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Old January 22, 2013, 10:42 PM   #1
BlackSheep
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.223 Reloading problem

Before I begin this is what I am using:

Accurate Powder 2230-C (Equal burn rate to 2460)
.223 cartridges (all kinds)
CC small rifle primers
Sierra 69 gr HBPT MK bullets (Mollie plated)
AR-15 , 16" barrrel. 1:9

Collaboratively, manufactures and reloading books say to start with (Accu)21.5 gn with a max of 25.0 gn. Well today I went out and shot ten rounds of each with 23 gn, 23.6 gn, 24 gn and 24.6 gn to see which made the best grouping for my rifle. All of which, failed to eject and re-chamber a round. So after a half a day of frustration, I went back home and pulled out some factory rounds from three different companies and found out they where all around 52 gn of powder. So does anyone have any ideas or ways to solve what is going on? I thought about adding more powder, but I want to make sure I cover and research any areas of concern before sticking a fatal round. I never had these problems with my .270 WSM when dealing with recommended grains.

Also keep in mind right after I shot those rounds, I shot normal factory loaded ammo and everything worked fine.
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Old January 22, 2013, 11:52 PM   #2
Aguila Blanca
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Did you chronograph your loads? Sounds like you didn't, so you have no idea what you've got.

As to the factory loads, you don't know what they used for powder, so comparing powder charge against an aftermarket home load is meaningless.
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Old January 23, 2013, 12:11 AM   #3
Ben Towe
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Quote:
I went back home and pulled out some factory rounds from three different companies and found out they where all around 52 gn of powder
You might want to recheck something. .223 case capacity is 28.8 grains....
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Old January 23, 2013, 09:20 AM   #4
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I shoot just about the same load for high power - 200 yd reduced course.

LC cases
CCI #41 primers
Sie 69 gr MK (not moly)
2230-C, and I do not remember the charge and can't look right now.

I'm gonna hate it when I finally run out of this powder. Purchase price was WAY lower than anything available even when it was originally purchased, and certainly lower than anything now. Good powder for 5.56.

The rifle and load shoot better than I do.
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Old January 23, 2013, 09:25 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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Two problems, right off:

One, no way there's 52gr powder in a 223 case

Two, even if there were its irrelevant unless its the exact same powder your using.

The most obvious issue here is with your scale, I'd guess. If it's telling you that there's 52.0gr powder in those factory lads, something is seriously wrong.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; January 23, 2013 at 09:36 AM.
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Old January 23, 2013, 09:42 AM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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I ran the question of powder capacity in QuickLoad, using both 556NATO and 223Rem default settings. Quickload thinks you couldn't stuff more than 28.0gr of any powder in those cases and that would be HEAVILY compressed charges of a worthless powder (RL-33) for the cartridge.

It also thinks that your top load of 24.6gr 2230 is already over pressure, at about 62,000psi.
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Old January 23, 2013, 09:58 AM   #7
Unclenick
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I suspect he transposed 25 to 52 while typing, but still, so what? 25 grains of 1680 would be way over pressure. 25 grains of 2700 would be way under pressure. They would all look similar. Unless you have some way of knowing you have commercial loads with not only 2230-C, specifically, but with your exact same lot number of 2230-C in them (because bulk powder burn rates vary a lot more from lot-to-lot than powders sold for handloading do), it doesn't help.

If the 52 grain number is not a typo, then check your scale. Something is way off, as no gunpowder made will let you fit 52 grains into a .223 case (unless maybe it's one of those compressible powders Hornady used to use in their light magnum loads and some of their Super Performance loads, and those aren't safe for a gas gun).

I would also, with a spherical propellant and an AR, be using magnum primers. See this article for an explanation. Best would be to use a military sensitivity spec primer to minimize risk of slamfires. Be extra sure all primers are clearly below flush in the case, as high primers of any kind are a recipe for slamfires in a floating firing pin gas gun mechanism.

Military sensitivity spec magnum primers:

CCI
#41

TulAmmo
KVB556M

Wolf
NC223


Military sensitivity spec standard primer

Federal
GMM205MAR (not to be confused with GMM205M; the "AR" has to be on the end)
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Old January 23, 2013, 09:59 AM   #8
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Sounds like improper sizing.

If you aren't popping primers or getting blow by then pressure isn't the culprit (62k is within the operating range of milspec 5.56, although those do have crimped primers).

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Old January 23, 2013, 10:01 AM   #9
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May I ask what kind of scale your using? Did it come with a check weight?
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Old January 23, 2013, 10:01 AM   #10
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Jimro,

It's not over-pressure, its failure to function the gas system, so under-pressure.
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Old January 23, 2013, 10:40 AM   #11
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I'm assuming (I know, I know) that OP's "mollie plated" means moly coated. Ignore this if I'm wrong.

Since factory ammo works okay and sundog reports success with just about the same load but with non-moly bullets, does OP need to adjust his load to compensate for his moly bullets?
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Old January 23, 2013, 10:46 AM   #12
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Unclenick,

You are right, for some reason I read "fail to extract" which I thought meant stuck brass.

I think that the OP should switch from the CCI 400s to something meant for the AR, but I don't think that the primer is the source of the problem, it might simply be a carbine length gas system was used in his rifle instead of a "middy" and he needs a tad faster powder. Don't know for sure though.

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Old January 23, 2013, 11:43 AM   #13
BlackSheep
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Re: .223 Reloading Problem

I have read all posts and I have concluded that it is my scale.

After I came back I even double checked what I was doing i.e. 1 gram equals 15.432 grains which is what I got when I weighed things out. Its interesting because I always check it with the manufacture weights before I start. I should go with a mechanical scale to eliminate whatever is going on.

I did find it odd that what I was putting in didn't even come close to filling up the cartridge to a reasonable level.

I appreciate all of your comments. I will do some problem solving with my scale.
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Old January 23, 2013, 11:57 AM   #14
Unclenick
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Higgite,

Moly bullets usually need somewhere around another 0.3-0.5 grains of powder, or thereabouts, to get a velocity match. Shouldn't be enough difference to prevent functioning.

Since factory loads work, the gas system shouldn't be too far off, either. That's really suggesting that something actually is wrong with the scale and it is reading around two times higher than actual weight.


Black Sheep,

(You posted while I was composing so this sort of duplicates your conclusion)

A couple of simple tests:

Weigh a dime. They vary too much to be reliable check weights, but a 2:1 scale error is easy to detect. It should weigh about 35 grains.

Fill an empty case with powder level with the top. Pour the powder onto the scale. It should weigh less than 30 grains.
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Old January 23, 2013, 12:55 PM   #15
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Black sheep

I load for my carbine length AR, I'm running 24.5 gr of H335 and the powder reaches the shoulder. I visually check every powder drop, and if anything seems inconsistent I dump the powder out and weight it, then drop another charge. A quick visual inspection as you load is something that can save your rear.
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Old January 23, 2013, 01:11 PM   #16
chris in va
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Quote:
I should go with a mechanical scale to eliminate whatever is going on.
This. I don't trust electronic scales. Gravity is pretty consistent.
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Old January 23, 2013, 02:39 PM   #17
BlackSheep
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Conclusion

After taking my unlabeled weights to a caliberated scale, I found out the weights were half the weight I thought they were. So, when I caliberated it of course it read what I thought the weights were (without documentation). After all that I made notes and also wrote down on the Weights what they actually weighed. Problem solved. In retrospect I all only used 12 gn instead of 24 gn. Do it all over again.

Is there certain websites you all like to use to verify reloads?

Thanks again.
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Old January 23, 2013, 02:51 PM   #18
Brian Pfleuger
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The only load data that should be trusted is that from official sources, all or most of which that is online can be found here:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=435562
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Old January 23, 2013, 07:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Higgite,

Moly bullets usually need somewhere around another 0.3-0.5 grains of powder, or thereabouts, to get a velocity match. Shouldn't be enough difference to prevent functioning.

Since factory loads work, the gas system shouldn't be too far off, either. That's really suggesting that something actually is wrong with the scale and it is reading around two times higher than actual weight.
Thanks, Unclenick. Still learning.
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Old January 23, 2013, 09:33 PM   #20
hagar
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Always check your scale with a known factor, some scales come with check weights. If nothing else, weigh a 69 grain bullet, it should be within 1/2 grain. Sierras probably within a 10th of a grain.

Reduced charges can be as damaging as too much, easy to get a bulllet stuck in the bore and sticking and firing another one behind it, and at the least it will cost you a new barrel.
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Old January 23, 2013, 10:23 PM   #21
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You were quite lucky Blacksheep. We are all human. That's the kind of mistake that could literally end in tragedy. You can't double or halve the reccomended load and get away with it very often. You need to slow down a little. You got ahead of yourself. I'd proceed with more caution if I were you. Good Luck and be careful.
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Old January 23, 2013, 11:56 PM   #22
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no data
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Last edited by A_Gamehog; January 27, 2013 at 12:37 PM. Reason: Missed the point
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Old January 24, 2013, 12:27 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. Gamehog
Sounds like good advice but i think your problem is the case sizing.
You failed to read the whole thread. Post #17 shows he figured out it was a low powder charge. 50% low.
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Old January 24, 2013, 12:59 AM   #24
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Missed that. you are right..
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Old January 24, 2013, 10:35 AM   #25
Marco Califo
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I know OP knows this, but I do not think some of the responders realize that Accurate Data Powder 2230-C is not the same, nor interchangeable with, Accurate 2230. As OP correctly mentions in post one, it loads using A 2460 data. I am pointing this out because several posters are listing 2230 load data, and that is just not right when OP is using 2230-C.

I am glad OP figured out his problem. Where did you get 2230-C????? I used up my 8lb jug, and it was very good stuff!
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