Reloading .223/5.56

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Then why separate 223/556? Same brass.
No it's not the same brass (if your comparing 223 brass to 5.56 NATO brass) NATO 5.56 brass has a higher SAMMI pressure rating (62,336 psi) and the casing wall thickness runs about .012" and has less internal case volume capacity . Standard .223 casings , thinner wall thickness at about .010" , greater case capacity , lesser pressure rating (55,000 psi). Lastly 5.56 casings have a slightly smaller neck OD than 223 casings by about .002".

I also like using AR specific "small base" dies to ensure consistent semi-auto feeding . Small base dies size right to the minimum casing dimensions.
 
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xtry51

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No it's not the same brass (if your comparing 223 brass to 5.56 NATO brass) NATO 5.56 brass has a higher SAMMI pressure rating (62,336 psi) and the casing wall thickness runs about .012" and has less internal case volume capacity . Standard .223 casings , thinner wall thickness at about .010" , greater case capacity , lesser pressure rating (55,000 psi). Lastly 5.56 casings have a slightly smaller neck OD than 223 casings by about .002".

I also like using AR specific "small base" dies to ensure consistent semi-auto feeding . Small base dies size right to the minimum casing dimensions.

For me, there's no reason to sort unless you're at the bleeding edge of pressure curves or you want better accuracy. I can reload mixed brass and steel case ammo thats 2.5MOA at 600yds and just over 1MOA at 100yds.

So for general training or spare ammo just loading everything without sorting with a medium load is not a big deal. How many people can even shoot MOA at 100yds?

Now if you're the guy who likes to flatten/crater primers just shy of piercing sure, sorting will make a diff.

If you want the most accurate and consistent ammo, skip once fired and buy new manufacture brass and get REALLY anal about your process control with emphasis on powder weight and seating depth devations.
 

xtry51

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I'm going to begin reloading .223/5.56 in the near future. I have most of what I need, but want to make sure I got the case prep right. I'll be using an RCBS FL die. My plan is as follows:

1. Clean the brass. This is a bare bones cleaning I do with all my brass prior to decapping/sizing. I put it in an old laundry detergent bottle with Dawn and some Dlead soap, shake it around and let it sit for awhile before draining and rinsing well, then dry.
2. Lube the brass.
3. Decap/size.
4. Swage the 5.56 primer pockets.
5. Wet tumble and dry.
6. Trim/chamfer/debur as needed.
7. Seperate the .223 and 5.56.

Just want to make sure the prep process looks good. My concern is the first step, where I'm not fully cleaning the brass in the tumbler prior to lubing and sizing. It's the same process I use for 9mm with no issues, but that's with a carbide die set and no lube. The brass is pretty much the brass I fire or semi clean surface level brass, nothing dug out of the dirt. That would get wet tumbled prior to prepping.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Is this unknown # firings range pick up brass, or known once fired and just mixed?
 
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No it's not the same brass (if your comparing 223 brass to 5.56 NATO brass) NATO 5.56 brass has a higher SAMMI pressure rating (62,336 psi) and the casing wall thickness runs about .012" and has less internal case volume capacity . Standard .223 casings , thinner wall thickness at about .010" , greater case capacity , lesser pressure rating (55,000 psi). Lastly 5.56 casings have a slightly smaller neck OD than 223 casings by about .002".
Take 10 .223 headstamps and 10 5.56 headstamps, all different. Resize and trim... then weight them. All within the same parameters with manufacturer being the difference of weight, not 223/556. Also take them and fill with powder and then measure the powder weight. Again, it is manufacturer, not 223 vs 556. Brass thickness is a manufacturer thing, not 223 vs 556. And yes, 556 CHAMBERS contain more pressure. but not the brass. Brass fire forms to chamber. It does not contain the pressure.
 

mac1911

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No it's not the same brass (if your comparing 223 brass to 5.56 NATO brass) NATO 5.56 brass has a higher SAMMI pressure rating (62,336 psi) and the casing wall thickness runs about .012" and has less internal case volume capacity . Standard .223 casings , thinner wall thickness at about .010" , greater case capacity , lesser pressure rating (55,000 psi). Lastly 5.56 casings have a slightly smaller neck OD than 223 casings by about .002".

I also like using AR specific "small base" dies to ensure consistent semi-auto feeding . Small base dies size right to the minimum casing dimensions.
If this was true reloading manuals would tell you to load 5.56 NATO brass only in your NATO chamber.
I will say this on case capacity, your likely to find case to case variation from the same manufacture and lot that is as much if not more than 223 vs 5.56 . Even still its about a 1% difference if you believe the interweb .
The difference is the chambers and heck i dont think you will find a 223 bolt action that is not a modified version of 223 wylde or other "223/556" capable chamber.
Unless of course you buy something with a 1/12-1/14 twist barrel thats meant for the smaller bullet weights.

When you dig deeper you find different testing and methods give different results.
for example European C.I.P. Testing gives 223 and 556 the same max pressure standard.

Just be careful, know what your loading for .
If you have your grandfathers weatherby or wim model 70 in 223 it just might have a chamber with a short lead as back then a 50 grain bullet was heavy for caliper. I dont think I saw to many 223 shooters 30+ years ago shooting much heavier than 40 grains with 35 grains being very popular.
 
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mac1911

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Spin it in the shellholder as you process it. If it sticks even a little, discard it.

As you trim the neck, pay attention to the sound and feel. You can catch a lot of weak brass from slight chatter or a whistle sound.
you will notice a change also when your brass is becoming work hardened.
 

spt_1955

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On anything reloading-related, you'll get a plethora of answers.

Once you get into it, you'll find what works best for you.

I tumble my brass with white rice, cut up dryer sheets and corn cob media for 45 mins to an hour and 15 minutes and that's not let me down.
I've heard of people tumbling stuff like 14 hours before and then wonder why their tumbler blows up.
+1 on the cut up (USED) dryer sheets. Really cuts the dust down.
 
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