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Old April 15, 2001, 10:48 AM   #1
Bud Helms
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 13,155
I have a chance at a .223 based on a Mauser action that has been cut and crowned to 20 inches of barrel (incl chamber). The last time I shot a .223, it was in a 700V. I learned that it is not my favorite Varmint round past 150-200 m, but would be a great small caliber woods cartridge. This 20 inch barrel has me wondering. I know the ARs have short barrels, but they use some gas for cycling, right? Has anyone shot a .223 out of a 20 in barrel on an action that stays locked up 'til the pressure wave has gone out the muzzle, without a ball of fire from 5 grains of unburnt powder ... . I used W748 and H335 in the 700V.

I post this here instead of Art of the Rifle Forum, because I specifically want a reloader's answer. I still have all the reloading paraphernalia from my 700V days, so I'm interested in successful powders for this shorter barrel. I'll be shooting Remington bulk 55 gr RNSP for practice and Nosler 55 gr BTs for hunting and target. I believe the twist rate is 1-in-9. I'm not trying for vapor trails. I'd like a decent 2600-2800 fps load.
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Old April 15, 2001, 11:22 AM   #2
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I had a 223 in a 14inch contender barrel. I did get a small fire ball but nothing bad for daylight only shot it once at night without too much flash.
You will almost alwyas get some unburned powder and muzzle flash unless you do a lot of working on loads. Once the flash and unburned powder is gone you will loose speed because, once the powder is used up all that is pushing the bullet is it's inital momentom and it will staart to slow down due to friction in the barrel.
You will be better off finding a bullet/load combo. that the gun likes then worring about flash and unburned powder.
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Old April 15, 2001, 12:44 PM   #3
Hot Core
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Join Date: November 22, 2000
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Hey sensop, I've got a 20" S&S 223Rem M7 that works real well with H4895 or H322 combined with 45gr, 50gr and 52gr bullets. Have not tried the 55gr bullets in this one.

I've also tried both WW-748 and BL-C2 with those bullets in the 20" M7 too, and just didn't notice the muzzle flash. But, all that shooting was done during full daylight conditions.

Probably of interest to you though is that I've seen no indication of "unburned powder grains" even with these lighter bullets and SAFE MAX loads. So, your 55gr bullets should do just fine with any of them.

I do agree the Double Base powders are more prone to muzzle flash than the Single Base powders. But it just doesn't seem to be a problem with the amount of propellent in the 223Rem case.

Good hunting and clean 1-shot kills, Hot Core
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Old April 15, 2001, 02:03 PM   #4
Johnny Guest
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Join Date: August 28, 1999
Location: North Texas
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When I saw your topic heading, I figured it would concern something like loading for a twelve or 14-inch barrel pistol. This is an area in which I am totally without experience and I nearly skipped your post. Glad I didn't.

I've been reloading for an Interarms Mark X .223 for several years. It has a skinny little 20-inch barrel, and I really didn't expect much from it when I bought the rifle. I get very decent results from Win 748 powder--about 27 to 27.5 gr-- and 50 to 55 gr bullets, especially the Hornady match hollow points. Sorry, but I'm away from the house and my loading notes now, so can't be more specific.

Obviously, this little rifle is not a full-house varmint rig, with the light barrel and sporter stock, but it is quite handy for wandering around the pastures, defending the livestock from vicious rabbits and such. I can get consistent sub-one-inch groups when I do my part. The same loads work quite well in my Colt CAR-15's 16-inch barrel.

I think you'll like the Mini-Mauser if you don't demand quarter-inch groups from it.

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Old April 15, 2001, 09:58 PM   #5
Bud Helms
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
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Well, that makes me feel better. I'm on for it. Thanks, guys.
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Old April 17, 2001, 01:02 AM   #6
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Sensop ... What kind of Mauser action is this? I was under the impression that you couldn't make a .223 on a Mauser action because the cartridge was too small. This sounds like a LOT of fun ... please share details!
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