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Old March 21, 2008, 11:21 AM   #1
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What type of powder for .223

I'm gonna begin reloading .223 soon and I need to figure out what type. Mainly all my shooting will be done no further than 50 yds and it would be speed shooting. Could you help me with what you guys recommend. Also I'm beginning .357 for shooting out of a revolver, I have bullseye that I use for 45 ACP will that work too. And is bullseye good for .223? I know there are different types of gr powder, like flakes or long tube like powder. Whats best for what? Thanks guys.
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Old March 21, 2008, 11:37 AM   #2
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I have been using IMR3031 for .223 for several years now. I get very good results with it.

I use 24 grains of IMR3031 with the 50 gr Nosler Ballistic tip. Shooting these out of my Bushmaster Varminter, I get groups under 1/2" at 100 yards. But you said you were shooting at 50 yards, so it will work fine for you.

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Old March 21, 2008, 11:45 AM   #3
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IMR-4895 is a good favorite. You can even do some moderate reduced loads with it and still get semi-autos to cycle. It's clean burning even at the lower pressures.

People have even used it for reduced 223 cast boolit loads and it still cycles the action. I plan to try that out in the future.
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Old March 21, 2008, 11:59 AM   #4
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Thanks guys I was reading somewhere else someone said IMR is a extruded powder (I'm new to this so I dont know what it means) and I'm using a Dillon press and the guy said that IMR doesnt run good through the powder measure. Is that true? Also what type of round would you guys suggest I shoot through my AR thats the cheapest but still shoots good. Im not taking any 300yd shots or anything just sometimes I might shoot at 100 yds so I dont need anything fancy. Thanks guys
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Old March 21, 2008, 12:39 PM   #5
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Extruded means that it is forced through a small hole, so it comes out as tiny rods sort of like pencil lead. These little rods do not flow as smoothly and evenly as flake or ball powder.

I never had a problem with the IMR because I weighed every charge on the scales. I did this because I feel it gave me better accuracy at the long ranges that I shoot. (Also because I'm obsessive/compulsive)

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Old March 21, 2008, 12:49 PM   #6
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(I'm new to this so I dont know what it means)
Go out and get yourself a loading manual and read it front to back. I recommend the Lyman 48th. It will teach you all the basics you need to know before getting started.
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Old March 21, 2008, 12:50 PM   #7
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H335, H322, and BLC2 will meter very well. Varget is a short grain extruded powder that meters well but is best for heavier bullets over 60gr.
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Old March 21, 2008, 12:51 PM   #8
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Go buy some WW748 or BLC-2 and load away. It is a ball powder, it will work very well in the powder measure on your Dillon, and it will give excellent velocities and accuracy.
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Old March 21, 2008, 01:28 PM   #9
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cast boolit loads and it still
boolit :P
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Old March 21, 2008, 01:35 PM   #10
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My favorite is also BLC-2 for .223 in my AR's. I did however just get a large quantity of WC846 which is suppose to be it's equivilant, it's a whole bunch cheaper. I like to stick to small grain ball powders for .223 because of the shere volume at which I reload.
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Old March 21, 2008, 09:44 PM   #11
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H-Varget(not a max velocity provider, but ~100fps, easy meter), IMR 3031, IMR 4064.

But there are a ton of them that will work.
TAC, H380, W748, etc, etc.
When all is said and done, there is a lot more said than done.
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Old March 21, 2008, 10:04 PM   #12
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I second Winchester 748. A little spendy, double base ball powder currently used by the US military (according to Winchester). Meters well, supposed to make m-16 barrels last 3 times as long or something like that. I have heard a lot of good stuff about Hodgedon, too.

Boolits are so when the antigunner googles it they don't find us! Maybe I should spell it that way too...
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Old March 22, 2008, 07:46 AM   #13
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223 powder

I have been reloading rifle and pistol cartridges since the early 60's. I started out using 4198 and then switched to Bl-C now known as Bl-C(2). Also, I use 748 and WCC 844, a military powder equivalent to H335. 4198, Bl-C(2), and 748 are all in the midrange of burn rate. I tend to stay away from extruded powders as I don't like the "crunch" sound when being fed in a Dillon 550 press. Some powders do not burn as clean as others and depending what type of rifle they are used in, you may be more limited in the number of rounds fired before the rifle begans to function improperly.
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Old March 22, 2008, 09:20 AM   #14
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Old March 23, 2008, 11:43 AM   #15
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I prefer 748 for two reasons: meters well and runs cleaner.
Several years ago I went through a Chuck Taylor rifle course. I'd heard good things about 748 in the .223s, so I used it in building about 400 rounds for the class.
Part of the instruction involved cleaning the guns, which were a mix of .223s & .308s. In looking at the guts on several of the other shooters' ARs, mine were markedly cleaner than any of the others using whatever reloads & commercial stuff they were using.
Since I'm basically quite lazy by nature & hate to clean an AR, anything that runs smooth through my RCBS meter & reduces the cleanup efforts later goes high on my list.
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Old March 23, 2008, 12:44 PM   #16
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Take Mrawesome's advice to read a load manual. There are lots of small things to learn. I'll second his recommendation of the Lyman manual as having the information you need without being overwhelming. If you get to where you want overwhelming detail for the AR, get Glen Zediker's book Handloading for Competition. Just don't start with it. Too much information for starting out and unless you are already familiar with reloading basics and terminology, you will get discouraged trying to follow it.

Bullseye is not the best choice for the .223 unless you are loading very light squib loads or firelapping loads and such for a bolt gun. Don't expect it to function the action of an AR until the peak pressures are too high for the gun's health. You can shoot up to around 10 grains of it under a 50 grain bullet and it will give you around 2600-2700 fps from a 20" barrel. Because the powder burns up so fast, peak pressure occurs early in bullet travel and with no powder still burning, the pressure drops rapidly after the peak as the bullet moves down the barrel. The 10 grain load will present only about half the pressure to the gas port that a standard load does.

I agree that 748 will serve you well, though a larger grain ball powder will be best in the Dillon measure as the finer ones make you disassemble and clean the slide bar more frequently. Ramshot's X-terminator and, for heavy bullets, Tac come to mind as alternatives. Don't use the medium speed powders with bullets under about 55 grains, though. To avoid secondary muzzle pressure spikes, you want something faster, like the IMR 4198 that Stoner designed the AR to use in the first place. Its extruded grains are small enough that the Dillon measure should throw them within a quarter of a grain, which is fine for the use you describe. But, as alway, YMMV.
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Old March 23, 2008, 08:11 PM   #17
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check out some load data on the 223. then you will have an idea.

(Note: These are near maximum loads, you should use 10% less to start.)
(See note on Powders below or read all about various Powders.)
Bullet is .224" diameter. Due to different barrel lengths, type of bullet, seating depth, primer type and other factors, you may not get near the FPS charted. It is just a guide and the reason you should start under these charges and work up.

45 grain JSP (Speer or Sierra Spitzer)
IMR 3031 25.5* gr. 3,300 FPS
IMR 4895 26.5* gr. 3,280
2400 14.9 gr. 3,030
Reloader 12 28.0 gr. 3,470
Reloader 7 21.8 gr. 3,375
#2230 27.0 gr. 3,447
#2460 27.0 gr. 3,405
* compressed charge
50 grain JSP (Hornady Soft Point)
IMR 3031 25.5* gr. 3,225 FPS
IMR 4895 26.5* gr. 3,270
2400 14.5 gr. 2,795
Reloader 12 27.0 gr. 3,335
Reloader 7 21.5 gr. 3,195
H4895 26.0 gr. 3,174
H335 26.0 gr. 3,398
#2230 26.0 gr. 3,342
#2460 26.0 gr. 3,329
748 26.0 gr. 3,200
* compressed charge
52 grain JHP (Sierra Hollow Point, Boat-tail)
IMR 3031 25.5* gr. 3,--- FPS
IMR 4895 26.5* gr. 3,---
Reloader 12 27.5 gr. 3,310
Reloader 7 20.9 gr. 3,165
H4895 26.0 gr. 3,123
H335 26.0 gr. 3,300
#2230 26.0 gr. 3,252
#2460 25.5 gr. 3,234
748 25.5 gr. 3,160
* compressed charge
55 grain JSP (Hornady Soft Point)
IMR 3031 25.0* gr. 3,165 FPS
IMR 4895 26.0 gr. 3,120
2400 14.0 gr. 2,685
Reloader 12 27.5 gr. 3,255
Reloader 7 20.5 gr. 3,080
H4895 26.0 gr. 3,099
H335 25.3 gr. 3,203
#2230 26.0 gr. 3,216
#2460 26.5 gr. 3,231
748 26.3 gr. 3,150
* compressed charge
60 grain JSP (Hornady Spire Point)
Reloader 15 26.5 gr. 3,240 FPS
Reloader 12 25.5 gr. 3,070
H4895 25.5 gr. 3,078
H335 25.0 gr. 3,051
#2230 25.0 gr. 2,950
#2460 25.2 gr. 3,015
68 grain JSP (Hornady Hollow Point, Boat-tail)
Reloader 15 25.6 gr. 3,030 FPS
Reloader 12 25.0 gr. 2,925
H4895 23.0 gr. 2,679
H335 23.5 gr. 2,825
#2230 24.5 gr. 2,929
#2460 24.7 gr. 2,991

Discussion: The .223 is fast and flat. I have listed powders of IMR, Hodgdon, Alliant and Accurate. Use which ever you have handy. Slow burning powders generally work better in longer barrels and heavier bullets. .223 Cases will stretch, especially with hot loads, and you definitely need to check each in a case length guage and trim off excess brass. Of course, discard any cases that show a split anywhere on the case. For hunting at long distances with an unobstructed view, you should choose the spire point with a soft lead tip or a hollow point. The .223 is really better for long-range, open country and not so much for the brush and woods. But any clear shot with it is deadly.
There are a number of other high performance bullets on the market. The "boattail" is a very good long range target match bullet. It has very good wind performance. If you are shooting for precision, you should weight each powder charge and put exactly the same amount in each case. Each case should be exactly on specs.

#2400, Reloader 7, 11, 12, 15, 19, and 22 are products of Alliant (formerly Hercules) Powders.
H335, H450 and H4895 are products of Hodgdon Powders.
IMR 3031 and IMR 4895 are products of IMR (formerly DuPont) Powder Company.
No. 2, No. 5, #2230, #2700, #3100 and #2460 are products of Accurate Arms Company
WMR, WSF, WSL, 760, 748, 231 and 540 are products of Winchester, Components Div.
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Old April 6, 2008, 07:34 PM   #18
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What type of .223 gun are you reloading for? The reason I ask if this gun is a AR-15 then it will use different powders than a bolt action gun which will have a wider range of powders. Ar-15 should use medium burning powders such as 4895.
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Old April 6, 2008, 10:00 PM   #19
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I am using W-748 for my winter loads and either Varget or VV N-133 for my spring and summer loads behind a 50gr V-max. I stay right around .5" with a best of .4"
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Old April 7, 2008, 01:26 AM   #20
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I use Ramshot X-Terminator, its a small ball powder and its amazing to measure as it is very consistant. also it is very clean and better yet it is cheap. one of the cheapest powders out there. Ramshot Tac is also suppose to be good with bullets 55 grs and up (I use the X-Terminator with 40 gr V-Max) I am going to try some in my 22-250 in the next few weeks here.
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