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Tell me about Service Rifle loads in 223/5.56mm using Winchest 748

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Lone_Gunman, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    Here is what I am working with:

    Lake City brass, sized and trimmed to 1.750"
    A whole bunch of Sierra Match Kings, 69g
    Winchester 748.

    I will be shooting the ammo to be from various AR rifles. I would like as close to 2800 fps as I can get.

    Since I am using LC brass, I need to reduce my loads some. Would starting at 24.5 to 25.0 grains and be OK? I looks like the max load would be 26 to 27g, depending on what manual I look in.

    Does anyone load anything similar to this with Win 748? I would love to get your input before I start.
  2. Bart B.

    Bart B. Well-Known Member

    Years ago, I was a friend of and shot high power matches with Martin Hull, Sierra Bullets' head ballistics man for many years. He loaded and shot most of their bullets both to test them for quality and develop loads for rifles.

    HIs comments on ball powder were such that he never got as good of groups with ball powder as he did with extruded powder. Even though ball powder sometimes gave a smaller muzzle velocity spread, it just didn't cut the mustard for best accuracy.

    Although ball powder meters very uniformly and has many virtues, the best scores in all sorts of rifle competition are produced with extruded powders.
  3. cliffy

    cliffy member

    Powders to try in .223 Remington with heavy bullets

    RamShot Terminator; Alliant Reloder 10x; Hodgdon H335; and a myriad of others within the same burn rate! Burn rate shall become your bible of perfection. I've even tried Hodgdon H4350, but that powder lacks in .22 applications. IT'S too slow-burning for most .22 usage. Do not go there, and study within your burn rate of powders. I find Alliant Reloder 10x, to date, difficult to improve upon, .22 caliberwise. H4350 is a GREAT powder for most light bullet loads regarding .243 applications. I'm through experimenting with .22 applications, until a new powder arrives, something that can best all the aspects of 10x. Cliffy
  4. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    How much difference is it really going to make shooting AR's off hand with open sights or red dots at 100 yards or less?
  5. NuJudge

    NuJudge Well-Known Member

    The difference between extruded and ball powders on the target may not be noticeable at 100 yards, but may be noticeable elsewhere. The nice thing about extruded powders is they seem to many to be less temperature sensitive. Ball powder loads that produce primers that still have a good bit of rounding at the edges in cooler weather are more likely to be really flat/pierced/blown in hot weather.

    I have not done any experimenting with the .223 as to pressure excursions with ball powders when the temperature changes, but I have done such with .30-'06. In the .30-'06, using ball powders a bit slower than those used in the .223, the same Garand and same lots of bullet/powder/case/primer shot much lower on a target at 200 yards at 18F than they did at 60F a week earlier.

    I've only had good luck with 748 and 52gr bullets. I shoot 26.5gr, a 52gr bullet and a CCI primer all winter.

    I shoot IMR4895 and 69's during the summer. I use RL-15 and 80's.

    Here is a survey of what competitors use:

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  6. 45ACPUSER

    45ACPUSER Well-Known Member

    Heavy Bullet powders for use in the 223 are Varget, RL15, N135, N140, and N540

    Faster powders with heavier bullets not such a good idea.....
  7. RugerOldArmy

    RugerOldArmy Well-Known Member

    +1 This seems 'spot-on'!
  8. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Well-Known Member

    By "Service Rifle" .223 loads, you are asking what Highpower shooters tend to use. This is what you desire, correct? Shooting in speed matches at short ranges, I'd be inclined to use cheaper bullets myself.

    At any rate, don't bother with 748 with heavy bullets. You'll probably pierce primers, eat firing pins and maybe wear out a bolt-face given enough time and temperature changes. Not that you will, but IME it is likely.

    Better powders for 69-80gr bullets are Varget, 4895, RL-15 and others I don't normally think about. I believe AA-2520 (?) is a ball powder that works well with the heavier bullets, but I'm not sure that's the correct designation.

    My loads with 77gr bullets and Varget shoot to zero (POA/POI) at any temperature, any time of year, and don't give varying pressure signs. I never could say the same about my 748/69gr loads: What was safe at 50-degrees popped primers at 80, and wasn't near a max load by any measure. IIRC, I was running about 24-24.5gr.

    Oh, and you may not have to reduce your loads in LC cases. Weigh them first. I used to have a batch from 99-00 headstamps that was nice and light (95 gr or so, again working from memory).
  9. 748

    748 Well-Known Member

    Use it.
    I don't think you will be disappointed for what you want to use it for.
    Back off from the max load and experment with non mag primers.
    I use 748 for roughly 100% of my .223 loads, but every thing I load is 40gr ballistic tips, M193s or M855/SS109s.
    I shoot them out of a mini14.
  10. Byron

    Byron Well-Known Member

    Having used 748 for for over 20 years in my 223 and 222, I have found it very accurate. Ranges up to 350 gave good results out of standard sporting barrels. Byron

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