Issues with 748 in .223


March 9, 2008, 11:44 PM
I've been trying to come up with a new recipe for reproducing M193 ball for practice. Following advice I've received from several people, I started testing 748.

I'm finding the 748 loads seem to be awfully dirty. I've got a good bit of soot around the necks and shoulders. The maximum load I tested was a Hornady 55 gr. FMJBT, a Winchester small rifle primer, and 26.2 grains of 748 (the max. listed on the Hodgdon web site).

I experienced something similar back when I was using BLC-2, which is why I'm looking for a new recipe in the first place.

Has anybody else experienced this? I'm wondering if 748 is just on the dirty side, or if the WSR primers aren't quite hot enough to give complete combustion and a magnum primer from a different manufacturer might burn cleaner.

I'm also open to suggestions for substitute powders. I'm looking for either a ball or flake powder that meters smoothly, so the extruded powders I've used in the past (like Varget) are out. Maybe 10X?

Thanks in advance.

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March 10, 2008, 01:18 AM
I don't think 748 burns dirty. I use CCI-450 primers when I load it. In Speer No. 13, it lists 26.0 grains as the starting charge for 748. The max. charge is 28.0, which is a compressed load. This is in IMI milspec cases, which have less capacity than commercial .223 cases by Remington, Federal or Winchester.

Often the carbon on cases such as you describe is a sign of low pressure. The case doesn't expand as much to form a seal and gas flows backwards.

The data issued by powder manufacturers is sometimes conservative. I can't say that I would blame them for keeping it that way. Check some other manuals and that will help. You might only need to increase the charge a half grain rather than change powder.

March 10, 2008, 04:40 AM
Hey,Ceemack,try crimping a bit more,or some.I use a Lee factory crimp die for .223's,and any powder I've tried burns clean.I've noticed it helps with just about all caliber loads.My 2 cents worth

March 10, 2008, 05:48 AM
I've shot thousands of 52gr Sierra/26.5gr 748/CCI primer, and never had a problem with fouling.


March 10, 2008, 08:12 AM
I use 27.2 gr of 748 in my 223. (Rem 700 VLS). CAUITION THIS IS A MAX LOAD.

I also use 26gr behind a 53gr match bullet.

Never had a problem with is being dirty. I see just the oppsite it is very clean.

March 10, 2008, 11:32 AM
No problems here with 748 being overly dirty.

Since you mentioned that it also does it with BLC2 you could have a sloppy chamber or the necks of your brass have become work hardened and need to be annealed.

I also use a little more powder than you mentioned when shooting 55s.

March 10, 2008, 01:54 PM
Thanks for the replies. I'm using a Lee FCD set to provide a moderate crimp, so I don't believe neck tension is the issue. Most of the cases I'm using are once-fired, so work-hardening probably isn't the

The soot was a little less with the "maximum" load. It's not enough to be debilitating--it's just annoying. A load reduction can produce soot, but it's got to be a really big reduction. I've never seen this kind of thing with Varget loads in the same gun, even with starting loads. It looks like the primer has to be the issue--the WSRs just aren't hot enough.

I'd used Hodgdon's data, since they listed a Winchester primer and that's what I had on hand. Velocity for their maximum load averaged about 90 fps less than some American Eagle factory loads I used for comparison. I was surprised that Hodgdon's max. was so much less than the one shown in the Speer manual, even though the Speer data was compiled using a magnum primer.

I'm kind of stuck with this batch (I've already got 750 cases primed with WSRs), so I guess I'll do some extra cleaning for now and try out some test loads with the CCI 450s for the next batch.

And if that fixes the problem, I'll have to spend some time considering the irony of Winchester primers working so poorly with Winchester powder.

Thanks again for the feedback.

March 10, 2008, 03:27 PM
I doubt that the WSR primers are causing your problems.

March 10, 2008, 03:39 PM
I doubt it too.

I have used Standard CCI & Winchester primers exclusively with 748 forever without problems.

On the otherhand, 26.2 is a light load, and may not be getting enough pressure to burn cleanly.

Speer #13 starts at 26.0 and ends at 28.0 Max!


March 10, 2008, 11:31 PM
I doubt that the WSR primers are causing your problems.

I doubt it too. another suggestion?

March 11, 2008, 08:28 AM
I think that both of us suggested using a little more powder. Lots of folks use Winchester primers without any issues.

It is possible that you would see better results using mag primers. Changing the primers out has worked on some of my rifles and not worked on others.

March 11, 2008, 11:18 AM
I thought ball powders like 748 were harder to ingnite and thus benefited from the use of magnum primers? I use magnum primers with w748 when I load for my 30-06.

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