I want to get into reloading so bad I can't stand it. I always have. I don't shoot enough to justify it, it's just something I want to do. If I did reload I might shoot more. I've been around it and it is something I would enjoy.
I've always saved all my brass. I was digging around the other day and found 375 rounds of 5.56 and just a handful each of other misc cals.
Maybe it is time to take the leap. I just kick myself for waiting til prices have doubled and everything is in short supply.
the problem comes in when your about 4-K into that big 10-K box of 223 brass you still need to champher and swage the primer crimp out,,, your fingers hurt,,, your back is feeling it from bending over your too short bench.
you notice it's 2am...your off to bed aaand you suddenly realize you only got 4-K bullets.
no worries your MIL's funeral isn't till 9 and everyone will just think those bags and blood shot eyes are from your crying.
now if you take the long way there and stop to shoot a rock chuck or two to test out that load you been working on,,you might just hear something from the wife.
lol my piston driven sig556 does that to every piece of brass, honestly so did my mini 14 when I could actually find the brass. It happens with a lot of ARs the primer punch neck sizer rounds those right out, I don't even worry about case dings and dents, just reload it and shoot it and they will all fire form right on out, unless the dents or dings are huge and cutting way down on space and causing over pressure issues or not enough room for a given load of powder.
So I changed the name because I have lots more questions. Im in the process of trying to acquire components right now. I have 1500 rds of primers, and am looking at powder now. So lets talk about powder.
I know there are several different powders that can be used for 5.56. I am wanting to load mainly 62 gr green tip, but would like to load some 77 gr as well. I realize each rifle has its sweet spot load. I am starting from scratch so I have no idea where to begin. What are some common or popular powders to begin with?
IMOA safety first and safety last, you'll need to get yourself proper reloading books and read them from cover to cover and then re-read them again. You'll also want to stay away from loading data recipes used by others, it could damage your weapon or worse damage you or bystanders. Load from a reloading book and then work it up for your particular weapon. Safety when reloading takes priority for me, no watching TV, texting, talking or other distractions.
I am using Ram Tac right now or there is VN 2230 that is another I have used when I first started and I found it fine for 55 gr, I will have to look at my books and see if those two support the 62 and/or 77gr bullets. I will look and respond back later since I have the hornady manual and a lee manual
i think the TAC is 2230 only with a different name.
i use a lot of 2230 in my ar's [55-65] i also use H-322 [lighter bullets] and others like 4064/varget/H-335/H380 work just fine with the heavier weights.
Since you are throwing out lots of issues, I will throw out a few things to think about.
Lots of powders will work. I load for 9 different rifle calibers. There are a few that work better for some rounds and if I am tailoring loads I hunt for those powders. That said, there are some powders that work for just about everything. And then today, there is what you can find. As 5 run said, you want different powders for different bullet weights if you want to create the best load.
In the 223/556 I load for a single shot, a bolt action, a Mini 14 and some ARs. Your barrel length and twist will decide what shoots well and what scatters. My 1/9 twist will shoot most bullets well enough for me with 55 grain bullets in the AR and Mini 14. It is easy to find H335 and IMR 3031. I use more 3031 than anything else because I use it for 30-30, 243, 308, 30-06 and 300 WBY with the lighter bullets. For the bolt gun I load 34 and 40 grain bullets and it love the 3031.
I do not load the 65 grain and heavier bullets for the AR, the heavy bullets do not do well in my 16 inch barrel. I do shoot the 75 grain Wolf hollow point in it, and they are my self defense load, but they are not that accurate so I do not load them. Also, the heavy bullets lose a lot of velocity in the short barrels, with most powders. So, if you shoot the heavy bullets also, you really need two powders. I say that assuming you are wanting to maximize velocity. If you are just wanting to shoot targets at 100 yards, then most any powder will do and just ignore that comment.
The chart below shows why different powders do much better with the heavy bullets. About 200 fps more and less pressure.
For my AR and Mini, I load only 50 and 55 grain bullets, they are perfect for my guns. The 24 inch barrel bolt gun is a totally different animal. You do not use the same powders. If you can find it, I might suggest the 223 CFE, it gives much better velocity and is a cleaner powder, a big deal in ARs.
Below is a chart from the Hodgen site showing recommended powders. Note that Varget and H4895 are superior for the heavy bullets. Also, the beauty of this Hodgen data is that it is from a 15 inch barrel, so if you shoot a standard 16 inch carbine, it is spot on. Reloading manuals are for safety not precision. For example, the Nosler manual uses a 24 inch barrel for all loads with bullets from 40-69 grains. All the long range loads, 70-80 grain bullets are tested in a 20 inch barrel. My 2 Speer manuals both used a Mini 14 for their data with all bullets. My IMR is different, as is my Winchester manual and my Lee manual does not even give barrel lengths.
You need a manual for safety and to learn the process. It is wise to find someone who has reloaded for a few years to get you started. As far as basic guidance, the Lee Manual is about as good as it gets. He goes into a lot of detail and includes how to develop reduced loads and things like that. I just bought the Nosler manual, my latest, unless you shoot long range rifle, I do not recommend it. It is lousy on handgun data.
One last thought. If you are reloading for an AR. Most AR cut for 223 have very tight chambers designed for accuracy. There are two types/sizes of reloading seating dies. On paper they are both for the same case, but the small base sizing die squeezes the case down a tiny bit more., I think .003. If you are shooting hot ammo or 5.56 ammo sometimes the brass needs a little more resizing for the 223 chamber. The high end guns are more likely to have the tight chamber. When you reload brass for the AR, you must trim every case and resize every case, there is not much tolerance. If you have a tight chamber, they stop sooner when dirty because they do not have much room for carbon buildup.
Ordinarily I buy the cheap Lee dies but in the case of reloading for an AR, I suggest you small base sizing die. If you have a tight chamber you will need one anyway. I have corrected that issue for many folks new to ARs, including myself, my first AR had a tight chamber. I would fire about 40 rounds of factory ammo and it would start to jam. The chamber just had no room to accept much blow by. An AR needs a proper case, a shiny chamber and a wet BCG and chamber to run a long time without cleaning.
Some people love it and others hate it but I love WW-748 powder in conjunction with either Small Rifle Magnum or #41 Military Primers.
It works fantastic in my experience for bullets from 55gr, 63gr and 68gr. Sorry but I've never used any for the 75gr or 77gr bullets.
One of my favorite powders for the 5.56 is CFE-223, BL-(C)2, Western TAC, and for heavy bullets I like Varget. The ball powders meter so nicely that it's just one less thing to slow you down. Varget meters fairly well but you still need to weigh every charge and may need to adjust it.
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