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I want to start rifle (5.56) reloading, need advice (see post for more)

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by NJG26Crux, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. NJG26Crux

    NJG26Crux Redmond Member

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    I am looking for the cheapest 5.56 reload for plinking and fun.

    I have a Dillon 450 and just picked up a single stage rockcrusher.

    I have never dealt with crimped primers case trimmers etc... that goes with rifle reloading.

    I would like to make production runs of a few hundred before going the long (but more accurate route) of match grade individual rounds.

    How best can I incorporate both presses to maximize production effectively?

    Or am I missing something?

    Any and all advise is welcomed.

    Thanks in advance, NJG26CRUX
     
  2. datguy

    datguy Vancouver, WA Member

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  3. zippygaloo

    zippygaloo Oregon Member

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    Here's two more options from RCBS for swaging crimped primer pockets. I haven't tried either personally, but the RCBS Primer Pocket Swager Combo 2 is about a third the price of the Dillon Super Swage. RCBS Primer Pocket Swager Combo 2

    The other RCBS option is their new PRIMER POCKET SWAGER - BENCH TOOL. It's also less money than the Dillon Super Swage.
     
  4. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    with your equipment,the difference between 'production ammo' and 'match grade' ammo will be in the dispensing of powder...dump vs wighing each load.All the other steps will pretty much be the same all the time. If u want match grade ammo,a lot of reloaders swear by 'match grade' dies that cost a lot more than 'off the shelf' dies.I personally don't know how much better they are,someone else maybe can weigh in on that aspect.
     
  5. datguy

    datguy Vancouver, WA Member

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    You can put a LOT of time and effort into the hand loading process when trying to make ammo for accuracy. There are some excellent how-to type threads at the top of the Sniper's Hide Reloading Forum. They will at least introduce some of the things you can do to load consistent rounds.

    There are also a lot of good discussions, some here on NWFA, on the reasons why you want to swage a crimped primer pocket, vs use on of the cutter style tools. Boiled down version is swaging moves the metal around and the cutter style tools remove some of the brass, causing potential issues. If that concerns you.
     
  6. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    The cheapest reloads for "plinking and fun" I have found to be just about any round built around a 55g FMJ-BT round. This is the basic bullet that the military has used since the first M-16's and is still used in the M-193 ammo.

    I buy them by the case from Montana Gold in Kalispel, MT. For powder, the absolute cheapest way to go is to buy 844 "pull down powder" from places like "Pat's Reloading" online. As low as 85 per 8# jug. An average load of this powder uses around 25 gr so you'll get about 2,000 or more rounds per jug. For primers, use the Wolf or Tula .223 primer. Usually around $20 per thousand from Powder Valley.

    If you "plink" a lot consider loading up on powder and primers from online sources. One order can save more than enough to cover the hazmat fee and still leave money on the table. For me that's the only way to go as my loading sessions for .223 usually involve several thousand rounds at a time. When I break out a new case of bullets (3500) I keep loading until I run out. No point in messing around with frequent caliber changes. Ditto on 9mm (3750/case of bullets).

    The big thing in loading .223 will be to get enough brass cleaned and prepped. I run all my brass through my press using a universal depriming die and a Dillon Rapid Trim first. It then gets cleaned and goes into boxes waiting for a loading session.

    One thing to remember about reloading. If you keep enough powder, primers, and bullets on hand, you will always have affordable ammo when others can't find it on the shelf at any price.
     
  7. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    IMHO, unless you have a "match-grade" rifle, you will be unable to appreciate match grade ammo. Better, for sure, but worth the cost/effort? Your choice.
    My practice is to "work-up" an accurate load, using quality components. No, I don't weigh cases or uniform primer pockets.
     
  8. djthemac

    djthemac eugene Member

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    You can buy 55grain or 62 grain pulled mil surplus rounds 84.00 per 1k or you can start with smaller batch. If you dont want to mess with primer crimps you can buy commercial brass to start out with. Trimming is best completed with a possum hollow trimmer in a power drill adapter.

    http://www.hi-techammo.com/hitech.zkb?menu=0&method&home-page
     
  9. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    deadshot2,correct me if I"m wrong,but I thought rifle brass 'grew' after sizing,yet u are trimming after just decapping?
    Actually,i'M postitive it 'grows' after sizing.
     
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Brass grows most after full length sizing as the brass has to go somewhere so it goes forward. I trim my .308 brass to 2.005 and then only neck size with a Lee Collet Die. "Growth" is minimal on my cases. I only realize about .001"-.0015" per firing so I don't need to trim very often. I usually have to "bump" the shoulder back after about 6 reloads or so and I trim then. The largest growth is on a first firing of the case and subsequent F/L sizing.
     
  11. NJG26Crux

    NJG26Crux Redmond Member

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    Thanks for all the good replay's

    I am digesting them all as fast as I can.

    The reason for mentioning the single stage press was I thought I could put a dillon full length dies with a n electric trimmer on it and be able to resisize, cut length and swayed out the old primer in one step. Thus inlet leaving debarring and cleaning the primer pocket. Then all is normal going to the dillon 400.

    Is there a better / cheaper / quicker way?
     
  12. datguy

    datguy Vancouver, WA Member

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    The Dillon trimmer uses its own die. What you are describing would be multiple passes/setups on a single stage. This is where Dillon's changeable toolheads excel!

    If I don't have to resize, I do it all it one pass on my 550. If the brass needs sizing, then I decap/full length size on my single stage and trim using my Wilson trimmer, deburr and chamfer. Then, load with the Dillon.
     
    djthemac and (deleted member) like this.
  13. NJG26Crux

    NJG26Crux Redmond Member

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  14. datguy

    datguy Vancouver, WA Member

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    I'm not sure what you are asking here..

    The Dillon you linked to is for use with Dillon's Rapid Trim 1200B Case Trimmer. It is trims length. It is not a sizing die.
     
  15. NJG26Crux

    NJG26Crux Redmond Member

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  16. datguy

    datguy Vancouver, WA Member

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    Ahh.. I did some searching. Looks like you are correct in that it does a FL size as well.
     
  17. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I use a Dillon Rapid trim on ALL my .223 cases. My only complaint is that it's so fast, I need someone to keep feeding cases into the casefeeder and keep emptying the "finished" bin. Because you aren't adding a bullet or having to wait for powder to fall through the funnel on the powder measure, it trims/sizes as fast as you can pull the handle. I recently installed an electronic Press Monitor on my press that keeps track of rounds finished and "rounds per hour" rate. I can't wait to run a batch of .223 and see how many cases per hour I can trim/size. It is a little noisy, I've got to say. The motor is a high speed DC motor and between it and the noise from the mini Shop Vac, I end up wearing my "Range Muffs". I can play music through mine so in the end it's not so bad.