View Full Version : Reloading 223

04-03-2012, 02:16 PM
So, since I have an AR now I've decided to get into reloading for it. I'm going with the Lee Deluxe turret press kit. Also getting the Lee deluxe 223 dies and case length gauge. Other than bullets, brass, primers, and powder, that's all I'm going to need to get started for now. Maybe a brass tumbler later on. I've been reloading 9mm and 45 Colt pistol ammo for a few years now, but with Lee classic hand loaders. This will be my first real reloading press, and first time I reload for a rifle caliber. I read up on the process and equipment and it doesn't seem that difficult. I'll have some pics and info on my loading bench set up later on.

04-05-2012, 01:41 PM
I also need to get into reloading for my .223. Let me know how it goes

04-06-2012, 12:53 AM
I'm supposed to get my press and dies today. Still need to complete my reloading bench and do some shopping for powder, bullets and brass. I've done some calculations and this is going to save me a bunch of cash on ammo.

04-13-2012, 01:44 AM
Ok, here's some pics of my set-up.

Here's the bench and shelf when I first installed it. The table is a 1" red oak plank with a white top I attached with liquid nails and paneling nails. The legs are pieces of 1 1/2" pipe I had.

Here it is with the lee turret press attached. I used a red oak board to mount my press on, and counter sunk the bolt heads on the bottom.

Here it is with the legs removed and folded up. You can see the metal plate I attached for the c-clamps. BTW don't buy quick release c-clamps, they're junk, I stripped one out by barely tightening it down.

The bench is sturdy, I'm 295lbs and it'll hold my weight. The lock hinges prevent it from folding up on the up-stroke of the press. I'm pretty darn proud of this bench, considering I had very little room to work with and built it from scrap I had laying around.

04-13-2012, 01:53 AM
I got my Lee Classic Turret Press and bench all set up now. I have all the dies and components, so it's time to complete some cartridges. This is my first time reloading for a rifle caliber. My reloading experience has been with the Lee Classic Loaders for 45 Colt and 9mm.

Here's my first .223 loads.

I used once-fired Federal brass, since they've only been fired once I didn't need to trim them. I purchased 100 Hornady 50gr V-Max bullets, and 100 Sierra 55gr Spitzer Boat-Tails.

I used CCI No.400 small rifle primers. I was looking for Hodgdon H335 powder, but couldn't find it. I ended up buying H322 as my 2nd choice.

The load data for both type of bullets is very similar, with a minimum load of 21grs and a Max load of 24grs of H322.

I was using the Lee Pro Auto Disk powder measure and the double disk kit with two .82cc disks. That configuration is supposed to throw 22.6grs of H322. After some test throws and weighing each throw, I found it was more like 22.8. That seemed like a great starting point, somewhere right in the middle of min and max.

I loaded up five of each type. OAL on the completed rounds is 2.250" with a Lee Factory Crimp.

Here's the results of the first test firing.
Above is the five shot group of the Sierra bullet out of my Stag Arms Model 4 AR. It has a 20", 1:9 twist barrel and a Tasco 3-9x40 scope. Shots were take from my bench rest at 50yds. It's pretty clear I need to adjust my scope for the stiff (8lb) trigger pull this AR has. But more important, look at that grouping, I am a happy camper.

I then loaded up five of the V-Max loads.
Again 5 shots, even better grouping! I am extremely surprised at the accuracy, especially since this is my very first batch of reloads. I like these V-Max loads so much that I loaded 40 more. Don't know if I'll load anymore of the Sierra. I now need to get out to my 100yd range and see what the groupings are. Overall, I'm happier than a rooster in a hen house, I love it when everything comes together. It's very satisfying shooting accurately with ammo you loaded yourself, I'm hooked.

04-17-2012, 12:29 AM
Loaded up some 55gr V-Max's with some Varget Powder and test fired them.

Not as good as the grouping I got with H322 and the 50gr V-Max, but still pretty good. Think I'm going to get some 60gr V-Max and load them up next.

06-20-2012, 02:28 AM
Well, I've been reloading for .223 now for 2 months. I've been able to work up some really great loads. I rarely buy factory ammo any more, only when the bulk packs are on sale, and then just for plinking and recovering the spent brass. Those of you on the fence about reloading really should give it a try. It's one of the most fun, addictive, and rewarding hobbies I've tried.

06-20-2013, 10:16 PM
Nothing like loading your own ammo.