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Old August 3, 2012, 12:52 AM   #1
CreamPup
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.223 OAL maximum...

Hello out there, just a quick question. I've been loading .223 and 9mm on my Hornady LnL for about 6 months now (LOVE IT) and I bought a ton of bulk .223 bullets. I've been loading them to spec, and they just arent as accurate as I want them to be. I've been shooting quite a few years now, I've got a pretty steady hand and heart.

I know my MAX OAL is 2.260. That's great if I'm shooting a carbine, but I'm shooting a bolt remington 700.

So, my question is, is there technically a maximum I can load these short .223 bullets? I usually load my match rounds to the lands and seat .20 off of them. I have a feeling this little guy will be sticking quite a ways out of the case, exposing the cannelure, and probably looking a little strange. I know loading short increases your pressure. Loading long-really long for this bullet size- is it safe? I can't find anything saying it wouldn't be, as long as I keep it off the lands.


If I can load them long, I can get a much more accurate load out of a 55gr... And not have to spend a ton of money on SMK's (I know they aren't even in the same class) and get decent accuracy.


thanks!

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; August 3, 2012 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Noise
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Old August 3, 2012, 07:06 AM   #2
UtopiaTexasG19
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What is the twist rate on your Remington 700? My .223 is in the AR platform with a 1:7 twist rate and does not shoot 55 grain very well at all no matter what charge rates and oal's I use. I stepped up to some slightly heavier 64gr and 65 gr and it is a tack driver with those weights.
PS- I never buy bullets in bulk until I've tested out different loads and am happy with the results. Then....I go crazy!

Last edited by UtopiaTexasG19; August 3, 2012 at 09:30 AM.
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Old August 3, 2012, 11:38 AM   #3
Tuzo
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If you want accuracy you must pay for it. My .223 target rifle is a Savage 12 BVSS 1:9 twist. Shoots more expensive 52 and 69 grain Sierra MatchKings with equal accuracy. I pay extra for these bullets because eventually I want to make one hole with five bullets. Getting close!

I seat to OAL according to Sierra reloading manual and have tried seating off the lands. There was no difference in accuracy. Casing prep seems critical too: primer pocket uniformity and cleaning, same headstamp, annealing, and Lee collet neck sizing all help.
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Old August 3, 2012, 11:45 AM   #4
tobnpr
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Quote:
I usually load my match rounds to the lands and seat .20 off of them
Please tell me you meant .02...

Bullet jump is important, but it's more of a "tweak".

You already acknowledged the difference between match bullets, and the "bulk" bullets you're buying.

There's no shortcut. There's a reason those that demand every bit of accuracy spend .25-.50 per bullet....Don't expect sub minute of angle accuracy from non-match bullets. What types of groups are you getting?

How did you do load workup? OCW? Ladder?
What powders have you tried, and what bullets are you using?

My son's 700, .223 is VERY particular about what it likes. 52-60 grain, and Varget over anything else, including H335.

To answer your other question, mimimum seating depth is usually bullet diameter, but I'm no expert on that...Cannelure may be irrelevant, as your bullet may have been designed for another caliber other that the .223.
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Old August 3, 2012, 12:27 PM   #5
fishbones182
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Spend the money on good quality match bullet and seat to the proper listed depth. Find the powder and load you like best. Tweak the charges so you get what you prefer. As far as lee presses i have a 4 hole turret press runs great. A lee pro 1000 and load master its all in the set up. I did get static issues but can always resolve it with a dryer sheet. Try cutting a small piece of dryer sheet and putting it in the top while you are using your press. The Lee progressive presses are the best bang for the buck as long as you do your homework and set them up correctly and take the time to tweak them a bit. When i got my first load master i hated it. I now love it and wouldnt trade it for the world after being shown some tricks with it.
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Old August 3, 2012, 01:54 PM   #6
CreamPup
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yep

I'm using a remy 700 sps tac with 20" bull barrel. I'm using some bulk 55gr bullets with cannelure over 23.5 grains of Varget. In regards to the seating depth...yeah, I meant to say twenty-thousandths.
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Old August 3, 2012, 02:51 PM   #7
m&p45acp10+1
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I get top notch accuracy out of my Savage Mod 12 using 55 grain Hornady V-Max with 25.0 grains of H-335, and a CCI 400 Small Rifle Primer. COL of 2.250 With bulk Winchester or Remington bullets I get OK accuracy.

V-Max, and Nostler Ballistic Tip give me .25 MOA with a bipod, and sand bag.
Bulk bullets give me .75 MOA with the bipod and sand bag.

I agree for the most accuracy go with a better bullet. H-335 sines through with 55 grain bullets in .223 Rem with either bolt action, or Semi Auto.

Bulk bullets work great for pliking loads in an AR, they will acceptable results at a low cost. For tack driver bolt action loads go with a better bullet.

My most accurate load is a 75 grain Hornady HPBT Match bullet loaded with Reloader 15. Varget gives close to the RL15 but not quite as well.
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Old August 3, 2012, 05:09 PM   #8
steve4102
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Quote:
So, my question is, is there technically a maximum I can load these short .223 bullets? I usually load my match rounds to the lands and seat .20 off of them. I have a feeling this little guy will be sticking quite a ways out of the case, exposing the cannelure, and probably looking a little strange. I know loading short increases your pressure. Loading long-really long for this bullet size- is it safe? I can't find anything saying it wouldn't be, as long as I keep it off the lands.
Not a technical maximum, but a rule of thumb is to seat at least one diameter of bullet into the case. In your 223 that would mean you should have at least .224 inches of bullet inside the case. Not written in stone just a rule of thumb.

You are mistaken that "loading short" increases pressure. In fact just the opposite is true, the closer you get to the lands the Higher the pressure.
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Old August 3, 2012, 11:57 PM   #9
80viking
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Every guns barrel has a limited life span and its accuracy can be tracked on a graph. It will look like a bell curve.

Don't waste any of your barrels life with blasting ammo.
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Old August 4, 2012, 10:34 AM   #10
kraigwy
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Quote:
My .223 is in the AR platform with a 1:7 twist rate and does not shoot 55 grain very well at all no matter what charge rates and oal's I use.
Thats odd, 55s shoot well in my 1;7 White Oak Service Rifle Upper. The army says they shoot well in their 1:7 M16 series. Its the heavy bullets in the 1:12 M16A1s that dont shoot.

In fact the army's test round for their Mann Accuracy device (to test 5.56 ammo) is 52 grn SMKs in Remington cases with 25 Grns of 3031. I tried that load in the Mann I got from the CMP and it was amazing.

Careful on published OAL. When I first tried to switch to an AR from a M1A for HP shooting I used Sierras 2.550 OAL for their 80 SMKs. Being use to a M1A I didn't carry a cleaning rod to the line. I got of the first shot, loaded for the second, caught a wind change and extracted the live round so it wouldn't warm up. The bullet stayed in the lands and I had powder all down my action. This was my second of what was suppose to be 20 shots. I couldn't get the bullet out until we moved to the 300 yard line and I could get to the truck.

I want to tell you a 9/200 isn't gonna win much. Try your OAL before you go to a match (as well as test all your ammo before you leave the house.)
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