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Old August 8, 2009, 02:51 PM   #1
B-Maxx
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.223 Reload for a 1/7 twist barrel

Just picked up a new Colt and have reloaded about 100 rounds for it. Varget and 55gr Hornady bullets. Seems like an accurate plinking round, but I'm thinking of putting together some more precise rounds for some long range target shooting. Any of you guys reload for a similar rifle and have any pet loads or suggestions you would be willing to share? This particular rifle has a 20" Hbar if that helps. Thanks for any info.
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Old August 8, 2009, 03:53 PM   #2
oldscot3
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Sierra makes 69, 77 and 80 grain bullets for the 1x7 twist barrels, but be aware, when seated properly they probably won't fit your magazine. The Sierra manual states, for example, that the 80 gr. bullets are intended for slow fire use and must be loaded one at at a time.
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Old August 8, 2009, 04:01 PM   #3
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depending on what you really will use it for, many many service rifle shooters (service rifle is basically what youll have with a 20" barrel with an A2 upper) go with what i use...

ive used 75g hornady HPBTs over 24.5g of Varget in 'any' case with 'any' primer...

if you drop about 1/2 a grain you can get similar results with the 77g Sierra Match Kings...

if you are shooting from a bench and can single load, the 75g hornady Amax will work with the same charge. they also make an 80g Amax but i dont have any loads for that bullet...

a lot of shooters will use the 80g SMK at the 600yd line (because its single load, slow fire) and the Sierra manual calls for 21.3-24.0g of Varget...

if you use the Amax or the 80g bullets you will NOT be able to load them into a magazine. you cant shove the bullet far enough into the case. the Sierras like to be jumped about 0.010 to 0.015" and ive heard the Amax likes to be loaded to just off or just touching the lands...

check OAL to the ogive with a Stoney Point seating gauge for best results...
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Old August 9, 2009, 09:42 AM   #4
oldscot3
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I noticed Sierra does make the 77 gr. bullet with a cannelure, #9378 I think. Presumably, seated to the cannelure, it would fit your magazine. Of course, it may or may not offer any advantage in accuracy over your current load when seated away from the rifling lead. Won't cost much to try it and that's the fun with our hobby.
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Old August 10, 2009, 03:36 PM   #5
Bwana4
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Crimping?

Once I can get my hands on some primers I'll be loading the 40gr sierras to shoot through a Remington AR 1:9 twist , 24"barrel. Do you crimp these loads? Thanks for the advice.
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Old August 10, 2009, 04:43 PM   #6
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You might want to start your own thread for that. Generally, the shorter bullets tip more easily, so the crimp is a good idea.

The Sierra 77's started being used by the military, which I suspect was the motive for the crimp cannelure. I've certainly shot enough of those 77's in 300 yard rapid fire without cannelures or crimps that I don't worry about it. They just aren't going to be as suitable for service where they may get banged around a lot, as when being carried in combat.
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Old August 10, 2009, 04:48 PM   #7
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You might want to start your own thread for that. Generally, the shorter bullets tip more easily, so the crimp is a good idea if there is a cannelure. The Lee Factory Crimp Die puts an indentation in the bullet. That's OK if your not shooting very long range and the base of the bullet is far enough from the indentation so it isn't distorted by it, but with your 40 grain bullets that might be an issue? You'd have to try it to see?

The Sierra 77's started being used by the military, which I suspect was the motive for the crimp cannelure. I've certainly shot enough of those 77's in 300 yard rapid fire without cannelures or crimps that I don't worry about it. They just aren't going to be as suitable for service where they may get banged around a lot before finding their way into the chamber.
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Old August 20, 2009, 05:15 PM   #8
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Accurate AR loads for 1-7 barrel

For a 1-7 barrel the Sierra MatchKing 69 gr bullets are great for accuracy. I use 24.4 grains of Reloader 15 and have "cleaned" the MR-31 target at 100 yards once (20 shots, 200-9x) and have had several 199's and 198's. This is with an AR "service rifle", 20-inch Wilson barrel, open sights. I have seen reliable reports that 52 and 53 grain match bullets also work well at 100 yards in a 1-7 twist barrel. You need to be careful with lighter varmint bullets in the 50 grain range because they could come apart in flight with faster-twist barrels at high velocities. The match-grade bullets have thicker jackets than varmint bullets, and they will work fine in a 1-7 twist barrels at standard velocities.

For 200, 300 and 600 yards the Sierra 77 grain and Hornady 75 (BTHP, not the A-max) grain bullets provide a little more ballistic coefficient and are very accurate with 24.0 grains of RL-15. These bullets can be loaded to magazine length.

If you want even more BC for 600 yards, the Sierra 80 grain, Hornady 75 or 80-grain A-max and Berger 80 grain bullets are all very accurate. These must be loaded longer than magazine length and single-loaded. I use 24.0 gr of RL-15 with the SMK 80-grain bullets in my LC cases. Others report that Varget works well.

These powder recommendations work in my rifle, with my cases and CCI primers. You should check published loading manuals before trying any loads.
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Old August 25, 2009, 10:39 PM   #9
isanchez2008
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I have a pet load for my 223 with a 1 in 7 twist. Just have to dig it up. It has Sierra 69gr Matchking bullets with Varget powder. I will get back to you though. Oh and by the way the 69 and 77gr fit mags fine.
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Old August 25, 2009, 10:51 PM   #10
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I use 24.4 grns of R-15, for both 77 & 80 grn SMKs for high power (77s at 2-300 yards and 80s for 600 & 1000 in my White Oak Service Rifle 1 in 7
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Old August 26, 2009, 04:20 PM   #11
B-Maxx
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A round that will fit in the mag is the way I'm looking to go. I don't think I want to get the heaviest bullet and get into loading each individual round. I'll probably have to order the 69gr Matchkings online. I've never seen them at the store before. Thanks for the input.
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Old August 30, 2009, 11:06 AM   #12
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Sierra's own loading for the Colt AR-15 is great.

http://accurateshooter.net/Downloads/sierra223ar.pdf
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Old September 1, 2009, 09:53 PM   #13
isanchez2008
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Here is the recipe for the load that I have had the best grouping with so far.
.223 Rem., Sig 556 SWAT 16" 1in7" barrel.
69gr Sierra HPBT Matchking
25.3gr Varget, Win. Small Rifle Primer .007" below flush
Remington Brass trimmed to 1.750" chamfered and deburred.
Primer hole deburred on inside of case.
C.O.A.L. 2.260"
7/8" group at 100yrds from a front rest only.

Don't make fun. It's semi-auto and I am no great rifle marksman. Might get better down the road. I assume no responsibility for anyone recreating this recipe and having possible injury or death occurr. It works in my rifle, might be crap and even dangerous in yours.
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Old September 1, 2009, 10:08 PM   #14
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For what it's worth:

The local service rifle champ who uses a 1/7 twist also loads a 73 gr. Berger BT in a Lapua case and pushes it out the barrel using N-135 powder and Federal small rifle match primers. That load is nearly the same as my preferred load for my 1/9 twist, except I'm using a 64 gr. Berger FB.
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