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New to AR15 need help...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by petrey10, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. petrey10

    petrey10 Member

    May 27, 2009
    got a 1-8'' twist 18'' barrel on my ar15.... want to get a good quality plinking load... doesn't have to be the most accurate but the most BANG for the buck.. don't want the cheapest... just something I can buy in bulk to save a little and still hit the target

    would like to use Varget... I use it for my 25-06 too and I really like it!

    should I got ballistic tip? I have heard they can get damaged in ar15 cycling


    Hollow point?

    moly or non moly???


    These were the ones I thought would be nice




    what do you think? I know I need to try a few different ones but if you guys could at least lead me in the right direction it may save me some time
  2. petrey10

    petrey10 Member

    May 27, 2009
    o ya and the ar 15 is chambered in 5.56nato
  3. Powderman

    Powderman Participating Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Washington State
    Since you mentioned Varget and its use, I believe that you are an experienced reloader.

    That being said, I use 23.0 grains of H335 behind a 55 grain FMJBT--also known as M193 ball. Excellent practice load--and you can buy the bullets in bulk from a number of sources, including Powder Valley, Widener's, Jeff Bartlett, Midway and Graf's.


    If you have not loaded for the 5.56/.223 AR platform, I HIGHLY suggest that you buy, and USE, a Lee Factory crimp die to prevent bullet setback upon feeding.
  4. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Hornady 55gr FMJ ( very accurate for a FMJ ), H335, TAC or similiar BALL powder ( that neck is finicky/small for stick powders ) Lake City virgin brass, and primer of your choice. ( CCI 41, 450, Rem 7 1/2,..)

    Buy all of them in bulk ( cheaper and save on hazmat fees )

  5. rskent

    rskent Participating Member

    May 28, 2006
    The land of blue sky and sunshine
    Since you listed Matchkings

    I have yet to see an AR that won’t shoot a tight group at a hundred yards with a 52 grain Matchking over 23.5 grains of 335.

    I have pretty good luck using Varget with the heavier Matchkings. However in order to get good velocity, the loads I am
    currently using are compressed. So I am starting to give Reloader 15 some serious attention. So far it’s looking pretty good.

    Good luck,
  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Mentor

    Oct 19, 2010
    East TN
    A crimp is not necessary with the AR. Save your money on a Lee FCD. I reload For ARs in 223 Rem, 17 Rem, and 204 Ruger and do not crimp anything.

    Ballistic tips work fine. Only time one gets damaged is when there is a miss feed or something and the new round slams into something that is not supposed to be there.

    Any style bullet, boat tail or flat base, will work fine. You will need to experiment to find what bullet you rifle likes. I have had good luck with Honady V-max, Sierra Blitzking and Matchking, and Berger bullets.

    For plinking, a 55 FMJ is the best value but groups may not be as good as other bullets with an open tip. I have shot a few Dogtown bullets with acceptable results.
  7. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Ditto Chuck's post. Proper neck tension is more important than crimp. I have used almost every style bullet available in ARs. An AR that feeds properly will eat any in-spec round.
  8. amlevin

    amlevin Active Member

    Jan 15, 2007
    NW Washington
    If you plan on using lots of 55gr bullets, look at Montana Gold. A case of 3500 delivered right to your door via USPS flat rate box for a good price.

    Good bullets. I've loaded and shot many cases of them with great results.
  9. petrey10

    petrey10 Member

    May 27, 2009
    man I figured you guys would suggest shooting something heavier than 55gr since I got an 8'' twist rate... but that's cool I would love to buy from Montana Gold if that's what you guys suggest
  10. Obsidian

    Obsidian New Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    That 1/8 twist rate will or should stabilize anything from about 45 grains to 70 with no problems. 55 grains will shoot in any standard twist AR barrel, 1/7 1/8 or 1/9. Everyone suggests 55 grains because it is a good average round, the mentioned M193 ball round is 55 grains, and the availability of 55 grain bullets in bulk. It is also a more forgiving round from what I've experienced. Enjoy.
  11. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Mentor

    Sep 6, 2009
    Manitowoc, WI
    The Armscor 62 gr linked in post # 1 works very well in my 1 in 9 20".
    I currently have several hundred Armscor 55 gr left (out of 1000) that work just as well.

    My favorite load: 55gr Armscor, 26 gr of Varget & an OAL of 2.230 will group about 2" at 100 yards

    I've also used RL-15 which works as well if not just a smidge better.
    But the Varget was available in an 8# jug (on sale) when I last bought powder.

    Of course, as always, YMMV
  12. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Participating Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    If you're set on using Varget, you're going to want to use heavy-ish bullets. I tried Varget and 55 grain bullets and got unburnt powder. I would say at least 60+ grain for Varget.

    I have had really great luck with Benchmark and 55 Nosler Ballistic Tips; 3/4" groups at 100 yards for five shots in my 1:9 twist AR.

    For reasonably priced bullets that will be reasonably accurate, I would look into Hornady 68 HPBT, 75HPBT, or Sierra 69MK, or 77MK. Ballistic Tips are great too, or as Hornady calls them; V-max, but I think 60 is the heaviest they get. For blasting through mags I would go with FMJs, though.
  13. KansasPaul

    KansasPaul New Member

    Jun 14, 2011
    I have spent a LOT of time working up loads for AR rifles. Powders that will work well are H335, W748, BLC-2 and my favorite, Varget. I am also a huge fan of Sierra bullets. I particularly like bat tails because they are much easier to seat. I am also a fan of the Lee Factory Crimp die - which really is more of a taper die - just increases neck tension to keep bullets from moving under recoil. With your 1/8 twist you should be good to go with any bullet from about 50 grains to 70 grains - weight is not as critical as is bullet length. The Sierra match kings have performed fabulously for me. Additionally, I have had fantastic success with Hornady V-Max in various weights.

    Good Luck! Have fun with this round!


  14. prairie dog hntr

    prairie dog hntr New Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    I have 2 ar rifles and for the cheapest round go to high tech ammo and get full metal jacket bullets. Sometimes he is out and only has machine pulls but they work just fine. Some of them are armor piercing ie, steel core so you can't shoot them at an indoor range.

    One of my rifles is setup for prairie dog hunting and it is a 1/8 twist. I shoot 60 gr. v-max as anything less wouldn't group worth a $&%. I have had others say the same thing about the lighter bullets but I agree I think it has to do with the length of the bullet and not so much the weight. I use BLC-2 and have been very happy with it. I group 1/2" at 200 yds all day long. What I have noticed is with the lighter grain bullets you can't load them to hot otherwise they spin to quickly.

    I typically buy once fired lake city brass from whoever is the cheapest and haven't had to many problems. You will need to go through them and throw out the ones that are dented badly.

  15. animator

    animator Member

    Nov 26, 2010
    DFW, TX
    I will agree that 53gr SMK can perform very well in an AR15 with H335, however, using the same powder and charge, I've had better results with Nosler BT Varmints.
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    Either of the first two bullets you linked to are capable of shooting very well. The third will do fine for a cheap plinker, but isn't anywhere near the same accuracy potential of the first two. No open bases bullet can be.

    The Hornady 55 Gr FMJ has the rep as the most accurate open base bullet of the 55 and 62 Gr FMJ's. The base is the most important part for accuracy, and any SP or HP bullet with a solid square base will have far more accuracy potential than a FMJ with its open irregular base.

    The V-Max bullets are a good mix of accuracy for the money. I have had no trouble with the polymer tips in my guns.
  17. MrOldLude

    MrOldLude Member

    Aug 24, 2010
    Montana Gold's might be good. But for $110 for 1k versus $88 for 1k of 55gr Hornady's, I'll use the midway coupon to cover my shipping, and get them the next day.

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