Progressive press for .223/5.56?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BuckRio, Mar 17, 2017.

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  1. BuckRio

    BuckRio Member

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    I am a brand new member today! My first post, I have a question about reloading for the .223. I have been shooting an AR for a few weeks now, and I realize that unlike all of my other rifles, I won't be able to keep up with my RCBS Rockchucker. Simply too slow. Is there a progressive press that can spew out .223 like a .45 ACP that people have experience with? I have been loading for 20 years, for at least a dozen calibers, but never for a high volume rifle. All of my handguns (except my CCP) are revolvers, so even they can be done on the RCBS.

    thanks ahead of time.
     
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  2. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    Any progressive can crank out large numbers of 223/556 once you have it setup.

    Do you have a budget you want to stay in?
    Also how much are you going to be shooting?

    I ask as the Lee progressive is the cheapest progressive option but they have mixed reviews.
    Dillion progressives are expensive but the high end standard.

    Another option is the Lee Classic Turret which is very reasonably priced and while not a progressive, can be setup to get you cranking out decent amounts of ammo. Check out some of the YouTube videos.

    FYI, I have the Lee Classic Turret and use it like a single stage right now, but like you once it gets warmer I'll probably be going through more ammo so will go that route unless I really I can't keep up. Then a progressive will have to be something to save up for. In that case, I'll cry until I can afford a Dillon.
     
  3. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    I load .223 on a Dillon 550B, and think that it does a nice job.

    The only aspect that I don't like is that you don't have an opportunity to inspect your seated primers if cranking in full progressive mode. I recommend going over all of your finished ammo to be sure primers are seated slightly below flush.
     
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  4. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    I like my Hornady LNL for 223 and many handgun cartridges. No experience with blue or green progressives but I know they are good too.
     
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  5. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    It's not going to be as easy as 45 ACP because you are going to need to trim. That can be done quickly though, I use a 650 to size and trim to length on the first pass.

    [​IMG]

    Now you are ready to make a load pass, unless your brass has crimped pockets then you need to cut or swage them. Most methods take longer than sizing and trimming with the above setup but you can get a 1050 that swages the pockets as part of the loading process.

    Add a bullet feeder to that and you can crank them out just like your 45 auto rounds.

     
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  6. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    A good in between is the Lee auto index turret press. Its alot less setup and hassle and money as a progressive is but still about 2-3 times faster than loading single stage.
     
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  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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  8. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    All seam to work. Like said you have to deal with trimming brass. Steps involved with a AP are very similar to a SS. With the addition of a brass feeder and or bullet feeder it keeps you from having to handle the brass.
    1. clean
    2. size
    3. remove lube, optional depending on what your using
    4. Trim - I use a Trim-it II with a 3 way cutter in a drill press. There are others out there.
    5. Now load the brass feeder up and get ready to roll. Prime, powder, bullet seat.
    Note: Power selection for using a AP, Remember your not hand weighing, so you want a powder that will meter good fro your dispenser.
     
  9. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Member

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    You are also probably going to be dealing with crimped primer pockets. As a result, your process for dealing with once-fired brass will be a little different. I've found the best way to process large quantities of brass with crimped primer pockets is the Dillion Super Swage 600. AR rifles are also pretty particular about the dimensions of the brass. I suggest getting a case gauge and checking each 223 case for length, shoulder setback, and neck length.
     
  10. Paddy

    Paddy member

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    I feed pre-primed cases into my Dillon BL550 for all high production rifle. I believe it's the best way, although I'm sure any of the progressives could work well.
     
  11. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Any of the main stream presses will work just fine. Choose the color that best matches the decor in your reloading room.

    I load 204 Ruger on an RCBS Pro2000 but I do it in two phases. First is resize, trim and clean. Then, I prime load them at a future time.
    (I shoot prairie dogs with a 204 Ruger AR-15, need lots of ammo for the adventures)

    But, I could do this just as well on my Dillon BL550 or Hornady L-N-L instead of the Pro2000.

    Look into the RCBS Gold Medal seater die. While a bit pricey, you drop the bullet in a window in the die and it lines up the bullet with the case. More convenient than balancing the bullet on top of the case while raising the press.
     
  12. JohnMc

    JohnMc Member

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    :) That's funny. Now you made me think that it's nice Hornady red and Lee red don't "clash."
     
  13. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    Top 3 choices would be:

    1. Dillon
    2. Dillon
    3. Dillon

    ;)
     
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  14. Load Master

    Load Master Member

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    I also reload .223Rem using three steps. Step #1 Deprime, #2 Cleaning, lube sizing, trim, chamfer, swag primer pockets, and the last step #3 Loading.

    This shows me decapping about 150 cases. It's pretty fast to do as you can see in this time laps video:


    This shows the sizing of the .223Rem. It goes pretty quick as well:


    The last step is loading:


    I hope you find what works for you! Happy Reloading!
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  15. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    I've adapted this from the military cadence from the movie Battleground

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_cadence



    You had a green press on your right (you left)

    You had a blue press on your left (your right)

    Had to find out if the LCT would fight (you left)

    LCT is the fastest of all (you hope)

    Sound off! (1-2)

    Sound off! (3-4)

    Sound off! (1-2-3-4); (1-2) 4 pulls!
     
  16. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    BuckRio;

    I'll suggest you find the "Dillon Precision Is The Bomb" thread on this forum & read it.

    900F
     
  17. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    The one with exploding primers :D
     
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  18. z7

    z7 Member

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    If you want to pay for it, you can really crank out the ammo on a progressive. Dillon 1050 costs an arm and a leg, but will flat get things done with the built in primer pocket swager.

    if you add a case trimmer to any progressive you can trim while you size. If you watch for sales you could have a hornady LNL AP wiith press mounted trimmer for $800 ready to load. you won't have a case or bullet feeder, but it can really speed things up.
     
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  19. DRAINSMITH

    DRAINSMITH Member

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    O.K. I waited until the blue dogs were done. I have a Hornady press with a Hornady case feeder with a Hornady bullet feeder. I prep my brass by running it threw my Hornady sonic cleaner before I deprime my brass I then put it threw my Hornady case tumbler. I then run my brass threw my Hornady case prep center. Oh I use Hornady brass and Hornady bullets.

    I suggest you get a Dillon, and then you too can say you load on a Dillon.
     
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  20. BuckRio

    BuckRio Member

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    Thanks for all of the replies...I was busy at the first gun show of the year (Minnesota Weapons Collectors) this weekend. I purchased a Little Crow WFT in .223 so I will get busy trimming brass...

    Question: I usually use a Lee factory crimp die on everything, will a progressive press accommodate this?

    My usual process for reloading is to prep all new brass by trimming to length, deburring and chamfering the case mouth and flash hole, neck sizing to take out any dents and making sure the primer pockets are uniform. All of the brass is kept in lots, so I only reload one caliber about once/twice a year. Maybe more with the .223.

    After firing:
    I universal deprime, clean and full length resize. I'll spot check a few to make sure the brass didn't stretch too much. But the last step is always a crimp with the Lee.

    thanks
     
  21. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    If there's anyone who can give "Blue Nation" a run for their money it's Drainsmith.
     
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  22. BuckRio

    BuckRio Member

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    I'll watch a few of the attached YT videos...I don't know if I can trust a Lee press, I had one in the 80's and it was a POS.

    Just got a couple thousand bullets from Rocky Mountain Reloading, will be using 25 gr Varget for starters.

    FWIW: PPU brass ROCKS...I bought a thousand and have not had ANY dented case mouths. I could probably just load them up they are so uniform.
     
  23. JO JO

    JO JO Member

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    he posted a picture not long ago of his set up lots and lots of red impressive setup for sure
     
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  24. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Fella's;

    I bought my Dillon 550 long before the red l-n-l ever came to the market. As far as I'm concerned, if I were to buy another progressive press it'd once more be blue. After all, why change when it works 100% to my satisfaction. Then, over the years since the l-n-l has been introduced, I've had a couple of stray thoughts about them also. I know that the U.S. Palma team has produced their ammo on a Dillon, can Hornady say that? I don't know, but I doubt it or I'd have heard about it.

    900F
     
  25. DRAINSMITH

    DRAINSMITH Member

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    All right, many think I have a thing against Dillon. That is not the case, they make a fine press. But they made that fine press 40+ years ago AT&T made fine phones 40+ years ago Quasar, Zenith, and RCA made fine tv's 40+ years ago. Now you can't fine a AT&T phone a Quasar, Zenith, or a RCA tv. They didn't keep up with new technology ......they are gone. If Dillon can't keep up with advancements they too will go by the way side. I hope not they make a fine press. I can just do more with my Hornady.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2017
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