The most accurate .223 load you have tried?


October 19, 2010, 11:36 PM
I would like to start a list of the most accurate loads that you have tried. It would be nice to have these in ONE place. Please give bullet weight, type, powder details, what reloading manual, etc. The more details the better. I really appreciate the info and I'm sure everyone else will too thank you again. :D

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October 20, 2010, 01:35 AM
for my 16" AR 1-9 C MP barrel on an older AR..

25.5G AA2230
REM 7 1/2
~3000 FPS

October 20, 2010, 07:32 AM
Tommy have you chronographed that load? I can't get that kind of velocity out of my 16" gun... just wondering? I've never tried AA2230... may give it a try.

evan price
October 20, 2010, 07:34 AM
52 gr Hornady A-max
25.0 Varget
CCI 400 primer
Lake City brass (various years) swaged & trimmed

October 20, 2010, 09:51 AM
Bushmaster Varminter
60g Nosler ballistic tip boat tail
23g H335
CCI 400 primer
Lake City brass
Seated with a Forster competition seating die.


October 20, 2010, 12:57 PM
Hornady 52 gr. BTHP
26.9 gr Win 748
LC cases
CCi 450 primer
3200 fps

I use this load exclusively in my Rem. 788 for Pd's or target. At 100 yds., I can put 5 rounds into almost one hole, many times I've done this.

October 20, 2010, 01:23 PM
69 gr. SMK
23.0 gr. of H335
mixed commercial brass (mostly Federal)

Repeatable 1-1/4" 5 shot groups @ 50 yds with std. A2 iron sights on my kit built Del-Ton 16" 1 in 9, twist HB middy.

October 20, 2010, 02:10 PM
Hornady 55 gr. FMJ/BT with Cannelure
23 gr. H322
CCI Small Rifle Primer
Mixed brass

October 20, 2010, 02:29 PM
24.8 Win 748
55 fmjbt Win
CCI 450
mixed brass
Speer manual

works good for my mini 14.
have not chronod them yet.

October 21, 2010, 01:42 AM
The "classic" .223/5.56mm powder is H335. It produces clean and accurate ammo. I also recently gave Varget a try with a 55gr bullet and was amazed at the accuracy. I shot several sub 1/2 MOA groups @100 yards with that ammo. The smallest group was 0.314", not bad IMO...

Sierra 55gr GameKing bullet (#1390)
25.0gr Varget
CCI-400 primer
FC brass
OAL = 2.255"
Howa 1500 bolt action rifle

With H335 I use the same components and same charge weight.

October 21, 2010, 01:59 AM
For fast twist barrels, 24gr of either Reloader 15 or Varget under a Sierra 77gr Match King, with a CCI Benchrest primer. This is my standard goto load and I use it as a control load to compare other loads to. I get consistent ~.5MOA accuracy out of this load at 100 yards.

I'm running a new build now too and I'm starting to have luck with the same powders under a 69gr Match King using the same primer. The charge is 25.5gr.

Keep in mind that these are the loads that I shoot out of my rifles. Work up to them in yours. YMMV.

These two powders are the most consistent that I've used. The Varget is not very sensitive to heat. The Reloader 15 works almost as well. I'll grab whatever is available. I've tried other powders, but when the temp changes or the barrel heats up, the POI changes a bit.

The downside to using stick powders like RE15 and Varget is that they don't flow very well through powder drops. I use a Hornady Auto Charge to measure powder. Hopefully, I'll soon be using the RCBS equivalent.

October 21, 2010, 02:56 PM
My rifle is a 16" RRA Midlength w/ SS barrel, 1:8 twist.

My best 100y group was with 62gr Barnes TSX, 24.7gr Varget, 2.25 OAL. I realize that is not a popular bullet so my 2nd best group was with a 55gr Hornady FMJ, 24.0gr H335, 2.23 OAL. Both of these shot .75 MOA.

Those are my best groups.

The bullet with the most sub-MOA groups would be the Sierra 69gr MatchKing, 25.5gr Varget, 2.25 OAL.

All use CCI primers.

I'd take the Sierra over the others since it is the most consistent of the three.

October 21, 2010, 11:54 PM
25.6 Varget
55 gn Nosler Btip or Hornady Vmax , similar results
2.255 OAL
Remington 7 1/2 primer
LC Brass , FL sized , very light crimp

Out of my 16" , DPMS stainless Bull .223 chamber 1 in 9 upper this load will consistently do in the .5 s to .8 at 100 with a best of .464 up to this point . Same load in a 581 Mini 14 goes around 1.5 moa . I also have used 60 gn ballistic tips with about the same results .

25 Varget
69 Sierra MK
Remington 7 1/2 primer
LC Brass FL sized , very light crimp

My long range / wind bucking load . Same upper will usually yield ~ .6 to .8 . Same load in the Mini and it also goes a reliable 1.5 . Ran this one up to 26 gns , and yielded no additional improvements in accuracy .

General Lee
October 22, 2010, 03:01 PM
55 gr Hornady Vmax
26.5gr Win 748
Win Primer
Federal Case
2.25 OAL
FL sized /Lee Factory Crimp

October 22, 2010, 03:27 PM
Rifle--Remington 700 VLS Bolt action in .223 Rem. with a twist rate of 1 in 12"
Bullet--Sierra 53 grain HPFB MatchKing
Powder--Accurate 2015, 22 1/2 grains
Primer--Federal Small Rifle Match
Case--Lace City 01, neck size only, only use 5 cases,

5 shot groups avg. .312 to .375 some even tighter, this at 100 yds.

October 22, 2010, 06:47 PM

October 22, 2010, 08:59 PM
CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

1:7 20" White Oak Barrel
Wylde Chamber
75 or 80 AMAX .010 off the lands
24.5 RL15
~2800 FPS

October 22, 2010, 11:46 PM
55gr. Hornady FMJ-BT
25.5 grs. H4895
Win. SR primer
LC brass trimmed to 1.750"
Aveage fps is 2985
OAL 2.200"

Data came from Hodgdon's website.

I can shoot a 40 round group that I can cover with a half dollar at 50 meters.

October 24, 2010, 09:37 PM
Hornady Vmax 55gr
25.5 Varget

This is one of my favorites

October 24, 2010, 09:48 PM
69gr SMKs
24gr Varget
Lapua brass
CCI 400s
2.260" OAL
.5moa avg. R700 LTR 1 in 9"
2640fps avg.

October 25, 2010, 11:57 AM
G2 Contender 23" bull barrel

26.5 gr. Varget
40 gr. sierra HP
Mixed brass, Remington, Winchester, or Federal

.28-.45" groups @100yds.-no wind

This load delivers .6-.7" groups from a Stevens 200

October 26, 2010, 08:36 PM
24.5 Varget
FC brass
.363" 5 shot 100yds
20" Bull Barrel 1/9 AR-15
2767 fps

October 27, 2010, 01:20 AM
60 gr. Sierra Varminter
22.7 gr. H322
Federal match primer
Lapua brass (fire formed and neck sized)
Howa 1500 24" bull barrel

October 27, 2010, 08:50 PM
55 vmax
25.0 benchmark
cci br4
LC brass full prep(neck turned, flass hole deburred, etc.)
makes 3100 fps from Rockriver EOP 18" bull 1/8 twist
holds .3 moa out to 300 yards/turns pdogs insideout

Pete D.
October 27, 2010, 09:14 PM
Two loads actually: At 100 yds out of my Colt AR Match target - iron NM sights - 1in 8" twist, the load was a 52 Grain Hornady A-Max and 26 grains of AA2460. Winchester primed brass. One half inch five shot groups.

The second load is very similar to one already mentioned. It is the go to load for targets out to 600 yards.
77 grain Sierra MK, 24 grains of RL15, Win. primed brass

October 27, 2010, 10:26 PM
Tommy have you chronographed that load? I can't get that kind of velocity out of my 16" gun... just wondering? I've never tried AA2230... may give it a try.

I have chronied this load, well minus .5 grains, at an average velocity of 3066 fps. That is out of my 18" barrel AR.

October 28, 2010, 08:35 PM

55 Gr. Hornady VMax
26 Gr. Win 748
CCI Small Rifle Primer

October 28, 2010, 09:02 PM
Rock River Arms Elite CAR-A4 16"

my most accurate to date:

SMK 69 gr. HPBT
LC cases 04/05/06
CCI 400
IMR 4895 23.7 gr.
COAL = 2.260"

My favorite :

SMK 69 gr. HPBT
RORG 5.56 cases
CCI 400
Varget 24.8 gr.
COAL 2.262" (fits my mags, check it in yours first)

I don't have a chrono - my accurate load had 4 out of the 10 shots touching each other at 100 meters - that pretty much did it for me!

October 28, 2010, 09:52 PM
If you want accurate rifle loads, check out The Rifleman's Journal articles (

I have been reading some of the articles and I am humbled by their hard core component and load testing!

Been thinking about reloading .308/30-06/.223 and I am currently in "sponge mode" on their website.

October 28, 2010, 10:51 PM
My CZ527 likes 40gr. nosler ballistic tips over 25 gr. Varget, LC brass, CCI Primers

This will cloverleaf at 100yds. Maybe better, but I don't shoot "better".


October 29, 2010, 09:57 AM
Spikes 1:7 Upper

Case: Hornady
Powder: 23.0 gr H4895
Primer: CCI SR
Bullet: 77 gr SMK HPBT

October 31, 2010, 01:44 PM
My local dealer has a good deal on TAC powder right now. I have heard great things about it. Currently I have been using Varget and getting 1" groups at 100 yrds I typically shoot 50-55gr vmax bullets. Since it's cheaper than Varget I might switch over to it. If anyone has experience with it I would appreciate it. Load data would be great also Thanks

October 31, 2010, 06:51 PM
hey BDS, thanks for that tip to the Rifleman's journal articles ! GREAT stuff. you are so right

November 5, 2010, 11:49 PM
Anyone get great accuracy with TAC?

November 6, 2010, 07:27 AM
Accurate .223 loads:

25.0gr Hodgdon Varget
69gr Nosler Custom Competition HPBT
CCI-BR4 primer
Winchester cases
Seat to 2.255" OAL for AR-15 magazines

Chronographed at an average speed of 2840-fps with an SD of 30 over 8 rounds from a 20" 1-7" twist Wylde-chambered Wilson barrel (WOA barrel). I don't know what it will shoot in absolute terms, but it will clean an NRA highpower target to 300 yards. And these are just thrown charges, not weighed.

ole farmerbuck
November 6, 2010, 07:46 AM
40gr v-max
Lapua brass
28.5gr BL C2
cci benchrest primer
2.280 oal

Have good loads with the Bushmaster also with 55gr v-max and 8208 powder.

November 6, 2010, 06:53 PM
Savage #12 1:9"

Hornady 68 HPBT
Varget 24.2
CCI 400
Winchester or Hornady cases

also seeing potential with

Hornady 60 Vmax
Varget 23.6
CCI 400
Win or Horn cases

Hondo 60
November 6, 2010, 11:39 PM
AR-15A1 20" 1:9

55gr SP Remington (26.0 gr RL-15) or (26.0gr Varget)

I think I like the RL-15 just a tiny bit better.

Ky Larry
November 7, 2010, 12:45 AM
Rifle is a Ruger Model 77v two tone bought in 1988 with Timney trigger.

52gr Sierra HPBT Match bullet
CCI SR Mag primer
R-P Cases
23.8 gr AA 2230 powder
C.O.L. 2.25

Consistent sub .5" at 100 yrds from bench with sand bags.
However, I am not getting quite as good results now with this rifle. I beleive it's getting time for a new barrel.

November 7, 2010, 12:10 PM
Remington 700 VLS
55 gr Sierra Blitzking
26 grs. Varget
CCI 400 primers
Winchester brass
Haven't had time to put it across a chronograph yet but hope to next spring. sub moa all day long out to 300 yards.

November 8, 2010, 03:47 AM
Hornady 68 gr hpbt
23.5 gr IMR 4064
mixed brass
fed primers
Rock River Arms Predator Pursute/ 5 shots

December 25, 2010, 12:18 PM
69gr SMK
25.3 Varget
2.260 COAL
<.750 MOA @ 100 yrds
20" RRA PP:D

Redneck with a 40
December 25, 2010, 01:12 PM
55 grain Hornady Spire Point w/cannelure
25.3 H4895
Rem Brass
Wolf 223 primer
Seated to cannelure and crimped

Shoot's 1.5"-2" at 100 yards, 5 shots, Mini 14 580 series
Chrono's around 3150 fps.

December 25, 2010, 09:39 PM
In a white oak 1 in 7 with a wylde chamber I use:

77 SMK over 24 grains of Varget or
52 SMK over 23.5 grains of H335
Winchester brass and CCI primers. Seated mag length

These have been my go to loads for quite a while now.

If you enjoyed reading about "The most accurate .223 load you have tried?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!