Reloading for Ar .223/5.56 - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Reloading for Ar .223/5.56

I have 2 questions for those who may reload for an AR .223/5.56. You can skip the basic reloading thoughts, I have been reloading for over 50 years, lots for big bore competition, but I have never reloaded for a semi auto. Am curious what people on this forum do.
1. sizing die. full length or small base ?
2. crimp or not crimp ?

I am looking at loading speer 70 gr. or barnes 70 gr. for hunting if they don't put a caliber restriction on the semi bill.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 08:48 PM
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Go with the Barnes.... I killed pigs dead with it... I use a regular sizing die, you really don't need the small base unless you have competition rifle and that chamber is wicked tight. As for the crimp... I use a light to moderate crimp, just because I always crimp. SOme people don't, like my buddy... but I used my finger to push a bullet or two into the case to show him how easy it is. It can happen on feeding from the aggressive action.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 08:52 PM
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my load is... 24gr CFE223 under a Barnes 70Gr TSX. CCI 400 Primer

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 11:27 AM
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I shoot 69gr Sierra Match kings, 25 grains Hogdon Varget, CCI #41 MilSpec primers, very light to no crimp.

I have been told you have to use the small base die set for .223/5.56 semi-auto. Don't know if that is true, but that is what I bought. $40 is not to much to spend to make sure I won't blow my face off. Same with CCI #41 primers, due to the AR's floating firing pin, but everyone said small rifle primers are fine. Again, I found #41's at a gun show and a LGS ordered some for me, so I bought and use them. I might test some Barnes for a yote hunting round when the regs are in for AR use.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 11:42 AM
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Biggest caution for a floating pin is avoiding benchrest primers.

Chamber a round, don't fire it, then pull it out and look at the primer. I haven't done this with an AR, but with an M1/M1A, you'll find a faint mark on the primer. That's where the pin actually did hit the primer when you chambered the round, just didn't have enough force to dent it. But you'll see a small scuff where the pin did dink the primer lightly.

I've never used them, but I've been cautioned that BR primers are soft enough that they COULD permit a slamfire.

I've just avoided them because I don't see any reason to ask for problems, lol.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 04:11 PM
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Biggest caution for a floating pin is avoiding benchrest primers.

Chamber a round, don't fire it, then pull it out and look at the primer. I haven't done this with an AR, but with an M1/M1A, you'll find a faint mark on the primer. That's where the pin actually did hit the primer when you chambered the round, just didn't have enough force to dent it. But you'll see a small scuff where the pin did dink the primer lightly.

I've never used them, but I've been cautioned that BR primers are soft enough that they COULD permit a slamfire.

I've just avoided them because I don't see any reason to ask for problems, lol.
My 300 AAC Blackout pistol build (my first AR build) left more than faint mark, it left a noticeable mark, enough to give me the willies! I took it to my LGS and had the gunsmith check it over to make sure I didn't forget to put in "that gizzy" that keeps it from slam-firing.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 04:53 AM
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1) Full length resize with regular FL dies for AR. I've been reloading for my AR for several years, no need for small base die.

2) No crimp.

3) I've reloaded and shot many thousands of rounds through my AR's and I use regular CCI 400 primers.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
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I am looking at loading speer 70 gr. or barnes 70 gr. for hunting if they don't put a caliber restriction on the semi bill.
Make sure you are a 1:8 twist or faster. The 70 gr. Barnes don't stabilize too well in anything slower.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 09:28 AM
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FL resize, no crimp. 69 Nos Custom Comp, CCI41's 24.5 Varget. Works well out of both of my NM rifles and the A1 build. The shooting partner uses the same under a 69 Sierra MK.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 10:14 AM
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To confuse the subject I use full length and SB dies depending on which AR I'm loading for but if its a load I'll use for plinking for any ARs I use the SB.

A few years ago I bought a crimp die to try out.

I took a proven load and a good shooting rifle and shot two 10 shot groups.

The first group was the proven load and not crimped. It usually shoots into less than an inch and it did on this day.

The second group was the proven load but crimped.

The second group opened up to 1.5".

It may have been that particular load or I may have done something wrong but the crimp hurt the groups.

I have wanted to experiment with some other crimped loads but haven't yet.

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