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AR-15 reloading

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by PaulB47, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    Couple of questions...

    I recall M-16s in Viet Nam had problems with dirty powder. Anyone know what powder that was? And what powders I should avoid loading for AR-15's, due to the same problem?

    Maybe I should just use that CFE223 to avoid any problems. I have plenty of H335 at home now...

    Does everybody use the hard military primers, or are regular primers OK in this gun? I'm guessing the military ones are hard to find.
     
  2. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    Not an expert, but I remember the McNamara crowd changing stick powder to ball and removing the chrome from the chamber as Stoner had spec'd.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
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  3. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    wc846 was an olde military powder used in 223
     
  4. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    The round was designed after IMR 3031 for the most part. The Armalite ran 80,000 flawless rounds and was advertised as a rifle that needed no maintenance.
    The Army decided to change to a ball powder that was way way high in calcium carbonate to save money and because they were in bed with the ball powder manufacturer.
    The new powder was where all the bad rep for the M16 came from.
    But in government fashion the Army treated the symptoms and not the disease.
    They added a forward assist , more trouble.
    They added heaver buffers to slow down the bolt because the new powder had too much pressure and was unlocking things to fast and breaking bolt lugs.
    They had to massage the extractor because they were breaking.

    to this day IMR 3031 and Benchmark are some of the best, cleanest, most consistent powders to build 223/556 with.

    the ball powders have also been refined though and they run as reliable as any powder ......easier to meter as well
     
  5. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Main things to remember about reloading .223 for the AR:
    1.The brass must be kept trimmed to the correct length.(stretches like crazy)
    2. Full length resize (I use "S" Dies. A stuck case can ruin your day,or your life)
    3. Use a taper crimp to avoid bullet set-back and for brass longevity.
    4. Optional. I check every loaded round in my "Case Gage". (A dummy chamber)
     
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  6. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w Keizer, or Well-Known Member

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    wc846 indeed was the original .223 powder

    i use imr4320. 25.5gr with a 55gr FMJ. good plinker.
     
  7. Blades356mm

    Blades356mm Portland Member

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    Capn,
    Where did you get the dummy chamber? You happen to have an extra :)
     
  8. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    I used 3031 in my AR. I also use it in .308.
     
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  9. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    They call it a "Case length gauge", but I hate to call it that because some will think I'm talking about a set of Calipers.:rolleyes: They're available through Midway USA, but I would check e-Bay first. Mine for my .458S is actually a piece of .458 barrel with a chamber reamed into it.:)
     
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  10. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    This is awesome news as I ended up with two pounds of IMR 3031 and am just starting to reload 500 new primed brass with Hornady 53grn HP bullets and 3031!!!:):):)
     
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  11. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    You will love it......24gr is like the go to . Not very fast but accurate. Kind of a biatch to meter out but not as bad as people make it sound. I like it because its a case filler. If you cut a stick in the powder thrower and it throws a slight light charge it doesn't affect grouping much at all....in fact I have shot an inch with 5 rounds that all varied by .5gr because I was learning about loading by volume and not weight and did not really believe in it but some of the best groupers out there do not measure their charges
     
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  12. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean weigh?
     
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  13. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    yes, I'm a dork
     
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  14. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    That's what your prom date said when you asked her where she got her dress! :D
     
  15. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Long time, long time!!
     
  16. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    For better accuracy I weigh any loads with a "cylinder" type powder and use a tumbler type measure with flake, or ball powder. I have an old Pacific measure
    that I made up several tumblers for, then drilled out the holes until they held
    the proper weight of what ever powder I was using.;)
     
  17. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    I'm just measuring each load by hand for about 20 rounds then I'll shoot and see if I'm satisfied then gonna go hog wild.....:)
     
  18. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I usually start 1.0gr under whatever is listed, then ladder up .25gr at a time
    5 rounds each watching function, primers and group.:p
     
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  19. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    I found this article about the powder snafu, very complex what was going on.

    http://www.thegunzone.com/556prop.html

    I've been looking for the fancy "barrier blind" bullets but they seem to be hard to find. Must be a lot of demand... the loaded rounds cost about 5x what I just paid for Armscor (Phillipine) M193 stuff. Kinda hard to justify buying, at that price.

    What should I use for primers? Ordinary small rifle OK?
     
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  20. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    there ya go, I basically nut shelled it for ya

    yeah small rifle. There are a couple primers with soft cups said not to be used in high pressure loading.....like trying to replicate 556 NATO. Remington 6 1/2's are an example

    Some heavy loadings of spherical powder likes to have a small rifle magnum for complete ignition of the heavy dense powder

    The #41 primer is CCI's primer for the military.
    It is believed by many internet readers that it is absolutely necissary for AR15 loading due to the free floating firing pin.
    It is not. I have never used one and don't know anyone who has...countless rounds , many years.
    It is a fail safe built in for the extreme slim case it might happen in the most extreme environment imaginable.
    If it happens there is more to it and if someone form the military says they seen it they likely saw something else like an NG or they are telling a story......because .mil run the #41 and for that pin to have enough force to pop a #41 it must be driven by the hammer period