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Old November 24, 2009, 07:34 AM   #1
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Duplicate 223 69 gr SMK load

Hi All

I am new to the forum and pretty much new to rifle shooting (other than .22 rifles) So my buddies decide it would be fun to go out to South Dakota and shoot P. Dogs. Now i have an excuse to buy a rifle . I purchase a Les Baer Ultimate Varmint with a 24" 9:1 twist barrel. I started with some fiocchi 55 FMJ they are ok for 100 yd plinking. But then i picked a few boxes of federal gold medal 69 gr SMK's i attached the result with a 2" target at 150 yrds. I then purchased some black hills 69 gr smk's could not achieve the same result. I reload alot of pistol and was not planning on reloading 223 but this stuff is very expensive sooooo i guess I am reloading 223 now. I have a dillon 550. My question is does anyone have a receipie to duplicate the federal gold medal 69 gr smk's ? I see alot of people are using Varget and sierra recommends 25.3 grs for this bullet but from what i have read on various forums there seems to be metering issues with the Dillon.

I'm open to any suggestions since I am pretty much starting from scratch although i do have 5000 federal 205 small rifle primers i need to use.

Thanks in advance for helping a newbie

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Old November 24, 2009, 07:55 AM   #2
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Some experimentation is in order. I would recommend some H-322, start by loading 5 rounds at 19 or 20 gr with standard primers, then increasing by 0.5 grains until you get to 22.5 grains. You will find one that works best. There are other powders that will work fine, but 322 is a very good one.
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Old November 24, 2009, 09:23 AM   #3
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Definitely good advice from Hodaka, you will no doubt need to experiment to see what works in your particular rifle. I've used Varget and H335 in a Savage .223 with a 1-in-9 twist, with Barnes Varmint Grenades (36 gr.), Sierra Blitz Kings and Hornady V-Max (40 gr.) and the results vary quite a bit, with different powder loads working better for particular bullets, the rifle seems to like the Hornady V-Max's with H335 best (.770" group @ 100 yds.), pushing about 3500 fps, whereas the Sierras were more accurate (1.2" groups @ 100 yds.) with a lighter charge, working best at around 3300 fps. The Varmint Grenades grouped at 1.05" @ 100 yds with Varget at a velocity of about 3200 fps. You'll need to play around with a few different loads and see what works best for you.

I've also noticed a metering problem with Varget in a Lee Pro Auto Disk measure, the grains are just too large to meter smoothly in that measure.

It's half the fun of handloading. Shoot lots and be safe!
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Old November 24, 2009, 10:52 AM   #4
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Just Make sure you seat those primers well below flush.
For an AR, I would have gone with a harder primer.
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Old November 24, 2009, 02:34 PM   #5
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Most of the .223 Highpower shooters I met, who were using Varget, were using 24.5 grains with 69's, 77's and 80's.

I have used AA4064, AA2520, IMR 4895 with 69's. They all shoot well though AA2520 leaves a lot of crud inside the bolt.

I have a 24" Kreiger barreled space gun. Kreiger barrels are tight and will blow primers with loads that don't bother other barrels. I don't know about your barrel. It is easy to blow or pierce primers in a AR. When that happens, cut the load by a half a grain till it stops.

I don't recommend the brass colored WSR. Prior to 1999 Winchester primers were nickled. The cups were thicker. The brass cups pierce with loads that never bothered the nickled primers.

Eat up enough $7.50 firing pins and anyone will reconsider the use of brass WSR.

I have been using CCI #41's in my space gun. These are advertised as "mil spec" primers. They have thick cups and they shoot fine. Last match of the year, end Oct, I shot a 195-10X with the things at 600 yards.
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Old November 25, 2009, 06:36 PM   #6
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I also like Varget in my DPMS 1:9 twist with 68's & 69's

24.5 Grains of varget in the 68-69 Grain loads //\\ 2.250 COL ,CCI or Wolf Magnum Primers work best


23.0 Grains Varget in the 75 Grain loads //\\ 2.265 COL ,CCI or Wolf Magnum Primers work best, (Credit Layne Simpson's article with this load!)
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Old November 26, 2009, 02:06 PM   #7
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Varget and the 69smk are what my 1:8 twist likes.

As someone already posted hot loads will pop primers.
There can be a significant change in pressure between differrent brands of brass. I would highly reccomend you start lower than 25 grains, and work your loads up. As I did this, I worked in .2 gr increments, and the "Sweet Spot" was very easy to notice when I arrived.

For P Dogs specifically, I would reccomend trying some of the Hornday Vmax, and Barnes Varmint grenades that are made for the 1: 7-10 twist barrels.
I took both 69 smk's (Most accurate), and Vmax last P dog outing. The Vmax were more impressive upon impact.

good luck

P.S. Here's a great .223 webpage with lots of info I have found helpful and interesting:
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Old November 26, 2009, 03:24 PM   #8
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while the 69gr will most likely be more accurate at distance... the 50, 55, 60 grain vmax/ballistic tip bullets will give you a show

I shoot 40gr vmax out of my cooper around 200yrds often and it seems to be more "exciting" than the heavier loads in my other bolt guns
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Old November 26, 2009, 05:48 PM   #9
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While Varget is a great powder, it is a stick powder and I have heard it does not meter will for the Dillon.

H335 is the Hodgdon ball powder that does well for the .223. All Ramshot powders are spherical and TAC is a proven powder for the .223. Accurate 2460 and 2520 are both spherical powders suitable for the 69 gr bullet.

All the IMR powders I have used are stick powders so not sure any of them would meter well for your Dillon either.
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