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Old February 5, 2017, 05:13 PM   #1
Nick_C_S
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223 Rem - so, which bullet should I choose? . . .

So now that my learning process for loading 223 Rem is under way and I'm thinking ahead, my question is . . .

If I want to load ammunition for the application of taking down critters in - say - the 200 Lb range, at 50 to 100 yards, what bullet weight, style, profile, brand should I use?

I have two AR-15's. They both have the same 1:7 twist barrels.

My loading experience with 223 Rem is in its infancy (but 32 years handgun loading experience). Right now, I'm learning with 55 grain bullets. But my gut tells me for the above mentioned application, a heavier bullet is more desirable.

Any insight would be helpful. Thanks.

-Nick.
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Old February 5, 2017, 05:35 PM   #2
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Winchester 64 gr. Power Point

Barnes TSX 55 or 62 gr.
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Old February 5, 2017, 05:43 PM   #3
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If you can get a heavier bullet to stabilize in your barrel at a reasonable velocity, run that. Light, fast bullets are more for the 20 pound critter coming out at 10 pounds after the bullet.

Obviously you want a good, expanding(bonded core maybe?) hunting bullet. No match bullets here

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Old February 5, 2017, 06:24 PM   #4
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Nosler 64g Bonded would be a good choice but whatever bullet you use, shot placement will be key with such a small cartridge.
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Old February 5, 2017, 06:35 PM   #5
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Hunting 200# animals with a .223? That's a poor choice of caliber. But if it's all you have, the heaviest bullet that your rifle will stabilize would be the choice.
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Old February 5, 2017, 06:58 PM   #6
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If you are going to take body shots on a 200 pound deer and you don't like tracking wounded animals use a heavy, quality, hunting bullet. Speer, Sierra, Hornady, Nosler and Barnes all make them. Your 1:7 twist should stabilize all of them. As has been said, bullet placement is key so find an accurate load with your hunting bullet and stay away from large bones. Even the heaviest of 22 bullets will change direction when engaging big bones and when placed at the center of the bone will slow down. Heart, lung and head shots are your best targets.
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Old February 5, 2017, 07:34 PM   #7
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Get some 62gr Barnes TTSX's for a small diameter bullet you want as much penetration and weight retention as possible and those TTSX are the "cream of the crop" bullet choice. They are not cheap but once an accurate load is found its just a sight-in check and hunt.

After recovering from shoulder surgery 4 months ago. I shot on the surgically repaired shoulder for the first time yesterday. My new 22 Nosler was pleasant to shoot and was no pain or discomfort at all. I shot my .260 Rem right after that and it was slightly painful. Today my shoulder is very sore. So I may be using smaller calibers in the future for next season. Small southern deer and its legal in my state.

If you choose or want to hunt medium game with a .224 diameter bullet get the 62 grain TTSX and you'll need a knife.
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Old February 6, 2017, 08:29 AM   #8
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My son took 3 does with a 75gr hornady but none was over 130lb. For larger deer I would load up a 70gr tsx or the 75gr swift scirocco.
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Old February 6, 2017, 09:37 AM   #9
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Most of the .223 bullets are designed either for targets, or varmints (in the case of those suitable for game). So, there's not a wide selection. But, there are some that will do the job. I have always found the 65 gr. Sierra GameKing to be effective.

I concur on bullet weight with others here. Use a proper medium game bullet....and the heaviest one you can get good accuracy with. Then, keep the shooting distances short. In no event, greater than 200 yards....but I prefer a maximum of about 150 myself.
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Old February 6, 2017, 10:42 AM   #10
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223 is good for targets and small critters. a coyote being the largest ! nuff said!
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Old February 6, 2017, 12:37 PM   #11
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Winchester 64 gr. Power Point - ditto.

I had amazing results out of this bullet. Shot a couple 100 coyotes, and also a few javelina and deer with it. The bullet always held together and mushroomed nicely, and accuracy was exceptional.
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Old February 6, 2017, 01:16 PM   #12
Nick_C_S
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Quote:
Winchester 64 gr. Power Point
There's a Winchester brand of bullets for loading?

Or is this loaded ammunition?
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Old February 6, 2017, 01:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
223 is good for targets and small critters. a coyote being the largest!
I guess the better way to ask is what is our military and/or swat teams use in terms of bullet weight, profile, construction, etc. Civil defense application - in the unlikely event of the worst happening.
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Old February 6, 2017, 01:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
These theoretical critters "in the 200 Lb range" about which I speak, aren't necessarily on four legs.
Not sure how much, non theoretical, knowledge you'll get for that application.

I'll bet a dollar that there are not many people here that have been able to test differences in bullet performance, in humans.
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Old February 6, 2017, 01:55 PM   #15
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200 pound, 2 legged, varmints don't take as much putting down as you'd think. Unless they've been into their wacko juice they're kind of wussy. jmorris would win his dollar, of course, but there are lots of assorted ER, etc. reports.
Anyway, think 69 or 75 grain deer bullets. Who's or the bullet type doesn't make a lot of difference. You load according to the weight, not who made it or it's construction. Except for the copper solids.
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Old February 6, 2017, 04:27 PM   #16
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Yes Winchester offers 64 gr PP as components. I have used one on a 180# 8 point in a Winchester case over 748. The bullet shattered on the neck and did not go through at 25 yards. I would suggest 62 grain solid coppers or the 60 gr Nosler partition. I have seen a 55 gr tsx deflect on a neck shot. These are all personal experiences and not word of mouth. If we are not talking game then we are in a whole different realm. Indoors I would go with the 55 gr vmax.

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Old February 6, 2017, 05:17 PM   #17
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For self defense, I'd choose a HP bullet to reduce over penetration. So therefore, a HPBT match bullet would work. You get match accuracy that the hunting bullets can't produce, and you get peace of mind knowing you're less likely to put one through your wall into your neighbors house.

In a 1:7, I use a 69gr HPBT Barnes Match Burner. I've produced sub MOA groups at 100 yards with this bullet, and 24 grs of IMR 4064.

I've also tested Hornady 68 gr HPBT, Hornady 75 gr HPBT, and several others. But the Barnes beats them all.
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Old February 6, 2017, 06:41 PM   #18
Nick_C_S
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Thanks for all the info folks.

I'm new to this rifle stuff and wanted to gain more knowledge regarding the usefulness and applications of different bullet weights. I started loading with 55 grain bullets because that was the bullet weight of the ammo I first bought (American Eagle - your basic range ammo) for my AR's.

And I'm going to continue loading the 55 grainers for a while. With 32 years of handgun loading experience, I know that lighter bullets tend to be more forgiving of any loading anomalies a new loader may commit.

But I do want to load different weights - eventually. It's just good to know about their usefulness besides punching holes in paper.
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Old February 6, 2017, 08:24 PM   #19
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You're not really going to run into the same issues as far as bullet weight and burn rate as you do in hand gun loading . Don't get me wrong , burn rate to bullet weight has an effect but not as drastic as it can in hand gun cartridges . Keep in mind the significantly larger case volume to the relitively slower powders being used compared to handgun cartridges . Loading rifle IMO is much easier then loading hand guns .

My reasoning is because in most cartridges it's impossible to double charge and seating depth is much more forgiving . Yes case prep is a bit more involved but still relatively simple . In the case of 223 many powders used can't even be loaded to a charge that would be truly dangerous. Those are just some of the reasons i feel loading rifle is easier or at least less stressful.
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Old February 6, 2017, 11:34 PM   #20
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Keep up the posts

Nick,
I hope you keep us apprised of your learning curve on reloading .223s. I have gained a lot of valuable knowledge from your many posts on handgun reloading. Like you, I too am relatively new to reloading .223s after reloading handgun cartridges for a few decsdes, although not at your level of sophistication. I have the same setup and here are my non-expert $0.02.
For lubing, I use a lube pad with RCBS water-based lube. While I don't put much lube on the pad, I usually have enough on my gloved hand and in the die to run 1 lubed case to every 2 cases which are not rolled on the pad. I actually use a neck brush to lightly lube the inside of my case necks which makes the resizing stroke very easy. I tumble them a little longer to make sure the lube is removed.
I have only loaded Hornady bullets in 55 & 62 gr FMJ-BT, 75 gr HPBT match and 62 gr V-max. The latter is a flat base. I find it easier to pick up each pill individually, place it in the case neck, then place it in the shell holder. You can hold the case by the neck and the pill with the same 2 fingers.
So far, I have only tried W748, CFE-223 and IMR 4064. The first 2 ball powders are much more snappy than the latter extruded powder. It is like TightGroup compared to W231.
My limited experience with a couple thousand cases is that there is a greater difference in case tolerances with the .223 than handgun cases. FC, LC and Fiocchi seem to be the most consistent. I have had lots of problems with Wolf cases not fitting in my RCBS shell holder.
Looking forward to your new adventures and I hope to run into you one day at one of the Bay Area ranges when it stops raining. Maybe I will recognize you as the guy who comes to the range with 2 rifles and only 6 bullets.
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Old February 7, 2017, 04:43 AM   #21
Metal god
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64gr power point bullet
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/139...in-power-point

Gel test of the above bullet
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2uMOv1YSXo

Gel test showing what varmint type bullets will likely do . NOTE the shallow penetration of only 6" . Good wound channel but again only 6" . What if that same bullet hit a rib first rather then only soft tissue . In that case there may very well be even less penetration do to the bullet fragmenting on bone
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCqmclsRQmM

Here's a whole page of 223 gel test
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...stic+gel+test+
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Old February 7, 2017, 11:48 AM   #22
Nick_C_S
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DMY said:

Quote:
Nick,
I hope you keep us apprised of your learning curve on reloading .223s.
I will.

Quote:
I have gained a lot of valuable knowledge from your many posts on handgun reloading.
Thank you.

Quote:
Like you, I too am relatively new to reloading .223s after reloading handgun cartridges for a few decsdes
Yeah, it's humbling. Which is okay. I like to think I'm good at putting my ego into neutral to listen and learn. Rifle or handgun, the learning should never stop.

Quote:
For lubing, I use a lube pad with RCBS water-based lube.
Me too.

Quote:
While I don't put much lube on the pad, I usually have enough on my gloved hand and in the die to run 1 lubed case to every 2 cases which are not rolled on the pad.
I still fear the stuck case and am still getting the feel for resizing the 223, so I'm not that brave yet. I lube every case. Sparingly, but every case.

Quote:
I actually use a neck brush to lightly lube the inside of my case necks which makes the resizing stroke very easy.
Me too. Except, I use a cotton tipped applicator.

Quote:
I tumble them a little longer to make sure the lube is removed.
It's water soluble, so I suspect it comes off pretty fast during the tumble. I tumbled my one batch of 223 for the same 1-hour/45 minutes I do for my handgun cartridges. Came out perfect. (This is a ss pin tumble.)

Quote:
Maybe I will recognize you as the guy who comes to the range with 2 rifles and only 6 bullets.
I'll only have one gun And I'll bring some factrory ammo besides my loaded six.

Metal god: Thanks for the links. I'll watch 'em when I get a chance.
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