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223 Reloading Bench Setup

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Hi, I'm just about ready to set up the bench for reloading my 223.


I have the dies/presses etc, I've gathered what eat die does and how to install it into the press. I've read the lee reloading bible twice, and am using it for reference.


What I'm stuck with is the measurements of how to seat the primer, how to seat the bullet, what should o/a length be?



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Just set primer as far as it goes no need to measure just make sure tat primer is not extruding from brass.


As for over all length stick wih the basic oal in yiur manual.


To take it a stage further you will need to get a bullet comparator which goes on your vernier then u can make up a dummy round to see your own rifles oal as all rifles are different.


All so different bullets will have different setting depths.


A comparator is tge way forward for £40 thee wel worth it I'll send u a pic of a dummy round I have modified

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Ok, how will I measure to know which oal is perfect for my gun?

Also the powder measure I wanted was the Lee perfect powder measure with a trickler and a mtm scales.

I watched a video on YouTube last night and the guy was just using a different powder measure, looked like rcbs but he wasn't trickling the powder nor weighing the powder for each case.

My mentor weighed each charge for each case one by one.

Which is best? And what difference in £?



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If your reloading for accuracy a beam scale if the way forward they start at £60 for a half decent one checkout scopesdirect.co.uk


As for your oal its up to u to find the best.


Find your max oal then set your bullet 30thou back from it.


Then load several different weights up in .3 increments 22.2 22.5 22.8 23.1 etc load 5 of each


Look up your manual on go onto the powder manufacturer website for starting load weight.


Go out on a calm day really take your time.


Say your shooting 4 different weight loads 22.2 22.5 22.8 23.1


On your target put 4 aim points wigh the weight of powder write beside each tatget so you dont forget.


Lift out a 22.2 aim at target one

Then lift out a 22.5 aim at target two

Then 22.8 at target 3

Etc etc until u go around in a circle until yiu have no more bullets


The reason from going from one weight to the next weight is because you barrel will start to heat up and it wojld not be a fair test if 22.2 was shoot cold and 23.1 was shoot hot it called the OCW method look it up.


Once all shoots are fired measure you groups make a note of all especially the tightest group.


say 22.8 was you tightest setted 30thou back


Go home and reload 5 at 22.8 20 thou back 5 at 30thou back 5 at 40thou back 5 at 50thou back all will 22.8 grains.


Take them out check using the ocw method again which ever is the tightest group make a note go home reload 100 and go shooting


theeeee end

Edited by GEOFF.223

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Ok, why a beam scale as opposed to something like mtm digital?


I will be reloading for hunting.


What scales do people use and recommend?


Not too much £s either.



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From what I have gathered and been told a digital scale is not going to be accurate as a beam scale unless your willing to spend 400 or 500 on a pharmaceutical style scale


Yes a mtm will get you going.



I was for getting a hornady scale with the auto powder feed but alot of people said stay away from digital


Will prob still do a good job but for consistency a beam scalr is hard to beat

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I'm a newbie to reloading myself. Around a year or so at the very most....

I made the mistake of buying the "Lee 50th Anniversary reloading kit", but use very little of it now.... I should have just bought the individual required items. Don't get me wrong, it will "get you by"... But if you get "hooked" on reloading, you soon move on to better quality items. Although I only use my Lee Powder dropper now. It's very good for the cost to!

Personally I use a Hornady digital scale, but I have to agree with Geoff, unless your spending £100's on a digital scale, I think a good quality beam scale is hard to beat. Something like an RCBS, Lyman, or Redding.


What reloading kit have you aquired so far??

Edited by jam1e

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I got loads of stuff when I bought my gun - guy was packing it in. 4 tubs of powder, 300 cases, 2000 primers, 500 fmj, dies include lyman neck size, Lee neck size, Lee disc auto primer, Lee bullet seating die, Lee factory crimp die, reloading trays, 2 Lee presses, spare 4 die collet, Lyman case trimmer, thats it I think ...

Also have Lyman bullet casting kit which I doubt I'll ever use.


So I got all the expensive kit, just need bits n bobs like Lee chamfer tool, Lee primer pocket cleaner, flash hole de burring tool. Powder scale and trickler, case lube.


Anything else anybody can suggest?



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I've got a Lee Chamfer/de-burring tool, and a Lee primer pocket cleaner that I no longer use. You're welcome to them for free, unless you have other plans?

When I started reloading I was given a 2 DVD box set from a generous forum member for free, (apologies I've forgotten who you are and what forum :icon_redface:...) It was on the condition that I too pass it on to a new reloader when I'm finished with it, (which I am).

It covers most if not all the basics you need to know to get you started, and is produced by www.shootingandmore.com

If you also agree, to pass the dvd's on for free to another new reloader when you're done with them, i'll also send them out to you with the chamfer, and primer pocket cleaner for nowt.

No big deal if you're already sorted, but if you do want the items, just send me a pm with your name and postal details and i'll send them asap. Obviously with the Christmas period here it may be a week or so, before I'm able to send them.



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....get on youtube and check out 'basic reloading' and plenty comes up. 'Ammosmith' and '1967Spud' have great youtube videos I would recommend. See how two or three different people do it, the most important thing I would say is be consistent do things in the same order every time. Just changing one element of the process or equipment can change the consistency of your ammo. I once did 100 rounds of ammo with 50 lapua case and 50 nosler customer brass and the nosler grouped the same but an inch left to the zero!

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Ok, got a vernier caliper today. Been messing about measuring the homeloads that the previous owner loaded for my gun, measuring fired cases and factory ammo. There is quite a difference between the oal of my homeloads and the max oal stated in the manual.


Any reason for this?


I think the homeloads I got with the gun are measuring shorter than the stated min oal for the particular powder/bullet combo.

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I got your address details. I'll post the items out to you when the Royal Mail has fired up again after their Christmas break.

I use an RCBS debering/chamfer tool, and a primer pocket "Uniformer".

Dave1372 is right about "Ammosmith" on Youtube. He has produced loads of videos and "How to's".

I'd subscribe to his channel and start watching them.

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Any reason for choosing rcbs deburrer over the Lee?

I did watch a couple of videos just now.


My fired cases are shorter than the stated minimum case length??? By about .2mm - does it matter?



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Just because the RCBS is easier to hold when using it.

I've used cases that were a very small amount under minimum size, and have found them fine. They also get a bit longer each time they were fired, so soon went back into minimum's stated in my Lee 2nd Edition book. But having said that, it doesn't make it, or me right for doing it....

However, if it's 0.2mm short, I would say that is such a small amount that I doubt it matters..... But then I am a newbie....

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