223/556

Discussion in 'Reloading Room' started by duster066, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. duster066

    duster066 Supporting Member

    I found an AR I want and will have it tomorrow. I've spent the weekend getting up to speed on the platform and my gun. I've also been looking at reloading. I'm more of a practical reloader loading for plinking, hunting, and SHTF stashing. With that in mind I like the idea of a flexible powder. The only other rifle I load are 30-30 and 30-06 (Garand loads). I got 7mm Mauser dies for Christmas but haven't gone any further there. So two questions:

    I have used IMR4895 only. It looks like a good powder for 223. Any opinions?

    Is 223 and 556 load data interchangeable?

    No need for long tutorials on reloading, but I'd love to hear advice on 223/556. With range brass being in nearly unlimited supply, low bullet and powder expense I can see this being a fairly cheap plinking rifle cal. I'm looking forward to learning and loading for the AR.
     
  2. GLUGLUG

    GLUGLUG Supporting Member

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    Well you won't find any data for 5.56. Its all .223.
    As far as Powders go you're in a great spot to use only one for all those.
    Varget, CFE 223, Benchmark, IMR 4064, BL-C(2).
    There are many more that will work for all 3 but these are pretty common.
    Any cases will work (223 or 5.56), once it's sized they are identical.
    As far as projectiles go, I like the 53gr VMAX. Very accurate and pretty dang cheap at $18 a box.
     

  3. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    The biggest problem with 5.56 cases is that the primers are crimped. You have to ream, primer-pocket-resize, or chamfer by hand.

    I tried using a standard drill bit to chamfer but it didn't cut right and folded portions of the crimp into the primer pocket. This resulted in several smoshed and mushroomed primers which never did fully seat. I had to pop the primers in my AR (dirtying it up), send the brass through the decapper/resizer again, and then hand chamfer the offending primer pocket. It's a lesson learned the hard way. :(

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  4. Branth

    Branth Member

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    Primer swager is the way to go.

    As for load data, get a 5.56 gun and it doesn't matter. Between you and me, I would have no problem with using either load data. Sure, there's a pressure difference on paper, but since the two standards for the cartridges use different scales (CUP vs PSI) and different pressure measuring locations (Case neck vs case body), it is really hard to tell if 5.56 is really any hotter than .223 on paper. The main difference is in the length of the leade and the case neck. So as long as your bullets aren't getting swaged into the rifling during feeding, you're fine with whatever load data you use.
     
  5. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Not until I've hit Break Even on the gear I already have. A swager just pushes the Break Evenpoint out that much farther. :(

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  6. duster066

    duster066 Supporting Member

    Yup I'm only seeing 223 in my books, that's why I asked. This gun, if it's worth a crap, should be a beast out to ranges I've never even considered shooting at. 1 in 7 HBar. I'll start with the 4895, get a decent heavy bullet stash load worked up, then maybe experiment with the guns capabilities. Although it's near impossible to shoot past a hundred yards west of the Cascades. I'm extremely stoked, feeling guilty for sure, but stoked.
     
  7. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    I have a 16" 1:7 HBAR on my AR and I went with IMR 4895 and Benchmark.

    The 4895 covers me for .223/5.56, .270, and .308 while the Benchmark doubles up for .223/5.56 and .308.
     
  8. Branth

    Branth Member

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    I feel your pain. It took me getting an entire batch of LC .308 that needed swaging to bite the bullet and get one. Still, it's a one-time investment, and pays dividends on being able to use much cheaper unprocessed military brass.

    Even with the crimped stuff, I find that you can still get a primer in a lot of it. Just apply gentle pressure and try rotating and resettling the case a few times. If you can't get it, toss it in a box of ammo that needs swaging, and save that brass for when you get a swager.

    I'd really look into H335 as a powder. 4895 is great stuff, too, but H335 is the bee's knees for .223, and I've got good results in the past.

    That 1-7" is gonna be nice for heavy match bullets. Do you have a preference for what bullets you're using? I have some load data if you need it, and maybe a couple of loads to try out.
     
  9. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    You have GOT to quit thinking investment, and think HOBBY! It's not to save money, it's to have fun!:D

    Even as an investment...its not high dollar for these.

    $12 for this one:

    http://www.amazon.com/Lyman-Reloading-Primer-Pocket-Reamer/dp/B000NOOQY4/ref=sr_1_2?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1452545430&sr=1-2&keywords=Primer+pocket+reamer

    I got this one for $20 on a sale at Sportsmans Warehouse...

    http://www.amazon.com/Lyman-Case-Prep-Multi-Tool/dp/B004MCMCYE/ref=sr_1_4?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1452545430&sr=1-4&keywords=Primer+pocket+reamer


    I would have just run them through the decapper...slowly, but really, it won't hurt anything if they pop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  10. duster066

    duster066 Supporting Member

    I'm thinking heavier is probably the way I'll start. From what I've picked up this weekend, about the only thing the light stuff does better is cheap plinking and varmint loads. If this gun has any real mission at all its as a SHTF gun and range toy. It'd be fun to get yotes but that's pretty hard in our jungle. They know you're there long before you break through the brush and get a sight line.
     
  11. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Another thing for you to consider is picking up that complete upper for .300 AAC. A few hundred more clams and you've got another AT&T caliber.
     
  12. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member


    Seen several listed for right at 300$... Some a little less.
     
  13. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    34,826
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    NE Utah
    The funny thing is, you have a .223 chamber,(well..edit, because we found out it isn't that...) but it's probably OK for 5.56 loads, even if the 5.56 loads were actually as bad as the interwebz makes them sound.:rolleyes:

    I am absolutely certain that no one in America sells 5.56, NATO or otherwise marked, that will hurt a .223 rifle. For two reasons....the first is liability, and the second is the REAL reason...they aren't actually any different, it's all just people that can't read specs nor translate metrics to standard, all making bad interpretations and loud noises.:cool:


    All that said...if you are reloading, load .223 for your .223 chamber. The brass will make no difference, despite the oft repeated nonsense folks at the AR sites keep repeating.

    Your barrel wants a heavy bullet for most accuracy...but that doesn't mean it won't be perfectly happy with some 55 grain cheap stuff.;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  14. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    I know I hit you up with a quote on his other thread, but doubling up never hurts. His CMP barrel should be marked for 5.56 despite the lower saying .223. It's a Colt thing. He'll have to be generous enough to post up the barrel markings to be sure, but the MT6601 came with the CMP 5.56 HBAR.

     
  15. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    I had read about the Colts sometimes having both markings...so yes, it will be good to get the info on what is really there, and where it all is, and what it all really means.:p
     
  16. GLUGLUG

    GLUGLUG Supporting Member

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    Ok, a word about swaging out primer pocket crimps. I have reloaded thousands of military crimped brass. I have no crimp remover tool. What I do have is the de-burr tool that came with my press kit. Couple turns with than baby and your good to go. Yeah it sucks and it kinda bevels the pocket instead of rounding like a true swager would but I've never had any complications from doing it this way and you only gotta do it once.
     
  17. duster066

    duster066 Supporting Member

    Yup it's a C MP 1 in 7 5.56 HBAR barrel. As best I can tell it's not chrome, but the chamber should be. I haven't gotten it out to the shop yet.
     
  18. Dane

    Dane Supporting Member

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    I always heard Colt isn't milspec when it comes to changing uppers. You need a colt upper. Had something to do with different size pins attaching the upper and lower.
     
  19. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    34,826
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    NE Utah
    You'd think a drill bit could fix that pretty quick?

    But I think its just the FCG pins that are odd?
     
  20. Dane

    Dane Supporting Member

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    The Colt pins are supposedly larger, so already too big for a milspec. Unless you are referring to drilling the milspec upper? Maybe they were smaller?? :confused: