Best Powder for .223 Tracers?


March 3, 2013, 04:01 PM
The last time I loaded up some .223 tracers, most didn't light. I was using Varget. I've heard H335 would be better, which I don't have. Any thoughts on powders that have worked well out there?

If you enjoyed reading about "Best Powder for .223 Tracers?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 3, 2013, 05:15 PM
I think without going to surplus powder made for lighting tracers you will be fine with powders on the faster side. H335 has worked for me with M856s.

March 3, 2013, 09:59 PM
Most of them won't light with any powder is my experience. That bullet just doesn't seem to be any good and that's why there are all the pulled bullets available. I've bought quite a few pulled bullets and even with the WC844T powder I couldn't get very many to light, actually about the same as with regular powder. IIRC I got maybe 10 - 20% to light on a good day.

March 3, 2013, 10:26 PM
Hmmm... my best odds still, I think, would be with a double base powder which are supposed to burn hotter than straight nitrocellulose, or so I've been told. Varget is on the slow side, and although extruded, I'm not sure if it's single or double based.
P.S. I had some '06 tracers once... They put on a show!

March 3, 2013, 11:28 PM
It all depends on the vintage of tracers. Varget is pretty slow for that stuff (I mean, it's so bulky in 223 you can practically dip your case in it and shove a bullet in the neck).

Last time I loaded them with RE-7 I had pretty good results. RE_7 is on the opposite end of the powder burn rate chart for the 223 range, from Varget. Hotter than H335, even.

March 3, 2013, 11:53 PM
You're right about the bulk of Varget.. Was kind of guessing on the load since those bullets are long but less dense, of course. Weigh around 53gr. There's a good bit of tar-like sealer visible, a cannelure, and about 1/4" of the tip painted deep red, and a white primer layer visible, if that might indicate vintage. Oh, I saw some tracers listed at Midway, and they included in the description "for 1:7 twist barrels" - I wonder if other than stabilization, a longer pressure curve of the tight rifling would have an impact on ignition.

March 4, 2013, 12:12 AM
Well, the older the tracers, the lower the % that will ignite. I have some brown tip 50 BMG that are really hit & miss (in the neighborhood of 20%). I have a bunch of other 50 BMG that pretty much ALL light (API, APIT, spotter tracer).

With 223 you'll want the hottest powder possible - after the bullet passes the gas port, it's not going to light; period. Find a can of RE-7, H4198, or Vit N120 if you can't find H322. I wouldn't go slower than H322.

March 4, 2013, 08:07 AM
Even the ones we were issued in the army had more that didn't lite then did. There is a copper plug over mine. With that longer for weight bullet the pressure is going to be really high so be careful of the data used. Try the data for a all brass bullet.

If you enjoyed reading about "Best Powder for .223 Tracers?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!