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.223 Cross Reference and load Questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BigDog30, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. BigDog30

    BigDog30 New Member

    Hello everyone! I just picked up and new .223 and have been doing some research and trying to find some good load data for the following bullets: HDY 55 GR FMJ-BT, HDY 55 GR VMAX, HDY 60 GR VMAX, NOS 55 GR Ballistic Tip (orange tip), and NOS 60 GR Ballistic Tip (orange tip). I am using Winchester Brass and CCI 400 primers and have IMR 4064 and Hodgdon Benchmark powder. I am shooting a Smith & Wesson M&P 15T with a 16" barrel having a 1-9" twist.

    Ok here is my dilemma, in the the Lyman Reloading Handbook 49th edition for IMR 4064 the max load says 26.0+ and on the Hodgdon website it shows 24.7C as the max load why such a difference in the max loads between the two and when you have two creditable sources how do you choose which to follow?

    I also wanted to know what some of your opinions are on the best powder to use along with some of your loads.

    I love to shoot those prairie dogs and targets at the range so that is my intended use for this ammo.
  2. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    Welcome to THR, BigDog30.

    There is another thread on this exact situation going on right now in this Handloading section.
    IMO, you need to start at the lowest listed data available and work up from there, watching for pressure signs in your rifle. Always err on the safe side of discrepancies with reload data from trusted sources.
    Often you will have the best accuracy somewhere in the middle of listed min and max.

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  3. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

  4. BigDog30

    BigDog30 New Member

    Thanks guys!

    I tried to search for a thread on this but did not find it. I guess I was not using good key words for the search.

    Thanks for that site 243 that will be of some great help.
  5. Rokman

    Rokman Well-Known Member

    I use 23.5 grains Benchmark with the Nosler 60 gr. Btips and it is a great AR load. That is a Max load per the suggested loads insert that came with the bullets. The Nosler manual states 25.0 as a Max load for the 55 gr. Btip. Benchmark is a great powder for the .223 in this bullet range.
  6. ants

    ants Well-Known Member

    Nosler loading data works great for Nosler bullets.

    You can buy the Nosler reloading manual, it has tons of data.

    Or go to the Nosler website. Down at the very bottom, click on "and Reloading Data". Look up your caliber, your specific cartridge, your bullet weight, and enjoy Nosler's best accuracy data for their own bullets.
  7. Kernel

    Kernel Well-Known Member

    Lots of reasons, one being the internal capacity of .223 cases varies widely, depending on make, type, batch, and vintage. Empty capacity could be anywhere from 28 grains to 32. That’s a lot for such a small case, and can have a HUGE effect on max load pressures. Milspec brass is typically thick and will have less internal capacity. Commercial brass will often have larger capacity.

    Sort your brass. Use similar cases when working up loads, and stick to the recipe you develop. Don’t just load up some max load you read in a book. That is unwise. Work up your loads from a safe minimum. It takes a little time and effort, but it’s worth it. There are too many variables, to just go directly to a max load.

    4064 is a pretty good powder for 55 - 60 grain bullets, maybe just a tad slow for top results, especially give your short 16“ barrel. You might want to try Varget at some point. It’s also a couple of ticks to the slow side, and very similar to 4064.

    IMO, with midweight bullets, your ideal powders will be in the speed range of H335, 4895, and N135. One of these will likely give you the best combination of: high velocity, acceptable pressure, and good accuracy.

    Some of the slightly faster powders, like H322, 748, and 10x, might also be worth checking out. Benchmark could be used, but IMO it’s really TOO fast for best results. With it, you’ll likely see pressure peak before top velocities are reach. Accuracy could be pin-point, or could be nothing special. No way of knowing until you try it.
  8. Rokman

    Rokman Well-Known Member

    Benchmark is a good powder for 55-60 grain bullets. It is right there with H335 as far as burn rate. H322 and RL10x is faster than Benchmark and produces nice loads with about 23.0 grains with the Nosler 55 gr. btips. I load 23.0 grains H322 in the Nosler 60 gr. Btips and they are pretty good. My favorite is 25.0 gr. of H4895 with the 60 gr. Btips.
  9. Randy1911

    Randy1911 Well-Known Member

    With my 55 gr. bullets I like H4895. Clean buring and good accuracy.
  10. Kernel

    Kernel Well-Known Member

    To me Benchmark looks a hair to fast, but maybe I‘m wrong. In any case, Benchmark is close enough to be worth trying (as I recommended in my first post). All the powders mentioned have similar properties, and I'd be quick to admit burn rates aren't written in stone.

    Most burn rate charts put Benchmark between 3031 and H322. Hodgdon ranks it a lot higher, placing it next to H335. I admit, of the powders I mentioned in my first post, Benchmark is the only one I haven’t used. I was going off a couple of burn rate charts I‘ve found to be reliable in the past (Hodgdon‘s chart not being one of those).

    I should buy a pound and give it a try. Problem is I’ve already got more than enough powders in that general speed range.
  11. zeke

    zeke Well-Known Member

    small sample of average brass weights, once fired and trimmed to 1.75392 gns
    LC 82 = 92 grains
    LC 97 = 92.2 gns
    wcc 84 = 92.2 gns
    LC 90 = 93.0 gns
    win from win factory varmint loads = 94.8 gns
    Fed gold medal match = 96.0 gns

    Primers, COL and how many different styles of bullets in one weight class in the reloading manual also make a noticable difference.
  12. ants

    ants Well-Known Member

    Benchmark is listed as an accuracy load for 50 to 55 grain bullets in the Lyman, Nosler and other books. Excellent powder, excellent metering. As long as the bullets are 55 or lighter, BM and IMR3031 and other fast rifle powders shine. 3031 is harder to meter, but it's a great sleeper, it's often sitting on the shelf at the store because most of us don't think about it much, the only problem is poor metering (unless you weigh every charge).

    N-120, H335, AA2230, RL-15, and W748 are also known to be excellent powders for your bullets. All work great. 4198 and 4895 also work (both IMR and H versions). Many use Varget, many of us find that it works much better for 62 grain and heavier bullets.
  13. Kernel

    Kernel Well-Known Member

    zeke, if you plugged the flash hole, fill those cases with water, and subtracted the case weight, what would the case capacities be? It's capacity (not necessarily weight) that relates directly to pressure.
    Agreed. That’s why I say it’s a bit fast for 55 and HEAVER bullets.
  14. nastynatesfish

    nastynatesfish Well-Known Member

    i use 24.5gr of reloader 10x with all my bullets from 36gr to 60gr and its a great shooting round
  15. Rokman

    Rokman Well-Known Member

    I have at least five sources for burn rates and three of them including the brand source lists Benchmark slower than H322 and only a couple of references that I see even list RL10x and it appears to be in the middle. I have the three powder that are mentioned because I load 6.8SPC with them. I load the least amount of powder, before high pressure signs with RL10X, then H322 and then Benchmark. The latter two are very close in max amounts for me.

    I recently tested 23.5 grains of H322 with my 23.5 grain Benchmark load with 60 grain Nosler Btips, and they both almost shot into the same hole for me. These powder will shoot 60 grain bullets very well for me, but they do really shine in the 50-55 grain range.

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