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A few questions on .223 and 5.56mm

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by wworker, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. wworker

    wworker Well-Known Member

    I'm not really up on what the difference is between the two calibers, if any.

    Can both be reliably shot in a .223 bolt action rifle?

    Can both be reliably shot in a 5.56mm AR15?

    Is Lake City brass .223 or 5.56mm?

    In the past, I've used both Winchester and Federal .223 in both bolt action rifles and a M4 with no preceived issues.

    I don't remember ever using 5.56mm in any of my firearms, so I don't know if there would be any issues there.

    This might looking like a thread of shooting questions, but I have over a thousand mixed cases of .223 and 5.56 and need to know what to do with these before I start the reloading process. My Dillon 550B arrived today, but I still need the dies and some accessories.

    Any help will be appreciated. [​IMG]
  2. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

    No. You can shoot 223 out of a 5.56 but can't shoot 5.56 in a 223 gun. The pressures are higher in a 5.56 round.
    Yes, that won't be a problem.
    It's probably 5.56. Now if you are going to reload it then you can shoot it in both guns. After you size it and reload it it all becomes 223. You don't want to shoot factory 5.56 in a 223 gun.
    The first thing you want to do is clean them. Then lube and size them. Then clean the lube off, I do this by running them in the tumbler for 5 to 10 minutes. Then check them to see if any of them need to be trimmed and trim if needed. After that they are ready to be primmed and loaded. All of this should be explained in your reloading manual. You will need to get a case trimmer and a caliper. For me a vibratory tumbler is the easiest way to clean the brass.
  3. davepool

    davepool Well-Known Member

    Thanks ,Rusty, I had exactly the same question. I've been saving my brass for awhile and have upwards of 2000 mixed cases, got a Dillon XL650 for christmas with .223 die set,digital scale,tumbler etc. everything but primers bullets and powder... am reading my reloading manuels getting ready to start. I'm still converting my last child to leave the nest bedroom. Wife got the other two for her stuff
  4. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

    Second time today somebody has started a thread on this question.

  5. wworker

    wworker Well-Known Member

    RustyFN, I used to hang out in Gap Mills and Union, WV.

    Thanks for the replies guys. :)

    I understand the reloading process, but I'm not sure exactly how to do this when using a turret press.

    Apparently, a person would have to interrupt the progressive process in order to check case length after resizing or just set up the press for resizing only.

    A single stage press would be more advantageous in this case.
  6. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Well-Known Member

    Unless you want to spend some serious bucks for your progressive press you typically do as you have guessed. (Resize on a single stage, measure/trim, etc, then feed it to a progressive that does nothing in the first station except reprime . .maybe not even that)

    You CAN buy a super fancy die from Dillon that has a trimmer mounted on it and it will resize and trim to length in one operation. If I was shooting high power and burning enough rifle ammo I would be all over one of these. :)

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