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reloading .223 time question

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Tracer411, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Tracer411

    Tracer411 Salem Member

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    So from the point you have the brass clean and out of the tumbler how long does it take to get 100-200 rounds completed i know it will vary from press to press but i've spent like 4-5 hrs on 200 rounds just getting them ready for powder ( Sizing & removing old primmer/ measuring / trimmimng / de-burring / primer pocket cleaning / then punching in a new primer. ) I know I am slow, but at this rate I will be 90 when I complete my first 1k. I have a Dillon 550b
  2. IheartGUNS

    IheartGUNS WaCo Well-Known Member

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    Good question, I also would like to know. Thinking of reloading 223 and 308. Just reading your post got me thinking if its worth it sounds like a lot of work is involved...
  3. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    there is a lot of time and work involved in loading rifle rounds,which is why I only load straight-cased rounds any more.don't have and don't 'need' an Ar,etc.
    the only way to speed things up is to buy more equipment like the Dillon elcectric trimmmer that mounts on a press,and an electric case prep machine with power heads for deburring,etc.
    I'd say your 4 - 5 hours is right in there with what it used to take me to do it.
  4. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    What kind of rounds are you reloading? Target or blasting? For target it takes more time. For blasting you can skip many of those steps.

    You dont need to trim every time, only when they are over length. Depending on how you trim you can do your de-burring at the same time with a 3-way cutter.

    Primer pockets, again if just for plinking no need to clean each.

    I cant tell you how long it takes me cause I dont sit and load like that. I do it in stages with my progressive.

    Stage 1; Lube die/de-primer
    Stage 2; Sizer

    Trim if needed with 3-way cutter
    Swage if needed

    Tumble gets lube off and cleans primer pockets. I use Walnut and have not had anything stuck in the flash holes. If you are worried about it put a de-priming die (or back out your sizers) in Stage 1

    Stage 2; Prime
    Stage 3; Powder
    Stage 4; Seat
    Stage 5; Crimp if needed

    Works well for me
  5. SAR1846

    SAR1846 Oregon Member

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    My understanding with loading rifle ammo on the 550 is to follow the "interrupted" loading method like NWCid mention, however I trim rifle brass basically everytime. Certain calibers where you must crimp (.30-30 for example), having all cartridges at the same OAL is critical.

    If you have a dillion case trimmer or a giraud, that will speed things up. I personally like to prime off the station so that I can verify no high primers.

    For all rifle calibers:
    -Initial Clean
    -Final Clean w/car polish
    -Seat primers & bag for future processing

    When ready...
    *M-die (if needed)
    *Crimp (if needed)
    -Box up/Bag up & label with stats
  6. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I don't look at my brass prep time as part of my "loading time". Yes, it's there but I do most of it in little batches here and little batches there. When I get back from the range all MY brass goes in one bin and everything I scrounged in another. As time is available I'll sort the scounged stuff, separating the crimped primers from non, tossing out all the foreign crap. When I have a few hundred I'll decap, swage, and clean. The stuff I loaded and then shot just goes in the cleaner.

    When I was single stage loading my .223 I'd trim using a Lee Trimmer and again just toss the brass in a bin. I didn't waste time measuring, the trimmer took care of that. For my AR loads I didn't bother with de-burring or chamfering. I load 55gr FMJ-BT's and they just slip in without issue. If I were loading for a bolt action I might do it different and I'd definitely be using a different bullet.

    I'm using an XL-650 so I decap and size/trim as a separate operation using a universal depriming die and a Rapid Trim.

    Then all brass is cleaned in a bath of SS Pin Media. Total prep time per thousand is just over an hour, not counting time in the "wash".
  7. Tracer411

    Tracer411 Salem Member

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    thanks for the info guys, another thing i've noticed is that in probably 10/100 i get a small metal shaving from the primers when i press them in on the 550 is that an issue with the primer or an alignment issue on the press? ussing cci400's
  8. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    This can come from a couple of issues. One is from using crimped military brass and not properly removing the crimp. The edge of he remaining crimp will shave the edge of the primer cup leaving a hair thin "ring" of brass. For this reason I prefer the Dillon Super Swage for removing the crimp, set up to leave a pretty healthy radius on the primer pocket. FWIW, RCBS is introducing a new swaging tool that looks a lot like the Dillon tool. It's listed as "coming soon" on most sites that sell RCBS.

    Another cause of this can be misalignment of the primer punch and making sure that the case is properly centered when the ram is lowered to seat a primer. Make sure that the spring is not misadjusted and causing the case to "cock" when lowered. Won't be an issue when sizing but the case shouldn't change position when it is removed from the die.
  9. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    With clean, prepped brass, my Dillion and I load about 500/hr.

    Cleaning is done in the tumbler.

    Trimming is done in large batches, using the Dillion and power trimer

    Swegging is done in batches also, if needed.. depending on the brass.

    so, here we go, let's reload.
  10. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    OK disregard the experts responses,they forget what a hassle it is in the beginning,lol
    Joke..they probably have their benches set up perfectly

    You just have to find what works best for you.I have a "ammo factory" Hornady (L&L) press that takes as long to get set up and running smoothly as it takes me to do a few hundred on my Rock chucker

    Cleaning is nothing.You put the brass in the tumbler and let it run as long as you want
    I decided trimming and all will be done with my accuracy loads. I did run through all my 223 brass and prep the pockets but didn't bother with the COAL.

    Then you just have to set up your bench so that you can grab the brass and the bullets easily, to set in the press.
    Takes a little time to get set up to flow perfect.A friend does a lot of pistol ammo on his 550s'.He has about 6 of them.Doesn't want to change for calibers.He actually just changes the powder silos for different loads of the same caliber,not the settings
    Yes he has a couple bucks more than some.

    If using the single stage,I would decap and size,prime a few hundred,at the TV/computer by hand,store them bottoms up (nothing falls into the primed case) then take 50-100 and powder and seat bullets.
    Only as many as you can concentrate on.Hey sometimes kids and such get in the way.
    Then take another 100 and do the same.

    On my Hornady,I have to do some polishing (yes it is brand new) so it flows smoothly.Then it should put out a couple hundred in an hour easily

    Even with the problems I have had,it is still fun and you are making better, more consistent ammo that will definitely be more accurate than factory
    Plenty worth the trouble you may have in the begining
  11. mookmanjdj

    mookmanjdj Oregon Coast Member

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    I load mine on a single stage. I like dinking around with every case. Like most of these guys say, do a lot of it when you're watching TV or something. It takes me about an hour per hundred to prep the brass not including polishing. After all that work, loading is like a treat. The icing on the cake. I like the craftsmanship of doing it the old fashioned way.
  12. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Wow. I don't know. Like others have said, I do it in batches, usually at least 1,000 at a time.

    I believe that any round which needs a neck crimp must have uniform case lengths to get uniform crimps, so as Deadshot2 said, my trimmer is my gauge.

    I don't even think I'm reloading until the brass is prepped and clean. Of course if I have once-fired military cases the first time, I have the primers to push out and pockets to swage.

    I'd guess that once I have prepped brass, the press set up, and all components in place and I actually start pulling the handle, maybe 200 rounds an hour on a Lee Classic turret press. I could do more on a progressive press, but I was never satisfied that I was sufficiently aware of everything that was happening at every moment with no lapses in concentration. That's just me, though.

    I'm sure some people are faster on that turret press but I'm not about speed as my first priority.
  13. millwrt52

    millwrt52 Kelso Wa Member

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    Sounds about right for the most tedious part of reloading, the case prep. I use to reload for the ar on a rock chucker, one...at...a...time. When doing it that way, you'll learn to due batches of 100 or so at a sitting. Clean,lube, size and deprime and possibly reprime and then trim if needed and reclean. Now I use a LnL AP w/case feeder and a Dillon RT 1200 to trim. For ar plinking ammo, a thousand rnds can be done in about 6-8 hrs. start to finish. Pistol ammo (.45) is a lot faster since you don't have to clean off any lube or trim. My precision rnds for .308 and .223 are still done one...at...a...time. More steps involved like neck sizing in two to three steps, checking to see if shoulder needs bumping and making sure the primer pockets are uniform. As you progress and learn, you'll find better ways to skin that cat.