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Old February 27, 2008, 10:19 PM   #1
OUTLAW00
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lightest bullet weight for 223 with 1-9 twist

I'm new to reloading and have started developing loads for my savage model 10 in 223 with a 1 in 9 inch twist. i know it is meant for shooting heavier bullets but, my question is what do yall think would be the lightest bullet i can use without the bullets being twisted apart or lack of accuracy
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Old February 27, 2008, 10:50 PM   #2
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There are some who get excellent results with 40 grain bullets in the 1-9" twist. I've never loaded anything less than 50 grains in mine, but that is solely because I have the heavier bullets on hand. Maybe some of the most fragile bullets pushed at the highest velocities obtainable in the .223 Remington may be unstable, but I wouldn't know without trying.

If I planned to shoot 35 or 40 grain .224 bullets in the .223 Remington exclusively, I'd get a barrel with a 1-12" or even a 1-14" twist. With a Savage, setting up a switch-barrel rig is certainly in reach.
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Old February 27, 2008, 11:08 PM   #3
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I load for an H&K SL8 with 1/7 twist - this shoots 50g vmax practically on top of each other with ADI Benchmark 1 (not BM), 40g & even 35g vmax still go ok. Interestingly I never have managed to get a decent 55g load in this rifle

Never had projectile explosion problems with b-tip or vmax, but then I dont push maximum velocity with an autoloader rifle!

You also cant expect your velocity to be near book with the fast twist bbl
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Old February 28, 2008, 09:14 PM   #4
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+1 somerled. About 50gr is the lightest bullet I'd use with a 1:8/1:9 twist. For lighter bullets I'd go slower twist (1:12/1:14)
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Old February 28, 2008, 10:30 PM   #5
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Experimented today with a few different loads.
40gr V-Max over 27gr of Varget. They shot fine thru my 1/7 twist barrel. Shot two thru a paper target with clean holes, then shot a pop can full of water with a dandy explosion. I too was worried about the twist rate being too fast.
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Old February 29, 2008, 04:58 PM   #6
OUTLAW00
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thanks for the replies I'm going to buy some different kinds of bullets tomorrow and start experimenting
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Old February 29, 2008, 09:50 PM   #7
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Are you shooting 100yds or 200yds?
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Old February 29, 2008, 10:16 PM   #8
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I think I have read on Nosler's site that they have pushed the BT varmint to over 5000fps without disintegration. You may want to try those.

I have had VMAX come apart at 3900fps in a 1 in 14" twist barrel. Only once though. It probably was just a bad bullet. But in that same barrel, VMAX's give outstanding accuracy and the Nosler's give terrible accuracy. For comparison, the VMAX's will consistently group 5/8" groups while the Nosler's will group around 2.5" consistently. If someone could explain why the Nosler's group so badly, I would love to know. The only thing I can come up with is maybe the bearing surface is too short, or maybe the bullet is too hard because of the super thick cooper jacket towards the rear of the bullet.
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Old February 29, 2008, 10:21 PM   #9
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Note that it is best to use a powder that is intended for light bullets, like RE10X. Benchmark is probably fine, too. There is some argument about whether the secondary pressure spikes that appear on strain gage instruments when you use a slow powder with a light bullet are real of some sort of odd reflected wave in the instrumentation. It is certain that Charlie Sisk has been able to blow up muzzles with loads that show the spike, so I would be cautious.

Bullets can strip their cores and lose accuracy if they are given too much rotational acceleration, so you want to watch for groups opening up unexpectedly when there are no pressure signs. Harold Vaughn was able to demonstrate this in his book, Rifle Accuracy Facts. A slower twist can fix that. So can using a lighter load.
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