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New to loading 223/556. What about CFE223?

This is a discussion on New to loading 223/556. What about CFE223? within the Ammo and Reloading forums, part of the Gun Forum category; I have a few general questions about reloading for this cartridge. How are you guys removing primer pocket crimps? I have a Lyman handheld reamer ...

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Old 07-13-2020, 01:25 PM   #1
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New to loading 223/556. What about CFE223?

I have a few general questions about reloading for this cartridge.

How are you guys removing primer pocket crimps? I have a Lyman handheld reamer which works fine but it's a little slow, then I have a Hornady press mounted swaging die which works great except it's extremely finicky to set up. With the Hornady tool it's all guess and check. I think I am over doing it.

Crimp? Lee FCD? Neck tension is usually a good thing, right? The 55gr. Hornady SP's I am loading right now have no cannelure so it has to be the FCD. I have used the FCD on other cartridges with good results but it's a controversial tool. There is no repeatability if you remove it from the press. Setting it up is completely subjective.

556/vs 223 load data. I am using CFE223 with CCI "556" primers and 55 gr Hornady SP's. I also have some 62's to play with later.
I have several new manuals including Hornady, Hodgedon, Lyman, and Lee. Only Hornady splits up the load data between 556 and 223. They only list the all copper 55gr GMX for 556. Everyone else lists 27.8gr as max for the 55gr SP while Hornady lists 27.4. I am wondering if 0.6gr is a significant difference when approaching max loads with this cartridge/powder. My primary concerns are accuracy and reliable cycling. My rifles are an 18" 1:8 223 Wylde and a 16" 1:7 556. The 16" has shown a tendency to short stroke with milder 223 factory loads.

Does anyone have other favorite powders for bullets in the 55-70 grain range? Experiences with CCI 556 primers? I have noticed that a lot of guys run magnum primers in 556. Why is that? Magnum small rifles are something I might actually be able to get in bulk so I am curious about this. Obviously I would have to work my powder charge up all over again.
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:05 PM   #2
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for primer pockets, I use a K&M tool mounted on a drill

I don't crimp my reloads, different schools of thought here, I found enough neck tension after FL sizing with quality brass

never used CFE223, I have had good results with IMR4895, Varget, ARCOMP, and N135

for primers I typically use Rem7.5 or CCI400, magnum primers not needed

take note of the case length after FL sizing, a long case can raise pressures
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Old 07-18-2020, 05:09 AM   #3
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I use the Hornady Case Prep Duo for removing primer pocket crimps.

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Old 07-18-2020, 05:27 AM   #4
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I use a drill locked in a gun cleaning vise with a deburring tool (looks like a mini rocket)
I turn it on and push the case into the spinning tool for a brief second and I have tried many tools and this is far faster when you (as I usually do) are prepping by the thousand

CFE is a fine powder and is particularly useful when you have cheaper untreated barrels.
I use H335 (or WC844 same powder) and get no copper fouling in treated barrels
WC844 (presently out of stock) is the military designation for H335 and is the exact same powder but cheaper. As low as $125.00 per 8 pound jug when bought 4 at a time, including all shipping fees

Because I shoot so much 5.56 the savings are substantial
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Old 07-21-2020, 04:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the great info. So basically I can just use the same tool I use to chamfer/deburr case mouths on the crimp?
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Old 07-21-2020, 10:09 PM   #6
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Yes,cut the primer crimp out of mil spec brass as a swedge set up is a royal pain in the behind,cut once...Done.

I do not shoot any Hodgdon Powders for various reasons.

Accurate 2460 or 2520 is a double base powder that meters well & will provide enough gas volume to cycle a mouse gun.

Hornady Data is reduced because their jackets are harder than a J4 jacket used by Berger/Sierra/Nosler/Speer.

223 Rem is less pressure by design that the 5.56.

Are you loading CCI #41 mil spec primers as I've never heard of a 556 primer by CCI.

Purchase some useful reloading manuals as Lyman & Lee have NEVER drawn a jacketed bullet/projectile.

NO crimp is required if the sized case neck inside diameter allows for a .003" press fit of said projectile.

I DO NOT crimp 50 BMG rounds run through a couple Custom Repeater bolt guns or an M2.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:32 AM   #7
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I have been reloading for over 45 years now for pistol, rifle, and shotgun so I believe I know something about reloading. First of all I started loading the 223 Rem round about 15 years ago when the AR-15 rifle became popular and used just about all the more popular powders available. Two years ago I tried CFE-223 powder and loved in so much, that it's now the only powder I use in my several AR-15's and also my son's AR's also. Works great with the 62 gr bullet and am able to shoot 1.5'' groups with my most inaccurate AR15, shoots very clean, and have never experienced any pressure problems. Cant't say that with some of the other powders mentioned. Look into the Dillon Super Swage 600 for swaging out military crimps. Little on the expensive side, but easy to use and makes the job much more easier.
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