Somebody wanna explain Varget to me?


December 27, 2007, 10:58 PM
Today I visited my local gun shop looking to purchase some BLC(2) for my 223 loads. Unfortunately they were out. I thought this would be a good time to try something different, so I checked out one of their reference loading manuals and found Varget would work for a majority of the 223 bullets I have yet to load. Hodgdon says 25.5 - 27.5 for a 55g SP. Hmmm? I can fit 25.5 in the case. I can even fit 26.5 in there with a little scrunching - 27 nope - 27.5? No FREAKEN WAY unless I take every case, shake it to settle the powder then hope there's room for the bullet!

What is your experience using this powder for 223? Anyone able to get 27.5 into a case - the full 27.5 grains? Yeah, I know - I'm the only one with this problem right? So what is your experience?

Tomorrow I'll try 10 rounds of 25.5 and 10 of 26.5 and we'll see what happens. Do you people like it or have you found something better for 223. H335 I tried and the groups out of my guns suck. BLC(2) does a fairly decent job but the eternal quest for the holy grail of one ragged hole is driving me nuts!:banghead:



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December 27, 2007, 11:11 PM
Never used varget, but use reloader 15 works pretty well for me. 26.5 gr. RL15, sierra 60gr varminters.

December 27, 2007, 11:16 PM
You could try Blue Dot ;) it runs cool and is accurate, but you won't set any speed records.

December 28, 2007, 12:02 AM
I have a bottle of varget that I picked up a while back. Just haven't got around to useing it. Let me know how it works out. what are you shooting. I can cover 5 shots with a nickel out of a Remington 700 Tactical .223 1X9 twist load useing sierra 69gr hpbt matchking and Berger 73gr bthp with win748 Im trying to cover that with a dime but it's been to chili for my blood. Let me know how it works.

December 28, 2007, 12:42 AM
Varget is a bit bulky for certain brass. the federal brass I was using was very light and I could fit 26.2 grains under a looonnnggg 60 vmax. winchester on the other hand is friggin heavy and it was hard to make that much fit.

Dave R
December 28, 2007, 12:57 AM
I've never been able to fit enough Varget into a .223 case.

OTOH, my rifles love H335 in .223. 26 gr. under a 45gr. bullet. Fast (but not a speed record) and accurate for me.

December 28, 2007, 01:22 AM
What I and others have found out about Varget in .223 is that it isn't good for 55 grain bullets. It's much better for 60 grainers on up. The the top charge is reduced a bit and fits in the case WITHOUT being compressed. Do you have a long drop tube under your powder funnel? They allow a little more powder to be poured into the same space. Also pour the powder slowly onto the side of the funnel, let it swirl down through the neck.

But then, there's nothing wrong with using compressed loads. Some of the most accurate loads I've fired were compressed. It is necessary in some rifles.

December 28, 2007, 02:06 AM
Which brass are you using, and are you using a drop tube for charging the case?

December 28, 2007, 06:59 AM
I don't use Varget for 223, but I use it in my 7.62x54 cartidges. Great stuff for larger rifles where you have the capacity. Meters well, burns clean, and is temperature insensitive. For cold-weather loads, this is the stuff.

December 28, 2007, 09:30 AM
I have used Varget with 60 grain V Max. Compressed load And they shot very well.

December 28, 2007, 09:45 AM
I have had better luck with H4895 in 223(Sierra 55gr SP) then Varget. However Varget works better then anything Ive tried in my 300 Savage(Sub MOA).

December 28, 2007, 09:49 AM
I've never had a problem using Varget with 69 gr. Sierra Match Kings.

December 28, 2007, 10:09 AM
In Winchester brass, 27 grains of Varget is doable but you have to be careful not to spill it and I would not try it in a progressive press. I've never tried 27.5 grains. In Lapua brass, the most I use is 26.5. Anything past that would be a stretch and would be too easy to spill in handling the case. At 26.5, you defintely have a compressed charge. That being said, it is my preferred powder in both .308 and .223.

Ol` Joe
December 28, 2007, 10:39 AM
I`ve used it with 69, 60gr Hornady and Sierra HPs in my 223 M70 HV and with 52 gr Hornadies. Accuracy was fine with all bullets. The only load I`ve chrono`ed was 24.5 gr Varget with a 60 gr Hornady. That gave 3052 fps, very good with this bullet wgt. This load is 2.5gr under Hodgdons max and only ~ 100 fps below their max velocity. Good enought for my purposes, I doubt I`d need the extra 2.5 gr to achive the missing 100 fps.

BTW, Varget is my powder of choice for the 7-08 with 150 and under bullet weights. I get very good velocity and excellent accuracy

December 28, 2007, 10:42 AM
I use Accurate 2015 in my .223, also use Sierra 53 gr. fb bullets, this is used for benchrest shooting.

December 28, 2007, 10:53 AM
I load 26.5 with crunching......I like Varget,but NOT my choice in .223 powders.


December 28, 2007, 11:11 AM
Alliant Re-7 works extremely well in .223 -5.56Nato

December 28, 2007, 04:02 PM
If you are hell bent on getting more powder in the case use an electric toothbrush (minus the brush) and run the vibrating flat on the shaft up and down the side of the case. It will settle the powder big time.

December 28, 2007, 04:14 PM
I have had great luck with 24.5 gr of varget behind a 55 gr v-max. 1/4 " gorups of 3 shots at 100 yds. I shoot a Bushmaster Varminter.

December 28, 2007, 04:33 PM
good for 60 grain bullets and upward in .223. Always a case full with some compression.
Not exactly a speed demon from my 20" predator but usable groups:

December 28, 2007, 04:37 PM

December 28, 2007, 04:42 PM
I use 26.0 Varget with 50 grain Nosler BT's, WW cases, and Federal primers and get exceptional accuracy.

From everything I've seen, the .223 has to be one of THE easiest rounds to load. I suspect there are a dozen or more powders that work well. Actually, I suspect that picking a really high quality bullet is perhaps the most important part of the equation.

December 28, 2007, 04:55 PM
i use varget for 69g and 80g SMK and iirc, both are compressed loads. shoots great though

December 28, 2007, 05:27 PM
I've had good luck with Varget and the 55gr v-max, loads from 24.5-25.5 grains group very well. 24.5 & 25.0 are under 3/4" 5 shot groups, 25.5 about 1/2" 5 shot groups, but at 26.0 it opens up to 1". I haven't tried any loads over 26.0

December 28, 2007, 07:55 PM
I had the same problem with Varget and LC brass. Couldn't fit a load above 26.5 gr. Switched to H-335 and like it even better.

I do use Varget with my 22-250 with great results though.

December 28, 2007, 08:33 PM
Using Varget 25g and 26g with Sierra 55g HPBT I got groups approx 1" and 100 yards with a 1-9 twist AR. That was with LC 95 and LC 05 brass. It works great for me.

December 28, 2007, 10:29 PM
Varget is great stuff. I use it for .223, .22-250, .308 Win, 6mm BR Norma, and lightweight Varmint bullets in .270 Win. It is usually one, if not THE, most accurate powders I've used in each cartridge, and it isn't temperature sensitive.

For .223, using Win, IMI, LC, or IMR (Guat 5.56) brass I have no real issues, other than it doesn't meter as well as, say H335 or TAC. It shoots very well though. I tend to load it for my bolt guns, weighing on a Chargemaster. But for an AR, 335 or TAC (for heavier bullets) might be better on a progressive press.

In .223, I like 26 Gr. Varget in Win or IMR brass, loaded either magazine length or longer, with 69 Gr. SMK and CCI BR4 primers. This shoots very well in both my AR and Bolt rifles.

Lloyd Smale
December 29, 2007, 07:47 AM
ive used alot of it and have had great luck with it for accuracy in the .223 i switched to benchmark for the most part though for only one reason. It meters better and most of my 223s are loaded on a progressive and do double duty in my ars. I will usually find a load that shoots the best in the bolt guns and still shoots well enough in the ars and use it for both.

December 29, 2007, 11:14 AM
Well Varget surprised me - it shot exceptionally well in the Savage bolt - teeny little groups - usually three in the same ragged hole and two just outside. definately sub MOA for 26.5g under a 55g SP. the problem is the AR. The groups are still about 1 1/2" or so from my Bushmaster. Same 1:9 twist but shorter barrel. I'll try backing off and see if that helps.

It is very clean though so I may just stay with hit.

Have a Happy New Years everyone....

December 29, 2007, 11:25 AM
I shoot 26gr of Varget with 55gr Nosler Ballistic tips. Great accuracy at 100 yards out of my Colt M-4 1 in 7" twist. Haven't chronographed yet for speed, but it should be 3100-3300fps I would guess. I'm also going to try some Sierra Gameking BTHP next time at the range to see how they do with the same powder load.

December 29, 2007, 11:28 AM
I use Varget in 223, 308 and 375 H&H. Awesome powder.

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