reloading .223- bolt action vs semi-auto?

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Thread: reloading .223- bolt action vs semi-auto?

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    reloading .223- bolt action vs semi-auto?

    New to reloading, and trying to find .223 dies. Can someone please explain to me what the deal is with reloading .223 for bolt action vs semi auto? If you want to reload for using in both actions, is there a die that can be used for both? Thanks.


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    No difference. You will have to full-size them every time though, if you going to use same cases in both rifles.
    Otherwise you can just use neck-size, because your cases will be fire-formed to match the chamber of the rifle.

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    Senior Member Bullseye Shooter Hig's Avatar
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    .223 dies will work for both but if you want to have infinite interchangeability you need a full length resizing die in the kit, if you just resize the neck you will need to keep bolt gun and semi ammo separated. The brass will expand to the chamber and unless you full length resize you may have problems chambering in either weapon.

    The other difference is the contruction of the round itself. All semi-auto ammo is limited to a certain OAL if you use the magazine whereas with bolt guns you can measure the chamber and load to the most accurate OAL for your rifle. Bolt gun mags seem to be more generous as well, unless you have a Mossberg MVP like myself and they use AR mags.

    In summary, you can get a set with just a neck sizing die if you want to reload specific ammo for each rifle, or a full length if you want to be able to shoot all your ammo through both rifles. I use the LEE 3 die set with decapper/full length resizing, Bullet seating, and factory crimp (if/when needed).
    Don't mess with my Constitution. See, I swore an oath to protect it from all sorts of dishonest people and I'm real good at what I do. What's ironic is the people that are determined to undermine that document are the people who decided that I should have such a skillset to protect it....

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    Ok...I see some that say small base, and others that don't. And some sites talk about using certain ones they're selling being for AR's. Thanks for the info zerberr and Hig.
    Last edited by Shocker; 02-15-2013 at 03:01 PM.
    trudesea thanked this.

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    Senior Member Butchman205's Avatar
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    You may already know this, but its good idea is to determine the rate of twist in your rifles.
    Sometimes you can somewhat predetermine a good "range" of bullet weights to begin your quest for the perfect load for your needs. .223's come in a wide variety of rates of twist on the rifling. On one of my .223's...I was loading 55gr bullets for my rifle that has a 1:7 twist. One of the reloading gurus near me said very flatly that I'd need to try upwards of 68-75 grain bullets to get it grouping better. My groups were averaging around 2-2.5" at 100 yards.
    I loaded some Hornady 75gr match HPBT's...and just like that, my groups dropped to 1" or less!
    Just throwing that out there, and I'm sure there are some much more experienced folks that may be able to jump in and offer advice.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Butchman205; 02-26-2013 at 10:17 PM.

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    Thanks Butchman. I have been reading about the twist and bullet selection, but haven't gotten far enough into loading for it to become an issue yet. Before I got my .223 and.308, I used to just buy 150 ballistic tips for my 7 mag and they did good enough to put meat in the freezer easily. With the current situation, I'm happy to buy any ammo (for the most part) that will shoot, and I can worry about more precision as I get further into this...I figure 2 inch groups at 100 will do most of what I want/need, especially if SHTF.

    On another note, I have read in both manuals and forums that when reloading for .308, there is a difference in using .308 brass vs mil 7.62 brass due to case thickness and therefor capacity. Most readings say you need to reduce load by 1-2 grains. I'm wondering what the end effect is on your reloads? To my untrained mind, it seems that the same 'reload' in a .308 vs 7.62 case (same except for the 1-2 grain powder difference) would shoot slightly different? Is this true, or does the difference in case thickness leading to difference in pressure make them 'even out' ? Can someone tell me, other than adjusting powder, what the end result of reloading .308 vs mil 7.62 cases is in reloading? Also, I haven't read of this issue in regards to .223 and 5.56 cases...does it apply? (I know about the crimped primer pockets being an "issue") Thanks.

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