Quantcast

Hammer together some .223

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by OrangeCat, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    Messages:
    280
    Alright so for the most part I'm pretty much satisfied with factory ammo. I'm not sure that I really want to invest in handloading or reloading except, I really want some loads tailored to my .223.

    A coworker had an idea, namely that I should get a Lee loader. I've been looking at them and kicking the idea around and it seems to make sense..... which sets off all the red flags.

    Ideally I would like to come up with a 40~, 50~, and 60ish grain load for this rifle it has a pretty slow twist rate and a very short magazine so I'm not expecting much from heavier rounds, and while I'm indulging in fantasy I would like to use the same powder for all three loads with a preference to get best performance out of the middle load.

    I would like to avoid fmj and other non expanding rounds, and was leaning towards 60 grain partitions for the heavier load but really don't have too many ideas. All I remember of dads reloading bench was it was like Vegas you pull the lever and out comes a cartridge.

    I'll try to get to Cabela's this week and see what they have available and get a reloading manual but I thought I might as well pick the brains of strangers on the internet too.
     
  2. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2016
    Messages:
    3,736
    Location:
    The Haymarsh, MI ( Aka, Paradise.)
    While I would like to talk you into a "real" press, you seem to have a plan. Stick with it.


    Oh, and easy does it on seating the primers with that one...:)

    If you like it buy bigger. I have a Lee Hand Press that I use to deprime every case I fire. My dedicated decapper.

    Keeps debris out of my Hornady Single Stage.



    I like the fifty grain V-Max. Ramshot TAC works well with them. (A lot of different powders do. Been on a Varget kick lately, usually use CFE.)

    And if you don't like it, you have a perfect starting gift for a friend. :thumbup:
     
    2ndtimer likes this.
  3. DownEaster

    DownEaster Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Maine
    Be aware that the Lee Loader neck sizes only and that neck sizing is not appropriate for all rifle action types. Also you should only use brass previously fired from that rifle, no mixing brass between rifles and no range pickup brass.
     
    sparkyv likes this.
  4. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Messages:
    3,624
    Location:
    Iowa
    Occasionally there are very good buys on used presses and other reloading tools and equipment on ebay. You need to do some research first to know what you are buying.
    In addition a manual and the good advice you can get here, there are many reloading how to videos online.
     
  5. forty_caliber
    • Contributing Member

    forty_caliber Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2019
    Messages:
    633
    Location:
    Republic of Texas
    The cowboy in me wants to say "That's not the way pard". As others have said: Read the manual, watch some videos, do some research...FIRST. This endeavor deserves careful consideration...i.e. gunpowder and explosives. I'd like to see you grow into an old reloader that still has all of the original equipment fingers.

    .40
     
  6. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Messages:
    3,748
    Welcome to the world of reloading.
    I recommend finding someone who reloads already. Watch them and see what you think.
    Definitely start with a single stage press. Lee is good and cheap. Hornady and RCBS are a little more refined.
    Read the manual and do research before buying your powder and bullets. Find your barrel's twist rate and match the bullet to it. Then match the powder to the bullet.
     
  7. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    Messages:
    280
    It's the only rifle that will get this treatment and it sort of self limits on how many times I can reuse a particular piece of brass.

    Assuming that I walk out with 20 rounds and fire all of them, when it comes time to pick them back up I'll have 16 .223 cases, 8 .22 lr's, 2 9mm's and a 30-06 that looks like a tractor ran over it. So I doubt I'll be reusing the same brass for to long.

    Dad reloads, stepfather reloads, it's just never seemed necessary for me to do, as far as twist rate this is the rifle that grandpa built so it should be a 1-14 twist rate. I don't have any real illusions of getting 60+ grain bullets to work, and even if I did it would reduce it to a single shot rifle. However I would still like to try it and see if I can't get some mutant load that gives reasonable accuracy. Probably going to be a failure but why not try it?
     
    Demi-human and Bfh_auto like this.
  8. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Messages:
    3,748
    If it's 1-14, you will be hard pressed to get a 55gr boat tail to stabilize, let alone a 60 gr. That's more in the 40-50 gr bullet area. My 1-12 won't even stabilize a 62 gr.
     
    OrangeCat likes this.
  9. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    Messages:
    280
    I completely understand that in all probability anything over 55 grains will just be inefficiently turning money into smoke and noise.
    It doesn't seem to mind when I feed it the cheap fmjs but I'm very probably on the limits of what it will stabilize at that point.
     
  10. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    24,805
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    If you plan to just reload pistol and short rifle cartridges but looking at Lee Loader, I have several spare Pro 1000 presses and I can "Pay It Forward" one of them. This way, you just need to buy dies, shell plate, scale, funnel and case trimming tools. Nice thing about 3 station Pro 1000 is you can set up to use it as single stage, turret or progressive press.

    And I have plenty of once-fired military crimped 5.56 and commercial .223 brass and could even remove the crimp and swage the primer pockets for you.

    If interested, PM me.
     
    bassjam, CoalTrain49, Orcon and 10 others like this.
  11. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    8,911
    Random poster: "I'm tired of walking to work and need some wheels. I'm planning to cobble together some pre-owned rollerskates and a milk crate to make a 1950's-TV scooter. I'll be traversing about 4 miles of interstate each way. Any reason this won't work?"
    bds: "I'll just give you one of my numerous cars. I'll even give you some gasoline for it."
     
    LoonWulf, Orcon, Kaldor and 3 others like this.
  12. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    Messages:
    280
    That's a very generous offer but right now I'm just kicking the idea around. I think I'm just going to get the Lyman's manual and see what components I can actually find without having to drive across the state or order online.

    As far as 5.56 I don't think it would be actually dangerous but I am fairly hesitant to run it through this particular rifle.
     
  13. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    5,777
    Location:
    Southern CA
    Kudos to BDS, THR PIF spirit is alive and well!

    For a few $ more than the 3 die Lee set
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1011184659/lee-ultimate-4-die-set
    $42

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/101774921/lee-pacesetter-3-die-set
    $33

    Pro 1000 shell plate
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/5...llplate-4-222-remington-223-remington-380-acp
    $15
    (not saying MIdway is the best price, just easy to find stuff on their website to give the OP and idea of cost)

    Classic Lee loader is $29

    So yes more money than the Classic loader but I would guess you would be a lot happier!
    A lot....
    It will be much faster as well.
    Much faster,.......
    (If it was me I would start doing one case at a time, not progressive)

    So while you do need dies, shellplate etc,
    you will not need
    a hammer
    and a clean pair of shorts after you set off the first primer using the whack a mole.:D


    A Frankford DS750 scale is about $30, I am happy with mine.
    I have other scales but tend to use the DS760 the most. Is it perfect no, is it a good scale for the price, yes IMO.
    You will need the scale and a way to trim the cases no matter which way you go.


    Check out Rocky Mountain Reloading for bullets,
    free shipping and a 5% discount for all THR members with a code.

    You can get load data from powder makes web sites free to give you some ideas
    (Still buy Lyman but something to look at)

    https://www.hodgdonreloading.com/

    http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/

    http://www.accuratepowder.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/WesternLoadGuide1-2016_Web.pdf
    (Western powder downloadable .pdf)

    https://www.vihtavuori.com/reloading-data/

    https://shootersworldpowder.com/reloading-guide/

    There are other powder makers out there but these are the main ones.
    Probably easiest to find Hodgdon (IMR and WIN daya at Hodgdon) or Alliant powders, Western powders mabye 3rd easiest to find.

    If you browse here you can find powders that have worked well with those bullet weights for other people in .223.
    All guns are different so what works well for someone else might not work for you but it could give you some ideas.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
    Demi-human likes this.
  14. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    24,805
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    Wife and I are big into "Pay It Forward" and among many things, paid forward several cars to family, friends and coworkers in need when their cars died or they fell on hard times (layoffs, medical issues, etc.). PIF of one of two Buick LeSabres went to a single mother of two who was struggling to go to school and work part time when her car with no working heater died. I had just replaced the windshield, both half shafts, battery and brake rotors with ceramic pads (I used to do all of my car repairs) and even paid for the smog and DMV registration (So there was no out-of-pocket cost to her. I told her just about everything on the car got recently replaced likely meant for her to enjoy).

    When she took the car home, her son was happy that he no longer had to freeze in the cold as she drove him to school as Buick had awesome heater/AC. She is now going to school full time while taking care of her grandmother back east. Her Aunt works at my work (She reports Buick is running great and niece is happily attending school and grandmother is happy she is there to take care of her) and when I was talking to my coworkers about my roof needing to be replaced in a few years, she threatened to do a GoFundMe to pay for roof replacement. I told her I still have two of my magnesium roofing nailguns and my son would be helping me roof the house and his house but she can certainly "Pay If Forward" to someone deserving in need.

    Having bought our retirement vehicles (2016 Ram 1500 Eco Diesel and 2019 Chrysler Pacifica), we are looking to PIF our 97 Suburban with rebuilt engine/transmission to a handyman with family who fell on hard times. (Life happens, especially unexpected medical issues).

    And during the component shortage years and in recent years, several generous THR members have PIF reloading equipment to me to help set up several new reloaders get started reloading. I however will be keeping all the equipment rcmodel (Richard Ballard) sent me before he passed away in August of 2016 - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/rip-rc-model-sad-news.808727/

    My promise to him was that I would carry on his legacy of generosity of freely sharing his knowledge, experience and perpetuate the notion of "Pay It Forward". His signed/engraved reloading equipment serves as a constant reminder that life is indeed short but our positive influence on others can have a lasting "butterfly" affect.

    To best fulfill promise to Richard, after much thought, I decided to pursue the prototype machine rest build as my first retirement PIF project. Once proof of concept is successfully demonstrated, I plan to PIF copy kits to other THR members, which I believe could be beneficial to many reloaders with their load development (And we are getting some awesome input, evaluation and problem solving on the thread) - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...-pcc-machine-rest-build.852174/#post-11147479

    And if you are new to the "Pay It Forward" notion, it is act of sharing things no longer needed or in surplus to someone in need without expectation of repayment. I see it as universal or fundamental recycling of stuff that really don't belong to us anyways (We all entered this world naked and in possession of nothing and will leave the same way ;)). I recommend the movies "Pay It Forward" and "The Bucket List" to illustrate the process of spreading goodwill to mankind and far reaching and lasting effects it can have. PIF is anti-human nature and in "High Road" fashion, leads us to experience life beyond our immediate daily focus of greed and selfishness - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_it_forward
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  15. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    Messages:
    280
    It actually looks like the Cabela's has a pretty good selection mostly Hornady and the noslers seem a bit pricey to me but not terrible, might be worth looking at the Barnes stuff but the selection there is a little weak.

    Not a lot of primers to choose from but I understand that I just want Remington 7 1/2 so I should be good there.

    Unfired brass seems like sig elite performance or Winchester is the only really good option. I don't even see .223 starline which is what I was kinda hoping to check out.

    Powder choices are imr, hogdon, Winchester a little bit of alliant, and ramshot tac.

    There's also a one book one caliber pamphlet for the .223 looks a little bit like it is probably stuff I could find online but I'm probably going to get it.

    If the price is the same I would assume that the Lyman would be a better option than a manual specifically tailored to one manufacturer.
     
  16. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,622
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Being that it sounds like you have an old bolt action rifle, neck sizing with the Lee whack-a-mole will work just fine. A good tip would be to chamber the empty case in your gun before you seat the primer and pour in the powder. That way you will know whether the case needs full length sizing and will save you the grief of pulling the loaded cartridge apart if it doesn't fit in your gun.

    Even with the included dipper, make sure you have a scale. Even the Lee Safety scale is better than nothing. I actually like mine and it's as accurate as my RCBS 505.
     
    sparkyv and OrangeCat like this.
  17. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    5,777
    Location:
    Southern CA
    I like TAC in .223 meters and shoots well for me in .223.

    Lyman is a good choice for your first Manual.
    The first section detailing reloading is worth reading a couple times.

    Are you loading for a Bolt gun or a AR/other semi auto?
    For ARs with floating firing pins lots of people prefer the CCI mil spec primers #41 or Small Rifle Mag primers.
    One note on Rem primers the 6 1/2s are for lower pressure rifle rounds think .22 Hornet, not for .223 or other High pressure small primer rifle rounds.
    SO don't get the 6 1/2 confused eith the 7 1/2s.

    Some good info here
    https://www.6mmbr.com/6mmbr.html
    If you click on the Green Sierra Boxes under loading the .223 Remington it will take you to Sierra load data.
     

    Attached Files:

    2ndtimer likes this.
  18. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    24,805
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    Instead of trying a bunch of bullets, I can PIF a sample of bullets. I have various 55/62/75 gr bullets to choose from.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  19. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    Messages:
    280
    It's a bolt gun built on a sako vixen action and a model 70 barrel. So it's not really designed with .223 in mind but it shoots and handles pretty well. Grandpa either built or had it built. I have a lot of speculation on how it came about but very few concrete facts. Grandpa wasn't the warmest person I know but he was very good at getting results and had a safe full of projects.
     
  20. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    5,777
    Location:
    Southern CA
    Sounds like an interesting rifle.
    Always cool to keep things in the family and pass them on.
     
    Demi-human likes this.
  21. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    Messages:
    280
    Thanks it's been fun trying to get it set up, I don't think it had enough horsepower for grandpa it doesn't look like it was used much. But I like .223 so it's good for me.

    I did get the Lyman handbook but I'm not sure that handbook is the right word for this it's a little huge. The one caliber one book thing does look pretty good. It still looks like it is stuff that I could have looked up on my own but I think it will be useful to have it all in one convenient package.

    @bds I might take you up on some bullets but I think if I decide to get a real press I'll need something that can do long actions for my swedish Mauser. I'm going through the manual right now and looking for what components I want to try.
     
  22. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,920
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    You are absolutely correct in that free advice, even here on THR, nice as we all are, we are but strangers to you and we probably have a hidden agenda.

    The strangers here make generous offers to assist though, so that's something. When I started handloading not a single person was that kind to me. Maybe I'm not a nice person?

    Anyway, just as a general statement handloading or rather the decision to start handloading isn't on a scale of deciding to get married or buy a house or start a business. It's sort of like a hobby. True, it can be an expensive hobby but it doesn't have to be very expensive.

    One way to make it a COD (chore of dread) is to rely on tools that both are time/labor intensive and offer minimal opportunities to make adjustments, fine tune the finished product. I know that some here on THR will state that they put together the most awesome ammo ever seen on planet earth using the Lee Loader but part of that would rely on simple luck. You don't have to spent 10 paychecks to get tools that will help you achieve your goal of custom tailored ammo for your application. In fact there is a very generous offer on the table for free tooling that will absolutely do what you want and much more.

    Just wanted to clear some clutter out of my head.
     
    Bfh_auto likes this.
  23. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    8,911
    If you're talking about solid copper bullets, be aware that they stabilize (or resist stabilization) about like conventional bullets of the same length, not weight. So if you are constrained by barrel twist to lightweight bullets, you'll have to use even lighter solid copper bullets.
     
  24. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    24,805
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    Dang, you caught us trying to peddle our hidden agenda of making consistent rounds .... Dang you! :p:p:p

    Fortunately, my life experience has been different. When I learned to do automotive bodywork and welding as hobby after college, many people I came across were eager to share with me the tips, especially what not to do with many PIF. When I learned to play the guitar as hobby some years after college, many musicians were VERY kind and generous with help and PIF (In return, I built them low latency DAWs to record their demo songs as I built computers as side business for some years). When I took 2 year building trades program to carry on my family's legacy many years after college (They built custom homes for generations and grandparents ran a cabinet shop), various tradesman I came across were the nicest people with sharing of knowledge and experience.

    After my stint in the Army (Maybe I just met the nicest militants but various people I met in the military were lasting friendship type), when I started shooting USPSA, I met probably the nicest and grounded group of people who reloaded. One bullseye match shooter took me under his wing and taught me the virtues of reloading consistent match rounds and shooting tips. As I progressed and climbed the local club ladder, I found regional match shooters who traveled up and down the state every weekend to be even nicer and freer with sharing of their knowledge and experience.

    Believe me, I am not a nice person; but my life's experience of past 30 years being the recipient of generosity of others in various walks of life has made me a nicer, kinder and generous person in return. I believe this is the result of PIF and the "butterfly effect" at work.

    The primary reason why I came to THR from other gun forums is to continue perpetuating the goodwill of PIF of sharing reloading and shooting knowledge and experience by producing consistent match grade rounds.
     
  25. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    24,805
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    I pity the folks who have to use the whack-a-mole method to reload ... Oh my.

    And why I offered to OP one of many spare Pro 1000 presses (I know, my agenda was to buy a new Pro 1000 with flat base and through the shell plate index for me ... :oops:)
     
    thomas15, Dudedog, Bfh_auto and 2 others like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice