STPilot

Reloading Refresher?

19 posts in this topic

Hello gang.. Well its true, after 15 or so years I’m reloading boolits again! I finally got my Dillon 550 back from my brother. He also still had the loading bench we built in high school wood shop!! (yeah… that’s like 25 years ago) Its been sitting in storage for years so it was dirty/gunky!! Generally everything is in good shape. After all the nostalgia going through boxes and getting everything organized, I ordered parts and things I knew I would need. I finally got everything, got it cleaned up and set up last night. This Dillon press has seen some action! I betcha “back in the day” (man I hate that saying! LOL) between my Dad, brother and I we probly loaded and shot 1000-2000 rds a week! We shot all the time! 98% was pistol, 45 and 9mm, but of course we loaded some 223 for our AR’s (just FMJ for blasting away the desert)Anyway, I’m excited to be “Playing with boolits” again. (when we were loading my mom used to say "The boys are in the back room playing with their bullets" :D ) I’m hoping to get some guidance from ya’ll. While I do plan on loading 45 by the truck load again, one of my main goals is to load some good accurate 223 for my Tikka. Any tips/tricks for good accurate loads would be appreciated, in other words…. be prepared for some stupid questions!! I’m gonna use the Dillon as a modified single stage system for loading 223. I got new carbide dies (with FL sizer) I'll be using the RCBS Chargemaster, not going to use the automatic powder measure. The first load I want to work up is something for the 53gr V-MAX. Thinking of trying BL-C2, TAC and maybe Benchmark, following the Hornady manual. I’ve got a good supply of once fired Winny brass (got the tumbler full as I type this!) lots of Rem 7 ½ BR primers, Headspace gauge set-up, etc.. I’ve spent lots of hours reading posts in the reloading section here, I’ve learned lots, but I know there’s more out there! Thanks all!! :Dphoto-6-M.jpg

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Welcome back Pilot.Tom

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223 is easy just about any powder meant for it will work.H335 is a good powder I use h4895 because I got a good deal on 8 pounds of it.good luck have fun.

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Welcome back to the reloading world. I'm sure you'll be glad you did. It is a great satisfaction of slaying targets & game from rolling your own, along with giving you something to do during retirement years.As already said, a LOT of powders & bullets work great in the 223 & is an easy caliber to load for, unlike some others. Just reach in the cupboard & grab almost any can of powder & go to it... Almost! (only a slight exaggeration) lolTwo of my favorites are Benchmark & TAC. Some others friends & I had great luck with are: RL-10X, H4895, H335, W-748, Varget & IMR 8208. I've seen incredible groups with BL-C2, however, it is often a finicky powder. One of the least versatile for us. However?Anyway, have fun and good luck

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Thanks guys! Frank, I was hoping you'd chime in here too. I've enjoyed reading your posts on loads and such. I started with BL-C2 just cuz it seems to be on the faster side for the 53gr vmax, followed by TAC. I fully plan on trying both and maybe Benchmark, although according to the Hornady book, its a bit on the slower side for that bullet. For the 53gr, Hornady lists min-max loads at 22.5/27.4 (BL-C2) I'm planning on loading 10 each of 25.5, 26.0, 26.5 and 27.0 and see what the groups and chronograph have to say... Maybe go a bit higher if all else is ok. Speaking of which... Could ya'll give me a refresher on high pressure signs? I think I know, but I'd sure like to hear what you guys have to say. (and have seen!) Thanks, Tim

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Blown/flattened primers, stiff bolt lift are a couple signs of over pressure. For you Tikka H335 with a 40 gr Vmax works great in Mine. The 1/8 twist and the RPM's of the projectile have an amazing effect on Varmints. Good luck with getting back into reloading!

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Here's my favorite load for my Tikka T-3 Lite .223 Remington.Sierra GameKing 65 gr spitzer boat tailH335 24.5 grCCI 400COAL 2.260"Mv: 2958 fpsBC: .303Accuracy: 5 shots in 0.415" at 100 yardsNote: This load superseded my prior load of 25.0 grains H335 which was cracking case mouths at 3011 fps mv.Sorry, don't have a 53 gr V-Max load for it.

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Thanks! I do plan on trying some of the heavier bullets next! So I experienced my first minor set back this afternoon... I have about 200 cases of once fired Winchester. When I started to size/prime today there were several cases I could NOT get a primer into, even smashed a few primer edges... I hate that! Any-who, I looked at my brass and discovered about 1/3 of the brass has an interesting ring "mostly" around the primer. I say mostly cuz some where definitely NOT centered. I got to thinking a bit more, I have some of this ammo still loaded. I opened the box that I have and 2 of the 20 had the same ring. This is NEW Winchester ammo, not reloads. ?? Tool mark from assembly?? I went and bought a primer pocket uniformer tool and started cleaning them up, still had a hard time priming some.... Don't remember ever encountering this before. picturesIMG0073-M.jpgIMG0074-M.jpg

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That is a crimp done from the factory and is commonly found on military ammo. There are tools to remove them.

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Yes, those are military primer pocket crimps. Annoying as heck. Ammo manufacturers tend to put this crimp on ammo that is intended to be used in AR-15's. There are a variety of tools available to remove the primer pocket crimp ranging from cheap hand tools to bits and swagers. I use the bit offered by RCBS for the Trimmate to cut it out. But I'm not convinced it's the best option out there, and haven't explored all the other options. I've read the Dillon swager is good, but it's $100.http://www.dillonpre...Super_Swage_600Here's a thread about it.http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-595771.htmlI'm interested to hear about what everyone else favors to remove military primer pocket crimps.By the way, with that 1:8 twist rate on your Tikka .223, you'll be able to stabilize the longer, heavier bullets. That's one of the nice things about that rifle.

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Save your money, a drill bit has worked flawless for me in the past on hundreds of .223 mil-surp stuff from the range. I believe it was a #4 at 0.209", but I would have to go out to "the room" behind the garage and double check to be positive.

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That is funny you say that because I did the same thing with my crimped brass .An electric drill and a drill bit worked wonders but now I have a rcbs swager die that i got a good deal on from a member here.

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Yes, those are military primer pocket crimps. Annoying as heck. Ammo manufacturers tend to put this crimp on ammo that is intended to be used in AR-15's.By the way, with that 1:8 twist rate on your Tikka .223, you'll be able to stabilize the longer, heavier bullets. That's one of the nice things about that rifle.
What's interesting to me is how random they were in the ammo I shot.. Out of 240rds, there were approx 90 that had the crimp... I ended up just using the RCBS hand primer pocket tool.. Still cost me $25 and after doing nearly a100 I can totally see spending the $100 on the Dillion or the new RCBS Swagers.. EDIT: or $.10 for a harbor freight drill bit... Good Idea Bisley, wish I'd thought of that! :two-cents: Im looking forward to playing with some of the heavier bullets in the Tikka.. Have you had any issues with COL not fitting the magazines?

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Yep. And I was talking to my dad this morning, he also uses a drill bit, but a different kind, he uses one of the stepped bits from his Harbor Freight three pack. It works similar to a reamer and just reams the top crimped part. Either kind of bit will work for ya.drillbit.jpgI also chuck my Lee primer pocket cleaner in the drill to make it easier on my bad hands. M U C H easier that way.ppc.jpg

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That is a crimp done from the factory and is commonly found on military ammo. There are tools to remove them.
Yep -I use the RCBS pocket swager on my 7.62/.308 and it seems to work great.I got the set (both small and large primer) off of ebay for I think $15.

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Thanks Bisley.. I actually thought about mounting the little tool head in a drill, just didn't have my Makita at the house... Next time for sure! :)

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Or in this case, smart minds and sore fingers :fireworks3:

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Sore fingers for sure!! :fireworks3:

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