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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a stash of CCI 450 small rifle mag primers that I have been holding on to. Recently I have been seeing a lot of people talking in other places about using these as a "standard" in their loads for the .223 / 5.56 loads and have seen where they are getting good results. As these are a much more plentiful commodity in my area I am wondering about making the switch myself as well. I am going to use these to work up a new load for my AR and am wondering what percentage I should drop from my already worked up loads to switch to the mag primers...if any. Currently I am using Horn. 55gr FMJ-BT over 24.5gr of H335. If I drop it by 5% that brings me back down well below what the Lyman 49th edition shows as a start load for a 55gr bullet. Don't want to have any stuck bullets and sure don't wanna blow up my gun or lose any digits! :shock:

Thanks for the input guys! :D

BTW - Trying the search to find old posts and coming up empty handed...but still looking...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Really need a hand here guys. I'm having some issues with my loads and need some advice.

Took the AR out yesterday and really questioning what is going on. In the past I have been loading 55gr Winchester and 55gr Hornady FMJ bullets over 24.5gr of H335 with CCI 400 primers. This load shows NO signs of any pressure. According to my Lyman 49th Edition Manual this should be a middle/average load (shows 27gr as max). Not being a real accurate load I bummped my loads up to 24.7gr and 25gr of powder using same components and primers. Yesterday went out with the new loads (same batch/lot# on powder) and had primers flattened, tho recoil is about the same and no noticable muzzle flash. If 27gr is the max load and I was to load it, it seems that it would likely cause damage to my gun the way that these primers were flattened. I also fired some factory Remington ammo and had 2 out of 20 of them with flat primers also...this is what got my concern a little...is there something with the gun that would cause this besides the loads??? :rolleyes: Sounds like a silly question I suppose but factory loads should not have flattened primers in my experience. ALL the rounds I loaded had the primers flattened, also found 3 with the tell tale case head separation cracks in the body of the shell. When I got home and ran them thru my press to deprime them they all have a nice little ring around the top of the cup that would be the bottom of the case head.

I am confident that my charges were correct as I use a powder scoop, digital scale as well as visually check the case before seating the bullet. I am at a bit of a loss here. Prior to taking these out I primed 100 peices of brass with CCI 450 primers, planned on dropping my charge weight to compensate but after this I'm a little leary of finishing these CCI 450 rounds....:shock:...
 

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Wish I could give you the answer to either of your questions. I just don't tinker with the .223 loads enough to give a knowledgeable answer. I run similar loads with H335 and Ramshot XTerminator and have had no signs of over pressure. What is your OAL? I've run from 2.240-2.250" with no issues with either pressure or accuracy. Surely someone will be along with the answers shortly. If not try searching this forum: Rifle/Shotgun - Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wish I could give you the answer to either of your questions. I just don't tinker with the .223 loads enough to give a knowledgeable answer. I run similar loads with H335 and Ramshot XTerminator and have had no signs of over pressure. What is your OAL? I've run from 2.240-2.250" with no issues with either pressure or accuracy. Surely someone will be along with the answers shortly. If not try searching this forum: Rifle/Shotgun - Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!
OAL length is 2.220"...maybe seating too deep? These bullets have the canalure on them and I am seating to it...:confused:
 

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I use mag primers when standards are in short supply. Since I'm not shooting MAX pressure loads I don't drop my charge. If the load you are using is MAX published load then I would suggest you drop the charge a bit if what your are shooting is below the 5% of max then there's no need to. IMO
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I use mag primers when standards are in short supply. Since I'm not shooting MAX pressure loads I don't drop my charge. If the load you are using is MAX published load then I would suggest you drop the charge a bit if what your are shooting is below the 5% of max then there's no need to. IMO
Thanks agalindo - I'm not shooting even close to max and am having issues as of my trip out yesterday with getting smashed primers. (See post above). Lyman shows start load at 24.3gr H335 and max of 27.0. I been shooting 24.5gr with 55gr bullet and CCI 400 primers and not getting the accuracy that I want. I wanted to bump up my load but started having some issues with the new loads. I know that too LOW of pressure will also cause primers to get smashed but not sure of the CCI 450's now...I bummped my loads up a bit to 24.7gr and 25.0gr and getting flattened primers, and found 3 with case head separation cracks in them (this was the second load on this LC 08 brass) and am still well below max loads.
 

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I have a stash of CCI 450 small rifle mag primers that I have been holding on to. Recently I have been seeing a lot of people talking in other places about using these as a "standard" in their loads for the .223 / 5.56 loads and have seen where they are getting good results. As these are a much more plentiful commodity in my area I am wondering about making the switch myself as well. I am going to use these to work up a new load for my AR and am wondering what percentage I should drop from my already worked up loads to switch to the mag primers...if any. Currently I am using Horn. 55gr FMJ-BT over 24.5gr of H335. If I drop it by 5% that brings me back down well below what the Lyman 49th edition shows as a start load for a 55gr bullet. Don't want to have any stuck bullets and sure don't wanna blow up my gun or lose any digits! :shock:

Thanks for the input guys! :D

BTW - Trying the search to find old posts and coming up empty handed...but still looking...
/
The Hornady 8th Edition Handbook lists 23.2 gr of H335 as a maximum load, with their 55 gr FMJ. So you are well over maximum!

Their starting load is 20.8 gr.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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The Hornady 8th Edition Handbook lists 23.2 gr of H335 as a maximum load, with their 55 gr FMJ. So you are well over maximum!

Their starting load is 20.8 gr.
Sh**!! :shock: Thats bad, real bad...dunno what the hell I was thinking loading the Hornady bullets with a Lyman book knowing that there is a Hornady book out there!! Lesson learned on that one for sure! Guess I'm getting a Hornady book to go with my Lyman and Modern Reloading as well. What about with the Winchester 55gr FMJ's, they are doing the same thing...

Thanks for the catch on that Mike! Much appreciated!!! :oops:
 

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I've loaded a couple k rounds of 55g fmjbt's with 25.0g H335 and CCI 400 primers and chrono'ed them at just a hair over 3000fps. I load to 2.26" and don't crimp. Never had anywhere near a flattened primer or cratered primer. My 20" likes 25g of H335 much better than 23 or 24g. The groups shrank right down from 2" to < 1" @ 100 yards. I was simply trying to duplicate the factory PMC Bronze and Federal Value Pack bullets because they also get me 1" groups and they both clocked in at 3000 fps. Most of the .223 loads I come across in forums say 25g of H335 is extremely common. Now if you are seating the bullet at 2.22 instead of 2.26, you are adding about 1700 more psi to your max chamber pressure, but its still more than 10,000 psi below the rated max for a .223 case.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've loaded a couple k rounds of 55g fmjbt's with 25.0g H335 and CCI 400 primers and chrono'ed them at just a hair over 3000fps. I load to 2.26" and don't crimp. Never had anywhere near a flattened primer or cratered primer. My 20" likes 25g of H335 much better than 23 or 24g. The groups shrank right down from 2" to < 1" @ 100 yards. I was simply trying to duplicate the factory PMC Bronze and Federal Value Pack bullets because they also get me 1" groups and they both clocked in at 3000 fps. Most of the .223 loads I come across in forums say 25g of H335 is extremely common. Now if you are seating the bullet at 2.22 instead of 2.26, you are adding about 1700 more psi to your max chamber pressure, but its still more than 10,000 psi below the rated max for a .223 case.
Thanks rsrocket1!! I am sure that is part of the problem then for me, however the Winchester bullets that I am loading I am seating to the canalure on the bullet...should I not? I am also crimping so that is going to add to the 1700 psi...I have no idea what the crimp is adding in terms of pressure. I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die and don't think I am getting too crazy with how much crimp I am using but will be backing it off a little and try again. As for the Hornady bullets...I picked me up a Hornady book today so that mistake will NOT be happening again! If I am not mistaken .223 is rated for 50,000 psi and the 5.56 for 60,000? I really need to get a chrono!! :rolleyes:
 

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The point is that nowadays, each manufacture tests their loads in a pressure barrel, to determine maximum loads. Bullet construction has a big impact on pressure, and it is not always safe to substiture components.

Also, trying to judge pressure by looking at primers can be very unreliable.

A chronograph is a big help and is an excellent investment.
 

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55 GR. SPR SP Hodgdon H335 .224"Dia 2.200"oal 23.0g min 3018fps 40,800 CUP
25.3g max
3203fps 49,300 CUP

Got this straight off Hodgdon's website
 

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I re-read your second post at the beginning of the thread, about getting incipient head separations on several of your reloads. Sounds like you have a head space issue. Along with cracked cases excess head space can also produce flattened primers, with normal pressure loads.

If the factory ammo you fired does not show signs of head separation, then you may be setting the shoulders back when you resize your cases. Hornady makes a handy gauge for checking case length from the head to the shoulder, that makes adjusting your sizer a snap.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
55 GR. SPR SP Hodgdon H335 .224"Dia 2.200"oal 23.0g min 3018fps 40,800 CUP
25.3g max 3203fps 49,300 CUP

Got this straight off Hodgdon's website
Not using SPR SP bullets...have already learned that bullet type and manufacture makes a VERY big difference. Think my Lyman book will go in the trash can and stick with specific manufactures books for their bullets....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I re-read your second post at the beginning of the thread, about getting incipient head separations on several of your reloads. Sounds like you have a head space issue. Along with cracked cases excess head space can also produce flattened primers, with normal pressure loads.

If the factory ammo you fired does not show signs of head separation, then you may be setting the shoulders back when you resize your cases. Hornady makes a handy gauge for checking case length from the head to the shoulder, that makes adjusting your sizer a snap.
You are refering to a head space gauge correct? All the factory ammo that I have fired shows no sign of head separation. Will add that to my shopping list as well...also looking into a new digital scale as I no longer have faith in the one that I have...as luck would have it is also a Lyman (model 1000 XP)....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Out of curiosity I just sat here and loaded 5 "dummy" rounds on my press, got my caliper out and measured all three and got three different OAL's on them. I am using the 55gr Winchester FMJ-BT bullets that I have been shooting (along with Hornady bullets but did not do any "dummies" of them).

1.760" trimmed cases, with the Winchester 55gr FMJ-BT bullets (no primers or powder)

#1 OAL = 2.243"
#2 OAL = 2.2425"
#3 OAL = 2.240"
#4 OAL = 2.242"
#5 OAL = 2.237"

I went back and checked some of my loads that I did ( I simply load too many to check everyone while I am loading, it would take a month to just do the measuring). Here is what I found:

***All cases have been trimed to 1.760"

#1 OAL = 2.224"
#2 OAL = 2.226"
#3 OAL = 2.222"
#4 OAL = 2.228"
#5 OAL = 2.231"

I pulled these randomly out of a box of my reloads. Seems to be an issue with something here. They are close, but how close is close enough? Once my seating die is set it remains untouched throughout the loading process. If I back the die off to where it seats to OAL of 2.26" as mentioned in another post I am not even close to the canalure, is that ok?? Seems like that would leave the bullet sticking out so far that there would be little in the case neck. I use the Breach Lock Bushings (on a single stage press) that you are supposed to not have to adjust once they are set (I recheck at each session anyway tho) so why are my OALs all different? Unless...just had a thought when I put that on here, the bullets are all different lengths?? Would that be common thing with bulk packs of bullets? ....

Bullets = Winchester Metallic Components, .22 Cal 55gr FMJBT
Measured with Caliper:

#1 = .751"
#2 = .744"
#3 = .758"
#4 = .740"
#5 = .760"

These were randomly selected from a package of 100 bullets...Different length bullets??? Seems to me that they should (ideally) be the same length?

Bullets = Hornady .22 Cal 55gr FMJ-BT W/C #2267
Measured with Caliper:

#1 = .7365"
#2 = .7325"
#3 = .739"
#4 = .735"
#5 = .734"

Again, these were randomly selected from a box of 100.

Bullets = Hornady .22 Cal 55gr V-Max W/C #22272
Measured with Caliper:

#1 = .819"
#2 = .817"
#3 = .816"
#4 = .820"
#5 = .819"

And again, randomly selected from box of 100.

Guess it's not just a bulk produced bullet issue! Am I missing something here???:confused: If the bullets are all different lengths and you are seating them all using the same die setting you would have more or less of the bullet in the case neck depending on the bullet length. Thus, you would increase or decrease pressure as well as possibly be creating compressed loads in some instances! :evil: WTF? Is my die, my press, my cases or my bullets causing the different lengths and what do I do to correct it?
 

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Bullet lengths from base to tip can vary a bit, and that is not a problem. Bullet noses, especially those with exposed lead, are easily deformed, so it's normal to see variation in OAL. The seater stems in reloading dies normally contact the bullet on the ogive, at a consistent diameter. This is a much more precise dimension on bullets, and results in a very consistent seating depth, with respect to the base of the bullet.

Since the ogive of the bullet is what contacts the rifling, it is important that this dimension be consistent for best accuracy. OAL to the tip of the bullet is not very critical.

I would not worry about the variations you are seeing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Bullet lengths from base to tip can vary a bit, and that is not a problem. Bullet noses, especially those with exposed lead, are easily deformed, so it's normal to see variation in OAL. The seater stems in reloading dies normally contact the bullet on the ogive, at a consistent diameter. This is a much more precise dimension on bullets, and results in a very consistent seating depth, with respect to the base of the bullet.

Since the ogive of the bullet is what contacts the rifling, it is important that this dimension be consistent for best accuracy. OAL to the tip of the bullet is not very critical.

I would not worry about the variations you are seeing.
I don't load any soft point bullets for this gun, however I do for my 300 H&H...I don't have this problem with them at all...or my handgun loads...or my .22-284 Wildcat. This is the only one that is giving me any grief...lol...guess I will drop my charge, seat to manual spec and back off on the crimp and see how it goes. Where can I find load data that is reliable for the Winchester bullets that I have. I did not see any info on their website. Someone said they do not crimp at all...I have always heard that is a "no no" specifically with auto feeders. This has caused me to have a lot of questions and to be honest...makes me a little more than nervous about loading for this particular gun...:sad:
 

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I don't load for an AR. I do have an M1. I normally shoot 147 gr FMJ bullets in it, seated to the cannelure, with no crimp. The neck tension on the brass I use is sufficient.

Unless you are flaring the case mouth, there is no absolute need to crimp. If your bullet has a cannelure, then a crimp can help with neck tension and setback. With smooth sided bullets, not so much, since the crimp will deform the bullet. This won't help accuracy and can actually loosen the bullet in the neck, if over done.

The length of FMJ bullets will vary a bit as well, due to the way the jacket is formed. The OAL of your finished rounds will vary some, and is not an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't load for an AR. I do have an M1. I normally shoot 147 gr FMJ bullets in it, seated to the cannelure, with no crimp. The neck tension on the brass I use is sufficient.

Unless you are flaring the case mouth, there is no absolute need to crimp. If your bullet has a cannelure, then a crimp can help with neck tension and setback. With smooth sided bullets, not so much, since the crimp will deform the bullet. This won't help accuracy and can actually loosen the bullet in the neck, if over done.

The length of FMJ bullets will vary a bit as well, due to the way the jacket is formed. The OAL of your finished rounds will vary some, and is not an issue.
Thanks Mike. I am going to drop down all my loads for this gun and start from scratch I think. I got a bunch of NEW brass (about 1000 rounds + about 2000 once fired) and am sitting on a stock pile of about 1500 bullets, the Winchesters and Hornady, about 2000 primers and about 3 pounds of H335 powder and 2 pounds of Varget. I have plenty to play with to get this right and will keep at it until I do...just hope something does not break or blow up in the process!! :shock:
 
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