223 recommendation for 14.5" 1:7 barrel


PDA






BunnMan
March 6, 2012, 01:38 AM
I've got a 14.5" Daniel Defense cold hammer forged 1:7 barrel chambered in 5.56 Nato on a custom built AR flat top carbine. She's been performing extremely well with the iron flip up sights but I want to see how she can REALLY group. I should have a mount and scope in the mail by the weekend. I recently picked up a set of Hornady 223 dies for my LNL progressive press and have run a thousand or so once fired Lake City 5.56 cases through FL sizing, cleaned and reamed primer pockets and flash holes, and re-primed with CCI small rifle magnum primers, now I need to settle on a bullet and powder combo. Just wondering if anyone has a good published load they have had success with through a tight twist shorty like this. I would assume 62gr and up bullets with powders on the faster side are probably a good direction to lean but experience rules out guesswork so let me know if you have something working well for you. Mind you I am looking for max accuracy out to 300 yards, I don't have anywhere to shoot any further than that. Please only published loads, I will drop back to starting loads and work up to your recommendation.

Thanks Folks!!!

If you enjoyed reading about "223 recommendation for 14.5" 1:7 barrel" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
husbandofaromanian
March 6, 2012, 03:21 AM
Do you have a $200 tax stamp for that sbr?

BunnMan
March 6, 2012, 09:35 AM
Certainly not, but I do have a 2" muzzle brake welded on ;). But thanks for policing my build sir, you never know when you're going to catch an enthusiast educated enough in his discipline to build his own ammunition and sharp enough to establish his own purpose for a custom built rifle and develop a component list to fulfill it and locate a builder reputable enough to pull it off yet DUMB enough to post the stats of an illegal firearm that would land said enthusiast in a federal penitentiary far away from his beloved obsession for ten years in a row...but you keep tryin bro :)

Now...waddya know about a recipe for me?

MtnCreek
March 6, 2012, 09:49 AM
^:D

69gr SMK worked up to max/near max w/ Varget at ~2.240".
55gr Nosler BT worked up to max (beyond max in my case) w/ Varget at around same length.
53gr SMK and 77gr SMK do well also in a 14.5 / 1:7.

Edit: 4895 is great for a more moderate load. 8208 has been doing well so far, but I'm still ironing out loads w/ that powder.

Jim Watson
March 6, 2012, 11:40 AM
DUMB enough to post the stats of an illegal firearm

I have seen a variety of illegal firearms and actions posted on the internet.

Anyhow, I would go with a top load of Varget (Assume all usual cautions about "working up", etc.) and 69 or 77 gr SMK.
I would also try 52 gr SMK. A high BC does not assure best accuracy at short ranges.

rcmodel
March 6, 2012, 11:46 AM
Only advice I an give you is don't even bother trying 62 grain FMJ-BT military type bullets.
They are not that accurate under the best of circumstances.

I'd try V-Max or Nosler Ballistic-Tip varmint bullets in 55 or 60 grain.
Also 52 grain Sierra HP Match.

A 1/7 barrel that short may very well shoot lighter bullets at higher velocity better then heavy bullets at lower velocity.

rc

husbandofaromanian
March 6, 2012, 11:06 PM
Certainly not, but I do have a 2" muzzle brake welded on . But thanks for policing my build sir, you never know when you're going to catch an enthusiast educated enough in his discipline to build his own ammunition and sharp enough to establish his own purpose for a custom built rifle and develop a component list to fulfill it and locate a builder reputable enough to pull it off yet DUMB enough to post the stats of an illegal firearm that would land said enthusiast in a federal penitentiary far away from his beloved obsession for ten years in a row...but you keep tryin bro

That kind of strong reaction reminds me of when I asked my wife how her diet was going.

BunnMan
March 7, 2012, 12:18 AM
That kind of strong reaction reminds me of when I asked my wife how her diet was going.

That wasn't a strong reaction dear boy, you should have picked up on that but omitted the smiley in your quote. I didn't assume any mal-intent and fell long short of implying any illegal activity. I merely invited the snickers of you and others at the implication in your question hoping to draw your own attention to your quick and short sighted assumption. If, in your judgement, my reply constitutes a strong reaction I might suggest applying those same standards to your question which included no smiley's or LOL's. Either there is a hint of implication or you have an extremely dry sense of humor. I would like to believe, and would applaud, if it were the latter. Assuming the latter and a sharpenned sense of humor you can certainly spot the irony that I'm struck with when digesting the intensley patriotic excerpt from the Declaration of Independence in your signature then also your nickname...I, being a true patriot, married American. Then 14 years later divorced american, hahaha. Lighten up my friend, it's all for fun right?

Seriously husband...lets remain on topic and stifle the drama. My OP is an honest question and pursuit, surely your patriotic ethos permit me the ability to pursue it free from persecution.

Jim and mntcreek: thanks a ton for useful and practical replies, I will order some of each of the suggested weights of SMK's and a good dose of Varget. That powder seems to carry the general nod for loading this caliber so I reckon it's a good steer.

rcmodel: I'll give the V-max a look too and a big thanks for the steer away from the military 62gr FMJ-BT. I was about to order a big box of collet pulled surplus bullets for loading as plinkers...no sense plinkin around my target...I'd prefer to hit it...everytime.


Be Well,

-BunnMan

rem22long40x
March 7, 2012, 02:39 AM
Very Well Put . Sr. BunnMan

moxie
March 7, 2012, 10:05 AM
Sierra lists an "accuracy load" of 21.5 grs. RE-7 under any of their 55 gr. bullets. They show 2900 fps for that load (20" HBAR). It performs well for me with a M-4 profile CMMG, but I am hardly an accuracy shooter.

BunnMan
March 7, 2012, 10:28 AM
Isn't the standard 20" HBAR a 1:9?

MtnCreek
March 7, 2012, 10:53 AM
Unless they've changed them, Colt HBar is 1:7.

REL1203
March 7, 2012, 12:02 PM
I have the same upper on my DDM4, and it loves 69SMK with a max load of Varget. I havent messed with anything lighter than 55g. I can confirm the cheap 62g FMJ-BT are junk and not to bother with them.. Either go 55g or go heavy and accurate. I dont have my manuals here at work, but i tried both varget and RL15 with the 69SMKs and mine loved near max loads of both with varget taking a slight edge.

helotaxi
March 8, 2012, 09:03 AM
Isn't the standard 20" HBAR a 1:9?
Not recently. They all changed to 1:7 with the switch to M855/SS109 ammo.

helotaxi
March 8, 2012, 09:17 AM
... or go heavy and accurate.Heavy does not equal, or result in precision. It is merely heavier. Most heavy for caliber bullets are match style bullets intended for long range shooting and are usually well made, but unless you need the higher BC that the longer bullet profile leads to, the lighter flat-based bullets have the higher propensity for precision. The shorter bullets are less prone to loading with runout and are formed with fewer steps so less chance for manufacturing imperfections. Look at the bullets that short range benchrest shooters use and you'll see light, short flat-based bullets without exception. It isn't coincidence. It really isn't until you get to the longer range competitions that the higher BC bullets and the reduction in wind drift that they offer becomes more important that the factors favoring short, flat-based bullets.

Taurus 617 CCW
March 8, 2012, 10:08 AM
It's hard to beat the Sierra Match King 69 grain bullets. The price is rather fair for the amount of performance you get out of them. Another choice that I have been very pleased with is the Nosler Custom Competetion bullets. I have loaded them for .308 and they perform very well. Load data can be found in their reloading manual.

loose noose
March 8, 2012, 11:09 AM
BunnMan,With that short a barrel I believe the 52 grain Hornady A-Max is about the best accuracy you're going to get even in the 1:7" twist, the velocity just isn't there in the heavier bullets. You might try IMR 4198 powder. Also at 300 yards, is stretching that combination just a bit, I'd start at 19 grns and work my way up to 21.4 grns.

helotaxi
March 8, 2012, 08:42 PM
Velocity has nothing to do with accuracy, only bullet drop and energy. Bullet drop is quite consistent and very predictable, so if you're punching paper out to 300yds or so where wind isn't much of a factor, a short barrel isn't really a handicap.

BunnMan
March 8, 2012, 09:01 PM
Thanks for the direction folks. I got enough here to do some decent experimentatn with. I've heard tales of stripping the jackets off light bullets but never actually heard anybody say they saw it happen. It does shoot 55's pretty well, best groups being around 3" at 100yds through the iron sights. Those weren't surplus rounds but ammo produced by the same folks that built my rifle. They are also a licensed ammo manufacturer. I know it's lake city brass and hornady bullets but not sure about primers and powder. I know they aren't CCI, they had gold primers in them.

john wall
March 8, 2012, 09:36 PM
I might try a 60-something gr pill behind Accurate 2015. A little less muzzle flash and blast, great powder.

loose noose
March 8, 2012, 09:45 PM
helotaxi, the fast twist is to stabilize the heavier, thus longer bullet, with that short of barrel (14.5") I doubt the velocity would be sufficient to get high enough to prevent the bullet from fish tailing at much past 100 yards. I have an AR-15 with a bull barrel 20" 1:7 twist. (You can figure about 100fps per inch of barrel) Shooting a 69 grn HPBT bullet using a maximum load I recently Chronographed 2700 fps, therefore subtract 550 fps from a 14.5" barrel and you'll have 2150fps, which is not near fast enough to stabilize a heavier projectile much beyond a 100 yards, as the bullet loses velocity as it increases distance. Hope this makes sense to Ya.

BunnMan
March 8, 2012, 10:40 PM
Now I gotta go and order a chrono, this is just too interesting to not know. I want to get one anyway so I reckon I'll move that plan to the front burner. I've got a Kalashnikov in 223 with a 20" 1:9 heavy barrel and this shorty AR. I'm dying to know the difference in velocity between the two firing the same cartridge. I don't suppose the different twist rates should influence it that much. Do you really think it's going to cost 550fps out of the shorter barrel? Certainly there will be a reduction but I didn't think it would be that drastic.

helotaxi
March 9, 2012, 08:00 AM
helotaxi, the fast twist is to stabilize the heavier, thus longer bullet, with that short of barrel (14.5") I doubt the velocity would be sufficient to get high enough to prevent the bullet from fish tailing at much past 100 yards. I have an AR-15 with a bull barrel 20" 1:7 twist. (You can figure about 100fps per inch of barrel) Shooting a 69 grn HPBT bullet using a maximum load I recently Chronographed 2700 fps, therefore subtract 550 fps from a 14.5" barrel and you'll have 2150fps, which is not near fast enough to stabilize a heavier projectile much beyond a 100 yards, as the bullet loses velocity as it increases distance. Hope this makes sense to Ya.The loss of velocity as the bullet goes down range does not affect its spin and reduced velocity means that less spin is required to overcome the drag induced upset forces. The 69 and 77gn SMK are well known to work very well from M4s which have a 14.5" 1:7 twist barrel. Even assuming that your velocity loss numbers are correct, which they are not velocity loss is closer to 50fps per inch within that barrel length range, the 69n SMK would have a Miller stability Index of 2.4 (1.4 being instantly and completely stable) and the 77gn SMK would be in the 1.8 range. The 69gn SMK is comfortably stable out of a 1:7 twist barrel at pretty much any velocity that will get it to clear the barrel; the 77gn needs about 1000fps MV to be instantly stable.

So no it doesn't make sense to me.

BunnMan: it isn't nearly that drastic a reduction, don't worry about it. Mk262 mil loads (77gn SMK) get over 2700 fps from an 18" barrel and reloaders have gotten almost 2700fps from 16" barrels.

BunnMan
March 9, 2012, 08:30 AM
I've done some reading about the MK262 out of the M4 in the recent past and the Navy Seal Snipers in the middle east seem to have a lot of praise for that cartridge. If I remember the text right I believe they were engaging targets out to 300 with excellent accuracy and effect out of the little M4. The book is a great read and included alot of detail on ballistics of various rounds in use by US snipers. You need a stomach and head for it because the various authors don't spare much of the psycholigical organ physical detail. If you want to sharpen your shooting knowledge and build a whole new dimension of respect for what our fighting forces are doing for us its well worth your time...book is called Trigger Men. It shocked me that the Seal Snipers over there are employing the M4 as a viable tool when they have so many other weapons at their disposal but its a consistent choice for high volume scenarios. This is the line of thinking that got me leaning toward heavier bullets, I just figured faster powders because I don't have the last few milliseconds of pressure behind the bullet before it clears my handy little carbine.

MtnCreek
March 9, 2012, 09:26 AM
A chrony is a great tool and will tell you a lot about your load development, assuming you don't shoot it. IMHO, heavier bullets and shorter barrels go together great.

loose noose
March 9, 2012, 11:01 AM
BunMan, Go ahead and try the heavier bullets in that little carbine, and let us know what kind of accuracy you're getting, I can't honestly say I've never shot one with that short of barrel. In Vietnam we had the M4 with a 16" or maybe a 20" barrel with I believe a 1:9 twist and we used, 55 grn bullets. Besides that bull barrel 20", I also have a M4 with a 16" Bushmaster AR-15 with a 1:9. Btw, I believe the Navy Snipers for long range use the 50's, as well as the 300 Win. Mag, a .338 Lapua. A good read is the American Sniper, by Chris Kyle, once you get past all the personal BS, as it is a autobiography. Any way have fun with that AR, and keep us posted as to your results, you've got my interest up. Loose Noose

moxie
March 9, 2012, 11:18 AM
loose noose,
You had the M4 in Vietnam? Really?

helotaxi
March 9, 2012, 07:54 PM
I just figured faster powders because I don't have the last few milliseconds of pressure behind the bullet before it clears my handy little carbine.The powder that works best in the long barrel is going to be the same powder that you want to use in the shorter barrel. Your powder choices are limited on the fast side by peak pressure. That peak pressure occurs in the first 2" or less of the bullet leaving the case and then drops as the bullet moves down the barrel. Ideally, for maximum velocity, you want the slowest burning powder that will get you to maximum pressure within the constraints of the size of the case. If you go too slow, you'll fill the case before you get to maximum pressure and the powder won't burn all that well and you'll end up with low velocity. Go too fast and you end up with a small powder charge that reaches max pressure but then doesn't generate enough gas volume to maintain a good pressure and velocity is lost. Barrel length doesn't play into this at all. Barrel length merely determines how long the bullet is being accelerated by that pressure.

loose noose
March 9, 2012, 10:11 PM
We called them the M-16, but that was quite a few years ago, but I do remember the milspec ammo as being 55 grn. We had the A-2 stock none of that collapsible. In the States we used the M-14 until we went thru staging, and we were issued the M-16, really! yep really! Semper Fi.

helotaxi
March 10, 2012, 12:59 AM
His point was that the M16 and M4 are different even though they are based on the same original design and have parts that are interchangeable and the M4 didn't come on the scene until the '90s.

BunnMan
March 10, 2012, 11:06 AM
Helo,

Thanks for the explanation. If all that is true (not doubting it) then I was definitely off in my thought process. I was thinking that since you get flash out of the barrel then the charge was building through the full length so a faster powder would burn up the volume within the shorter barrel leaving less waste blown out the muzzle. I could stand a better education on the reaction time of the powder and barrel physics no doubt.

The local shop had 53, 55, 69gr HPBT SMKs . I picked up 100 each of the 55 and 69 and a pound of Varget. Aso picked up a Lyman manual as my Lee, Hornady, Speer don't support Varget in both those grain weights. I wanted a Sierra as well but they didn't have them. I figure I'll build 10 rounds in each step for two five shot groups...I anticipate best performance will be in the upper powder volumes but I'm still gonna work it up proper. Headed to the range tomorrow so I'll get back with a report.

I tried to attach a pic of my M4gery carbine, not sure if it worked from my mobile...

loose noose
March 10, 2012, 10:21 PM
Helotaxi, I know exactly what moxie was implying that's why I clarified the M-4 as being a M-16, I've graduated from Lassen JC in Susanville, Ca as a certified gunsmith back in 2006-2007, so I do know the difference, but thanks anyway, I'll have to proof read my entries a little closer in the future.

helotaxi
March 11, 2012, 05:50 AM
BunnMan- Nice stick. What scope is that?

moxie
March 11, 2012, 05:05 PM
Just a little course correction. Thanks for clarifying.

BunnMan
March 12, 2012, 01:57 AM
Alright...second time I'm typing this...got it almost done and hit a wrong key and lost my whole post!

Helo...scope is a Leatherwood CMR. Excellent mid price range scope at $320. Clear glass, excellent reticle zero lock, plenty on info online and the reviews were spot on, very high quality for the money but you gotta be looking center scope, no tolerance for off center and not much tolerance on the eye relief either. Promotes solid and religous cheek weld so I dig it.

Barrel is a Daniel Defense cold hammer forged 14.5" chrome Lined 1:7 twist, With Sabre Muzzle Brake WELDED ON to make 16". Barrel is fully free floated in a YHM Todd Jarrett handguard. Lower is milled/manufactured in house by Precision Firearms in Hagerstown, MD. Mil Spec trigger gently cleaned up and massaged by the skilled folks at Precision Firearms...I'd go on about her but I don't wanna brag ;).


OK here's the report...Groups were measured center to center of the furthest shots (except where noted) with a dial caliper. I goofed my math on powder steps and wound up with six steps instead of five...forgot you're starting at 1 instead of 0 AGAIN! All charges were individually hand trickled on an RCBS trickler2 and weighed on a Lyman 500 scale. I built 10 at each charge figuring I'd shoot two separate groups of five and take the best of the two for my comparison. Due to range traffic this got modified right away and became 10 shot groups fired in two stages of five each (same POA) at 100yds. I first zeroed the scope using 55gr "bulk" ammo purchased from the folks that built the rifle. The way the reticle works, an etched 1 MOA dot covers POA at 100yds. Of course, I never touched the turrets after the initial zero...bullseyes weren't as important as tight groups somewhere on the paper with a consistent POA on bullseye in each step. Fired at 4x sandbagged under the forearm and pistol grip with a 30rd Magpul Pmag.

Case: Lake City
Powder: Varget 23.4 Start/26.0 MAX Never Exceed
Bullet: SMK 69gr BTHP
Primer: CCI 450 Small Rifle Magnum

Load1 23.4gr
10 shot group 1.94" very consistent dispersion centered windage but about 3.5 - 4" low compared to initial zero

Load2 23.9gr
10 shot group 2" very consistent dispersion centered windage climbed about 3/4" up closer to bullseye. Not perceivable different than Load1 other than 3/4" higher up

Load3 24.4gr
10 shot group 2.255" dispersion not quite so consistent with a little "clumping". Group center continues to creep up toward Bullseye. Starting to get discouraged here as I think I see a trend developing in that the groups are openning up.

Load4 25.0gr
First 5 shot group WOW!!! 0.80" Sub MOA!!! 3 rounds in damn near the same hole!! This is why I came here today!! I would like to thank all my sponsors, and remember all the little people that got me here :). Next five shots...I think I got my rifle mixed up with some other very unique AR at the range. All shots in the second 5 were either low or right of the first and openned the 10 shot group to 4.05" with both holes making the extreme spread being punched in the second 5. Broke the rifle in half over my knee and left!!! Just kidding...I'm pretty sure the cause was my excitement at the first five and rushing the second half of the 10 shot group through a "hot" barrel. Not counting the second 5 because it's MY DAY at the range and I can do that if I want to...lol

Load5 25.5gr
10 shot group 2.72" with 3 shots outside a fairly tight 7 shot group of 1.14" I think I'm noticing a trend...I get impatient when things go well. Last two groups are still inching up toward bullseye but also starting a slight 3/4" at a time creep to the right.

Load6 26.0gr MAX
3 shots were couple inch off flyers with the 7 tightest shots measuring 2.15". Were are obviously past our prime at this charge. This one was at elevation with bullseye, with two holes touching at the leftmost portion of the spread both cutting the bull. Even though the proximity of the majority of the group to POA is RDC (Reeeally Damn Close) This is obviously the least consistent group yet.

Summary...Best two groups were the 25.0 and the 25.5. At the range I marked the 25.5gr as the load of choice for consistency and accuracy and because I felt like some of the second 5 of the 25.0 group may have been honest and I was giving myself too much of an excuse. Ahhh...those first 5 were OFS (Out...standing) though. Upon arrival home I noticed a split neck while dumping the cases I collected into the tumbler. It was definitely one of the reloads as the production stuff uses gold primers and my CCI's are silver. The obvious assumption is that is was one of the MAX loads, but not really sure. I will check the others when I pull them out of the tumbler. Of course I don't have a way to track them back to which step in the powder charge they came from but this find was enough to kick me back to the 25.0gr charge of Varget. I'm gonna load the last 40 69's I got at 25.0gr. and order some more. I did build 5 steps of Sierra Game King 55gr BTHP with Varget as well but after 60 rounds of benchrest shooting bullseye stress I dismissed myself to the pistol and sporting clay ranges for a spell. Aint nothing like a scattergun to cure that, "I gotta lopsided eyeball cuz I'm trying to punch a 1/4" group through the scope" feeling. Though when I got to the pistol range I tortured myself through a 5 step work up of 124gr XTP's using Power Pistol in my Glock 34 9mm. that went very well and much faster than the rifle. Sooo much faster to change paper 25yds away than it is 100yds away. I've decided I like my 9mm because I only need 5.3gr to produce a 10 shot group at 4.71" standing off hand. But then again I like my 44 because I don't have to wait for a cease fire to see how big that group is ;).

Oh, and I ordered a chrono that should be here this week so hopefully either next weekend or the one after I can get a read on velocities.

Thanks for the help...I'll post back on further developments.

MtnCreek
March 12, 2012, 09:42 AM
Sounds like fun. The split neck was likely from old, worn out brass. If you start w/ new or confirmed once fired brass, you can keep them in a batch and toss them when you start to see some of that batch splitting necks.

On your next workup, you could mark the cases with a sharpy with either a charge weight or a batch number (#1 = 23.4gr...). That is very helpful to me when working up loads; I'll take the fired brass and inspect for pressure signs.

Edit: And don't rule out some of your loads as being not accurate. The load that is repeatable the best shooter is your load.

loose noose
March 12, 2012, 01:16 PM
Very impressive I stand corrected, must be those young eyes, beat the dickens out mine every time.:D

helotaxi
March 13, 2012, 01:51 AM
Personally I use 0.3gn charge increments when working up loads. 0.5 is fully 2% of your charge weight and is just too big of a step IMO. I also don't shoot more than 5 shot groups until I have a promising load that I want to prove. Waste too many components otherwise and don't necessarily learn anything, but I also mostly ignore group size when doing initial load work.

dprice3844444
March 13, 2012, 02:33 AM
http://www.giraudtool.com/

If you enjoyed reading about "223 recommendation for 14.5" 1:7 barrel" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!