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Thread: Reloading for 5.56 / .223: 69, 77 gr bullets

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    Reloading for 5.56 / .223: 69, 77 gr bullets

    I've scrounged some fired 9mm and .223 and 5.56 brass, Have bullets, powder, my 1990's Lyman single stage press and a NIB Dillon 750 without any dies (14 week wait time).

    So I'm looking for some loads for the 5.56 and .223 cases and all of my 1990's vintage load books have zero loads for heavier .224 bullets. Most do not have anything for bullets over 65 grains, and I'd like to load some specialty rounds of 69 and 77 gr for my 1:7 20" Rock River NM rifle.

    Do any of you have a newer book that covers these heavier bullets?

    Or is there a 5-star website that publishes these? Otherwise I'll need to buy a more current loadbook and a recommendation for that would be appreciated.
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    there's a few 69 grain loadings on reloadammo dot com

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    Buy a new reloading manual. It's 2020. A lot of new powders have come along in the last....30 years!

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanq View Post
    Buy a new reloading manual. It's 2020. A lot of new powders have come along in the last....30 years!
    Yeah...I know.

    I really like the 1992 Hodgdon tome I have. Probably will get a current version.
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    Keep the old book and get a new one I picked up the 50th lyman Ed. hardcover for like 15 bux shipped off of fleabay a year or so ago.

    I kinda collect the older books also as there is data in them not in the new books and same the other way new books with new data not in the older stuff.

    Try finding NORMA 10mm data in a new book. Pretty much impossible look through the late 80's and early 90's books and it's right there.

    Gonna be the same with the 69 and 77 grn projo's none in the older books but all over in the new prints since they are kinda new to the AR scene.

    And yes also a lot of new powders out and again same with the old books had 3lb sealed win 540 ball given to me.

    No data in new books but seems there is a ton of it in the older ones so I'll get to use it in pistols.

    Did I answer your ????? NOPE!

    But I did give you a few good reasons to keep the old book and buy a new one LOL

    Sorry I don't have anything over 62 grn for the 223/556

    And since I don't know what powder ya got no sense in me listing data for loads I know nothing about with mystery powder.

    So what rifle powder ya got Scott? that would help.

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    Hodgdon H380
    Hodgdon H335
    Winchester 748

    Powder isn't so much the problem as CCI #41 primers.

    I like Hodgdon powders for a couple of reasons but for sure they measure better - at least the spherical small granule powders I've used.
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    I got 3 books with some data take a look

    LYMAN 50th Edition




    HODGDON's Data Manual # 22



    NOSLER Reloading Manual # 3



    I noticed the 50th doesn't list your powder for the heavy 223 but it does list it for 35 grn 223 ( I shoot a lot of the speer TNT 32 grn pellets)

    But the other two manuals both list data only a grn. off for the H335 so there is a starting point.

    I'd hit HODGDON's site it's easy to use and will show you "if" that stuff burns fast enough/slow enough for those guns.

    And remember don't load em all up until you know if the gun cycles and locks open other wise you'll have to tear em down or use em in a bolt gun.

    I used to use a lot of R15 but the AUG short strokes on it and I switched to HODGDON's benchmark and now all the guns run on standard loads.
    The AR's always loved the R15 buy a AUG and it threw a wrench in the operation.

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    Thanks. Much appreciated.

    I usually load about 10 rounds and test before I do anything more.

    In fact tomorrow I'm going to the range to shoot some steel using factory fodder in my 20" 5.56 AR but I'm also taking the Rem 700 in .308 and 10 new reloads I made Monday. I'm just duplicating the USGI 150 gr load for starters.

    Kind of unsettling how 1 grain is the span of Min and Max loads for some of these powders. I don't think my old Lyman powder measure is up to that for some of these powders, especially the cylindrical ones like IMR 4895.
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    Hornady 99240 Handbook 10th Edition, your best friend for reloading
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    This past week I've tumbled and sorted 3,100 5.56 / .223 cases...by caliber, by maker. Holy crap what a lot of work. I'm probably never going to need to buy brass again ever but if I do it will be some form of 'processed'.

    I still need to deprime and trim these...and swage all the 5.56 rounds. My time is evidently worth about 12 cents per hour. Honestly it makes me rethink the economics of .40 cents per round of factory 5.56. I feel like a 7-year old chinese kid in a Nike factory.

    I did go to the range today and my 10 test reloads of .308 worked perfectly; no signs of any overpressure, hit same aim point as factory .308 150 gr. loads.

    I like to reproduce factory / military loads first before customizing and that's where I'll start with the .223 / 5.56 next week when my dies show up.
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    Ahhh well I hope your dies show up soon.

    I ordered a set of Dillion 45ACP dies in Oct with no due date since they were so kind with their 9mm replacement

    Another guy on a forum ordered 45 ACP dies in July and is still waiting not to be a downer but you might want to pick up some cheapo carbide until the dillion ones come in.

    Gonna have to see about picking this book up Hornady 99240 Handbook 10th Edition, your best friend for reloading That Arch mentioned ( thanks Arch)

    Only brass I pay any mind to is the 700 PSS and I buy match to start for that.

    Everything else just gets loaded and run. When they need it I run them through the trimmer I have the RCBS swage setup and a Dillion swager I do my brass on.

    The Dilion is nice since it's on a block of wood I can swage pockets while I watch TV same with decaping I have a hand decaper for when I'm doing volume brass.

    I do thing in small batches and you'll be amazed how fast it all adds up. Then I use the dillion to assemble it and it really goes fast.

    If I told you what I loaded last winter for 223/556 you'd not believe me.

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    Ordered both a Sierra and a Hodgdon reload books since that's my powder and bullet choice aside from generic 55 gr FMJ.

    If we get back to normal I'm going to buy 20,000 CCI #41 primers.

    So I just processed 3,000 mixed .223 and 5.56 cases. I have no idea how much time that took but it was days. That with a Lyman electric trimmer and RCBS multi-tool electric case station.

    I have a new appreciation for 30-cent bulk .223.
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    With 1:7 twist in a 20" barrel you should theoretically be able to stabilize a 77g bullet. I get good results with 69g. match kings in a similar rig. I know that when I tried 69 g. slugs with a 1:9 twist 18" barrel they were knuckleballing and keyholing at 50 yards. YMMV

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    Best to give the CCI #41 primers a try before you invest big in them. I personally do not like them. Harder than most others and seem to be a little more difficult to seat correctly requiring a bit more robust swaging in my experience. Also seem to be quite a bit hotter. I use regular CCI, Winchester, and S&B small rifle. Those three have become my preferred AR primers and are all pretty comparable. 25 years of loading for ARs.

    For specific load data it is best to consult multiple different loading manuals and pay attention to the test barrel length, twist, and primer selection to see if that is comparable to what you are loading. Most manuals will show the test barrel as some 22" or 24" bolt action so don't expect to get comparable velocities before getting to max charge. Also that #41 small rifle will give you 5- 10% higher pressures compared to other primers. Otherwords, don't start at max charge from a book showing a different primer. You have to start low or mid-range and work your load up until you are seeing pressure signs.

    I usually guy a box or two of some quality factory round with the bullet weight that I intend to load for and check chrono velocities from the factory to my reloads in my barrel and use that as an idea of what not to exceed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaffshot View Post
    Best to give the CCI #41 primers a try before you invest big in them. I personally do not like them. Harder than most others and seem to be a little more difficult to seat correctly requiring a bit more robust swaging in my experience. Also seem to be quite a bit hotter. I use regular CCI, Winchester, and S&B small rifle. Those three have become my preferred AR primers and are all pretty comparable. 25 years of loading for ARs.

    For specific load data it is best to consult multiple different loading manuals and pay attention to the test barrel length, twist, and primer selection to see if that is comparable to what you are loading. Most manuals will show the test barrel as some 22" or 24" bolt action so don't expect to get comparable velocities before getting to max charge. Also that #41 small rifle will give you 5- 10% higher pressures compared to other primers. Otherwords, don't start at max charge from a book showing a different primer. You have to start low or mid-range and work your load up until you are seeing pressure signs.

    I usually guy a box or two of some quality factory round with the bullet weight that I intend to load for and check chrono velocities from the factory to my reloads in my barrel and use that as an idea of what not to exceed.
    So to confirm you use these:

    Winchester: WSR, #6-1/2 - 116, Small Rifle
    Sellier & Bellot: V360587, Small Rifle 4,4 Boxer
    CCI: BR4, #450 or #400?
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    I think that is correct for the Winchester and S&B. The only CCI that I use for 556/223 is the #400.

    I think you can use probably any small rifle as long as you start at the lower end of the loading guidelines and work up to pressure signs and appropriate velocity. But federals are soft and might slam fire in an AR. BR primers might be the same, not sure. #41 primers are hotter and are harder than others. You may be using a whole less grain of power to get where you want. Also, they sometimes have trouble detonating if you have a light hammer spring and in my experience require a little more swaging.

    My main point was that you can not expect the same result that a loading manual says when you use different components in a different gun. The manuals are just guidelines and are not eternal truths to be relied upon wholesale. In my experience, the Hornady manual is usually very conservative (but not for all calibers) and the Lee manual is may be a bit more cavalier in its advice. I consult several books and sources to find a starting load and work up in increments to find when my gun with those components begin to show signs of approaching max charge.

    Example: if you load 308 take note that any mil spec 7.62 case will have significant less case capacity than a commercial 308 brass. I believe it is approx. 10% less. You'll get higher pressure with less capacity. So if you load a near max charge based on load data using a commercial spec brass into a LC 762 brass you very well may be over pressured. Are you gonna loose and eyeball? Maybe, maybe not.

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