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Old September 14, 2012, 04:53 PM   #1
brokenanew
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.223 loads dissapointed accuracy

I have been reloading for a bit now. I picked up some Varget, 75gr A-maxs, 69 SMKs and 60 Gr V-max for my Colt 6520 16" AR15 1:7 C MP

A-MAXs: I loaded 23.5-25.5(pressure signs w/ 25.5 (LC brass fed match primers) with .5 increments on the varget. Best group 1.6" but as large as 3"

69 SMKS: 24-25.5-.5 increments (Win brass Fed match Primers) best was 24.5gr 1.5" group with as large as 3"

60 gr V-max: 24- 25.5 -.5 increments (win Brass Fed Match primers) best was .9" with 25 Gr.

I felt good about the V-MAXs but was really disappointed in the other two. Is this acceptable accuracy for that particular rifle with those loads?
I guess deep down I was hoping to see consistent sub 1 MOA groups. My .308 remington VTR has spoiled me I guess. Averages .58" groups with my accurate loads.

Also I was given an old box of .308 mil ammo. Cases read 68 as in 1968!! they look something like 147 grainers to me. Are they safe to shoot in my rem 700?
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Old September 14, 2012, 05:04 PM   #2
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What is your OAL for the A-Max? This bullet is not to be loaded to Mag length(2.260). It must be seated long and loaded into the chamber single shot.
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Old September 14, 2012, 05:23 PM   #3
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I used to shoot 70 gn A-max also. Definetly single load. It was my 600 yard go to load. ( got a better gun for that distance now ). My load was
25.5gn Varget
CCI br primers
COL ?? Can't off hand remember
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Old September 14, 2012, 05:29 PM   #4
brokenanew
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Amaxs were load at 2.55. .02 off lands
Other 2 were 2.260
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Old September 14, 2012, 07:39 PM   #5
603Country
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Try another powder. Varget wasn't the favorite of my 223. I got best results with 65 grainers with AA2230.
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Old September 14, 2012, 11:15 PM   #6
HiBC
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Is the barrel free floated?Is it chrome lined?

I am not necessarily saying all non-floated rifles ,or all chrome lined bores will disappoint you for accuracy.

I suggest having lower expectations if this one is in battle rifle configuration.

1.5 MOA might be a reasonable expectation.

If it is free floated with a match grade barrel,then yes,I would be disappointed,too.

One thing to check,see if your reloading process is making straight,concentric ammo(I know,hard without tools)

Some bullets are more forgiving...better at getting themselves started straight.Others may be sleeker,better BC,but more finniky.A Sierra MK seems to be a forgiving bullet.

A brother's AR was shooting around 1 MOA,he was disappointed.He tried a 60 grain ballistic tip with Benchmark,and he is now very happy ,much better.
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Old September 15, 2012, 05:53 AM   #7
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I agree, try a different powder such as H335 or CFE223.
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Old September 15, 2012, 08:45 AM   #8
m&p45acp10+1
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I would say on the longer bullets back off to .06 off of the lands and see how that does. Then work to closer if needed. I tried that long loading to .02 off the lands in my bolt action, groups were opening up greatly to .75 to 1.5 MOA. At .06 off the lands with bullets from 69 to 77 grains were giving great results of under .25 MOA. With the 55 grain bullets I tried different lengths and the results were so close I just seat them to mag length.
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Old September 15, 2012, 09:55 AM   #9
TMD
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The A-Max is designed for bolt guns and its recommended to be seated out to 2.390"
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Old September 15, 2012, 10:54 AM   #10
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Perhaps the A-Max jacket is to thin for the 1n7 twist rate.
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Old September 15, 2012, 11:44 AM   #11
brokenanew
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well its a pencil barrel 16" chrome lined ar15. I ran the .02 to lands on amax bc it was suggest by the guy I bought bullets from. Really just bought the rifle for run and gun SHTF type of deal. But I will be happy if I can my loads under 1 MOA with that rifle. Rifle was not really built for accuracy, I'm thinking but dependability and rapid assault type of situations.

I had some H335 for a bit but used it up in what I had left for my plinking load. The only reason I didnt want to get the h335 this time was because of the temperature sensitivity. The guy I get my reloading supplies tried to talk me into CFE223. Ive heard some really good things and some really bad things about it.

I might play with the seating depth on the A-max as well. But playing with the OAL messes with the grain measurement right? Changes pressure?
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Old September 15, 2012, 01:01 PM   #12
TMD
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AGAIN, the 75gr A-Max is NOT designed for your AR. If you want to run a 75gr bullet Hornady also makes a BTHP #2279 that is designed for ar's and is recommended to be loaded to a col of 2.250".
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Old September 16, 2012, 09:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
If you want to run a 75gr bullet Hornady also makes a BTHP #2279 that is designed for ar's and is recommended to be loaded to a col of 2.250".
Will this fit in the magazine and be feed like standard ammo?
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Old September 16, 2012, 09:53 AM   #14
m&p45acp10+1
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Rebs that length should load in any magazine. 2.250 is standard .223 Rem COL for most factory ammo.
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Old September 16, 2012, 10:00 AM   #15
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Seems your rifle likes the lighter bullets, given that you got sub-minute results from the 60 grain bullets.

Just because a rifle has a fast twist, and is capable of handling heavier bullets, doesn't mean it's going to "like" them...

My son's Rem 700 bolt in .223 HATES heavier bullets...

From what's on the net, you'd expect every AR to have half-minute accuracy. Bull...Expecting most "off the rack" AR's to shoot much better than minute of angle is unrealistic, as is expecting the same accuracy as you get from your 700 bolt gun. On the internet, if someone has a rifle that shot a 1/2" 3-shot group once...upon a time...when the moon was right...they immediately declare it a "1/2 moa rifle". Makes them feel good, I guess...but I know better.

Sounds to me, like you might be expecting a bit too much from the rifle.

It definitely makes sense to experiment with a different powder or two..
We tried H335, and it did not shoot as well as Varget.
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Old September 16, 2012, 12:22 PM   #16
TMD
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You also might want to try TAC for powder if your hung up on heavier bulltes.
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Old September 16, 2012, 12:39 PM   #17
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You said you have a pencil barrel that is chrome lined.Best to lower your expectations.If you find a load thats shooting 1 1/2 MOA,its doing fine,and so are you.

Of course,there are exceptions,but generally the sort of groups you hope for are fired from free floated rifles or carbines with HBAR or heavier barrels,and generally they are not chrome lined.

In the tradeoff,you have lighter weight and a longer barrel life with yours.

Unless your primary target is a prairie dog,it won't make much difference.

If you are shooting prairie dogs,the expanding varmint bullets will give more humane kills than heavy match bullets.

I prefer heavy bullets,too,it gets breezy here...Look at the 60 gr Varmint Ballistic tip.

You might also look at the 75 gr Hornady BTHP.(not A-Max).Better BC than most,load to mag length,and decent price.RE-15 has been giving me better results than Varget.H-4895 is one I intend to try.

Last edited by HiBC; September 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM.
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Old September 16, 2012, 12:58 PM   #18
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I've owned 5 or 6 223's all have been most accurate at 100 yards with the Sierra 52gr match king,simply disregard the twist and try other bullets.
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Old September 16, 2012, 02:52 PM   #19
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barrels differ

Continue experimenting with different bullets, weights and powders. What should shoot good does not always perform. You might try some Sierra bullets.
I think your results tell you what you need to know. Some combos work better than others. Stick with the loads that perform.
As was mentioned, reading forums, people are led to believe that half minute groups are the norm and they are not. My 20 inch AR regularly shoots groups of 1.0 to 1.25 inches, range trip after range trip. I try different loads but results seem to be fairly constant. I accept that. Sometimes I will shoot a little better but nothing I can bet on.
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Old September 16, 2012, 06:23 PM   #20
brokenanew
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TMD-- I was just looking for a load that if I had to even in that rifle I could make a longer shot like lets say hitting consistently on a 8" circle at 4oo yards. unreasonable? I will definitely try the 75 HPBT but I was still surprised the 69 gr SMK didn't fair better either.

HiBC- yeah I have a good chunk of RL15 i use in my .308 Im going to try that next.

Judge- one of the bullets was a 69gr SMK. didnt fair better.

I might be expecting to much out of that rifle but I figure if I can just find that one load of 70~ or higher gr at or under 1 MOA for longer shots Ill feel accomplished. Thanks for ya'lls help! Good insights! It will be a few weeks before I can make it to the range again but Ill let you know how it goes when i try the Hornady 75 gr HPBT and change the powder to RL15.
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Old September 16, 2012, 06:34 PM   #21
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If you going in .5 increments, unless your really lucky you won't find the sweet spot. I shoot alot of precision and have witnessed my rounds vertically stringing with just a .1 change.

Find your ball park load using .5 increments and then narrow your loads down to .1 increments once your satisfied. Pay close attention to the stringing of your shots and how they move from left to right in between each string of loads.

It will take more loads but i feel it's completely necessary if your serious about finding what your rifle likes. Of course my ProChrono helps too
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Old September 16, 2012, 07:50 PM   #22
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My 16" Hbar like 23.0grs Varget @2.250 with Hornady 75gr BTHP (NOT THE "A" MAX) BULLET Its not a hot load but real accurate
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Old September 17, 2012, 08:30 AM   #23
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If you really want to "play" with a long range load, grab a box of Berger 80 grain VLD's and single load them....it's a fun experiment...

But like I said, just because you have a 7 twist, doesn't always mean heavy bullets will shoot well, just because they "should"

Good luck.
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Old September 18, 2012, 08:45 AM   #24
stnosc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenanew
Really just bought the rifle for run and gun SHTF type of deal
75gr AMAX is not a SHTF "run around and pretend to be a soldier" projectile.

Plenty of folks are using the 75gr AMAX in their ARs for competition....just not in the magazine. Single-fed at the 600 yard line prone slow fire.
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Old September 18, 2012, 05:53 PM   #25
Jimro
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Pencil weight chrome lined barrel.

M4 acceptance accuracy with issue ammunition is right at 4 minutes of accuracy.

Lower your expectations, 3 MOA is more than good enough for "play soldier and get ready for a SHTF scenario"

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