34gr Bullets in AR?


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bluetopper
December 29, 2012, 12:49 PM
Anybody ever shot .224", 34gr, hollow point, flat based reloaded bullets in their AR? I'm assuming doing so will still cycle the action?
Why you ask?
Because they are cheap and available and they are very accurate out of my 223 Thompson Contender.

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ApacheCoTodd
December 29, 2012, 02:28 PM
I'd sure want to know the loaded dimensions relative to the chamber (proabably lots of leade) and I should think a fella would want a very slow twist that's hard to find in AR barrels anymore. Those old 1:12s with Stoner barrel extensions aren't too common these days outside of a custom turn.

I think, anyhow. No reason not to give it a try though if the projectiles can be counted upon to remain available and cheap.

S&W657
December 29, 2012, 03:19 PM
I mistakenly bought the 36 gr varmint grenades for my AR. I loaded them and they cycled fine, but accuracy was poor... as my twist rate wasn't right for light bullets.

helotaxi
December 29, 2012, 06:55 PM
The "twist isn't right" thing is a myth. The only problem I've had with bullets not shooting well, particularly frangible hollow points, in an AR is them getting damaged by the feed ramp when they are chambered.

1911 guy
December 30, 2012, 03:11 AM
Quote:
The "twist isn't right" thing is a myth.

Huh? Sure, twist matters. As an example, I have two bolt guns chambered in .223. The 1:12 twist eats up a 45gr HP like there's no tomorrow. No matter what I did with the charge, I couldn't get my 1:9 to digest it accurately. Worked my way up to a 60gr HP and Viola! All was right with the world again.

Is there a somewhat forgiving "window" of overlap? Absolutely. But to say twist is irrelevant is nonsense. Also consider why the twist rate of an AR was changed to 1:7. Stabilization of the tracer round. Previous twist wouldn't do it. So twist obviously matters.

Jackal
December 30, 2012, 04:47 AM
"twist isn't right" thing is a myth.

Please clarify. Either your grossly wrong and misleading or your words didnt correctly express your thoughts:eek:.

juk
December 30, 2012, 04:59 AM
My reloads using the 36 grn Varmint Grenades worked well in both carbine and Mid-length guns. Couldn't really check for accuracy. I kept my shots to under 50 yards using iron sights and hit everything I aimed at. Both guns cycled fine and had no problems.

hentown
December 30, 2012, 09:14 AM
As long as the powder load is sufficient, the bullet weight is largely irrelevant to cycling.

wgaynor
December 30, 2012, 11:01 AM
Anybody that thinks the twist rate in relation to the bullet weight has no effect on accuracy needs to 1. read a book and 2. try it themselves.

Ignorant comments on a public forum that have no intellectual backing are only mislead those that come hear looking for solid information. Not very High Road-like if you ask me.:mad:

helotaxi
December 30, 2012, 03:04 PM
Anybody that thinks the twist rate in relation to the bullet weight has no effect on accuracy needs to 1. read a book and 2. try it themselves.

Ignorant comments on a public forum that have no intellectual backing are only mislead those that come hear looking for solid information. Not very High Road-like if you ask me.:mad:
Point to a book with a credible author that states that spinning a quality bullet faster than the minimum required to stabilize is is detrimental to anything other than pure benchrest accuracy where the difference in measured in thousandths of an MOA. Bryan Litz devotes an entire chapter to this exact thing and his conclusion is that "over-spinning" a bullet is bunk. There is an article in the latest issue of Handloader saying exactly the same thing.

Now if you want the full disclaimer, here it is: If the bullet is a poorly made, poorly balanced hunk of metal, spinning it at all will cause a wobble and spinning it faster than needed to get it to fly nose forward will exaggerate the wobble and affect accuracy. However, such a bullet is going to shoot so poorly to begin with that you're talking degrees of suck at that point like 3 vs 5 MOA. Quality bullets need to be stable. Once that point is reached, the difference in accuracy from spinning any faster is so miniscule that it can't be discerned from the noise of normal shot to shot variations.

I've had good success shooting 36gn Varmint Grenades from a 1:9 bolt gun but less success from ARs unless single loaded. The reason is that the meplat of the hollowpoint has a tendency to get mangled coming up the feed ramp and upsetting the balance of the bullet. I've had similar problems with several different ARs in several different calibers. The rate of twist has nothing to do with the issue.

wgaynor
December 30, 2012, 03:53 PM
Pick any of the loading books you want for this information. I'm not going to type a book out on this forum.

Twist rate has a direct correlation to accuracy when factored in with bullet weight. That is why a 1:7 twist .223 does well with 50 grain and higher bullets but poorly groups anything less. A 1:12 twist .223 does better with the 50 grains and lighter bullets.

wgaynor
December 30, 2012, 03:55 PM
http://www.chuckhawks.com/rifling_twist_rate.htm

Chuckhawks saved me from typing out a book word for word. It gives you the basics.

1911 guy
December 30, 2012, 03:57 PM
Read through your post carefully, think about the implications of every word and sentence. You'll find that you contradict yourself.

Quote:
minimum required to stabilize

So we agree that every bullet has a minimum rate of spin for stability.

Quote:
"over-spinning" a bullet is bunk

What part? The part where it adversely affects accuracy? Or what about not spinning it fast enough?

You do realize that claiming no effect is flying in the face of both decades of balistic science and the experience of everyone who has ever worked up a load for a rifle, don't you?

wgaynor
December 30, 2012, 04:03 PM
I guess if the OP was shooting at a max distance of 25 yards, he wouldn't see the effect of not stabilizing the bullet enough.

DPris
December 30, 2012, 04:16 PM
Besides the potential accuracy issue, those lightweight varmint bullets are generally constructed to rapidly break up on impact. For varmints, that's good. If considering for SD, it's not good.

And, reliable cycling may depend on the gun & load in question. I've had no problems with weights in the 40s cycling ARs, but I've never gone down to a 34.
Denis

helotaxi
December 30, 2012, 04:18 PM
Pick any of the loading books you want for this information. I'm not going to type a book out on this forum.

Twist rate has a direct correlation to accuracy when factored in with bullet weight. That is why a 1:7 twist .223 does well with 50 grain and higher bullets but poorly groups anything less. A 1:12 twist .223 does better with the 50 grains and lighter bullets.
I've never seen anything to that effect in any loading manual that I own, and I own most of them that have been published in the last few years and I've read them all cover to cover multiple times.

How about quoting the part in the Chuck Hawks article where it talks about spinning a bullet too fast? Since that's what we're actually talking about...

Stability is not a matter of accuracy, it's a matter of utility. An unstable bullet doesn't lack accuracy, it is simply is useless. If you you point out where in the discussion of shooting a light, short bullet in a fast twist barrel it would be logical to assume that spinning a bullet at a rate insufficient to stabilize is part of the discussion or even relevant, or where I've even implied that *insufficient* spin isn't a factor I'll gladly say I was wrong. But I've never said it, it isn't relevant to the discussion and isn't even up for debate. If I erred at all it apparently was in assuming that this much was completely understood.

The question at hand is whether spinning a bullet faster than the minimum required for stability is detrimental to practical accuracy in the real world. The answer, from those that have made a living at this stuff, is "NO, it doesn't make a difference". Again if you can cite a credible scientific source to the contrary...Here's two that agree with me:

1) Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting Bryan Litz
2) "Rifle Bullet Stability" John Barsness, Handloader #281 December 2012

wgaynor
December 30, 2012, 04:18 PM
Plus, the 34 grain bullet is as light as the common .22lr. Granted, the construction is different and the bullet is pushed twice as fast, but it's a small projectile. I'd prefer the heavier weight 62 grain of any construction over a 34 grain varmint bullet.

By the way, I wasn't quoting anybody.

wgaynor
December 30, 2012, 04:20 PM
You are still contradicting yourself. I won't push the issue with you anymore on this. Peace.

IMtheNRA
December 30, 2012, 04:35 PM
Quote Helotaxi: "practical accuracy in the real world".

I suspect that's the root cause of your disagreement with some of the members here. I don't know your definition of "practical accuracy", but if it is the same as the more often used term "battlefield accuracy", then for you, at least, rifling twist rate is close to irrelevant.

Many of the rest of us are here because as target shooters - not soldiers - we're not satisfied with the grotesquely inadequate accuracy of factory ammo. That is why we go through so much work to create an accurate cartridge for our particular rifles. When accuracy is defined by tiny groups, rifling twist rate becomes very important.

If your primary concern is hitting an IPSC target at intermediate distance, then rifling rate of your rifle can probably be ignored.

IMtheNRA
December 30, 2012, 05:13 PM
Back to the original question reagarding 34 grain bullets in the OP's AR rifle:

I experimented quite a bit with various loads in my JP CTR-02 with a 1/8 twist 20" barrel. While gathering data to determine the limits of this rifle, I shot some 40 and 45 grain Sierra and Hornady HPs, and about half did not make it to the 100 yard target - they disintegrated after leaving the barrel.

However, these loads performed very well in a 1/12 rifled 22" AR.

helotaxi
December 30, 2012, 09:55 PM
Quote Helotaxi: "practical accuracy in the real world".

I suspect that's the root cause of your disagreement with some of the members here. I don't know your definition of "practical accuracy", but if it is the same as the more often used term "battlefield accuracy", then for you, at least, rifling twist rate is close to irrelevant.Actually I'm a target shooter myself and I'm talking the difference between 1/4 MOA and 3/8 MOA. That's a negligible difference in the real world. By "real world" I'm talking about varmint shooting and shooting for score, not benchrest group size.

helotaxi
December 30, 2012, 10:01 PM
You are still contradicting yourself. I won't push the issue with you anymore on this. Peace.
Where? Seriously?

Tim the student
December 30, 2012, 10:08 PM
Bullet length is what matters, not weight. The two are obviously closely related, but are not absolutely interchangeable.

FWIW, 34g Varmint Grenades shoot pretty well out of my 1/8 AR - but they are very long for their weight.

2ndtimer
December 30, 2012, 10:23 PM
Real world experience. A faster twist can not only destabilize the bullet, but actually make it tumble. I tried loading some 55 gr Nosler SHOTS bullets in my son's Stevens .243 Win with a 1 in 9" twist and it couldn't keep them on the target board at 100 yards. One of them did hit the paper with a perfect silhouette image of the 55 gr bullet - sideways on the paper! These same very short bullets shoot less than 2 inches out of my 1 in 10" twist Sako A-7 and his girlfriends Ruger .243 with 1 in 10" twist. I won't bother experimenting with some 73 gr A-Max bullets in my 1 in 12" twist bolt guns, don't want to waste the bullets. I also have a Howa 1500 in 6.5x55 Swede. I am not exactly sure if it is a 1 in 8" or 1 in 9" twist, but it will NOT group any bullet that weighs 100 grains or less. I am talking about 7 or 8 inch 3 shot groups at 100 yards off the bench. So base on my personal real world experience, twist rate does matter, no myth, just fact. FWIW. This is America, everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if they are wrong. How else could the president have been re-elected?

helotaxi
December 30, 2012, 11:11 PM
Chances are good that those SHOTS bullets were coming apart from the velocity not tumbling from twist.

IMtheNRA
December 31, 2012, 12:11 AM
I am not a benchrest shooter either, but 1/8 MOA makes a difference between a good group and an outstanding group when I'm punching paper in my real world.

velvethunter
December 31, 2012, 03:33 AM
You can defnitely under stabilize a bullet and have it keyhole, that pretty common. Over stabilizing seems less problematic overall. It may not be the most accurate to shoot out of your particulart rifle, but unless is a super thin jacket and you spin the bullet apart it will either shoot decent or it won't. Personally, I have shot the 36 gr VG's out of an 8 twist, and while not quite as accurate as a 69gr matchking(this rifle's favorite), they were more than adequate, averaging around .75 moa.

gdcpony
December 31, 2012, 09:56 AM
I did an experiment with 40gr pills out of my 1/9 AR. Worked great. Can't say my results were standard, but they hit in nice tiny groups and didn't fly apart.

Here:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=507874
The pics are gone by now, but the numbers are there. I can post pics up if you would like.

I later found I was getting 3400 out of the tiny pills. I went to a 50gr load and am getting 3200 out of those. My daughter's 22" bolt gun with the same twist gets 3700 and 3400 respectively.

2ndtimer
December 31, 2012, 05:02 PM
Chances are good that those SHOTS bullets were coming apart from the velocity not tumbling from twist.
Which would not explain why the same loads stabilized and reached the target in 2 other slower twisted rifles.

J_McLeod
December 31, 2012, 11:14 PM
Interesting thread. I found it while considering buying some of Midsouth's 34gr Varmint Nightmares. I'd be loading them in my 1:8" 16" barrel AR for non bench/competition shooting at less than 100 yards. Still not sure about it.

jim243
December 31, 2012, 11:41 PM
Bullet length is what matters, not weight. The two are obviously closely related, but are not absolutely interchangeable.

Tim, unless the laws of physics has changed and the world is actually flat (just don't fall off the edge). Weight and length are joined at the hip and are related. A 223 bullet is .224 in diamiter and that does not change the only way the weight can change is by being longer or shorter. The longish bullets you used in your 1:8 twist rifle must have been .222 bullets for the 221 Fireball or 222 Remington or 220 Swift. Not ment for a 223/5.56 AR.

Jim

Tim the student
January 1, 2013, 12:08 AM
The longish bullets you used in your 1:8 twist rifle must have been .222 bullets for the 221 Fireball or 222 Remington or 220 Swift.

Well, no. Barnes load data (http://www.barnesbullets.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/223RemingtonWeb.pdf)

wgaynor
January 1, 2013, 07:54 AM
How about the Mods move this to the handloading section and see what info comes to light?

helotaxi
January 1, 2013, 11:14 AM
A 223 bullet is .224 in diamiter and that does not change the only way the weight can change is by being longer or shorter.Or changing shape or construction. When I've got 3 bullets of .224 caliber all weighing 50gn and all three are vastly different in length and have heavier bullets that are shorter than lighter ones, your gross generalization doesn't hold up. A flat based bullet will weight more than a boattail of the same length with the same ogive shape. A semi-spitzer will weigh more than a true spitzer and certainly more than a poly tipped bullet of the same length and a round nose is the heaviest shape per length of all. And then there's bullet construction. Changing the composition of a bullet has dramatic changes in the bullet length to weight ratio. Adding a steel penetrator as in the M855 will increase length for a given weight, likewise going with a polymer tip. Solid copper or gilding metal bullets are very long for their weight as are the frangible designs that use a powdered copper-tin core instead of lead. On the other end of the spectrum are the powdered tungsten core bullets like those from DRT and Hevi-shot which are very short considering their weight.

bluetopper
January 1, 2013, 11:27 AM
The 34gr Varmint Nightmare bullets sold by Midsouth are the bullets I was asking about. They shoot like a laser out of my 1:12 twist, 14" Thompson Contender barrel. I can lay a quarter over the 100yd groupings. I suspect these bullets were really made for the 22 Hornet, 221 Fireball, 222 and the like, but don't really know this as fact.
I've just never got around to testing any in my M4 Carbine, 16" barrel. I think it has a 1:8 twist.

Another subject all together.....but what astonished me shooting my Contender is the difference in flash and boom different powders made out of it's shorter barrel. Shooting H335 was like shooting a cannon, yet H322 and 748 had half or less of the report.

jim243
January 1, 2013, 11:30 AM
The comment made was that there is no relationship between length and weight of the same caliber bullets of the same materials, that is just not true. Yes you can make a bullet out of different materials but that is like comparing apples and oranges, not the same thing.

If you have to use a lead free bullet, yes it will be longer for the same weight bullet out of lead. But a 50 grain lead free bullet IS shorter than a 55 grain lead free bullet.

Jim

cfullgraf
January 1, 2013, 11:34 AM
The longish bullets you used in your 1:8 twist rifle must have been .222 bullets for the 221 Fireball or 222 Remington or 220 Swift. Not ment for a 223/5.56 AR.


What? My three 221 Remington Fireball firearms use .224" diameter bullets.

All the reloading manuals I have dating back to 1980 use .224" diameter bullets in 221 Remington Fireball, 222 Remington, and 220 Swift.

I guess i missed something somewhere.

Helotaxi covered the weight/length thing pretty well.

To add an example, I am working on getting 40 grain 20 caliber bullets to shoot in my Savage 12. The twist rate is marginal for the length of 40 grain bullets

The Hornady VMAX, Sierra Blitzking, and Berger HP all weigh 40 grains, all are lead core, copper jacket construction, and all are different lengths. The lengths are enough different that you can see it with the naked eye, no caliper needed.

jim243
January 1, 2013, 12:04 PM
but what astonished me shooting my Contender is the difference in flash and boom different powders made out of it's shorter barrel. Shooting H335 was like shooting a cannon, yet H322 and 748 had half or less of the report.

Different burn rates for the powders, most likely the H335 did not completely burn inside the barrel before the bullet exited. What is the length of the T/C barrel?

Jim

helotaxi
January 1, 2013, 04:54 PM
To add an example, I am working on getting 40 grain 20 caliber bullets to shoot in my Savage 12. The twist rate is marginal for the length of 40 grain bullets

The Hornady VMAX, Sierra Blitzking, and Berger HP all weigh 40 grains, all are lead core, copper jacket construction, and all are different lengths. The lengths are enough different that you can see it with the naked eye, no caliper needed.That's why I really like my 1:9 twist .204. Shoots 26gn Varmint Grenades up to the 55gn VLDs (at least at this elevation) without a problem. I'd actually like a 1:8 but can't find anyone that makes one.

helotaxi
January 1, 2013, 05:11 PM
The comment made was that there is no relationship between length and weight of the same caliber bullets of the same materials, that is just not true. Yes you can make a bullet out of different materials but that is like comparing apples and oranges, not the same thing.

If you have to use a lead free bullet, yes it will be longer for the same weight bullet out of lead. But a 50 grain lead free bullet IS shorter than a 55 grain lead free bullet.

Jim
Once again you're making an assumption that simply isn't true. You're completely neglecting bullet shape.

http://img542.imageshack.us/img542/4554/img0487jk.jpg

Three .224 cal poly tipped varmint bullets that I have in my cabinet. Which is the heaviest? Which is the lightest?

Look a the datasheet that Berger publishes for their bullets. There are numerous examples there of lighter bullets being heavier than lighter ones and two bullets of the same weight being different lengths.

helotaxi
January 1, 2013, 05:14 PM
Another subject all together.....but what astonished me shooting my Contender is the difference in flash and boom different powders made out of it's shorter barrel. Shooting H335 was like shooting a cannon, yet H322 and 748 had half or less of the report.Differences in pressure curve. The same thing is pretty common from handguns as well. Slower powders will have more residual pressure when the bullet leaves the muzzle. Has nothing to do with how much powder has burned.

B!ngo
January 1, 2013, 05:30 PM
Wearing my junior physicist hat, there is a point being missed here with the statement, 'you can't overspin a bullet'. In fact and within reason, I believe this is true (the caveat being that successfully and sufficiently over-spinning a bullet will amplify any non-uniform weight imperfections and ultimately impart a distorted spin).
But short of that, the real issue is not in over-spinning but failing to overspin, or adequately spin. That is, for a given barrel length, there is a narrow window of bullet mass and barrel spin coefficient (1:7 or 1:12 or somewhere in between). Given a sufficiently heavy bullet, the lower ratio's (say 1:7) will fail to overcome the mass of the bullet and, at the time of exiting the barrel, simply fail to radially accelerate the mass of the bullet. This failure results in too low a spin rate and a poor stability. On the other end, if you spin a low mass bullet too slowly (say a 35 grain bullet with a 1:12 barrel), it too may have too low a spin rate and fail.
So it's not (within limits) over-spinning that is the problem, but a failure to reach an adequate spin rate with heavy bullets and low-ratio barrels that is an issue.
BTW, when shooting too heavy a bullet in too 'fast' a barrel, I suspect that there will be a more rapid buildup of bullet-material residue in the barrel as well.
Comments welcomed.
V

ms6852
January 1, 2013, 05:43 PM
It is amazing how you all can go on and on and not answer the questioned asked by the individual asking it. All he wanted to know is will a 34gr cycle in an AR rifle.

Yes it will if the powder charge is enough as it is with 55gr or longer bullets.

helotaxi
January 1, 2013, 05:48 PM
Huh?

The only way that a barrel fails to impart spin on a bullet (assuming that the barrel and bullet are correctly matched in bore/caliber) is if the rifling sheers the outer surface off the jacket. This jacket damage does occur and is sometimes the culprit with light bullets behaving erratically in a fast twist barrel. The bullet slams into the rifling with enough velocity that its angular inertia overcomes the integrity of the jacket. With a heavier bullet, the slower acceleration of the bullet makes it much less likely. Different types of rifling make this more or less likely to occur.

stubbicatt
January 1, 2013, 05:53 PM
Pick any of the loading books you want for this information. I'm not going to type a book out on this forum.

Twist rate has a direct correlation to accuracy when factored in with bullet weight. That is why a 1:7 twist .223 does well with 50 grain and higher bullets but poorly groups anything less. A 1:12 twist .223 does better with the 50 grains and lighter bullets.
This does not comport with my observation of 45 grain Winchester factory ammo out of a SIG556 w/ a 7 twist.

They shot great!

However, in a Krieger 7.7 twist the 52 grain bullets would blow up occasionally on their way to the target... I could see a "puff of smoke" downrange where the bullets (Sierras) would spin themselves into disintegration.

I cannot necessarily explain it, but I have seen it.

I guess to OP, try it and see. If it doesn't work, you are only out a few dollars.

TurboFC3S
January 1, 2013, 06:05 PM
Just a data point, not meant to prove or disprove anything ... but

I pushed 40gr out of a 1:9 twist 223WSSM 24" barrel to 4550 fps and got sub 1/2" 5 shot groups. Basically that was an experiment when I got my Chrono to see how big a number I could put up ;) I have no idea what sort of terminal ballistics something like that would have, but I imagine it would be akin to having a small grenade go off 3" under your skin.

helotaxi
January 1, 2013, 10:14 PM
This does not comport with my observation of 45 grain Winchester factory ammo out of a SIG556 w/ a 7 twist.

They shot great!Yeah, don't mind him. He's still stuck in some Twilight Zone where modern understanding of what's going on with a bullet in flight hasn't come to light yet or modern bullets aren't available.

However, in a Krieger 7.7 twist the 52 grain bullets would blow up occasionally on their way to the target... I could see a "puff of smoke" downrange where the bullets (Sierras) would spin themselves into disintegration.Yeah it happens. Some bullets are notorious for it. Most of the newer varmint bullets are designed to be driven *really* hard though. Mach snot is the term I like. They hold up fine with high velocities and fast twists...until they hit something.

helotaxi
January 1, 2013, 10:18 PM
I pushed 40gr out of a 1:9 twist 223WSSM 24" barrel to 4550 fps and got sub 1/2" 5 shot groups. Basically that was an experiment when I got my Chrono to see how big a number I could put up ;) I have no idea what sort of terminal ballistics something like that would have, but I imagine it would be akin to having a small grenade go off 3" under your skin.Sounds "sporty". If they're anything like the 58gn VMax and 55gn BTs that I've shot from a .243 at over 4kfps, "spectacular" is a great description of the terminal effects. Shooting gourds out to 300+ yds sounded like slapping a wet towel on a wall and completely disintegrated the 2.5-3" gourds.

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