.223 reloaders, hark!


February 11, 2012, 10:51 PM
I may be getting a .223/5.56x45mm chambered rifle with a 1-7 twist barrel. No, it isn't an AR.
Looking to reload for it, possibly with Reloder 15, H335, H4895 or Ramshot TAC powders, (I have the middle two), not sure of bullet weights, thinking of ordering 50 grain, 55 grain and 60 grain to try.
Not looking for barn burners, something accurate for target shooting with occasional light hunting, MAYBE...

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February 11, 2012, 10:56 PM
Rocky Mountain has some 50, 52, 55 and 62gr in stock.

February 11, 2012, 11:04 PM
Sorry, I forgot to be more specific - what grain bullet for this twist is best to start with?

February 11, 2012, 11:04 PM
With a 1 in 7 twist, wouldn't you want to try some heavier bullets? Maybe 69-75 grn?

Claude Clay
February 11, 2012, 11:08 PM
i'm putting my h-bar for sale and have 7 boxes of Sierra 69gr HPBT-MATCH
for 1"- 10" Twist i could part with. i used these for 500-
600 meter shooting. if interested id have to figure a price with shipping.

have fun

February 11, 2012, 11:53 PM
That was my question - I've loaded for 7.62x39mm, 9mm and 38 special for years, and briefly, oh so briefly 223 for my Mini-14 before I gave up trying to get accuracy from it. I thought I'd ask about the bullet weight as I had heard this caliber is really sensitive to that divergence.
Really stupid question - the heavier the bullet in this little pill, harder to fit a good COAL in an AR size magazine? I had one load eons ago, following a recommendation with an 80 grain slug, and it wouldn't fit the Mini-14 mag. Weird.
Claude, might be interesting - longest range I have available is 300 yards, though, that's

February 11, 2012, 11:56 PM
The 80gr and larger .223 bullets have to be loaded too long for the magazine. If you want heavy bullets and a mag, go for the 75-77 or smaller.

February 12, 2012, 12:01 AM
80 grains is pretty big for .223. That's why it didn't fit in the magazine.

February 12, 2012, 12:09 AM
In the neighborhood of 65gr.

February 12, 2012, 12:24 AM
Hokay, so ditch the 50 and 55 grainers right off the bat. I can go back and look for some higher weight bullets to try out.

February 12, 2012, 12:32 AM
With a 1:7 twist you can use probably any weight bullet you want. If you're shooting out long you might want to go with a 75gr bullet so that the wind won't push it around too easily.

I've been shooting a .223 bolt action firle for a while now and I really like a 55gr bullet. I'm shooting a 55gr Sierra GameKing #1390 and I'm getting sub 1/2MOA accuracy using either Varget or H335.

February 12, 2012, 06:20 AM

I cooked up this load for my 1:7 twist AR but it also works well in my 1:10 twist bolt gun.

February 12, 2012, 06:21 AM
I have had good accuracy with 62-77 grain bullets in my single shot 223 and RL15 so you are on the road to a good loading there.:D I never did bother to find what the twist of my Handi Rifle is but it likes those heavier bullets for sure. I save the 55 grain stuff for my mini 14's. I bought a butt pile of pulled SS109 green tipped bullets and they were surprisingly accurate as far as cheap bullets go in my Handy Rifle.

February 12, 2012, 08:25 AM
Depends on how far you want to shoot, 100 yards, the 52gr sierra is hard to beat,
above 300 yards use the sierra 69gr match, either one you can't go wrong.

February 12, 2012, 09:00 AM
I've been on a similar quest for my 1:8 AR. So far, 77gr SMK are showing the best promise as I just did a ladder test yesterday with Reloader15, and still have some testing to do. I've tried the lighter bullets as well.

February 12, 2012, 10:55 AM
Base the bullets that you work with on the range that you plan to shoot. If your rifle won't shoot 52-53gn SMKs well at 100-200yds it has a problem and the problem has nothing to do with the rate of twist. The faster twist barrel allows you to take advantage of the ballistic advantage that heavier bullets with higher BC's offer at longer range, but they certainly do not limit the effectiveness of lighter bullet at shorter ranges where they make more sense.

I've used bullets from the 36gn Barnes Varmint Grenade up to the 75gn Hornady HPBT match bullets in my 1:7 and 1:9 rifles and the quality of the bullet and the quality of the barrel has determined the results every time, not the bullet weight or the rate of twist of the barrel.

ETA: for powders, 4064 seems to be the hot ticket with the heavy bullets. I like 8208XBR for about everything in the middle and 2230 for the lightest bullets. All my bulk stuff is loaded with TAC.

February 12, 2012, 10:58 AM
get the TAC powder, get some 69gr nosler custom competitions, start about 24gr and work to 25.5gr set at factory aol. i found my load by starting .5gr off max, 25gr



i want to get the load worked for the H4895 cause i use it in my 308 but the tac just shot so well with no working it i stayed with it. this is out of a stevens 200

February 12, 2012, 11:06 AM
armored man, where you at in az? im always looking for more shooting buddies, mcleod im right down the road from you too.

February 12, 2012, 12:03 PM

Have you used this TAC powder with lighter bullets, like 52 and 53 grainers? I've got a bolt Rem. 788, have used a couple of other powders, but not theTAC, just curious! I'm not needing any new powders, have heard good things about TAC, but no proof other than yours. Thanks

February 12, 2012, 02:41 PM
armored man, where you at in az? im always looking for more shooting buddies, mcleod im right down the road from you too.
If you're ever in or near Tucson and want to go shooting, just let me know. I'm out on the SE edge of Tucson too, so even closer.

February 12, 2012, 07:32 PM
South of Casa Grande.

February 15, 2012, 01:10 AM
all guns shoot differently..that being said order different bullets in different weights till u find one you like...for yotes go with 40-55 grain JHPs for bigger game 65-70 grain hollow points...me and my family have many 223s and everyone of them shoots a different brand and weight bullet..poder is just as important so load with different variations of grains and brands ...it could take you awhile to find the right combo but it will be worth it when ur shooting sub MOA

February 15, 2012, 02:11 PM
I'm no expert and pretty new to reloading but I've tried the following so far:

52g SMK
69g SMK
55g Vmax
60g Nosler partition

Currently using H4895 just because that was frequently recommended for .223 so I haven't tried anything else.

The gun is an off the shelf Savage bolt action in sporter weight barrel...1 in 9 twist.

I have yet to test the 60g Noslers...I'm going to use those for javelina at the end of the month so I need to test them and then make some loads.

So far I think the gun will shoot all those bullets sub-moa if all goes well. My best 5 round group so far during load development has been the 55g Vmax at .4".

I did have a four round group of .275" with the 52g SMKs but if you add the 5th shot it was .8" (still under 1moa).

My bolt action does have a detachable magazine but it's long enough that I am seating .02" off the lands with some of the bullets and I have no problem fitting the rounds in the mag.



February 19, 2012, 07:22 PM
Very very nice, sir. I doubt I'll get that accurate. :)

February 20, 2012, 01:19 PM
Don't let the internet hype fool you. Your 1/7 bbl will do well with anything from 50 gr bullets on up. I've found my best accuracy at 100 yds with Sierra Varminter 60 gr flat base HPs.

The heavy bullets do better at long range (over 300-800 yds) and they DO require the faster twists like 1/7 and 1/8.

February 22, 2012, 12:08 AM
I have a tika in 223 1-8 twist,,I shoot any thing from 40 to 60 gr,and i shoot below 1 inch,I didnt try anything heavier, because everything I tried before works great for what I shoot..

February 22, 2012, 12:48 AM
My favorite ARs all have a 1 in 7 twist. I load all a steady diet of 62 grain FMJs using H335. Also 69 and 77 grain SMKs work well with Varget when you want to go out to 300-500 yds, 62-77 grain weight range seems ideal for this twist rate, but have never had any problems shooting factory 55 grain loads.

loose noose
February 23, 2012, 09:34 PM
I've got a Model 1 stainless steel bull barrel with a 1/7 twist on an AR-15 Bushmaster lower with a Timney trigger. I've pretty well figured out what it likes with Hornady 52 grn bthp. I had a 5 shot group with all 5 rounds touching. The only problem I'm having is with the 75 grn moly coated bt. I've used IMR 3031, Reloader 15, Accurate 2230, and IMR 4198 (which is the powder I used on the 52 grn). None will group at less than 3-4" at a 100 yards. Any other powders you folks could recommend.What is this TAC powder?

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