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223 dies

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by shotgunred, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Do you use a 2 die or a three die set for 223?
    All I can find is one RCBS 2 die sets. Being I have never reloaded rifle before I thought I would ask. What do you use and why?
  2. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Been years and years since I've had a AR but back then I used the RCBS small base 2 die set... still use the same dies for my Sako bolt .223.

    I use a dry mica for in the necks to minimize friction and stretching. There may be a better way but it has worked for me for years. (I'm too cheap to keep buying new dies.) :supergrin:


  3. jdm0506


    Feb 3, 2009
    I use the Lee die sets. Since I'm only loading for my AR, I just use the FL sizing die and bullet seating die. Since I'm not loading for a bolt gun, I haven't needed to use the neck sizing die. As for the crimp die, I've never had a need to use it either. You should be good with a 2 die set (fl sizing and seater) for most applications.
  4. Brass Nazi

    Brass Nazi NO BRASS FOR U!

    Jul 4, 2005
    Most rifle cartridges only require a 2 die set. The third die in a pistol set is for case mouth expansion. Rifles dies sets for most cartridges have a sizing die that has an expander ball that expands the mouth on the downstroke. Exceptions are straightwall cartridges like 45/70 and .458 WIN. Most manuals have a chapter about this.

    Some dies sets contain a third die to allow you to crimp in a separate step.
  5. RustyFN


    Sep 29, 2006
    West Virginia
    I use four dies.

    powder die
  6. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    Most seater dies also crimp (depending on how you set them up).
  7. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    Actually, the second die in the pistol set is usually the expander (unless you use a powder die with expander). The third die is a seater/crimper. The fourth die if present is a crimp only.

    The rifle dies expand on the on the upstroke (of the handle). The expander die does pass through the neck on the downstroke, but is then followed by the sizing die which brings it back down to size. On the as you bring the handle up (or the ram down depending on your perspective), the neck is clear and the expander ball can do it's job.
  8. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    +1 For both pistol and rifle.
  9. Brass Nazi

    Brass Nazi NO BRASS FOR U!

    Jul 4, 2005

    Yes, the expander is put is station 2 but I called it the third die to delineate the difference in a 2 die set and a 3 die set. I guess I should have stated "additional die."

    I was stating the "downstroke" of the ram/shellplate and not the "downstroke" of the handle.
  10. Kentucky Shooter

    Kentucky Shooter NRA Life Member

    Jun 12, 2009
    I use the standard 2-die set from RCBS for .223. For what its worth, I am loading for bolt guns only.
  11. Wyoming


    Feb 3, 2007
    Southwest Wyoming
    Used two dies for years when loading for AR15, Mini 14, M16 and AR180 with no problems when using single station presses. Use four dies set up when I went to Dillion.

    FWTW, when loading for bolt guns I found out that I had to trim cases shorter for 223 Remington. Didn't have that problem when loading for autos with 5.56mm chambers but the 223 chamber is shorter. Also, I never found the need to use small base dies.
  12. Bret

    Bret Crimping Master

    Jan 21, 2003
    North Georgia
    All of my 223Rem reloading is for semiautomatic military style rifles. I use three dies when loading 223Rem on a single stage press. Following is all of the steps that I take:
    1) Clean the cases
    2) Lube the cases: I lube five at a time on my lubrication pad. Don't over lubricate.
    3) Lube the case necks: Usually all that is necessary is to run my RCBS case neck brush through the case neck. If necessary, I'll put a little powder type neck sizing lubricant on it. Again, don't over lubricate.
    4) Size and deprime: This is done using the sizing die. Be sure to wipe the lube off each case after sizing.
    5) Trim: Use a case trimmer to trim all cases to the same length.
    6) Chamfer and debur the case mouthes: I use the inexpensive Lee tool and get great results.
    7) Clean primer pockets
    8) Prime the cases: I use the CCI mil-spec primers and a hand priming tool
    9) Charge each case with powder
    10) Seat the bullets: This is done using the seating die. I seat the 55gr FMJ bullets to a length that results in the top of the crimp groove being just above the case mouths.
    11) Crimp: This is done using a Lee Factory Crimp Die. I've found that the results are better with this die than with the roll crimp type dies.
    12) Fire away!
  13. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

    Mar 1, 2000
    I use nothing but regular RCBS 2pc rifle die sets for reloading .223 in my M4 and .30/06 in my M1 Garand. All loaded on a RCBS single stage press.
  14. AR/Autoloader...FL sizer, seating die , LFCD

    Bolt...Fireform, Lee Collet Neck sizer, RCBS Mic Seater Die and aneal every 5th reload.
  15. oldsoldier


    Jun 22, 2008
    I use the Redding 3 die sets for all of my rifle calibers. 1 full length sizing die, 1 neck sizing die only, and 1 combination seating/crimp die. I rarely crimp rifle ammo though. The only caliber I full length size is .233 that is going in my AR. I don't put a lot of work into loading for it. The rest of my rifles are all single shot and I take a lot more care loading for them.