What powder for .223/5.56?


January 8, 2009, 12:06 PM
I'm be looking for powder this weekend.

I'm looking for velocity and accuracy with 55 and 69 grain bullets.

after looking at the data I'm leaning towards Varget. Is there a better choice?

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January 8, 2009, 12:41 PM
Pats Reloading in Massillon Oh has the best powder for .223/5.56. He sells G.I. WC 844 and 845 which are the powders the government developed for this cartridge. I have shot many sub 1/2 in groups using WC844 and 55 or 62 gr IMI G.I bullets

January 8, 2009, 07:09 PM
Hodgdon BLC2 works well for me with 55 grain bullets. Varget fills the case awfully close to the top. I am using a progressive press and if you flick the indexing around too fast varget will sometimes spill out.

The burn rate of BLC2 and Varget is very close, and BLC2 is much less bulky. I am getting good results with 26.5 grains of BLC2 which is 1 grain under what my manual lists as maximum. My brass lasts a long time and I get excellent results without that last little bit of velocity and large amount of pressure to be gained with max loads.

January 8, 2009, 07:31 PM
Nice peppy powder that should be available in most shops.


January 8, 2009, 08:44 PM
Reloader 15

January 8, 2009, 08:57 PM
H335 powder
CCI450 primers

Shoots great

January 8, 2009, 09:42 PM
H335 powder CCI450 primers Shoots great

Agreed. Also like AA2460, and WW748 with 450's as well.

Ky Larry
January 8, 2009, 09:52 PM
I like AA-2230 and AA-2460. IMR-4320 is pretty good,not the best but okay.

January 9, 2009, 12:30 AM
i like extruded powders like h322, varget, and benchmark.

the varget has bigger granules, but it still drops pretty good from my measures.

January 9, 2009, 11:28 AM

After the responses here and googling, I'm thinking Varget, due to compressed loads may not be for me, and now I'm leaning toward Benchmark (I don't have any problems with extruded powders, and I'm not using a progressive).

Do you have any further comments about Benchmark?


January 9, 2009, 11:39 AM
Benchmark for 55 grain bullets is a well kept secret (52 and 53 grain also). Just below max load works well.

Benchmark seems to be a little too fast for 69 grain bullets. It works, but just doesn't seem to get the best accuracy. That's where Varget shines. Varget under 69, 75 and 77 grain bullets works extremely well with mid level charges that are not compressed. Some powder measures don't seem to measure Varget very consistently, be sure to double check your charges. If the charge isn't consistent you will think that the powder is incapable of accuracy. With consistent charges it is very capable.

By the way, nothing wrong with compressed charges as long as you're going by a published manual.
It isn't dangerous. It won't explode on the press or anything. But you always want to start low and work up anyway. Don't go straight to max load where you find compressed charges.

January 9, 2009, 11:54 AM
H-335, and never look back;)

January 9, 2009, 11:56 AM
Use a long drop tube to get more Varget in the case without having to compress it seating a bullet. That said. H335 is hard to beat, and W 748 has the same rep.

January 9, 2009, 12:16 PM
Just about anything, H335, Varget, Blc2, H322, H414, Benchmark, IMR 4895, H4895, Reloader 15.. I think you get the idea.

January 9, 2009, 12:16 PM
Kludge -

A friend and I recently built a spreadsheet for 233 loading. Now of course, extreme accuracy could not be taken into account in a spreadsheet, but the only powders we considered were ones that had been recommended by other shooters as "good for the AR". That is to say accurate and clean burning.

We looked at burn rate, cost, cost per load, loads per pound, and wear & tear on the gun. We had absolutely no "favorites" going in. We needed a recommendation on a powder that we both understood would be new to us. Alliant Reloader 10X and Reloader 15 could not be included due to the lack of reloading data on Alliant's own website. (They have not returned our email so far. Should they respond, their information certainly will.)

However, at this point, the clear winner among 14 highly recommended 223 powders is (drum roll please).... Ramshot TAC. We were also very pleasantly surprised to find the TAC was also useful with nearly all 223 bullet weights, as well as in several other calibers. And TAC is a ball powder making use with mechanical powder dispensers easier.

I'll let you know how it goes after our order arrives.

Hope this helps!

January 9, 2009, 01:38 PM
BLC-2 for 55gr and 77 works great for me

January 9, 2009, 02:03 PM
Has anyone tried WW748?
I know its a ball powder but I wondered if anyone was using it for 223.

January 9, 2009, 05:35 PM
Thousands of rds through .223 with 748.Very good!

January 9, 2009, 05:39 PM
Thousands of rds through .223 with 748.Very good!

Great I just bought some.
Mind telling your load & bullet weight? Barrel twist

January 9, 2009, 06:18 PM
H335 for velocity
Blue Dot for ground squirrels.

It is really hard to find a powder than does NOT do well in 223.

January 9, 2009, 06:28 PM

January 9, 2009, 09:32 PM
Another vote for 26.5 grains of BLC-2 under a 55 grain bullet.

January 9, 2009, 11:03 PM
"Great I just bought some.
Mind telling your load & bullet weight? Barrel twist"
Specific loads need to be "tailored" to specific rifles.
A good manual will start you off right.

January 9, 2009, 11:47 PM
Specific loads need to be "tailored" to specific rifles.
A good manual will start you off right.

Yes sure ...but I was curious & the two thing I mentioned IMHO make the biggest difference.
So if we are both shooting 65 gr bullets thru a 1x7 20" barrel then I have a base in mind.
But like I said I was just curious thanks.

January 10, 2009, 12:12 AM
for 26.5 grains of BL-C(2) pushing 55gr FMJBTs. Meters like water in my progressive and gives good case fill which can easily be checked before indexing.

January 10, 2009, 12:17 AM
Jim makes an excellent point about checking powder before seating.

January 10, 2009, 06:40 AM
IMR 3031 works really well with bullets of 55 grains and lighter.

January 10, 2009, 08:02 AM
+1 on the 3031. I like W748 for it's metering but IMR 3031 is always easier for me to find for some reason. It works OK using the RCBS Uniflow with baffle. Small variations but within an acceptable margin. I stay far short of max loadings and still fills the case well, not compressed, but close. I just throw the loading with 55 FMJBT bullets but will trickle as needed with 52 Sierra's and I get accurate blasting ammo and very accurate match ammo.

January 10, 2009, 09:51 AM
25 grains of Ramshot TAC with 55 FMJ is a consistent load, and duplicates GI velocities in my brief experiments.

Uncle Chan
January 10, 2009, 10:46 AM
I use x-term for pretty much everything (223, 243, 30-30, 30-06, 8mm, 7.62 x 54r and x 39, etc.)

January 10, 2009, 03:22 PM
Has anyone tried WW748?
I know its a ball powder but I wondered if anyone was using it for 223. I use and I shoot great groupings.

January 10, 2009, 06:21 PM
I probably use more H335 and H322 for the .223 than anything else. Varget would not me my choice for this round...not that it couldn't be used. I've also used Winchester 748 with excellent results. My primer is always the Remington bench rest primer.

January 10, 2009, 06:41 PM
N140 is good under 55 gr with long barrelled rifles

January 10, 2009, 10:18 PM
I want to pull Mil,bullets,and use the powder.I want to load 150 gr, bullets, and the mil. are 198gr ,
so lets say the Mil. powder weighs 55 gr.what do i use for the 150 gr,

January 10, 2009, 10:24 PM
280, your question really should have been posted in a new thread. As to pulling and reloading with lighter weight bullets, unless you know the exact powder used in the military loading and have load tables for that powder, do not attempt to use it for reloading lighter bullets.

January 10, 2009, 10:41 PM
280shooter, click on the Search function and select Advanced Search. Using quotation marks, type "mexican match" as the search term. Then scroll down under the Search in Forum(s) heading and select the Handloading and Reloading subforum. Then hit the Search Now button. That will bring up a dozen recent threads on the practice you mention. It is very common.

January 11, 2009, 01:59 AM
Varget and IMR4895........jh

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