View Full Version : reloading for ar15's

03-12-2008, 09:27 PM
I was wondering if their are any issues with reloading for a AR. I currently reload for several rifles and pistols. and I know with, less say a 40 cal pistol they are high pressure and you can experiance case failure and I was wondering if there was any concerns with AR. I was thinking about buying a rock rivers for tactical and target practice.


03-12-2008, 10:25 PM
There should not be any major obstacles in loading for you RRA.

Here is a link to Sierra's 223 for gas guns page.


Good guide to reloading for 223.


Here is a link to win load and win gyro. simple to use.


And 1 for the Greenhill Formula.


Sign up and download Point Blank.


lefty o
03-12-2008, 10:44 PM
just make sure the primers are seated BELOW flush, and you'll be alright.

03-13-2008, 07:24 PM
thanks for the info

03-15-2008, 01:08 PM
I have an RRA NM, and a couple of other AR's. While I demand top accuracy, I still feel that if I'm going to own a military weapon, then it needs to operate like a military weapon.

Therefore I load all my cartridges to a max length of 2.260" so they fit in the magazine. As others might load their cartridges longer so the bullets are seated closer to the lands, (and they hand feed their load into the chamber), I do not. I believe this has hampered my attempts to get the best accuracy that a handloader ordinarilly should be able to attain.

As far as excess pressure, as long as you don't go to extremes, I have seen some very flattened primers on military loads, so you should be Ok. With higher pressure loads over extended periods of time, I was warned that I might end up replacing the bolt, but the rifle itself doesn't actually bear the grunt of the pounding and "loosen" up.

Ted Winterman
03-15-2008, 09:14 PM
If you want to load closer to the lands, a COLT 5 round magazine is wide enough to go 2.270-2.275. The load I have been using is a 60GR
Sierra, 25GR Win. 748 and WSR primers. Average CRONEY readout is 2880 FPS. Rifles are heavy 24 in. BBls in DPMS & RRA. Scopes are
Leupold long range 8 x 25 varmint hunter reticles. The neck pull tension I use is .002 and does not require a crimp.


Louis Boyd
03-16-2008, 12:44 AM
I was wondering if their are any issues with reloading for a AR. I currently reload for several rifles and pistols. and I know with, less say a 40 cal pistol they are high pressure and you can experiance case failure and I was wondering if there was any concerns with AR. I was thinking about buying a rock rivers for tactical and target practice.


Just be realistic about the capabilities of the AR-15 rifle. It's a great rifle and comes in a wide variety of configruations with various barrel lengths and twist rates. Triggers can range from poor to great. So can sight options. One style doesn't do everything well.

Loading issues? My advice is don't stray too far from the designs for standard military 55 and 62 grain ammo unless you want to spend a lot of time trying to get it to work well. You have to be aware of cartridge OAL, jump distance to the lands, bolt thrust ( peak pressure) , and the gas port pressure-time product if you want reliable feeding, reliable cycling, and accuracy. It's easiest to stick with proven loads and bullet styles/weights.

AR-15s come in other chamberings besides .223 Rem. 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, 300-221 7.62x39, 9mm, and even 50 Beowulf are readily available options, each has good and bad features.

03-16-2008, 08:42 AM
My intention is to keep this rifle a military self defense platform. maybe later look at a heavy barrel and try to get the max in accuracy. What should my concerns be around bullet crimp. I know I will have to crimp enough to keep the bullet from seating deeping. any tips tricks or advice. I use Match bullets in most of my rifles I thought I would use bulk bullets for this gun anyone have any suggestion?

I would like to thank everyone that has replied

f d shuster
03-16-2008, 10:41 AM
22h2: I've been loading for my AR's since 1995, firing thousands of rounds in CMP and NRA HiPower matches, and have never crimped a single round: have never had an ammo related alibi/ problem. Since match bullets never have a crimp cannalure on the bullet jacket, it's impossible to apply a crimp anyway. Prior to the ARs' loaded for my M1 Garand, many thousands of rounds, again, without ever crimping. The "bulk" bullets I've encountered have produced "groups" many times larger than the sub moa I get with match quality bullets. You get what you pay for and if you can accept 4" "groups" at 100 yd. vs. 1/2", then by all means use the "bulk". Just my experiences/opinions.

03-16-2008, 12:14 PM
thanks fd shuster
my plan is to do allot of shooting free hand and un supported. But you are correct in saying match bullets do make a huge difference and you do get what you pay for.

Louis Boyd
03-16-2008, 01:41 PM
There's at least one match grade bullet which is available "in bulk" with a cannelure added specificially for military use in AR-15s. It's the Sierra 77 grain Matchking model 9378. It's available to the public for around $120 for a box of 500. It's not currently available in moly. It has the same specs as the standard 77 gn Matchking 9377 bullet (9377M in moly) except for the cannelure addition located to allow it to function in standard AR-15 magazines. This is one of the bullets used to load Mk262 77gr IOTM ammo. It usually uses a 1:7 twist barrel . 1:8 works if you don't need cold weather use. It's BC is .372 at >2500 fps, making it a choice for some special ops units because it reduces wind deflection and gives improved long range terminal energy. With 20" barrel it's supersonic to about 900 yards with about the same energy as the M193 at 600 yards. It also fragements over a wide velocity range.

That's not to say the 77 gn Sierra is the "best" bullet for an AR-15. The larger bullet uses up interior case volume and has relativley low muzzle velocity. You'll probalby get better short range accuracy with a slower twist and lighter bullets and they certainly give higher velocity and flatter short range trajectories. Good range estimation is more critical with heavier bulllets.

The two "standard" military 5.62x45 cartridges are the M193 55 gn FMJ jackeeted lead spitzer which gives good accuracy and is effective to around 600 yards for a skilled shooter. It was designed to work with 1:12 twist barrels but shoots ok in just about all barrels. The other commonly issued M855 ammo uses a 62 gn bullet with a steel core (SS109 bullet) . It's range is somewhat better than the M193 and it gives better penetration of light body armor and helmets. It's not known for outstanding short range accuracy but it does have lower wind deflection that the M193 ball. It needs a 1:9 or faster barrel. It's not considered AP. The M995 52 gn cartridge with a tungsten penetrator is AP and will penetrate most level IV armor. It's not a long range projectile and not generally available to civilians. It's primarily for the SAW light MG.

Bulk bullets? That doesn't necessarily mean junk bullets. Quality bullets are avaiable from most reputable suppliers in lots of 500. Sure they cost more but not a lot more. As to crimping, it's rarely used for target shooting. It doesn't help accuracy. Crimping is primarily to improve reliabilty in the presence of rough handling or fouled chambers. It only takes one bullet in one round getting pushed into the case to take a rifle out of service. If I was in combat I'd want to use crimped ammo but since I only target shoot I don't use cannellure bullets and don't crimp.

03-16-2008, 06:02 PM
thanks Louis
my rifle has 1:9 twist and I will start with 55 to 62gr bullets. again thanks for all of the info

03-17-2008, 03:44 PM
I use 69 and 77 gr Sierra's moly with Varget and get real good results at 200 & 300 yds. I tumble clean, FLS with a Redding S die and Gracy trim my brass after firing. I load with powder measure and Redding competion die.


03-17-2008, 04:36 PM
There is an issue with loading moly bullets in a gas gun.
The theory is that they tend to lubricate the chamber with moly as they cycle which leads to increased bolt thrust. It M1As specifically this lead to battering of the bolt locking lugs and the receiver lug recesses.
I haven't seen any reports on this lately.
I shot moly bullets in my Colt AR and know it puts a lot of moly in the action but can't tell that it did any damage to the bolt lugs.

03-17-2008, 11:28 PM
I have been using moly on all projectiles that I fire from my AR. I have not had any experience of moly being deposited on the chamber.
I do all of my own moly coating and one observation of the 69 and 77 SMKs and for that matter all HPs is that the Hollow point will collect a sizable quantity of moly.
My resolution to this issue is to tumble polish in extra fine grade, new, untreated corn cob in a Thumlers tumbler. This shakes the excess moly from the HP.