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16" barrel .223 velocity

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by quartermaster, Dec 11, 2013.

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  1. quartermaster

    quartermaster Member

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    If anyone has an AR with a 16" barrel shooting a 55gr head, could you give me an idea of velocity attained? It most likely will be Nosler BT bullets.

    I can't decide between an upper with a 16" bull barrel or one with a 20". Possibly even a 24". My thought was 16" and when and if I ever get to a PD town, I would get a 24"

    I feel the need to get at least 3000FPS

    Thanks,
    QM
     
  2. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I do not have my records handy but with a 16" barrel, 3000 fps with 55 grain bullets may be a dream. I kind of remember that I get something around 2900 fps or so with mine but I have slept since then.

    20" barrel will get you 3100-3200 fps.

    And i also forget what I get in my 24" 223 Remington AR but it is not lot more than the 20"

    I liken my heavy barrel 24-26 inch barreled ARs to "crew served ARs". They tip the scales at 11 to 12 pounds. Cool rifles but not something you want to carry very far.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Actually, you need to worry less about the velocity.
    And MUCH more about the intended use of the rifle.

    A 16" is VERY handy in & out of a vehicle, or around the door jam of the bedroom door.

    A 20" is better for outside hiking in the woods / coyote hunting.

    A 24" is an unwieldy beast best suited for a park the pick-up, uncase the rifle & shoot varmint hunt.
    Or a bench-rest target shooting session.

    With typical 5.56 NATO 55 grain loads?
    A 16" will get you 3,000+.
    A 20" will get you 3,200+.
    And I don't know what a 24" will get.

    Heavier bullets?
    Federal 69 grain:
    16" = 2,641
    20" = 2,725.
    And I don't know what a 24" will get.


    rc
     
  4. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I used to own a 20" gun, all are 16" now. Keep in mind that no 2 guns or loads will be exact but this is what I got a few years ago when testing.

    20" 60 gr Hornady V-max bullets, GA Arms loads-2922 fps
    16" " 2789


    20" 62 gr PMC ammo 2798fps
    16" " 2641 fps

    These guys have done a bit of testing too.

    http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/223rifle.html
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    The right powder can get 3000 FPS with a 55 Gr bullet, but it will be at top .223 pressures. Most run of the mill (Cheap) 55 Gr .223 ammo isn't going to get to 3000 FPS from a 16" barrel.
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  8. quartermaster

    quartermaster Member

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    I guess that if I could work up an accurate load at 2850-2900 with the 55s I would be satisfied. Of coarse I would be tickled pink to shoot .5 MOA even at 2750 FPS

    I looked up a bunch of old threads on this topic. I am guessing that despite claims on some that 100 FPS/inch was the rule, I would believe the data most people posted of around 40FPs on average.

    RC and Walkalong with your almost 45 and 33,000 posts respectively, you participated in quite of the few of the threads I looked at. Some topics must be a bit redundant to you guys. I guess new technology and the internet can develop some new topics to expand upon.

    QM
     
  9. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  10. quartermaster

    quartermaster Member

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    243Winxb, I just pulled that same data up also, from somewhere. I saw some other data from other places which generally showed the same results.

    Thanks for taking the time to look it up

    QM
     
  11. WVRJ

    WVRJ Member

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    I get around 2850 with 55's over 25.5 grs of Varget.
     
  12. DC_art

    DC_art Member

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    I got an average of 2669 out of 26.9 gr CFE-223, which Hornady says will produce about 2950 out of a 26" barrel. These were 55 gr FMJBT Hornady's out a 16" barrel.
     
  13. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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    According to Accurate/Ramshot a 55gr 5.56 load can generate up to 3450+fps out of a 24 inch barrel.

    They also include this in their data.

    223 Remington
    Barrel: 24" ■ Twist: 1-12" ■ Primer: WSR ■ Bullet Diameter .224"
    For shorter barrels reduce velocity below as follows(ca): 20" -3.9%/-130Fps// 16" -9.0%/-300Fps.

    So according to Accurate/Ramshot a Max 5.56 load could possibly generate as much as 3150+fps out of a 16 inch barrel.

    Quickload also calculates a 3400fps load in 24 inch barrel to 3100fps in a 16 inch barrel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  14. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  15. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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    If this is about an AR chambered in 223 vs an AR chambered in 5.56 I would have to agree.

    If this is about a modern bolt action chambered in 223 shooting 5.56 ammo I would have to disagree.

    IMO, there is no reason why a modern bolt action 223 can not handle the 60K pressures of 5.56 ammo. These same rifles are chambered in 270 and the WSMs that run at 65K. A 60K NATO is still less.

    Here is some actual pressure tested data with 223 vs 5.56.
    Note the Barnes pressure tested data did NOT show excess pressure with 5.56 ammo in a 223.

    http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/5-56-vs-223/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_campaign=349674f69a-6/26/12-
     
  16. Kurastduuks

    Kurastduuks Member

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    If your hunting or for a sapr get a 20-24 bull. If your looking for shtf/defence 0-300 ditch the bull barrel and get either an m4 configuration or an ak (preferably ak!) Just MHO:)
     
  17. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    The only velocities I can attest to are with using the factory Winchester 45gr Varmint loads which are labeled at 3600fps on the box, and I get mid 3200's from my 14" contender barrel in .223 AI.

    From the reports I have read the 16" barrels should get you there. As for the gas operated verses the tighter lock up of the single shots or bolt actions I cannot comment.

    To be honest Winchester stuff shoots so well I haven't bothered with trying to work up any loads for it. Out to 300yds it hold around 1/4-1/2 MOA from a rest, so why waste time and components.

    10 shots @ 100yds below,
     

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  18. moxie

    moxie Member

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    I recently posted these test results:

    Gun: CMMG, M4 profile, 16" barrel, 5.56mm chamber, 1-7" twist

    1. 5.56, Lake City XM-193 55 gr. FMJBT factory round. Average velocity: 3106 fps

    2. .223, generic 55 gr. FMJBT, 21.5 grs. RE-7. Average velocity: 2885 fps

    3. .223, generic 55 gr. FMJBT, 21.5 grs. RE-10X. Average velocity. 2717 fps

    Notes:
    RCBS two die set. Bullets seated to middle of the cannelure. No crimp. Mixed brass. Either CCI or Win. standard primers. OAL=2.254"

    The 21.5 RE-7 load is shown by Sierra as their "accuracy load." I like it too. Sierra got 2900 fps, which is pretty darn close to my 2885. They used a 20" barrel.
     
  19. quartermaster

    quartermaster Member

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    Thanks guys, I will know when I start shooting
     
  20. joustin

    joustin Member

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    One thing to consider with a bolt action is the length of the leade or throat. If it is very short and the 5.56 round has a long neck it could pick the brass between the rifling and the bullet. This could cause a pressure spike well over 60,000 PSI based on what I have read while loading for my 5.56 AR.
     
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