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Do I have this right?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by nyctpt, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. nyctpt

    nyctpt Active Member

    I'll be loading some rounds this week finally with all the gear I got a few weeks ago. I have approx 300 empty pieces of brass which were all fired in my rifle, have been deprimed, neck sized, trimmed, polished and chamfered.

    I have them separated by headstamp, Fiocchi, PMC, LC, Remington, Federal, and Winchester. The Fiocchi and PMC make up about 200 rounds out of the 300.

    I plan on using the Fiocchi to experiment with a few different loads to get something that shoots decent, and then making 300 or so completed rounds.

    Assuming that the load I settle on is well below the maximum listed am I safe to load all of the brass the same? I understand that the POI might change a bit with different brass. No biggie I can handle that.

    In other words if the max load listed is 25 gr for example, would you load 24 gr into a case without starting at 22.5 with that brand of brass? Is that safe? Would 23.5 be safe? How far below the max would be acceptable?

    I understand that the different headstamps may shoot different but how much of a safety margin to I need to leave for pressure differences?


  2. 56hawk

    56hawk Well-Known Member

    What gun and caliber are we talking here?
  3. steve4102

    steve4102 Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing you are talking 223?

  4. Miata Mike

    Miata Mike Well-Known Member

    300 rounds of a very new load is a lot. Just in case there is some sort of loading issue that you feel the need to pull loads apart. I have only been loading a "days worth at the range" in case something is not right. I am sure once I feel good about my process, I will up the quantity's.

    I am guessing you are starting with .223 Remington and you will be going through more than a pound of powder. Take it easy until you have a favorite round.

    I have a favorite H335 load that I would load up that many with and have no regrets. ;)
  5. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    Try 10 - 15 rounds, be sure they feed and function right before loading all 300.
  6. nyctpt

    nyctpt Active Member

    Awesome to have so many quick responses!

    Yes we're talking .223, should have stated that sorry. My situation is complicated by the fact that I am not reloading at my home, but about 200 miles away at my folks house. That's what happens when you live in NYC. I'll be there mid-week through labor day and have access to a range.

    I'm purchasing powder there so I do not know specifically what I'll be using. I hope to use either H335 or AA2230. I have 300 55gr vmax. My plan is to find the best load with what I have using the OCW method described here http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com/#/ocw-vs-ladder/4529811360. Then load the rest.

    I realize that I may not end up with the absolute best load and will have a ton of experimentation left. After this week the next chance I have to load will be in about a month. I would be happy to have a bunch of rounds that needed emptying so that I could try something different then lol.

    Maybe 150 or so is the better goal?

    Thanks again,

  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    5.56/223- imr 4198

    CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.
    55gr fmjbt- My maximum is 21.5gr. I load 20.5gr. +/- .15gr. in all brass straight from the measure, check evey 20th round. But i weight a sample of 5 brass from the lot. If they are close to the standard, i just load. If brass is heavy, then you should use a starting load. Some MKE 08 brass at 102.4gr is on the heavy side. If i use it, i would use a starting load and work up as always. Do your own weight & volume check of your brass, see how it compares like here> http://www.6mmbr.com/223Rem.html
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    When loading mixed brass for plinking etc, I use a load that is safe with the heaviest cases I have.

    Pick a load in the middle of the data and you will almost surely be OK, but it is too bad you are not where you can run some tests with your cases and whatever powder you choose.
  9. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member

    The LC and possibly the PMC could be military which = less volume, drop 10 or so of each on the scale, the ones that weigh more are usually less volume, just as Walkalong states. You may have to ream or swage the primer pockets on this brass also (crimped primers).
  10. nyctpt

    nyctpt Active Member

    Just spent the last hour reading everything I could find on case capacity, and now I'm really confused lol. Seems like this is more of an issue with 7.62 and .308. I couldn't find any mention of a .223 case that had a significant difference in volume except PMP and Lapua.

    I am willing to weigh the brass but I'm using the lee safety scale so I'm limited to 100 gr. Is it acceptable to weigh them in lots of twenty cases in grams instead of grains? I do have a gram scale.

    I think I should be good to go though bc the only military cases I have are the LC and from what I've read they are close in capacity to the commercial stuff. Again, I have no intention of loading near the maximum loads.



    This is for a bolt gun if that matters and I had no crimped primer pockets. The LC brass is from Black Hills blue box reloads (.223).
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011
  11. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member

    Being not anywhere near the maxim load you are good to go.
    I would just go on with the headstamp segregration and leave it at that.
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    .223 case weights are all over the map. Some GI is heavier than some commercial, and some commercial is heavier than some GI. You just have to weigh them to see. Unless you are using max charges, it really isn't a big deal.
  13. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Regarding your weapon, is it a bolt action or auto loader? The reason I'm asking is you said you are using a neck die. If you are loading for a bolt action, your good to go, but if it's an auto loader, necking the brass may cause you some problems.
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

  15. nyctpt

    nyctpt Active Member

    The heaviest are the Fiocchi at approx 98 gr. average. Coincidentally of the mixed brass I have I have the most Fiocchi. Plan is to use those to load develop and assuming the best load is under the max I'm going to load up a bunch. I will keep you guys posted.

    The gun shoots great, it's a Rem 700 SPS Tactical with a cheap 3-9 Bushnell. It'll shoot well under an inch with a bunch of stuff I've tried. Best group is .333 with the Black Hills reloads. Not sure if it'll do that consistently or not, because I sure can't lol.

    My goal at this point is to just get something that shoots well for less than I can buy factory. Then I'll go crazy trying to make one whole groups lol.

  16. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

    For loads which are middle of the road to calm, I have never had an issue mixing over 1,000 pieces of assorted brass and never even bothered to sort them. I did, however, trim and chamfer every case as needed in preparation to eventually loading them. I can shoot the assorted brass and it shoots just fine out of my Semi-Auto 5.56.

    I did work up the load, using the variety of cases, with, perhaps five per powder weight, for perhaps ten different powder weights to watch for overpressure signs (of which there were none).
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    A gun that can shoot a .333 is worth sorting and weighing brass for.
  18. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Well-Known Member

    I too shoot 223 and 308, both thru autoloaders (HK clones). My practice is to initially load 20-50 rounds and shoot those. I just want to make sure the gun cycles and that I can make holes in the paper. I don't try to crank out any volume of ammunition until then.

    Regarding sorting cases: I shoot plinking loads in my 223: 25.5gr of Win748 and 55gr FMJBT. With a load that light I've never worried about different headstamps.
  19. nyctpt

    nyctpt Active Member

    If I can figure out how re-size a pic I'll post some targets I have scanned. The gun definitely shoots much better than I do. I don't think it will shoot .333 consistently but who knows. Before too long I imagine I'll buy a quantity of brass so that it's all one manufacturer and then sort the cases by weight looking for the smallest, most consistent groups. I only have 300 or so rounds through it and I have a long way to go as a shooter. Feels good to walk down range and see a cloverleaf though!

    The last time I was out I was getting some flyers but I think it was copper fouling. I don't have much experience with centerfire stuff and didn't know good old Hoppes no 9 wasn't getting the job done. I tried Hoppes Benchrest and that took out all the copper I could see. Looking forward to shooting tomorrow. I'm gonna shoot a few groups with factory stuff, then try to load a few rounds in the evening. Squirrel season starts Thurs. so I need to check the zero on and put some rounds though my .22 mag. Gonna be a nice few days!

  20. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Well-Known Member

    No you're not. All you're going to do is see which are heavier and which are lighter, and you don't care about the actual weight, right? So stick a piece of chewing gum on the beam until you can adjust the ball and slider for the brass. Then you'll know which are heaviest and which are lightest.

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