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I am buying a used LTR .223 and will be starting my adventures reloading. So I signed up today to ask people who have experience with this.
1) Can I shoot 5.56 in it? or can I resize them? (sitting on about 6000 cases)
2) What is the best weight bullet and brand(s)? I want to use it for distance. 300m-500m
3) What is/are the best primer(s) and propellant(s) for my goals?

I would have got a .308 but could not let this deal go and I have brass.

Thank you all for any help you can offer
 

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While I dont have a .223 cal rifle yet, I do know a lil. I dont think you can use 5.56mm brass. I know you can use .223 in a 5.56mm chamber but I dont think it works the other way around. But you should be able to resize them. But dont quote me.

If its got the 1:9" twist rate, stuff upto the 69gr pills should work fine. but try some 77gr and 80gr stuff aswell to make sure. Every rifle is different. Run match ammo from Federal. Black Hills, Remington, etc. The Federal stuff is good ammo. I havent used any Black Hills as I cant get it down here (Australia).

Id try Reloader 15, RL 12, and a few of the mid speed buring powders as you will want to make good use of that 20" barrel. Federal and CCI make good match primers aswell.

If I was you I would try some different factory match ammos and then try and fine tune the best shooting load that works in your rifle. Thats what Im doing when I get my reloading kit. Cant afford it yet.
 

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No they didnt. The LTR came in .308 Win and .223 Rem. If you wish to shoot 5.56mm, get it rechamber to 5.56mm SAAMI specs and you can shoot both cal's no problems.
 

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I have been using Varget powder in my .223 reloads and it has shot pretty good in my 16" AR15 with 1:9 twist. I have been using 55gr. Sierra Gamekings. They usually give me 3 shot group of .91" at 100 yards. I just shot some handloads from a friend that were 69gr. Sierra Matchkings. I am not sure what powder or charge weight he was using, but I will find out. My first try with them(in the AR) gave me a 5 shot group measuring .69" at 100 yards. I am very pleased with it coming from my AR and it has 7lbs+ trigger pull that is not crisp.
 

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I have been shooting 5.56 brass in my .223 for more than 20 years. The difference is in the loading, not in the case dimensions. 5.56 is loaded to a higher pressure than .223 Remington. Your 700 Remington will do just fine shooting .223 loads in 5.56mm brass.
 

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5.56mm NATO versus .223 Remington
The 5.56 mm NATO and .223 Remington cartridges and chamberings are similar but not identical. Military cases are generally made from thicker brass than commercial cases; this reduces the powder capacity (an important consideration for handloaders[12]), and the NATO specification allows a higher chamber pressure. NATO EPVAT test barrels made for 5.56 mm NATO measure chamber pressure at the case mouth, as opposed to the location used by the United States civil standards organization SAAMI. The piezoelectric sensors or transducers NATO and SAAMI use to conduct the actual pressure measurements also differ. This difference in measurement method accounts for upwards of 137.9 MPa (20,000 psi) difference in pressure measurements. This means the NATO EPVAT maximum service pressure of 430 MPa (62,366 psi) for 5.56 mm NATO, is reduced by SAAMI to 379.21 MPa (55,000 psi) for .223 Remington.[13] In contrast to SAAMI, the other main civil standards organization C.I.P. defines the maximum service and proof test pressures of the .223 Remington cartridge equal to the 5.56 mm NATO.

The 5.56 mm NATO chambering, known as a NATO or mil-spec chamber, has a longer leade, which is the distance between the mouth of the cartridge and the point at which the rifling engages the bullet. The .223 Remington chambering, known as SAAMI chamber, is allowed to have a shorter leade, and is only required to be proof tested to the lower SAAMI chamber pressure. To address these issues, various proprietary chambers exist, such as the Wylde chamber (Rock River Arms)[14] or the ArmaLite chamber, which are designed to handle both 5.56 mm NATO and .223 Remington equally well. The dimensions and leade of the .223 Remington minimum C.I.P. chamber also differ from the 5.56 mm NATO chamber specification.

Using commercial .223 Remington cartridges in a 5.56 mm NATO chambered rifle should work reliably, but generally will not be as accurate as when fired from a .223 Remington chambered gun due to the longer leade.[15] Using 5.56 mm NATO mil-spec cartridges (such as the M855) in a .223 Remington chambered rifle can lead to excessive wear and stress on the rifle and even be unsafe, and the SAAMI recommends against the practice.[16][17] Some commercial rifles marked as ".223 Remington" are in fact suited for 5.56 mm NATO, such as many commercial AR-15 variants and the Ruger Mini-14(marked ".223 cal"), but the manufacturer should always be consulted to verify that this is acceptable before attempting it, and signs of excessive pressure (such as flattening or gas staining of the primers) should be looked for in the initial testing with 5.56 mm NATO ammunition.[18]

It should also be noted that the upper receiver (to which the barrel with its chamber are attached) and the lower receiver are entirely separate parts in AR-15 style rifles. If the lower receiver has either .223 or 5.56 stamped on it, it does not guarantee the upper assembly is rated for the same caliber, because the upper and the lower receiver in same rifle can, and frequently do, come from different manufacturers - particularly with rifles sold to civilians or second-hand rifles.

In the more practical terms, as of late 2009 most AR-15 parts suppliers engineer their complete upper assemblies (not to be confused with stripped uppers where the barrel is not included) to support both calibers in order to protect their customers from injuries and to protect their businesses from litigation following the said injuries.
 

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And another thing. A problem with shooting GI ammo is that you don't know what it was fired in. Back when I ran ranges in the military I saw people shooting full auto to the point where the rifle would be so hot as to cook off rounds. That brass would be dangerous to reload since the brass would be much weaker than new comercial brass. Just something to think about.
 

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jerrschmitt said:
5.56mm NATO versus .223 Remington
The 5.56 mm NATO and .223 Remington cartridges and chamberings are similar but not identical. Military cases are generally made from thicker brass than commercial cases; this reduces the powder capacity (an important consideration for handloaders[12]), and the NATO specification allows a higher chamber pressure. NATO EPVAT test barrels made for 5.56 mm NATO measure chamber pressure at the case mouth, as opposed to the location used by the United States civil standards organization SAAMI. The piezoelectric sensors or transducers NATO and SAAMI use to conduct the actual pressure measurements also differ. This difference in measurement method accounts for upwards of 137.9 MPa (20,000 psi) difference in pressure measurements. This means the NATO EPVAT maximum service pressure of 430 MPa (62,366 psi) for 5.56 mm NATO, is reduced by SAAMI to 379.21 MPa (55,000 psi) for .223 Remington.[13] In contrast to SAAMI, the other main civil standards organization C.I.P. defines the maximum service and proof test pressures of the .223 Remington cartridge equal to the 5.56 mm NATO.

The 5.56 mm NATO chambering, known as a NATO or mil-spec chamber, has a longer leade, which is the distance between the mouth of the cartridge and the point at which the rifling engages the bullet. The .223 Remington chambering, known as SAAMI chamber, is allowed to have a shorter leade, and is only required to be proof tested to the lower SAAMI chamber pressure. To address these issues, various proprietary chambers exist, such as the Wylde chamber (Rock River Arms)[14] or the ArmaLite chamber, which are designed to handle both 5.56 mm NATO and .223 Remington equally well. The dimensions and leade of the .223 Remington minimum C.I.P. chamber also differ from the 5.56 mm NATO chamber specification.

Using commercial .223 Remington cartridges in a 5.56 mm NATO chambered rifle should work reliably, but generally will not be as accurate as when fired from a .223 Remington chambered gun due to the longer leade.[15] Using 5.56 mm NATO mil-spec cartridges (such as the M855) in a .223 Remington chambered rifle can lead to excessive wear and stress on the rifle and even be unsafe, and the SAAMI recommends against the practice.[16][17] Some commercial rifles marked as ".223 Remington" are in fact suited for 5.56 mm NATO, such as many commercial AR-15 variants and the Ruger Mini-14(marked ".223 cal"), but the manufacturer should always be consulted to verify that this is acceptable before attempting it, and signs of excessive pressure (such as flattening or gas staining of the primers) should be looked for in the initial testing with 5.56 mm NATO ammunition.[18]

It should also be noted that the upper receiver (to which the barrel with its chamber are attached) and the lower receiver are entirely separate parts in AR-15 style rifles. If the lower receiver has either .223 or 5.56 stamped on it, it does not guarantee the upper assembly is rated for the same caliber, because the upper and the lower receiver in same rifle can, and frequently do, come from different manufacturers - particularly with rifles sold to civilians or second-hand rifles.

In the more practical terms, as of late 2009 most AR-15 parts suppliers engineer their complete upper assemblies (not to be confused with stripped uppers where the barrel is not included) to support both calibers in order to protect their customers from injuries and to protect their businesses from litigation following the said injuries.
ACTUALLY ,5.56 has a .002 larger dia kneck.I have measured them,they also have thicker cases
which also means less case capacity,aprox 10% so keep this in mind when reloading,they need
to also be full length resized at least the first time. but it is true you can fire .223 in 5.56 chambers
but 5.56 should not be fired in .223 chambers, all comercial dies are in the .223 configuration,hence
you reconfigure the 5.56 brass to .223 dimensions when you full length resize them. (but the case
sides and shoulders are still thicker) also remember 5.56 was designed to be fired once..period!
so the brass is not as workable as comercial brass,so you usually dont get as many reloads as
comercial brass 5.56 is more brittle unless you re-aneal it occasionally.
 

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Very interesting information, jerrschmidtt and dratt. Always had a suspicion that the temper of those military cases was different.
 

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The last time I ran a Navy range was in the late 1970's. Back then we sent all our fired brass back to the Depot at Crain, Indiana. I have no idea what they did with it back then but there was no real accounting for it. I acquired a 20MM ammo box full for my own use and I'm still shooting it. In 2006 I prepped 1000 pieces for a prairie dog shoot and those (TW 73 head stamp) cases are still being used. A few had cracked neck this year and got tossed. Probably have to toss the rest after this year.

I think you'll find that .002 difference in neck diameter is nothing to worry about. You'll find that much difference in different rifles or in different reloading dies.

As far as being made to be fired once only, No military brass is made with the idea of it being reloaded but brass by its very nature can be reloaded. Nothing in the process of manufacture is done to preclude reloading. I have some 7.62X54 Lake City brass that has been fire formed to .243 Winchester Ackley Improved and fired at least 8 times. Some of my old 5.56 brass has been fired at least 10 times.
 

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jerrschmitt is correct. I did some research on this and the 5.56 is the same outside dimensions as the .223. The only difference is that it's a hotter load due different brass thickness (read smaller space inside which means more pressure. Some AR's will have a wylde chamber which is a compromise between the two specs.

If you are using military brass like LC, just back the load off slightly and watch for pressure signs and work you way up to where you need to be.
 

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I believe, if memory serves, the LTR is a 1x9 twist. I have the 223 SPS tactical which is also
1x9. It shoots 69 grain SMK's very well. It also shoots the 77 Grain SMK very well. I push the
77's pretty fast which I think makes the difference with that particular twist.
Like Quick said try some 77 grain if your wanting to reach out long range. Wind is
a major factor with a 223 and if your rifle will shoot them the the higher BC and weight and will buck the wind better.
I use Varget for the 77's which works pretty well. Of course your rifle may like something different.
Good luck.
 
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