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Old June 1, 2008, 11:20 PM   #1
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.223 loadings with H322

I have both the Speer Manual #14 and the Hornady 5th Edition, and I was looking up 55 gn loadings (for Sierra Varminter Soft Point Spitzer bullets).

The powder I was planning on using is Hodgdon 322.

The Speer manual says maximum loading is 24.5 gn

The Hornady manual says 23.1 gn.

So I figure maybe I should see what the powder manufacturer says (also have the Hodgdon Data Manual 26th edition) and they say maximum 23.0 gn!

I am a relative newbie, and a friend has given me many books to make sure I have all the information I might need. Obviously I am having problems with too much contradictory information.

Which number should I be trusting?

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Old June 1, 2008, 11:36 PM   #2
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Seirra manual

In the Sierra manual it says this:

Bolt Action

H-322 w/ 55gr bullet: Start-22.1 , Max-23.9


Start-22.5, Max-24.3
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Old June 1, 2008, 11:59 PM   #3
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Oh great. More confusion.
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Old June 2, 2008, 12:51 AM   #4
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Combine that confusion with the fact that your firearm and ambient temperatures will differ from the test rifles they use, and its a crap shoot.


Pick a weight you feel comfortable with trying out, and work your way up, looking for overpressure signs.
Once you find what your firearm likes, stick with it for that lot of powder.
Next batch of powder you buy, load up a little under your previous load, and work up again.

I wish I had more funds. I enjoy working up loads.
Pondering the differences, terminally, between the V-Max and the A-Max.
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Old June 2, 2008, 04:45 AM   #5
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In the 223 it is not as vital to pay attention to the cases uses as it is when loading bigger cartridges. As the case size increases the case volume increases and case wt varies. As with any load development work up and watch for signs of pressure. You want accuracy, reliability, and safe cartridges. The parameters that each source of information varies. Some use universal receivers, others guns and some go so far as test in AR platforms.
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Old June 2, 2008, 10:59 AM   #6
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Let me clarify for all-

The reason I picked the numbers for maximum loadings (as opposed to starting loads) is precisely because of the dangerous variances. Someone pm'ed me criticizing me for looking at those numbers- as if I would load up my first cartridges at the maximum.

My point was (for that person's benefit) that if I chose a mid-range loading per the Speer manual it would exceed Hodgdon's maximum! Potentially causing a hazardous condition.

I think most people reading this would understand that.
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Old June 2, 2008, 05:02 PM   #7
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Determining Starting Loads

I'm in the same boat as you; I'm ready to make my first batch of .223 (with AA2230) and will have to figure-out my starting loads.

Here's what I got for Hodgdon's H322:

22.5--24.3 (AR-15)
22.1--23.9 (Bolt Action)
21.0--23.0 (Confirmed w/ LEE)

What I would do is add-up all the minimums and divide. Giving you an "average" minimum.

All of the above (107.6)/5 = 21.5

You also have to take into consideration case capacity. If you're using military brass (which typically has less capacity than commercial), reduce starting load by 1.0gr - 1.5gr. Which is what I'm doing. So it would be safe to assume that 20.0 would be OK. Even 19.5.

Now mind you, I'm brand new at this, but this is the formula I'm going to utilize in determining MY starting loads.

If anyone with more experience can see any fault with this or has better suggestions PLEASE point it out.

Last edited by Incognito; June 2, 2008 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Bad Color Choice
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Old June 2, 2008, 05:53 PM   #8
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Keep in mind that Hornady's data is a bit on the conservitive side (not real bad), and Speer's max load's are usually so hot they're glowing orange. Let me give you an example. For a 223 rem, 55gr bullet, with Winchester 748 Lyman 48th recommends 27.8 grs with a Rem 7 1/2 as a max load, recommends 26.3 grs with a WSR. Speer 13th recommends 28.0 with a CCI small rifle magnum primer. I'm not saying Speer is being dangerous, all I am saying is they like load to right near the SAAMI limits. For the 223 Remington that is 52,000 CUP.
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Old June 4, 2008, 05:26 PM   #9
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H322 is a really good powder, part of Hodgdon's Extreme line. It meters very well thru almost all powder measures.

It's particularly well suited in short-barrel AR rifles, since its burn rate is a bit faster than H335 and quite a bit faster than Varget. With 20" and longer barrels you might have some reliability issues with H322, as the gas pressures are falling off by the time the bullet passes the gas block. Varget really performs well in the long guns.

I've shot H322 in my 20" AR and with loads near MAX I've not had any problems. But at MIN starting charges I had some occasional problems feeding subsequent rounds.
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Old June 4, 2008, 05:58 PM   #10
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Cool pictures. I really like 322 with heavy bullets in my AR's. 77 Noslers and 73 Bergers with a max load shoot real good. It also meters well through my Lyman. I am about to try some in my bolt Remington with some 52 gr. Sierra's and Hornady's.
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Old June 5, 2008, 01:13 AM   #11
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Well, my first test loads are not going to be H322 after all. I have been on a bit of a spending spree- I also picked up 8# of BL-C2 and 1# of IMR 4895.

I chose as my first powder the BL-C2. I loaded 5 each Winchester .223 cases with 25.2, 25.6 and 26.4 grains- and topped with the Sierra Varminter 55g Spitzer soft points.

Well, it was supposed to be 5 each, but it ended up being 4, 5 and 5. On account of me collapsing the shoulder of the first cartridge. Because I am an idiot, and had the seating die set too low (I am only just getting started with reloading).

Once I figured out what I did wrong, I managed the next 14 just fine. OAL for each is 2.20 inches.

I will also make up 5 each H322 of various loadings, and then some 4895.

Then repeat it all with 68 gn Hornady BTHP.

Then take it all out to the range to shoot from my precision AR (20" Rock River Varmint upper, Rock River National Match trigger, Magpul PRS stock etc).

Last edited by madkiwi; June 5, 2008 at 09:30 AM.
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Old January 21, 2009, 03:47 PM   #12
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To hodaka

I now this is my first post, So Hello everyone.

I had a question for hodaka about him using H322 with his 77gr .224 bullets in .223 rem case. What grain of powder do you use with these bullets.

I have the hodgdon data from the web. I also have my lymann 49th edition and hornady loading manuals, which neither have the H322 powder listed.

I am planning on using the H322 powder to push a 75gr hornady HPBT down a 16" barreled AR.

Any help on a new manual to buy or suggestions would be appreciated.

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