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Loading .223/5.56 Nato press recomemdations

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Boxerglocker, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

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    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    With the comming of the new year, I have my heart set on my next reloading endeavor which will be feeding a soon to be purchased AR-15 in .223/5.56 NATO.

    I have all my pistol loading requirements met with my SDB and various dies/toolheads for 9mm, .40/10mm, .45 ACP and .380 Auto so this set-up will be strictly for rifle.

    The debate is which way to go in regards to a press :dunno:

    I'm thinking of finding a used Dillon 550B on a strong mount and going with the Dillon carbide .223 dies.

    Then again the Horandy LNL looks appealing too :whistling:

    I'd like to hear some of the pros and cons from those who use these particular presses for rifle loading.

    In addition any recommendations to other tooling, such as a case trimmer, gauges, etc. that I will require to load .223 would be be much appreciated.

    Limitations if any would be that I want to be able to load a reasonable number of rounds and hour, as I anticipate my monthly round count to be somewhere around 800-1200. I'll be not be loading match grade target rounds but bulk ammo for tactical practice applications.

    Thanks :wavey:
     
  2. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Obviously your one option is to sell the SDB and let your new press do everything. I'm not a big fan of going this route, if you can afford it I'd keep the Dillon, but then again I like toys. Hell, I've git stuff sitting around that I haven't used in years but it's there if I ever need it.

    You really can't go wrong with either the 550B of the LNL... both of them are a hell of a press.

    Although I've used both a 550B and a SDB for years and have only used a LNL since early last summer I've found that the more I use it the more I like it... so much so that I bought a second one.

    This is in no way a condemnation of the 550B, not at all. There are just some intangibles that I like about the LNL, I like the 'openness of the machine, the ease of changing caliber, (although the 550B is pretty damn easy) and I think I like the fact that the LNL doesn't have as many small parts.

    That being said I'm not about to get rid of my Dillons but when my SIL comes over I seem to put him in front of the Dillons and I sit in front of the LNL's.

    I do believe that overall the LNL is initially cheaper, especially with the free bullet offer and caliber changes are cheaper... $27 shell plate. That's pretty much all you need. (Of course you need dies with either press.

    Loading .223 is no different than loading any other rifle round. You'll need a case trimmer, no big deal, a case mouth chamfer, a pocket reamer or swager if you use military brass and some lube, spray on or lube pad. That's pretty much it although I may be overlooking some things.

    Depending on your AR you may, or may not need to use small base dies. Again, no big deal. There are guys on here that are much more knowledgeable about the new AR chambers than I am.

    Have a ball, you'll be good to go with either machine.

    Jack
     

  3. Bob2223

    Bob2223 Jack's buddy!

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Spencer Indiana
    Jack beat me so I wont go over the same points.
    Seriously I do like loading 223 on that press, it's the only thing I've used a powder cop on so far and it works out great.
    Never used a case gage for anything I load, as far as trimming I have used the RCBS crank trimmer cause it came in a kit.
    Had the Lyman power trimmer for about 10 years and it makes quick work of trimming and cleaning the primer pockets.
    If you get brass with crimped primer pockets you will have to deal with that, I used the RCBS press mounted set up on a Rock Chucker but there many ways to remove them.
    I use the HOS lube on the cases with good luck
    Like everything else, it's how much do ya wanna spend.

    Bob
     
  4. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    CO
    5 station progressive with Powder Cop or Dillon Buzzer Warning for low/high powder. I only say that because if it was me I would want a powder cop of some sort so I would know the cases are charged properly. Besides that I am a total nob on the subject and haven't a clue.
     
  5. unclebob

    unclebob

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    Mary Esther FL
    My first choice would be the Dillon 650 Second LNL both with case feeders. With the Case feeder the Dillon is about $50.00 more. I also would get the Dillon Rapid case trimmer. And either the Dillon powder check or the RCBS. The RCBS if the powder is wrong either a double charge or squib load it well lock up the press. The Dillon well give you an audible sound and also you have a visual check also.
    You do realize that even though it is a .233 carbide die you still need too lube the case’s.
     
  6. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    6,927
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    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    Are you buying a 5.56, or a .223 chambered gun? Because they are NOT the same.

    It's okay to shoot .223 ammo in a 5.56, but not the reverse....

    Or at least I should say, "factory" ammo. If you're loading 5.56 brass for a .223, I suspect you could load it such that it's okay. But if you ever think you might be buying some ammo from somewhere... I would take that into consideration when buying the gun.

    Here's one link that addresses this, you will find zillions of others:
    http://www.ar15armory.com/forums/556-223-Ammunition-Ch-t22582.html

    I apologize if you're already aware of this... but so many are NOT, and when I saw you "combine" it as you did... thought a polite warning might be in order.
     
  7. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

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    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    It will most definately be a 5.56 NATO chambered AR. I'm aware of the the differences, but thanks for the heads up nevertheless. :supergrin:

    No, the SDB ain't going no where, if anything I'll use it as a traveling press when I take trips to the other side of the state, just set up a bench/mount combo where ever I may take it.

    As for the thoughts of others in regards to going with a 650, I have thought of that too. But for the money, and the fact that this will be most definately a press dedicated to rifle only. The extra station just doesn't seem to justify the extra cost, plus a used 650 is hard to come by :dunno:
    I'm pretty sure that a case feeder will not even factor into me loading .223, from what I have read so far it just doesn't justify the cost for the trouble with rifle rounds, but I may be wrong...

    Do you guys really feel a powder check station is necessary? I'm pretty confident in the Dillon powder drop and fail safe.

    I'm well aware the lubing will still be required even with the Dillion carbide dies, but I'm sold on HOS and the extra protection going with those dies just seems the way to go.

    So anyone know the best internet deal on a LNL right now? The price alone may sway me that way. What dies whould you recommend if I went that route? Other than dies and a shellplate, what else is needed to get that press rolling out .223?

    Appreciate the help here guys, really on the edge of what I want to do :embarassed:
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  8. Bob2223

    Bob2223 Jack's buddy!

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Spencer Indiana
    Ya just missed the Midway promo it ended yesterday!
    :faint:

    Bob
     
  9. n2extrm

    n2extrm

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    Feb 24, 2009
    I have loaded my 5.56/.223 on both my rock chucker and the 550. I use the readding dies just a fullsize die and a seating die that I believe crimps also. It was the $30 set and it served me well for thousands of rounds. They feed fire and eject with no problems. I do have a case gauge willson I believe.I prefer the 550 simply for the speed. It is hard to feed an AR with a RC. I have never found a charge out by more then .1 or .2 grains. .1 the norm over under and a rare .2. I weighed almost all of my first couple of hundred rounds on a digital scale, because I am insane. I have a Hornady case trimmer and a redding. The redding is the more expensive one, like $125, it uses a collet set up as aposed to the need for shell holders. Honestly I think the $60 hornady probabley cuts cleaner. Just don't tell Jack I said something good about a red product. I also have the Dillon Swager for millitary primer pockets. I like it is a tool that works and does what it is supposed to. But in hind site I wonder if the RCBS case prep center for about the same price is more bang for the buck. Keep in mind I never used one this is just perception. I use the Dillon lube, similar to the Hornady one shot. It works great. I did find the case lengths were all over the place on my once fired brass, all new fired in my rifle. So I would trim all the brass the first time out. I am not saying it is not possible, but with Varget it would be really hard to over charge a .223 case IMHO. They are pretty well filled up before max charge. I guess you could with other powders or even Varget depending on the case, but all I have loaded are pretty full. I am honestly interested in the red press that jack has such good things to say about. I am thinking of eventuly adding one to the bench. Like jack I tend to collect toys, and hardly part with anything. I think either the LNL or the 550 will do just fine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  10. RustyFN

    RustyFN

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    West Virginia
    I would be curious to know how much faster the progressive is over the Lee classic turret. I have only loaded pistol on a 550. After case prep ( something that needs to be done no matter which press ) being able to skip the sizing die I can load around 300 223 per hour on the classic turret. What do you guys with the progressives do about case prep?
     
  11. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

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    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    Good point Rusty...

    If going with a progrssive would you need to run all the cases through the first station to resize and deprime alone then prep (trim, clean and relube)?

    Man, I wish I kept my LCT just to learn the in's and out's of rifle loading...
     
  12. n2extrm

    n2extrm

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    Feb 24, 2009
    The first time I load yes I size and deprime, trim, chamfer, and swage the pocket. After that I basicly treat them like pistol for a few loading. If the grow then I do all the trim and prep steps over. I never really timed out my rate, but it is about the same as pistol on a 550 I would guess 400 more or less an hour, but that is just a guess.


    ETA: I use the case gauge to set up the dies the first time. After that I check all the stuff I load in the gauge and cull out anything that does not slide in and out smoothly or fails the fit. I do this with pistol also. It is a good time to remove lube if used and inspect each round for anything missed, then box em up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  13. Hydraulicman

    Hydraulicman

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    if you want a great press for .223 and you are happy with your dillon SDB

    Get the 550B . NO brainer:supergrin:
     
  14. squirreld

    squirreld

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    US of A
    Im in a similar situ as you.
    all my homework has lead me to the 650.
    I want as automated as I can within budget.
    not having to index like the 550 sold me.
    Many ppl here say its not that big a deal.
     
  15. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

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    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    The 650 is a great press and one I want but sticking to my plan and having one press dedicated for rifle and rifle only... a good price on a used 550B is what seems to be the logical choice. Though the LNL is very tempting right now.

    The 650 with a case feeder deidicated for 9mm later down the road is most definately in the plan...
     
  16. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO

    Some temptations are good and should be acted upon, the LNL is a prime example... other temptations are not so good and should be avoided like the plague... saying 'I do' is another prime example.:shocked:

    Jack
     
  17. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

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    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    So if I was to act upon temptation... :whistling:

    Recommendations in regards to what dies to order for an LNL?
     
  18. dudel

    dudel

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    Texas Hill Country
    Get the Hornady dies and get more free projectiles.

    Seriously though, .223/5.56 is such a small round that just about any press can handle it. Your round requirments are not great, so you could do it on a small single stage Lee press. Might actually be better in that you could to load development at the range. Gas operated AR's can be fussy with their load.
     
  19. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

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    Washington (the state)
    I just recently ventured into 223 myself. Here is what I learned. 223 is like a woman how that has reached Menopause. Compared to pistols she's a real ***** and needs lots of lube.

    Scrimp on the lube and you will be buying a tap to get the brass out of your sizing die.

    Oh yea my bench that has worked for several years is not heavy enough or at the very least needs anchored to the wall.
     
  20. Patrick Graham

    Patrick Graham Footlong Jr.

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    Sep 7, 2001
    Kokomo Indiana
    Same here. :wavey: