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Old August 19, 2011, 04:00 PM   #1
steve1147
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Opinions on 223 load?

I'm pretty happy with what I got here, but I'm never satisfied until someone gives me an "atta boy" or "NO, do this!" And I know from experience, this is the place for either or both!
After months of experimentation, I'm loading .223 remington brass with 55 grain Dogtown bullets. Mainly for plinking, as I use a red dot scope (at 20 yards, hits inside a dime), so no long range stuff here. Been into handgun reloading for years, but this is my first rifle reloading, and I'm doing it single stage, tedious as hell.
Trimming to 1.750 to 1.760", CCI magnum rifle primer, 23.5 gns of 335, and as I mentioned, 55 gn dogtown bullet, OAL of 2.105".
Through the chrono with an 18" 1/9 twist barrell (ar-15) I'm getting average 2750 fps. Factory Remington is running average 2926 fps.
I've convinced myself I really don't need the extra 150+ fps to change the recipe.
Opinions?
Thanks! Steve W.
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Old August 19, 2011, 04:08 PM   #2
praetorian97
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Im running close to that. 55 FMJ BT. 24grains of H335.

Can hit clays at 100 yards with a red dot.
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Old August 19, 2011, 08:16 PM   #3
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If it works, it works. I wouldn't risk accuracy to gain 150fps either.

If you decide to start reaching out beyond 25 yards you might have to change the load, but don't mess with what works in the mean time.
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Old August 19, 2011, 08:25 PM   #4
chris in va
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Everything seems to be fine, if a bit on the short OAL side.

PM sent for some info.
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Old August 19, 2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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Load is good, but all my book say 2.20 is the minimum OAL. I ran the same load at 2.25 OAL and it was accurate and ran fine in my AR's.
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Old August 19, 2011, 08:53 PM   #6
Jim243
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If the load works, then stay with it. All I can do is tell you what I use.

Honady 55 grain A-Max
25 Grains H-335 or 24.6 grains IMR-8208 XBR
OAL 2.200
Mixed Brass 223 or 5.56 sized to 223 with a X-Small Base Full Lenght resizing die.

Jim
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Old August 19, 2011, 11:54 PM   #7
M.O.A.
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atta boy like they said if it works dont change it or you could try varget and a heavie bullet and a bolt gun no just messin with yah
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Old August 20, 2011, 04:22 AM   #8
Sidewinder72
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I use H-335, 25.0 grn, 2.20 OAL for my bolt gun and AR. But I shoot a lot farther than 20 yds.
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Old August 20, 2011, 07:59 AM   #9
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Why the magnum primer? Such a small cartridge to use a magnum primer, I just want to know how much benefit it really gives you.
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Old August 20, 2011, 09:06 AM   #10
M.O.A.
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its about like an extra .5 gn of pownder thats about it.

some say it gives better ignion but i dont know about that
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Old August 20, 2011, 10:11 AM   #11
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The military uses a magnum strength primers to get good cold weather reliability. They also have a bit harder primer cup which is extra insurance against slamfires in floating firing pin design guns (though the AR doesn't seem to cause much trouble in that regard).

This article by a CCI employee involved in primer development says a magnum primer will give you lower MV spread if you are using a load that doesn't fill the case well. At about 85% fill, the H335 load is not awful but not great, and may benefit. The reason is the magnum primer better pressurizes the empty space to get to start pressure. At the other extreme, the benchrest crowd often prefers a mild primer, but this is presumably in a well-filled case. Also, I don't find stick powders tend have any trouble lighting up with either. The spherical propellants seem to need magnum primers more.

I can't judge the seating depth without measuring the bullet ogive design. If it is stubby enough the cartridge may need to be short to keep the ogive from jamming the lands at the throat.

In a thread on another forum, a board member had some problems with these 55 grain Dogtown bullets making gray streaks in the air (disintegrating in flight). Midway wouldn't say who makes them, but they did let him speak to someone knowledgeable about them who said 260,000 rpm is their limit. That means 3250 fps is a limit in 9" pitch rifling that you don't want to exceed. You are safe in that regard, but someone with a 7" twist barrel would have to hold it down to 2528 fps.

Max MV in fps = bullet rpm limit × rifling pitch in inches / 720

For accuracy, within safe pressure limits at that 55 grain bullet weight, you can get much better case fill (95%) and equal the commercial velocities with somewhere in the neighborhood of 23 grains of Reloader 10X. I find it a good accuracy powder in this bullet weight range.

Also, if you want a good accuracy bullet to see what your gun will do, get a box of the 53 grain flat base (not the 52 grain boattail) Sierra MatchKings. Those shoot bugholes for me with either RL10X or IMR4198 loads in both .223 and .222. Usually not tip-top velocity loads by the time I find a sweet spot, but excellent 100 yard accuracy.
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Last edited by Unclenick; August 20, 2011 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Corrections
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Old August 20, 2011, 10:47 AM   #12
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Thank you both, MOA, Unclenick!!
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Old August 20, 2011, 12:35 PM   #13
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Nick,

The maker of the Dogtown and Varmint Nightmare bullets are Nosler. It is confirmed on the Midway website.

Quote:

"Here is a real breakthrough in accurate, explosive varmint bullets. MidwayUSA teamed up with Nosler, one of America's leading manufacturers of premium bullets to bring you this phenomenal exclusive offer. Unquestionably, Dogtown Bullets are the best value in varmint bullets today. Keep them under 4,000 feet per second and they will probably outshoot your best barrel! This is not loaded ammunition."
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Old August 20, 2011, 03:31 PM   #14
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I didn't look. The thread I referred to was old, so they may have changed policy on that. In any event, it tells you who to call with questions.
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Old August 21, 2011, 12:14 AM   #15
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Not sure why you load so far off the lands. You want to be just off the lands or kissing them for better accuracy. With a 5.56 NATO chamber I load to 2.250" with FMJ 55 gr bullets. Mag length for an AR15 is 2.260".

Also, 23.5 gr of H335 is a light load. My normal whateva load:

55 gr FMJ (vmax, m193 pulls)
1.750" cl
25.0 gr h335
2.250" coal
cci small rifle primer
uniformed primer pocket and flash hole
lake city brass

I fire this in a BCM M16 upper so results will vary.
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Old August 21, 2011, 11:04 AM   #16
steve1147
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The reason for loading these first rounds so short is I was loading this same load with 55 gn V-Max bullets to 2.225 and had great luck with those 500.
Since the Dogtown were .120 shorter I shortened my OAL to have the same combustion area within the case. They're shooting at almost the exact same speed.
I'll bump a few out to 2.2 and run them to compare speeds maybe this afternoon. I'm thinking that would slow them down a little with a larger combustion area???

3:30 PM:Boy, didn't slow down much at 2.2 oal.
5 shots of each, and the 2.2's averaged only 14fps slower than the 2.105s.
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Last edited by steve1147; August 21, 2011 at 03:30 PM.
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Old August 21, 2011, 02:05 PM   #17
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Volucris,

What you're saying about being close to the lands is, I think, more often true than not, but it's not universally true. See the letter from Berger in the first post of the thread here about loading VLD's, for one example. They've found up to 0.15" off the lands to be best with those.

In a less extreme example, Dan Hackett, writing in the Precision Shooting Reloading guide, describes how, in switching to loading 50 grain Noslers in a .220 Swift one day, he accidentally turned the micrometer adjustment on his seating die the wrong way and got 20 rounds loaded 0.050" off the lands instead of his intended 0.020" off the lands, a number that he'd just always assumed would be about best. He considered pulling the bullets, but decided just to shoot them in practice. To his amazement, that gun, with which he'd never previously been able to get 5-shot groups under 3/8", turned in two 1/4" groups and two bughole groups in the low 1's with those 20 rounds.

So, you never know until you try.
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Old August 21, 2011, 03:28 PM   #18
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opinions on .223 load

Does anyone else use Hodgdon H322 besides me? I think it works great in plinkers with 55grain fmjbt.
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Old August 21, 2011, 09:19 PM   #19
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H322 is a good powder in this application. Reloader 10X, at about 5% lower charge weight gives essentially identical performance in the lots I have of these two. Though, for plinkers, with that bullet weight about 11% less H4198 than H322 will get about the same peak pressure and barrel time for a little less cost. You do give up about 100 fps, but for plinking that's not usually a factor.
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Old August 21, 2011, 09:25 PM   #20
Dave R
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Quote:
Why the magnum primer? Such a small cartridge to use a magnum primer, I just want to know how much benefit it really gives you.
Great explanations given already. I'll just add that Speer No. 13 manual specifies the magnum primer for .223 loads with H335.
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