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Old October 1, 2012, 04:28 AM   #1
supermick83
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223 Limit

Can someone tell me whats the limit of 223. How far is it accurate and dangerous? I shoot mostly 223 but only around the 200- 300yard mark and would like to find out how far out I could really send them. I have a 308 also but only use that for deer hunting plus the ammo is too expensive here to be pinging targets with 308. thanks guys
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Old October 1, 2012, 04:59 AM   #2
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the varmite matches here are shot with a lot of .223,s and the matches are 5 shots at each range in six minutes at 200-300-500yds and the ten x ring is about 2inches in dia.,and you had better be in the the mid to upper 140,s out of a perfect 150-10x,s, if you want to place. the .223,s are good to go if you can read the wind out to 5-6 hundred yards with the right bullet. eastbank.
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Old October 1, 2012, 06:35 AM   #3
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For the Ground Hogs I shoot , the 223 takes care of anything 200yrds and under. Over 200 I reach for the 22-250.
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Old October 1, 2012, 06:53 AM   #4
Art Eatman
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Bullets of around 70 grains will penetrate a GI helmet at 600 yards, as far as "danger".

I've done quite well on prairie dogs to 300 yards with my .223. Didn't bother to try longer shots. Zeroed at 200; had about six inches of drop at 300.
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Old October 1, 2012, 06:59 AM   #5
supermick83
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great stuff guys thanks gonna set up a few targets at 500yards and see how I get on. Quad bike, Gun and open fields love it Have a few 65 grain but other than that i've only 55grain but will try anyway until I get more heavier rounds
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Old October 1, 2012, 12:51 PM   #6
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Service rifle matches shoot ARs at 200, 300, and 600 yards with open sights. Most folks use 69-80 grain bullets at 600.

They're also shot at 1000 but that's pretty much the edge of the envelope IMO. For an AR you're talking 80 and up grain VLD bullets singly loaded because they're too long to fit in the magazine. And rifling 1:8 or shorter to stabilize the heavy projectiles. And maybe a throated match barrel. And, and, and..... Point is, it can be (and IS) done, but it is a non-trivial exercise. And you won't do it with run of the mill equipment and ammo.
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Old October 1, 2012, 02:11 PM   #7
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I've shot prairie dogs at 600 with a 223. Not every shot connects, but most do.
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Old October 2, 2012, 05:28 PM   #8
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I did not see the gun your using and the rate of twist . The farther you shoot a 223 the heavier the bullet and faster it spins will be better and have alot to do with your accuracy .
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:11 AM   #9
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That .223 will kill a Tyrannosaurus Rex at 1000 yards with hit to the big toe. Of course you'll have to wait for it to die from the infection after it steps in Stegosaurus poop.
Under field conditions and assuming you expect a first shot hit, you will need to be an expert wind doper to hit a coyote at over 300 yards. I've seen imperceptible wind gusts move the 55 grain bullets 8-12" at 300 meters. Through the winter, I keep a bait pile located 350 yards from a shooting station behind my house. Some days I can hit an 8" circle and some a 3" circle mainly due to wind gusts. An 8" group only hits a coyote about 1/2 the time.
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:36 AM   #10
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I have pushed mine out 600 yards with so so accuracy. ( wind really kills that small bullet ). I try now to keep them 400 yards or closer. 300 yards is a easy kill.
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Old October 6, 2012, 04:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
I've done quite well on prairie dogs to 300 yards with my .223.

Art, what grain bullet are you using?
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Old October 7, 2012, 02:11 AM   #12
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Like Art, I do well out to 300-350 with my .223. I run 55gr Hornady V-Max's, Privi Partizan cases, small Win primers, and near max 26.5gr of Varget powder. That seems to duplicate the 55 factory Privi Partizan and Academy Monarch brass loads I chrono'd 5-6yrs ago- just much more accuracy.
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Old October 7, 2012, 04:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Like Art, I do well out to 300-350 with my .223. I run 55gr Hornady V-Max's, Privi Partizan cases, small Win primers, and near max 26.5gr of Varget powder. That seems to duplicate the 55 factory Privi Partizan and Academy Monarch brass loads I chrono'd 5-6yrs ago- just much more accuracy.
What velocity do you get with this load?
What accuracy do you get at 100 yards?
I didn't think Varget was too good in 223.
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Old October 7, 2012, 07:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
I didn't think Varget was too good in 223.
My Nosler #5 manual shows Varget used with bullets from 40-55 grains. It may not be the best powder, but it is certainly usable. When I'm reloading the .223, I generally use IMR4895 or RL15, simply because that's what I've got on the bench. Were I setting up simply for that caliber, I might go buy powder especially for that use, but because I load so little of the cartridge I tend to use what's available.

I should note that I don't reload for my gas gun, but reload for the bolt and single-shot rifles we have, so I'm not concerned with port pressures and cycling issues, simply accuracy. But, to answer your question, there is a wide range of powders that may not be best for the .223, but are eminently usable.
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Old October 7, 2012, 08:20 AM   #15
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I didn't think Varget was too good in 223.

60 gn V-max
25.5 gn Varget
CCI-BR-4 Primers
COL- 2.29
Cases trimmed to 1.745

Very Very Accurate load,Running right around 3000 fps.

I used this same set-up only i was using RL-15.Was very accurate as well,One day just decided to try Varget again and,wow It all just came together.
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Old October 7, 2012, 10:19 AM   #16
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I mostly use 50- to 55-grain bullets. I've seen little difference in group size among several brands of bullet, although I mostly use Sierra boat-tails.

FWIW, it's a Ruger 77 Mk II light sporter that I bought around 15 years ago. 22", 1:10. I've never tweaked with the bedding at all. Replaced the tort-liability trigger with a Timney.

The silly thing doesn't seem to care what it's fed. Factory stuff, S&B GI-type, handloads...It has always been right at half-MOA for five shots from the bench.
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:03 AM   #17
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Every 77 I've been familiar with were very accurate. They cut no corners with the 77. I had a model 70 XTR 223 (post 64 of course) that would shoot flat based bullets well, but wouldn't group well at all with boat tails, which have a slight edge for long range shooting. I didn't know Ruger offered a 1:10" twist back then. Was it re barreled?
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Old October 7, 2012, 09:09 PM   #18
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The Ruger website said it's 1:10. I've never bothered to check. I bought it barely-used, LNIB.
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Old October 8, 2012, 01:23 AM   #19
10-96
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Quote:
What velocity do you get with this load?
What accuracy do you get at 100 yards?
I didn't think Varget was too good in 223.
If I recall, it was in the neighborhood of 3240-3250fps with a 24"bbl.
At 100yds, I can pull off about a .39" 5-shot groups with my CZ 527's, I've never been overly optomistic with 3-shot groups. And .50" groups or less with my Bushmaster Varminter and RGuns 20" A3 non-chromed.
I'm not sure why (or where) Varget got a bad rap- it's always had a good strong following at Camp Perry and several Varmit Hunter forums and organizations.

I dump light and trickle up each weighed charge, but I guess others prefer to just run powder dumps and call it good. I guess they have a legitimate gripe that Varget is an extruded powder that gives most, or maybe all powder dumps the crunchies. Yeah, I can feel when I cut a grain, but it does not bother me- and it has yet to cause any ill effect that I can see.

On the other hand, Varget is one of the cleanest powders I've tried in .223- been using it for 11 or 12 years now I think, and with the results I get I see no reason to change things up. I don't shoot in extreme heat or cold unless I have to- but one of Vargets big advertisements is it's ability to be non-effected by extreme temps or temp changes. I shoot a few high power matches with my above mentioned varmint load, and sometimes let a ctg sit in a hot chamber longer than I intend, and I see no bad effects from that.
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Last edited by 10-96; October 9, 2012 at 03:54 AM.
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Old October 9, 2012, 12:32 AM   #20
trg42wraglefragle
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I also read in my Lee die set that 26.0gr was the max load for 223.
I'm currently developing a load for my 223 with the 53gr Vmax bullets, I was intending on keeping it under 26gr but I will have to try going higher.

Had not pressure signs at all at 26.0 and 26.1 so I will keep going up from there.
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Old October 9, 2012, 02:41 AM   #21
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I don't have it in front of me, but I believe the Lyman 49th Edition puts the max at 27.1 for Varget. The Hogdon/IMR/Winchester site puts it at 27.5gr.

At 26.5, I get just the faintest signs of beginnings of flattened primers (looks just like the factory load primers after firing). I would not go above that with the components I use. The Privi Partizan brass is right up there in weight with Lake City, and a tenth or two of a grain heavier on average than Winchester brass- so it's my thinking that I'm stuffing it iinto a smaller space. I tend to think that with Remington or Federal/FC brass- the beginnings of those flat primers might not be so evident.
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Old October 9, 2012, 03:36 AM   #22
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I just happen to have the 49th edition lyman book in front of me and its say's 27.8+ for varget as a max for 55gr. spt. You were pretty close 10-96. I wish I could remember recipes like that but I just starting out myself.:
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Old October 9, 2012, 03:53 AM   #23
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Once you find that one special load that just works for you in such a way that you really don't see any reason to look further- it'll stick in your memory. Even though that recipe is stuck for me, I still go back and verify my lil black book before I start the process.

I've always wondered about that max load (even if I couldn't remember what it was exactly). With my brass, the powder collumn usually ends up in the bottm 1/3 of the neck. What I wonder is, what kind of tamping and stomping would it require to get all of those 27.8grs down in that sucker??? Talk about a heavy compression!

And, I wonder how safe it would be to get anywhere close to that? Once I started working up from about 10% above minimum and found a load that gave me sub 1/2" groups- I didn't even try to go any further.
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