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Reloading Dies for .223

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Sky King, Oct 31, 2012.

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  1. Sky King

    Sky King Member

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    I'm looking to start reloading for my LE6920 using 55gr with H335 on my XL650
    I've been reloading with Lee dies for my handguns, but this is my first attempt on rifle cartridges. Any suggestions as to what dies I should purchase for reloading .223's and do I need to trim the cases if they are all once fired.
     
  2. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    You won't know whether you need to trim cases until you measure them after resizing, and compare the dimensions to the SAAMI spec for that caliber. There is some sort of sizing die that is supposed to eliminate the need to ever trim cases. I think some folks are still using it. Others have cast it aside as a gimmick.

    There aren't any bad dies on the market.

    You can spend extra for things like micrometer seating stems, and "factory crimp" specialty dies.

    The cheapest dies money can buy will serve you just fine until you want heated seats.

    The first "extra" case-prep item you will need for reloading .223 will likely be a tool to remove the primer-crimp in military-spec cases.
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Any makers set of dies will work. The RCBS X Die is the die that "limits" brass stretching. I like my standard RCBS FL die for .223. I have a standard Redding seater for plinking ammo. I have a Redding bushing style FL sizer with a Forster seater for accuracy loads.
     
  4. Sky King

    Sky King Member

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    I already have a Dillon Super Swag 600, I'll look into the RCBS X dies
     
  5. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    I have Lee and RCBS die sets for .22-250. I've tested the ammo from them and can't tell any difference. Personally, I like the adjustments on Lee dies. They are much easier to set and adjust. However, RCBS has the best customer service I've used. Coke or Pepsi.
     
  6. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    If you are used to the Lee dies already just buy them in 223.:) I like the Lee decapping system that keeps you from breaking your decapping pin. You will find at least one in your first 100 that is berdan I bet. Also I like the neck expander on the Lee dies. I own Lee, Dillon, RCBS, Lyman, Bair, Hollywood, Ideal, Hornaday, and several other brands of dies. All of them work well and I own Lee mostly, next largest amount is RCBS with at least 2 sets of all the others.

    Also the lee trimming system is a good, inexpensive one and readily expandable to other calibers when you already have the lock stud and cutter.
     
  7. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    I prefer RCBS small base die set for .223 and use a Lee FCD die to crimp. Works great for me in my Hornady LNL. I had trouble with Hornady .223 dies not sizing the cases enough for an AR with a tight chamber so I switched to the RCBS set that I use now.
     
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    From what I've read .223 short base dies work better on a progressive press when making ammo for a semi-auto AR-15 or the like. I don't load with a progressive press so I can't verify that so possible someone who does can either verify that or not.
     
  9. hentown

    hentown Member

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    Sometimes I wonder where some of you guys get your informaton. You don't need small-base dies, unless your AR won't feed cases sized in a regular die. The small base dies work the brass more than standard dies.

    I use a Lee sizing die on my 650, and it works great; however, when loading a bunch of .223 brass for my ARs, I like the RCBS X die. After the initial trimming to 1.740", I don't have to trim on successive reloadings.

    I don't crimp any of my rounds for my ARs. Unless you're roll-crimping into a cannelure, crimping will have no effect on setback.
     
  10. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    I don't use a small base die, and I've never had a problem with rounds chambering in an AR-15. I do know that all my brass was fired in civilian firearms though. If you're getting brass from a military range, you might need to size them in a small base die the first time around since the M249 has a notoriously generous chamber and will leave the brass a bit on the large side near the case head.

    I personally hate the Lee "unbreakable" decapping stem. It slides up and fails to remove crimped, sealed primers and that's with the collet tightened using a large wrench on both the die and the collet. I've never broken a decapping pin with other dies so I find it a gimmick that hampers its effectiveness at doing the job for which it was intended. I've also had problems with a Lyman .223 die sticking cases regardless of lube type or application.

    I have the RCBS X-die in .223 and .204 but haven't gotten around to using them. Realize that you still need a case trimmer with the X-die since you have to trim the cases to 0.010" shorter than published trim-to length for the die to work correctly. That means that something cheap like the Lee Zip trim or the Possum Hollow trimmer won't work because you can't control the length of the trim.
     
  11. sirgilligan

    sirgilligan Member

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    Well, I am in the process of getting setup to reload. I chose the RCBS small base die set. I have yet to get the case trimmer. I did find almost $20.00 difference in prices for pistol at my local stores, so shop around, the rifle dies varied in price about $8.00.
     
  12. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    I mostly use a dillon .223 die. It's small base and has a carbide expander ball. They offer it with a carbide sizing ring, but it's not worth the extra $$ to me because .223 sizes easy. I also have lee .223 dies and they work fine with lubed necks.
     
  13. Direwolf

    Direwolf Member

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    Yep, small base die for me, too.
     
  14. Otto

    Otto Member

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    Like many people, I don't crimp .223 rounds. Whether you do or not is a personal decision.
    Dillon dies include the crimper...Redding, Forster and RCBS normally don't.
    For use with a XL650 I'd go with Dillon dies.
    For a single stage press I'd buy Reddings or Forsters.

    As mentioned above, Dillon rifle dies are small base.
     
  15. AABEN

    AABEN Member

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    I like the Lee dies and they will take care of you if you have any trouble! They replaced a die for me at NO cost that I goof up. All so you can get parts straight from them.
     
  16. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Helotaxi just take the decapping pin assy out and rough the stem up slightly with 80 grit sandpaper and then the stem will behave a lot better for you after it is reinstalled.
     
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Well, I wasn't sure about using small base dies and I said so but I got my information from those willing to help on this forum. Then hentown sorta jumped on me about it but I guess I'm not the only one since a lot of the posts after that also suggested small base dies. I never said I was sure and hoped those who do use them would chime in, and they did. Thank you for the information guys...
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    No jumping on anyone, but I do not use a small base die and have never had issues. Some folks insist on them, and I won't argue, as using a small base die will never hurt a thing. (Assuming it is set up properly, but of course that goes for all dies.)
     
  19. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I just use a standard Lee 223 decapping die that is 20 years or so old and all is well at the range with my reloads. Even when I buy and process surplus brass that was fired in a MG. This is for three bolt guns, three Mini 14's, and a tight barreled AR. YMMV:)
     
  20. dgod

    dgod Member

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    Fogo207, I am very pleased with the RCBS Ttanium Dies, the only problem I have encountered is the De-priming tool, no other way to say it, it SUCKS. I went to a set of Lee Dies, to get a different Depriming Die, it works superb, So I have officially changed my 5.55/.223 to Lee, works flawlessly, and no Deprimer problems like with RCBS.

    Good Luck,
    Dan

    Night time comfort,
    Colt Agent 45ACP, CT Laser, a Remington 870 Tactical, CT Laser, and 190 Lumen Night Light.

    All the time comfort,
    Colt LE, 5.56mm, Quad Rails, Laser, 150 Lumen Light, 8 Magpull 30’s, a Henry 45LC Mares Leg, a Winchester Model 94, 3030, a H&K MP5, a Sig Sauer Mosquito, Savage 17HMR, Sweet 17 Scope. A Remington .243, a Beretta 92FS, a CZ 75 (Original) Still a Tack Driver), And about 20 others, too many to list.

    Reloading all but the 17, 22LR and the 12
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  21. dgod

    dgod Member

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    Oops, Double Post.....
     
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