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Old 04-26-2008, 04:40 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Casting for 5.56/.223

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I have been casting for my 1911's for a while, and am looking into casting for the ar-15. I have the S&W M&P15 (love it) Have heard both pro and con, mostly con....... What is the real wisdom, yes or no and I sure can't seem to find many mold options....? thanx
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Old 04-26-2008, 06:02 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,014
Is too fast of a cartridge for me to concider cast bullets for. Single shot or bolt rifle "maybe"? Not a semi-auto. Nature of an AR-15 is not for cast bullets "in my view". Too many headaches to make it work(well).

Lots of decent deals for jacketed bullets out there. Factory ammo too!
I vote no. I also wish you well to experiment. No harm in trying.

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Old 04-26-2008, 06:10 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Peck, Idaho
Posts: 12,619
Welcome to the forum Bravo6. Rules are simple, be nice and join in. I'd recommend reading this sticky for general info for new folks here.

As for casting for the AR platforms in 223 keep in mind that the smaller the bore the harder it is to cast successfully. Also once you get cast bullet speeds much above 2500 fps it's much harder to keep barrels from leading. To assure a semi-auto operates correctly you need to keep certain pressure levels and you may not be able to do that with cast bullets in a .223 bore. That's one of the reasons you don't see much of a selection of cast bullet molds in the smaller calibers.

I'm certainly no expert in the cast bullets for rifles field though and perhaps some of our other members will chime in here and give you some better dope.
Bob from Idaho
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:30 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: soda springs idaho
Posts: 158
for the 223 the bullets need to be hard and near perfect with a gas check.
but not so hard that they break going from magazine to chamber.
near perfect so that the fast twist in the bbl will stabilize them without any accuracy problems. same reason they need to be hard.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:28 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 785
I have done shooting with Lyman 224415 - a 55 grain gas check flat nose bullet. However, while in a .223, I only had a Ruger No. 3 single shot. I never got around to casting with really hard alloys, such as Linotype; rather, I used my standard wheelweight with some tin alloys. I found that I didn't have much success over 1600 fps. The bullets started to slump and the accuracy went downhill (I recoverd the bullets from snow, so I know what they looked like). I had good short range accuracy with velocities down around 1200-1300 fps. All in all, it was difficult and not realy worth a lot more effort. The bullets needed to be perfect, as a minor imperfection means a lot more than it does on a .45 bullet.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:01 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Jefferson Parish (via N.O.)
Posts: 9,035
Have found most 22's good cast bullet rounds, but getting them loaded warm enough to cycle a semi-auto without problems might be a difficult project. When i loaded cast .223's for a mini-14 was content to use it as a straight pull repeater (manual operation).

IF i were to try, would start with a 55-60gr. gas checked bullet, probably size .225 (but would try them unsized as well), and load only warm enough to cycle the action....even then, would expect to take the rifle apart every couple of hundred rounds to clean it (even if it doesn't lead, burnt lube is going to build up in the gas system).

Agree the bullets will need to be hard,,,not just becasue of the fast twist and speed required for reliable functioning, but also becasue you'll likely crimp and it's a rough trip from magazine to chamber.
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