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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been loading for pistols and revolvers for a couple years now and would like to start loading for .223. I'll be loading for NRA High Power style shooting with an AR (White Oak upper being ordered tomorrow). So, lower volume, more care for accuracy. I'll keep to cheap factory stuff for carbine use.

What gear do I need that I don't have in my handgun kit? I load on a Dillon 550.

Case trimmer?
Go/no go gauges?
Powder trickler?
?

Comments on powder, bullets to get going with? 1:7 twist, 20".
 

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a couple more gadgets to add to the list...

A primer pocket reamer to remove the crimp from USGI and other military brass
Case chamfer tools to put a bevel/chamfer on the case neck
Headspace gages for measuring case headspace and adjusting your sizing dies
OAL gages for measuring the OAL of the rounds. These measure off the ogive, not the bullet tip, for consistency

If loading on the Dillon, you may want to consider using a ball powder. Dillon measures can be finicky with extruded stick powders unless you spend the time to slick up the powder system. With a stock Dillon measure, I'd expect about .2 grain (or worse) variance with stick powder.

As far as bullets go, you can't go wrong with a Sierra bullet. The 77gr matchking is a proven bullet and will shoot well in most AR rifles. I recently bought some Nosler 77gr bullets but have yet to load any of them up. The 77gr will shoot well in the 1-7 twist and can shoot out to the 600yd line.

I shoot a 77gr at the short line and an 80gr at the long line.

200/300 load data
Sierra 77gr MK
24.1gr Varget
CCI 400 primer
USGI LC brass
2.25" OAL

600 load data
Sierra 80gr MK
24.5gr Varget
CCI 400 primer
USGI brass
seated to .015" off the lands

The 80gr loads are long than 2.25", so they cannot be loaded from the mag. Seating an 80gr bullet to mag length is to invite disaster! (kaboom)

While you should strive for precision when loading for service rifle, there is some wiggle-room allowed when shooting service rifle. The X-ring is around 1MOA wide at all yard lines in an NRA match, so don't go crazy trying to achieve 1/4 MOA groups. High X-count is nice, but holding the 10-ring will do just fine. 100-0X beats 99-9X any day of the week!

You'll be very happy with your WOA upper and they shoot WELL out of the box. My WOA upper is on it's 4th barrel and still going strong.

If you have any other questions don't hesititate to ask.
 

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Personally I would take the dillon out of cycle Single Stage resize hand prime while watching TV and if it is in the budget tweak out a RCBS Charge Master for the powder works for me
 

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You can load on the Dillon, but don't expect consistent powder drops without some work. I loaded all my .223 match ammo (3,000 rounds of 77gr) on the Dillon this year, but I went about it in a round-a-bout way.

1) resized all the brass on a single stage
2) deprimed & primed all the brass on the Dillon in one session
3) ran the brass through the dillon again to drop powder and seat the bullet in another session

To make the powder drop as consistent as possible on the Dillon, I broke everything up into seperate steps. It was time consuming to do it that way, but I feel that there wasn't any extra work of effort on the press trying to resize & prime. I feel it makes for a much smoother & consistent pull on the handle. I also polished up the internals of the powder measure as well, which helps out immensely using stick powder.

On the avarge, I was getting a .1 - .2 variation with the occassional .3 - .4 drop. It really didn't bother me that much as it's only for service rifle and not benchrest.

All my 80gr long-line ammo gets loaded on the single stage press using RCBS competition dies. All powder charges are thrown using an RCBS 1500 Chargemaster and then weighed again on a beam scale. Trickle up as needed.

As you shoot your rifle, keep a log of "rounds fired" on the upper. Take an initial throat measurement on the barrel before you start shooting, and then every 1000 rounds after that. That will help with your seating depth on the 80gr bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Personally I would take the dillon out of cycle Single Stage resize hand prime while watching TV and if it is in the budget tweak out a RCBS Charge Master for the powder works for me
budget is less of a concern than space. Why resize on the single stage and then hand prime? I would think that those operations are the more mundane things that , once dialed in, don't need a ton of feel to get right?
 

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I load my .308 rounds on a 550 with no noticable accuracy difference from loading it on a single stage. I still measure each charge and use the dillon powder die with the funnel.
 

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budget is less of a concern than space. Why resize on the single stage and then hand prime? I would think that those operations are the more mundane things that , once dialed in, don't need a ton of feel to get right?
Everything I prime is hand primed- I want to feel that primer seat correctly.

Sierra 77gr MK, 24.5gr Varget is a laser in my Rem 700 TAC but not sure about OAL for an AR mag.
 

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I think you get a slightly more consistent powder drop if you resize separately. It takes a pretty good pull on the handle resizing the 223 cases, and this causes the stroke to be less smooth. I like to lube, resize, clean, then go to the dillon for the rest, with a visual check on the flash hole. You don't have to have a single stage, just resize on the 550 with the primer arm removed.

John
 

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Great info in this thread.

My process is a little different. I resize/deprime on a single stage....though it can be done on your Dillon. I then trim/chamfer/deburr in one step using a Giraud. That leaves me with fully prepped brass ready for loading.

I take that to the Dillon where it goes as such:
1- Universal Decapper to remove any corn cob left in flash hole followed by priming._
2- Powder drop
3- Seat
4- Lee FCD

This process works well for me and is fast for making good accurate ammo. I used to load my match grade stuff on a single stage but now load it on the Dillon.

As for bullets and your barrel.....those 77gr SMK's are hard to beat especially for longer ranges however I would also try some Nosler 77gr and Hornady 75gr BTHP as they make a very good bullet. For shorter ranges you should also try the following some 69gr SMK and 52gr SMK. My powders of choice will all mentioned above are Varget and RE-15.

For general plinking I really like 55gr Hornady with H335.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
 

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Uh oh... someone said Lee FCD... This'll be fun. =)
LOL...some may not like the FCD, however in all the thousands of rounds of various calibers I have loaded for semi autos I have never had any issue with my ammo. Compare that to several people I know that have had issues with an occasion round that wouldn't chamber and having the problem solved by using a FCD after I suggested has led me to believe that its a good thing rather than a bad thing.

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I too have seen that Varget can vary a little on the Dillon. What is the best ball powder out there for 223 and 308 these days? I've been using Varget exclusively.
 

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I use WIN748 for my 62gr plinker ammo and it meters very well through the Dillon powder measure. I've read good things about Ramshot TAC too.

Another powder that might be worth looking into is IMR 8208 XBR. It's supposed to be super-short grained and meter very well.
 

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Buy yourself a RCBS precision micrometer, it helps to establish a baseline for the rifles throat as well as being a good tool for setting up your dies for resizing.
 
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