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Old 04-06-2012, 10:48 AM   #1
 
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Lake City 5.56 crimped primers

Have not fooled with any military crimped primer brass for a few decades. The other day I was given a 5 gallon bucket of late date LC 5.56 once fired. I tumbled a few hundred and started to deprime them. Wow I had to drive them out with a brass hammer and pin with a good whack . I have a primer pocket swagger from RCBS to remove the crimp. This is more work than I want to do. I understand there are heavy duty decapping machines to make this job more user friendly. The LC 2000-2011 dated 5.56 has super crimped primers. These crimped primers purpose to that they don,t pop out into the action of automatic weapons and jam the action. Allso the LC 5.56 brass is on the long side of OAL length. No one makes 5.56 dies so one has to use 223 dies. So triming mil=spec brass is allso in order. I love the commercial 223 brass for ease of loading. I am using ww748 and H335 with WW 55gr. full metal jackets and 26.5grs with the WW748 and 25.5 with the H335. Both are 1-2" MOA and clean burning. Allso using CCI-41 mill-spec primers. LOL is very important in AR actions so they lock-up all the way. A Marine I know in Afganistan this past year M-4 blew up as he was firing at a insurgent getting metal in his face and eyes. Lucky his comrades were able to put the insurgent down before he got killed. He,s a fine young Marine and was out of action for 6 months. His mom died of breast cancer 2 years ago and younger brother from leukemia 3 years ago. Godbless him.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:36 AM   #2
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The primary difference in 556 v 223 is the need to bulk up the 556 for use in the full auto Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) and the cases have indeed been strengthened over the years in a effort to keep the M249 SAWs operational. However, the difference is fractional and dependent on the chamber in your weapon. Some are cut closer to 223 than 556.

I too inherited a goodly quantity of 556 over the years and have had to work hard at reloading the crimped military cases. I have Redding 223 dies and some recent (last month) experience prepping some fodder for my CAR-15.

I go about reloading a bit differently for my rifles than I do for my handguns. I am all set to do handgun ammo with progressive presses (cheap Lee's) but rifle cartridges I take much more seriously.

First, there is case prep. When I got my cases, I immediately decapped and sized them inspecting each case for defects in and out of the press. There are Berdan primed cases in 556 and after breaking several decap pins, I learned to be a bit more careful. Then you have to make sure with the crimped primers that you actually get the spent one out. Sometimes, I would just punch thru and not actually take the primer out. Ooops! After the case came out, I would carefully inspect to see that I did not dent the case by too much lube. Later in life I found that the Imperial Sizing was was the stuff to use sparingly. The spray on stuff did not have the required lubricity and the liquid would dent the shoulders.

Then, after a trip to the vibratory tumbler, I would trim (using the cheap Lee hand method), chamfer and cut out the crimp. I had a bud who had a really neato Grace machine that would trim a pile of them in a hurry but I was too cheap to buy one. I have coveted the RCBS power tool but not enough to buy one. My method for the crimp was to use a pocket knife and then a primer pocket crimp tool. I forget who made it but one turn does the job.

I always prime by hand. Priming is the one step I really consider dangerous and I like to do it separately. Lee to the rescue! I wish I had a new model but when these wear out, I will go get me the new 100 primer model. I have an RCBS which does not work as well. I need to call for some replacement parts.

When it is time to load, I powder them one at a time until I have 50 and then I look to see that they are all roughly at the same level. Pull five for an average weight. I use ancient milsurp 4895 (I have only another 25 pounds to go) at near case capacity. Then it is time to seat the bullet.

Using military cases, I have found that it is best to seat the bullet without crimping it to the cannalure (? spelling) depth. Then once I have the desired amount, I do the Lee Factory Crimp to crimp them uniformly. This is a lot of darned work and other than being poor (well retired) it is probably a reason I don't shoot as much rifle as I would.

I even do this with 223 cases except for I don't have to cut out the crimped primer pocket. The 556 cases hold less powder so be careful.

My experience with AR failure has always been generally related to a barrel obstruction. But, rifle cartridges are infinitely more dangerous to the operator and I take a significant amount more care of rifle than pistol reloading.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:52 AM   #3
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If you are using a Dillon 1050 then the primer pockets are swaged during reloading, if not, then I suggest getting the Dillon Super Sawge. It's easier and faster than the RCBS unit.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:10 PM   #4
 
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I am a very low volume loader only 100rds at a time. I use a single stage cast iron press,uniflow,redding scale. The rcbs unit is slow one at a time on the press as you said. If I shoot 100rds at a outing its enough for me. Most of my loading is for boltguns and odd ball cals like the 6.5 jap and 22 hornet,30-06. I,am gonna pass the LC 5.56 brass on to pal who has a dillion auto loader. Its to much work for me I,m retired. I to use the Lee dies and factory crimp and case trimmers on a cordless drill one at a time. I don,t shoot alot of Ar blasters no more after shooting 10,s of thousands of rds full auto the thrill has gone many many decades ago. I like a singleshot or boltgun for shooting and hunting. Better yet a muzzleloader. I like the simple things.

Last edited by jeep; 04-06-2012 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeep View Post
I am a very low volume loader only 100rds at a time. I use a single stage cast iron press,uniflow,redding scale. The rcbs unit is slow one at a time on the press as you said. If I shoot 100rds at a outing its enough for me. Most of my loading is for boltguns and odd ball cals like the 6.5 jap and 22 hornet,30-06. I,am gonna pass the LC 5.56 brass on to pal who has a dillion auto loader. Its to much work for me I,m retired. I to use the Lee dies and factory crimp and case trimmers on a cordless drill one at a time. I don,t shoot alot of Ar blasters no more after shooting 10,s of thousands of rds full auto the thrill has gone many many decades ago. I like a singleshot or boltgun for shooting and hunting. Better yet a muzzleloader. I like the simple things.
I laughed when I saw this. I'm retired too.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:15 AM   #6
 
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Oberstlt I use the Hornady Unique Cas Lube ,it a wax and very effective for sizing the most stubborn brass. I use a Q-tip with a very little on it to use on the inside of the neck of the brass when sizing to,( its a pure wax and its good on gunbelts ,holsters,boots). I wish sombody made a good well made handprimer to . You can really feel the primer seat. A high primer can cause a discharge or worse on loading. I allways clean the primer pockets to to insure a good primer seat. Oberstlt you sure must be turning out a very fine reload indeed. I wish my son,s would learn the reloading aspect. They know the hunting and shooting aspect and allso shooting dads ammo up. Best Happy Easter,jeep

Last edited by jeep; 04-08-2012 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:05 AM   #7
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jeep - If I had sons I would never have either picked up brass or personally reloaded. My late Guvna was strictly supervisory when it came to any form of labor. Daughter is smarter. She only did my bidding until she found she could get two legged dogs to do her bidding.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:04 PM   #8
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Oberstlt,

ROTFLMAO over your last post. Seems wimmen wise up fairly quickly.

My twin sister used to bust brush for me until one day she had the thought that "they ought to get a dog to do this...wait a minute, they HAVE a dog"! Last time she ever hunted with me...

My experience reloading rifle mirrors yours. I have a Dillon 550, but rarely use it for rifles. Much prefer hands on for each step. Takes longer, but my ammo shoots spectacularly as a result. Most of my stuff is done to match standards, so the time is well spent.

Imperial sizing wax is excellent stuff and I've used it for years. Tried the spray on stuff, but it didn't cut it. Also, worried about stuff migrating into the cases and affecting the loads.

My favorite load for the .223 is a commercial case(Winch), Federal 205 Match primer(for bolt guns/Winch Small Rifle for semi's), 24.4 grains N140, and a 69 gr Sierra Match King bullet. One ragged hole accurate. Recently, I upped the charge for bolt guns to 26.4 gr N140 with no pressure signs in my Winchester Stealth or my Ruger #1V. That's the max load from the Lapua/Vihtavouri Oy loading manual.

The same procedures are used for all my rifle loads. Especially, my .308's. Recently did a run of 1000 rounds for a friend who was taking them to a LE Rifle Course. His only comment was that when he missed it wasn't the ammo. That pleased me greatly as I've mentored him on rifles, loads, performance, etc. Also made a special run in .223 using the afformentioned load. Result was the same.

For me reloading is fun and the satisfaction comes when you pull the trigger.

Wes
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:55 PM   #9
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Wes - that is because your are a Marine and by definition a rifleman. Being only a dogface cavalryman, I have put much expertise into trying to become a pistolero in case the main gun, coax or the 50 fails. The Corps did teach me how to operate the M14 Rifle. Stuart
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:28 PM   #10
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Oberstlt,

Thanks for the kind words. Marines still crank out riflemen the old fashioned way. No 25 yard "reduced" courses that don't teach reading wind or conditions. We still do it the old fashioned "across the course" method and our youngsters still spend two weeks of basic training on the range.

I've shot in some pretty poor conditions. In '80 on Okinawa fired a 218/250...the only time in my career I did't shoot expert. Incoming typhoon conditions and winds so high I used all my windage AND had to hold on the right hand upright of the target to the left of mine. Ah, those were the days...I miss them.

I hear what you say about the M-14. I'm pleased to see it issued again as it's a fine weapon. My example is built on an LRB Arms forged barrel and has a Krieger Criterion match tube on it. I regularly outshoot scoped rifles at 300 yards from the prone. I love it. Something about steel and wood stocks that I appreciate.

Wes
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