New reloader question .223


November 5, 2009, 10:34 PM
I saw someones thread about working up a .308 load, but I am trying to work up an optimal .223 load for my AR.

It is a 1 - 7" twist 16" barrel

I had it zeroed to about 1.5MOA at 100 yards with Fiochi 55gr factory loads.

I then made 2 sets of 50 loads with Winchester 55gr FMJ bullets.

One at 23.5 grains IMR 4064 and one set with 25gr 4064

I used 4064 because I was trying to standardize my .308 and .223 powder. Not sure if that was a good idea.

Both loads were extremely light. No pressure signs, primers fine. but both had just horrible groupings. I am waiting on my chrony to get here, so no velocity data, but the 25gr load had definite verticle stringing ( may be the shooter, but the factory loads and the 23.5 loads did not show this)

I know i want a heavier bullet with the 1 in 7 twist, so I ordered small boxes of 62gr, 69gr, 77gr and 80gr bullets to try.

Now here is my issue (finally right?) -
Each of these bullets have significantly different starting and max loads with the 4064, and I can't keep the load the same to evaluate the bullets. Heck in the 77 and 80 gr bullets I can't even load a max load that is as high as the starting load for a 55gr bullet.

How should I proceed?
Load all at listed starting loads and see which gives best groups and then work up a load for that weight bullet? Or do I try various loads of each (though I only bought 50 of each weight)?

Should I wait for the chrony and try to obtain a set velocity across the different weights to compare accuracy?

Just not sure which direction to proceed.


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November 5, 2009, 11:14 PM
You could try BLC2,or H4895.Good for .308 or .223.

November 5, 2009, 11:15 PM
Well first off, Win 55 FMJ bullet is not a very accurate bullet. They are fine for plinking, but not good for bench rested groups. That holds true for many bulk FMJ that have exposed lead at the base. Solid FMJ bullets tend to shoot better but are generally more costly.

IMR4064 is a good powder, but not great, most loads will be near compressed with the long extruded grains. Very capable of good accuracy though.

I would load up 5 rounds of each of the different bullet weights, at the start load +.5gr. Then 5 more stepped up 1 grain more. It should give you some insight as to which bullet shows potential.
AR's tend to require the bullets to be seated deep into the powder space, usually at 2.25" coal, so that sometimes means that the Max load often is heavily compressed.
Just work up slowly, then verify the velocity when you get your chronograph.


November 5, 2009, 11:24 PM
Thanks for the input guys!

BHP I probably won't be trying too much new powder soon because I bought the 4064 in bulk lol newbie mistake. So I am trying to find the best I can do with the 4064 I have.

NC - The win 55 I have are actually solid FMJs bought as bulk from Midway - no lead base showing but the 69gr I got do have lead base showing. As for the seating I have been seating according to COL listed in the Hodgdon guide. The max of all the COLs is 2.255 so all should cycle ok in my AR.

I will load all the various weights at their starting +0.5gr as you suggest. And I am excited to get the Chrony, but exactly what should I be looking for velocity wise? Shouldn't the groups tell me what I need to know?


November 5, 2009, 11:45 PM
All Win 55 FMJ that I have used were lead base, but they may have changed them. That's a good thing.
I'm sure you know that you're giving some velocity away with your 16" barrel.
Check out the Hodgdon load data website for the latest info.
Perhaps someone has some info on a setup similar to yours as far as velocity potential.
A rifle can shoot good groups and still not have an acceptable velocity level, which will affect your longer range trajectory.


November 6, 2009, 02:04 PM
IMR4064 is good stuff in my book. In my CMMG 1:7 IMR 4064,RL15, and New Surplus WC846 all do very well with Sierra 69 gr. BTHP.

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