.223 handload for 1 in 9 twist


January 8, 2003, 04:34 AM
I have a winchester .223 bolt action rifle with a 1 in 9 twist barrel. What would be the best bullet weight to use in it. I would like to use either Reloder 7 or H335 powder. I shoot strictly paper targets at maximum 200 yard range. I would like to get the best groups I can and would like to start out with a bullet that will do the job right up front without buying all different weights that may not work. If my two powder choices differ from what may be best I would appreciate any input. Thanks.

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January 8, 2003, 08:26 AM
Both my upper half's for my Bushmaster have 1-9" bbls. The 55gr and heavier bullets work wonderful with 55-64 being optimum for most .223 work.
I've never used RL-7 in the .223 but have used:
Imr and H4198, H322, Imr3031,Imr and H4895,Win748, H335,BL-C2,HodVarget, RL-15 and perhaps a couple of others. (In approximate burning speed order)

My advice is to try both your listed powders, but BL-C2, and Win748 will be the best with heavier bullets and longer barrels. RL-15 is also excellent.

My 14.5" AK upper-half prefers the 4198's at 22.0gr for both 55 and 60gr bullets. Most accurate load is 21.0 of H4198 and Hornady 60gr SP @ 2.225"oal shoots 0.75" with occasional better for 5 shots @100yds. 22.0gr gives a flat 3,000fps. All other powders are slower from abbreviated barrel.

The Flat Top Upper-half shoots better with a 55gr Nolser BT or Hornady 55gr V-max over either RL-15 (26.0gr @3,200fps w/20"bbl) and 27.0gr of Win748 or BL-C2 (3,250fps). Either will hold 1/2" 5-shots @ 100yds on calm day. All are loaded to 2.270" oal which is max for magazine feeding.

Try 22.0-23.5gr. of RL-7, and 25.0-26.5 of H335. I believe that H335 will give slightly better velocities. Accuracy should be slightly in favor of H335. I just haven't found it to be any better than the Bl-C2 or 748 in .223. In fact I found the BL-C2 to be best in .22-PPC as well for varminting accuracy and velocity.

However, in the .35 Remington, H335 is the "TRICK!" with the Speer 180 FN. 43.0gr of H335 gives 2,500fps and 2,500 ft/lbs with the 180FN crimped in groove in my Marlin 336. Ejection is effortless, but recoil is fierce, so's muzzle blast too!

January 8, 2003, 08:34 AM
With a 1 in 9 twist, I 'd stick with bullets lighter than 68grains. Heavier bullets may not stabalize well. Trial and error is the only way to find the best weight for your rifle.

H335 is probably your best bet. RL 7 can be used, but IMO it's a little too fast for 223, RL 12 and 15 worked better for me. I've settled on W748, but I also use it in 30 cal.

Jim Watson
January 8, 2003, 10:39 AM
Everybody and his brother will have his own pet load for his own rifle. I do too. But the next time I set out to get the best accuracy out of a new rifle, I will:
1. Start with Sierra Matchkings. I have had good results from other brands but Sierra is always good and often the best. A box each of 52 gr and 69 gr will be worth trying. The 9" twist is very flexible and I have had it shoot well from 50 to 70 grains.
Other components affect accuracy, but the NRA once computed that 90% of the variation in accuracy of different loads in the same caliber was due to the bullet. Assuming good loading technique, of course. So use good bullets and be careful.
2. Use the Ladder Method. Don't just jump around, be systematic. The main reference seems to be:
but you can find more searching around on TFL archives.

January 8, 2003, 03:49 PM
Thanks guys for all the info. I bought this rifle used at a gun show. It is the Winchester Coyote, bolt action, laminated stock, stainless 24" barrel. This morning while the wind was not blowing (Texas) I went to the range to see how it would do. I did not have reloads. I used Hansen-IMI 55Graim FMJ and Remington 60 grain HP Match. At 100 yards using sandbags the first 3 shots using the Hansen went into a 1 inch square. I then tried the 60 grain Remington. At 100 again the three shots all touched. You could cover them with a dime. I thought that was pretty good. I fired three more Remington and the groups were a little bigger. After three more the groups started going all over the place. I was holding dead center on a new target each time. The more I shot the worse it got. When the barrel is cold it shoots great. If I shoot 9 or 10 shots quickly the groups get bad. I thought maybe the barrel was not floated fully. I pulled an index card between the barrel and stock and it slides easily back to the receiver. The index card is about .008. I don't think it is the ammo. A little may be me, but the wind was perfectly calm and I was taking my time with each shot. Before I start reloading I would like to find out what is causing the groups to spread out so much. It went from shooting dead center at 100 yards to 1 inch to the right and 2 inches low after the barrel got hot. If anybody has an idea I sure need the help. Thanks-

January 8, 2003, 04:20 PM
Sounds like it's got a barrel full of metal fouling.

First, go and get a good copper solvent, Shooters Choice, Sweet's 7.62, ect. Also get a good paste type cleaner, such as J.B. bore paste or the Remington Bore cleaner.

Clean very well !!!!!!!!

Then, if it still does the stringing/flyers, it probably will need to have the action/bolt/barrel trued.

Realize though that the Coyote does not have a true bull barrel. Letting the barrel cool 1min. between shots, and 5min. between strings will give you a better idea of what the gun will do.

If that doesn't help, trade it for a Sako 75 varminter in .22 PPC. My favorite shooting buddy's will shoot 0.25-0.40 all day long till the barrel gets metal fouled at around 100rds.

January 9, 2003, 11:30 AM
I have a Bushmaster V match 20" that has a 1 in 9" twist.

I can get 1.4" groups average with 55 gr V max bullets or with factory loaded PMC target 55 gr. The best these groups get is about 1.05", and that is with waiting for the barrel to cool down.

I have allot of other ammo and other bullets but they are not so good.

I have built a 257 RAI on a with a Lothar Waltar light varmint taper barrel. It shoots sub moa even with the barrel too hot to hang on to!
So most guns need to cool down, but not all.

January 9, 2003, 10:28 PM
I have two Mini 14s and one Bushmaster that are 1-9. I really only did tests with the one Mini 14. My best loads were:

26.1WCC IMI 62grSCBT 2MOA groups out to 500yds.
24.5 AA2230 Sierra 69grHPBT 1MOA out to 400yds.

January 11, 2003, 10:22 AM
I shoot 55 gr. bullets with 24.5 gr. of W748. It's very accurate.

January 11, 2003, 11:16 AM
Cisco, Make sure your action screws are tight. If the scope came already mounted on it you might want to check and make sure everything is tight and the ringsdon't need to be lapped. You are getting movement someplace if neither of these help I would look into having the rifle glass bedded.

now as for your question, I am shooting a 55gr. Nosler using 24.5gr of H335, Remington brass and a CCI 400 primer. this load will shoot 3/4" groups all day long out of my Savage, but I haven't had the chance to clock the velocities yet. I also have some loads worked up using a 60gr Partition using both H335 and H322 but I haven't had an oportunity to get out and test them yet.

July 22, 2003, 05:44 PM
I want to suggest you use the "ladder test" to find the best load for your rifle.
You will be able to find a load without shooting out your barrel doing it.

Go to "search" at the top of the page and type in <ladder test>.

You will get a great amount of information from Fritz Moeller, a really knowledgable physicist, and the article from Ralph Constantine, published in "Precision Shooting", origonally worked up by Charles Young.
These are some of the greats of the long range rifle shooting.
You will spend more time reading, instead of burning out barrels by trial and error, and will use this method for the rest of the loads you work up from now on. - Lew

Steve Smith
July 22, 2003, 05:59 PM
I completely echo Jim Watson's post. Start with Sierra Match Kings. Try the 52 and 69's to start. After this, try similar weights in Hornady HPBTs.

Use the ladder method.

LewG, I think you meant Dr. Randolph Constatine, a professional mathemetician, a Master class Highpower shooter, and my personal friend.

July 23, 2003, 12:57 AM
What is this ladder method ? I followed the link posted above, I didn't find it, the link led to a german language site. I did a search and found the same link. Someone post the mothod or send me a copy via E-Mail. +

March 28, 2008, 10:26 AM
i shoot hornady 75gr BTHP mach in my 1 in 9" twist extra heavy bull barrel all day long and get sub .50 and smaller groups all day


March 28, 2008, 12:21 PM
I shoot 77 gr Sierra MatchKing HPBT with my 1:9 Savage .223. Winchester primers, 24.3 gr Varget, 2.26" OAL. They group very well.

That said, lately I seem to be having somewhat better luck with 69 gr Sierra MatchKing HPBTs at 24.5 gr of Varget.

Really, though, it depends on how well I'm shooting!

dagger dog
March 28, 2008, 01:28 PM
My .223 rem Savage 12FV, likes the 69gr. HPBT from Sierra, stabilizes well and gives MOA accuracy out to 160 yds, I've had sucsess with WSR primers WIN 748 Winchester Brass The Maximum Load published by Winchester for the 69 gr HPBT is24.5 grs MAKE SURE TO REDUCE THIS BY 10% for the starting load. Aliant recommends RE15 for the 69 gr.HPBT, and does not show a load for RE7, the faster powders should be use with lighter bullets and slower powders with heavier bullets to keep the pressures in check!
The heavier bullets are generally longer bullets, and the length not the weight governs the twist rate .
The69gr bullet from Sierra the Match King #1380 is designed for barrels with twist rates of 7"-10" their next heaviest is 77 gr and is for 7"-8".
Berger also make fine target type bullets for the.223REM check those out also.

March 28, 2008, 02:36 PM
I go with 52gr HPBT Match bullets, W748, and CCI Small Rifle Magnum primers. I have been having good luck with those in my 1:9 RRA.

March 28, 2008, 03:33 PM
Berger also make fine target type bullets for the.223REM check those out also.

Yes indeed! They are not cheap for pure acuracy shooting they have shown me many times how acurate a factory rifle can really be. In my 1 in 9" twist 700 LTR I use the 55 Berger match or match varmint with H335 and Rem 7 1/2 primers. Benchmark does well also.

The Sierra 69 MatchKing mentioned above by others is another fine performer in both my 1 in 9" twist .223s . Best accuracy in the 20" 700 LTR is with Benchmark , CCI BR-4 and H322 , Rem 7 1/2. My 26" Savage like the same bullet using Varget and Benchmark with CCI-BR-4s usually.

March 29, 2008, 10:30 AM
Not hijacking this thread, but five years between posts? That has to be some kind of record! :eek:


March 29, 2008, 12:16 PM
I have the same rifle bought it new awhile ago , had it floaded and beded,and triger job done on it , using H335 24.6 powder 52GR bullets , will shoot one holers if I do my part . they are a nice rifle .

March 29, 2008, 08:01 PM
Not hijacking this thread, but five years between posts? That has to be some kind of record!


Good topic either way. And I'm not just saying that as I found myself here by "accident".....


March 29, 2008, 09:04 PM
I don't know, but if I could find out what Black Hills uses for their .223 55 grain soft point blue box rounds. I would be in heaven. I can shoot dime size groups with my AR15 iron sights with this round.

April 2, 2008, 11:10 AM
yea, i didnt even look at the dates on the post...hahaha

if you want to try a gooooood factory load, the 50 or 55gr winchester ballistic silvertips. there extremely expensive, but for accuracy,they will shoot 1 holers out of the box all day long.

April 11, 2008, 10:33 PM
This is what i got when i tried to bring up the Ladder web page.does anyone know where whn and how to get that web site up.I did the serch on top of this page that dint do anything but send me to members that used that word ( Ladder test)

April 11, 2008, 10:58 PM

It was the first post I got using google.

As an aside, I've stopped using THR search engine as it does not search using ALL terms and ends up with at least five pages from the last 24 hours- when the information I am looking for is known to be years old.

thehighroad.org + ALL search terms= what I'm looking for.


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