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Old September 11, 2012, 11:37 AM   #1
djcantr
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.223 load suggestions

I'm finally starting to reload rifle cartridges. I'm wanting to work up a fairly accurate plinking round for my .223 AR. I have 1k Montana Gold 55 grain FMJs, CCI #400 small rifle primers, Varget and H4895 on hand.

I don't have great presses, just a Lee Pro 1000 and a $25 Lee single stage. I'll be loading these single stage. I have a Rock Chucker on my short list to buy.

Hodgdon doesn't list 55 grain FMJ for anything but Hornady bullets and Trail Boss, Titegroup and Clays.

Where do you guys suggest starting with these powders? I was wanting to load ten cartridges in .2 grain increments but I don't really have a starting point.
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Old September 11, 2012, 05:18 PM   #2
Jimro
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Use the most conservative starting powder charge for the same weight bullets listed and work up from their to the lowest max listed.

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Old September 11, 2012, 05:42 PM   #3
30_06
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I use 23 grains of varget under a 55 grain vmax for my 223 loads i put in my single shot. Varget works well in 223. You need a reloading handbook! But my hornady book says 22.8 grains of Varget will push a 55 grain bullet 2800 fps. The MAX load says 26 Grains which should push it 3200 fps.
I understand the joy of shooting your own rounds but when I owned my bushmaster AR (2 weeks ago) I found it not worth the hassle with a single stage when you can get 20 shells for 8 bucks of FMJs. I find small calliber rounds with a neck like that to be a PITA to load. Especially when your shooting them as quick as you probably will be.
I find an accurate single shot is great for testing rounds i put extensive effort into.
Have fun and keep shooting
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Old September 11, 2012, 05:45 PM   #4
Jimro
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For what it is worth, I reload 223 on a Pro1000 and it works ok. You can crank out quite a bit of ammo, although I'm sure a Dillon or LnL would be faster.

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Old September 11, 2012, 06:38 PM   #5
PA-Joe
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What is the twist rate of your barrel? That will dictate what grain bullet works best.
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:16 PM   #6
NWPilgrim
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The Hodgdon web page list many powders for 55 gr SP and the start loafs listed should be fine for FMJ as well. They list 25.5 - 27.5 gr for Varget and, and 25.0 - 26.0 for H4895.

My best load for 55 gr bullets is 26.4 gr Varget. I worked up in .2 gr increments and Varget got more and more accurate with more powder. At 26.4 it held steady fir accuracy to 27.0 so I stopped there and use 26.4 gr as my best load.
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Old September 12, 2012, 07:26 AM   #7
djcantr
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The rifle I'm reloading for has a 16" 1:7" twist barrel. I plan on buying some heavier bullets later to play with but I wanted to load some plinking rounds with the 55 grain bullets.

I started sizing cases last night before I trimmed them. The shoulders on some of them have dents in them. They didn't before. I'll clean the vent hole and use a little less lube on them and see if it still happens.
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Old September 12, 2012, 03:08 PM   #8
GeauxTide
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I use 25.5gr of H4895 under 55gr NBT in my 788 with 24" barrel. Probably too stout for an auto, so I'd start at 24.
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Old September 12, 2012, 04:08 PM   #9
NWPilgrim
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Quote:
I started sizing cases last night before I trimmed them. The shoulders on some of them have dents in them. They didn't before. I'll clean the vent hole and use a little less lube on them and see if it still happens.
.223 cases mainly just need lube at the base and inside the neck. They are small enough that I don't even lube the shoulder area at all. I turn the cases upside down in a loading block and just spray the bases. If I was rolling them I would just roll the base portion and let the shoulders hang over the edge of the pad.

A larger case such as the .30-06 I will lube most of the case. but the .223 really needs it just in the bottom inch or so.
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:08 PM   #10
txbikerinpa
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Reloading combinations?

I have searched but cant find any info on the combination I need. I hope I am in the right spot.
I have been given some Reloder 15 and 55gr fmj bullets. My books dont list this combination. I am open for suggestions based on experience.
Thanks
Chuck
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Old September 13, 2012, 04:03 AM   #11
NWPilgrim
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Rl15 is pretty slow for that lightweight bullet. Neither Hornady or Sierra list it. So may not give best results. They stop at about the Varget and 4064 burn rate.

According to QuickLoad (which calculates predicted loads but they are not tested for actual pressure) you might try 25.0 - 27.0 gr.
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Old September 13, 2012, 07:10 AM   #12
oldpapps
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For your listed components, Mr. Lee's book lists a starting point of 25.5gr for Varget and 25.0gr for H4895. The both run into compressed powder rapidly. Of the two, I think Varget is not very efficient in shorter barrels (my opinion) and H4895 gives consistent velocities (my opinion again).

As Mr. 06 stated, you need to get a loading book.

Be safe,

OSOK
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Old September 13, 2012, 07:10 AM   #13
Rimfire5
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A Colt HBAR with a 1:7 twist didn't shoot 55 grain bullets very well.
Almost any load for a 55 grain bullet with any powder load that is in the load tables worked about the same.
The one exception was 24.0 grains of H4895 at 2.250 COAL with 55 grain FMJ Sierra bullets that shot to an average of 1.550 inches at 100 yards. The rest were around 2.3 inches average.

It really likes 75 and 77 grain bullets though. Manages to keep them under 1 MOA at 100 yards.
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Old September 14, 2012, 08:33 AM   #14
velocette
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Typically, if one is seeking accuracy in his handloads, FMJ bullets are not a good choice. A-max bullets, Sierra match bullets, Nosler match bullets all will produce superior results to FMJs. The difference in price is insignificant, the accuracy difference is considerable.
Sierra's 52 or 53 gr match bullets + 23.5 gr of Viht N133, is Sierra's accuracy load for the .223.

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Old September 14, 2012, 09:03 AM   #15
BPowderkeg
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my best load for the Hornady 55 Gr. FMJBT is 26.5 Gr. TAC, the Grain weights will vary with BLC-2 and W-748 close second best.
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