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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
is where this thread is headed. I load all my pistol ammo on a Dillon 550. My next adventure is to try and load large quantities of 55 gr fmj 223, probably using Montana Gold for my AR's. Probably going to buy another powder dispensing unit, dies, and tool head. Question is: has anyone loaded large quantities of this caliber and do you have a specific method for doing so? It's too bad the technology isn't there for a carbide die that would work on a necked case. Thanks in advance for you input.
 

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I don't load at that volume, but a buddy of mine does, and uses the Montana Gold 55 FMJ with W748 powder and Rem 7 1/2 primers. He has the Dillon 550 and has a seperate toolhead for all the calibers he reloads and he seems to make a lot of ammo in a short amount of time. He does use the Dillon Carbide dies, which do still require lube, but not as much. We both use Redding/Imperial Die Wax.
 

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I have reloaded mass quantities of 5.56mm/.223 on a Dillon XL650. I use Hornady spray case lube, according to the directions on the can. My press has an automatic case feeder, and I have a seperate toolhead, measure, etc. for quick setup.

Having said all that, I am switching back to a single stage press for this caliber, for the following reasons:

1. Reloading on a progressive, unless you do it in a couple of steps (size them all, then trim them all, then load them all), does not allow you to trim brass, and that can become important after a couple of firings, especially if you are picking up range brass of unknown origin.

2. I have had a couple experiences of failure to fully resize the cases because of an improperly adjusted sizing die. I don't know if it crept up a fraction of a turn or if it was a mistake I made when setting it up, but I wound up with several hundred rounds that would work OK in a Mini-14 but jammed occasionally in an AR.

3. I have had some rounds with bad crimps for the same reason as above.

Because of the extreme danger if an oversize or too long round is almost, but not quite, chambered, and the possibility of an out-of-battery detonation, I have decided I would rather sacrifice speed for the increased safety of seeing every round properly loaded.

Now, there will be many who think I'm getting carried away here, and I have never had any kind of accident with several thousand rounds loaded, but I guess I am getting old enough to have the patience to do this more deliberately.

I will still be using the 650 to crank out oodles of pistol ammo.
 

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You may consider IMR 8208 XBR powder, it measures nearly as well as ball but is extremely temperature stable.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much for the input. Especially WHB on the critical steps for sizing and trimming. I had better do a little more research before I jump into reloading anything but new unfired brass. Would really like to avoid catastrophic failure on any of my guns.
 

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Trimming has always made rifle reloads problematic on progressives, since you have to size a case to see exactly what length it will come out? However, if all the cases you have are the same lot and were all fired in the same chamber, you can probably find an untrimmed case length that comes out in the right ballpark after subsequent sizing. Several folks say the RCBS X-die works as promised to eliminate trimming, and that makes it ideal for progressives. You still have to separately trim the brass for the first time you will use that die, but not again afterward until you toss it.

BTW, I noticed Midsouth's bulk Hornady 55 gr. FMJ's are lower priced than Montana Gold, unless you find MG more accurate in your gun?
 

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I don't do a whole lot of bulk rifle ammo, but when I have been loading .223 I have been using the RCBS X-Die and it has really saved a lot of time not trimming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Listening to what most of you have instructed, I trimmed all my brass to 1.75. Ran it through the sizer, chamfered inside and outside of case mouth, cleaned primer pockets and primed it. Using Hornady 68 BTHP with a recipe from another website for this bullet of 19.4 gr of IMR 4198. I like to start out conservative and not run them hot in an AR. I'm using a Redding turret press and RCBS dies with Hornady powder drop. Encountered two issues- 1.) the measure occasionally feels like it's chopping the long extruded powder which when it does, I weight it to make sure and it's still spot on. 2.) though the dies are adjusted and lock rings tight, I measure every round going to 2.26. I'm getting deviation of .03 up and .15 down.-what is causing this? Is this enough variation in bullet depth to create a dangerous situation shooting in an AR. I am not crimping either.
 

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If you are using mixed brass, the rim thickness is causing the depth variations.
 

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I use my Lee Classic Turret for 223. I will size and trim the brass ahead of time and I use the Lee Dipper Cups for measuring the powder. Even with the manual steps I can load a very respectable quantity in a short time. I'm in wildhobbybobby's camp. I simply don't take a chance spitting out a bad load.
 
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