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Quick Question Re: .223/ 5.56

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Dionysusigma, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. Dionysusigma

    Dionysusigma Senior Member

    Mar 27, 2003
    Okay City
    What is the maximum range of a .223/ 5.56 round?

    Say weather conditions are ideal; and the components used, from tools and tooling to materials (brass, powder, bullet, etc.) are of good quality.

    Here's the limiter: hypothetically, it will be shot from a bolt-action of appropriate length barrel... but it needs to be able to feed from a magazine, chamber, fire, and extract in a mil-spec AR-15.

    So, how far would it go, and what bullet, powder, powder load, primer, brass, etc. would you use to achieve this?
  2. mjrodney

    mjrodney Member

    Jul 11, 2006
    SW Florida
    A lot of material and shooter height variables here, but take a peek at this ballistics chart from Guns and Ammo Mag.


    Here you will see that a Speer 55 grain FMJ drops 55" at 500 yards.

    If your shoulder is 55" above your feet and.......
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I trust you mean maximum range for reasonable accuracy on target, not the "spent bullet falling out of the sky" range. (Which is about 3500 yards.)

    Most target shooters load over magazine length and single load even ARs at ranges over 300 yards. Most match ARs are throated for an 80 grain Sierra at 2.48" OAL for 600 yard slowfire and do well enough with 69 or 77 grain bullets at 2.26" for rapid fire at 200-300.

    But I think you could make reasonable practice at 600 yards with a 77 gr SMK or Berger LTB out of the magazine.

    Detailed load data is pretty individual to the rifle and shooter, but you would not go far wrong with Lapua brass, Federal Match or CCI BR primers, and a rather heavy load of Varget or Reloder 15. You could probably work up to the book maximum load for most good stout target rifles.

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