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Old May 16, 2015, 08:03 AM   #1
JamieC
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Ball powder for heavier bullets

I was wandering through my local BassPro, found some Winchester 748. It has been on my 'list' as a good 223 powder, so I grabbed it. While researching possible loads, it seems that it is not recommended for heavier bullets, not much over 60gr. Is it because it's a ball powder as some have said or the burn rate? I recently bought some 75gr bullets to see if they would work in my gun, (1:9 twist). I had bought some Reloder15 which is 'supposedly' better for heavier bullets. I loaded 10 75gr rounds just to see, not only did they shoot and not tumble, (100 yards), they grouped real well, pleasant surprise! Reloder15 isn't a ball powder, not sure what type it is, looks like a bunch of short pencil leads, so I'm thinking there might be some truth to this?
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Old May 16, 2015, 08:06 AM   #2
Walkalong
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RL 15 is a "stick" powder.

They say ball powders are good for short distance, but that stick powders rule at long distance.

Burn rate is what makes a powder better for light or heavy bullets in a caliber.
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Old May 16, 2015, 08:25 AM   #3
jwrowland77
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Depends on which ball powder you get. I have great accuracy, and velocity with 2000-MR using heavies and CFE223. I use both for 600yd match loads.

Definitely use a benchrest or mag primer with the ball powder though. It'll help with consistency.
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Old May 16, 2015, 01:19 PM   #4
Clint M
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Rifle powder burn rate determines the ability to shoot heavy for caliber bullets. The extruded (stick) powders are generally what is used for heavy bullets for caliber. Reloader 15 is a great powder, I have had better luck with Alliant powders than all others I have used !! Reloader 10x is the most accurate 222 rem/223rem powder I have used

Many people look over ball powder, however one of my favorite powders is BL-C(2) it's been outstanding for me 223 rem to 260 rem

Check out the burn rate chart online from the powder manufactures or a reloading manual. I can't remember which manual I read that described the properties of smokless powder in the different types etc, it was a good read and easy to understand. Maybe someone will chime in with a better memory than I, and post a source for you to read over.

Last edited by Clint M; May 16, 2015 at 01:24 PM.
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Old May 16, 2015, 01:26 PM   #5
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Try as many different powders as you have on hand that will give you the velocity range you want. Every weapon has its own personality and preference as to powder and bullets. Let the rifle show you what it likes
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Old May 16, 2015, 06:30 PM   #6
Walkalong
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Long distance = past 600 yards from the articles I have read that stated stick powders were better at long distance. Dunno myself.
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Old May 16, 2015, 06:51 PM   #7
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RL15 is a popular powder for 1000yd, as well as 2000-MR which is more like a squished ball.
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Old May 16, 2015, 09:55 PM   #8
Garrobo
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I do know

that "ball" powder worked OK in the .30-06 in both World Wars. Dunno about the .223.
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Old May 17, 2015, 10:33 AM   #9
bush3755
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Ball powders haven't been popular in reloads used in rifle competition. They don't produce consistent pressure curves like good stick (extruded) powders do.

That said, depending on how one compares both, sometimes ball powder will appear to shoot bullets more accurate. Competitive shooters using Lake City match ammo in the late 1980's quickly learned the lots Winchester ball powders were used in it did not cluster bullets as small as IMR4895 did. With all sorts of match quality M1 and M14/M1A rifles shooting it with different makes and types of good barrels, they all shot the IMR4895 loaded ammo more accurate with the same bullet and case. That tends to indicate stick powder is better for accuracy in all sorts of barrels.

Last edited by bush3755; May 17, 2015 at 10:38 AM.
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Old May 17, 2015, 12:00 PM   #10
243winxb
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W748 with heavy bullets in 223 rem.

Steve's pages has data for W748 up to 80 gr. bullets. I see not reason not to try it using the starting loads and working up, using a MAGNUM primer. http://stevespages.com/page8a.htm This Sierra data also has up to 80 gr bullets. http://accurateshooter.net/Downloads/sierra223ar.pdf W748 burn rate may be a little fast for top velocities. It does NOT produce the maximum velocities. FYI, I have not shot any.

Last edited by 243winxb; May 17, 2015 at 12:08 PM. Reason: does NOT produce maximum velocities
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Old May 19, 2015, 02:17 PM   #11
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Winchester 69 gr factory match ammo

I took my 223 bolt action shooting with some factory winchester match ammo and got groups averaging .4" for 3 shot groups with the best being under .250". Seeing that it performed so well, I took some of the loaded factory rounds apart and noticed that it is a flattened ball powder (maybe 748 or a custom one-off lot) and they were loaded right at max for 748 and this bullet weight - 24.7 grains. I'm going to buy some 748 to try with my rifle to see if I can get it to shoot as well as those factory loads were providing. I think a ball or flattened ball can work pretty well in the right rifle.
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Old May 19, 2015, 02:38 PM   #12
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A flattened ball would be 2000-MR. It loves to live near the upper end. I've used it in several different bullet weights and all the most accurate were near the top
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Old May 19, 2015, 03:07 PM   #13
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H414 (WW760) I use for the heavies in .30-06
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Old May 19, 2015, 10:11 PM   #14
cheep
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W748 and 69 SMK's work very good in my 223 with 1:7" at 100 yards.
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