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Thread: Loading for black guns.

  1. #1

    Default Loading for black guns.

    I have loaded a lot of 223's over the years but only recently have I decided to start reloading for my ARs. I have a Rock River and a Bushmaster that my son uses. Do I need to invest in small base dies or will the standard dies that I have work if I full length resize the brass?

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Small base dies seem to promote better feeding, but I'd just try a hundred rounds or so of what you have now and see if it works.
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    I use regular dies and full length resize for my mouse guns. Never had a problem.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've loaded 1000's of rounds for both an Armalite M4 and a Rock River predator persuit. I've used a variety of brass, including range pickup for plinkers. All I've used for sizing is a Redding fl sizer and imperial sizing die wax. I did change out the decapping assy to one with a carbide expander. I've never had a failure to feed.

    The one thing I'd recomend investing in is a one of those 3 in one neck trimmers. Trimming brass in bulk, then deburring is a serious PITA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post

    The one thing I'd recomend investing in is a one of those 3 in one neck trimmers. Trimming brass in bulk, then deburring is a serious PITA.
    Got a link, Paul?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    For the 5.56 (223) I don't find the need for small base dies but do full length size using a Redding body die then neck size and I load in a Dillon 550 progressive. I do about 1200 or so each week now and sell to three gun shooters. Different guns and no complaints. i have found when using the AR or any semi-auto rifle with the 7.62x51 (308) that small base dies are necessary with some guns so I load about 800 each week for those rifles. We have Armalite, Stoner, M1A, FAL, DPMS, and POF in the caliber. Some will feed fine with just F/L sizing some need small base so all 308's are SB sized. My 5.56 guns are Armalite, LWRC and POF and they shoot any 5.56 ammo without a hitch.
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I should be set up in about a month for 6.8. I imagine they will be very similar. I have a standard RCBS cull length die so I hope the success on .223 transfers over!

  10. #10

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    When I was getting started reloading for the black rifles I called MidwayUSA and asked them the same question. The guy on the phone said go with small base if I am loading for an AR. I have RCBS Small Base dies for my AR's in 308, 6.8, and 223. They feed like a charm, never any issues. Don't know what would happen if I hadn't used the small base dies, I never tried it.

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    I'm new to reloading, but I have an AR I want to load for eventually. What is the difference between small base and "normal" dies?

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    Small base dies are just a little smaller at the base area and size the base of the brass to a slightly smaller size. Auto rifles don't have as much push when loading as a bolt gun can have so some are a little more finiky and like the brass just a little smaller.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    Small base dies are just a little smaller at the base area and size the base of the brass to a slightly smaller size. Auto rifles don't have as much push when loading as a bolt gun can have so some are a little more finiky and like the brass just a little smaller.
    Thanks, I've actually noticed a small area on my .375 cases that wasn't getting sized and was curious about that. Hasn't caused any feed issues in a bolt gun, sounds like this is normal?

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    A big reason to get a small base die for a .223 is if you buy and reload once fired brass. Particularly if it is military once fired brass, it was likely fired in a machine gun (SAW, etc) and their chambers are looser than any good AR15. The dies will bring the brass back to minimum, unfired specs. If you shoot unfired brass, most standard dies will do.

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