Are you a keen reloader or at least someone who’s thinking of saving a few bucks on your high-volume shooting hobby? If so, we want you to get the best outcomes from your efforts, so we thought we’d put together this step-by-step guide on how to reload one type of round in particular – Federal 223 ammo.
We chose this round specifically, as it’s one of the most widely-used cartridges on the market, and it’s a cartridge that can be chambered in a range of manual and semi-automatic weapons, which basically means it will help more people.
If you’re ready, we’ll begin with step #1.
Cleaning your Federal 223 Ammo Brass
Should you be using brass retrieved from the range, it’s going to be a bit dirty, which is why it’s vital that you clean them before they get anywhere near your reloading dies. It doesn’t take much, just a wash with some water (with a drop of detergent) will do, with the process involving checking every piece of brass for corrosion, heavy build-up or tarnishing.
This is easily the most laborious part of the reloading process, but it’s such an important step as it forms the basis of the round you’re about to create.
Inspecting the Rounds Once Dried
The next important step is to hand inspect every piece of brass once it’s dried so that you can make sure that there are no defects or damage that may cause the round to misfire. Things to look out for include crushed mouths, scratches, major dents and cracks in the neck.
Resizing & Depriming
Next up is the simple process of resizing and de-priming the brass. Using your die (after lubricating each piece of brass), you should go through the step of de-capping (a.k.a. de-priming), which also acts as a re-sizing step. This important step will identify any rounds that have expanded due to firing, as well as ensure all spent primer is eliminated.
The next step involved in reloading Federal 223 ammo is to trim the brass due to the fact that it does sometimes become malformed when fired, stretching its length and shape. Getting technical now, you need to measure your 223 Remington brass so that it’s the proper length – 1.750″ +/- .003″.
So, if you haven’t yet invested in commercial trimmers, then we’d recommend looking for one. You’ll also need some digital callipers to check the exact dimensions. After you’ve trimmed your brass to the right size, we’d recommend using a deburring tool to take any sharp edges away from the cartridge mouth.
Inspect Your work
Last up is the final inspection step which involves visually checking each piece of brass after you’ve loaded all the necessary parts. You should also use your callipers again to check any you’re not sure of – as the measurements don’t lie! You could then polish your brass, but that’s up to you.
Making Good Quality Reloaded Federal 223 Ammo
For the sake of safety and performance, the rounds you reload must be created with exactly the right dimensions. You reload for enjoyment and to safe money, but you don’t want this choice to impact on the results you get from your bullets. Follow these steps, and you’ll be fine.