5.56 NATO Reloading

CECannonJr

CECannonJr

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I just got my .223 dies today. I intend to reload 5.56 nato ammo. There's no data about the round in the manual I have. Does anyone know the preffered powder and amount to achieve factory ammo performance.?
 
Mike A1

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I just got my .223 dies today. I intend to reload 5.56 nato ammo. There's no data about the round in the manual I have. Does anyone know the preffered powder and amount to achieve factory ammo performance.?
What powder do you have on hand now? Or do you want to order the right one now?
 
CECannonJr

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What powder do you have on hand now? Or do you want to order the right one now?
I'm going to order it if I can. The only rifle powder l have on hand is IMR-3031. I think it will work, but it's not ideal.
 
Mike A1

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IMR 3031 is a good choice for .223 only beware powder bridging


 
CECannonJr

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IMR 3031 is a good choice for .223 only beware powder bridging


I may try it. I want to make sure it generates enough gas to operate the bolt. I'm aware of the bridging risk and other metering issues with it, so I'll be careful. The Lee powder measure is said to work well with it.
 
Mike A1

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The powder choice for a gas gun is much different than for a Bolt gun.
Port pressure is paramount in loading for the AR, M1A the pressure used to
operate the bolt on a gas gun must be inside certain parameters.

I have found that AA ball powders not only meter very true I believe they have a powder
for the .223 https://shop.hodgdon.com/accurate/accurate-2230r

I used their AA2520 for many years for our NM M1a rifles with perfect results, yea I saw the 2520 recall LOL.
 
CECannonJr

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The powder choice for a gas gun is much different than for a Bolt gun.
Port pressure is paramount in loading for the AR, M1A the pressure used to
operate the bolt on a gas gun must be inside certain parameters.

I have found that AA ball powders not only meter very true I believe they have a powder
for the .223 https://shop.hodgdon.com/accurate/accurate-2230r

I used their AA2520 for many years for our NM M1a rifles with perfect results, yea I saw the 2520 recall LOL.
Do you think it would work well in an AR?
 
Mike A1

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2520? No it was developed as the Camp Perry powder for High Power Shooters using the 7.62 NATO Match bullets 168?175gr
AA2230 was for the M16 NM rifles & is too fast for the M1a gas systems.
 
CECannonJr

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2520? No it was developed as the Camp Perry powder for High Power Shooters using the 7.62 NATO Match bullets 168?175gr
AA2230 was for the M16 NM rifles & is too fast for the M1a gas systems.
OK. It looks like, based on the conversation in the link you posted, that Hodgdon H335 would be great for 5.56.
 
1Sgt_Jerry

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H335 fan here as well.

On proper loading for function. I’ve been loading for 30+ yrs. AR type about half that much. From experience, everything I have loaded in 223 data that is generated by a quality trusted source has functioned at the start load. May need to adjust for ejection path a bit and of course accuracy. The main difference between 556 and 223 is how they are pressure tested. 556 chambers have more lead as welll. If using military 556 brass the case capacity may be a bit less than commercial 223 due to the thickness of the brass. Definitely start at the bottom of the load data and look for pressure signs.
 
CECannonJr

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H335 fan here as well.

On proper loading for function. I’ve been loading for 30+ yrs. AR type about half that much. From experience, everything I have loaded in 223 data that is generated by a quality trusted source has functioned at the start load. May need to adjust for ejection path a bit and of course accuracy. The main difference between 556 and 223 is how they are pressure tested. 556 chambers have more lead as welll. If using military 556 brass the case capacity may be a bit less than commercial 223 due to the thickness of the brass. Definitely start at the bottom of the load data and look for pressure signs.

Thank you sir. I will definitely use your advice. I'm still waiting for the h335 to arrive. Can you provide the load data? I have a manual, but it is lacking 5.56 data. It has .223 data. I have seen widely different numbers on various forums.
 
1Sgt_Jerry

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Here is a start.
I’ll check the books I have in a bit. I think most of my commercial books call out 223 data. The two are so close, I don’t get too wrapped around the axle about it.


Any thing anyone puts out for data, be very cautious. I have not personally used this site / data. Be very suspicious of anything typed. It’s easy to have an inadvertent typo. If possible always cross ref data with an additional source or two.
 
CECannonJr

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Here is a start.
I’ll check the books I have in a bit. I think most of my commercial books call out 223 data. The two are so close, I don’t get too wrapped around the axle about it.


Any thing anyone puts out for data, be very cautious. I have not personally used this site / data. Be very suspicious of anything typed. It’s easy to have an inadvertent typo. If possible always cross ref data with an additional source or two.
Thank you very much. Safety first. I don't want to blow my face off.:eek:
 
1Sgt_Jerry

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Everything I have is called out as 223. The Speer #13 calls out 223 REMINGTON (5.56mm NATO)
Here is their explanation. What grain projectile are you using?
 

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1Sgt_Jerry

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From same Speer 13
 

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CECannonJr

CECannonJr

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From same Speer 13
Looks like H335 at 22 gr might be a good starting point with a 62 gr bullet. That's in line with several other recommendations I've seen. I think I'll try that initially. Now, I need to buy a chrono.
 
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