same powder for .223 and .308?


December 17, 2006, 09:47 PM
I am curious about sharing powder between these cartridges. It would be nice to just buy a lot of one powder and use it to reload both instead of purchasing two for various reasons.

My reloading manual has 'recipes' for both calibers using a couple of same powders. The best looking (highest fps) is Olin/Win 748.

Does anyone have experience in loading these two that would support a.) "It's worth buying separate powders for accuracy" b.) "No, 748 or ______ does just fine between the two".

I plan on shooting 69 gr Speer BTHP and 168 gr Speer BTHP for both, respectively. Maximum range is 550 yards, rarely out to 800. Average is 100-250.

Thanks in advance,

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December 17, 2006, 09:52 PM
Lots of powders have dual use in both .223 and .308 match loads. RL15 and Varget are very popular in both of these cartridges. I use Varget in .308 and recently switched to RL15 in .223. I doubt I'll try RL15 in .308 for my bolt gun until I rebarrel and have to work up loads again. Too lazy to change my .308 Varget load that's already tested and true.

December 18, 2006, 02:33 AM
Powders are rated from fast (pistol ) to slow (rifle), and most manufacturers make a complete range. In most cases the lighter bullets use faster powders and heavier use slower. Both the bullet weights you listed are slightly heavy for their caliber, so it should be possible to find one powder for both. To be safe, you should always reference a good load book. By the way, Winchester 748 is a ball type powder and can be difficult to ingnite without magnum primers, is dangerous with under charges and over charges. I would pick a stick powder. Most load books list the relative burning rates of competitive powders in the back.

December 18, 2006, 05:14 AM
I use Accurate 2230 for both 223 and 308. It's a ball powder so it meters well thru a measure and I haven't had any problem with ignition using standard primers. It's also bulky enough to just about fill the case with sensible loads.

December 18, 2006, 07:26 AM
I use H-335 in both and am happy with the performance. Just got a case of surplus WCC844, which is the same as 335. Under $10lb.

December 18, 2006, 09:49 AM
748, meters uniformly and my .308 really likes it. My .223 is a Mini14 so accuracy is so/so at best with anything. No problems using standard primers. I use my 308 primarily for varmint shooting so I am loading very light (for this caliber) bullets.

December 18, 2006, 10:48 AM
If you want the best for both the 223 and 308, well one answer is Varget. Not too many powders do double duty so well! There is no temperature sensitivity to worry about.
The off side is that it is not that powder measure friendly powder!

But, it has few peers in the performance dept.!

December 18, 2006, 12:26 PM
to doing some research :)

December 18, 2006, 07:01 PM
Go here and click on Tac.

December 18, 2006, 09:54 PM
+1 on H335

Ben Shepherd
December 19, 2006, 10:45 AM
H335 works well in both 223 and 308.

If you reload 30-30, try 33.0 grains under a 150 grain sierra flat point.:D

December 23, 2006, 01:38 AM
Well today I went with 748 and accurate 2230. If anyone has any loads to share, or hints on how to find them in the THR search function :confused: please pass along.


December 23, 2006, 01:42 AM

December 23, 2006, 03:13 AM

December 23, 2006, 11:31 AM
+1 on AA2230


December 23, 2006, 12:31 PM
Anybody tried Hodgdon Benchmark??

December 23, 2006, 01:17 PM
I've been using H335 for 223 and getting decent results. I picked up some IMR 4895 for loading 30-06 hunting ammo, and decided to try some in a few 223 rounds. Got essentially the same performance. I have a Dillion 550b, and found that the 4895 was metering to +/- .1 gr, so at a nominal of 25.0gr I would see charge weights inside of 24.9gr to 25.1gr.

I noticed when I was hand metering 4895 for my 30-06 loads, every little stick registered on the scale, which got to thinking about how I would redesign the Dillion powder measure to improve the metering. Unfortunately, it would require more powder measure bars with a much smaller range of adjustment, as it would be necessary to reduce the surface area of the charge relative to the volume. Then I read here about someone's idea to add a small vibrator to the press, and that makes more sense to me if I'm going to doing anything about it.

December 23, 2006, 02:50 PM
I've been told that Hodgdon BL-C(2) is a pulldown powder originally spec'd by the army for 7.62 NATO and 5.56 NATO (.308 and .223 respectively). Some guys have really good results and other guys say it's dirty. If you want to pay a little more, I've never heard anything bad about Varget.

December 23, 2006, 07:55 PM
Varget and BLC2 come to mind.

December 24, 2006, 07:49 AM
I'm using IMR 4895 with all my rifles. I locked into it because of my Garand, then for the 03 and 03A3, next for the 303s, so why not for the 30-30, so tried it for the three ARs and M1 Carbine. Makes buying powder a lot easier.

December 24, 2006, 09:41 PM
Until recently, my reoading experience had been with pistols. I had pretty much settled on Hodgdon Universal for everything. It was clean burning, metered well, and versatile. Works well in shotguns, too. When I started into rifle reloading, I thought I'd do the same and get one powder for all rifle cartridges. I did some reading and was leaning toward Varget.

I found that Varget meters very poorly in my progressive press, so it seems a bad choice for running off 1000 rounds of .223 plinking ammo. It shoots well, but so did the WIN748, and it meters very well too. Why did they extrude the Varget into sticks so long it can completely bridge my powder drop tube resulting in little or NO POWDER CHARGE?

I think I'm going to be a bit more fussy with my rifle ammo. In each rifle caliber, I'll probably want low cost plinking ammo as well as accurate ammo for precision shooting. I think I'll be working up some pet loads for each rifle (or pistol in the case of the .223 PLR-16). I've all but given up on a common powder for all rifle calibers. Maybe I'll use a common powder for plinking rounds in all rifle calibers, and I'll pick something that's reasonably priced (maybe even mil-surp) and something that meters well in a progressive press. But for precision shooting in .223 and .308 and ???, I'll probably have a different powder for each caliber. :(

To make matters worse, I recently started experimenting with some specialty pistol loads, and I added five types of pistol powder to my reloading bench, just to make things more complicated.

December 24, 2006, 09:45 PM
I used to use a lot of H335 in both .308 and .223. Problem I had was mainly due to heavy fouling in my auto-loaders. I recently switched over to using varget in my .223 and .308 and havn't even looked back. I still occasionally load H335 when I am doing loads with light bullets in my .308. But other than that Varget is a beautiful powder. It is very insensitive to compression, and the likelyhood of getting an overcharge is almost nil in .223. It is a pretty slow burning powder and it works really well with the heavy bullets. I usually shoot between 165 to 200gr bullets with varget loads in my .308. The only thing I still use H335 for is when I reload frangible bullets (which have lower density) and it has performed fairly well for this purpose.

In .223 I load up all my 55gr and 62gr FMJ's with varget. it burns clean, produces good velocity (~3200FPS). Varget, H335 or BL-C2 are all very good choices. I like varget personally.

Dave R
December 24, 2006, 10:08 PM
+4 (I think we're up to now) for H335.

I have tried Varget in both, but in both .308 and .223, I get slightly smaller groups with H335. Not a huge difference, but noticeable. I'm using light bullets in both, though. 150gr. in the .308 and 45gr. in the .223.

December 24, 2006, 11:09 PM

I like the clean burning properties of Varget, and all the other nicities that Hodgdon claims for their Extreme series of powders, but how are you measuring the Varget? I couldn't get it to meter well at all. That's really the only stumbling block for me, but it's a big one. I do not want to be rapid firing and have a primer-only round that lodges a bullet in the bore and the next round is a full power load. I also don't want some 25.0 grain loads, some 24.2 grain loads, and some 23.1 grain loads. That's not going to do anything good for accuracy, or reliable cycling of a gas operated weapon.

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