223 Deer load - Quickload verification assistance


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ssyoumans
June 21, 2010, 10:29 AM
Hi all,
Without starting a debate on using 223 on small deer, I'd like some assistance developing the best load. From my research om this and other forums, it seems that the Speer 70 gr semi-spitzer is one of the better choices. Obviously I would like to get the maximum safe velocity and energy out of my 20" AR15 for a less than 75 yard shot. If I find it isn't a viable option then I may have to look into borrowing a rifle in another caliber.

So, while doing my due diligence fo developing the load, I noticed some wide variation in published max load data, much more than usual. I plan on using W748 or BLC-2 powder, CCI 450 primers, and once fired R-P brass trimmed to 1.753".

Here's what I have found so far:
Speer #11 & #12: 2.140", W748 25-27.0 gr; BLC-2 21.5-23.5gr
Hodgdon website: no data for W748; BLC-2 24.5-26.5 gr @2.140"

Since there was no data for W748 on the Hodgdon website, I looked at the 69gr Sierra HPBT and it listed W748 with 24.5 gr; BLC-2 with 26.5 gr

So, I thought I would ask if someone could provide some Quickload data for reference for these 2 powders. I still plan to start at -2 grains and step up by .5 gr, but would like some additional reference info as to what to regard as that max for each powder.

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dangus88
June 24, 2010, 06:47 PM
Hey, i think the .223 is a great cartridge i have successfully hunted white tails with mine, using factory ammunition. Blackhills 55gr soft points. All were head shots and at distances of 100 to 175yds. I have just started working up loads using imr 4895 and varget and h335 they all work great on targets. going to try some BLC-2 Soon.
For a 69gr bthp max load of 748 is 24.5gr
BLC-2 is 26.5gr
IMR4895 is 24.8gr c
Varget is 26.0gr c
C.O.L is listed at 2.235 for that gr of bullet
these numbers are all out of the Hodgdon's 2010 annual manual

Happy reloading.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 24, 2010, 06:53 PM
I load the Barnes Triple Shock 62g Solid Copper X Bullet.
Anything over 62 grains and they recommend a twist rate faster than my 1:9 twist.

I worked up this load, using about six different powder/primer combinations and the most accuate of those six was fine-tuned as for amount of powder.

I settled on 25.7g H335 Powder with CCI #41 Mil-Spec Magnum Primer.
I chronied the load at 3,020 FPS.

Kernel
June 25, 2010, 02:54 AM
748 and Ball-C are close, but I think a slightly slower powder would likely give better results. Inspector likes H335, that would be a good one to try. I'm thinking slower still, like RL-15, Varget, or 4064.

Regarding Quickload. I don't think it will do what you ask. It's just another tool, like a good load book. It gets you in the right ballpark. It’s not infallible or even that authoritive. You still have to develop and work-up your own loads, in order to find what works best in YOUR rifle.

QL works best at helping you narrow down the field - to find THE powder (or three) that will most likely give the best results, so you know where to start and don't go down long time consuming blind alleys with inappropriate powders that are to slow or to fast.

JimKirk
June 25, 2010, 06:27 AM
I've had good results with Nosler 60 gr Partitions over RL 15.

Jimmy K

GooseGestapo
June 25, 2010, 10:38 AM
Instead of the 69gr BTHP, use the 65gr Sierra GameKing BTSpt.

It's made for what you're doing.

I've killed several deer with it from my Rem. M7 w/18.5"bbl and 1/12" twist. It stablilizes and shoots 1.0-1.5" 5-shot groups.

I use either 26.5gr of BLC2 or 26.0gr of RL15. (H335 is faster than BLC2 and doesn't do as well with bullets above 52gr). I get just under 3,000fps.

The deer don't know it isn't a .243 w/100gr bullets at same speed.
They do just "die" the same............

DIM
June 25, 2010, 10:40 AM
Try 69 gr SMK it never failed, o yeah use 26.4 gr of Varget, you should start at 3100 fps, and this load should be good for 100 yards, but don't push your luck the impact force will dissipate at longer distances.

R.W.Dale
June 25, 2010, 11:57 AM
The plain Jane 55g Sierra SPBT gamekings will do what you seek just fine without all the reloading data hanky panky of the somewhat oddball projectile you have in mind.

ssyoumans
June 25, 2010, 05:57 PM
I load the Barnes Triple Shock 62g Solid Copper X Bullet.
Anything over 62 grains and they recommend a twist rate faster than my 1:9 twist.

I worked up this load, using about six different powder/primer combinations and the most accuate of those six was fine-tuned as for amount of powder.

I settled on 25.7g H335 Powder with CCI #41 Mil-Spec Magnum Primer.
I chronied the load at 3,020 FPS.
The Barnes Triple Shock 62gr was my second choice, but @ $27.50/50 or $55/100, they seemed pricy. From what I've read on it, that's a great bullet though.. but the Speer 70gr were more economical and seem to provide similiar deeper penetration @ less than 1/2 the price ($21.99/100).

ssyoumans
June 25, 2010, 06:13 PM
Instead of the 69gr BTHP, use the 65gr Sierra GameKing BTSpt.

It's made for what you're doing.

I've killed several deer with it from my Rem. M7 w/18.5"bbl and 1/12" twist. It stablilizes and shoots 1.0-1.5" 5-shot groups.

I use either 26.5gr of BLC2 or 26.0gr of RL15. (H335 is faster than BLC2 and doesn't do as well with bullets above 52gr). I get just under 3,000fps.

The deer don't know it isn't a .243 w/100gr bullets at same speed.
They do just "die" the same............
I did some testing and I'm losing quite a bit of velocity with the 16" carbine barrel. No where near your "just under 3,000 fps". :(
Speer 70gr @ 2.140" 25.5gr BLC-2, 2655 fps, ES 28, KE 1096 ft-lbs
Speer 70gr @ 2.140" 26.0gr BLC-2, 2721 fps, ES 22, KE 1151 ft-lbs
Speer 70gr @ 2.140" 26.5gr BLC-2, 2775 fps, ES 28, KE 1197 ft-lbs

With 2775 fps, I drop to 864 ft-lbs @ 100 yards. Still above the 750 ft-lb threshold that some regard but it is getting marginal and would patience for the right shot placement.

Try 69 gr SMK it never failed, o yeah use 26.4 gr of Varget, you should start at 3100 fps, and this load should be good for 100 yards, but don't push your luck the impact force will dissipate at longer distances.

Still waiting for the day I can find some Varget... :cuss:

Eb1
June 25, 2010, 06:56 PM
Do not have much help here for load development, but I have killed the mess out of deer with a 55 grain Soft Point from Black Hills using my AR-15. Good penetration, and the bullet just mushroomed like any other soft point.

I would develop any bullet with the lead showing spitzer style, and push it to the max speed if it was accurate. Try to get a high should hit for the spine, or the neck will be quicker kills. A good heart/lung shot works too, but you will ruin lots of meat if you tag the shoulder.

Good luck and let that little pill fly!

DIM
June 25, 2010, 08:08 PM
If you got BLC-2 then 26.4 would be the max, and 25.8 if you go with 748 that's with 69 gr SMK.
I didn't know there are still shortages in US, but they were last year as I recall, but everything back to normal again, powders are back so the primers...

and here are some tips from sierra for AR-15 http://accurateshooter.net/Downloads/sierra223ar.pdf

Byron
June 26, 2010, 08:23 AM
Speer #10 gave a max charge of 27 grains of 748 and a CCI 450 primer. I have loaded that charge in the Speer 70 grain semi-sptizer for years. The test rifle in #10 is the Mini-14. This load has been shot in my Mini, Remington 700 and older Colt AR with very good accuracy. Byron

Clark
June 26, 2010, 01:33 PM
My spiel is that if the 30-06 is the most common cartridge for elk hunting, then the .223 is over kill for the biggest mule buck.

azar
June 27, 2010, 01:18 PM
ssyoumans,

If you'd like the numbers run in QuickLOAD do a couple of things first. Take a sample of bullets out of the box (say 5 or 10). Measure them and write down the average length. Measure the H20 case capacity of 5 once fired cases. Report the averages back to me.

Also, you listed the trim length but I didn't see the COAL listed in the OP. Will you be using 2.140" that you showed in a later post? If so, that seems a bit short to me (but I don't load .223 so what do I know). Is that due to a magazine length restriction?

azar
June 27, 2010, 01:27 PM
Also, what is your barrel length? In the OP you list 20" and in your later post you list 16"? Which one do you want the calculations done with?

longdayjake
June 27, 2010, 01:53 PM
The Barnes Triple Shock 62gr was my second choice, but @ $27.50/50 or $55/100, they seemed pricy. From what I've read on it, that's a great bullet though.. but the Speer 70gr were more economical and seem to provide similiar deeper penetration @ less than 1/2 the price ($21.99/100).

All I can say is if you need 50 bullets a year to hunt deer with then you probably should go to a bigger caliber. The reason they cost more is because they work and you can depend on them. They are mucn much more reliable than ANY soft point. If your conserns are to kill the animal humanely with a .223 I wouldn't choose any other brand. Its not like hunting bullets need to be as cheap as plinking bullets. How many do you really plan on shooting anyway?

I have a lot of experience with soft points on animals and I can say that they just don't consistently perform. Though the Barnes aren't absolutely guaranteed to expand they are much more reliable to me than any soft point I have tried. That said, soft points have worked for years and years and I wouldn't hesitate to use them out of a bigger gun but when you are using such a small caliber you owe it to the animal to spend a little more on bullets to make sure you aren't causing prolonged suffering.

ssyoumans
June 28, 2010, 06:11 PM
Azar - thanks for the help..
I measured 8 bullets, they averaged .7971", long =.800", shortest = .793"

Unfortunately, I do not have any fired, but unsized brass. I got bored a few weeks ago and resized all my .223 brass (I only have about 250 pieces) and have primed them. I probably won't make it to the range for at least 2 weeks, since I'm going on vacation next week :( Is there a default? I can provide data for a full length sized R-P brass trimmed to 1.753"

After reading up a bit more, I think I will use a COAL of 2.240" instead of 2.140". The 2.140" is listed in the Speer #11 manual that I have, but I have no problems chambering 2.240", even that is no where near the rifling on my AR. I understand that the AR has a longer throat than a bolt action 223 rifle, and I would get better accuracy with the bullet COAL closer to the rifling. I'm still over .030" off the rifling.

Please run the #'s for the 16" barrel, that's my AR. The 20" AR is my brother's & I may just have to borrow it :) If the load works fine in mine, & the COAL is good in his, then it should be fine in there. I can chrono them for the difference.

ssyoumans
June 28, 2010, 06:24 PM
All I can say is if you need 50 bullets a year to hunt deer with then you probably should go to a bigger caliber. The reason they cost more is because they work and you can depend on them. They are mucn much more reliable than ANY soft point. If your conserns are to kill the animal humanely with a .223 I wouldn't choose any other brand. Its not like hunting bullets need to be as cheap as plinking bullets. How many do you really plan on shooting anyway?

I have a lot of experience with soft points on animals and I can say that they just don't consistently perform. Though the Barnes aren't absolutely guaranteed to expand they are much more reliable to me than any soft point I have tried. That said, soft points have worked for years and years and I wouldn't hesitate to use them out of a bigger gun but when you are using such a small caliber you owe it to the animal to spend a little more on bullets to make sure you aren't causing prolonged suffering.

It's not that I need 50 rounds to go hunting with, it's that I can easily burn through 40 rounds developing up a load, double that if I go for 2 loads, 1 using W 748 & the other using BLC-2. Heck, I just picked up some Varget at the gun show too. :) By the time I work up a load, 5 rounds for each powder weight, starting 1.5 grains below max, incrementing by .3gr, watching for pressure signs, and send then send some over the chrono, and then check them out for accuracy, I'll easily burn through a box. Then I need some to resight in my scope come hunting season, and a few for actually hunting. Besides, the Speer 70gr seems to have a proven track record. While I like your suggested Barnes round, not everyone is going to shoot the same ammo, else all the other makers would go out of business :eek: I think the Speer is still up to the task at hand.

azar
June 29, 2010, 10:04 AM
ssyoumans,

Yes, there are program defaults which are usually pretty close for case capacity. Every little bit of tuning for the gun in question does help to give a more accurate calculation. The biggest difference is the bullet length. QuickLOAD does have a bullet database with lengths already in it. Sometimes it is spot on, sometimes very close, sometimes not so close and occasionally WAY off. I can't remember the lengths exactly, but it seems like it had listed a length of 1.200" or 1.300" when the bullets actually measured at 1.435" (Barnes .284 150 grain TTSX). That much of a difference will definitely change the calculations quite a bit.

I will try and get the numbers run for you tonight.

azar
June 29, 2010, 03:56 PM
QuickLOAD seems to recommend more moderate charges of powder than what Hodgdon does. And that's after the COAL has been adjusted out to 2.240".


Cartridge : .223 Rem. (SAAMI)
Bullet : .224, 70, Speer SSP 1053
Useable Case Capaci: 25.708 grain H2O = 1.669 cm³
Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 2.240 inch = 56.90 mm
Barrel Length : 16.0 inch = 406.4 mm
Powder : Winchester 748

Predicted data by increasing and decreasing the given charge,
incremented in steps of 0.816% of nominal charge.
CAUTION: Figures exceed maximum and minimum recommended loads !

Step Fill. Charge Vel. Energy Pmax Pmuz Prop.Burnt B_Time
% % Grains fps ft.lbs psi psi % ms

-08.2 88 22.50 2472 950 40604 10514 91.8 0.973
-07.3 89 22.70 2496 968 41703 10627 92.3 0.960
-06.5 90 22.90 2519 986 42834 10739 92.8 0.948
-05.7 91 23.10 2543 1005 43996 10848 93.2 0.936
-04.9 91 23.30 2566 1024 45195 10955 93.7 0.924
-04.1 92 23.50 2590 1043 46427 11060 94.1 0.913
-03.3 93 23.70 2613 1062 47697 11163 94.5 0.902 ! Near Maximum !
-02.4 94 23.90 2637 1081 49003 11263 94.9 0.890 ! Near Maximum !
-01.6 95 24.10 2661 1100 50348 11361 95.3 0.879 ! Near Maximum !
-00.8 95 24.30 2684 1120 51733 11456 95.7 0.868 ! Near Maximum !
+00.0 96 24.50 2708 1140 53161 11549 96.0 0.858 ! Near Maximum !
+00.8 97 24.70 2732 1160 54632 11638 96.4 0.847 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+01.6 98 24.90 2755 1180 56147 11725 96.7 0.837 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+02.4 98 25.10 2779 1200 57710 11810 97.0 0.826 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+03.3 99 25.30 2803 1221 59321 11891 97.3 0.816 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+04.1 100 25.50 2826 1242 60983 11969 97.6 0.806 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!

Results caused by ± 10% powder lot-to-lot burning rate variation using nominal charge
Data for burning rate increased by 10% relative to nominal value:
+Ba 96 24.50 2857 1269 64487 11582 99.7 0.790 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!

Data for burning rate decreased by 10% relative to nominal value:
-Ba 96 24.50 2516 984 43141 10894 88.1 0.943


Cartridge : .223 Rem. (SAAMI)
Bullet : .224, 70, Speer SSP 1053
Useable Case Capaci: 25.708 grain H2O = 1.669 cm³
Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 2.240 inch = 56.90 mm
Barrel Length : 16.0 inch = 406.4 mm
Powder : Hodgdon BL-C2

Predicted data by increasing and decreasing the given charge,
incremented in steps of 0.781% of nominal charge.
CAUTION: Figures exceed maximum and minimum recommended loads !

Step Fill. Charge Vel. Energy Pmax Pmuz Prop.Burnt B_Time
% % Grains fps ft.lbs psi psi % ms

-07.8 91 23.60 2471 949 40898 10663 90.5 0.978
-07.0 92 23.80 2495 967 42024 10779 91.0 0.965
-06.3 93 24.00 2518 986 43182 10892 91.5 0.953
-05.5 94 24.20 2542 1004 44379 11004 91.9 0.941
-04.7 94 24.40 2565 1023 45612 11115 92.4 0.929
-03.9 95 24.60 2589 1042 46881 11223 92.8 0.917 ! Near Maximum !
-03.1 96 24.80 2613 1061 48193 11329 93.3 0.906 ! Near Maximum !
-02.3 97 25.00 2636 1080 49541 11433 93.7 0.894 ! Near Maximum !
-01.6 97 25.20 2660 1100 50925 11535 94.1 0.883 ! Near Maximum !
-00.8 98 25.40 2684 1120 52347 11634 94.5 0.872 ! Near Maximum !
+00.0 99 25.60 2708 1140 53810 11731 94.9 0.861 ! Near Maximum !
+00.8 100 25.80 2732 1160 55316 11826 95.3 0.850 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+01.6 101 26.00 2755 1180 56870 11918 95.7 0.839 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+02.3 101 26.20 2779 1201 58472 12008 96.0 0.829 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+03.1 102 26.40 2803 1221 60124 12095 96.3 0.819 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+03.9 103 26.60 2827 1243 61828 12178 96.7 0.808 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!

Results caused by ± 10% powder lot-to-lot burning rate variation using nominal charge
Data for burning rate increased by 10% relative to nominal value:
+Ba 99 25.60 2866 1277 65531 11894 99.3 0.791 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Data for burning rate decreased by 10% relative to nominal value:
-Ba 99 25.60 2507 977 42898 10965 86.5 0.951

ssyoumans
June 29, 2010, 10:20 PM
Thanks for the input.. so, it looks like the both the Speer & Hodgdon data is quite hot, and could be over spec by QL predictions.
I'll load up some W 748 in 23.5, 23.9, 24.2, 24.5
In BLC-2, I'll go with 24.4, 25.0, 25.3, 25.6

The +-10% powder lot to lot variation numbers (43,141 - 64,487 psi) are a bit disturbing, guess that's why you work up a load carefully.

Thanks again,
Scott

Ridgerunner665
June 29, 2010, 10:28 PM
Forget the Varget...Reloder 15 will give you higher velocity than Varget with the 62+ grain 223 bullets...and just as accurate.

ForneyRider
June 30, 2010, 03:53 PM
Swift Scirrocco is the biggest hunting .223 bullet at 75gr.
See also:
70gr Speer Semi-Spitzer
65gr Sierra Game King
60gr Nosler Partition

I have used R15, Varget and AA2230 with the 69gr SMK. All worked great. AA2230 is easier to measure.

I took a button buck with 50gr Federal bulk. Knocked it right out with heart/lung shot. Gone back to 7mm mag.

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