varget and .223


December 10, 2010, 10:46 AM
Yesterday I loaded up 10 rounds using 80gr amax to try out for a longrange varment round. I tried 5 at 24.5 and 5 at 23.5. Needless to say they were well compressed loads. I had two rounds touch out of the second group but they were all way low and right. Anyone have any luck with the combo? Its a stevens 200 rifle. It shoots my 50 gr and 45 gr real well. Any thoughts. I'm also gonna start some loads using some barnes ttsx bullets.

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December 10, 2010, 10:58 AM
I tried varget with 62gr TSX bullets out of a 16" 1:9 AR-15 with horrible groups. I have heard that varget works with the heavier bullets but I think it helps when you have a faster twist than 1:9

December 10, 2010, 11:05 AM
I've been using Varget in 24.5 and 25.5 for 75gr A-Max and 69gr sierra bullets respectively and my 12" 1:8 twist AR15 seeems to do about 1" with both loads. The A-Max rounds are seated close to the lands, and the Sierras are mag-length. They're compressed, but not by much. I'm happy enough.

December 10, 2010, 11:32 AM
I have mine set to 3.260. Ill have to check my twist today and I think its only got a 22" straw

December 10, 2010, 02:02 PM
I run a 20 inch barrel (1/9 twist) with the 69 smk, charged with varget. I get about 2660 fps with a bit under 24 grains. VERY good groups and VERY consistent.

I bet your twist doesnt like the heavies. Try the 69 smk or the 70 VLD and you may have better luck.

December 10, 2010, 04:37 PM
I can't help you w/ 80 gr bullets, but I know my Stevens 200 in .223, also using Varget (24 gr) LOVES 69 gr matchkings.

December 10, 2010, 04:56 PM
Your Stevens 200 has 1/9 rifling.

I think the 80gr A-Max might need a faster twist barrel to stabilize at .223 speeds.

It might work, but the twist rate is marginal for that weight bullet.


December 10, 2010, 05:33 PM
Bowman Twist Rate formula says you need a 1/8 to stabalize a 80 gr bullet at .223 velocites. That's proabably why you're hitting "way low and right".

December 10, 2010, 08:36 PM
Another vote for barrel-twist and bullet-weight compatability issues. If you have a 1-9" twist, drop back to the 75gr and under bullets and you will be fine.

I toss 80gr Noslers out of a 1-7" twist AR-15 with a 20" barrel to shoot at 600 yards. For 200 and 300 yards, I have gone back to using 69gr Noslers over 25gr of Varget. These chronographed 2840-fps average for me, and while I think I could squeeze a few more FPS out of them, they shoot well there.

And quite honestly, I've come to the opinion that Varget and RL-15 are practically interchangeable in .223 with heavy-bullet loads. Whatever you can do with one, you can do with the other. Just another option to try if you're loading out of 1-lb canisters and want to try something different.

Oh, and what OAL were you loading at to have them "well-compressed" at 23.5gr? The 80s at 2.55" are far from compressed for me with that powder charge. At 24.5, you should start to see compression.

December 10, 2010, 10:52 PM
I've had great luck with varget and light bullets in both my AR and TC Pro hunter.....the case is full that's for sure....But, 80 grainers shouldn't be compressed....Your bullet choice leads me to a question.....What ranges are you shooting at that require such a heavy bullet?

I concur that the twist rate of that Stevens is too slow.

December 10, 2010, 11:18 PM
Varget is temp stable.
Where it really shines is at long range, where a big part of accuracy is velocity consistency.

For the .223 at 100 yards, I doubt you will see a difference.

December 11, 2010, 02:34 AM
I've had very good results with a 55gr sierra bullet and Varget but I haven't loaded anything heavier.

December 11, 2010, 07:46 AM
The most accurate load I've ever shot was 26.0 gr of Varget with the 69 gr Nosler match bullet. This was out of my Savage 10fp in .223.

December 11, 2010, 12:29 PM
The only time I shoot 100yds is for sight or grouping. The majority of my shots are from 2-700. I shoot coyotes and crows in fields, and the occasional bob cat. Shot my last cat at 481yds, just past center of piviot on a alfapha field.
I use hornady 50 gr vmax but we have a lot of wind here so I was looking for something that wouldn't drift so bad on me.

December 11, 2010, 12:40 PM
I consistently get 1/2 moa with hornady 55gr and 24.5 gr of varget in my 20" 1 in 9 twist ar.

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