best powder for 223


April 16, 2010, 10:19 PM
I would like some suggestions on which powder to use when reloading a 223 for use in an AR. Some thing clean I suppose.

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April 16, 2010, 10:52 PM
I shoot Tac and Varget, with 69 and 77 SMK's respectively and H335 with 62 M855's. It might sound like I'm touting the line, though it works. I have a 1-7 twist FN barrel.

April 16, 2010, 11:36 PM
I use Varget with SMK 69's and H335 with 55 gr FMJBT's for blasting.

Sometimes I use IMR 4895 with 55 gr FMJ's as well. I want to try TAC, Benchrest and RE10.


April 16, 2010, 11:47 PM
I place an 'old fashioned' vote for 4895, H or I either one.

Rancho Relaxo
April 17, 2010, 12:05 AM
I love H335 for 50 and 55 grain varmint loads

Tim the student
April 17, 2010, 02:00 AM
I think that 8208 may be my new favorite. We will see tomorrow hopefully.

April 17, 2010, 07:21 AM
For ranges out to 100 yards, 50 & 52gr bullets always shoot well, and it's hard to beat WW748.

For ranges out to 300 yards I like 69gr bullets and either 4895. These will only work for 1:9 and faster twist barrels. I'm going to try 77gr bullets this year, and probably match them with RL15, and these will be for 1:8 or faster barrels.

April 17, 2010, 08:18 AM
H335 for me! Puts them 60gr Sierra Varminter bullets into nice little groups:)

April 17, 2010, 08:25 AM
There was an article in Handloader a few months ago about the .223. Basically, it's about the easiest round to load for and there are a lot of powders that typically work well.

I use Varget, but 322, 748, AA 2230, 4895, etc. will most all typically work. Look at a burn rate chart, get anything in that range, and somebody here will have had success with it.

April 17, 2010, 08:36 AM
I am getting a RRA AR and I was wondering how many rounds on avg do you shoot before cleaning? I am guessing that the powders recommended here are pretty "clean"? Thanks for your input!

April 17, 2010, 11:22 AM
I like IMR 4064. Very clean burning.

April 17, 2010, 11:28 AM
Tac, and both the H and I 4895 get my vote.

Redneck with a 40
April 17, 2010, 11:45 AM
Another vote for IMR-4895 with 55, 62, and 69 grain bullets. It doesn't deliver top velocities, but it will group 2" at 100 yards in my Mini-14. This is far better than any factory fodder I've used. Plus, with 4895, you can load anything from .223-30-06, very versatile.

April 17, 2010, 07:22 PM
Anything in the IMR 4895 burn rate will shoot outstanding groups with perfect function in an AR.

Lot of match shooters have been using Varget.

I am using N140 in my NM AR15's. Buds of mine were using N540.

If you like a ball powder AA2520 works well. Bit dirty but shoots fine.

I prefer stick, but I got a lot of AA2520 cheap, you know the rest....:rolleyes:

April 18, 2010, 06:56 AM
i use varget for heavy, and h335 for 55 fmj's. go here

April 18, 2010, 07:31 AM
Did a lot of load development with various powders in the late 1960s. All of my .223 reloads use IMR 3031. The heaviest bullet I reload in the .223 is 55 grain.

April 18, 2010, 10:24 AM
I like H-335.

April 18, 2010, 10:49 AM
H4895 for 55 grain blasting rounds....used to load 60 grain Vmaxes with Varget and then all the varget was gone for a wile!

April 18, 2010, 11:30 AM
H335 was developed by Olin-Winchester for the 5.56, M193 ball. It's the only powder I use.

April 18, 2010, 01:01 PM
For progressive, I like easy metering ball powders.

For single stage, extruded.

April 18, 2010, 01:50 PM
from the Technical Manual, published by the United States Army :

"No later than the evening on which it was fired."

April 18, 2010, 01:58 PM
I load IMR 4895 on my progressive all the time. IMR 3031 does fine as well, despite is size. Your drop tube/bushing/whatever you use is critical to avoid bridging.

I made this one.

Ala Dan
April 18, 2010, 04:20 PM
I am going to start loading .223/5.56 using Ramshot X-Terminator,
under a 50 grain Nosler ballistic tip [#39552] projectile.

April 18, 2010, 09:55 PM
Depends on the bullets you want to drive.

Under 60gr, I like Winchester 748. It seems less temperature sensitive when used with the lighter bullets than with slugs in the 65-70gr range. By this I mean, my moderate loads using 748 with 69gr Sierras were piercing primers in July, though they were safe in May and September. This episode led me to....

HODGDON VARGET. For the 69-80gr pills, this is my go-to powder loading .223 for my AR. Just finished burning an 8-lb keg and thinking about trying to acquire another once some things settle down again. You might squeeze more speed out of RL-15 or V-V 140, but I can get 1-lbs of Varget reliably in my area, not so much the other two (never tried them, it was THAT hard to find them locally! :confused: ).

As to clean, I normally just pop the hood and CLP my Service Rifle between practices and matches. I'll clean it every couple of hundred rounds, but rarely before a match. And I don't really scrub the bore hard anymore. The barrel shoots better with a little fouling in it... :eek:

April 18, 2010, 09:59 PM
Another vote for H-335 in the AR. Meters great and is accurate with 55-62gr bullets.

April 18, 2010, 10:03 PM
There are many great powders and bullets for .223/5.56. I use Varget, RL15, Tac, H4895 for the heavies so far. I have used H335, X-Terminator, AA2230, Benchmark, H322, RL10X, RL7, and AA2015br for other loads depending on bullet weight. This caliber is very easy to find an excellent shooting load

April 20, 2010, 02:17 PM
Thouroughly confused yet? 223 Rem is so versitile that a lot of different powders work well. If there was an obvious "best", there would be two or three that stand out from the rest, but it just isn't so. Everyone may have their favorite, but much of that is from load specific experimentation and availability.

April 20, 2010, 06:22 PM
Asking "Which powder for the .223" is like asking if a blonde or brunett or redhead will make the best wife. Anyone who thinks he knows is answering from very limited experience.

April 20, 2010, 06:49 PM
Asking "Which powder for the .223" is like asking if a blonde or brunett or redhead will make the best wife. Anyone who thinks he knows is answering from very limited experience.

Well I'm not sure if it is a good thing, but maybe I might be able to weigh in on that with more experience than I care to have... ;) The answer is redhead. ;)

April 20, 2010, 06:51 PM
Oh ya, Ramshot Tac works very well with 40-55 grn bullets for me.

April 20, 2010, 07:01 PM
I can't believe not one reply for Benchmark. This stuff brings out the best in my ar's and bolt guns.


April 20, 2010, 08:21 PM
Mike, I had Benchmark in my reply, along with a bunch of others. I have been loading Benchmark with 60gr. Nosler btips lately with superb success in my ar's.

Also,Tac has worked really well for me for just about any .224 bullet that I have placed before it.

April 20, 2010, 08:29 PM
I think that 8208 may be my new favorite. We will see tomorrow hopefully.
How did that work out for you?

I got a pound last week and loaded up Sierra 69gr SMKs with it. I loaded three at 22.5, 22.8, 23.0, 23.3 and 23.6. 23.0, 23.3 and 23.6 are the most promising. All were under an inch (actually .5 to .75) minus my called flyers. All loads cycled the action just fine.

I will reshoot those three loads tomorrow, if weather allows, and post my results.

I was using 25.0gr of W748 with this bullet and I could never get better than 1 - 1.25 inches consistantly.

I have really high hopes for the 8208.

Sorry if I hijacked. The 8208 is certainly worth a try if my results are any indication.

Tim the student
April 20, 2010, 10:24 PM
Guntech59, I wasn't able to do any more testing, but this thread ( may interest you.

April 21, 2010, 12:14 AM
H335 in my Saiga, H4198 in my Howa bolt gun.

April 21, 2010, 12:09 PM
Accurate 2460 meters extremely well and is very accurate.


April 21, 2010, 04:34 PM
I like BL-C(2) for my AR. Meters well.

Russ in WY
April 21, 2010, 04:44 PM
I more Vote -4- Benchmark....Russ

April 22, 2010, 02:11 PM
My limited experirence says Varget works better for MY AR than Bench mark. thats working up various loads using two brands of 62gr & 1 55gr bullet. I would like to try TAC and 335 to see how it goes.

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