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Old August 12, 2019, 01:03 PM   #1
dahermit
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Best burn rate for 55 grain, .223.

I have a 5.56 that I am going to handload for. This is not my first rodeo, inasmuch as I have been handloading since the middle 1960's including for Service Rifle Matches about twenty-plus years ago, using a Colt Match H-Bar Target-Competition.

However, being old, I have forgotten the loads I used and no longer have my paper load data...so I need to start over loading for my AR build-in-progress.

I have 250 once fired Rem .223 cases, some 55 grain FMJ bullets on their way. I have settled on H335 or H332 for the powder I am planning on using.

My question is: Which of the two has a burn rate that would be better for the 55 grain FMG's and a 16 inch 7" twist barrel?

Or should I go with a different powder altogether? As I remember, there were proven powders for the M1 Garand that had become standard by consensus in the days when I was shooting a Garand in those service rifle matches (before switching to the Colt AR 15). And, that is generally what I am looking for... .223 formal competition target shooters on a powder. And, of course I am only interested in published data.
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Old August 12, 2019, 03:20 PM   #2
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H335 is canister grade WC844 which the military chose for M193 ball ammo with the 55-grain bullet. It will work, but with the newer M852A1 lead-free round they have gone to a faster powder at a higher pressure in order to reduce muzzle flash and blast in shorter barrels.

H322 is a little faster than H335. The fact is, you can go as fast as 4198 and still get good results. In between, some people like Benchmark and some like RL10X. 16" is not short enough for the powder that is fastest with a 24" barrel not also to be fastest with the 16" barrel, but the one at the slowest end will make the biggest fireball and the most muzzle blast and will require the largest charge weight.
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Old August 12, 2019, 04:43 PM   #3
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If you’re just talking practice loads for the range ? Either would work just fine , I use H-335 with very good results .
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Old August 12, 2019, 05:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Metal god View Post
If you’re just talking practice loads for the range ? Either would work just fine , I use H-335 with very good results .
In a 16", 7" twist.
Inasmuch as I am assembling a facsimile of a CAR 15 (but with 16" barrel instead of a 14.5 with extra long flash hider) it is a sudo-combat weapon so, as I learned from Unclenick, H332 is likely to produce less flash. Something that is relevant for a combat weapon in that they are often fired in poor lighting conditions. Therefore at this point, I am leaning towards H332...unless someone can convince me of a better choice.
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Old August 12, 2019, 06:24 PM   #5
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Yep , actually in 16” 1-7 / 1-8 & 1-9 twists as well as a 18” 1-7 with a rifle length gas system . 25gr for most rifles but 25.5gr works better in one of them but off the top of my head I don’t remember which one . I think it’s the 1-9 but not sure .

EDIT : I think my 18” rifle length 1-8 twist likes the 25.5gr charge as well
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Old August 13, 2019, 02:07 PM   #6
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H322 is less temp sensitive than H335 as well.
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Old August 13, 2019, 02:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
H322 is less temp sensitive than H335 as well.
I was just remembering a thread on another shooting forum talking about how temperature sensitive H335 is.
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Old August 13, 2019, 02:48 PM   #8
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Interesting you all are saying h-335 is temp sensitivite. I would have thought the military would not want a temp sensitive powder in there ammo .
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Old August 13, 2019, 04:22 PM   #9
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For myself it’s whatever powder gives me the most accuracy. My AR is way different from yours but Varget works best for me
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Old August 13, 2019, 05:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Interesting you all are saying h-335 is temp sensitivite. I would have thought the military would not want a temp sensitive powder in there ammo .
I doubt the military really cares that much about the effects of temperature sensitivity - as long as it doesn't give undue pressure in extreme heat and it still goes bang properly in extreme cold. Yes, it would result in POI shifts but in non-sniper rifles that kind of accuracy isn't a battlefield requirement.
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Old August 13, 2019, 05:56 PM   #11
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In my possibly unqualified opinion, with the few powders I have tested over the last 4 years... I've grown fond of BLC2 for the lighter pills and Varget for the heavier ones. I have run ladders through 2 AR's (16" & 20") with pills from 52gr to 75gr with CFE223, BLC2, IMR4895, IMR4064, and Varget. Most consistent & accurate have been BLC2 and Varget. Maybe I missed the H-332 boat?
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Old August 13, 2019, 07:07 PM   #12
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Just FYI... if you are loading for accuracy, you might look at a little heavier bullet. My 1:7 Colt H-Bar pretty much hates everything 55grn. It'll shoot it, but not as well as 62 or 69grn bullets. Granted, the quality of the bullet has something to do with it as well.

Personally, I run H335, have been for 25+ years. Since I have it on the shelf, one of these days I'm going to try IMR3031 and IMR4198... just to see if I'm missing something. H322 might be a good powder as well, I used to use it for the .30-30... until I discovered IMR3031.
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Old August 13, 2019, 07:48 PM   #13
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My AR is a 16 inch carbine...not looking for a "target rifle", as was my Colt H-bar Target Competition. This is more of an example of a combat rifle. When I was shooting in Service Rifle Matches with the H-bar I was using match bullets. I don't see myself using anything in the Carbine other than 55 grain FMJ...the cheapest I can find.

Inasmuch as I do not have powder at this time and the fact that it has been suggested that H332 should produce less muzzle flash than H335 in a 16 inch barrel, that is what I plan to buy at this time...unless someone gives me a compelling argument as to why I should not. I can be swayed by logical reason.
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Old August 13, 2019, 08:37 PM   #14
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Doyle , they care a lot because of the extreme temps at both ends of the spectrum they need there ammo to consistently shoot at . The military shoots in temps well below zero and well over 100* . You can’t just use any powder for that .
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Old August 14, 2019, 08:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
My AR is a 16 inch carbine... I don't see myself using anything in the Carbine other than 55 grain FMJ...the cheapest I can find.
I made a decision a long time ago that I don't generally reload generic blasting ammo for the AR when I can get 1000rds of it for less than $300... all loaded up and ready to go. If you do the arithmetic, based on the total cost of the bullet, primer, and powder charge, you don't really save that much money by loading it yourself. For me, time is an issue as well... I'd rather spend the time I have reloading to reload something I can't buy like .41MAG or .348WCF... over the time it takes to process 5.56mm brass, trim it down, and then load it all up. I do continue to load premium bullets for it, there the total cost offsets the time invested. That's just my .02 worth, however...
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Old August 14, 2019, 10:48 AM   #16
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I have had excellent accuracy with 55 gr bullets using CFE223 powder
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Old August 14, 2019, 10:54 AM   #17
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Metal God,

As the Western Powders FAQ explains, spherical powders cannot be made temperature stable the way stick powders can. Insensitivity is accomplished by manipulation of deterrent coatings on stick powders. Spherical powders depend on their deterrent surface penetration and concentration gradient to give them their progressive burning characteristic where stick powders just depend on perforation geometry for that, so you can't fiddle with spherical propellant deterrents nearly as much as you can with stick powder deterrents.

However, you are correct that the military has strict temperature stability requirements and it turns out most spherical powders are good enough to pass that without modification anyway. Some stick powders are not (e.g., the trouble M118LR loaded with RL15 had in desert temperatures that caused Federal to stick with their special flash-suppressed version of IMR4064 in developing the Mk 316 Mod 0 sniper cartridge for the M24 system). The special coatings on the Hodgdon Extreme line and new IMR Duron line make them beat the military requirement but only in certain cartridges and load combinations.

As the Western FAQ explains, true insensitivity requires tweaking stick powder coatings and, in DB powders, the ratio of NG to GC content, for a particular cartridge component combination. In any other combination it isn't as good. This is why Varget under the 168-grain SMK in the .308 Win is very temperature stable (Varget was designed to compete with IMR4064 in the 300-yard .308 International competitions for which Federal Gold Medal Match uses IMR4064 and the 168-grain SMK), but in the .223 it doesn't behave better or worse with respect to temperature than a non-stabilized powder.

See item #7 in the Western FAQ.
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Old August 14, 2019, 11:03 AM   #18
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I didn’t say it was better or as good as anything . Just surprised how “unstable “ some are saying it is for the reasons I suggested. As suggested I’ve used a lot more temp sensitive powders then H-335 .
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Old August 14, 2019, 11:30 AM   #19
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OK. I misinferred what you meant by "You can't use just any powder for that" to mean you thought it was special or temperature-controlled. I am pointing out spherical propellants aren't specially made to be temperature-insensitive, but rather the technology is just intrinsically adequate for military purposes (having been developed for military applications originally). Also, for anyone not familiar with the temperature-insensitive powders, that they only work their best in particular load combinations.
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Old August 14, 2019, 03:48 PM   #20
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For myself it’s whatever powder gives me the most accuracy. My AR is way different from yours but Varget works best for me
Over the years when I got a new gun I would buy 2 or more appropriate powders and look for the best accuracy. However, I am old and just want quick success without spending hours tinkering to find the best load. Therefore, all I am looking for, is just a "good" load, not the "best"...and definitely not several cans of powder than I will not use for anything else. I tried to get that across, but some seem not to understand.
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Old August 15, 2019, 08:06 AM   #21
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Sure we did!

Quote:
Personally, I run H335, have been for 25+ years.
I don't have the time or inclination to squeeze the 'inth degree of accuracy out of every handload I crunch... I pick my battles. A ball powder like H335 measures and flows well, it's a powder designed for cartridges like the .223/5.56mm, and most likely will produce reasonable accuracy if the rifle/barrel/bullet combo is appropriate. I did the same thing with IMR4895 and the M1 Garand many years ago... sure, there are probably loads and powders that would produce better accuracy and performance... but I don't care, and I haven't used any other powder than one of the 4895's for the M1 in almost 30 years
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Old August 15, 2019, 09:30 AM   #22
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No question: load tweaking to maximum performance is a hobby unto itself. Even those willing to try several powders often find full brass prep just too much to bother with. This is why you see so many load development shortcuts are discussed. Developing the perfect load for a barrel is useless if, as you come to the end of the task, your barrel is at the end of its accuracy life.

One of the tricks you can use to cut your powder search shorter is to look at the maximum load pressures listed by Hodgdon or Lyman or other data that tells you those pressures. The powder with the highest maximum load pressure listed is one that exhibited the lowest pressure and velocity variation because the maximum is selected so a number or standard deviations of the pressure variation the tester saw would not exceed the SAAMI Maximum Average Pressure (MAP). Powders with lower maximums had more pressure and velocity variation. Look up the SAAMI MAP and divide it into the maximum pressure to see what the high-side variation was.

For .223, the MAP numbers are 52,000 CUP and 55,000 psi. So divide the maximum load's listed number by the map, pick the ones with the same units for best consistency.

Looking at the Hodgdon data for a 55-grain Speer bullet, you see the highest maximum load pressures are for:

IMR4198 : 53,600 psi or 100 × 53,600 psi/55,000 psi = 97.5% of MAP
IMR4895:53,200 psi or 100 × 53,200 psi/55,000 psi = 96.7% of MAP
Benchmark : 50,000 CUP or 100 × 50,000 CUP/52,000 CUP = 96.2% of MAP
Varget: 49,700 CUP or 100 × 49,700 CUP/52,000 CUP = 95.6% of MAP

This suggests those powders will produce the best velocity consistency with 55-grain jacketed bullets. The slowest powder (Varget) produces the highest velocity and recoil and muzzle flash, while the fastest one (4198) gives you the most loads per pound of powder and the lowest recoil and muzzle flash, but also the lowest velocities. Having the lowest velocity variation does not automatically means the best accuracy, as that also depends on recoil and pressure-induced barrel distortion and deflection and its timing relative to the bullet's exit. But at least this gives you some probably decent performing choices.
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Old August 15, 2019, 04:36 PM   #23
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Went to the gun store today (before I read that last few posts above), and bought a canister of H322 (four more Dillon small pick-up tubes, two more bricks of Federal Small pistol primers) due to the discussion about less likely to have muzzle flash in a 16 inch barrel.
Looking in my steel ammo cans in which I store my primers, to see what my supply of small rifle primers is, I was pleasantly surprised to find hundreds small rifle primers. Along with many hundreds or Remingtons, there were hundreds of CCI, some marked "magnum" and some just stating "small rifle"...I remember people posting on here that CCI only makes one primer despite their "magnum" marking. These CCI's were given to me about two years ago when I bought some lead for casting from a fellow, and with my bout with cancer last Summer, I had forgotten all about them. The packaging on the CCI's is really old, but when given such an abundance of stuff, it is impolite to look a gift horse in the mouth. So, it seems that I do not have to obtain any additional primers for my new project (.223 in a 16 inch barrel, home-build AR).
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Old August 15, 2019, 08:31 PM   #24
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Winner ! Should be gtg , I’d love to get an update on the redults .
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Old August 15, 2019, 08:55 PM   #25
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my AR "NATO clone" for the 5.56 55g fmj with H335 is 26.5 grains, that's what i find to be the max before pressure signs show up, fair accuracy, no worse than the usual milsurp. I now use TAC, 27 g , but there is no practical performance difference over the H335 that i can see,
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