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When I started shoot ARs, I found bulk HPR 60 gr VMAX to work very well. Well, that disappeared so I went to the HPR 55 gr VMAX and worked well too. Then it disappeared.

So I discovered Outback 69 gr SMK and it was great. Then it disappeared, So I dropped down to Outback 55 gr Blitzking, then ADI quit importing the ammo. So no more of that.

Next was Fiocchi 77 gr SMK and it worked great, but yep, it became unavailable.

Next was IMI 5.56 77 gr RazorCore match ammo. This stuff worked great in my ARs but none of my bolt guns would reliably ignite the primers. Then, yep, again - it became unavailable. It is now available, I think, but about 50% higher than what I used to pay for it.

So that's when I decided if I was ever going to have consistently available ammo, I was going to have to reload. So I set up for that. I tried a lot of different components and after about a year of experimenting, and found excellent success with H4895 powder, Hornady 75 gr BTHP match bullets, Federal 205m primers and Winchester cases. I know, I know, Winchester is trash, Lapua, Lake City, Remington, Sig, etc. is much better, but that's not what I found. Having chrono'd some 5,000 reloads and counting, I see no difference in accuracy or velocity consistency regardless of which brass is used.

I've read that Winchester brass has a lot of flaws right out of the bag, but that's not what I've experienced. Out of about 1,000 Winchester cases, very few had flaws. And that brings me to this.

Recall from above what happened every time I'd find good shooting ammo almost at reload prices - it disappeared! Well guess what has disappeared - Winchester 223 brass. I went to Midway USA's site this morning and did a search for the Winchester brass - there were big bold letters that say Discontinued. Now when you do a search for Winchester 223 brass at Bass Pro, Cabela's, and Midway, you don't even get a listing for Winchester 223. At other places, Powder Valley, MidSouth, etc, it's out of stock.

Sooo, now I have to find the next least expensive brass to reload with. It's a bit frustrating that every time I find something that works really good for me, it disappears. 馃槙
 
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Get Starline brass, it ain't the cheapest but has proven very durable, primer pockets are the right size, etc. Besides that, it's a great company, IMHO. I've been buying brass from them for 25 years and I've never been disappointed. I have no interest in the company other than as stated, great brass, reasonable prices, good customer service.
 
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Thanks CB, have you used their 223 brass?

The reason I ask is, I've been seeing a trend for sometime now. I was willing to go with Lapua brass, probably as expensive as it gets, but I found Lapua's weight consistency in 223 brass was no better than other manufacturers, Then I read an article on the PRB (Precision Rifle Blog), I believe that's where it was, and they found the same thing.

Having heard such great things about Lapua brass, I started to wonder if the issue is the 223/556 caliber. The focus today seems to be on componentry for long range and precision shooting - 6mm and 6.5mm calibers. It appears the 223/556 has been relegated to run and gun, range, and SD scenarios where precision is less important. hence it seems that manufacturers are not willing to tie up resources on 223/556 that could be used to produce quality components in other calibers for the rapidly growing precision and long range shooting.

Also, I've noticed that as manufacturers introduce new long range precision products, rifles and/or ammo, etc. the 223/556 is not included. It's kinda like nobody really cares about precision in 223/556.
 

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Thanks CB, have you used their 223 brass?

The reason I ask is, I've been seeing a trend for sometime now. I was willing to go with Lapua brass, probably as expensive as it gets, but I found Lapua's weight consistency in 223 brass was no better than other manufacturers, Then I read an article on the PRB (Precision Rifle Blog), I believe that's where it was, and they found the same thing.

Having heard such great things about Lapua brass, I started to wonder if the issue is the 223/556 caliber. The focus today seems to be on componentry for long range and precision shooting - 6mm and 6.5mm calibers. It appears the 223/556 has been relegated to run and gun, range, and SD scenarios where precision is less important. hence it seems that manufacturers are not willing to tie up resources on 223/556 that could be used to produce quality components in other calibers for the rapidly growing precision and long range shooting.

Also, I've noticed that as manufacturers introduce new long range precision products, rifles and/or ammo, etc. the 223/556 is not included. It's kinda like nobody really cares about precision in 223/556.
I have used their 223 brass, I usually buy 1K per year of that cartridge. The consistency is good, better than most, I don't have the numbers for my lots with me but can probably get them later today. It's good brass and it costs a lot less than Lapua.

There isn't much interest in 223 LR because of the shortcomings of the cartridge itself and it's just not in vogue, but it's quite a bit cheaper to shoot in quantity than the 6 or 6.5 Creedmoor. If you're competing, stepping up from the 223 is imperative, for hobby it may not be worth the extra cost, IMHO.
 

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Once-fired GI brass in bulk, preferably LC, is my choice when I buy .223/5.56 brass. Other than the occasional mashed one and having to remove the primer crimps, I have no issues with it. And then my son will grab a bag of whatever is used at his training sessions and drop it off on occasion also. I'm just not picky with brass.
 
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I have used their 223 brass, I usually buy 1K per year of that cartridge. The consistency is good, better than most, I don't have the numbers for my lots with me but can probably get them later today. It's good brass and it costs a lot less than Lapua.
Starline in 223 is not available from Midway, Midsouth, Basspro, Cabela's, or Powder Valley. However, a lot of other components are not available either right now. I don't know if it's simply the focus on LR components or everybody is buying up components.

There isn't much interest in 223 LR because of the shortcomings of the cartridge itself and it's just not in vogue, but it's quite a bit cheaper to shoot in quantity than the 6 or 6.5 Creedmoor. If you're competing, stepping up from the 223 is imperative, for hobby it may not be worth the extra cost, IMHO.
Yep! I agree! For me, the benefit of the 223/556/Wylde is it's plenty good for 300 yards which I am currently limited to, was the low cost, low recoil, etc.

When Ruger introduced their RPR line, it included the 556. It was discontinued.

I agree that if one is competing, the 223/556 simply won't do. I have considered moving to another caliber but it's hard to justify for a mere 300 yards that I'm limited to. The bullets would cost more, and almost twice the powder would be required per load. And really big for me is only one of my suppressors could be used for a larger caliber.

I had hoped that the 223 would be my short range - long range caliber. Meaning it would be nearly as challenging at shorter ranges and the long range calibers at long ranges.

I'm quite concerned that if this trend continues, even the good bullets like SMKs will start to disappear or the quality will go down. I can't help but think the quality has already dropped. Manufacturers have little motivation to spend time and money on the 223.
 

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Starline in 223 is not available from Midway, Midsouth, Basspro, Cabela's, or Powder Valley. However, a lot of other components are not available either right now. I don't know if it's simply the focus on LR components or everybody is buying up components.


Yep! I agree! For me, the benefit of the 223/556/Wylde is it's plenty good for 300 yards which I am currently limited to, was the low cost, low recoil, etc.

When Ruger introduced their RPR line, it included the 556. It was discontinued.

I agree that if one is competing, the 223/556 simply won't do. I have considered moving to another caliber but it's hard to justify for a mere 300 yards that I'm limited to. The bullets would cost more, and almost twice the powder would be required per load. And really big for me is only one of my suppressors could be used for a larger caliber.

I had hoped that the 223 would be my short range - long range caliber. Meaning it would be nearly as challenging at shorter ranges and the long range calibers at long ranges.

I'm quite concerned that if this trend continues, even the good bullets like SMKs will start to disappear or the quality will go down. I can't help but think the quality has already dropped. Manufacturers have little motivation to spend time and money on the 223.
I just order direct from the mfr. Starline Brass | Rifle, Handgun, and Pistol Brass
223 Rem is currently backordered, I don't know how long out. This crazy situation(s) going on in the country is really screwing things up and when it starts screwing up my hobbies, it makes me grumpy. I don't think things will improve much for a year or two, so from my perspective, just order the backordered stuff and it will eventually make its way to you. If you plunk down for 2K cases, it will likely last a while...
 
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Once-fired GI brass in bulk, preferably LC, is my choice when I buy .223/5.56 brass. Other than the occasional mashed one and having to remove the primer crimps, I have no issues with it. And then my son will grab a bag of whatever is used at his training sessions and drop it off on occasion also. I'm just not picky with brass.
Yeah, I think that's probably true for most of us.

However, I was hoping to get more out of a 223/556 than bargain brass would give me. That is, I shoot pretty much from a concrete bench and my goals are to produce repeatable 5-shot sub-MOA groups and low velocity variations. I may be chasing some unattainable goals.

Because I shoot with a PRS competition shooter almost every time I go to the range, I see what can be achieved and I certainly don't expect that from my AR, but after chrono-ing and evaluating thousands of my reloads and reloads from others, the predictable velocity variation of the 223 is in the neighborhood of 55-65 fps. That's not bad, but not good either. No matter what load I test, the consistent results yield about the same velocity variations.

While those numbers will work well for me, I'm having a hard time figuring out why the 223/556 caliber can't be loaded for lower numbers. My PRS buddy gets numbers way smaller than mine. He's typically in the teens to twenty spread but with a different caliber. BTW, in his last competition somewhere in FL, he won first place!

I thought I had as good as it gets with the Winchester cases, and then, Winchester stopped manufacturing them,
 
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I just order direct from the mfr. Starline Brass | Rifle, Handgun, and Pistol Brass
223 Rem is currently backordered, I don't know how long out. This crazy situation(s) going on in the country is really screwing things up and when it starts screwing up my hobbies, it makes me grumpy. I don't think things will improve much for a year or two, so from my perspective, just order the backordered stuff and it will eventually make its way to you. If you plunk down for 2K cases, it will likely last a while...
Exactly what I'm seeing. Not just in cases either. That may be what I have to do - order and just wait for the backorder to be filled.
 
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