bulk 5.56 case prep?

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bulk 5.56 case prep?

Postby Bitter Bastard on Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:55 am

I'm following the swaging thread closely. I have a similar need. I have a couple presses, a Dillon 550b that I've used pretty much only for pistol calibers and that works great and is very simple. Then my friend who sold it all to me showed the process for 5.56 and I got depressed at all the extra steps. I have the RCBS case prep station that is a pain to use if I want to process maybe a thousand cases or more. I have literally buckets of military brass.

I also have an RCBS turret press I've never used. Is it feasible to set that up for case prep - depriming and swaging, maybe even trimming, then going back to the 550b for the loading? Goal is to simplify 5.56 reloading for bulk use. Easy prep and reloading is the idea here. My thought is tumble, run it through the turret press for deprime, swage, and hopefully trim, then run it through the 550 for loading. Keep each press set up in that caliber, no switching anything back and forth. I like to adjust once and keep it there when possible.

Thoughts? Specific product recommendations?

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Re: bulk 5.56 case prep?

Postby crbutler on Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:25 pm

I did a 5k run of this this spring.

You won’t like the answer.

For bulk, you need automation. The cheapest way is a Dillon 1050 (or 1100) with the swage set up.

Case feeder runs them in.

Decap stage 1.

Swage removed stage 2.

Stage 3-6 empty.

Stage 7 resize/ trim.

8 empty.

Then you need to chamfer/deburr for good stuff, me, I rerun them through a sizing die to knock off the sharp edges a bit when I reload for the plinking grade ammo.

Chamfer/deburr and anneal the stuff for accuracy. That gets done at loading time.

Even with that automation it took me like 3 evenings to run the stuff through.

Frankly, you’re better off paying for processed brass IMO. I would if I hadn’t got the equipment already paid for.
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Re: bulk 5.56 case prep?

Postby Scratch on Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:32 pm

Here's what I do for case prep. Works very well for me.
https://gunstreamer.com/embed/AKNLbWbdilRalCu
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Re: bulk 5.56 case prep?

Postby Erud on Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:11 pm

Depending how much you have to do and how often, I might consider sending it to one of the guys that process brass for service rifle shooters. They charge a few cents per case, and send back brass that’s 100% ready to load.
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Re: bulk 5.56 case prep?

Postby BigDog58 on Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:20 pm

Scratch wrote:Here's what I do for case prep. Works very well for me.
https://gunstreamer.com/embed/AKNLbWbdilRalCu


Great video Scratch, and nice setup for reloading bulk rifle ammo :rock:
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Re: bulk 5.56 case prep?

Postby Bitter Bastard on Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:45 am

Scratch wrote:Here's what I do for case prep. Works very well for me.
https://gunstreamer.com/embed/AKNLbWbdilRalCu


That's great and close to what I was thinking, just a ton fancier. I see swageit.com has a 550b swager. I wonder if I could set up station 2 to deprime and the rotate backwards to station 1 for swaging? Is that dumb? I hate to mess with my muscle memory and start doing things backwards but seems like it might work.

Thoughts?

edit: yeah, that is dumb. Where would the spent primers go? hmmm.


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Re: bulk 5.56 case prep?

Postby crbutler on Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:17 am

Watching the video, it’s a nice solution. Cheap, and works for you. Never heard of that swage remover before. Learn something new every day.

Pretty much what I do with the 1050, although the swaging is not quite as stable as one could hope for- it looks like the shell plate is flexing when you do that.

They both (your and my) methods lack chamfer and deburr. While that works for plinking loads ok, it doesn’t work so great on loads you want sub MOA accuracy on, and the issues with function if you don’t do a good job with inspection (the Dillon trimmer will leave burrs if you either run it too fast or it has to take off a fair amount.

I brought a new trimmer to try and deal with that- if it arrives... it’s not automated with a case feed, but it trims, chamfers, and deburrs in one operation.
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Re: bulk 5.56 case prep?

Postby Scratch on Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:45 pm

crbutler wrote:Watching the video, it’s a nice solution. Cheap, and works for you. Never heard of that swage remover before. Learn something new every day.

Pretty much what I do with the 1050, although the swaging is not quite as stable as one could hope for- it looks like the shell plate is flexing when you do that.

They both (your and my) methods lack chamfer and deburr. While that works for plinking loads ok, it doesn’t work so great on loads you want sub MOA accuracy on, and the issues with function if you don’t do a good job with inspection (the Dillon trimmer will leave burrs if you either run it too fast or it has to take off a fair amount.

I brought a new trimmer to try and deal with that- if it arrives... it’s not automated with a case feed, but it trims, chamfers, and deburrs in one operation.


Yeah, there's no chamfer and debur step in my process. Dillon claims that it cuts so cleanly, there's no need for it, but sometimes, you can visibly see that there is a need for it, every once in a while. Not a need for what I do, as this process is only used for my training 556 ammo. I mean... I'm using Wolf projectiles in that video... I was lucky to get 3" groups at 100 yards with that stuff. Although I have switched to Berrys projectiles and the groups are right around an inch now.
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