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

Starting to get into reloading .223 Remington

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ziegler44, Oct 21, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ziegler44

    ziegler44 Member

    May 19, 2011
    Hello everyone. I've started to take an interest in reloading and finally bought most of the gear I need. I just have a few questions about the .223 Remington.

    1. Do I really have to tumble/clean my cases?
    2. I'll be reloading using PMC Bronze .223. What should my case length be?
    3. Also I'll be loading Winchester 55gr. FMJBT. What should be my seating depth in the PMC cases?
    4. What powder and powder charges/loads do you like to use for plinking around?

    Any additional information would be helpful as well.

  2. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Sound to me like you need a reloading manual.
  3. Gdbyrd

    Gdbyrd Member

    Oct 4, 2011
    Rio Grande Valley, Tx
    Agreed, pick yourself up a good solid reloading manual. It'll be more help than we will until you get the basics down.

    1. You will have to clean the cases. I don't shoot a whole lot, so I take the time to clean the cases individually after a good soap/water bath. This is not ideal though.
    2, 3, 4. All these will be answered with your reloading manual.

    I know "buy a reloading manual," is not the answer you wanted to hear. But it's the best thing you can do if you're just getting started with reloading.
  4. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

    Jul 3, 2010
    I agree, get a manual and read it thru a couple times. I GUARANTEE it will save you from easy mistakes if you read it first. As for your questions. I dont tumble any of my brass, wash them off and i continue on. Case length will be listed in a manual.. and since i have my Speer13 handy ill rattle it off for you
    Case trim length: 1.750
    Max Cart length: 1.760
    COAL: 2.215

    My own powerder of choice is 748 at around 26grns
  5. ants

    ants Member

    Nov 24, 2007
    Get a manual.

    For plinking you don't have to tumble cases (or clean in soapy water).
    But most of us do anyway. It's up to you. It's not a bad habit.

    Trim-to length is listed in your manual.
    It doesn't matter what brand they are,
    trim all cases the same.

    Cartridge Overall Length is listed in your manual for each load.
    It is specific to the powder, bullet, primer combination.
    Most load data calls for 2.220 to 2.260, but you must be faithful to your load manual.

    Go do a search on this forum and others, in the reloading section.
    There are threads every week on accuracy loads for 223.
    Many, many shooters find H335 a good powder.
    And 748. And Varget. And Benchmark. And XBR8208. And 4895. And about 20 others.

    Best accuracy is gained through careful case preparation, consistent powder charge,
    and premium components, especially the projectile.

    Go take a walk through the Handloading and Reloading subforum.
  6. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

    May 5, 2005
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    Ditto the manual. Personally, I think the price of every press should be increased to reflect the cost of a manual. Having a press and dies with no manual can result in some pretty poor life choices.

    If you pick up a good manual (I like Modern Reloading) and read through it, rather than just flipping to the data page, you'll find many tips about finding the best load for YOUR rifle. Telling you what I feed my Savage doesn't do any good. Yours will be slightly, or maybe radically, different.
  7. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    1. Realize that that particular bullet isn't especially accurate. The 55gr Soft Points usually are a bit more accurate than the FMJ's. Just seat to the cannulure. Varying seating dept with this bullet is fruitless, as at best they will shoot 1.5-2.0moa. Usually worse. Good plinking bullet, though....
    2. A good powder to start with is H335. I prefer BLC2, but powder charges are about 10% greater, so the H335 will load a few more rounds per pound. But, the BLC2 shoots a tad bit more accurate (IMO) and is about 100fps faster with top loads. But, with the 55gr FMJ, the accuracy advantage is lost.... So go with the "cheaper" load...
    3. The PMC brass isn't too good. It's OK. But, it tends to be "long" (needs trimming before first load), and has crimped primer pockets. These need to be reamed or swaged before reloading. I prefer Win, Fed, or R-P brass. All the mil-spec stuff needs to be "processed" before reloading.
    4. Buy yourself the Lee case trimmer pilot, cutter, shell holder assembly. You can use this to trim the cases and then turn the case in 0000-steel wool to "clean it up". I did this for a couple of decades before the inexpensive tumblers became available in the early '90's.
    If you want to see how accurate your .223 is; load some Sierra 55gr flat-base Soft Points over 25.0gr of H335 loaded to 2.24" oal. Use the PMC brass, but make sure you trim it and ream the flash-holes before loading. Also de-burr the necks. I prefer the RCBS/Forster style reamer/deburr'ers..... Use a cordless hand-drill with the Lee case trimmer set up. Every .223 that was capable of sub-moa would shoot this load sub-moa 5-shots or more......
  8. kingmt

    kingmt Member

    Nov 17, 2009
    Post 7 was a really good post with good info. BL-c(2) works well. I prefer other powders but probably not good for the beginner. Load data can be had for free from the powder company & the library may have a load manual. Once you read it you may never use it again.
  9. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    I consider myself a novice reloader. When I decided to try my hand at it, I studied what other people were doing, what equipment they used for what operations, etc. I think I went into the decision pretty well informed.

    I bought the Hornady LNL kit, and it came with Hornady's manual. Before I even unboxed the press and other items, I read the opening chapters word for word. Every new reloader should do the same. I refer to them frequently. Most of what a novice needs to know is there.
  10. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    North Carolina
    You can get pertinent up to date data at www.hodgdon.com and www.alliantpowder.com.
    Each brand will have the data for the newest powders that are coming on the market that they make/distribute, and won't be in printed manuals for a while.
    If you're just starting out, you'll need to know the proper, safe procedure in case prep and working up your loads. The Lyman #49 manual has a plethora of information to digest, and I recommend it.

  11. medalguy

    medalguy Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    New Mexico
  12. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Manitowoc, WI
    I too, am going to say "Get a reloading manual or three"
    I have seven on my shelf & still think there's one or two I'd like to add.

    1. Do I really have to tumble/clean my cases? "have to"? no, but why run dirty cases through your dies? The scratches aren't worth it.

    2. I'll be reloading using PMC Bronze .223. What should my case length be? 1.750 is the "trim to" length

    3. Also I'll be loading Winchester 55gr. FMJBT. What should be my seating depth in the PMC cases? seat to the cannelure

    4. What powder and powder charges/loads do you like to use for plinking around? my favorite is 26.0 gr of Varget for a 55gr FMJ
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    I am with Hondo on this one, except my blasting/plinking powder is cheap surplus. 55 Gr FMJ don't shoot well anyway, unless you spring for the Hornady's, which do fairly well, for an open base bullet anyway.

    Do yourself a real favor, and get a manual. You should figure out the bare basics for yourself.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page