Help with .223 reloading


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Hyrulejedi86
June 24, 2013, 02:18 PM
Hello everyone! I've been reloading 9mm for about 6 months and am more comfortable with the process. I am aware of the case prep steps when reloading rifle cartridges so i think that area is good. My questions are more about the loading part. I did a test load of 5 rounds using two different manuals for reference. I'm currently testing Varget and 55gr FMJ bullets. My goal is close to 3240 fps because my scope is calibrated for that velocity.

My test load now is 26gr and an OAL of 2.260", the max load I have listed is 27.5 gr.

I tested it against factory loads at 30 yards and it shot exactly 0.5" higher, any idea why?

I'm thinking about dropping to 25 gr. And setting the OAL to 2.20". How will reducing the OAL affect the cartridge? What if i left the charge the same and reduced the OAL?

Are there any other powders I might try once varget is gone that might do better?

I put a picture in the post here and am wondering if it is a problem that I didn't get the cannulure to the mouth of the case? 2.260" won't get it there but i think 2.2" will. Thoughts?

Thanks for you're help!

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/06/25/yje5u2ev.jpg

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allaroundhunter
June 24, 2013, 02:43 PM
Your OAL is fine. Shortening it will affect the pressures, and I wouldn't load it 2.20" for that reason. However, you can always load some incrementally shorter in .025" increments or so and check for pressure signs.

Have you chronographed factory loads? If not then I wouldn't be comparing yours to them. Work up an accurate load and then tweak it to get your desired velocity.

rcmodel
June 24, 2013, 02:50 PM
Have you chronographed factory loads? If not then I wouldn't be comparing yours to them.What he said.

Also what is your barrel length?

If you have a 16" AR-15, that 3240 fps ain't gonna happen with factory loads or reloads.

trixter
June 24, 2013, 02:56 PM
Your testing proves that you are a careful reloader. I too have scoured the manuals, read a million posts on the net and read the powder manufactures charts. I wound up with 26gr of Ramshot TAC, and a 55gr bullet with canalure that looks a lot like the one you have in the photo, I try to hit the center of the canalure when seating and then put a medium crimp with Lee FCD. They go through my AR like goose poo, and I am happy. I think you are on the right track. ENJOY.

kerreckt
June 24, 2013, 03:57 PM
As far as powders. I like WC844(H335) in my AR's and bolt rifles. AA2015 has given me great results in my bolt rifles. X-terminator is another good one as is CFE223. I have come to the conclusion that X-terminator and AA2230 are the same. There are so many to choose from. That makes this one of the most fun and challenging calibers to load. If I could only have one powder for loading this caliber it would be WC844(H335) hands down.

kayaks
June 24, 2013, 04:01 PM
Are there any other powders I might try once varget is gone that might do better?



I shoot a lot of 55 gr V-Max bullets with BLC(2). Also had good luck with IMR-4895.

hentown
June 24, 2013, 06:44 PM
I just bought 96# of WC844 @ $7.50 per #, no hazmat, no shipping charges. I've used 844 for .223 reloading for some time now. I have several rifles that won't accommodate 2.260" o.a.l....bullet is hard into the lands.

When I'm loading bulk and want to be sure that my loads will fit anybody's AR, I load to about 2.220-2.230". I don't crimp for any of my rifle reloading.

Hyrulejedi86
June 24, 2013, 08:39 PM
Thanks everyone so far for the great comments, I didn't receive an email notification of the replies or I would have gotten on here sooner. I do have a 16" barrel and no way to Chrono anything unfortunately. It could however be a very useful tool, are there any affordable and accurate Chronographs out there?

I suppose if I could workup my best load sight it in at 100 yards I could have a custom turret made by Nikon to match it. I'll just have to keep reading and find what works best for me! I still might drop to 25 grains then 25.5 then 26 for 5 each and then do 5 more in each at different OALs.

I guess the only thing I'm wondering is what would cause the reloads to shoot 1/2" higher? More or less velocity?

allaroundhunter
June 24, 2013, 08:43 PM
Increase powder in .5 gr increments to find a round that your gun shoots decently, and then make a couple loads within a couple grains of that to determine the powder charge that your gun prefers.

joustin
June 24, 2013, 09:12 PM
Factory ammo uses an unknown powder, derringer from 2.260 to 2.220 may not change much in a bottleneck round pike the 223. That being said I load everything in 223 to 2.250 except Nosler 55gr Hp's that are closer to 2.20 due to their length.

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witchhunter
June 24, 2013, 11:58 PM
Don't worry about where the POI is, it will probably change when you change powders or bullets. Like RC said if you are trying to reach that velocity with a short barrel, "it ain't gonna happen". Try to find an accurate load, adjust your scope to a zero,then note where the dots or slashes in your scope coincide with your trajectory at known distances. If you CAN make the rifle shoot at that velocity, that doesn't guarantee it will be the most accurate. I would strive for accuracy first.

Irtys
June 25, 2013, 12:09 AM
Thanks everyone so far for the great comments, I didn't receive an email notification of the replies or I would have gotten on here sooner. I do have a 16" barrel and no way to Chrono anything unfortunately. It could however be a very useful tool, are there any affordable and accurate Chronographs out there?

I suppose if I could workup my best load sight it in at 100 yards I could have a custom turret made by Nikon to match it. I'll just have to keep reading and find what works best for me! I still might drop to 25 grains then 25.5 then 26 for 5 each and then do 5 more in each at different OALs.

I guess the only thing I'm wondering is what would cause the reloads to shoot 1/2" higher? More or less velocity?
Hi, I have a green Chrony F1 for sale $50.00 plus shipping in a medium flate rate box. Only reason I am selling is because I bought another one. E- mail me if you are interested. Irtys

steve4102
June 25, 2013, 12:36 AM
Point of Impact (POI) can change when changing ammo or when changing components. Don't worry that your handloads hit the paper in a different spot than your factory ammo. Using different factory ammo could change POI as well.
Work your loads up to your velocity and accuracy standards, then sight your scope in using Your ammo.

Most 223 load data is tested with 24 inch barrels. According to Ramshot's web data you will lose about 9% or 300fps when going from a 24 inch to a 16 inch barrel. That means you will have a Max velocity at about 3000fps with your 16 inch barrel.

M1key
June 25, 2013, 12:54 AM
OP:

Varget and Accurate 2015 are my two favorite powders for loading in my ARs. I would seat that bullet a smidgen deeper if I were you. I like seating them around 2.23-2.25 OAL.

Good luck

M

BullfrogKen
June 25, 2013, 11:12 PM
Get a Chrony, borrow one, or whatever you have to do to find out what those rounds are doing.

Then have your scope calibrated for that. You'll never get that velocity with your short barrel.

the count
June 26, 2013, 06:52 PM
"I tested it against factory loads at 30 yards and it shot exactly 0.5" higher, any idea why?"

As far as factory load...which factory? You can take the same weight bullet ammo for .223 from several different makers and chances are they will group differently. You cannot expect to sight a gun it for brand X and expect the exact same impact or accuracy from brand Y.

mtrmn
June 27, 2013, 04:56 PM
I don't worry about velocity. If you load to reach a certain velocity you've got a million to 1 chance of your load being the ideal load for your gun. After over 30 yrs I've learned to leave the chronograph in the truck and concentrate on group size. Only after I develop the most accurate load do I clock it just for sh&ts and grins. What good is it going to do to spray a real fast shotgun pattern downrange, not knowing where you'll hit from 1 round to the next?

IMO - the only thing high velocity is good for is for staying supersonic at 1000 yds if you're shooting way out there. YMMV

blarby
June 27, 2013, 05:47 PM
# 13 & #15.... thats the truth right there.

Trying to match a factory ammo zero is a very difficult task.

However, since you can now load so close to it, id just dial down two clicks and call it good.

When your current powders run dry, i'd suggest trying things along the x4895 chain just based on availability.

I use max loads of h4895 and near max of i4895 and get results so close to PMC and WIN .223 factory that i can use them interchangeably in my m4.

Ymmv..... keep up the good work- that cartridge looks fine. You should see the cannelure lineup on my boltaction .308 180gr load !

lorazepam
July 1, 2013, 01:33 AM
I have started using AR Comp from Alliant. I ran out of Varget, and the only thing I could find was the Comp. I really like it, and can achieve the same velocities with a smaller charge, and it meters really well.
I seat Hornady 55gr bulk bullets to 2.250.

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