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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Until I save enough to buy a large press and accessories, I thought I might try the Lee Classic hand loader for 223.
Has anyone loaded 223's for the AR15 platform with the Lee ?
Looks like I will have to buy a case trimmer and chamforing tools, but I will need those anyway, later on.
I will be using once fired 223 brass, out of my rifle only, to start.

Any other suggestions for creating the semi auto loads ?
 

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It cannot be done! Do not waist your money.

The Lee loader will Neck size only and will not work for any semi-auto including an AR.
 

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Why is that steve4102 ? Just curious, I had thoughts of getting one to bring to the range. That's good news. That would be a waste of money.
 

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Why is that steve4102 ? Just curious, .
Sierra explains it better than I can.

Sizing

Full length sizing is the only option in the Service Rifle world. Minimal sizing does have its place in bolt actions, particularly where top accuracy is the goal. It can also be used in some other types of actions when reliability is not a top priority. However, anything other than full length resizing is a potentially serious problem with the Service Rifle. The case needs to be resized to the point that it will enter the chamber freely, completely and with absolutely no hint of resistance whatsoever. Failure to follow this simple practice is an invitation to some major headaches.

The most common problem is the failure to fully chamber the round. This is troublesome at best. Considering the force with which the bolt slams home, it can also wedge the round tightly enough in the chamber that it is very difficult to extract without damaging the rifle. In the worst case scenario, it sets the stage for an out-of-battery firing when the trigger is pulled. Improper or insufficient resizing, particularly when combined with a high primer, is also a leading cause of slam-fires.

Despite the oft-repeated advice that autoloaders, pumpguns and lever-actions require small base dies, the Service Rifles may be the exception that proves the rule. While it’s true that all of these action types lack the powerful camming forces of a bolt-action, the more generous chamber dimensions common to most Service Rifles are normally compatible with standard dies. Please understand that this is a general statement, and that there are exceptions to this. The point is, you don’t need to automatically go to a small base die set. Most of the standard reloading dies produced by reputable firms, such as RCBS, will resize fired brass properly to work in these rifles.


Neck Sizing

Neck sizing is a popular technique among accuracy-minded reloaders and frequently an effective way to improve accuracy. In essence, it amounts to sizing only the neck portion of the case while leaving the remainder of the shoulder and body untouched. This provides that “custom-fit” of the brass to chamber that so many shooters are working toward. Chambering a cartridge that has been neck-sized will normally give some slight resistance to closing the bolt. This is perfectly normal and to be expected when using this technique. While it’s a minor detail with the powerful camming forces of a bolt-action, this can be a serious problem with a service rifle. It can cause a failure to fully seat and chamber, effectively jamming the rifle. If the lugs have partially engaged, this can be a very difficult stoppage to clear. Under extreme circumstances, it can even lead to a slam-fire. The solution to these aggravating and potentially dangerous problems is simple: Don’t neck size for semi-auto rifles. For any reason. Ever. Whatever minor accuracy improvements are gained —and there is not always an improvement — are more than offset by the problems that are going to occur. Neck sizing is perhaps the best single illustration of a technique that is beneficial for a bolt-action, but is dangerously out of place in a Service Rifle. Stick to full length sizing—ALWAYS—when reloading for autoloaders.
 

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Ok thanks.
 

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If it were me, I would try it. If loaded in the same gun, I wouldn't think the case would expand enough to not go back in the same gun. Try a few empty, fired in your gun cases to see if they chamber...
 

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If he's asking about the Lee Loader (and I presume he is - there's no such thing as the Lee Handloader) then I don't think it would work for him.

If he had a bolt or a Ruger #1, then yeah, neck-sizing should work fine. But an AR - a semi-auto? I don't think so.
 

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OK, just playing devil's advocate. Why wouldn't a neck sized round, loaded with a Lee Loader, work in a semi-auto? I can understand in a different gun the chamber dimensions might differ enought to make chambering difficult, but how is the case distorted/expanded/damaged in an AR to disallow future chambering of the same ammo/cases fired in that AR?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I appreciate all of the comments.
Like I first stated- Only cases that I have fired in my AR15 will be re-used.
 

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Automatics are ejecting the brass before it is completely expanded. That would mean that the shoulder is moved a little forward of where it is in an "unfired state".

I have two 223s. A Ruger Mini 14 and a Ruger #1. I load with a Rock Chucker. It takes more UMPH to resize the cases shot in the Mini (automatic) than it does in the #1 (single shot). This tells me that the brass fired in the automatic is larger.

It's possible that the Mini just has a larger chamber, but I don't think so. It has long been a given, in reloading, that you can only get away with neck-sizing in bolts and single shots. Any other action - levers, pumps or autos - and the fired brass is larger than the chamber.

One other little thing. If I am neck-sizing brass used in my M1, and it is slightly too big for the chamber when I try to shoot it, I can push on the op-rod and maybe seat it anyway.

With an AR, does that little thumb-button give you that much force, that you can seat an oversize round?
 

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what is it about the hand loader that it will not Fl resize?
Cuz it's done with a hammer instead of a press.

from Lee.

Autoloading Guns
Autoloading guns will function dependably only
if the ammunition has been full length sized.
This tool sizes only the neck and if used for
loading an autoloading gun, may cause the gun
to jam. It is not recommended for hunting, but
may work satisfactorily for target or plinking.


Link
http://leeprecision.com/cgi-data/instruct/RE1422.pdf

OH, crap, I forgot, he has me on ignore. Can someone else help him with this info?
 

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It's a neck-sizing die. Kinda like asking why you can't put something in the back seat of a Corvette. It ain't got a back seat. The Lee Loader won't FL resize because it's made to neck-size only.
 

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If he is talking about the hand press that is in soundguy's link, I don't see why it wouldn't work. I used one of those for a while but never did .223 with it. If you lubed the case and had enough strength to push that sucker all the way down on a FL die, it should work with any brass.

If it is the one that uses the hammer, like in steve4102's link, then it would not work because it only neck sizes the case. I started out with one of those things way, way back. I started out doing .38 specials then I did 30.06 when I got a 30.06 rifle in 1972.
 

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ahh.. the hammer presses. havn't used those. only hand press i've used is the lee. O was carrying it to the range to relaod a few 30-06 for ladder testing adjustments.

does take lube.. and does take plety of 'hand' but DOES work.. and my rcbs die sets are fl dies..e tc..
 

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Soundguy, you have a "hand press". Lee USED to call that the "handloader", but people were always getting it confused with the Lee Loader, so now it is the "hand press".

What he's asking about is the Lee Loader. One die. It dies everything. It deprimes, it resizes (neck size only), it seats the bullet and it crimps. You do all the work with a hammer and a block of wood to set it on.
 

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Yeah, I also have a hand press. I use it mostly for pistol, but have full-length resized 375 H&H and it, and made 308s from 243s. Gotta put some UMPH in it, but it does work.
 
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