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Old April 13, 2012, 03:13 PM   #1
Mike-Mat
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Powder for 223 that burns clean and meters well.

Looking for a powder to reload 223 that burns clean and meters well.

Saw another thread where everyone made "favorite powder" recommendations. But no one talked about these 2 characteristics.

Suggestions!

Thanks in advance,

Mike
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Old April 13, 2012, 03:21 PM   #2
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Mike,

For 50, 55 and 69 grain bullets I've always used Olin 748 and Hodgdon's 335 spherical powders for my 223 loads. Both powders burn well and both meter very well through my ancient Redding powder measure. While there are several competetive powders available, both of the above have worked so well the last 40 or so years that I've never used anything else in my AR and bolt action 223 Rem/556mm loads except with the heavy 75 and 80 grain match bullets.

I just read that Hodgdon has come out with a new ball powder, CFE 223, that reportedly conteracts copper fouling as you fire. Gott'a love that!
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Old April 13, 2012, 03:45 PM   #3
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I use H335 for my AR with 55g bullets and am very happy with it.
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Old April 13, 2012, 03:55 PM   #4
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Lots of people use H335 (cannister grade WC844 military powder) and 748, but be aware these are the older spherical propellant designs. If you choose them you may find magnum primers work best. CCI reformulated their magnum primers specifically for these older sphericals' more resistant ignition characteristics in 1989. Some of the newer sphericals, like Ramshot X-terminator and TAC and Alliant AR-Comp are reported to ignite more easily and burn cleaner, but I mainly use stick powders, so I haven't explored that.

None of the stick powders will meter as well as the sphericals in a measure, unless you get the JDS Quick Measure, but despite that I often find it easier to get an accuracy load with slightly unevenly charged sticks than with very evenly charged spherical powders. I currently use H4198, Reloader 10X, Benchmark, and Varget depending on the bullet weight involved.
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Old April 13, 2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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I just started using a new powder...says it's made for the .223 rifle. It's Alliant Powder and it's called AR-Comp. I use 23 grains for a 55g Hornady bullet. I have shot about 100 rounds with this powder with no problems. Being that it is new there isn't any load data for it in the manuals, but there is on Alliant's web site. It meters very well in my Hornady LnL press

I was using Reloader 10X and was happy with it as well, but it is becoming harder to find in my area.

http://www.alliantpowder.com/product...r/ar_comp.aspx
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Old April 13, 2012, 04:05 PM   #6
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For the original questions of both clean and easy metering - it's TAC all the way. In addition, there's lots of load data and it's economical.
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Old April 13, 2012, 04:16 PM   #7
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RE TAC...wish my local shop carried it!
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Old April 13, 2012, 05:02 PM   #8
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Another vote for 335. I love Varget too, but the 335 meters better.
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Old April 13, 2012, 06:22 PM   #9
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So far, H-335. Also got some data for AA #1680, see how that goes.
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Old April 13, 2012, 07:12 PM   #10
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TAC is my favorite for .223. meters like water and burns cleaner than varget
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Old April 13, 2012, 07:17 PM   #11
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I'm using Power Pro 2000-MR, I have no complaints. I'd like to try Power Pro 1000 as it seems to be the same stuff as Hodgdon CFE 223 (I don't know that for sure, I'm still trying to get a final answer).

A lot of folks like TAC, especially for heavier bullets.

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Old April 13, 2012, 08:01 PM   #12
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H335 or Military 844.
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Old April 13, 2012, 08:08 PM   #13
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I cant wait to try some hodgdon CFE-223 in my .308.... once my current supply of varget runs out, ill get a pound and see if I can get the same accuracy and velocity as my current load...
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Old April 13, 2012, 09:59 PM   #14
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It's X-Terminator & TAC for me. Both burn fairly clean and meter like water. I have found that, in my Bushmaster Varminter, X-Terminator is best for 55g & lighter & TAC is best for 60g and heavier.

The old saying still holds true "faster burning powder for light bullets, slower burning powder for heavier bullets"

I just got 2 lbs of CFE-223 but have not tested it. Will go to the range next week and will post the results in a new thread.
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Old April 14, 2012, 01:32 AM   #15
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I use Tac, H335, and W748 and they are all clean burning, accurate, and meter well. H335 is my favorite.
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Old April 14, 2012, 04:37 AM   #16
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W748 works well for me.
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Old April 14, 2012, 06:04 AM   #17
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I wouldn't use precisely weighed charges of ball powder when metered extruded powder with a 2 to 3 tenths grain spread in charge weight's won more matches and set more records in centerfire rifle shooting than any ball powder. While ball powder's got a huge following and consistant charge weights may produce lower spreads in muzzle velocity and peak pressure, those two things do not guarantee best accuracy. However, if one bases accuracy on the average size of a few 3- or 5-shot groups fired from a rifle held against their shoulder, then most any combination of everything will surface as the "best" load. I don't think there's enough paper on this planet to list all the "favorite" or "most accurate" loads for a given cartridge and bullet.

I don't know of any benchrest match won with or record set with 22 or even 24 caliber rifles with ball powder. Hodgdon 322 extruded powder's done better in benchrest matches in these calibers with metered (not weighed to exact amounts) than all other powders combined.

Last edited by Bart B.; April 14, 2012 at 07:58 AM.
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Old April 14, 2012, 08:06 AM   #18
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Bart B.

What you say holds some truth. However the choices now for ball powders are not the same choices there were a decade or more ago. So things may end up a tad different in another decade or so. Or they might not, and stick powders will still win championships.

Jimro
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Old April 14, 2012, 10:06 AM   #19
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...and I would bet everyone isn't seeking bench rest match accuracy. I would also bet there is a lot more that goes into that type shooting than just powder selection.

For me, a powder that meters consistently, burns pretty clean and delivers 1-1/2" at 100 with my 5-shot groups is excellent. Good pricing doesn't hurt either.

The one thing that is clear in this thread is that there are many good choices!
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Old April 14, 2012, 02:27 PM   #20
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Another vote for 748.
Ball types meter better for me.
748 burns clean for me in .222Rem to .30-06 Spfd.
My favored loading for 50 Grain .223 Rem is 25.5 grains for 2850fps out of a 18 1/2 inch barrel (bolt gun).
For 55 Grain 5.56 (.223 Rem) is 26.6 grains for 3013fps out of a 20 inch barrel (AR).
These loads are for accuracy out of each of these weapons and do quite well.

I have used various IMR type tube powders (H4895/IMR4895/Varget/others) and always feel that I am cutting grains with my old Lyman 55 measure. Something that 748/BLC2/H380 doesn't do.

Enjoy,

OSOK
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Old April 14, 2012, 03:25 PM   #21
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CFE223 overall excellent,barrel easier to clean,meters well and accurate.
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Old April 14, 2012, 08:02 PM   #22
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I'm curious as to what folks think of this idea.........

A 25-grain charge of extruded powder has exactly 1000 little hollow kernels based on 40 kernels per grain of weight. This assumes each one weighs exactly the same amount and has exactly the same volume. 40 powder charges of this weight are made; 20 have none of the kernels damaged by any means and they're all perfect, then 20 more charges have 13 kernels damaged by the edges of a powder measure's metering chamber. The "damaged" charges have 1.3% of their kernels damaged.

Loading each batch of charges in primed cases and seating bullets in them, all with zero tolerance in everything, what difference in external ballistics will the "perfect" powder ones have compared to the "damaged" ones?

How does one separate the normal variance in powder kernel variables in their chemistry and shape between the "damaged" and "perfect" loads?

Has anyone actually counted the "damaged" powder pieces to see exactly how many were cut, crunched or otherwise mangled?

Last edited by Bart B.; April 14, 2012 at 08:11 PM.
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Old April 14, 2012, 08:07 PM   #23
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If I have to get that in depth in my loading, it is probably going to stop being fun and become a chore. I use ball powders because they meter well, that's all. I won't win any matches with my loads - hell, there AREN'T any matches close to me! I am not the greatest shot in the world by any means - been belittled on internet boards for my proven lack of marksmanship. But I have fun with it, and I can hit a man sized target at 100 yards with every centerfire rifle I currently own.
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Old April 14, 2012, 08:27 PM   #24
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Mr B,

Was that 'tong in cheek'????
If not, you've got way too much time on your hands.
Please report your results.

For now I'm going to continue watching the weather channel.... I get a kick out of how they butcher little towns' names. Or I could punch out some primers.

Enjoy,

OSOK
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Old April 15, 2012, 02:05 AM   #25
Mike-Mat
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Bought 1# of H335. I'll give that a try. TAC sounds pretty popular. I'll have to see if my store carries it. They were out of the "new"CFE223". But I really didn't want that anyway. Looked like they were charging a premium for it.

This was interesting....
CCI Primers - Small rifle Magnum - $29.99
CCI Primers - Small rifle - $49.99

Not mislabeled. I asked the clerk.

I think I'll use the Magnums. Thank you very much.
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