5.56 Loads

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    Devereaux
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    5.56 Loads

    Post by Devereaux on Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:34 pm

    Well, I figured with all the interest here in AR's, people ought to have gotten a favorite 5.56 load.

    ?So what's yours. ?Why do you like it. ?How dirty is it. ?Crud up the receiver much.

    ?How about bullets - any special ones that you like more than another, and of course why.

    Reason I ask is that I am about to launch off into reloading for my 5.56 - if nothing else than to get some experience doing it. Ammo IS pretty cheap right now, so it almost doesn't make sense to do it, but one should always be prepared for the future. So I would like to lay in a couple nice loads that will work both a DI and piston gun, won't trash out the barrel (much) and are relatively easy to reload.

    One other thing. I have been told that reloading for 5.56 is a bit tricky as the cases walk a lot. ?Anyone have experience with this.
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    Cornmastah
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    Re: 5.56 Loads

    Post by Cornmastah on Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:02 am

    Mine is the hornady 55 gr fmj bulk bullet with about 25 gr TAC. I like how well TAC meters, and it shoots fine without making the gun too dirty. I used to use Varget, but it has all but disappeared--and costs about as much as a gold brick when it is found. TAC meters way better than Varget, so it has sped up my .223 reloading process.

    Lessons learned from trial and error loading of .223:

    1. Sizing the case is the hardest step/easiest to mess up of the process for me. Make sure to use a good lube and the right amount. I tend to favor the waxy kind--I currently use "Imperial Sizing Wax." I have tried various others, but I have had the best consistent "luck" with this on my rifle cartridges. Some of the others make it too easy to get a case stuck in a die (which is no fun) or dimples in the shoulder. Also make sure that the sizing die sizes the case far enough down or you might get jams

    2. "Ballish" powders that meter well tend to speed up the process by a lot. You are able to use a powder throw and be pretty accurate with it--which make it so you don't have to spend time weighing each load (unless you absolutely want to).

    3. I like to seat and crimp in 2 steps (and I really like the lee factory crimp die).

    4. load up 4-5 dummy rounds (just lacking the primer and powder) and feed them from a mag into your gun to see if they chamber BEFORE loading up hundreds of rounds.

    Right now it is 2am and I might have missed something or maybe my whole post makes no sense... I will come back tomorrow and re-read it.
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    Devereaux
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    Re: 5.56 Loads

    Post by Devereaux on Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:10 pm

    Good advise, Corn.

    Talked to another guy here today, and he likes H335. It, too, is a spherical powder which he says meters really well. He shoots 55gr bullets with 28gr of 335. He gets about 3200fps. YMMV.

    I have taken to the crimping in its own stage with the advent of the excellent Lee crimping die. I now do that for all my reloadings except .38 Super, which I have not reloaded for years as I am not shooting IPSC anymore. But I am thinking of taking the guns to a local Marine shoot, just to exercise them. They are really neat 1911's, and they are fun to shoot. Especially when you know that you get about 1450 with a 130gr bullet out of them and no muzzle flip.
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    Cornmastah
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    Re: 5.56 Loads

    Post by Cornmastah on Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:31 pm

    I have heard good things about h335 and have about 5 lbs of it ready for when my TAC runs out. If I can find TAC again at any of the shops, I will buy another keg. I really like it, and when I bought it the first time, it was significantly cheaper than all of the other stuff.
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    Devereaux
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    Re: 5.56 Loads

    Post by Devereaux on Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:37 pm

    Ah! Cheaper! Time to look for TAC I guess.
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    Charlie Foxtrot
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    Re: 5.56 Loads

    Post by Charlie Foxtrot on Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:37 pm

    We developed a pet load for older 1:12 twist ARs. 52 gn Speer HPBTs in front of a pretty much max load of IMR 4198. Really accurate and lighting bolt fast: perfect medicine for bunny-rats.

    I've been working up 6.8 SPC loads also using 4198. I'm getting MOA groups and I'm not done exploring the corners.

    But, 4198 is a stone bitch to meter. Those stick grains feel like logs when trying to throw a consistent load.
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    Devereaux
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    Re: 5.56 Loads

    Post by Devereaux on Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:25 pm

    I use 4198 for my .20 Tactical loads. They are among the most consistent and fastest loads I have. Most of the other powders do not give me the same speed, and most are also more heat sensitive. 4198 seems pretty solid there.

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