Loading 223 is its own demon

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Mohave-Tec, Mar 2, 2014.

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  1. Mohave-Tec

    Mohave-Tec Member

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    I have been reloading for years and love it. I have a small bench footprint and I like the hands on approach so I load range fodder 223 on a Lee Classic Turret Press and I do precision work on a Rock Chucker. But I find 223 to be its own demon over any other rounds because of the prep work. Now for the question. What is the most efficient 223 reloader on the market and why? I am not against creating a way to mount something more elaborate to create range ammo, even with my limited work space.
    Thanks a bunch in advance.
     
  2. UziLand

    UziLand Member

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    I load 223 on an old Lyman turret press. I started doing the 223's last year with the standard small base RCBS dies. First time in 20+ years I was breaking decapping pins (berdan primed brass in a once fired batch). I bought the new RCBS "AR" series dies. They cost a little more but are very much worth it. I also bought the primer pocket swager die 2 and that really helped. Now I find the 223's less of a pain than the 7.62x39's.

    UziLand
     
  3. witchhunter

    witchhunter Member

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    Not sure what you are asking, I don't think .223 needs any more prep than any other rifle cartridge. I load all everything on my Rockchucker. A progressive loader will still need the brass prepped beforehand. I do use Sinclair primer pocket uniformers and and deburring tool holders that chuck up in a drill. This makes the prep go faster. I also use a powered case trimmer. If your brass is stretching too fast, it might be your sizing die is adjusted too tight causing a headspace issue.
     
  4. stavman11

    stavman11 Member

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    .223 for an AR was the 1st Round i started loading... That was about 2 years ago...
    Boy have my Processes Changed:cool:

    I started on a Lee Pro 1000....... and never really used it as a Progressive until i change my system about 3 Times...

    Now I Deprime and Size all at Once... Fill the case Feeder Tubes with about 40-50 brass... and Bust em Out... takes about 5min from Load till done..... So ill do about 300-500 in a sitting...

    Then Tumble Clean... then Trim, Chamfer de-Bur as Needed... all Checked in a drill and usualy 2 drills to Speed up the Processes...

    My 2nd Biggest Change was Priming on a Lee hand Primer... This has sped up my process alot... with all the Military Brass and Such.. priming was always the Biggest issue if any was to occur... with a hand Primer I can feel each Primer and saves me a Lot of headache and Crushed Primers

    Then I can load the Tubes.... and Powder drop and Load a Bullet all in progressive Mode.... I can load the tubes and Load 40-50 Rounds in about 15min or less at a nice leasurliy Pace....

    By starting with .223 it made loading 9mm and .357 so much easier...
     
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I see no reason why you can't use your current turret press for loading the .223, I use one. If your powder charge is higher than the Pro auto-Disk will handle you can add the double disk kit. (like I also did)

    Once the military brass is processed the first time you can run the cases through the turret press like you would handgun ammo without a problem. You usually don't need to trim cases more than every 4th or 5th time you load so if you keep track of the loading you can load plenty of ammo quickly and safely.
     
  6. Rico567

    Rico567 Member

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    Yeah, people who "spray" a lot of .223 (as opposed to the way almost all other centerfire rifle ammo is shot) are going to find the workload considerably ramped up. But as far as the chambering itself- no more than average for any other bottleneck rifle cartridge. It's gotta be trimmed (usually every 3-4 firing with moderate loads).
    A lot of my initial lot of brass was military, so of course the crimp had to be swaged or reamed out.
    Then there's cleaning, tumbling, etc., of course.
    But as far as a press is concerned.....it's not going to help you with any of the foregoing steps. That being said, loading .223 on a progressive like a Dillon 650 is a revelation*.

    *The limitation to loading on a progressive is that you really need to use (in the case of .223) a ball powder like 748, H335, or a "short stick" like Benchmark. Otherwise powder dropping becomes problematic.
     
  7. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    The number one accessory required for loading bottleneck rifle cartridges is PATIENCE.

    The number two accessory required for loading bottleneck rifle cartridges is PERSISTENCE.

    • Retrieve brass
    • Store brass
    • Tumble brass
    • Lube brass
    • Resize-and-decap brass
    • Measure brass with case gage
    • Wash brass
    • Dry brass
    • Store clean brass
    • Trim brass
    • Store trimmed brass
    • Prime brass
    • Store primed-and-trimmed brass
    • Drop powder charges
    • Seat bullet
    • Measure length of loaded round
    • Store loaded rounds
     
  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    The 1050 is the most efficient machine I have loaded .223 with. I used other methods before I started shooting 3-gun that worked fine, just took longer than I wanted to spend once the volume I needed went up.

    It still doesn't have enough stations to do everything in a single pass but with a press mounted trimmer on it, the first pass and all of your case prep is done, including swaging the primer pocket. One more time through to load.

    I have also used two different presses. One setup with the trimmer and the other to load with.

    trimmer.jpg

    Video loading 223 with a bullet fed 1050.
    th_1050.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  9. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    Yes, since many of us like to shoot .223 like we shoot pistols it does seem like a higher workload to keep the amount desired on hand.

    So I treat it more like pistol loading and use my LCT to charge seat and crimp, popping out 100-ish rounds in 45 minutes. One just needs a decent set of tools to get past the trim/debur/chamfer part. You quickly find hand tools that worked great for your hunting rifles suck for processing 100-500+ .223 cases.
    For me a lathe type trimmer and a Hornady Case Prep Trio turned a job into a short jog, relatively.
     
  10. Mohave-Tec

    Mohave-Tec Member

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    I figured I'd more than likely stay with my Lee Turret press but I've got to speed up the case prep process without compromising quality. I'm not sure what I'm going to do you. None of the case prep gizmos seem like the ultimate answer just yet. Of coarse all of them seem better than what I'm doing now.
     
  11. milky7272

    milky7272 Member

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    Try the dillion electric trimmer. It sizes and trims all in one and no need to debut.
     
  12. kerreckt

    kerreckt Member

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    I reload my .223 on a Dillon 450. Enough hands on for good quality control and fast enough to crank them out.
     
  13. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    Lee Classic Turret and brass trim chamfer and debur done on a drill press. I want to get a 5 position prep station though.
     
  14. pretzelxx

    pretzelxx Member

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    I have 223, I need more than a single stage I've come to believe. Oh well, the first thousand single stage won't be too bad!
     
  15. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I see loading 5.56 the same as 7.62X51 or NATO 30-06. The only difference is the crimped in primer. All other steps same as any bottle necked rifle cartridge to me. The smaller projectiles MIGHT be a bit more of a pain to load but load some 25 ACP and then think about it.:cool: I do all my loading on either a SS press or RCBS turret presently and have no plans to change.:) YMMV
     
  16. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    I use an RCBS JR. single stage press, up and down, up and down…. it isn't anything fancy or fast, but if I'm going to shoot 'em, I've got to reload them. This is just the thing for me, I'm retired, my wife works part time, 3 days a week, besides vacuuming, I need something to keep my sanity. Its therapeutic .
     
  17. Mohave-Tec

    Mohave-Tec Member

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    Does the Dillon trimmer chamfer and debur as well?
     
  18. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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  19. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    A Dillon 1050 would be the most efficient press for the average reloader (if the average reloader had the funds) as jmorris pointed out. But if you don't have that kind of money laying around, here's three products that are pretty budget friendly that you may be interested in:
    http://rapidcasekicker.com/
    http://www.littlecrowgunworks.com/wft%202.html
    http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/9/pid/25263/catid/8/Super_Swage_600

    Size your brass on your Rock Chucker with the RCK, trim it with a WFT, remove primer crimps with the SS600, then prime/charge/seat/crimp on your turret press. You can buy those three items cheaper than you can buy any progressive press (besides a Lee) and you couldn't get much faster than that without ponying up the mound of cash for a Dillon 1050. I don't personally own any of those products but the RCK looks like a solid product and the WFT and SS600 both carry excellent reputations. I will be adding a WFT and SS600 to my process in the near future. I load my .223 on a Hornady LNLAP so I can't see how the RCK could help me, especially since the only RCBS press I own is a Partner press. But in your situation, I think those 3 products would help you speed up your process greatly without breaking the bank or sacrificing quality or safety.
     
  20. Mohave-Tec

    Mohave-Tec Member

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    Do these trimmers chamfer and deburr too? I think that is the direction I'm heading in.
    I use an swager rather than a pocket trimmer. They work great.
     
  21. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    No they do not; however, they also do not leave any burs on the neck, unless it is time to index the carbide cutter.

    The only time you would want to inside debur after trimming with a Dillon would be if you plan on using lead bullets.

    The middle case is typical of what it looks like out of the trimmer.
    DSC02082.jpg
     
  22. Mohave-Tec

    Mohave-Tec Member

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    That is unusual. I want to see a cutaway of the trimmer body and blade set up. I use FMJBT for range fodder. It is looking more like this is the way to go. How is it that that the trimmers cuts brass where there is nothing trailing inside or outside the case mouth?
     
  23. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Member

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  24. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    The RCBS case trimmer either manual or powered you can buy a 3 way cutter head that trims, chambers and deburrs at the same time.

    I use diluted water based case lube so no need for a second cleaning to remove sizing wax.

    That eliminates several steps. Just prime, powder and seat.
     
  25. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Can't help you with cutaway photos but is just a special die that sizes and holds the case and a motor that has an indexable carbide bit offset on the shaft. Cuts the same way the bit would in a lathe or mill. If burs begin to occur, the bit is dull and it is time to index it to another cutting surface.
     
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