Loading for the AR-15 - Page 2

Loading for the AR-15

This is a discussion on Loading for the AR-15 within the Reloading forums, part of the Sniping Related category; The AR-15/M-16 was designed around a certain bolt velocity and carrier mass. The buffer helps slow down and cushion the moving bolt carrier. Without a ...

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Thread: Loading for the AR-15

  1. #11
    Senior Member madgunsmith's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    The AR-15/M-16 was designed around a certain bolt velocity and carrier mass. The buffer helps slow down and cushion the moving bolt carrier. Without a buffer, the carrier would slam against the back of the receiver extension.

    Now the current rifle buffer weighs around 5 ounces. The carbine buffer weighs less than that. Actually there are three carbine buffers and I will talk about them shortly. Now the carbine operates at a higher port pressure because the gas port is closer to the chamber. This means that every carbine has a faster bolt velocity than Stoner originally designed.

    The various carbines will work with standard carbine buffers, but I fear that long term reliability may be compromised. That's why I like to outfit my carbines with a standard rifle receiver extension, buffer tube, rifle buffer and original fixed M-16 stock. My carbines run nicely with fixed rifle stocks and buffers.

    If you prefer the telestock, that's fine too. But if you have a telestock, you should change the buffer. Now there are three carbine telestock buffers. The standard buffer, the H-buffer and the 9mm buffer. The standard buffer and the H-buffer are both lighter than the standard rifle buffer. Now the 9mm buffer is slightly heavier than the standard rifle buffer.

    All I am saying is this: If you have an AR-15 carbine with a telestock, try to use a buffer that weighs about the same as a rifle buffer. I would use a heavier buffer with a telestock no matter what ammunition I was using.
    An AR-15 carbine will work for many, many rounds with a standard buffer. However, over the long haul the rifle will last longer if the bolt velocity is reduced. And a heavier buffer is useful in slowing down and braking the bolt and carrier.

    And of course if you use powder of the original burn rate, you will also slow down your bolt velocity. When the rifle is running properly, your cases should be ejected in a uniform pile about 8-10 feet away. When that happens you know that everything is working properly.

    You can get a Colt 9mm carbine telestock buffer for $25 from PK Firearms. http://www.pkfirearms.com. This buffer weighs 5.2 ounces and this is slightly heavier than the full length rifle buffer. With this buffer in place, your carbine will think that you have installed a fixed length rifle stock and buffer.


  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    I like your poem fluffy. But don't start going soft on me

  3. #13
    Senior Member JCinPA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    AR15sales.com has no more RRA lowers, and RRA hasn't shipped one in over 3 months.

    Demand for entire rifles has been too high. This situation may correct itself by their upping production. . .or not. AR15sales has no idea when they might be available again.


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  5. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyTheCat
    Dear Tyler:

    Reloader 15 is much too slow
    So just listen to me
    And don't be a schmoe
    You need something like 3031
    So just listen to me
    And you will have fun.

    Checked into some of the data I'd gather over the years. Lots of it reports best accuracy in AR15s with RL15 and 65-70 gr. projectiles.

    You're right for the under 65s, the best accuracy loads used something a might faster than RL15. I've got some RL10x, 4198, and IMR 3031 laying around in my basement along with a set of .223 dies I've had for a few years in anticipation of owning a .223 Rem of some sort. I've got several hundred pieces of brass laying around from various people that don't load, so I picked up some 55 gr. BKs to try until I can get to place with 55 V-Maxes in stock. I love the BlitzKings in my other rifles, but they are far too pricey for the minuscule accuracy/BC advantage.

    If I could ever get my durn bbl in, I'll have a nice M4 to start loading for.
    Kamrad Tylov

    "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."

  6. #15
    Senior Member bt 223's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    BA, Oklahoma
    Before I load a bunch or rounds, how does one ensure that his re-load will have enough energy to cycle the action.

    Maybe it's simple but I just don't want to make my AR a single shot.
    A message to all veterans: THANK YOU

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  7. #16
    Super Moderator navyrigger46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Home sweet home.
    Quote Originally Posted by bt 223
    Before I load a bunch or rounds, how does one ensure that his re-load will have enough energy to cycle the action.

    Maybe it's simple but I just don't want to make my AR a single shot.
    You'll have to work up a load just like you would with a bolt gun. I usually load 20-30 minimum of each load, that way I can check accuracy, and make sure that the load reliably cycles the weapon.

    I hate to be the cruel hand of reality slapping you across the face but, someone has to do it.

    Life's hard, buy a helmet. You're not going to get coddled around here so get over it.

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  8. #17
    Senior Member billt's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Glendale, Arizona

    I have had very good luck with AA-2230C in the AR-15. It has a burn rate that is almost identical to AA-2460, and the load data can be interchanged. This stuff burns clean, and is just about the right speed for cycling the AR-15 without undo wear. And it is very cost effective. Natchez Shooters Supply had this stuff for under $60.00 for 8 pounds for a long time, but it's not avaliable anymore, at least not through them. I wish I had bought more. If your intrested, this is a cost breakdown for the 2,350 rounds I finished loading a while back. A fellow on another forum, who was intrested in reloading for his AR-15's had asked me. The brass was mixed headstamp. CCI, Remington, Winchester, Lake City, S&B, and a few others I'm forgetting. This brass was obtained from on line sources on the web. I processed it all the same. First I resized and deprimed all of it with a RCBS Small Base Sizing Die. Then I processed all of the primer pockets on my Dillon 600 Super Swage, because some of them were military with crimped primer pockets. I then trimmed all of them to uniform length on my Giraud Powered Case Trimmer. After that they went into the tumbler for several hours and received a polish with ground corn cob and Dillon Rapid Polish added to the media. The final step was to run it through my Dillon and crimp with a Lee Factory Crimp Die. They turned out very good. My total investment in this batch of .223 was:

    Brass---------$20.00 total. (It was free, but I paid the shipping).

    Powder-------$65.00 for 8 pounds of AA 2230C. (25.0 Gr. per load X 2,350 = 58,750 Gr. 58,750 divided by 7,000 Grains per pound = 8.39 pounds of powder total.)

    Primers-------$59.38 for 2,350 primers @ $25.00 per thousand.

    Bullets-------$172.21 (2,350 Winchester 55 Gr. FMJBT from Midway)

    Boxes--------$52.00 for 100 boxes and trays from Midway. (Actually $26.00 because I used only 47.)

    Grand Total = $342.59

    By comparison the 1,000 rounds of Remington UMC FMJ in .223 pictured above cost me $371.00 delivered from Natchez. Reloading can be extremely cost effective but you must find good scources, and buy in bulk. Here are 2 very good scources for brass, bullets, and powder. Bill T.


    Gun Control Is Like Trying To Reduce Drunk Driving, By Making It Tougher For Sober People To Own Cars

  9. #18

    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    You have impressed the hell out of me! How long does it take you to go through all of that ammo?

    A strong second on using narrow based dies. I had a kaboom with my AR and wasn't hurt-- with sized and trimmed mil surp. We pulled the bullets and re-weighed the charge (23 gr Varget) and concluded that we had an out of battery problem.

  10. #19
    Senior Member billt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Glendale, Arizona
    It doesn't last very long with my wife shooting it as well. We've got a total of 5, AR-15's along with a Ruger Mini 14 and a CZ 527 LUX bolt gun in .223. A day at the range usually translates into several hundred rounds. Even though it's a plain Vanilla FMJ load, it's still quite accurate. AA-2230C is a canister grade data powder that Natchez had on sale a while back for under $60.00 for a 8 pound jug, so I bought 16 pounds of it. I wish I had bought more. It's really good powder for the .223 and the .308. It's a Ball Powder, and flows through a measure like sand through an hour glass. I've gotten into the habit of using small base sizing dies for anything I'm going to run through a semi auto. I've found it doesn't effect accuracy much, if any, and it increases reliability substantially. I also like the Lee Factory Crimp Die. I have one in most every caliber I reload for. It applies a good, firm crimp without putting any vertical stress on the case because the shellholder contacts the base of the die and only applies lateral pressure to the case when applying the crimp. With generic .223 now costing around $10.00 a box, I think you will see far more people reloading. It's gotten to the point around here that many of the local gun shops are conducting "Reloading 101" classes free of charge because of the amount of shooters that have decided to take up reloading because of the high cost of ammo. I know Dillon up in Scottsdale has had a huge surge in reloading press sales, as well as Hornady. I never thought I'd see the day when .223 cost as much or more than .30-06! Bill T.
    Gun Control Is Like Trying To Reduce Drunk Driving, By Making It Tougher For Sober People To Own Cars

  11. #20
    Senior Member FluffyTheCat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Mr Squinty has tested my AR load. The load of 23.7 grains of Benchmark, 55 grain Hornady bullet and US military brass produces accurate results. Squinty can keep 20 shots touching at 25 meters. But this is with iron sights and a dim-witted schnook behind the buttplate.

    This load has been tested in sub zero condtions and functioning is 100 percent. The load burns cleanly and it should work well for you too.

    Now don't be a dope. Head to the reloading bench. Load like there is no tomorrow. The commies are here; the commies are here!!

    I'm a genius. And you are not.

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