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Thread: Starting into my own 223

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Starting into my own 223

    Realized the other day that my safe has more weapons in 223 than any other cartridge, and yet itís the only one that I donít cast for. I guess I always figured it was going to be a headache because of high speeds and ? But Iím reading these modern coatings are able to work at full speed so why not try. Iíve ordered a 61gr grooveless design from arsenal molds. Havenít used them before so that will be interesting. Iíd pretty much resigned to only buying MP molds but this one seemed to fit the bill and on the shelf at a good price so what the heck. Iíll be using hi tek coating.
    For powders Iím open to suggestions. Iíve been using 748 mostly because itís a ball powder and easily gets into the case but I have some other possible candidates like imr4320, maybe h335 and maybe one or two more.

    What are some ways to open the mouth up to take the cast pill?
    Is anyone using this mold here? Arsenal 225-61 Elvis

  2. #2
    I like AA2230 for my 223 rifles.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    Lyman make an M2 expander die which will bell the case mouth. Other than thatm a deburring tool will chamfer the mouth for seating gas checked boolits. I'm loading a 55gn RCBS boolit over 17.5gns 3031 for 1840fps. Not a fast load but very accurate in my Browning X-Bolt.

    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Im running cast in my AR 15's with 748. 15.5 grains is giving good accuracy at around 1900-2000 fps with an MP 227-75 boolit sized at .225 lubed with Lyman Orange Magic and gas checked. Good, fun, easy plinking load for 1/7 twist barrels. Getting ready to test a 1/9 barrel and up the velocity.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Got ok accuracy and full function in an AR with 4895.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    And ........ nobody said you have to drive them at full speed .

    Jack
    Buy it cheap and stack it deep , you may need it !

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Right, and I surely won’t be, but to be honest I still kinda amazed that lead can even be pushed at the much lower velocities like 1900fps. Twisting 250,000 rpm and doing a 2 sec mile is impressive to me!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    Have you slugged your bore yet to be sure you will be getting the right finished diameter, or one large enough to size down? Noe has a really good selection of neck expanders that are reasonably priced. They also have a sizer that takes a range of inserts that aren’t expensive.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    Have you slugged your bore yet to be sure you will be getting the right finished diameter, or one large enough to size down? Noe has a really good selection of neck expanders that are reasonably priced. They also have a sizer that takes a range of inserts that aren’t expensive.
    no I have not. I probably should though you’re right. I’ve always gotten away with the coating adding enough that I can choose my size via push through sizers but getting close will be benefit on the front end. However I have 4 rifles in this caliber so that’s a consideration too for general purpose ammo.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I have two molds, the Lyman 225Ė415, and the NOE 225-62 RN plain bass designed for gas checks. Both are loaded with H4227, a book load from the Lyman manual. I have barrels with one in 7 inch, one in 9 inch, one and 10 inch, and one in 12 inch. I donít remember the velocity from the 7 inch A.R. pistol with the one and 7 inch twist, I just know itís fun.

    I built an AR 15 for cast boolits with the one in 9 inch. My Ruger Mini 14 is a 180 model and has a one in 10 inch. Both the AR and the mini 14 chronograph at 2250, and the 24 inch single shot with a one and 12 inch barrel gives me 2450 with the same load.

    I chamfer all my brass case mouths so I can seat cast or factory. Resizing my cast loaded brass takes very little effort. I can pick up the brass off the ground without burning my fingers. I have yet to have a split case even after 10 loadings. That is about the time I anneal the brass.

    I donít need high velocity from a 223 round to do what I want to do, which is kill tin cans, I hate tin cans. However, the powder coated lead projectile is devastating on Ďnotí tin cans. Besides, shooting cast is cheaper than sintered copper bullets which I used for steel plates and run and gun drills. Higher velocity has led to too high of revolutions in flight, causing stabilization issues. The lower velocity helps reduce revolution. I am very tempted to build a rifle with a 1 - 16Ē twist and see what I could do, but what I have now kills cans. The AR pistol is so loud it is obnoxious, but I like it
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    So what speed range do you figure for a 1:7 twist barrel, and this is an 8.5” barrel also. I thought the high rate twist would be helpful in fact because I could run the sped lower and still keep it spun up well. I was thinking around 2000fps but I don’t have a lot other than gut feeling to base that on. I can load other specs for my other rifles but right now I’m focusing on this ar pistol at the moment. I also have a couple kel tecs and a 16” ar also. The 16” is my 3gun comp rifle so accuracy would be a focus on that one but the other three not so much, just for fun plinking and blasting for the most part.
    I’m also in this for anti-tin can arsenal. Tin cans aren’t even made of tin it turns out. Lying little basterds.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master



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    If you are going to load lead boolits plane or PCed, you need at least a little bit of flare or you will often be shaving lead or PC off. You can start with a lee universal type at first and then buy new inserts from NOE, that fit in the Lee flaring tool. That way you will have a lot of options.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Cool thanks. Yes that was on my list for a while to investigate those custom flare options. I usually try to use a ptx type thing but I’m guessing 22 cal is too small for that.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I too use the Lee Universal Expander(flare tool, really) fit with an NOE expander plug. My brass is sized/decapped on a single stage, so this die is in station one on my Dillon 550. It is set so there is just a slight bell or else the brass hangs up on the powder drop die.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Drew, just running the math (fps times 12 divided by rate of twist) tends to favor heavier boolit stabilization with the higher rate of twist. Kind of makes me want a heavier boolit mold, but the NOE 225-62 RN I'm using seems to shoot well enough for me in the various barrel lengths and rates of twist I listed before. Mind you, my standard of accuracy is 'minute of soda can' at 100 yards fired off hand with iron sights.

    As for your comment "I’m also in this for anti-tin can arsenal. Tin cans aren’t even made of tin it turns out. Lying little basterds" I would like to expand on my hatred. When you open the can, the lid often dives into the can, waiting like a viper for you to try and fish it out. It is at this time you are most vulnerable to being cut in the process. They are possessed, I tell you, evil to the core.

    When you shoot a tin can with an FMJ, the bullet pierces the can, often leaving a perfect hole and hardly disturbs the can. When shot with a cast boolit at 2250 FPS, the boolit starts to deform on impact. This deformation does not pierce the can, it causes the can to peel a 1/2" wide strip of the can if struck right or left of center, or punches a 1/2" hole to be punched through. In any event, the can flies rearward. It's violent, I like it! Cans need to know they are dead!
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

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  16. #16
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    I'm no expert on 223 and i'm just starting out with a new bolt gun. Going to use J words but also just bought the Lee 235-55-RN to gas check and try out. Don't know what type of rifle you are going to use them but don't overlook the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbooks for loading data for lead. I'm not set up to PC but ma try it in the future but for now, I'm not going to push them hard - just try 'em and se how they do out of my bolt gun. The Lyman CB Handbook has loads for lead in 223 such as Unique, Red Dot, etc. I use Red Dot a lot in a variety of cartridges and have used it with lead in 8 X 57 Mauser and 30-30 as well with good success - but different guns and different twist rates than 223.

    Whatever you end up doing, please post your "trials and error" (experiences) with how your lead does n tin your rifle. i'd be interesting in reading your results and I know others would as well. Thanks and good luck with your endeavors!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Great tip, I have that book! Didn’t think to check it.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Well looking at the Lyman cast book there’s only one page of 223 and in the paragraph about these loads they state that they are not for gas operated guns. They then go on to say that it’s difficult to make gas op rifles work on cast loads. So, that sucks. They do list a load with 1680 which might be tempting to try. Also one for sr4759 which I might also try, although that powder is rare and out of production so I’m kinda keeping my stash.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    W748, dude. I had the gas system fully operating at 14 grains with a 70 grain boolit. 15.5 has given best accuracy so far. Its in the Cast Bullet Handbook, but with lighter boolits. I had to interpret, so use your own mind for it if heavy boolits are being used. I went up to 19 grains, accuracy was still ok.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew P View Post
    Well looking at the Lyman cast book there’s only one page of 223 and in the paragraph about these loads they state that they are not for gas operated guns. They then go on to say that it’s difficult to make gas op rifles work on cast loads. So, that sucks. They do list a load with 1680 which might be tempting to try. Also one for sr4759 which I might also try, although that powder is rare and out of production so I’m kinda keeping my stash.
    Is it true that it is hard to get gas operated guns to work with cast boolits?

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check