to a slam fire.

CCI #34 and #41 primers are manufactured to match military specification on sensitivity and other aspects. There is nothing wrong in using them although not necessarily required.

I also use Remington 7-1/2, CCI small rifle primers and Winchester small rifle primers in my AR-15 rifles. I also use CCI large rifle primers and Winchester large rifle primers in my M1 Garands.

Federal rifle primers have a reputation for being more sensitive than other primers and should be avoided in reloads for semi-auto rifles.

I cannot comment on the Russian and other brands of rifle primers. I did recently buy some Magtech small rifle primers to try in my AR-15s.

Hope this helps.

greyling22
June 16, 2013, 07:26 PM
Early 40 cal glocks had issues with the barrel not completly enclosing the case, allowing for the case to bulge at the bottom. (The "glock bulge" you read about). You can resize this to a degree, but it's hard on the cases. So cases tend to wear out over time. Combine those 2, and you have a possible recipe for disaster. Or even bulged cases not resizing all the way down and not chambering (thus the bulge buster kit)

It's hard to write out "some early glocks don't like reloads in 40 cal in your instructions. What's early? do I still have early? How do I tell? IS this safe, should I call lee? So Lee just puts something in there that says "don't use reloads in a glock 40" It's easier.

Attached is a picture I stole off the internet showing 2 glock 23 barrels and a lone wolf barrel with a supported chamber.

Reloadron
June 16, 2013, 07:30 PM
Am I correct in assuming that .223 dies will load 5.56 brass and .308 dies will load 7.62 brass?
Yes. That would be true.

Also, I won't get into it but something else to read about is SB (Small Base) dies in .223 and .308.

Ron

Schwing
June 16, 2013, 07:32 PM
If someone has not addressed this already, It is not recommended to shoot lead through a glock. They have polygonal rifling. Polygonal rifling is shaped like an arc, instead of being squared off at the edges like conventional rifling. Evenso, I know a lot of people who use lead reloads in their glocks but the theory is that it can cause dangerous pressure levels in a glock. Personally, if I was going to use lead in mine, I would find an aftermarket barrel with conventional rifling.

HOODLUM
June 16, 2013, 07:34 PM
Well then, the fact that I have a Lone Wolf barrel and I don't mind running cases through the bulge buster die, then I should be good......?

HOODLUM
June 16, 2013, 07:37 PM
I am not going to run lead through my Glocks......... unless absolutely positively necessary.

HOODLUM
June 16, 2013, 07:38 PM
Google it or search it here?

HOODLUM
June 16, 2013, 07:44 PM
Search the SB dies on Google or here or somewhere else?

beatledog7
June 16, 2013, 08:14 PM
When you say full size the .357 Sig, you mean with a .40 carbide die, right?

Yes, sorry to flub that.

I have a Lee bulge buster kit, and it does work. It is essentially a Lee FCD from which one removes the crimping sleeve and just forces the empty brass completely through. For every 100 .40 brass that won't pass a case gauge after sizing, it will fix about 90.

cfullgraf
June 16, 2013, 08:19 PM
Search the SB dies on Google or here or somewhere else?

My recommendation is if you do not have dies for the semi-auto rifle cartridges, buy the small base resizing dies. If you already have resizing dies, the standard dies will probably do you well. Just be aware of the body sizing issue if you have chambering problems.

The issue is, particularly with 223 Rem/5.56 NATO is there are a number of different chambers out there and they vary a little here and there. With cases not fired in your rifle, you may encounter chambering problems with standard resizing dies. The problem is mostly a sum of tolerances in the die and chambers that the body of the case is not resized enough.

If you plan on buying once fired cases from unknown sources or pick up cases at the range from unknown sources, you would be well served to use small base resizing dies.

If you start with new cases and/or use cases only fired in your rifle, standard resizing dies would be fine.

Again, if you do not have dies already, just buy the small base dies and be done with it. Case life will not suffer due to the perceived extra working of the case. Chances are, the case will fail for other reasons or be lost before over working the body of the case will come into play.

Why take a chance of chambering problems if you do not have to.

Hope this helps.

Rule3
June 16, 2013, 08:24 PM
I am not going to run lead through my Glocks......... unless absolutely positively necessary.

Well then you will here from all those Glocksters that say they do all the time:rolleyes:

BUT, if you have a Lone Wolf barrel then you will have no bulge and you also can run lead as they have conventional rifling and supported chambers.

The Glock bulge is usually only a problem with the hotter rounds, I have plenty of range brass shot from Glocks and there is no serious bulges. Once fired from a supported chamber like a Sig it is back to normal. The problem occurs when the same brass is used over and over and it gets weak.

Long story short if you want to avoid all these issues, get a after market barrel, problems solved.

Potatohead
June 16, 2013, 08:53 PM
Hey what am i looking for in Greylings picture? They all look the same. Where is the unsupported part on the Glock barrels? Im a noob, obviously

david bachelder
June 16, 2013, 09:31 PM
"Is it a Gen 4? I pretty much see (or should I say don't see) the same thing as you do. Very little if any bulge. Where I do see it,is in the "other" once fired that I reload."

I have no idea. It's fourteen years old. Does that answer the question?

david bachelder
June 16, 2013, 09:33 PM
"Hey what am i looking for in Greylings picture? They all look the same. Where is the unsupported part on the Glock barrels? Im a noob, obviously."


Holding the barrel upright, the bulge (unsupported chamber area) will be at the 6:00 position.

HOODLUM
June 17, 2013, 12:49 AM
The older barrel, first one in the pic.... you can see more of the case at the 6 o'clock position.....

greyling22
June 17, 2013, 02:06 AM
see the area in red? see how there is more case showing in the older barrel than on the lone wolf barrel? especially at the 6 position?that is where the case tends to bulge or bust. it is unsupported or un-surrounded by the chamber, thus will swell out further than the rest of the case because the chamber keeps the case to a limited size. Does that make sense? It's late and I don't trust my brain anymore......

HOODLUM
June 17, 2013, 11:05 PM
Anybody got any ideas on the Winchester Ranger bullets?

greyling22
June 18, 2013, 12:42 AM
my google-fu reveals:

http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=546878

http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/defensive-ammunition-ballistics/56054-winchester-ranger-ammo.html

Looks like there are better bullets, but in times like these I guess you take what you can get.

GLOOB
June 19, 2013, 05:09 AM
Is there any load for 9mm, .40, .357 Sig, .270 Win, .308/7.62 NATO, .223/5.56 NATO that asks for a magnum primer?
Only precaution I can think of is

Remington recommends 5 1/2 magnum primer for 40SW, 357 SIG, 357 mag rather than the normal 1 1/2 SPP.

S&B recommends their magnum SPP for those calibers, as well.

I understand this has more to do with the strength of the primer cups, rather than how hot the primer is.

And I've heard it said that Wolf/Tula regular SRP are not always hot enough to light ball powders in 223. They're pretty scarce, anyways. Wolf/Tula 223 primers and magnum small rifle primers seem to be the norm, and those are both hotter than their regular SRP.

warhwkbb
June 19, 2013, 10:38 AM
HOODLUM, I have some advice on reloading the .40s&w. If you use picked up range brass, stick to the lighter pressure reloads. You have no idea what that brass was originally loaded to and what pistol shot it. .40 brass is so plentiful at any indoor range, that any brass I pick up that has been "Glocked" gets tossed during sorting. In my opinion, buying some special die to remove a bulge is asking for trouble. Guess where that brass is likely to fail? I have loaded just over 7K 40s&w and never used any special sizing die and have yet to have a single issue with my reloads.

I have the infamous 2'nd Gen G23. Factory ammo shot in my G23 usually get's Glocked, and I won't reload that brass. My reloads do not cause any bulges, even with my unsupported chamber. However you mention you have a lone wolf barrel. The extra case support is comforting AND you can shoot cheaper lead bullets. That's a win win. Have fun and be safe...

Potatohead
June 19, 2013, 01:19 PM
"Hey what am i looking for in Greylings picture? They all look the same. Where is the unsupported part on the Glock barrels? Im a noob, obviously."


Holding the barrel upright, the bulge (unsupported chamber area) will be at the 6:00 position.
thanks

Potatohead
June 19, 2013, 01:21 PM
Great. thanks everyone. no wonder i couldnt see it, i do now though

HOODLUM
June 20, 2013, 09:44 PM
Greyling22, I know where to buy rounds ready to shoot, I'm looking for the actual bullets. And as far as how 'good' the ammunition is or how well it performs, almost everybody has an opinion and opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one and most of them stink. This ammo has never ever failed to fire, feed, or eject in any weapon that I have ran it in. I have never had ANY problem with it in any way. To me, knowing that the round is going to do exactly what it is supposed to do everytime I pull the trigger is worth more to me than some perception of what a bullet does better than a different one. If someone shows me a person that would be ok getting shot with a ranger instead of a gold dot, then I'll change my mind.

HOODLUM
June 21, 2013, 12:13 AM
Ok, so what about dies.... from what I understand you can pretty much use any die in any press..... What do you guys use/recommend? I have a Lee classic turret.

warhwkbb
June 21, 2013, 07:03 AM
Absolutely nothing wrong with Lee dies. However, if you have not yet purchased dies for rifle, I would use Cfullgraffs suggestion to purchase small-base dies the first time around. For 223, I like Dillon's carbide die sizing. It is small-based AND has a carbide ring to help with sizing, even though you still need a bit of lube. But most of all, it has a built-in case extractor.

RealGun
June 21, 2013, 07:47 PM
Ok, so what about dies.... from what I understand you can pretty much use any die in any press..... What do you guys use/recommend? I have a Lee classic turret.

I found that I needed Lee locknuts because the Hornady locknuts were too bulky to pack into that 4 hole setup. The Hornady decapping/sizing die works fine but with a Lee locknut.

bds
June 22, 2013, 12:04 PM
In the loading manual it says not to use reloads in a Glock .40 cal. I didn't really understand the reasoning can anyone explain?
Sounds like horse crap to me. I reload .40 S&W for my Glock. As a matter of fact it gets a steady diet of reloads. It has had more reloads shot through it than anything else.
In fact I am pretty sure most manufacturers say that reloads are not authorized in their guns... covering their rear, I can understand that.
Do you know what kind of ammo Glock factory team and countless other Glock match shooters use every week all across the world? Yes, reloads. ;)


I am not going to run lead through my Glocks......... unless absolutely positively necessary.
You can shoot lead bullets in factory Glock barrels with some consideration, mainly inspecting the barrel for fouling build up every 200-300 rounds - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=8854631#post8854631


Maybe it's the dreaded "Glock Bulge" they are so concerned with, if so then why do they make a die to remove it?
It's not in the weapon manual, it's in the Lee reloading manual. It says on page 546, "Do not use reloads in Glock or similar guns with chambers that do not fully support the cartridge due to the intrusion of the feed ramp". I understand what they are saying, I just don't understand the reasoning unless it is a liability issue.
Glock chambers are generous (especially earlier generations) with larger mouths of chambers and some brands of dies (like Dillon and RCBS david bachelder posted) with larger radius on the sizer bottom won't fully resize brass fired in Glocks all the way down to the case base. I use both RCBS and Lee carbide dies for 40S&W and Lee dies have smaller radius on the carbide sizer ring and will resize further down on the cases fired in Glocks.

For resizing dies that won't fully resize cases to the base, push-through resizing with Redding G-Rx (Glock Rx) and Lee Factory Crimp Dies (FCD) will ensure the bulged cases will fully chamber in any other brand barrels, even in tighter chambered match barrels.

This comment is not for normal case wall expansion but over-expansion of case base. The reason why Lee Bulge Buster has that warning is that if a case is overstretched in an unsupported barrel, thinning of the case wall thickness can occur and no amount of push-through resizing will fix the thinned case wall to make the wall thicker. Repeated thinning of case wall and push-through resizing will weaken the case wall and may lead to case failure/rupture.

Personally, I would be more concerned with bullet setback increasing chamber pressures to over max levels - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=714981


Well then, the fact that I have a Lone Wolf barrel and I don't mind running cases through the bulge buster die, then I should be good......?
HOODLUM, I have some advice on reloading the .40s&w. If you use picked up range brass, stick to the lighter pressure reloads. You have no idea what that brass was originally loaded to and what pistol shot it. .40 brass is so plentiful at any indoor range, that any brass I pick up that has been "Glocked" gets tossed during sorting. In my opinion, buying some special die to remove a bulge is asking for trouble. Guess where that brass is likely to fail? I have loaded just over 7K 40s&w and never used any special sizing die and have yet to have a single issue with my reloads.

I have the infamous 2'nd Gen G23. Factory ammo shot in my G23 usually get's Glocked, and I won't reload that brass. My reloads do not cause any bulges, even with my unsupported chamber. However you mention you have a lone wolf barrel. The extra case support is comforting AND you can shoot cheaper lead bullets. That's a win win. Have fun and be safe...
Good post. If you reload mixed range brass, you don't know the reload history and the true condition of the brass. The cases could have been overstretched and case wall thinned several times and push-through resized and polished to look nice again. Unless you cut the case in half, you won't be able to tell with your eyes how thin the case wall is at the case base.

With mixed range brass, especially for 40S&W, I prefer not to use full-power or max charges. Instead, I use mid-to-high range load data of W231/HP-38. When I switched my match caliber to 40S&W, using lower pressure target loads to not bulge the case with mixed range brass was one of many reasons why I chose to use W231/HP-38.

I use Lone Wolf 40S&W barrels for G22/G23/G27 and 40-9 conversion barrels. I consider the tighter chambers and fully supported chamber mouths cheap insurance. I shoot a lot and being able to shoot lead bullets without fouling build up for easier cleaning saves significant amount of money over jacketed/plated bullets.

mtrmn
June 22, 2013, 06:39 PM
The CCI military primers are magnum strength. See chart linked below and read notes at the bottom. "The 41's and 34's contain Magnum priming mix and should be treated as such."

http://www.cci-ammunition.com/products/primers/primer_chart.htm


As long as you DEVELOP YOUR LOADS USING THE MILITARY PRIMERS and back off when you get pressure signs you'll be OK. Do not load to max or near max load specs that call for regular primers.

I use the CCI mil primers in every rifle load that I load regardless of the type of rifle it will be used in. Start low and work up slowly til you hit your accuracy node. The specs normally give a starting load and a max load. In AR's I normally start getting pressure signs BEFORE I reach the max load listed in the book.

After over 30 yrs loading I have not once found benefit in loading hot in the pursuit of more velocity. I find the most accurate load I can in each gun and combination of components. Once that accuracy node is found, going above or below that load will result in accuracy degrading. A slow hit is better than a screaming hot miss every time. Sometimes the most accurate load will be pretty fast as well and that's good as long as you do not have pressure problems.

For what it's worth (and all my advice is worth exactly what you paid for it) I shot lots of lead bullets through all 3 of my 1st generation Glocks for years before I heard about the leading problems. Once I heard about it, I kept a closer watch on barrel conditions but still haven't experienced the dreaded conditons put forth on the internet. Maybe my bullets are harder or I don't push them as hard-I don't know.

Just don't be skeered but don't be stupid either and soon you'll be developing loads for your guns that outperform factory ammo.
You'll also have an addiction that's harder to quit than crystal meth....

tly999
June 24, 2013, 09:34 AM
So military primers for my AR weapons. This shouldn't cause a problem firing these rounds in a bolt gun from what I understand, right?
I understand from message #2 that you have bolt rifles chambered in 223 and also some rifles chambered in 5.56. You cannot safely fire 5.56 ammo in a .223 chamber. It is covered in all good reloading manuals.

There is also a difference in 308 and 7.62 chambers, I believe, but you need to verify this.

I reviewed the thread and did not see that these safety items had been mentioned.

Terry

kerreckt
June 24, 2013, 09:54 AM
Quote:
"There's not a 357Sig case that's ever been a .40S&W case. As was said above, the .40 cases are two short to be formed into a safe-to-use 357Sig case."

Well, in fact there are. I have about 50 that are headstamped .40S&W. All factory ammo.The odd thing about absolute statements are all the exceptions.

HOODLUM
June 25, 2013, 12:15 AM
Thanks for the safety concerns guys, I do know the differences in .223 and 5.56 and from what I have read, the .308 and 7.62 are basically interchangeable as per SAMMI. I have only .223 cases for my .223 and etc.... please keep info coming for me. I search and read here and other places, but as you guys know, sometimes this leads to more questions than answers.....

mtrmn
June 25, 2013, 08:55 AM
Thanks for the safety concerns guys, I do know the differences in .223 and 5.56 and from what I have read, the .308 and 7.62 are basically interchangeable as per SAMMI. I have only .223 cases for my .223 and etc.... please keep info coming for me. I search and read here and other places, but as you guys know, sometimes this leads to more questions than answers.....

The CASES are not where the difference comes in. It's all in how hot you load them. The 2 rounds are essentially identical in outside dimensions--the 5.56 is loaded to much higher pressures. The 5.56 CHAMBER is essentially a .223 chamber with a much longer throat area before the bullet meets the rifling, which will handle higher pressures without an undesired event.

Just because you don't put a reloaded 5.56-marked CASE in your .223 does NOT mean that reloaded round is not loaded to 5.56 PRESSURE. A .223 case loaded to 5.56 pressures becomes a 5.56.

After over 30 yrs reloading these things I have never found any reason to load mine to 5.56 pressures because my normal .223-pressure rounds out-perform the 5.56-pressure rounds every time. Just find your accuracy node near the high end of .223 specs and call it a day.

I'm not trying to be harsh here, and I may have jumped to conclusions due to your wording. I just want you to understand now at the beginning and not find out later the hard way. This whole 5.56/.223 issue is confusing enough for those with experience.

Potatohead
June 25, 2013, 10:10 AM
my normal .223-pressure rounds out-perform the 5.56-pressure rounds every time

So, out of curiosity, why do they even load to the 5.56 pressure?

Reloadron
June 25, 2013, 11:21 AM
mtrmn states in part:

The CASES are not where the difference comes in. It's all in how hot you load them. The 2 rounds are essentially identical in outside dimensions--the 5.56 is loaded to much higher pressures. The 5.56 CHAMBER is essentially a .223 chamber with a much longer throat area before the bullet meets the rifling, which will handle higher pressures without an undesired event.

Just because you don't put a reloaded 5.56-marked CASE in your .223 does NOT mean that reloaded round is not loaded to 5.56 PRESSURE. A .223 case loaded to 5.56 pressures becomes a 5.56.

Some good words of wisdom there in my humble little opinion.

Cases loaded to higher pressures result in higher velocities. There is a general 3:1 rule of thumb here in that pressure rises 3% for every 1% rise in velocity.

Interesting reading on that subject can be found here (http://kwk.us/chronographs.html).

I have several rifles chambered in 5.56 NATO including a beefy bolt gun. When developing loads for these rifles I have found that hotter is not always better. In fact that holds true for just about every rifle I own. When working up loads my overall experience has been that I get to a point of accuracy and then higher velocities tend to degrade the accuracy.

This all depends on the powder used and the charge weight but overall I have found that faster is not always better. That has been my experience anyway. You load to a point where a given powder with a given rifle with a given bullet deliver the best accuracy. That being my take anyway.

Ron

Bovice
June 25, 2013, 06:07 PM
So, out of curiosity, why do they even load to the 5.56 pressure?
Depending on what it's used in, it may be advantageous to have that little bit of extra pressure to make sure it cycles the weapon properly in all conditions. Remember, the military is not just shooting 5.56 from M4s and M16s.

Magnum Shooter
June 25, 2013, 06:52 PM
So, out of curiosity, why do they even load to the 5.56 pressure?

US government specifications. Your guess is as good as any as to why the government does what the government does. :D

HOODLUM
June 25, 2013, 09:44 PM
Mtrmn, that was the first time I have ever heard that. EVERYWHERE and EVERYTHING that I have previously read says that the leade is different and that the cases aren't exactly the same. And that is where the extra pressure comes from. As a way to shoot 5.56 in an AR that is actually chambered for .223 I have read where the chamber is opened up a little. I think it is called a Wylde chamber.... I know I have read it on the Bushmaster website as well as other places. Also, somewhere I read that the actual 5.56 cases have slightly thicker walls resulting in a reduced powder capacity, and could generate higher pressures due to a more filled case with the same amount of powder.

warhwkbb
June 26, 2013, 09:51 AM
Mtrmn, that was the first time I have ever heard that. EVERYWHERE and EVERYTHING that I have previously read says that the leade is different and that the cases aren't exactly the same. And that is where the extra pressure comes from. As a way to shoot 5.56 in an AR that is actually chambered for .223 I have read where the chamber is opened up a little. I think it is called a Wylde chamber.... I know I have read it on the Bushmaster website as well as other places. Also, somewhere I read that the actual 5.56 cases have slightly thicker walls resulting in a reduced powder capacity, and could generate higher pressures due to a more filled case with the same amount of powder.
Military 7.62 cases have thicker cases than commercial .308 Win, 5.56 not so much, many commercial 223 cases are thicker and have less capacity than Lake City 5.56 Brass. A 5.56 chamber will have a longer lead before the rifling starts. I keep the reloads for my AR-15 to 223 spec's to extend the case life.

mtrmn
June 26, 2013, 10:25 AM
Mtrmn, that was the first time I have ever heard that. EVERYWHERE and EVERYTHING that I have previously read says that the leade is different and that the cases aren't exactly the same. And that is where the extra pressure comes from. As a way to shoot 5.56 in an AR that is actually chambered for .223 I have read where the chamber is opened up a little. I think it is called a Wylde chamber.... I know I have read it on the Bushmaster website as well as other places. Also, somewhere I read that the actual 5.56 cases have slightly thicker walls resulting in a reduced powder capacity, and could generate higher pressures due to a more filled case with the same amount of powder.

Cases vary in volume, and many commercial cases may prove to actually be thicker than the mil versions. The only reliable way to find out is do your own volume testing on your brass. I'm sure benchrest shooters etc do this on a regular basis, but I don't get that anal.

In my experience, each gun seems to have 2 pressure levels/accuracy nodes where the results on target are the most consistent (accurate.) I begin finding those nodes by first choosing a set of components to test. 90% percent of my loads are military brass and bulk bullets, usually FMJ's. My seating depth is usually determined by the fact that I'll be using the rounds in a semi-auto, so I just load to maximum length that will reliably function in my magazines. Since all this is already decided, the only variable I'll change will be the powder charge.

I load like 10 rds of the starting load, jump the powder charge up 0.5gr and load 10 more, jump 0.5 gr and so forth until I reach max. Then I go to the range and fire test groups of 5 each at 100 yds. Out of these, I will pick out the best groups, usually one light load and one somewhere just short of the max. Most of the time I will opt for the hotter one as long as there are no signs of pressure.

Starting with the hotter most accurate load, I will vary the powder charge by .2 or .3 gr on both sides of that load and determine which direction I need to go to achieve better accuracy. I continue to narrow it down until I'm happy with the performance and this becomes "my load" with this particular set of components. The results go in my notebook.
Sometimes I run across a set of components that just don't like each other, so I grab another type of powder and try again.

Every AR15 I've owned over the years has been able to achieve at least 1.5 MOA at 100 yds with bulk components, and normally better than that. (My old Mini14 I used to own was the only exception I've seen. I don't think it HAD an accuracy node. But that's not the subject here.)

NEVER. Not once, have I found an accuracy node that was hotter than max .223 levels. Therefore I have completely dismissed the quest for hyper-velocity from my list of things to do. That rules out for me any 5.56 data.

I'll write another book about the 5.56 soon as I have more time. Stay tuned.

mtrmn
June 26, 2013, 10:54 AM
5.56:
I've read a lot of articles about the trials for the M16 on the net. (Sorry I don't have any references) But the most believable (to me) story kinda goes like this:
It seems there were a lot of arguments over whether the M16 and it's puny .223 cartridge were fit for adoption by the military. There was one stipulation in particular that required any battle rifle round to be capable of RELIABLY penetrating a military helmet at 500 meters. The .223 just didn't have enough oomph to consistently get the job done, so it's proponents simply decided to keep adding powder until it would meet this requirement. They compensated for the over-pressure condition by extending the throat/leade in the barrel. This allows the bullet a bit more free time before it meets the resistance involved in engaging the rifling.

Once all this R&D was done, they had to re-designate the round to distinguish the high pressure round from the normal pressure .223, so the 5.56mm was born.

If you own a 5.56-chambered rifle, go buy some factory-loaded LC (Federal) 5.56 milspec ammo and shoot some groups with it. I figure it will be mediocre at best in the accuracy dept. The military accuracy standards, although adequate for their purposes, aren't anywhere near mine.
5.56's less-than-stellar accuracy, in my opinion, is due to it being far hotter than the given gun's accuracy node and barrel harmonics.

The lack of accurate performance is why I do not condone the pursuit of extreme velocity in reloading and therefore I never load my ammo to 5.56 pressure levels. All my accuracy nodes are within .223 limits.

IMO, my rifle will never be able to reliably penetrate that 500 meter helmet if I cannot reliably HIT that 500 meter helmet. In other words, a slow accurate bullet on target is better than a screaming fast miss every time.;)

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