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Posted: 8/20/2017 10:55:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 11:12:02 PM EST by R2BRO]
So today I loaded my rounds and took it to the range, fired first 2 shots as a test fire, then loaded 20 rounds in groups of 5 and landed bullets on to the target.

MY LOAD
So Here is brief recall of my load:
powder: CFE 223 (starting load, 24.8 gr)
Primer: Remington 7 1/2
Bullet: Hornady 55gr FMJ-BT/w cannelure
Brass: Mixed range brass + some of brand new unfired brass (HSM 223 brand)


ASSEMBLED ROUNDS

Here are some of my rounds right before firing:
The final parameters are: COL: 2.21" - 2.219"
OL: 1.74"
Headspace: various for each group, will be shown later


RESULTS
Here is a result of shooting:


The negative number shown as HS marker is indication by how much less the headspace was measured compared to the fired factory brass from same rifle. My factory fired ammo cases measured 1.460". so after sizing I sorted out 4 groups, one was 8 thousands less than 1.460", another 7, 6 and 4th group was 3 thousands less than 1.460" (which is what I supposed to do according to the instructions)

CASE INSPECTION

After firing I collected all rounds and inspected them, below are the pics:

Below are pics of primers in fired rounds:


BOLT INSPECTION

I inspected the bolt in my rifle, does not seem to be battered or damaged or anything:



MY QUESTIONS/COMMENTS


Now I got some questions,

1) If I size it 0.002" less than fired brass measurement of 1.460", will it be more precise? Or just aim for 0.003" ?

2) Below are some unfired 1.73" and 1.75" OL cases, the die was set to sit bullet for 1.75" as a result cannelure does not appear at center of case mouth for 1.73" OL case. My question: what OL is best for accuracy? 1.73? or 1.75?


3) this question is related to #2, if I fine tune all my dies and trim tools to have OL=1.75" or even 1.76" (max spec), and also try to sit bullet so that COL = 2.28", will I get the BEST accuracy because bullet is sitting closer to rifling?


4) this is just my comment, im not the greatest rifleman (yet ) and my trigger is standard mil spec trigger (which gets bad), also while shooting I was more thinking about things not to blow up rather than paying too much attention on precision aiming. But..for now results are these. Maybe later I'll try to get better of course once I assemble more rounds.

5) All rounds extracted and chambered well, no issues at all. Recoil felt OK (actually I have a feeling that I got less recoil than firing those green tip ammo?? not sure why), fire sound was kinda OK too, nothing suspicious.

6) Which group has better results? (which HS marker?)

7) The primers measured 0.0" after firing, they were firmly sitting there in place as you see, is it ok? (i.e. before firing primers were sit 0.003" to 0.008" deep)

8) do you have any other comments or maybe I missed something? or anything to add?

thanks to everyone here who was helping, especially dryflash3
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 12:43:16 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/21/2017 1:03:32 AM EST by Motor1]
Nice work.

My opinion:

Your crimp is too heavy and is likely not needed. It's probably also having a negative effect on your accuracy.

I suggest a more consistent case length closer to 1.75" and if you insist on crimping use a lighter crimp.

The consistent case length will result in a more consistent crimp and more consistent neck tension. All of which is good for accuracy.

Look at your fired case mouths. Those nasty looking mouths are from over crimping.

The 55gr Hornady FMJ is probably one of the most accurate 55gr FMJ's but it's still limited on how accurate it will shoot. Groups in the neighborhood of 2" is considered pretty good with those. Some rifles will do better but they are not typically a MOA accuracy bullet.

If you would only control your case length better using the same everything but change to a better bullet and stop crimping you would see accuracy that would probably amaze you.

You've got a great start. With a little refinement you'll be "there"

I don't sweat shoulder set back much. With full cam over I'm getting .008" and with this my VTR-15 will shoot 5/8" groups and is not hard on brass.

I'd be careful trying to set it back too little. Brass is not consistent some has more resistance to changing size and some has more spring back than others. You don't need .008" like I use but you want enough to have a cushion so you don't end up having it not fit.

By the look of your groups it didn't seem to have any significant effect.

BTW: Your groups look a lot like the ones I get with the Hornady 55gr FMJ's but mine are shot at 100 yards.

Motor
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 5:34:27 PM EST
Other than the over-crimping, which is a pretty common mistake for a beginner, I'd say you did pretty good.

Motors advice on resizing & crimping is spot on.

In regards to seating the bullet to a c.o.l of 2.280. Max c.o.l for .223 is 2.260. For the time being stick with the recommended c.o.l for that bullet which is 2.200.

As you gain more experience you can start seating them longer as long as they fit your chamber.

Your on the right track, just take it slow and easy and it will all fall into place.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 8:09:21 PM EST
Originally Posted By R2BRO:
. . . Now I got some questions,

1) If I size it 0.002" less than fired brass measurement of 1.460", will it be more precise? Or just aim for 0.003" ? Stay at .003". No effect you can possibly see re accuracy. The closer you get to 0.000 the more likely you are to have feed issues.

2) Below are some unfired 1.73" and 1.75" OL cases, the die was set to sit bullet for 1.75" as a result cannelure does not appear at center of case mouth for 1.73" OL case. My question: what OL is best for accuracy? 1.73? or 1.75?
It's extremely unlikely you will see a difference in precision. Choose one and make them all the same.

3) this question is related to #2, if I fine tune all my dies and trim tools to have OL=1.75" or even 1.76" (max spec), and also try to sit bullet so that COL = 2.28", will I get the BEST accuracy because bullet is sitting closer to rifling?
Presumably you have measured your mag and concluded it will fit COL=2.28". The bullet (and cannelure location) you are using is designed to be seated at 2.200" when the cases are between SAAMI trim-to and max length. it is extremely unlikely you will see any effect on accuracy . . . and you are quite likely to produce some cartridges that do not fit your magazine. This happens because the shape of all bullets is not the same. Since the seater doesn't push down on the tip, different shapes give different COLs. With these bullets, seat them all 2.200" regardless of case length and don't crimp.

4) this is just my comment, im not the greatest rifleman (yet ) and my trigger is standard mil spec trigger (which gets bad), also while shooting I was more thinking about things not to blow up rather than paying too much attention on precision aiming. But..for now results are these. Maybe later I'll try to get better of course once I assemble more rounds. I was going to ask you how long a string you used to pull the trigger on those first two shots :)

5) All rounds extracted and chambered well, no issues at all. Recoil felt OK (actually I have a feeling that I got less recoil than firing those green tip ammo?? not sure why), fire sound was kinda OK too, nothing suspicious. You are using a starting
powder charge and a 55gr bullet. Green tip uses a 62gr (IIRC) bullet and most definitely not a starting powder charge. Mass times Velocity equals Force . . . more Force, more recoil. Save that picture . . . once you increase the powder charge, your fired primers will never look that round again :)


6) Which group has better results? (which HS marker?) If there's a difference, it's unlikely to have been caused on average by the ammo.

7) The primers measured 0.0" after firing, they were firmly sitting there in place as you see, is it ok? (i.e. before firing primers were sit 0.003" to 0.008" deep) The primer pops out at the moment of firing, and is pushed back in when the case follows it back to the bolt face. So it's pretty much guaranteed to be flush.

8) do you have any other comments or maybe I missed something? or anything to add? There's much more to learn, you are on the right track. Precision ni an AR is going to come from a good rifle, cartridges using a great bullet/powdere/cas/charge that your rifle likes, and your ability.

thanks to everyone here who was helping, especially dryflash3
View Quote
Motor's advice is right on. Tried to answer some questions above. GLHF and stay safe.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 10:45:38 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Twoboxer:
I was going to ask you how long a string you used to pull the trigger on those first two shots :)
View Quote
lol no strings, I just hold it almost near a hip position aaand fire! And then I see dust far down the range on the ground! and there it is!!! I knew it worked! Then I quickly picked up hot brass and intensively looking at it!

that's how it happened :)

Thanks for the advices:
* I'll figure out how to crimp properly
* I'll try to get consistent headspace and OL --> and COL
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 12:18:03 AM EST
Sort brass by headstamp.

Trim all to same length.

Headspace is least of your worries.

Lay off crimp until you get a good load, and only then should you introduce that additional variable. If and when you do crimp, set the bullet seating depth for crimping in the cannelure.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 12:22:14 AM EST
is it safe to fire those rounds from my AR15 without bullets crimped?
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 1:25:35 AM EST
hmm i guess yea, so ok, Ill try that method too. thanks.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 8:53:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2017 11:11:15 AM EST by AeroE]
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 9:21:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2017 9:24:07 AM EST by dryflash3]
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 3:53:23 PM EST
Welcome to the greatest addiction on the planet,

and congrats on your first loads working well.

How long did it take for your butt cheeks to un-pucker?

I couldn't sit right for almost two weeks after touching off my first AR loads.

As you can see, it's easy to get caught up in the details, and you'll get lots of advice from lots of folks.

Everything I've read in comments so far is spot on, and at the risk of inflating their egos,

Dry Flash and Motor and very good sources of valid, reliable information.

I've followed their sage advice for a couple years now and still have all my fingers and eyes.

But, always check and check again on everything. Reloading is fun, want to keep it that way.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:40:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2017 4:49:22 PM EST by WeimaranerDad]
Like others have said....you are crimping way too much.

Do you have a case gauge?

Your crimp die just barely needs to kiss the brass mouth.

I am using a Lyman M die right now, so there is just a little flare at the case mouth. The Lee FCD just flattens out that flare and then some.

You can use the case gauge during or in between steps to double check your set up for the dies.

Or you can use this Hornady tool clamped onto your calipers to see how far you are bumping the shoulders back:



This target was shot at 50 yards?

With iron sights?

EDIT: did I see that 2.28" number correctly for COAL? I was under the impression that 2.26" was max length to fit into an AR15 magazine.

EDIT#2: if you are looking for the most consistent results, you are going to have to separate cases by headstamp. while the resizing die is going to give each piece of brass the same exterior dimensions (for the most part), with different makers, the internal volume or case capacity will be different. So there will be pressure and velocity differences.

Do you have a chrono?
Link Posted: 8/26/2017 12:43:21 PM EST
thanks for all responses, I'm already correcting the crimp.

No I don't have chrono yet.

My cartridge length is now 2.215"

And as per other's suggestions I'll let the brass grow and try to trim only when it is > 1.55"
Link Posted: 8/26/2017 1:57:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/26/2017 1:57:57 PM EST by AeroE]
Link Posted: 8/26/2017 9:11:42 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/14/2017 4:47:47 PM EST
I thought the same thing. That crimp caught my eye first and foremost. Overall you did better than me when I first loaded .223

I'm working on 5.56 EPR M855A1 load now. Defiantly string firing that first round.
Link Posted: 9/16/2017 2:38:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2017 2:43:40 AM EST by Motor1]
That's funny. String firing.

You actually have to make a pretty bad mistake to even go half way to proof pressure something like using a max load for a 55 with a 75gr bullet.

I'd bet when they do the actual proof pressure testing it's not even done with powder that is used in normal .223/5.56 data. Most of the time it's hard enough just to fit normal top end loads into the casing let alone something that would go 30% over normal operating pressure.

Motor
Link Posted: 9/16/2017 10:28:01 PM EST
Looks good.

As stated they're over crimped. I don't crimp mine at all and it's never been an issue.

Keep in mind that you'll have a hard time getting those to shoot less than 2.5 MOA. Guns that like them might get to 2 MOA or slightly less. They just aren't accuracy bullets.
Link Posted: 9/16/2017 11:01:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2017 11:02:10 PM EST by 243winxb]
Try better bullets for smaller groups.  Try the Nosler 55 gr.  or Sierra 69 gr.   
Link Posted: 9/17/2017 12:07:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2017 1:33:58 AM EST by RareBear]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Motor1:
That's funny. String firing.
View Quote
I resemble this remark.

Also included in the first handload fired was a pile of sandbags and a concrete block wall.

I was 100% hulldown.

Mucho confidence gained upon seeing that first piece of 22-250 brass had survived in fine shape back in 1996.

Congrats OP. Feels good eh?
Link Posted: 9/17/2017 1:47:57 AM EST
Looks like your getting great advice for improving your 223 reloading process.

You've identified the first modification for improving groups for your rifle too... upgrade the trigger group. You don't have to spend $200+ either. Rock River Arms National Match 2 stage is a good option and you can find it on sale for $75. You'll think your reloads are even better once you have a decent trigger.
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