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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
all. their is not mutch out their on reloading the 5.45 and some would say "why, surpluss is cheep" but with one US brand name ammo maker starting to make ammo for the 5.45 and one that makes cassesfor big $$ we should keep a running tab of links, venders, and this is what worked for me. so this is what I have found so far.

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the most complete "this is how I did it"

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5.45X39 Soviet Cases-Obsolete Cases-Obsolete Brass

some thoughts on brass .222 rem -vs- buffaloarms brass

5.45 X 39mm Russian - Cast Boolits
just a small note i have called buffalo and found that they are using 30 remminton cases, well then i also remembered that 30 remington was also a parent case for another resent devlopment, the 6.5 spc, well a buffalo they also turn thehead down to proper demention too, I have considered ordering the rcbs dies but as of right now is not cost effective but i'll bet you could shhot sized .224 diam csat bullets, after pulling a few 5.45x39 rounds apart I have noted that the diamiters are .222, this round is going to interesting to follow up on. kjg
muttman
 

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I agree this is gonna be a fun project.. a good cast bullet with a hard lead alloy and a gas check would work fine, pushing velocity all the way up to 2000 fps would cycle the action also... I believe the dia of 5.45 projo is .221 dia but the difference between .222 is nothing, in as far as cast bullets goes.. check out Hcpookie's post and there is a bunch of good data on the AKfiles as well.. on guys who have loaded this round as well... The AK Files Forums - 5.45x39 Reloads?? another idea would be to use the super long 556 tracer projectile in the 545 case.. .. I think we should all start sending Hornaday, starline, graff and son, S&B, etc.. requests for boxer brass for the 545, it will come around if there is a market for it.. and there is.. The first company to jump on this early will make some good dough, hornady is making the vmax bullet in 221 for there own ammo line.. so the bullet part is already ready got go.. 762X39 was the same thing in the early 80's also not reloadable brass to speak of..that will change.. Buy that cheep surplus ammo and stack it up but have the dies ready in case...and BTW the steel case can be reloaded as well.. it's just a lot more work.. B2B
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
b2b,
good link, I like it. I guess I need to read up on some of the high road. com postings.
thanks. muttman
 

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I asked Fast Gun if I could post some of his info.. and he gave me the go ahead.. It is worth reading.. read it from the bottom up.. he has had some good results.. I have yet to test out my 545 reloads.. I started with 17 gr of IMR 4198 a 60 Gr Hornady SP resized to .221.. B2B


well i did get a chance to try out the AR upper in 5.45 with a scope, using the ammo made from 223 brass. the load that i indicated earlier gave very good accuracy at 50 yds, with 10 rounds going into about 1inch. using the commercial federal brass in 223 i had no split cases or other problems. functioning was 100% with the synthetic 223 magazines i have been using. i could not ask for a better load. some of the rounds had already been fireformed in the rifle and reloaded, while others were new and fired for the first time in this chamber. considering the noticeable expansion at the head, giving a rather loose fit for rounds that had not yet been fireformed, I consider this to be excellent results. when i end up with enough fireformed cases I would expect even better results. remembering that these are rather old bulk grade bullets, I would think the results were better than one might have expected. I will keep you updated.

Originally Posted by Bolt2bounce
I think it would be ok as long as you give the standard warning about this load is not from a loading manual and to work all your load up safety starting low and moving up from there.. the only reduced loads I'd use trail boss in would be for expanding cases gently. I've used pistol powder in rifles before for cast loads mostly, they work fine..but I don't know if it would work the action either.. I have a light load with 4198 to test first..

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastgun
I did mount a scope last night, so my next session will be with better sighting equipment. I don't know if actual loading date is allowed on this site, so I will just go ahead and post it anyway. I use mostly Federal commercial brass in 223 caliber, with a 55 gr. sp, 20 gr of Accurate Arms 2230 powder, and any small rifle primer. I developed this load by selecting a charge midway between the 221 and 222 loading data for this rifle. I am not really a fan of using fast burning pistol powders for any application in a rifle. I am not sure you would get sufficient gas port pressure to cycle an AR or AK, without excessive chamber pressure. even though I have tried Trail Boss, I am not a fan. as far as loading length, I load to the maximum that will fit in the magazine and allow the round to chamber. with this cartridge it is highly dependent on the ogive of the bullet. as I said my loads work perfectly in the AR upper with regular 223 magazines, I have only lost one case in the fireforming operation. the fired round seems to eject a little less forcefully than the full 223 round. they fall in a neat pile just to my right and slightly aft of 3 o'clock. be glad to post any further info that would be helpful to others.

QUOTE=Bolt2bounce]Thanks I've had a few people who want to know about data and such, I will get to the range some time and bring my camera and chronograph..as well.. I'll post results of the 545 loads..mostly my loads are light fire form loads(so far) I may try to use trailboss powder to fire form. We'll see..How that works out. .

fastgun
[ well I finally had a chance to try out the 5.45 ammo made up in these dies and using 223 brass. the bullets were sized to .221 in the swage dies, and the cases were made with the use of a special file and trim die that I had made up from, a shortened 223 sizing die. the brass forming takes several steps, but if you do a bunch at each step then it isn't too bad. the brass was all commercial Federal, the powder was Accurate 2230, and the bullets were swaged 55gr. soft points. It took a few different magazines to find the ones that would feed properly with this altered round, but with the right ones it functioned 100%. the powder charge is exactly 20% less than the same bullet loading in the 223 case. I did swap a 223 bolt head in the AR upper, and got perfect extraction. the cases do bulge ahead of the extractor groove, but when they are reloaded with the 5.45 dies this area is left as-is. as a result the case should not separate at this point, since it is not being resized to 223 dimensions. I fired 80 rounds and loss only one to a blowout. I was really after function testing at this point, but at the next outing I will check the accuracy seriously. with the last 10 rounds I did hit 9 bowling pins at 50 yds. shooting offhand and with a rather dim red dot sight. hopefully this info might help others who want to take this route. there is really no other way to get boxer primed cases to reload.

{Bolt2bounce} Yes I'm interested, the way I make my brass out of 222 case there is very little work, I take resized deprimed and cleaned 222 cases trim them to the proper length as a 545 case, because they are still in the form of a 222 when trimmed so they will trim easily in my forester ,224 pilot. case trimmer. All I need to do is just resize them in the 545X39 die and your done.. primer powder and a bullet. I may need to get a 221 pilot for trimming again..but forester will make ya one for a few bucks... I think the it should work great in the AR upper in 545..


Originally Posted by fastgun
well, i finally got all the dies set up in my dillon 550, ran a bunch of bullets through the 221 sizer, and formed a bunch of both 222 and 223 brass into the 5.45. it took several different dies to make the brass, including a homemade file/trim die. since i am using this file/trim die with a fine saw blade, there is very little trimming needed in my case trimmer. it may seem like a lot of work, but if you do a quantity in each operation it works out smoothly. i am using some rather inexpensive 55 gr. bullets, as opposed to the much more expensive longer match bullets. switching to a 223 bolt head in my AR upper should give very reliable feeding and extraction. this little case is very efficient, using about 25% less powder than the 223. it is really very close to the 221 round, now rather obsolete. thanks again and i will keep you updated with the shooting results, if you are interested


dear sir: received dies today. i plan to try them out in the next day or two. i already have a number of cases made from 222 and 223, but did not want to resize in the 223 die after firing in the 5.45 chamber. my rifle is an olympic upper for an AR. I will switch to a 223 bolt head, and everything should work fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks b2b,
This is good news, was planing on using 2230 powder. A good read. Now all I need is some time to start loading.
Muttman
 

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Another post PM from Fast gun and his results.. FYI guys, B2B

fastgun said:
well I think i have found the right combination. Using the new remington brass in 222 cal. with the nosler 52 gr hp/bt bullet and the same powder charge that I have been using all along, I had several groups well under 1/2 in and one group with 4 out of 5 in the 1/4 in range at 50 yds. Remembering that these were fireforming loads makes the results even better. All of the groups were excellent, and i lost no cases in the first firing. One thing that I did notice was that the loads with the 222 Remington brass ejected the rounds closer to the shooter by a small margin. When I weighed the brass I found that the 222 was about 5% lighter than the federal 223 rounds. This means that the remington was thinner, with greater internal capacity, thus lower pressure. The primers showed no flattening of any kind. The load could probably be stepped up quite a bit, but I have no reason to do so since functioning is 100%. This has been a very interesting experiment so far, and I am very pleased with the result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
b2b,
is this with loaded ammo or after case conersion to 5.45? the.222 rem is shorter than the .223 case and would account for the 5% diffrence not internal capacity. still fastgun is setting the bar and we need to catch up! thanks muttman
 

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I think he was using 223 cases converted to 545 and switched over to 545 made from 222 cases and the 222 converted cases had more room inside for he powder because they were thinner walls etc.. I'll be testing some 545 ammo this weekend.. B2B
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
this is good news. what brass are you using (.222rem/.223)? I have some 5.56 that I'll convert over for the first batch. muttman
 

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I'm using 222 cases easy to convert. Converting 223 is more work than I'd want to do.. I'll chronograph some bullets tomorrow.. and get some velocities.. B2B
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
.222 cases, I might find some. had a bag in the hand last year at gander mtn. not a bad price. this leaves me with 250 5.56 brass, what do I do with them (haha) good luck at the range. muttman
 

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I have some data.. on the 5.45X39 reloading project.. I finally got around to it . All rounds chambered, fired and ejected fine, and I had no cases, split or fail in any way.. they did bulge at the case head as expected.. I lost a few in the weeds/dirt.. I'll reload them again and see how they fair..

Factory 70 Gr Wolf ran 2495
Factory 53 Gr Russian surplus ball ran 3053, 3014


Brass 222 rem reformed to 545X39
primers: wolf small rifle
Powder: IMR 4198
Bullets:
(1)Serria 60 Gr Hollow point Flat base
(2) Hornaday 60 Gr soft point Flat base
(3) Nosler 60 Gr balistic tip Boat tail
(4)burger 70 Gr Boat tail hollow point match
all resized to .221 dia.
temp was.. HOT about 90º elevation 7000 feet high desert

All 5 or 6 shot groups.. Shot on a M16A2 zero target @25 Meters..
Rifle: AK-74 Bulgarian, using Iron sights
accuracy was about 1 inch across the board.. I did not try hard to shoot small groups I shot very fast, I just wanted the velocity's and to function test..the load and brass etc..

Chronograph results..

Seirra 60 Gr HPFB 17.5. gr IMR 4198

1.2558
2.2524
3.2551
4.2535
5.2513
6.2553

Av. 2539
Hi. 2558
Low. 2513
ES. 45.8
SD.18.2
AD.15.1

Seirra 60 Gr HPFB 18. gr IMR 4198

1.2597
2.2629
3.2619
4.2635
5.2620

Av. 2620
Hi. 2635
Low. 2597
ES. 36.6
SD.14.3
AD.9.6


Hornady 60 Gr SP 19 gr IMR 4198

1.2728
2.2739
3.2733
4.2717
5.2727


Av. 2 729
Hi. 2739
Low.2717
ES. 12.3
SD. 8.3
AD. 6

Hornady 60 Gr SP 17.7 gr IMR 4198

1.2563
2.2438
3.2521
4.2549
5.2581
6.2506

Av. 2543
Hi. 2581
Low. 2506
ES. 74.3
SD.27.2
AD.21.1

Nosler 60 Gr BT 19. gr IMR 4198

1. 2753
2. 2770
3. 2730
4. 2744
5. 2744

Av. 2748
Hi. 2770
Low. 2730
ES. 39.7
SD. 14.6
AD. 10.4

Nosler 60 Gr BT 19. gr IMR 4198

1. 2673
2. 2633
3. 2632
4. 2634
5. None

Av. 2543
Hi. 2673
Low. 2632
ES. 41.3
SD. 20
AD. 15

Burger 70 Gr HPBT 17. gr IMR 4198

1. 2422
2. 2448
3. 2438
4. 2409
5. 2411

Av. 2426
Hi. 2448
Low. 2409
ES. 39.1
SD. 16.9
AD. 13.8


B2B
 

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Nice work, B2B! Looks promising. I especially like the Hornady 60gr SP results.

Hornady 60 Gr SP 19 gr IMR 4198

1.2728
2.2739
3.2733
4.2717
5.2727


Av. 2 729
Hi. 2739
Low.2717
ES. 12.3
SD. 8.3
AD. 6


Got some 222 brass re-sized and ready to load. Now I just need to get my butt to the range this weekend. :ak47:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
stoped by the gun store yesterday and ask if he had some .222 brass he said "might", well no he did not but he did come back with a box (30 cont) reloaded .222 rem + a midway reload box and a box of 55Gn .224 soft points and said all this and the coke the wife open for $16 out the door. good thing the wife needed a drink!
B2B,
looks like you had a good day at the range.
what did you do to reform the .222 brass? fire form first or die form? if it was fire form then I shoud be able to pull the bullets and dunp the powder, reform and trim. Im not sure if Ill srink some 55Gn bullets for this call seems like 60/70 is what the twist rate was made for on a bulgy barrel. muttman
 

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I trimmed the 222 to 545 length first debured them and lubed them with imperial sizing wax and ran it through the 545 sizing die and loaded it up.. simple really.. I started with what I figured was a lite charge of 17 grains.. I'll switch powders at some point to the ball powder..for beter flow through the powder measure.. B2B
 
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