Reloading .223 for AR- Limited Powder Options


July 7, 2011, 10:58 AM
Hey all,

My dies and bullets should be arriving today for .223 and intend to start reloading some rounds for this weekend's range trip. Initially, H335 was the intended powder followed by Varget but the shop was out and another place wanted $30 for one pound. H4198, IMR4198 and Trail Boss are the only powders at my disposal. I know the 4198s are faster burning powders but does anyone have any experience with these in .223?

I will shooting out of an AR with a 1:7 twist. Have small rifle primers and Hornady 55gr FMJ w/c. I've been looking at some loads and asks for 19grs of H4198 as a start. Does this sound right? Any other recommendations for these powders.

Thanks in advance

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July 7, 2011, 11:24 AM
19.0 gr of H-4198 is the starting load for the bullet you are using with 21 gr being max.

It wouldn't be my choice of powders but it should work OK if you work up slowly. I'd avoid the Trail Boss for this cartridge.

As time goes on and your powder choices improve, consider AA-2230, H-335, H-4895, or Varget. 2230 and H335 are powders that were tailored for the .223 cartridge to begin with.

July 7, 2011, 01:55 PM
Okay thanks. I definitely plan to at other powders and I'll look around for the ones you mentioned

July 7, 2011, 02:56 PM
Had similar problems obtaining 748.......Finally settled on WC846 surplus new powder in a shared buy with a friend. That stuff is the equivelant of BC2 & 24.0 gives me both the accuracy and function level I want.

If you opt for the surplus route, be SURE to work up your load with each lot # as each seems to vary just enough to create problems.

Anyway I wound up with about 16 pounds at far LESS than half the cost I'd have spent on the WW brand, and with easily equal results.

Suggest you check Wiedners as they had a special on just recently.

Check out Cast Boolit's site for more info relative to propellants.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
July 7, 2011, 03:02 PM
I happen to use H335 and bought like a 3# canister just before the huge wave of gun-buying around 2008. My rifle has 1:9 and I am loading both 55g FMJ and 62 grain Barnes Triple Shock Solid Copper X HP Bullets.

I worked up a load, however I think at 100 yards, I am pulling about a 2" group, which I am not really satisfied with, however, any deer or black bear that I take will be no further than 150 yards, at most, where I live. Most shots would average 50 to 100 yards around my parts.

That is one problem with a really expensive bullet, you have a tendency to give up after so many trial loads simply due to the EXPENSE! Your 1:7 should drive 62g and heavier with no problems! With my 1:9, 62g is about the maximum, from what I gather!

July 7, 2011, 03:56 PM
I'd wait for a better powder or locate a shop within driving range to get it. Not worth starting with unknown untested powder for a trip to the range. 4198 powder causes problems in some AR's, a lot of them. Surely someone within driving distance has Win 748 or H335 or similiar.

July 7, 2011, 06:55 PM
I used IMR 4198 with Hornady 52 gr JHP Target bulles a few years ago and obtained .8" groups at 100 yds from my 24" bull barrel AR, 1/8 twist. I worked up to 22.0 gr using GI cases, the max per Hornady. However, majority of my loads are with H335 & 55 gr Hornady FMJ or SP. AA2230 and TAC are also good powders. IMR4198 will do in a pinch but get a more approprate powder. Forget the TB.

July 7, 2011, 07:45 PM
Just an FYI, I don't plan on using the Trail Boss for .223. It's my go to powder for some fun 45-70 plinking rounds. I'd like to start out with one of these powders cause right now it's looking like anywhere from 2-6 weeks for the next shipment of powder. There are other shops around but the cost of gas to get there will negate any savings. I want to test out a powder before I put in for a big order for a particular powder, though it sounds I'd get good results with H335 regardless.

July 7, 2011, 08:24 PM
I don't plan on using the Trail Boss for .223

good -that was going to be my only comment :)

July 8, 2011, 08:12 AM
19grs of H4198 as a start IMR 4198 @ 19 works my action with 55gr fmjs. IMR 4198 works for me, but have seen on THR that a few AR types may not cycle the action with light bullets, 55gr should work ok. Bushmaster if i remember correctly, has a gas port that is a different size or placed in the barrel at a different length.

July 8, 2011, 10:34 AM
Surprisingly I've seen some loads for trail boss, i believe they were calling for 4 grains. If I had a bolt maybe I would try it but I doubt they would work in any semi auto

July 8, 2011, 10:38 AM
That has what I've been reading about some ARs, but I'm hoping those are just sensitive. I haven't had any feeding or cycling issues with mine but I'm only going to work up 5-10 rounds to start and go from there.

July 8, 2011, 09:22 PM
H335 is a great powder for 55 grain bullets. I use it all the time and am under one inch with three shot groups and at one inch with five shot groups. Another great powder is W748.

July 8, 2011, 09:27 PM
You should try some TB just to see if it works. It would be a hoot. "Back in the saddle again.. with my old AR-15"

July 8, 2011, 10:11 PM
Interesting read > The gas port pressure curve is a critical part of internal ballistics for cartridges used in gas operated firearms. Gas operated weapons are generally tailored to a narrow range of powder burning rates and characteristics. If the port pressure is too low the weapon will fail to function and if to high the weapon may function too forcefully or rapidly causing extraction or cycling problems. When using the fast H4198, the pressure peaks very fast and is done producing pressure sooner than your slow powders. With such a wide range of bullet weights from 40gr to 80gr, matching the gas port location and size is critical. A handload that is to hot, over maximum pressure will also cause cycling problems. The brass on firing will not spring back and it will stick in the chamber. The extractor may rip the rim up on firing.

July 9, 2011, 12:21 AM
Alliant came out with a new powder called AR comp exclusively for .223..

Has anyone tried it?

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