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Old February 2, 2011, 10:52 AM   #1
gregjc9
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Which powder best for Hornady 55gr V-Max ??

What powder do you use for Hornady 55gr V-Max? Started reloading for rifle (RRA AR). Most all of my shooting is paper at 100 yds. I tried H335, and it was less than impressive with this bullet. H335 did work very well for other FB 55gr'ers (.69" 5 shot group), but not for the V-Max.

I've read for this bullet at 100 yds, Benchmark and TAC are good powders. H322? Others?

EDIT: Forgot to note this is for .223
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Old February 2, 2011, 12:22 PM   #2
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I assume you are talking .223 here? (you didn't mention specifically, but say RRA AR)

H335 works fine for me with all bullet weights from 40 grain to 60 grain. In V-Max, I've used both 40 and 60 grain bullets, but not the 55 grain.

I've found the H4198 works just as well or better with less pressure, but that powder doesn't meter nearly as well through many powder measures.
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Old February 2, 2011, 01:31 PM   #3
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I use H335 for everything from light 40gr bullets on up to 75gr BTHP.

The only target pic I have is from my Savage 12FV, but it has the same 1:9 barrel twist as does my AR. Target was at 100yds. Load was 25gr of H335 and 55gr V-max bullet.

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Old February 2, 2011, 01:37 PM   #4
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Same rifle, same distance, 22gr of H335 and 75gr BTHP.

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Old February 2, 2011, 02:01 PM   #5
gregjc9
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Steve, nice groupings, thanks for sharing.

Below are the 5 shot groupings I got on my AR (20" S/S 1:8) @ 100yds using H335 and the 55gr V-Max. Plain old PMC ammo grouped at 1.36".

23.6gr = 1.49"
24.3gr = 1.62"
25.0gr = 1.75"
25.7gr = 1.32"

Seems either my AR doesnt like the V-Max very well, or the combo of the powder and bullets. Which is why I was wondering if I should consider trying a different powder before giving up on the V-Max 55 gr bullets.

I was able to get a .69" 5 shot group with 25.0gr of H335 using 55gr FMJ FB.
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Old February 2, 2011, 02:33 PM   #6
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You may have seating depth sensitivity. Try experimenting with it. I prefer either H or IMR 4198 for accuracy loads. Reloader 10X is another good one. Also a stick powder. The Johnson Design Specialties Quick Measure is the best stick powder measure I know and is never off by more than 0.2 grains, and usually is within 0.1 grains, IME.

Hatcher's Notebook contains his account of developing a National Match load (.30-06) one year between the wars. He had two powders similar to modern IMR 4320, one with a short grain the arsenal equipment could meter within a 0.6 grain spread (±0.3 grains) and one with a long grain they could only meter within a spread of 1.7 grains (± 0.85 grains). Despite that, the long grain loads grouped consistently tighter from machine rests. It illustrates that all is not equal. Hatcher's thought this was because the bigger grain interstices let the flame front travel better, making up for inconsistent weight with more consistent ignition. I expect that oversimplifies matters, and the powder burning characteristics of the longer grain had a lot to do with it, too. I just wanted to make the point that the best metering powder doesn't necessarily produce the most accurate loads. You just have to try things out and see how they do in your gun.
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Old February 2, 2011, 03:20 PM   #7
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Uncle Nick, seeing as I'm limited to the max COAL due to the mag, I can try testing various COAL lengths. Starting at 2.260", how much of a step would you recommend reducing it by? TIA
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Old February 2, 2011, 08:32 PM   #8
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There is often more than one seating depth sweet spot. Most of us who shoot matches have a separate load for long range using an 80 grain bullet that isn't intended to be loaded within maximum COL for magazine feed. These get loaded singly, so magazine fit isn't an issue. That lets you go as far out as touching the lands, like you can with a bolt gun, provided the load is about 10% below maximum. Checking the depths in 0.020" steps to get close, then using 0.005" steps to find the center of the range is not a bad plan. Once you have the magic seating depth, the powder charge has to be found using it.

For magazine fed rounds, you do have more limitations. Most magazines will accommodate something a little over SAAMI maximum, and you may want to find out where that maximum lies with your particular equipment and work inward from there. Note that a different bullet ogive profiles can change where the best seating depth lies, so if you can't change depth much, trying different bullets can help.

When in doubt, the old fallback is to have the bottom of the bearing surface one caliber into the case mouth. That's a place you can work in and out from, as well.
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Old February 2, 2011, 08:37 PM   #9
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I tried H335, and it was less than impressive with this bullet.

Say WHAT Did you try different charge weights?different COL's?.
25.5 gn H-335 was just unreal in my rifle. I don't shoot an AR but H-335 was in my book almost made for 223's.(not really) but it is almost one of the best powders along with Varget. That was all i shot,was 55 gn V-Max

Your Chart you posted 25.0 to 25.7 is a very large gap in there(to much in my book)

Try 25.2 25.4 25.6

On second look at your chart.All your jumps are very large at one time.

Also- you said I was able to get a .69" 5 shot group with 25.0gr of H335 using 55gr FMJ FB.

Thats pretty good shooting right there guy. Sounds like a keeper to me. Can you repeat that group over and over?. If so sounds like i would start working on this one.How much more tighter you want?. I would say .69 is (pardon my french) Damn good.
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Old February 2, 2011, 08:52 PM   #10
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Uncle Nick, once again, thanks for the info!

4runnerman: Those loads are straight from Sierra's Edition V, 5th Printing, load manual. When I was testing other 55gr bullets, I did vary the loads by .2gr.
Here's the thread with the details, if you're interested.

I got the .69" group using Midway/Dogtown 55gr FHP FB bullets. I liked the results so much I ordered 1K more, so this will definately become one of my go-to loads. I had ordered a bunch of different bullets, including the V-Max, to see what worked best in my AR. Since everyone is so enamored with the V-Max, and they didnt work as well as I had expected, I'm just trying to see if there's something amiss in what I'm doing - powder, COAL, etc. Looks like I get to keep experimenting.
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Old February 2, 2011, 09:16 PM   #11
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My RRA Predator Persuit will shoot 5 in 1/2" @ 100 with 25.3 grns. of Benchmark and a 55 grn V-Max or 55 grn. Nosler BT at 3300fps. This is a max load and should be treated as such. Approach with care.

It will shoot Varget equally well, but requires a bit more for the same velocities. I tried H335 and found it lacking in in accuracy, and 322, while accurate, didn't get the same velocity as the Benchmark.

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Old February 2, 2011, 09:18 PM   #12
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Greg-- The V-Max is all i use. 3 different 223's and only V-Max performed the best. Those Dogtown bullets,,I have been hearing nothing but good about them now too. Crazy idea here,but maybe jump to the 60 V-Max. I shoot the 75 A-Max right now.

All in all Thats damn good shooting with the dogtown ones though.
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Old February 2, 2011, 09:59 PM   #13
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Got to go with billnourse here. Benchmark and Varget are equally accurate with 55 v-max in my bolt and AR. Velocity is just slightly higher with Varget in a 55 and slightly higher with Benchmark in a 50 for me, but Benchmark does it with about 1.5 g less powder. Benchmark throws better than Varget.
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Old February 2, 2011, 10:06 PM   #14
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I'll try and pick up some Benchmark this weekend and work some V-Max loads up for next weekend. I'll let ya'll know what happens. This weekend, I have some 69 and 75gr loads to test. Thanks guys.
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Old February 2, 2011, 10:08 PM   #15
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I use 25.0 grains of H-335 with a COL of 2.260 and it works just fine in my Savage Model 12. It works well enough that I am not going to mess with seating depth, or powder charge. The load shoots more acurately than I am capable of achieveing at this time. Groups have been from 3quarters of an inch to dime sized for 5 shot groups.
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Old February 2, 2011, 10:59 PM   #16
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Also use 55 grain V-Max for 223 with H335 (25.0) grains but set to 2.22 OAL works well in my Bushmasters one 16 in other 24 in barrel both 1:9 twist.

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Old February 4, 2011, 02:03 AM   #17
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X-Terminator 24.5 Grains. 55 V-Max CCI 400, Lake city brass 2.260 COL.
25 Grains of AA2230 is almost as good but dirty unless maxed out.
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