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Old June 1, 2008, 10:54 AM   #1
azredhawk44
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AR-15 A2 Configuration, 1:9 twist chrome-lined 20" barrel: Best All Around Bullet?

No Hague Accords here.... I'm looking for a bullet that flies true, is cost effective and is the most versatile for the following activities:
1. Coyote and Javelina hunting
2. NRA High Power Competition
3. Self Defense
4. Three-Gun

I'll use the cheapest fodder I can find for plinking and soda can harrassment, probably 55gr FMJ surplus pulled bullets. But I'd like to be sighted in on something capable of all four of these objectives if possible.

Does anyone make a 65-70gr boat-tail polymer tipped bullet suitable to hunting and target work? I checked Hornady, Sierra and Nosler with no luck. It's either flatbase softpoints around 50-60 grains or BTHP at 69 or 77 grains.

Also: Does the gas system on the AR platform give the same reloading restrictions that the M14 platform has? Am I limited to a particular weight before causing damage to the rifle?
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Old June 1, 2008, 11:11 AM   #2
Trapp
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I've got the Sierra Gamekings. They are .224 65gr. Spitzer Boattail soft points. I bought them for deer hunting with my 16" M4gery. I just got a NM A2 upper I am going to try them in. Hopefully before October (hunting Season!!)

I chose this bullet for a couple of reasons: 1. Softpoint-Should be good for neck shots on deer or piggies. 2. Boattail- supposedly I will be able to shoot accuratly at longer ranges with this feature. 3. It even says on the box {7" - 10" bbls only} 4. They really aren't that expensive. especially when compared to some other brands.

Seems to me this bullet would perform well for you.


As far as loads this is from an email (to Sierra) because I couldn't find any data for this bullet and Varget.

Quote:
Yes, absolutely. The 69 grain loads will be very good with the 65
grain SBTs.
You have done your homework well, Varget would be my choice for a
powder.
Rich

> <div>I bought some 65gr SBT's for my 16" 1 in 9 twist AR. I was
planning to load some hunting bullets with Varget. I am unable to find any
loads for the 65gr in the 5th edition (sierra)&nbsp;manual. Would it be
OK to start with the loads listed for the 69gr HPBT? Have there been
any loads worked up for my particular bullet?&nbsp;There is no Varget
load for the 63gr SMT.
On another note, one book I have has separate data for loading the 223 in the AR versus bolt and other guns. It appears there would be limitations on it.
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Old June 1, 2008, 01:23 PM   #3
Alleykat
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I've had good success with Ballistic Tips and V-Max bullets.
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Old June 2, 2008, 04:48 AM   #4
rn22723
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Nosler or Sierra 77gr OTM bullets and never look back!
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Old June 2, 2008, 11:57 AM   #5
snuffy
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http://www.nosler.com/index.php?p=3&bullet=2

Looks like the Nosler ballistic tip would fill the bill for you. How big are javalina? The BT may explode/fragment too easily for piggies. The boat tail on the BT is not as pronounced as on other bullets, but it's there and should help.

Quote:
Nosler or Sierra 77gr OTM bullets and never look back!
If the OP has a 1-9 twist barrel. The 77 grainer's will not stabilize to provide top accuracy. My 1-9 bushy 20" will not stabilize the 75 grainers.
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Old June 2, 2008, 12:13 PM   #6
Scorch
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Quote:
I've got the Sierra Gamekings. They are .224 65gr. Spitzer Boattail soft points.
That would work well, and I suspect that a javelina hit in the right place would decide to just lay down. Same would go for the 55 gr soft pont with cannelure (Hornady, Sierra, Speer, Nosler or whoever). After all, javelina only weigh about 35-40 lbs, not even as big as my bird dog. Lots of coyotes and javelina have been killed with 22-cal rimfires. If you want a premium bullet, Nosler makes a 60 gr Partition for hunting with 22-cal centerfires. I load Hornady 68 gr BTHPM bullets for Service Rifle Match shooting, and would not hesitate to recommend them for the uses you are asking about.

Quote:
Also: Does the gas system on the AR platform give the same reloading restrictions that the M14 platform has? Am I limited to a particular weight before causing damage to the rifle?
Short answer, yes and no. Yes, it is still affected, but to a lesser degree due to the gas coming off closer to the muzzle. Since most people still feed from the magazine, magazine length limits how heavy of a bullet you can load, so it becomes a non-issue. It you are awfully concerned about it, you can buy weights for your bolt carrier from Creedmore sports, but the weights are typically used in target guns shooting 75-90 gr bullets for timing the bolt for maximum accuracy.
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Old June 2, 2008, 05:57 PM   #7
Threefeathers
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I've loaded 7K of various booolets of this cal just this year to feed m 9 ARs.
I'd suggest getting Golden West 62 grain with cannelure for a great all around load. You can do everything you want with that bullet, but it is a compromise for someone who deosn't want optimum performance.
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Old June 2, 2008, 06:06 PM   #8
azredhawk44
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Snuffy: those Nosler ballistic tips explode on little groundhogs and such, right? What would they do to a coyote or 40-50 pound javelina? Would they punch enough to get two-sided holes? I don't want some piggy running off 2 miles and hiding from me only to bleed out under a bush... if I shoot him I want him anchored.

I've got some of Midway's Dog Town 55gr Spitzer softpoints right now... I bought them on a whim when I knew the AR upper was on its way, just to have something available.

Looks like Sierra's 65gr BTSP GameKing is the best contender so far. I was hoping for something polymer tipped like the Nosler ballistic tips but with a bit better stick-togetheriness than the varmint rounds.
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Old June 2, 2008, 09:28 PM   #9
schmellba99
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The ballistic tips will drop a pig with decent shot placement. They are a great round that serve a variety of purposes.
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Old June 4, 2008, 04:37 PM   #10
Alleykat
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There are varmint Ballistic Tips and there are Hunting Ballistic Tips. I'd use the hunting Ballistic Tips for animals larger than ground hogs and coyotes.

However, a friend of mine dropped a 150# yearling buck @ around 125 yds. with one shot from his .223 Ruger #1, shooting 55gr. varmint ballistic tips. Blew a fist-sized hole out the exit side.
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Old June 4, 2008, 11:11 PM   #11
Mike40-11
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Good suggestions on the loads. As far as the limitations because of the gas system goes, not really. The danger with an M1 style action is that high pressures can bend the operating rod. The AR doesn't HAVE an op rod to bend. The gas goes straight to the bolt. Which is why everyone complains that it 'craps where it eats'.

What does limit your bullet weight is the twist of your barrel. Slower twists cannot stabilize heavier bullets as well. There's tons of opinions on what weight is best for what twist. 1 in 9, which is probably the most common, is good for up to 68 gr., IMO.
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