Question on 223 loads w/52 gr Hornady a-max


March 25, 2013, 10:49 PM
Deferring to those on this forum with much more experience than myself. I recently acquired a Savage 11 in 223 REM. The only bullet close to a hunting/varmint bullet were 52g Amax. Not sure on some of the load data I have found on the net, or whether this bullet is even a reasonable choice for my rifle. Any suggestions on loads? I have Varget, H335, H322, H4350, and IMR4350 on hand. Would be used for paper punching, and varmints. Thanks in advance!

If you enjoyed reading about "Question on 223 loads w/52 gr Hornady a-max" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 25, 2013, 11:09 PM
Look in your load manual for 50-52-53-55 grain load data.

If you don't have a load manual?
Shame on you.

Otherwise, go here:


March 25, 2013, 11:15 PM
OK, so data for, say, a 52/53g hollow point is acceptable to start with? Thats what I wasn't sure about. I have Sierra, Lee, and Lyman 49 manuals. Should add that I am still pretty new at this! LOL.

March 25, 2013, 11:17 PM
I use the 52gr A-Max in my 22-250 and have found it very accurate with the right load, like anyone. It is not regarded as a true varmint bullet, but I'm sure it makes definitive holes in them.
The three powders, Varget, H335, and H322 are all capable of good accuracy and performance, the 4350 powders are not a viable option in the 223. If you go to and select some starting loads to try, your rifle will determine what works.


March 25, 2013, 11:30 PM
OK, thanks for the replies. I was just unsure with the twist being1:9. The bullets box states a 1:14, so did not know how that would work. I'll check data for a 52 or 53 grain bullet and start on the low to middle end of things. Not looking for max load, more to the best possible accuracy.

March 26, 2013, 12:07 AM
schlitz540: 21gr`s of IMR4198 with the 52gr Hornady A-MAX is my Son and I`s favorite load for all of our 223`s both Bolt Guns and AR`s in a Skinny Barrel or a Heavy barrel. This will give you about 3100 fps. I talked to the tech at Hornady and he told me that most of there A-MAX bullets were not ment for hunting, but the 52gr V-MAX was different and it makes a great Varmint Bullet and to just try it. I am glad we listen to the Hornady Tech for this load has shot 1inch or less at a 100yds with every rifle we have tried it in. Quite often this load will shoot 1/2 inch groups at a 100yds. You are going to love your Savage Rifle. If I could help you any more, I would be proud to do so. Good Luck To You:

March 26, 2013, 11:04 AM
If you still can't find a good load with what powders you have, might try some 3031, I've had good luck with this powder. I load 52 and 53 gr. bullets, BTSP in my .223, the 3031 powder has always given me excellent accuracy.

March 26, 2013, 12:07 PM
Thanks all, will try and give these a shot on the weekend.

March 26, 2013, 01:58 PM
If you cant get that Varget to group, then it might be bad powder.... Please send it to me and I will dispose of it. Just joking, the varget and the 335 should put you under one inch easy. And if you are under one inch then any bullet is a Varmint bullet. Just put it in their ear. I shot some of my best groups with the 52 grain match bullets, and they are deadly on squirrels out to 300. Coyotes to 250 with head shots.

March 26, 2013, 02:05 PM
@ 23 grs of H322 is a good performer in my gun with all the 52 - 53 gr bullets.

March 26, 2013, 02:22 PM
I have found that a 40grain A-max bullet with 26.5 grains of X-Terminator is the most accurate load in my 1/12 twist Howa 1500. 26.5 grains of WC844 behind a Speer 50 grain SP is also a good load. I think you just need to try some different loads until you find the one that works best in your rifle....good luck.

March 26, 2013, 03:51 PM
The most velocity is possible with the H335.

The most accuracy is possible with the H332.

March 26, 2013, 05:30 PM
I've had really good luck with accuracy using Varget pushing 55grain V-max's (varmint rounds). I always seem to find the most accurate load at ~75% of the max listed FWIW in nearly all my rifle cartridges I load.

So, now, I just start in that range and skew up and down by 0.5 or 0.3 grains when I'm building accuracy rounds. I start shooting the low end and work up through the high ones until I see pressure signs. If I see that, i stop and set those aside to be pulled and reworked. I don't usually see pressure signs unless I'm shooting military brass that is known to have smaller case volumes, which spikes pressures sooner than most civilian factory rounds due to the lower case volume.

If you enjoyed reading about "Question on 223 loads w/52 gr Hornady a-max" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!