223 Rem powder H335 vs Varget


March 24, 2010, 10:16 PM
So, i am tired of overpaying for the hazmat shipping fees for my powder, and just started reloading 223 rem (did lots of handgun loads, never rifle). I started loading H335 and some dogtown 55 and 62 grain FMJHPs, and some 40 grain V-max for my Contender pistol load. I had some reasonable luck trying to work up a good load for a rifle and a pistol (close but not quite there). ran out of my H335, and the only thing I could find locally is Varget. i've read a lot of good things about that one for 223 use also, but want to pick one and stick with it. what powder is best for 50 yard pistols, and up to 200 meter rifle target loads? haven't tried the varget yet, but have noticed that it takes a couple grains more powder for comparable loads than the H335, which i don't care too much about, although in the long run it will be more expensive.

also, anyone have a favorite Contender 223 rem load they like?

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March 24, 2010, 11:09 PM
I've never seen either used in "50-yard pistols" so I have no idea what would work there. What caliber is a "50-yard pistol"?

Also, I've read that Varget tends to work better with heavier bullets (62gr at least). I use 748.

March 25, 2010, 05:06 AM
I have been using H4895. 25.5 grs. with a 55 gr. bullet gives me right at 3000 fps. Max is 26.0 grs.

evan price
March 25, 2010, 05:13 AM
I use both H335 and Varget in rifle loadings.

Varget is a stick powder, a little shorter than some other stick powders, and if your measure will dispense it without problems, it is very good in terms of consistency and temperature stability. It won't need a magnum primer like H335 is supposed to use.

You may also try BL(c)2, Win 748, etc.

March 25, 2010, 06:35 AM
Why not just order 8 lbs of Ramshot TAC & be done with it, maybe 1lb of 'Exterminator' for those 40 grn loads too.

ole farmerbuck
March 25, 2010, 07:25 AM
Personally, i think you'd be better off using 335 instead of varget with your .223

March 25, 2010, 08:37 AM
I had better luck with H335/W748 than with Varget using smaller bullets. Varget did excel with the larger bullets (62gr +).

March 25, 2010, 10:20 AM
I currently use H4895 in my 14" Contender at 26.5gr with 50-52gr bullet, and it chronographs mid 2800 fps and is very accurate.
sourdough44's recommendation is a good one. Ramshot TAC is ballistically similar to H335, and may prove easier to find, and possibly cheaper.




March 25, 2010, 09:02 PM
I use H335 for all my Contender loads, and even for the AR.

March 25, 2010, 09:30 PM
The Thompson Center Contender has dozens of caliber barrel options with the same lower receiver. My favorite barrel is the 223 Rem, but when I shoot rifle loads > 55 grains, the short barrel and long twist don't stabilize well, so pistol shooters generally stick to lower weight bullets and powder loads. I have found a 55 grain FMJ 25 grain H335 that actually shoots well in both my pistol and my M4 (neither of course long range) at shorter ranges out to 100 meters. Just going out to try some varget over my 40 grain pistol and some 55grain FMJ for carbine at about 2.22 COL and see how it runs.

March 26, 2010, 07:35 PM
AA 2230, W748, H-Benchmark work great, easy to measure, and come in 8lb'ers. They work great with small bullets up to 75gr or so. Varget didn't work well for me with shorter bullets in .223.

March 27, 2010, 07:55 AM
I found H335 to be my go to powder in .223, and without magnum primers. Varget gets .308 duty:cool:

Redneck with a 40
March 27, 2010, 11:16 AM
I like IMR-4895, great accuracy.

March 28, 2010, 03:38 PM
So, much of what I have read about reloading has a lot to do with the angle and diameter of the throat of the bullet/ and or case as it goes into your chamber and distance from rifle lands.

Is it a stupid idea to get a case prepared, skip the powder and hand seat the bullet you are loading, and slam it into the chamber to try to hand fit the bullet into the chamber? then measure your COL and case dimensions, and try to load to these? or is this not great cuz you cant' still tell how far the bullet is seated to the first rifling? Just trying to find a way to measure out a bore without casting or fancy measuring tools (i have none of these).

New news - tried to "hand fit" a bullet to my lands and back off a few mils off the lands. Made zero difference performance wise in my AR and my TCA Contenders.

I found some Hodgden reloading recipes that had a 2.28 COL, which if you try to fit in a GI mag, will scrape the bullet and give lowchambering reliability (sticky mag syndrome). I loaded some 55 grain dogtown TMJBTs over 25.5 grains of Varget at 2.22 COL in mixed mil-spec brass this weekend and was shooting touching groups at 50 meters. I'm going to try starting this load out to 100meters and step the powder up some and see if I can find a sweet spot.

I also loaded some 40 grain V-Max hornady (red tip) over 26 grains of H335 with a 2.22 overall length (book said to go 2.28) and I had better groups from my contender that with the 2.28 COL. Either my reloading skils are so inconsistent and scattered, or this tactic of going a few mills back from the lands is a bit of black magic, and varies by barrel.

March 28, 2010, 03:44 PM
So I put a few loaves of italian bread in the over and followed sourdoughs idea, ordered 15 lbs of the Ramshot TAC and will let a few ride with it. Buying 1 pounders here and there with this scattered availability market makes no sense if you actually find a good load that works.

Now I just hope the TAC will deliver . I like to stick with 1-2MOA in all rifles and pistols meant for target means. I'll give the report (no pun intended) when I get a good load mixed up. thanks guys!

March 28, 2010, 03:46 PM
I have been using H4895. 25.5 grs. with a 55 gr. bullet gives me right at 3000 fps. Max is 26.0 grs.

I use the same load in my 16" AR and it shoots real nice

March 28, 2010, 04:14 PM
I use Varget in my .223 but with the 69 gr match bullet. I think it's a little to slow for lighter bullets and may not give good accuracy.

With the above bullet, 26.0 gr of Varget and a CCI SR BR primer I can shoot a 5 shot group of 1/2". This load is right out of my Lyman manual and was marked as the most accurate.

March 28, 2010, 05:07 PM
I've been using Ramshot TAC in all of my .223 loads since I first tried it. Good stuff for that caliber, cheap and easy to use. Works great for my 40-55 grain loads.

March 29, 2010, 10:09 AM
Handloading for performance is a lot like making a hot rod engine. It's the combo that makes the load perform. Experiment with COL like you do with primers, powder, and bullets.

March 30, 2010, 11:05 AM
i load varget 25.5 with col of 2.26 with a 50gr v-max. gives around 3200 fps with half dime size groups at 100.

March 30, 2010, 11:27 AM
I just switched from A2230 to H335 for my 55gr FMJ loads due to better accuracy. I use Varget for 68+gr bullets.

ole farmerbuck
March 30, 2010, 10:06 PM
I use 26.0 gr of H335 with 40gr vmax bullets seated to 2.250 for one of my loads for my AR. And i THINK 26gr of IMR 8208 with 52gr bullets. I tried both of those AR loads in my Savage tonight and wow! They both grouped great. So i guess thats 3 loads for the bolt gun.

April 4, 2010, 11:22 PM
I use H335 for my .223 loads, but have had great success with Varget, IMR 4064, IMR4895, H322 and AA2230. I find I get the same performance from H335, AA2230, Varget, and IMR 4895 from my 20" AR match HB rifle.

April 5, 2010, 11:30 AM
Varget with 55g psp's has been good shooting, but can't complain with the good ol 748. Reloader 10x, and BL-C2 is also very good powder. The AR likes the 55g bullets with Varget, but the model 11 bth likes Varget with heavier bullets 60g+.

April 6, 2010, 03:25 AM
I have had good luck with RAM SHOT TAC and H335 using both 55 and 62gr. I am sure there are others that work as well but these work for me, been reloading since 1960's have not shot a factory load in years.

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