Question on Reloading Military 223

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by OldguyGW, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. OldguyGW

    New Member

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    This is my first question posted, so I hop it is in the right place. I have been reloading for a pistol for awhile. I want to start reloading 223. The brass I have is military. What are the things I may run into. I have purchased RCBS dies. All help is appreciated.
  2. moose

    Rock, Hard Place
    Well-Known Member

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    There will be a primer crimp with military brass that civie brass doesnt have. There are several tools available to remove the crimp.

    Some surplus brass is not worth reloading. I bought a couple thousand Olympic (Greek) years ago, after breaking several decapping pins because the primer holes weren't centered, I scrapped it all.

    Small base dies are better for autoloaders, they resize the brass a smidge smaller. RCBS makes them for 223 and 308.
  3. Sheldon


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    Not all guns NEED the small base dies. In fact, I have not found the need for them, so I would use what you have and see if it works before buying something you may not need especially with everyone backed up on 223 dies.

    As mentioned crimped primer pockets will probably be something you will have to deal with. Some guys have a higher percentage of issues than others, but to be certain you don't crush primers it is best to treat them all with either a primer pocket swager or with a deburring tool...or a combination of both.

    Have you reloaded any rifle cartridges before? For me the next thing besides crimped primer pockets I hate to deal with is trimming the cases to length. There are a lot of tools out there for this and soe work better than others and the costs for these tools vary a LOT. I went in with my brothers and got a Giraud, but there are ones that work with drill presses and cordess drills that work pretty well too for a lot less money....someone else will have to chime in on those as I have no experience with them.
  4. deen_ad

    Vancouver, WA
    Well-Known Member

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    Uhhhh... no such thing as "military .223". The military uses 5.56, the brass is thicker and the case pressure is higher than the close but not the same .223. The leade is different too.
    I have a link to a good article on it, but it must be on my laptop so I'll have to find it later.
  5. the4thshake

    Active Member

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    The brass isn't thicker on 5.56. It's 308 and 7.62 you have to worry about. There will be slight variances between brands but 5.56 isn't made with thicker brass..

    The leade is a dimension in the chamber not of the cartridge. There are many different variations of .223 chambers. 5.56 nato is just one of them.

    Work your loads up always. Most if not all guns chambered in .223 can handle 5.56 pressures.

    Lots of good info here:

    223 Rem + 223 AI Cartridge Guide

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