223 Rem ... New Reloader

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by SteveFlock, Dec 19, 2019.

  1. SteveFlock

    SteveFlock

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    I’m a new Reloader and member here at Accurate Shooter.

    I have purchased the following to get me started loading for a couple 223 Rem bolt action 700’s (a LTR and a Varmint).

    Rock Chucker press, Chargemaster Lite scale/trickler, Sinclair Micrometer trimmer with case holders, Santern funnels angling, Sinclair chamfer tool, Dewey primer pocket cleaner, Sinclair neck brushes and Imperial Sizing wax and Dry Neck lube. Also ordered Hornady Comparator with 6 bushings, Hornady Headspace gauge with 5 bushings and OAL tool. Nosler Manual #8.

    If I haven’t bored you to deal RH already, I would like some suggestions.

    I have 250-40gr Ballistic Tips, 2lb of Benchmark and 1000 CCI BR4 primers. I have standard Redding 2-Die set.

    Nosler book says 26 starting and 28 max at 2.26 oal. Hodgdon says 25.3starting and 27.3 max at 2.28 oal.

    Anyone have any good loads. Should I start at 25.3 and load in increments of .2/.3 up to 28 and watch for pressure. Pull with RCBS collet die any loads if I see pressure, or stop at the conservative 27.3?

    I will be starting out with Lake City brass from factory Black Hills ammo, and switch to Lapua or Starline as I gain experience.

    Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!!!
    Steve
     
    Bill Norris likes this.
  2. AJC

    AJC

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2018
    Messages:
    598
    Pick a load in the middle of the charge weight and fire form your cases. This will also break in your barrel and use what ever breakin procedure tickles your fancy or what your gun maker suggests. Then after your on target with a weapon that is broken in and fireformed cases then start your load development. This will let you get familiar with your weapon, and show you any problems like a loose scope or any other issue.
     
  3. SteveFlock

    SteveFlock

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    The rifles are not new, although they do not have 1000’s of rounds through they they are both over 50 for sure.

    The LTR/Swarovski shoots 52 gr MHP in tiny little groups. The Varmint/Leupold shoots the same Black Hills ammo into about 3/4” group.
     
  4. K22

    K22

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,223
    1. Get a copy of the Lyman reloading handbook, read it - study it.

    2. I'd start at the low end of the published data for that bullet then work up slowly in .5 grain increments - Benchmark is a good powder for the 223 Rem but pressure can rise quickly in my experience so don't push it with this powder. Learn how to read pressure signs - often the most precise load is somewhere in the middle of the range. Every rifle is different meaning the published reloading data is not absolute so be particularly observant of any pressure signs.

    3. Learn how to proper size your cases meaning bumping the shoulder back about .001 to .002" from a fired case in the rifle you are loading for. Dedicate a group of cases to a specific rifle. Over sizing is one of to the most common mistakes new reloaders make. Imperial sizing wax is an excellent case lube - however use it sparing to prevent creating dents in the case shoulder. I've found that an effective way to apply it is with my fingers and thumb - rolling the case between then with a light coating of lube on my fingers and thumb. I wipe clean with a paper towel afterwards.

    4. What is the twist of your rifle? 40 grain bullets work best in slow twist rifles, i.e. 12" to 14". The 50 - 55 grain bullets work well in most twists, i.e. 8" to 12". With an 8" twist, heavier bullets can be used with good results such as the 60 and 65 grainers.

    5. Do not seat bullets into the lands. Seating depth should be kept at least .020" from the lands. A effective rule of thumb is to seat the bullet at least one bullet diameter into the case neck to provide adequate bullet tension and grip on the bullet.

    Use this forum if you have any questions - the only dumb question is the one you don't ask.

    Welcome to the world of reloading.
     
    jepp2 and SteveFlock like this.
  5. SteveFlock

    SteveFlock

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    K22

    The LTR is a 9tw and the Varmint is a 12tw. I am looking for a 200 yard and under combination for calling coyotes.

    I have read and researched reloading equipment, techniques and safety measures for 3 years before taking the plunge. It is pretty intimidating for sure.

    I am thinking I will need to “over-size” the Lake City 09 cases to start with as we have not kept them separate as I wasn’t reloading. Or should I discard my 150 cases and start with new brass?

    Thanks all,
    Steve
     
  6. AJC

    AJC

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2018
    Messages:
    598
    unless the brass is destroyed for some reason like loose primer pockets i dont see why you should not learn on it. There are all kinds of reasons to have brass on hand to include annealing practice and setup, neck turning, learning how to make false shoulders, and the list goes on forever.
    Find your longest pieces and do a strip bolt test to see how long your chamber is. Your shoulder gauges will show which these are. Then if your finding that you do need to bump then you can practice on the brass you have. I dont see any information that leads me to believe you have any unsafe cases so use them to learn on and then once you are confident you have a good process then get a new nice set.
     
    SteveFlock likes this.
  7. Rsadams

    Rsadams

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2015
    Messages:
    2,079
    A good piece of reloading advice is don't get load data from unpublished sources.... Each rifle is different and I meen each one is different even if there the same make , model etc..... So a load that shoots good for someone else will probably not shoot good for you and may even be dangerous.... Start with published data , start low and work up to what you want and what shoots good in your rifles... Experimenting safely is the key , watch for pressure signs and if you're not sure what those are there's plenty of information here.... Also remember a screaming hot round is normally not an accurate round...
     
    Mikey_P, Bc'z and SteveFlock like this.
  8. Rustytigwire

    Rustytigwire Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Messages:
    573
    I havent read all these posts but.....
    Been playing with ar's long enought to be reasonably confident loading. I also know you are bolt gun.
    Made up a bunch for pdogs. Several loads diff bullets and powder.
    Had a couple that felt good, action timing and all that.
    40 grain laser batch, others so so and pretty good.
    Point is.......
    WRITE IT IN A BOOK SO YOU CAN FIND IT AGAIN.
    I have notes for all those but forgot which one. Maybe it was just a magic day.
    Hope all of yours are.
    You are going to have fun no matter what.
    ENJOY AND GOOD LUCK.
    TOM
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
    SteveFlock likes this.
  9. Zero333

    Zero333

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    Messages:
    2,565
    You have a solid plan for someone who hasn't handloaded anything.

    Try to keep things as simple as possible at the beginning.

    If you want, you can segregate the LC brass by year headstamped on the head. If they have the same year stamped, then just load them as they are.
     
    Rustytigwire and SteveFlock like this.
  10. AJC

    AJC

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2018
    Messages:
    598
    Sorting your brass by head stamp is great advice. If you have more than one maker it could also keep you out of trouble. Each run can have small volume variations, forget different manufacturers. If you can make a batch of like cases you will get better results. If you can mark and maintain that batch or batches your frustration may be reduced. If your bored and have a good scale finding the volume of one or more of your fired and ready to load cases will give you some good data.
    https://www.6mmbr.com/223Rem.html
     
    Zero333 likes this.
  11. lawman29

    lawman29

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    342
    Two different rifles with two different twists = two different loading solutions.
    1) LTR 9 twist: get some 69 gr Sierra match Kings and Varget.
    2) Varmint 12 twist use your 40's and pick up a box of 50 gr to try. Variety of powders work.
    Keep brass separate for each rifle.
    0.2 increments for powder testing.
    Pick up a variety of primers to try after you find a load that is working (develop with your cci-br and then just see if a primer switch will tighten it up a little)
     
    Idaho-45 and SteveFlock like this.
  12. afret

    afret

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2018
    Messages:
    180
    dgeesaman likes this.
  13. SteveFlock

    SteveFlock

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    Will not do volume reloading.
     
  14. K22

    K22

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,223
    If you understand and follow the fundamentals, reloading is not intimidating. Like others have said, keep it simple. From you're list of tools it seems you're off to a good start. Take your time and don't rush the process.

    If your cases don't show any signs of incipient head separation then you can continue to use them since they will "fire form" in the chamber of the dedicated rifle. After that you should measure the case's head space after firing then set the shoulder back about .001 to .002". Like others have said, you can use these cases to learn on. Keep these cases dedicated to one rifle.

    Cases are relatively inexpensive and if sized properly you can get 12 to 15 reloads out of them, maybe even more. In my opinion, it's best to start with new cases and dedicate them to a specific rifle. Always inspect them before each reloading for cracks, splits, or incipient head separation the latter of which should not happen if you're sizing them properly. Also periodically check the case length and trim is necessary. In my 223's, I get about 4 - 6 reloads before I have to trim but this is not absolute - it depends on the rifle's chamber and powder charge.
     
    SteveFlock likes this.
  15. Texas10

    Texas10 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Messages:
    1,846
    You'll find a butt load of good advice here, especially if you upgrade your membership giving you access to more information, benefits and ability to post questions and buy good used parts. You've bought good quality equipment and you're starting to buy good books. That's a great start, but you need one more tool to get yourself on the best course.

    A borescope or borescope camera. You need to know for certain that your cleaning, loading, measuring efforts are doing what you expect. As a beginner, you can't know that if you can't see what your doing. It's like reloading in the dark. Teslong sells an inexpensive yet very good borescope camera. Check it out here:
    http://forum.accurateshooter.com/threads/teslong-bore-scope-tips.3989755/

    When it comes to sizing brass, you're correct that it pays to keep your brass separate for each barrel. I buy 100 round plastic cases and label them appropriately to keep everything separate.

    There are two schools of thought on sizing brass. One popular method is the "rat turd in a violin case" method where brass is re-sized to give plenty of clearance to the chamber. This is important in certain types of competition shooting where a tight chambering round upsets your rhythm while shooting groups for record. It may not be the best method for your style of shooting.

    The other school of thought is brass that is sized to the chamber with minimum clearance. This tends to works the brass less, allowing it to last longer, presuming you aren't set up to anneal your brass. I use a Lee neck sizer die only for my 223's. My brass doesn't grow, rarely needs trimming, and shoots very well for non competition shooting. The necks do become work hardened after half a dozen or so loadings, but it is consistent so I still get good shooting ammo with brass that's seen a two dozen loadings.

    Bullet selection is key to good shooting reloads. For both your rifles, you might try the 53 gr V-Max. Is shoots tiny groups out of my 9 twist and 8 twist rifles. It'll probably do well out of a 12 twist, but you'll just have to discover that on your own. It has shot groups in the zero's out of a stock Savage Varmint barrel in my son's hands. In heavier bullets, the 69 gr and 77 grain SMKS may shoot well in your 9 twist.

    A word of warning now: there is no bottom to this reloading/shooting tight groups rabbit hole. It just keeps getting deeper as you learn more. I started by reading this:
    https://precisionrifleblog.com/2013...-warehouse-lessons-in-extreme-rifle-accuracy/

    This is an example of how crazy you can get while trying to discover what is necessary for extreme accuracy. Read it now and half or even most of it will sound completely alien to you. Read it again every year and note how much you pick up that you missed the first time. A good yardstick of your progress.

    Good luck and good shooting, and welcome to Accurate Shooter.
     
    Shootin25 and SteveFlock like this.
  16. Rdlningcltchdmpr

    Rdlningcltchdmpr Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2019
    Messages:
    791
    Today i tested my 223 - 40 berger , 28- Tac powder was super -super. No pressure .150" group.
     
    Rustytigwire likes this.
  17. searcher

    searcher Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,194
    If you have somebody you know that is experienced (like a competitive target shooter) that you can get to spend a few hours with to show you techniques in setting up your dies, measuring for proper bullet seating depth for your gun, etc., it is well worth having them come over and demonstrate how to use everything. Reloading truly is (like most other things) easy to do once you have seen it done properly. It merely reinforces everything you have read in your manuals but can ease the nervousness of loading your first batch of ammo. Most of those who reload are more than willing to help a new guy.
     
  18. rsmithsr50

    rsmithsr50

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Messages:
    967
    1/100 of case volume for steps...0.3 for 223

     
    SteveFlock likes this.
  19. rsmithsr50

    rsmithsr50

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Messages:
    967
    with the small case of the 223, I suggest case weight sorting.
    moving to a bushing fl die for sizing
    1-2 thou neck tension is all you need in bolt guns
    small consistent things make small groups.
    keep the brass sorted between the 2 rifles
    size and load for each, do not try for a generic that works in both.
     
    SteveFlock likes this.
  20. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Messages:
    3,731
    Seems most of my guns love the H335 and Varget best. I settled on the 335 since it shot the 40-55 grain bullets very well. My go to load is 26.0 grains with 50 ballistic tips. It's one ragged hole and carries very well out to 400 yards with 2" groups easily without any trouble. Great coyote load.
     
    SteveFlock likes this.

Share This Page