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Old 03-06-2010, 11:35 AM
tenduil tenduil is offline
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Default 5.56 Reloading



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I am interested in getting a 5.56 reloader and wanted some feedback. It would seem a reloader would be more cost efficient in the long term but wanted to see if anybody else is doing it.

I remember doing it with shotgun shells a while ago but not sure if there is a quality difference with casings.
Old 03-06-2010, 11:39 AM
saskcop saskcop is offline
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Reloading is the way to go for quality, quantity and cost over the long term. It is much cheaper to stockpile components than ammo. There is still much work involved though.
Old 03-06-2010, 11:43 AM
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If your going for quantity then look at progressives if thats a little out of your price range look into the RCBS rock chucker kit. but reloading is like most everything you get what you pay for.
Old 03-06-2010, 11:56 AM
forrestdweller forrestdweller is offline
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What are you reloading for?
if a military clone be sure to stay as close to 5.56 military specs as possable.
Old 03-06-2010, 12:19 PM
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Thats what I did got tons of reloading stuff. I only have 200-500 rounds built for some rifles, but can make 1000s.

BTW if your only reloadiing for one caliber. You cna start as cheap as $25-35 dollars (USD) via a Lee classic hand loader, or Lee Hand Loader.
Old 03-06-2010, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenduil View Post
I am interested in getting a 5.56 reloader and wanted some feedback. It would seem a reloader would be more cost efficient in the long term but wanted to see if anybody else is doing it.

I remember doing it with shotgun shells a while ago but not sure if there is a quality difference with casings.
If I were you, and this is just a suggestion, I'd start out by investing in a copy of the ABCs of Reloading. Then, I'd probably pick up a DVD or two about the how-tos, etc.

You see, there is really no such thing as a "5.56 reloader" per se. There are those of us us roll our own 5.56. There are presses on which, provided you have the proper knowledge and components, including die sets, etc., you may reload 5.56, among other cartridges.

But I'd say, just based upon the phraseology of your question, that you need to really do some research on your own. To be a safe, (and that should be your first priority), proficient and happy reloader of any cartridge, you gotta do your groundwork first.

Me personally - I've always been of the train of thought that it is easier and more cost effective to shoot milsurp 5.56, even now. Once I figure my time and effort, I've just never been able to justify reloading high quantities of 9mm or 5.56 ... although I do save every piece of brass for the day when it will be necessary.

And with one final thought I shall leave you with this. I've always been of the opinion that one should never encourage a newbie reloader to start on necked-down brass of any kind, but particularly military brass. I've always recommended that one start on something simple ... 38 special for instance. Then move up to 357 mag. Then so some 45 ACP, 44 sp/mag, 45 colt, etc. Then move up to necked down stuff like 357 SIG and most rifle cartridges. And while someone already mentioned this above, it is worth mentioning again ... milspec is different than your standard reload. First it starts with the thicker walled brass. Then you've got to deal with mil crimped primers and reaming those pockets. Then you've got to do some trimming in most cases and in the case of 5.56, you've got to think about a pretty mean crimp. It gets even crazier when you start reloading for a Garand or a M1a/M14.

Okay, good luck. (All this is assuming that you want to reload milspec 5.56 for an AR or Mini 14 and that we're not talking about a .223 bolty of some sort.)
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:45 PM
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^ great post but when I reload I don't figure my time. I base the cost of my loads off of the price I pay for brass, powder, primer, projo's

The way I see it I could set in the living room after dinner and watch tv or hang out in the man cave watch tv and play with guns
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:35 PM
tenduil tenduil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gallo Pazzesco View Post
To be a safe, (and that should be your first priority), proficient and happy reloader of any cartridge, you gotta do your groundwork first.


Okay, good luck. (All this is assuming that you want to reload milspec 5.56 for an AR or Mini 14 and that we're not talking about a .223 bolty of some sort.)

Agreed. Thank you for the input. I am looking at 5.56 for an AR and my primary concern is the safety of the rounds created and their quality for an AR that may be picky.

Thanks to everybody for the input. I think I have a ways to go before I can start on this.
Old 03-06-2010, 07:01 PM
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Start with a good reloading book. Safety information and how too is important.

If you are going to load a lot, get quality and think about a progressive.

If you have time, a single stage will do.
Old 03-06-2010, 07:24 PM
kyle1337 kyle1337 is offline
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I do reload 5.56/.223 I use a 62GR SS109 and 62GR HPBT and the cheaper 55GR FMJ Sierra Blitz King as it's the cheapest and most reliable for the price out there. LC PMC and Remington once fired brass, those seem to work the best for me, I reload for cost efficiancy and also you can find pulled SS109 bullets very cheap instead of the already made stuff for hundreds of dollars. You can get 500 pulled ss109 for like 75-90 bucks. That's 500 rounds of ss109 for that price since I have the components already. Plus its my main hobby on top of being my "zen" time alone, its theraputic. Remember safety is number one! I have shot my rounds out of the M&P 15, Bushmaster E2S, and Colt M4, all I have to say it for the M&P15 make them high medium loads as the 5.56 chambered rifles sometimes require a little more "umph" to cycle the bolt properly since their not chambered for .223, my bushmaster is chambered for both. Check the barrel for that it will say either 5.56, or .223, or 5.56/.223. .224 are the dies your going to want, I purchase a majority of my reloading stuff (except primers their always out of them) from www.midwayusa.com, also, it's okay to use remington 6.5 SRP even though the box says not to use for .223 Remington, well they mean bolt actions they work flawlessly in my AR's as the firing pin is smaller and the distance the pin travels in an AR is much shorter than a bolt action.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle1337 View Post
I do reload 5.56/.223 I use a 62GR SS109 and 62GR HPBT and the cheaper 55GR FMJ Sierra Blitz King as it's the cheapest and most reliable for the price out there. LC PMC and Remington once fired brass, those seem to work the best for me, I reload for cost efficiancy and also you can find pulled SS109 bullets very cheap instead of the already made stuff for hundreds of dollars. You can get 500 pulled ss109 for like 75-90 bucks. That's 500 rounds of ss109 for that price since I have the components already. Plus its my main hobby on top of being my "zen" time alone, its theraputic. Remember safety is number one! I have shot my rounds out of the M&P 15, Bushmaster E2S, and Colt M4, all I have to say it for the M&P15 make them high medium loads as the 5.56 chambered rifles sometimes require a little more "umph" to cycle the bolt properly since their not chambered for .223, my bushmaster is chambered for both. Check the barrel for that it will say either 5.56, or .223, or 5.56/.223. .224 are the dies your going to want, I purchase a majority of my reloading stuff (except primers their always out of them) from www.midwayusa.com, also, it's okay to use remington 6.5 SRP even though the box says not to use for .223 Remington, well they mean bolt actions they work flawlessly in my AR's as the firing pin is smaller and the distance the pin travels in an AR is much shorter than a bolt action.
Great site and info brother. Although I don't reload, I'd like to. The 62gr is as heavy a round I could run through my AR15 and M4 due to both have the 1:9 barrels.
How good is that 62gr HPBT round? To be honest, all I have ever put through mine is either the 55gr FMJ or JSP round but I've had great success with both.
Old 03-07-2010, 03:26 AM
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Dillon 650XL

Collect up as much brass as you can. Hit the shooting ranges, gravel pits and what not. I wouldn't stop until you get a 5 gallon bucket full.

I load with mostly 55 FMJBT from Hornady and I use 26-27 grains of Varget. This gets me first round hits out to 425 yards and shoots sub 1". Cost is about $200/1000.

If you want to get a 1050 and reload with your buddies, it will very quickly pay for itself.
Old 03-07-2010, 01:02 PM
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I have not got any since the commodity crisis but in stead of gold and silver I invested the most usable of commodities LEAD. I bought up as much as I could find of pulled 5.56 55 gr fmj mil-surp usually for less than $5 a hundred count usually $3. I also bought a couple of bulk pack 55 gr hard cast gas checked .224 bullets. Have done something simular with 30 cal bullets. Actually do not have enough powder and primers to do all the bullets I have on hand but am working on it but buy a powder that will work in both 5.56 and the 30 cals so I can prioritize the reloading.
Old 03-07-2010, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by American ME! View Post
Great site and info brother. Although I don't reload, I'd like to. The 62gr is as heavy a round I could run through my AR15 and M4 due to both have the 1:9 barrels.
How good is that 62gr HPBT round? To be honest, all I have ever put through mine is either the 55gr FMJ or JSP round but I've had great success with both.

The main reason I stick to 62 grain is because 80% of my .223 reloading is the 62GR SS109 round and I like to keep my powder measure consistant instead of changing it for every batch, I can just leave the powder measure alone when switching to the 62GR HPBT, which I love BTW, I find its more accurate than the 55GR FMJ(at least out of my rifle), keep in mind, the flat base bullets are okay to use too, unless your shooting past 400yards, that's when the boat tail comes into play, most people don't shoot far enough to justify the BT. If boat tail is cheaper than a FB, go ahead and get it, your getting an added quality that stabalizes the bullet in flight past 350-450 yards depending the GR of the bullet.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle1337 View Post
The main reason I stick to 62 grain is because 80% of my .223 reloading is the 62GR SS109 round and I like to keep my powder measure consistant instead of changing it for every batch, I can just leave the powder measure alone when switching to the 62GR HPBT, which I love BTW, I find its more accurate than the 55GR FMJ(at least out of my rifle), keep in mind, the flat base bullets are okay to use too, unless your shooting past 400yards, that's when the boat tail comes into play, most people don't shoot far enough to justify the BT. If boat tail is cheaper than a FB, go ahead and get it, your getting an added quality that stabalizes the bullet in flight past 350-450 yards depending the GR of the bullet.
Thanks! That makes all the sense there is to it. Can the 62gr HPBT be bought in quantity of 1000 rounds like the 55gr FMJ?

I very rarely shoot past 200 although I have shot much further with mine. It's good to know that about this particular round in question.
Old 03-07-2010, 11:18 PM
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Don't forget, or if you didn't know, most milsurp 5.56 brass has primer pocket crimps. You'll need either a swager or spend a lot of time with whatever hand tool you use to get that crimp off so you can put new primers in. And if you use a reloading press swager, you shouldn't be using a progressive press, as they can't put enough force on the swager to get the crimp off.

Jim
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