Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Reloading .223 for an AR-15

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by HOOfan_1, Mar 21, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,698
    Location:
    Virginia
    Does anyone find it necessary to use small base sizing dies?
    Can you neck size only or is FL resize a must?
    Is it better to crimp your bullets?
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  2. Bowfishrp

    Bowfishrp Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Messages:
    246
    Location:
    Spring, TX
    I am getting away without using a small base die but you really must FL size. I do not crimp but many guys do.
     
  3. Wahoo95

    Wahoo95 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    229
    Small base dies aren't needed if you set your standard dies up correctly to FL size. I do use a Lee Factory Crimp Die because my load grouped better during testing.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
     
  4. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    3,954
    Location:
    West GA
    I use a small base die. That's the only way dillon sells them and it gives me a little extra confidence in my reloads that are 90% LC surp. I’ve also loaded .223 w/ Lee FL and neck only dies. It’s been a long time, but I don’t remember having any issues neck sizing. With 55gr FMJ’s, I use a moderate crimp with a separate die. Most others don’t get a crimp.

    For plinking, Hornady 55gr FMJ purchased in bulk is a good bullet for a decent price. I’m currently loading that w/ IMR8208. IMR4895 and Varget are two other really good powders. A good accuracy load for me has been a 69gr SMK over a stout charge of Varget. I’ve read where a lot of people use only CCI or even CCI mag primers for AR’s, but I’ve never had a slamfire with plain-jane WSR primers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  5. Tex4426

    Tex4426 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    627
    Location:
    Boonville, IN
    I use 0 crimp on mine...I have found that out of my gun it is consistently more accurate not to crimp
     
  6. rjrivero

    rjrivero Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,064
    FL Sizing die. Never used a small base, nor had the need to.
    FL Sizing for semi autos. I don't "custom load" for a single gun.
    No crimp for me on my .223.
     
  7. moxie

    moxie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,069
    Location:
    Erath Co., TX
    Full length dies. No crimp needed. Push a loaded round against the edge of a bench with a fair degree of firmness. If the bullet doesn't move it's good to go.
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    No.

    I have used standard RCBS .223 dies for 40 years to reload military 5.56 brass for various AR-W's, Mini-14's, and Remington & CZ bolt actions.

    Any chambering problems I have ever experienced can be traced back to not adjusting the sizing die to push the shoulder back from whence it came.

    Or imperceptible buckled shoulders from trying to crimp untrimmed brass.
    Trimming, or a Lee FCD, or just don't crimp in the first place cures that.

    rc
     
  9. rockn30809

    rockn30809 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I only FL size my .223 for the AR. I also put a slight tapercrimp on them. Not really necessary to crimp but I do anyways.
     
  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Messages:
    7,120
    Location:
    East TN
    Small base die for an AR? It depends.

    Cases fired in your rifle, a standard full length die should be fine.

    With the variability of 223 Remington.5.56 NATO chambers and the manufacturing tolerances of dies, you can get into a situation where cases fired in one rifle and full length sized will not fit into the chamber of a different rifle.

    How do I know, I have such a combination of rifles and a particular full length resizing die.

    Adjusting the die, short of maybe machining off the base of the die, makes no difference. The die bumps the shoulder more than adequately for both rifles.

    My advice, if you have a standard full length sizing die, stick with it but be aware of potential problems when sizing cases fired in another rifle. After a while, you will know how finicky your rifle's chamber is.

    If you need to buy dies, I would get a small base die set and not worry about it.

    I do not crimp any loads fired in my ARs.
     
  11. General Tso

    General Tso member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Messages:
    386
    Location:
    Ohio
    I needed dies so I bought small base just to be safe.
     
  12. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,941
    If you don't need small base, wouldn't you be killing your brass, faster?
     
  13. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Messages:
    7,120
    Location:
    East TN
    Maybe, but you probably will not see any difference in case life.

    I do not.
     
  14. Damon555

    Damon555 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    857
    Location:
    The south
    I full length resize all my 223 brass with regular Lee dies. No need for a small base die.
     
  15. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,563
    Location:
    WI
    I use a Small Base die for my AR (and a Precision Mic to measure shoulder-bump.) It is technically correct to use Small Base dies when loading a cartridge that will see use in an auto, lever, or pump. I'm the kind of guy who reads and follows instructions, so YMMV.

    I crimp if there is a cannelure, and I don't if there's not.
     
  16. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,590
    Why is it "technically correct" to use a SB?

    IMNSHO, what's correct is what works reliably and is safe. I've 2 ARs used for HP shooting ... one is a tight chambered WOA and the other a slightly looser RRA. Each has it's own batch of brass and each batch is FL sized with a regular die and a .002 - .003 shoulder setback for each use. Never crimped for either one.

    The current barrels have 1240 and 2170 through them without a single issue of any kind.
    /Bryan
     
  17. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    3,954
    Location:
    West GA
    I've never had .223 brass die from head seperation or too thin a wall above the head, so I can't say my small base sizing has shortened brass life. Typical cause of death for my .223 brass is: 1) Brass not collected. 2) Loose primer pocket. 3) Cracked neck/shoulder.
     
  18. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,563
    Location:
    WI
  19. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Messages:
    544
    Location:
    VT
    I load for 2 AR's, i don't sort brass between the 2 guns (my son and i shoot HP together, brass collects in the stool) and do not use SB dies nor do I crimp. I do neck expand so the finished case mouth is .221 to .222. No issues so far.
     
  20. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    757
    Location:
    Sherrodsville, OH
    I FL mine. I tried just necking and it worked for accuracy, but if you go to unload, you are in for a work out getting the round out. Oh well, it was worth a try.

    I crimp too, but only because I think it allows for a more uniform tension on the bullet. May or may not be true, but it doesn't hurt.
     
  21. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,590
    They sell dies so, yeah, I'd kind of expect them to promote suggestions that may or may not actually be necessary. If the brass didn't didn't come from an open-bolt gun, I've never seen the need for a small base, including in very tight match chambers. A SB base die isn't needed by an attentive reloader and it won't save a sloppy reloader from issues.

    OTH, if it provides some sort of peace of mind, go for it.
    /B
     
  22. jinxer3006

    jinxer3006 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    132
    Hmmmm. They recommend small base dies for lever action rifles, but they don't have a small base die in .30-30 WCF.

    Yep.
     
  23. medalguy

    medalguy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,207
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I load for an M16A1, a match AR, and three ARs I and my son shoot. I don't use small base dies on any of the ammo we shoot. I DO use a case gauge and have never had a problem.
     
  24. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,563
    Location:
    WI
    Yeah, manufacturer's recommendations are a conspiracy to get you to buy a small base die set instead of a full-length die set. :rolleyes:

    Like I said before, I am the kind of guy who follows instructions. YMMV.
     
  25. M1key

    M1key Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,450
    Location:
    SW
    I always full length size brass.

    Recently, I been factory crimping for AKs and Mini-14s not ARs.

    I have used a SB die exactly once, in 35 years of reloading, on some else's recommendation...I'll never do it again.

    M
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page