New to loading AR15


December 4, 2013, 10:53 PM
Hi I have been reloading for a while but only for Pistol. I am new to reloading for AR15,
I have bought myself a Stag15 16in barrel with 1.9 twist, I have some Horn2276b
224 55g FMJ projectiles. Have been told Hodgdon CFE223 powder is good to use around 26.3 Grs. All though I read most people load with ADI powers AR2206H & Bench Mark

Reading a lot of threads have not seen too much info about this powder and a bit reluctant to use it. Hodgdon reloading dater only gives info on Remington reloading,is this the same for Stag arms?

I think I understand all the other info about ORL and cases but would be very grateful for any other info, bit nerves about reloading for the first time for rifle messing with some quiet high pressure.

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December 4, 2013, 11:29 PM
A friend of mine used some CFE223 with his AR-15 and found it to be as accurate and shoot to the same point of aim as H335 and AA2230? powders. He is very pleased with the performance of CFE223. I can't give any load advice as I haven't used it but he probably started in the middle and worked up accordingly. Good luck.

December 5, 2013, 12:28 AM
Hey Mike,
I'm interested in CFE223 as well and plan to try it after I go through my last 8lbs of H335. I am about to do a 2000 round runs so that should just about do it.

Being that you load for pistol, I assume you have a reloading book or two. I would use that data to work up loads with your choice of powder or usually the powder companies have data as you've found with Hodgdon. Make sure to pay attention to what cases you are using as military cases tend to be thicker and may require a lesser charge of propellant. One grain below published data for commercial cases seems to be a good starting point for military cases. Sometimes I can't tell a difference, but pressures can sneak up fast so do your own testing. Also, military and now various commercial cases have primer crimps that must be removed to prevent damaging a new primer being seated. You can cut or swage the crimp out. Pay attention to the case head too. A NATO cross or 5.56 should be assumed to be military brass.

But a case gauge by Wilson or Lyman to get your resizing spot-on. I used to use a headspace comparator but it was a waste of time for me in semi-autos. FWIW, I get my cases sized small enough w/o a small base die, I use a Redding FL die. When I load bullets with a cannelure, I will usually use a LEE FCD for a slight crimp into the cannelure. Nothing excessive, but it makes me feel a little better regarding potential bullet set-back. Neck tension of properly sized cases should be sufficient to hold the bullet, but I give it a light one anyway. Some say this destroys accuracy but I have not found this to be the case for my 55FMJ practice ammo. Bullets w/o a cannelure may or may not get a *kiss* from a taper crimp die depending on my mood!

Primers: Harder is typically better in semi autos, but I don't hear much about it in AR-15's so whatever you have should work fine.

Oh, and .223 Remington is the official commercial name for .223 and data can be used for 5.56 with the caveat above regarding cases.

Good luck!

fallout mike
December 5, 2013, 08:21 AM
There is no load data for your gun. There is only load data for the round. .223 Remington is the name of the round regardless of the name brand gun shooting it. I've had great success using BLC-2 & 748 through my AR.

December 5, 2013, 09:02 AM
Powders for the .223Rem have been hard to come by here of late. I have used H335 exclusively until this year. I have since added AA2230, AA2200, and Benchmark to my list of .223 powders. I pretty much spent the spring working up loads for these powders with CCI SR primers, and Tul KVB223 SR primers so I could have a more diversified load book for my .223 loads. My plan is to work up some loads using CFE223, and W748 after Christmas. I found 7lb of each last week at a LGS.

December 5, 2013, 09:14 AM
Mike as stated above by "fallout" the "Remington" in 223 Rem. is NOT the rifle or firearm used. It is the cartridge name just like the 30-06 Springfield and 308 Winchester. These are the names of the Cartridge Not the firearm.

Hodgdon data for the 223 Remington is the Correct data for you to use.

They list a Start charge of 26gr and a MAX charge of 27.8gr with CFE223.

December 5, 2013, 11:02 AM
Any .223 data is safe to shoot in 5.56 chambers, as well as .223 chambers. Your rifle will be labeled as one or the other. All dies are labeled .223.

There are many powders well suited to loading .223/5.56. Pick one you have or can get and check a manual or online for data.

H335, BLC-2, 2230, Exterminator, Tac, Benchmark, N130, N133, H-322, CFE223, 8208, LT-32, etc, etc. Almost anything in that burn rate range.

December 5, 2013, 11:21 AM
for 223 I have had used:

IMR 4891
IMR 3031
IMR 4895
AA 2495

BLC2 was my favorite so far and it appears very close in burn rate on the chart to CFE223. I cant find any more though!

December 5, 2013, 11:34 AM
I've been using IMR 8208 XBR lately and liking it. It meters very well and gives excellent results at the range with 55 gr HPFB out of a 1:7 barrel AR.

December 5, 2013, 12:15 PM
55 grain FMJ's?

Anything that will cycle the action.

December 5, 2013, 01:24 PM
Reloader 7 and Reloader 10X also work great with 55FMJBT.

Here are some recent chrono results (AR15 with 16" barrel):

- 55 gr. FMJBT, 21.5 grs. RE-7. Average velocity: 2885 fps

- 55 gr. FMJBT, 21.5 grs. RE-10X. Average velocity. 2717 fps

December 5, 2013, 05:25 PM
I have been using IMR 4064, using 24.5 grns and a 55grn FMJ projectile with good results from my AR -1:9 twist

December 5, 2013, 05:39 PM
Thank you for all this info, I really appreciate it. One more question, I read that most load to the ORL 2.250 or around that. I have measured factory ammo I have used and its all around 2.1700 - 2.1750 and it works in my gun. Does it make any difference?

December 5, 2013, 06:02 PM
Book shows 2.200, so that's what I have been using.

December 5, 2013, 06:24 PM
I seat FMJ 55's to where the case-neck meets the cannelure.

That should take care of the OAL issue with those bullets.

December 5, 2013, 06:33 PM
I don't have experience with that powder, but I do use those bullets. My load is 24.5 gn of Accurate 2460. I have found the accuracy to be very good for my purposes which is strictly recreational range use. General advice: get a case guage to check case length and headspace, cross reference your load with at least two manuals plus the powder manufacturer data usually available online. Load 5 rounds starting at the minimum and step up in intervals to near the max. Depending on the powder I.e. difference between min and max load, .3 grain steps should be adequate. Put each set of rounds in a separate plastic baggy and mark the load on each. Take em to the range and fire from a bench rest to see which gives you the best group.

December 6, 2013, 10:36 AM
Thank you for all this info, I really appreciate it. One more question, I read that most load to the ORL 2.250 or around that. I have measured factory ammo I have used and its all around 2.1700 - 2.1750 and it works in my gun. Does it make any difference?

Max length for an AR is determined by the magazine, which is 2.260. Seat your bullets to whatever works in your rifle as long as it is not over 2.260 and it feeds without issues. If you do these two things and have enough bullet seated into the case for good neck tension, than it makes no difference.

Once you find a load you are happy with you can try adjusting OAL for improved accuracy, but IME this has little affect in an AR type rifle.

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