5.56 problem


April 19, 2006, 06:06 PM
Hello this is my first post here and I wanted to say hi. I also have a problem loading my 5.56. I have loaded it in the past with no problems, but now I am using H-4198 and seating the bullet to 2.165" with 55 grain remington bulk ammo. My problem is after it fires, the slide wont go back for enough to pick up the next round. I have tried starting at 19.9 grams and worked my way up to 22.5 grains. I am using cci small rifle primers. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I tried the search feature, but didn't find exactly what I was looking for. Thanks in advance.

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April 19, 2006, 08:15 PM
H4198 is too fast, in my opinion. You should be using H322 or Varget if you want to stick to a Hodgdon extruded powder.

I prefer Alliant RE10.

April 19, 2006, 08:36 PM
Thanks, so you think it is the power that is doing it? I shot some other rounds through it and the gun works fine. Well I guess I just wasted 22 bucks on a lb of powder. Do you think maybe a primer change could help?

April 19, 2006, 09:00 PM
You might find joy by cleaning the bolt really well and ensuring that the bolt itself is well lubed inside the carrier. That will help the rifle cycle with low pressures. If that doesn't bring you joy, then I suspect the problem is most likely that the powder is simply peaking too early in pressure. If that's true, it'll prevent you from getting the velocity you might otherwise get out of the load, and it (I believe) also causes the bolt assembly to short-stroke.

Moving to a weaker primer MIGHT impact this, but you'd be hard pressed to figure out what it would take to make it work. According to Hodgdon's load data, 22.5gr is over the recommended max, by the way.. :o If all else fails, try H4895 or Varget.


April 19, 2006, 09:21 PM
I cleaned the gun well, and it works with other ammo, so I know it is something I am doing wrong. I know that the 22.5 is over according to my book max is 21.0, but I worked up to it real slow and inspected the cases each time. That was as high as I felt comfortable going with the powder. I am going to go the the gun store and try the H-322 or the varget like you recommed. This has been driving me nuts all week, I have tried everything I can think of. I don't have lots of reloading experience but I have been reloading .40 cal for a few years now and have reloaded .223 before without problems.Thanks again.

Mr. Chitlin
April 19, 2006, 11:10 PM
I can't get 4198 to cycle my AR's. I used it in bolt guns, but when I went to the AR's, I had exactly the same problem you are having. Try 748, Varget or any of the other great powders suitable for AR's and I am sure your rifle will work just fine.

April 19, 2006, 11:36 PM
did you clean your gas system thoroughly? maybe you've got crap in there that's workign against you

$22 is a cheap lesson. properly stored powder keeps for a long time, so you may find another use for it a few years from now.

April 20, 2006, 03:34 AM
H-335 and 55gr FMJ's are a good combination as well in the AR. Use CCI mag primers with this powder.

April 20, 2006, 11:54 AM
As the others have said, H4198 is much too fast to function in an autoloader. Please purchase one or two good loading manuals and follow their advice. As for the 8 lbs of the H4198 powder, that will give you a good excuse to buy a 22 Hornet. Those Hornets love this powder, both of mine do.

April 20, 2006, 12:19 PM
He only said he bought a pound -- but that COULD still be an excuse to get a Hornet. :) Heck, I was nearly able to justify buying a .40 simply because I'd picked up a few casings. (Can't let them go to waste, can we?:) )

April 20, 2006, 02:15 PM
Please purchase one or two good loading manuals and follow their advice.For what it's worth - only the Sierra manual specifically separates bolt-action 223 load data from the AR-15 load data....

April 20, 2006, 05:42 PM
Thank you guys very much. I found some rounds that I had loaded last year that I loaded with H-322. They function perfectly in my AR. So off to the gun store to buy some more powder. I have the haynes manual and the instruction with my lee dies, and have been using them. I also have the lee cd for the computer and it has 3 manuals in it. The only reason I exceeded the manual was I had heard the AR has can handle higher pressure, so I took it up .2 grains at a time to see if I could get it to cycle. None of the cases showed any signs of over pressure. Yall were a huge help, this was driving my nuts.

April 20, 2006, 05:43 PM
Lennyjoe, if I use the mag primers do I need to use less powder than the manual states?

April 20, 2006, 05:52 PM

simply use starting loads with the H-335 and the CCI Mag primer, work up from there.

I was going to +1 on the use of H-335...you could also use BL-C2 as its a good 5.56 powder as well. I am not sure of the goal of you using a stick powder so I am just guessing that its to see what else might work. Winchester 748, H-322, Varget are some other choices...

I am curious as to whether or not anyone has tried out RL-10X in the 223/5.56?

AA2250 might not be too bad of a choice as well...I have used AA2520 as well but it requires compression on the top loads.


April 20, 2006, 06:01 PM
No real goal on using that type of powder or another, except to get the most out of my powder. I do a lot of plinking with my AR, and was trying to use the powder that required the least amount of powder. I guess that wasn't the best idea. Now I am just interested in what will work the best for plinking.

April 20, 2006, 07:26 PM
Well, if thats what your lookin for...

AA 1680 with a 55 grain bullet shows a starting load of 18.5 grains for a velocity of 2691 and a max of 20.5 grains for a velocity of 3058 fps with a max pressure of 50k...this is off their website...and the good thing is, you can take that 1680 and use it also for other ammo as well...


Take a look there and see what you think. I personally use it for my Hornet and love it...gives excellent accuracy with that little number.

Of course, if your looking for economy you can find the bulk powders that are mil-surp pull-down.


April 20, 2006, 07:32 PM
So the AA1680 will cycle the AR?

April 20, 2006, 08:20 PM
AA1680 is even faster than H4198 - I'm quite skeptical that it will appropriately cycle an AR.

A medium burn rate powder will work best for you, and there are lots to pick from. The two most popular ones locally seem to be Varget or RE15 (both extruded powders) - just pick one of 'em and have at it. You can use a medium rate ball powder (H335 is the most popular for 223), but extruded powders like Varget and RE15 tend to be more consistent for me.

April 20, 2006, 08:23 PM
Thanks rbernie that is what I will do. I sure do appreciate all of you letting me pick your brains. I don't know anything about the burn rates, I was just picking a powder that was listed in my manual without knowing how burn rates affect gun choices.

April 20, 2006, 09:33 PM
I like H-335 cause it meters great out of my Lee Autodisc. I use the progressive for mass range loads.

Start at the base and work up. My best accuracy was with 25.0 gr of H-335, CCI mag primers and 55gr FMJ's.

April 20, 2006, 09:51 PM
Thanks I also have the lee auto disc, so maybe that will be a better choice for me.

April 21, 2006, 03:12 AM
Just may be for mass range loads. Get the micro disc kit and the rifle charging die so you can achieve the appropriate charge amount. You can get it here at Lee or anywhere else you buy reloading gear.



April 21, 2006, 07:02 AM
I was suggesting the 1680 as it is shown for NRA listed loads being used in SLRs, so I am guessing that it would cycle the action...especially as its producing 50K...don't knock it 'till you try it.


April 21, 2006, 09:22 AM
Just to be contrary I'll throw this out, I used IMR4198 for about 1,000 rounds in my Colt SPII, it functioned great. I since switched to IMR4895 for all my rifles cause I can use it in my Garand. But I was having feeding problems with a Colt SP1 upper on the same SP2 lower, got another lower (Mega)for the SP1upper and it runs the same ammo that was jamming before perfectly.


May 2, 2006, 08:35 PM
Wanted to think you guys that helped me. I finally found some BL-c(2) powder at the local gun store they didn't have 335 or 322. I loaded some rounds today and the gun functioned perfectly. Now I have to buy 8lbs of this because I already used all of the 1lb canister.

May 2, 2006, 10:51 PM
You will find the BL-c2 is really accurate through a powder measure, And is all I use.I'm no expert but the problem I have read that you had with the other powder is the wrong impulse as the action is trying to open to soon while the case is still swelled and is gripping the chamber walls. And this has been reason that some semi-autos rip off the rim trying to extract a empty.:)

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