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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello:
After 8+ years of reloading tens of thousands of pistol rounds, I bought a new Ranch Rifle and decided to test the deeper and more difficult waters of .223 reloading. The dies, conversion kit, etc. have not yet arrived from Dillon.

However I've bought a couple of hundred each of 45gr Sierra along with 50gr and 52gr varmint projectiles because bullets in the 62 to 69gr weight range are very hard to find.

I've ordered several pounds of Vihtavouri N-133 and N-135 and will use CCI small rifle primers. At the moment I will be using mixed, once-fired brass so I will start at minimum loads according to the VV website and Speer #14 manual.

1. Has anyone used light bullets like these in their Minis? Are there any special precautions to take with these lighter bullets?

2. Since these bullets will obviously be shorter than the more common 62 and 65gr bullets, should the OAL be reduced?

3. Do Minis have a "preferred" OAL to ensure proper feeding? I will be using 5 round and 20 round Ruger magazines.

I'll have more questions after I get started.

Thanks for any suggestions.


8Ring
 

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Howdy, 8Ring

There are no special precautions with the lighter bullets. As far as brand and weight goes, you'll have to see what your particular rifle likes. I will say that you must stick with the C.O.L. in the reloading manual for any bullet you are using. The lighter bullets are shorter, but must be seated so that they are fully suported by the neck. You want good neck tension since most don't have a cannelure for crimping. Sure, you have a longer bullet jump, but that doesn't seem to be a problem as far as accuracy is concerned.



Have fun,
fishslayerbob
 

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With the shorter and lighter bullets I would consider crimping the necks since there will be less bullet for the neck to tension to. If you have not put in a smaller gas bushing I would venture to guess they will work very well in your Mini. I don't know anything about your powder selection so I don't know if they are fast or slow powders.

With faster powders you will use less powder and it's the gas generated by the powder that operates the system. With less gas the system may not operate well. Keep in mind the round O.A.L. is regulated by the length of your detachable magazine. kwg
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello:

Thanks for the information. Do you recommend getting a separate crimp die such as a Lee Factory Crimp die? (I've ordered a set of Dillon non-carbide .223 dies - there are only two dies in that set.)

VV N-133 seems to be about the same speed as Reloader 10 and IMR 3031and little faster than H-322. VV N-135 is about the same speed as AA2230 and a bit faster than H=335.

Accuracy Systems is putting on a "Generation 3" adjustable gas block in .625" diameter on my 582 series Ranch Rifle. Adjustable Gas Block Ruger Mini 14 Rifle 30 Tunable Blocks Accuracy Systems Inc They are also doing a few other mods as well .
 

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I plan on buying a Lee factory crimp die in the near future . You will want to get one, also. As far as powder goes, right now you have to come up with a list of powders from a reloading manual for the .223 and then see what you can find. Good luck on that! I'm stocked up on powder, but I use IMR 3031 for plinking and am down to a pound. It's not a whizzbang powder as far as muzzle velocity goes, but it's very accurate in most rifles. Don't forget to use case lube when resizing or you will be VERY sorry. I like Hornady one shot aerosol spray, but use whatever you like.

Hope that helps,

fishslayerbob
 

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+1 on lubing the case. It's very hard to resize without it and the case can get stuck to the point where the base gets stripped off. I read the spray lubes work pretty good. I got a tip on here to use synthetic motor oil. Put about a 1/16" of oil in the cap. Then dip a finger tip into the oil and rub it over the fingers you use to pick up the case. As I put the case in the holder I rub it a little bit to spread it.I do this about every 10th round. It's very quick, I go about the same speed as normal and I only use a few drops of oil to do 300 rounds. Do not over lube or it could collect in the die and cause dimples in the case shoulder when you resize. Hope this helps. I just picked up a 8 lb IMR powder at Buffalo Arms, but they seem to be out again. Good luck finding components, everybody is getting into reloading with the ammo shortage and all the presses and components are sold out everywhere, expecially 223.
 

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I use w748 and varget for both my .223 and my .308. availability is what drives which one. The loads are nearly identical for both the way i load them. Because i am using tapcio gen II mags, I load to mag length. The sierra 69 gr matchking, for example, is too long at sierra's book OAL for the Tapco. The ruger mags have more room and the matchkings can be loaded to book length. My loads are near the middle of the load range and generally, 25 gr of either powder with a 55 gr bullet gives excellent results for me at 2.245 oal using a winchester 55 gr FMJ crimped in the cannelure using the lee bullet seating/crimp die with no issues for my mini. I do other things for my bolt action savage and neck size for it and dead length bullet seat. I honestly haven't tried that yet in the mini, but intend to this summer, checking for feed reliability and bullet setback or forward...whatever happens. I have read some folks do neck size for the mini....i would like to do it as it eliminates the need for lube and the second tumble. Generally, 25 gr of varget or w748 works great with a variety of bullets for me from 55-69 gr in my bolt action at appropriate OALS for the bullet. I have used federal 205 match primers and remington 7 1/2 and i can't detect any difference. Hope that helps.

God Bless!

Ron
 

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They will work best after the mini is broke in and the action gets easier to operate. With the lighter bullets, the rifle will like the near max loads best to cycle the action. Some of the older minis rally like lighter bullets, some of the best accuracy came from 45 gr Win sp off the shelf. They will shoot fine in your rifle, I still have plenty of 55 gr for reloading.
 

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Hello:
After 8+ years of reloading tens of thousands of pistol rounds, I bought a new Ranch Rifle and decided to test the deeper and more difficult waters of .223 reloading. The dies, conversion kit, etc. have not yet arrived from Dillon.

However I've bought a couple of hundred each of 45gr Sierra along with 50gr and 52gr varmint projectiles because bullets in the 62 to 69gr weight range are very hard to find.

I've ordered several pounds of Vihtavouri N-133 and N-135 and will use CCI small rifle primers. At the moment I will be using mixed, once-fired brass so I will start at minimum loads according to the VV website and Speer #14 manual.

1. Has anyone used light bullets like these in their Minis? Are there any special precautions to take with these lighter bullets?

2. Since these bullets will obviously be shorter than the more common 62 and 65gr bullets, should the OAL be reduced?

3. Do Minis have a "preferred" OAL to ensure proper feeding? I will be using 5 round and 20 round Ruger magazines.

I'll have more questions after I get started.

Thanks for any suggestions.

8Ring
You should go by your loading book on OAL on any bullet. Do you know the twist of your gun? Most M14 has a slow twist so the bullets you have will do very good. The 62 will most likely will be on the heavy side and will not be as accurate in your M14. GOOD LUCK
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If I remember correctly, my new Ranch Rifle (manufactured August 2012) has a 1 in 9 inch rate of twist. That should be sufficient to stabilize everything up to a 69gr weight, perhaps even a bit heavier.

Possibly the light weight bullets might "over-stabilize" or maybe even fly apart if pushed too fast with this rate of twist.

Thanks to everyone for their good advice.

Chris
 

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They won't fly apart, the velocity is not fastest enough in 223. You might get good groups with lighter bullets.
 
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