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Author Topic: new reloader questions  (Read 5428 times)

Gundoc

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new reloader questions
« on: August 15, 2009, 02:30:54 pm »
Ok like the title says I have to admit I don't reload but will start very soon. Natually I have questions.

Who makes the best brass for .223 (5.56), .45acp?
What primer brand do you recommend?
What bullet do you like for each and why?

Thanks for your help in advance.

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    AR lover

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #1 on: August 15, 2009, 02:34:47 pm »
    Ok like the title says I have to admit I don't reload but will start very soon. Natually I have questions.

    Who makes the best brass for .223 (5.56), .45acp?
    What primer brand do you recommend?
    What bullet do you like for each and why?

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    As for .223 brass...Norma, Lapua, and Lake City are usually counted as the best.  Nosler Custom makes some really nice brass too, but its kinda spendy.

    For primers right now, use what you can get.  CCI and Winchester is what I use, they work well.

    For bullets, it depends on your use.  Range, target, ect.

    Gundoc

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #2 on: August 15, 2009, 02:38:40 pm »
    What do you use for your AR carbines?

    AR lover

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #3 on: August 15, 2009, 02:42:48 pm »
    (Well, I don't have any carbine other than a .22lr...)   For my 18" and 20" ARs, I am using Privi brass (got a bunch for free), winchester WSR primers, and Hornady 55gr FMJ-BT bullets.  H335 and Varget for powder.   I got a Hornady L-N-L Classic kit, so I am using loads from the Hornady manual.     Thats plinking ammo.  I haven't had much time to work up some loads specifically for my gun, so I don't know much about the accuracy of these loads.


    I was suggested 75gr Privi HPBT bullets for high power too, I need to find a source though.

    g.willikers

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #4 on: August 15, 2009, 03:44:49 pm »
    Have you been keeping your brass so far?
    If so, just use that.
    If you haven't been, since the brass is a major cost of ammo, it might be best to begin.
    As for the best bullets, the rifling rate of the barrel will determine the best weight, length and design of bullets to use, anywhere from 55 to 75 grains or so.
    After that it's all experimenting to find the most accurate and best feeding combo.

    For the .45 most folks use either the 200 grain semiwadcutter, if it feeds well, or the trustworthy 230 grain round nose, either jacketed or lead.
    .451 for the jacketed, and .452 for the lead usually works fine.

    In the end, success in reloading is mostly in the details, especially for rifles.
    Get a reloading book that explains these details as well as the procedures and loads for the best chance of success.
    And spend time on the forums for detailed instruction, too.

    Hope this help some.
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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #5 on: August 16, 2009, 12:36:27 am »
    Loading for ARs for range fodder/practice?  Use any major name brass you can find really, other than Federal.  Their 223 brass seems to shoot the pockets loose after only 2-3 runs.  Hornady bulk 55 gr. FMJ pills work fine.  Varget, H335, BL-C2, 3031, AA 2230 and similar powders work well.

    If you're going for accuracy loads, Then go high end brass like Nosler or Norma.

    Primer wise, I much prefer the CCI #41s.  Just a mental thing with that free floating pin.  Never had a slam fire off of any primers(even federals), but I like the extra measure of insurance.

    45 ACP brass?  Federal or Speer, unless you want to step up to Starline.  But I strongly reccomend you stay away from Remington brass in this caliber. 
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    shaftoe

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #6 on: August 16, 2009, 10:14:09 am »
    45 ACP brass?  Federal or Speer, unless you want to step up to Starline.  But I strongly reccomend you stay away from Remington brass in this caliber. 

    Seconded,  the Remington brass seems to be way too soft to reload very many times.  I load random S&B and Federal leftover brass for practice, Starline for bullseye competition.

    Try different things.  I've tried bullets as light as 155 grain LSWC and a number of different primers and powders.  In general, I found no real difference between name-brand primers. 

    My favorite (and most accurate) load uses Nosler 185 grain JHP bullets with Vihta Vuori N310 powder.  I found it has very light recoil and groups at 25 yards the size of a quarter from my Kimber.  Your mileage may vary.


    Gundoc

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #7 on: August 16, 2009, 12:48:08 pm »
    I really appreciate the advise guys. Just for info, I want to load for practice, for accuracy (end of the world stash) and I'd like to have a supply of components on hand for future. Let me ask this also. How many reloads do you typically get out of new brass?

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #8 on: August 16, 2009, 02:01:20 pm »
    223 in a semi-auto?  Six or seven usually before it's too beat up.  Straightwall pistol brass?  Shoot it 'til it splits or you loose it at the range.  Just don't use it for serious loads past about three runs.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    only1asterisk

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #9 on: August 16, 2009, 04:19:05 pm »
    I think the best .45 is IMI Match brass.  I have a few thousand from several years ago, before they signed a deal with the devil (American Ammunition).  You can still get .mil surplus .45 brass, which I like almost as well.  I have some that is 40 years old and has dozens of loadings on it.

    American .45 is the worst brass I've ever seen.  The headstamp is AMERC.  Whenever I find any of this mixed with mine I smash it and throw it in the recycle bucket.  PMP is another brand I've seen more often.  It isn't as bad as American, but it is really, really soft. 

    Most commercial brass is fine.  Winchester was my preferred brand, but it now appears they are importing at least some of their pistol brass.  I'd just as soon have cheaper Yugo brass as opposed to Winchester headstamped Yugo brass at a higher price.


    rjohnson4405

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #10 on: August 17, 2009, 03:28:05 pm »
    .223:

    For plinking:
    We do old brass fired multiple times, with Varget, and bulk hornady 55gr SP with Cannelure bullets.

    For accuracy:
    Depending on twist (which you know all about Doc), I'd do something never or once fired Norma, Lapua, LC brass, and 62-75 grain bullets, probably Speer Match King BTHP. You can use Varget here too, it's just not the most accurate at full velocity (which most powders aren't). You'd probably have to look at a website more dedicated to shooting small groups to find out which powder is best here with enough velocity for the longer shots.

    For SHTF:
    I do a little of both (actually three). We have loads based on plinking, accuracy, and even Urban (40 gr V-Max). Basically anything will work in an emergency and you can do most work with the plinking and precise work with the heavy, accurate loads.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    .45

    SHTF:
    We prefer a classic here. A Hornady XTP bullet pushed at 850 fps. Accomplished with previously fired brass and Unique powder.

    For plinking and back-up SHTF:
    We did use Hornady's bulk HAP (Hornady Action Pistol) bullets that were still hollowpoints but cheaper than the XTPs. Now we're using Oregon Trail Cast as anything else is hard to find. They're accurate, still in 230 grain, and I imagine they expand/penetrate acceptably in an emergency. Shoot the brass until it's split or lost.

    Really, though, because of price the plinking load is the most popular.

    FMJ

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #11 on: August 18, 2009, 01:44:01 am »
    I have a follow up question (if I may)...

    What are signs to look for on brass to tell if it has been used past its useful life; in other words, what should one look for to tell is the brass is too beat up?
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    JesseL

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #12 on: August 18, 2009, 01:50:04 am »
    I have a follow up question (if I may)...

    What are signs to look for on brass to tell if it has been used past its useful life; in other words, what should one look for to tell is the brass is too beat up?

    Someone else might have a better answer, but I believe the first things to check for would be:

    • loose primer pockets
    • split case mouths
    • thin walls near the case head (checked with a paper clip feeler)
    Arizona

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #13 on: August 18, 2009, 02:36:32 pm »
    A couple more signs of old age in brass:
    Beat up rims that might cause feeding and extraction problems.
    Stretch marks and excessive length.
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    FMJ

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #14 on: August 18, 2009, 06:40:20 pm »
    So basically, if it looks funny:  throw it out?
    CaliforniaThere are many like it, but this one is mine.

    JesseL

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #15 on: August 18, 2009, 06:49:20 pm »
    So basically, if it looks funny:  throw it out?

    Not necessarily. Things like dings from ejection or severe tarnish might look funny, but present no practical problems.
    Arizona

    RandySBreth

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    Re: new reloader questions
    « Reply #16 on: August 20, 2009, 07:46:15 am »
    The main thing (besides obvious damage)is how much the brass is "worked". That is, How often it has been fired (stretched) and then re-sized (which tends to make the brass longer) and then needs trimming. Eventually you will get head separation in rifle brass- a very bad thing. The main thing to do is keep good records of how many times the brass has been loaded. Most full length sized rifle brass will take at least half a dozen loadings near max pressure, and several more if you throttle back just a tad.
    "Range" brass- just the stuff you can pick up and don't know exactly where it came from or if it's factory and only once fired- can get you in trouble.
    For revolver brass it's pretty easy- old brass starts splitting at the case mouth.
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