223 55gr varget? how much should i load?


September 23, 2012, 09:12 PM
I just started doing 223 loads. My book says start at 25 grains with varget and the max is 27.5. Does that sound right to you guys?

Im loading for a semi auto and did 5 of 25grain 5 of 25.5 grain and 5 of 26grain.

Im going to test them next weekend. Just wondering if what im thinking is going to work is whats working for you guys. please let me know, thanks

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September 23, 2012, 09:37 PM
Varget is what I consider to be an overrated powder. Especially with just 55 grain bullets. It is a slower powder and will probably work best with heavier bullets. Also, the fact that it is extruded makes it a difficult powder to load for .223. It is also somewhat dirty shooting. That said, 25 grains is a good place to start and I think you would have a very difficult time fitting all 27 grains inside that casing without making a mess. 25 grains would probably be plenty anyway since you won't be getting anywhere near max velocities from that 55 grain bullet. I would suggest that for future loads you go with a ball powder like aa2230 or H335. Both of those have been very good to me and very easy to load.

September 23, 2012, 09:47 PM
I load 25.6 grains of Varget under a Sierra 55 grain HPBT using Lapua brass. OAL is 2.20". Accuracy is around 1.25" at 100 yards out of my cheap 20" AR upper at 3000 fps.

September 23, 2012, 09:48 PM
In my limited hand loading experience I have loaded several hundred 55 grain bullets over 25 grains of Varget and have had good accuracy and 100% reliability with them out of my Colt 6940.

I'm shooting from 25 yards out to 200 yards and using iron sights and an Eotech red dot sight and my groups are as good as any of the factory ammo that I have bought and used.

September 23, 2012, 09:53 PM
Would you suggest loading 24.5 or 24 or is that to light?

I pick varget so i could load3006 with it as well. what other powders work well for both?

September 23, 2012, 09:57 PM
The only ball powder I have used that meters well for both .30-06 and .223 is BLC2 but BLC2 is kind of a dirty powder as well. I have used Ramshot TAC in .223 and .308 and I think it would probably work well for .30-06 as well. In fact, TAC is probably what I would go with if I could find a good .30-06 load for it.

September 23, 2012, 10:01 PM
I just loaded my first 30 rds of .223 with Varget and #2265 SP 55 grain hornady bullets. My Hornady 7th Edition reloading book started at 22.8 grains and topped out at 26.4 grains. It listed the COL at 2.200. I loaded between 24.6 and 25.5 grains. I'd be interested in your results. I'll post mine when I shoot them.

September 23, 2012, 11:51 PM
25.5gr Varget
55gr Hornady FMJ
COL 2.20" necessary to get to the cannelure.
Federal brass
1.25" 10 shot groups at 100yards out of a Bushmaster Carbon 15 w/ 16" barrel resting the front on bags

25gr would cycle the action 90% of the time but same group size. I fail to see it as burning dirty. It burns cleaner for me than whatever Federal originally loaded it with and cleaner than any Lake City ammo I've used. Definitely cleaner than any steel cases ammo I've used in that gun. Also meters well for me in my Hornady powder measure.

September 24, 2012, 05:23 AM
I'm loading between 25.0gr and 26.0gr Varget under a 55gr bullet depending upon which bullet I use. I have a load that will produce repeatable .4" groups @100 yards using a bolt action Howa 1500 rifle.

Your data sounds good and it's what I'm also using.

September 26, 2012, 11:39 PM
I was given half a bottle of ramshot TAC. what is your load data for 223?

September 26, 2012, 11:45 PM
I was given half a bottle of ramshot TAC. what is your load data for 223?
It's not a great idea to ask for load data on the internet. Mistakes can and will happen when writing the numbers. Verifying load data is something else.

Here is the link to the Ramshot site where you can find TAC load data. http://www.ramshot.com/

September 26, 2012, 11:51 PM
26.5 grains of Varget with 55 grain bullets is my standard load for .223 semi-auto and should work fine in any bolt gun as well.

September 27, 2012, 10:48 AM
thanks but i already have ramshot's website bookmarked but im still interested in what other people are loading

Hondo 60
September 27, 2012, 10:58 AM
Not to disspell what longdayjake is saying, but I do disagree.

26 gr of Varget is my go-to load.
I can do a hair less than 1" groups at 100 yards using that load & cheap 55 gr FMJs - oal of 2.225.
(my ar is an old AR15A1 with 20" barrel & a 1 in 9 twist)

And velocity is in the 2950-3000 range measured with a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph.

September 27, 2012, 11:06 AM
I don't think you can stuff enough Varget into a .223 case to actually get in trouble with 55 grain or lighter bullets. I don't have my notes here; started out using 25.5 to 26.5 grains, but I *think* you can go up to about 27.

I bought some WC844 powder to use with 55 grain bullets and am saving the last of my Varget to use with 62's, but I haven't gotten around to loading any rifle ammo since I got the 844. :o (have barely even loaded any pistol ammo lately)

September 27, 2012, 11:33 AM
I think you are right about not being able to over stuff a .223 case with Varget. My data shows that a 27.5gr compressed charge is safe as long as you get the COL correct. 25.5gr fills them up to the bottom of the neck in LC and Federal brass trimmed to 1.76". I just don't go over 25.5gr as I has proven an accurate load and saves a tiny bit on powder.

September 27, 2012, 11:50 AM
From the Hogdon manual:

Bullet Weight (Gr.) Powder Bullet Diam. C.O.L. Grs. Manufacturer Vel. (ft/s) Pressure Grs. Vel. (ft/s) Pressure

55 GR. SPR SP Varget .224" 2.200" 25.5 Hodgdon 3174 41,300 CUP 27.5C 3384 49,700 CUP

55 GR. SFIRE Varget .224" 2.220" 23.5 Hodgdon 2990 45,200 PSI 25.1C 3149 51,700 PSI

55 GR. BAR TSX FB Varget .224" 2.180" 22.8 Hodgdon 2996 47,600 PSI 24.0C 3134 53,300 PSI

Note that the bullet type has quite an effect on pressure and velocity. The Barnes TSX bullet requires a lot less powder for a lot more pressure. Frankly, I doubt you could stuff 27.5 grs of Varget into one of the Prvi Partisan cases I've been using. I load 26 grs of Varget under a Hornady 60-gr V-Max, and it comes about 1/3 way up into the neck of the case. :eek:

September 27, 2012, 12:16 PM
I was given half a bottle of ramshot TAC. what is your load data for 223?

23.9 grains TAC with a Sierra 77 SMK duplicates Black Hills "blue box" ammo.

"Blue box" duplicates the military 77-grain load.

Its a fairly hot load.
Don't use crappy brass if you use it.

September 27, 2012, 12:43 PM
You're right Hypnogator. I should have specified that I've only been using Hornady 55gr spire soft points and 55gr Hornady FMJ. My data shows a 27.5gr compressed charge is suitable for both.

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