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Old May 7, 2012, 04:19 PM   #1
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I need an explosive 223 bullet

For the most part, my 223 has become my ranch 'front door' gun for pest elimination around the house. Maximum range would be about 150 yards or so. For the bigger critters in the back pastures, I've moved away from the 223 and the 220 and over to the 260, so I can now downsize from the 65 grainers I've been using in the 223. For safety reasons, I want a small bullet that will fragment totally even with the little critters (skunk, dillo, etc). I already have some Nosler Ballistic Tip 40 grainers, and that might be just the bullet, but it can't hurt to ask you guys what fragile and explosive little 223 bullets you've had luck with.

The rifle twist is 1 in 9, just in case that matters to your recommendation.
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Old May 7, 2012, 05:04 PM   #2
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Varmint Grenade
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Last edited by bmjp; May 7, 2012 at 05:05 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old May 7, 2012, 05:30 PM   #3
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From my experience the Hornady V-Max seems to be a bit more explosive than the Nostler Ballistic Tips at .223 velocity. Though both will more than do the job at out to 150 yards.

Pick one that is 55 grains. Use H-335 about 25.0 grains with a small rifle primer, or small rifle mag primer. Any small critter you hit with one will show it for sure. Note start lower, and work up to that load it is on the upper end of the load spectrum. You may get great accuracy before you get to that weight. I shoot that load out of several rifles, all give bug hole groups at 100 yards.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old May 7, 2012, 06:12 PM   #4
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+1 on the Varmint Grenades. I find they are a bit finicky, but once you find "the load" for them, they can't be beat. What is your barrel twist rate at? The VGs work best with a 1:9 or 1:10.
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Old May 7, 2012, 11:44 PM   #5
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I would go for the 40 gr Hornady V-Max or Nosler Ballistic Tip. The V-Max may be slightly more explosive, but the Ballistic Tip has been slightly more accurate, in my experience.
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Old May 8, 2012, 01:39 AM   #6
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Sierra's blitz line of bullets are made to completly disentergrate once they hit a critter and expend all energy inside said critter.
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Old May 8, 2012, 01:50 AM   #7
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Varmint Grenade
+1 to this sentiment.
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Old May 8, 2012, 07:29 AM   #8
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For the 1-9 223 I like the 34 Grain Varmint bullets made by Nosler for Midway.

They really fly, 3600-3800fps and explode anything they hit. Very accurate at 50$ per 500.

Tac, W-748, 8208XBR, R-10X are all good powders.
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Old May 8, 2012, 09:25 AM   #9
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I think I'm gonna try those 34 grainers. They are plenty cheap and if I can get them to shoot nice groups in my Hawkeye (1 in 9 twist, as I mentioned), I'll buy a big box of em and be set up for a while. I'm basing that choice on per-bullet expense, but it they don't work out to suit me I'll go next to the Varmint Grenades. And I already have those Nosler 40 grainers. Sounds like a plan. And I'll try them first over some AA2230 I have and then maybe the H335.

And you know I'll have to try those 34 grainers out in my 220. Gotta do it. I wonder if they'll hold together at 4300+ fps?

And people ask why we reload....well, ya just can't have fun like this buying boring old factory ammo.

I'll dedicate the first vaporized skunk to you guys....and Note To Self...shoot the skunk DOWNWIND of the house this time.
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Old May 8, 2012, 10:26 AM   #10
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Vmax 40 grainer can muck up a critter pretty good.
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Old May 8, 2012, 12:51 PM   #11
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Use varmint grenades in 55 for target and vmax 55 for hunting up to coyote. The grenades are probably just about as good for cheap, but hey I like the vmax explosive power

Both with Varget in the 28gn range - different for the two 5.56 that I shoot. One likes a little less for accuracy and one slightly more but for moment of critter it doesn't matter.
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Old May 8, 2012, 01:41 PM   #12
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I'm a Speer fan. The TNT 50 grain or 52 grain original HP work well for me. My old 222 loves them.
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Old May 8, 2012, 03:47 PM   #13
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Good price for 40gr Blitz Kings
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