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Reloading for 223 (ar15)

OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
With the cost of ammo nearly 200 bucks per 1000 for the russian crap, and the lake city ammo becoming almost unabtainable, not to mention in upwards of 500 bucks for 1000 rnds.

q- what would be the pros and cons of reloading in bulk for the AR15?

COST being the first PRO that i can see. just so that you can see where i have come up with that. I have 1000+ pieces of brass..
2.lbs bl-c2 powder=700reloads @20grea $32
55gr sierra blts 700ct= $92.75
Primers 1000 cci [email protected] .22 eachfor700=$15.40
.................................total$140.15= .20 per round.

Comments

  • PearywPearyw Member Posts: 3,699
    edited November -1
    I can't think of any cons. I have loaded 223 for years. I have gotten bullets cheaper by buying them in bulk when I find them on sale.
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Pearyw
    I can't think of any cons. I have loaded 223 for years. I have gotten bullets cheaper by buying them in bulk when I find them on sale.

    Same here, but as of late i have noticed that regular price is double what it has been in the passed. Cheap ammo is starting to be a thing of the passed. I don't hunt with the AR. i just plink and shoot STUFF, I reload 22-250,243 for varmit hunting and what is to close for that i blast with the 17hmr.

    I didn't know if there was anything i should watch out for as far as the technical side of reloading ie, tolerances like OAL?
    -# of times i can reload a case?
    -would/do i need to clean the primer pockets out of every case?
    for instance I don't clean the primer pockets on any of my pistol brass. and have reloaded 1000's of rounds without a misfire.

    I know that some AR chambers very slightly and aren't always the same as say a bolt action rifle chambered in 223.
  • SW 357MagSW 357Mag Member Posts: 1,960 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Check out this guy. He has some good prices. You can get tracers for as little as $25 per 1,000.

    www.hi-techammo.com
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by SW 357Mag
    Check out this guy. He has some good prices. You can get tracers for as little as $25 per 1,000.

    www.hi-techammo.com


    [:p] I like his prices, even he is seeing a short supply, it looks like. i'll keep and eye on him

    thanks
  • BHAVINBHAVIN Member Posts: 3,490 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I reload thousands of 223's for my AR's every year. Make sure you use a factory crimp die and it will help accuracy and reliability.
    I prefer H335 but BLC(2) will work fine. I usually load around the 25g area for 55g bullets. Winchester 55g fmj bullets are usually priced pretty cheap still especially if you can get the bulk ones less then half of the Sierras if you want HP bullets look at the Remingtons.
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by BHAVIN
    I reload thousands of 223's for my AR's every year. Make sure you use a factory crimp die and it will help accuracy and reliability.
    I prefer H335 but BLC(2) will work fine. I usually load around the 25g area for 55g bullets. Winchester 55g fmj bullets are usually priced pretty cheap still especially if you can get the bulk ones less then half of the Sierras if you want HP bullets look at the Remingtons.



    Thats the kinda inside info im looking for... i had just picked a load out of the book and priced it. And just doing that i was still cheaper than buying bulk ammo at today's prices anyway. I hadn't gotten down to getting the cheapest of componets yet but thanks for the head up... H335 or blc(2) either or, both are spherical and pour out of a dropper like water thats what i am looking for.

    thanks
  • BHAVINBHAVIN Member Posts: 3,490 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Also even though it is hard to find surplus powder right now you can get both H335 and BLC(2) surplus. H335 is known as WCC844 or WC844 and BLC(2) is WCC846 or WC846. You can usually buy 4 8lb jugs with 1 hazmat fee. This makes the powder pretty economical.
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by BHAVIN
    Also even though it is hard to find surplus powder right now you can get both H335 and BLC(2) surplus. H335 is known as WCC844 or WC844 and BLC(2) is WCC846 or WC846. You can usually buy 4 8lb jugs with 1 hazmat fee. This makes the powder pretty economical.


    This is getting better and better, I'll keep an eye out for the surplus stuff.
  • HandgunHTR52HandgunHTR52 Member Posts: 2,735
    edited November -1
    Check out these guys. They have pretty good prices on components.

    http://www.patsreloading.com/patsrel/prices.htm

    They have the WC844 and WC846 in bulk as well as bulk .223 bullets.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 31,944 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have always reloaded for economy when shooting large volumes of ammo. It shoots better and I can load the round for the job at hand.

    Also; getting pulled bullets and surplus powder can save you even more.
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    started to set things up last night, I have deprimed and removed the crimp

    I started to resize I realized that I was going to have to pull each one out of the press and check the length

    I have watched a lot of you tube videos and I don't see anyone trimming their brass
  • BHAVINBHAVIN Member Posts: 3,490 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Do youself a big favour and buy a 223 OAL guage. I have one from Dillon. Use it as a seperate step in the process and you can help with several potential issues at once. 1. The guage will check length and if the case sticks out it needs to be trimmed. 2. It will allow you to inspect the cases for cracks as you are handling them (some cracks aren't visible until after you size the case). 3. It will show you if there are any dings that will not allow the case to fit in the chamber.
    As stated above I load several thousand 223's a year and the OAL guage makes things much easier. You can also use it to check loaded rounds to insure that they will work. IF you keep your brass seperated by firings you can usually go a couple of times before needing to check them again. I have a buddy that does it this way and he just checks his loaded ammo in the guage. He has to pull a round once in awhile. Don't forget the factory crimp die.
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by BHAVIN
    Do youself a big favour and buy a 223 OAL guage. I have one from Dillon. Use it as a seperate step in the process and you can help with several potential issues at once. 1. The guage will check length and if the case sticks out it needs to be trimmed. 2. It will allow you to inspect the cases for cracks as you are handling them (some cracks aren't visible until after you size the case). 3. It will show you if there are any dings that will not allow the case to fit in the chamber.
    As stated above I load several thousand 223's a year and the OAL guage makes things much easier. You can also use it to check loaded rounds to insure that they will work. IF you keep your brass seperated by firings you can usually go a couple of times before needing to check them again. I have a buddy that does it this way and he just checks his loaded ammo in the guage. He has to pull a round once in awhile. Don't forget the factory crimp die.

    10-4 on the OAL guage & FC die

    Do you use a progressive press to load bulk 223? (I think I remember you saying you did)
    If so do you resize & trim as a separate operation?

    I read some where that most case stretching happens in the resize die
    as it is pulled out and over the expander ball

    then I watch all these videos of guys showing off their progressive and they do it all in one and I haven't seen one yet were they check the cases for length before they load it up
  • BHAVINBHAVIN Member Posts: 3,490 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I do things a little differently. I use a DIllon 550B and a RCBS JR press. I process my 223 brass ahead of time so it is ready to load when I need it. I have a bum right shoulder and after surgery it isn't much better. This being the case using my right arm to size gets it sore pretty quick. So for this reason and several others like not liking to remove sizing lube from loaded ammo and liking to be able to closely inspect my cases I size on my RCBS. Here is what I do.

    1. I size on my RCBS (being able to use my left hand).
    2. I clean the lube from my cases.
    3. I swage primer pockets if needed.
    4. I use my OAL guage to check length and for defects.
    5. I trim if needed and chamfer case mouths if trimmed.
    6. I store these in tubs ready to run through my 550.

    Doing it this way allows me to inspect cases several times and in the last 10 years and upwards of 50-75 thousand rounds I have not had a single stoppage or split case. If you only have your progressive press and would like to try it this way just add the sizing die alone and run the cases around the turret like normal. If using 1 fire cases that you have to swage anyway you can't really use the progressive until the pockets are taken care of.

    When I am ready to load all I have to do is run the 550 without the sizing die and prime and load like normal. Less mess and it is faster with less stress on my arm.

    Usually those guys are using new brass. You can run without checking length and just use the OAL guage when you are done loading but then you may have to pull some loads if they are to long. I am happy with overkill when I load and to have a better end product I don't mind adding a couple of extra steps.
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    We'll it has to be done then, I will resize and trim as needed ahead of time

    thanks again
  • BHAVINBHAVIN Member Posts: 3,490 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I thought of a couple of things last night that may help.

    1. Using the factory crimp die helps with OAL of the case and will allow a little fudge room. LEE states "Trim length is not critical. However be certain that your cases are no longer than specifications as a case excessively long will pinch the bullet in the end of your gun's chamber and casue excessive pressures."

    2. You could also use an RCBS X sizing die. You can get them seperately or in a set. They are made to limit the growth of a case and allow for several more firings between trimming. I have not used one myself. IIRC they require you to trim all of your brass to a uniform length that is slightly below spec. This I decided was to much work to trim every piece of brass I have.
  • WulfmannWulfmann Member Posts: 4,851 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have recently switched my 223 loads.
    There is little I have not used in primers and powders and really all worked fine

    I now use Wolf SRM primers which are $18.00 in 5 K lots.
    The magnum is actually the same as the regular but has a thicker cup and was actually made specifically for the AR-15.
    They have been as good as any primer I have used and are cheaper.

    I also switched powder to RamShot TAC. It is clean and meters as good as any being ball.
    It is also cheaper with RamShot (made by Western Powder who makes a lot of factory ammo powder) trying to break in to the reloading business (They recently bought Accurate Powder)
    It is $105.00 for 8LBs so why not buy fresh compared to milsurp which may not be available for long at this point.

    For 55gr I use 25gr TAC to duplicate a factory load.

    Wulfmann
    3YUCmbB.jpg
    "Fools learn from their own mistakes. I learn from the mistakes of others"
    Otto von Bismarck
  • BHAVINBHAVIN Member Posts: 3,490 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I used Tac several years ago as well as some other Ramshot powders. They work well. I still use True Blue for most of my 40 S&W loads. I have also used Tac for 308 with pretty good results. When I go through the powder I have on hand I have been contemplating switching to Tac. I will have to do some accuracy shooting with it and check the prices at the time.
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Wulfmann
    II now use Wolf SRM primers which are $18.00 in 5 K lots.
    Wulfmann



    were are you getting these primers?

    I buy everything threw a wholesaler here but he doesn't know were to get these
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