Benchmark or Varget for 55gr Nosler BT loads?


September 27, 2009, 08:02 PM
These are for my AR-15 with 20in barrel having 1:9 twist.

If you enjoyed reading about "Benchmark or Varget for 55gr Nosler BT loads?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Ol` Joe
September 27, 2009, 08:32 PM
My 1/9 M70 preferes H4895 with 55gr BTs, Varget didn`t work well until I got into the heavier 69 gr bullets. Benchmark works great with 50-55 gr bullets in my 1/12 twist 1885 and is very close to beating out H4895 in my M70 with the same.
You won`t know which your rile likes with out testing. Everyone acts differently although the 223 is normally not very fickle and just about any suitable powder works decently.

something vague
September 27, 2009, 08:36 PM
My M77 likes H335 with that weight of bullet, and I mean really likes it. I can't come up with another powder to touch it as far as accuracy is concerned. But rifles are individuals so who knows unless you try 'em out.

September 27, 2009, 11:42 PM
So between Varget and Benchmark, which are the 2 on my bench.

September 28, 2009, 09:58 AM
I think you'll be happier with Benchmark when using the lighter bullets (55gr and less) in .223 Remington. Most people like Varget for the heavier bullets.

September 28, 2009, 10:07 AM
ForneyRider, I would use the Benchmark with the 55gr bullets. Faster burning than Varget and works well in the small base rounds like 222 and 223.
I personally have not had satisfying results with Varget in some of the rifles that I use.
Varget's burn rate is more suited for the heavier slugs in 223, IMO.

I would load starting charges of each powder and see what gives you the best results.


September 28, 2009, 10:46 AM
I have found 27 gr of N140 (full case and compressed) to be very accurate under 55 gr bullets. It is not as fast as some powders so with your rifle it might not be best. I would imagine that faster is best so most of the burning is done by the gas port?

September 28, 2009, 10:52 AM
Yeah for .223 Varget is best for the heavier bullets.

Rick James
September 28, 2009, 11:56 AM
I've got an AR I built using a Bushmaster V-Match 1 in 9" barrel. It consistently shoots .75" groups using 23.5gr of Benchmark behind a 55gr VMax. When I do my part, it will usually do .5" actually, and I have even dipped into the .2's and .3's on a somewhat frequent basis. Benchmark is all I use in that gun, I don't really have any desire monkey around with finding another load.

September 28, 2009, 01:55 PM
Forney, of course you know to double check the manuals for your own peace of mind. This load is slightly less than max according to Lyman. Max or higher was actually less accurate for USPSA matches. This load works best. It is somewhat stiff, but makes for a flat trajectory when shooting at various distances.

Benchmark 25.5 grains in mixed cases, Nosler 55g BT or 52g Custom Competition, OAL 2.240 to 2.250 inches. Medium Lee FCD collet type crimp. You can omit the crimp if you feel comfortable, and it shoots slightly better.

September 28, 2009, 06:25 PM
Yep, I have Lyman 49th, Lee, and Nosler books, and all the handouts. I also check the websites. My Nosler book is old, so there is no Varget or Benchmark in it.

The Nosler site had max load for .223 Rem, Varget and their 55gr BT below the min the Hodgdon site had with 55gr Speer and Varget.

I have been using AA2230, and R10x for the lighter bullets. But, I wanted to try Benchmark. Then I found a bunch of Varget, and got some cannisters of that as well.

I'll start with 2.26in OAL to fit the mags. I then build up, in 5 round groups, from min to max in .5gr increments. If none of those work, I'll move to a different powder and/or change OAL.

Much thanks.

September 28, 2009, 08:18 PM
Varget sort of sucks for mass loading, BM might be a better deal with regard to charging the cases. To get heavy charges of Varget in 223 cases you need a drop tube.

Redneck with a 40
September 28, 2009, 09:03 PM
I concur with Benchmark with the 55 grain bullets, but if you can find some, get H-4895, works awesome with 55-69 grain bullets.

September 28, 2009, 09:17 PM
I've had super success with Varget and 50 Nosler BT's out of my Bushie Varminter. Federal primers, WW cases.

I've got some Benchmark for my .204 CZ, so I may try it in the .223. Easier to meter, though Varget isn't as bad as the large stick IMR's.

September 28, 2009, 10:15 PM
what is easier to fit in .223 Rem case: Varget, IMR 4895?

H4895 is ball?

Ol` Joe
September 28, 2009, 10:20 PM
H4895 is a small extruded powder, about the same size as Varget. Benchmark is also extruded, but very short and thin. It works quite well in my measures..

September 29, 2009, 12:29 AM
I went with BM2, I mean, Benchmark.

I did 23.7-25.5gr in .3gr increments. 25.6gr was max in Hodgdon website.

Benchmark is the shortest extruded powder I've used. R15 and Varget snag quite a bit in Lee Perfect Powder. RCBS Chargemaster does well with any rifle powder loads.

The 4895 powders seem to work well for a lot of calibers I load, but I've been using R15, Varget and IMR 4064 instead. If I run out of 4064, I might try some IMR 4895.


September 29, 2009, 01:42 AM
IMO, RL-15 or H4895 would be ideal with 55 gr bullets. Benchmark if you wanted to shoot the really light stuff, like 40 gr bullets on down. Varget for 69 gr and up.

September 29, 2009, 05:23 AM
BenchMark works vary well with the 40 to 60 grain bullets for me
Moderate load and is consistent.

If you enjoyed reading about "Benchmark or Varget for 55gr Nosler BT loads?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!