.223 Reloading Question

.223 Reloading Question

This is a discussion on .223 Reloading Question within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I have been reloading pistol for a while now, and I figured I would try my luck at .223 since I've been saving a ton ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    .223 Reloading Question

    I have been reloading pistol for a while now, and I figured I would try my luck at .223 since I've been saving a ton a brass. The last couple of nights I've been sorting brass and come to find out I have about 300 pieces of .223 brass from various manufacturs and probably 5000-6000 of Lake City 5.56. I loaded up my first 47 rounds of .223 started on the bottom load of IMR 4895 (24.2) grains. I ran them through an AK SAR-3 and they functioned flawless.

    I really want to use this Lake City Brass, but I'm totally green to the is whole Swaging thing. I've been depriming the Military brass for the past couple nights on my Dillion 650, and checking case length, which by the way to my suprise seems like it doesn't need trimming, and also using my mircometer to check other other things to see if they are in speck. I even tried to mic the primer pocket, and I was comparing it against a BHA Match (assuming thats a Black Hills head stamp) and again to my suprise the primer pockets came out the same. So my question is do I really need to Swag out .223 Lake City Primer Pockets, and do people really trim once fired 5.56 brass?

    I've also notice that certain PMC stamped (.223 Brass which looks to have a military crimp and the read sealant around the pocket) Sometimes will not even deprime anybody else notice this? Everything else I have LC, FED, FIOCCHI, R P, BHA deprimes with out a problem, but this specifically has some issues.
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  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    Mil surp brass will have the primer pocket crimped so around the pocket will be deformed a bit. Swagging the pocket will push the crimp back into shape so you can reload it with normal primers. This requires a seperate process sometimes.

    Mil surp brass is also going to be harder to decap if its been crimped. Sometimes punching holes in the primer happens. Like crimping the bullets its just to keep the round together under harsh conditions.
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razor02097 View Post
    Mil surp brass will have the primer pocket crimped so around the pocket will be deformed a bit. Swagging the pocket will push the crimp back into shape so you can reload it with normal primers. This requires a seperate process sometimes.

    Mil surp brass is also going to be harder to decap if its been crimped. Sometimes punching holes in the primer happens. Like crimping the bullets its just to keep the round together under harsh conditions.
    Razor,
    Thanks for the info, So I guess in other words, most people swag the LC head stamp brass.

    I understand the extra step I was just curious if it absoluly 100% needed for LC brass. I've heard mixed opinions, some say just clean the pockets, others say they don't do anything, just trying to get a few more opinions.

    Also still looking for the answer on trimming LC once fired brass.
    “Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room”?--Chuck Swindoll

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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I have to swage all military brass first time,if you don't you will crush your primers,and they will be ruined,they make a swaging tool you can put in a drill and ream them out,or buy a dillon swaging tool for around 90.00 that uses pressure on a punch to force the pocket into specs.If brass is in specs no need to trim,one thing people shooting for accuracy do is trim the brass to same length so they get repetitive shot placement
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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    I recently got into reloading .223 myself. Anything that is going into a semi auto I full length resize and trim to minimum spec. I have not used enough Lake City brass to say for sure if you have to work the pockets in all of them. I use a hand held primer pocket reamer on all my military brass.
    A lot more labor intensive than loading for my bolt action, but it is still a lot of fun.
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  6. #6
    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    In a word, Yes.
    If you have purchased once fired UNPROCESSED brass then you have to swage the primer pocket and at minimum measure case length (after it has been full length sized).

    I would trim all the cases even if they measure under max just to have all the cases the same length for bullet seating. I trim a bit shorter then 1.750 so that I don't have to trim as often. .223 rem head spaces on the shoulder not the case mouth so this is OK. I use a Forster power case trimmer and trimming is not so onerous. I can trim over 300 cases an hour easily. I can deburr ~225 cases an hour w/ a hand tool. If I decide to get the deburring attachment for the trimmer, obviously I could process cases faster.

    You can purchase once fired brass that has had the primer pocket reamed and is not sized, or once fired cases that are reamed, sized and trimmed. The prices are very close to unprocessed brass and you spend more time shooting then processing.
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  7. #7
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    Here's the thing about .223 brass.

    Most commerical brass will not have the crimped in primers. These do not need to be decrimped or swaged.

    Just about all military brass,(which Lake City is) does need to have the crimp removed. As stated, if you dont, you will crush primers and you take a real danger of detonating them due to the force required to over come the crimp.

    There are various ways to do this, some are easier than others but they all work.

    Once you decrimp it, its a one time deal, you dont have to do it again.

    You'll need to keep your emptys separated to make it easier on yourself, otherwise if you're like me and tend to get them mixed, just run them through again to make sure you decrimped them all.

    If you miss decrimping one, there will be no doubt in your mind. It takes more effort and you can probably hear it. This not only looks bad, but it makes for erratic ignition and your groups will be terrible.

    I have tried every method out there and by far the easiest is the Dillon decrimper. Yes is it pricey but well worth the savings in time and effort.
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    Senior Member Array jem102's Avatar
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    With Federal running the LC munitions plant now not all the brass is crimped. They do sell overruns in white boxed configuration that may or may not be crimped. You can "cut" the swage out with the proper drill bit or deburring tool and have just as good (if not better because you are not displacing the metal) of a result as with swaging. It only takes a kiss of the tool to remove the small offset lip of brass.

    The PMC you are speaking of must be from one of the older Red Box runs. This is very tough brass and will out last LC. Some of the flash holes from these runs are off center but I have had no accuracy problems out to 300 yards. Get a Lee decapper and it will knock the primers out.

    IMR 4895 is an excellent powder for the .223 and has been the load of choice for many top national shooters. Works well with all bullets from 40-80 grains.
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  9. #9
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    I think you have that backwards Jem102.

    Swaging the primer pocket does displace the metal, it does not cut it.

    Cutting the crimp out, removes it by cutting. There are no burrs with swaging, with the drill bit or deburring tool eventually there will be lots of brass chips.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    I have to swage all military brass first time,if you don't you will crush your primers,and they will be ruined,they make a swaging tool you can put in a drill and ream them out,or buy a dillon swaging tool for around 90.00 that uses pressure on a punch to force the pocket into specs.If brass is in specs no need to trim,one thing people shooting for accuracy do is trim the brass to same length so they get repetitive shot placement
    Already asked for a Dillion SS 600 for christmas, back in October. I think I'm getting one but am not sure thats why all the questions
    “Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room”?--Chuck Swindoll

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  11. #11
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    I reloaded mil brass for years, 30-06 and 223, and I used a hand reamer to remove the crimp. No doubt, a swager would do a cleaner, more consistant job, but I never had any problems. I never had to trim once-fired brass, and selddom at all with the 223. I didn't load "hot" rounds, as they never proved to be as accurate as milder loads, which probably accounts for seldom needing to trim. A rockchuck at 300 yds was a piece of cake with the 223 in my Rem. 788.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob99VMI04 View Post
    Already asked for a Dillion SS 600 for christmas, back in October. I think I'm getting one but am not sure thats why all the questions
    After this thread, I convienced my wife to tell me if I was getting a Dillion SS 600 for Christmas because I have a "Possible good deal one", she said "Mommy got you one for christmas" BOOOOOO YA!!!!!!
    “Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room”?--Chuck Swindoll

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob99VMI04 View Post
    After this thread, I convienced my wife to tell me if I was getting a Dillion SS 600 for Christmas because I have a "Possible good deal one", she said "Mommy got you one for christmas" BOOOOOO YA!!!!!!
    TOUCHDOWN!
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    Senior Member Array jem102's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=jem102;1413762]With Federal running the LC munitions plant now not all the brass is crimped. They do sell overruns in white boxed configuration that may or may not be crimped. You can "cut" the swage out with the proper drill bit or deburring tool and have just as good (if not better because you are not displacing the metal) of a result as with swaging. It only takes a kiss of the tool to remove the small offset lip of brass.


    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    I think you have that backwards Jem102.

    Swaging the primer pocket does displace the metal, it does not cut it.

    Cutting the crimp out, removes it by cutting. There are no burrs with swaging, with the drill bit or deburring tool eventually there will be lots of brass chips.
    I thought that's what I said?
    Yes you do accumulate some very small chips to wipe from the tooling from time to time but its not a problem for me and you get a very nice chamfered edge especially from the Lee and/or Hornady tools.
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  15. #15
    New Member Array Former Cav's Avatar
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    I've used the hand held chamfer tool (deburr tool) to remove the crimp with. That has worked for me with no problems for about 30 years now.
    HTH
    Bob

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