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223/5.56 casing length

This is a discussion on 223/5.56 casing length within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Hey guys not sure if I'm being WAY to anal because I'm so new to reloading but, what difference will it make if my casing ...


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Old April 22nd, 2017, 03:14 AM   #1
 
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223/5.56 casing length

Hey guys not sure if I'm being WAY to anal because I'm so new to reloading but, what difference will it make if my casing range in length between 1.750-1.760?? In my Nosler manual #8 it calls for case length of 1.760 for .223 and 5.56 but I have MANY casing that range between the two numbers I've given and some as short as 1.380.



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Old April 22nd, 2017, 03:28 AM   #2
 
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I just measured a handful of my spent 5.56 brass and it's 1.760, so I think you should be good.

If you have any doubts do like I do, create a couple test cartridges with brass and bullet only, no powder or primer (for safety). Test them to verify they'll chamber fully and eject without sticking. I find that filling the primer pocket with silicone caulk or pencil eraser makes these a halfway decent home made Snapcap, great for function testing after cleaning and such.
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 04:36 AM   #3
 
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CBumpkin, thank you for the tips. But what I'm wanting to know is the casing length going to have an effect on accuracy, pressure ect? I know 1.760 will chamber in my bolt and semi with no issue. I just don't know what change in performance may occur? Should I trim all my cases to 1.750 to make them all the same length and throw away all the cases below 1.750?
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 06:26 AM   #4
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28points, The SAAMI max case length is 1.760" so you never want to exceed that length or the cartridge may not chamber. Trim length is 1.750" .... which is also the minimum length. Accuracy will be the best when all cases are trimmed to the same length. Make sure you size your cases BEFORE measuring them because they usually "grow" when sized.

My personal preference is the keep the cases as long as possible without exceeding SAAMI max length so I set my trimmer for 1.758" when loading 223 Rem.
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 07:25 AM   #5
 
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I wouldn't call you anal. I remember when I first started reloading years and years ago that I was similar, worried that everything had to be just perfect. Relax, enjoy the hobby and when you've got a bit more practice then worry about the minutiae.

I don't know what rifle you're using, but the best I've ever gotten was just barely under 1 MOA at 100 yards using hand loaded 75 grain Hornady BTHP. I did it for one 10 shot group just as the planets were aligned and I've never been able to replicate it. I was shooting a generic AR 15 carbine, 16" barrel. YMMV, etc.
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 10:07 AM   #6
 
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28 points, go with what Lowegan stated, why expect less than the best possible results, even if you just started reloading. Myself I used Forester Resizing tool for quite few years in order to make all my casings come out to 1.760, however, since then I generally just use one of those inexpensive Lee resizing tools for most of my rifle casings, and only use the Forester for my larger caliber casings. Seems to work just fine for me, and with the proper powders and projectiles I've got excellent accuracy out of my bolt action .223's and my AR's and my Mini-14. Note the much shorter casings that you mentioned, I would just discard them.
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 10:22 AM   #7
 
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WOW!!!! Thank you guys for the great info. The shorter casings are heading to the scrap pile as suggested per Loose Nose. The others that range between 1.750 and 1.760 will be cleaned resized RE- measured and trimmed or not trimmed as needed. And just an FYI I'm shooting a Rem 700 PS and a Stag Mod 1 AR. I didn't know if I was chasing tail by allowing the case difference to vary between 1.750 and 1.760..
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 12:58 PM   #8
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I am also with iowegan.

1.750" is trim length and 1.760" is the max. Most that I have sized end up between 1.770, and have had some as long as1.780". I trim all mine to 1.750". If the brass is shorter than 1.745" after sizing I toss it. Shortest I have seen is 1.720" to 1.730". I shoot mine in auto's and small base size them with a redding. .223 is the majority of what I reload though, and produced .500 groups or better in some cases.
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Old April 23rd, 2017, 03:40 PM   #9
 
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I would do as lowegan advised and size them all regardless of length then perhaps trim in batches of 20 or more of the same length 'till get to minimum length especially since you are loading for 2 different types of rifles. Also minimun published trim length is usually about 0.010" longer than SAAMI minimum, this according to Nosler, though I am not sure about .223 as I don't load it. I trim as lowegan does about 0.002" under SAAMI maximum for all my cartridges.
I would also recheck those 1.380" measurements as the base to shoulder measurement is 1.438".


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Old April 23rd, 2017, 06:36 PM   #10
 
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I agree with trimming to 1.75, I use the little crow trimmer, fast and extremely accurate and easy on your hands when you do a lot of brass. The more critical measurement is COAL, that will definitely affect your groups. I'm curious about brass people suggest, I'm using new Winchester brass and found a lot of flaws in length and primer holes case mouth cracks, etc, has anyone found certain brass that was great or good in all aspects of reloading
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Old April 24th, 2017, 08:48 AM   #11
 
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Outback, I have switched to Starline for handguns and either Hornady or Nosler for the bottle necked cartridges. I have found this brass to be very uniform and it looks good, also they are U.S.A. brands (notice I didn't say made in the U.S.A.). I made this change because I have been unable to get Winchester brass,which had been my exclusive brand since '63. I also have heard about quality issues with the "new" Winchester brass.
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