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223 Deer load - Quickload verification assistance

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ssyoumans, Jun 21, 2010.

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  1. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    Hi all,
    Without starting a debate on using 223 on small deer, I'd like some assistance developing the best load. From my research om this and other forums, it seems that the Speer 70 gr semi-spitzer is one of the better choices. Obviously I would like to get the maximum safe velocity and energy out of my 20" AR15 for a less than 75 yard shot. If I find it isn't a viable option then I may have to look into borrowing a rifle in another caliber.

    So, while doing my due diligence fo developing the load, I noticed some wide variation in published max load data, much more than usual. I plan on using W748 or BLC-2 powder, CCI 450 primers, and once fired R-P brass trimmed to 1.753".

    Here's what I have found so far:
    Speer #11 & #12: 2.140", W748 25-27.0 gr; BLC-2 21.5-23.5gr
    Hodgdon website: no data for W748; BLC-2 24.5-26.5 gr @2.140"

    Since there was no data for W748 on the Hodgdon website, I looked at the 69gr Sierra HPBT and it listed W748 with 24.5 gr; BLC-2 with 26.5 gr

    So, I thought I would ask if someone could provide some Quickload data for reference for these 2 powders. I still plan to start at -2 grains and step up by .5 gr, but would like some additional reference info as to what to regard as that max for each powder.
     
  2. dangus88

    dangus88 Member

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    Hey, i think the .223 is a great cartridge i have successfully hunted white tails with mine, using factory ammunition. Blackhills 55gr soft points. All were head shots and at distances of 100 to 175yds. I have just started working up loads using imr 4895 and varget and h335 they all work great on targets. going to try some BLC-2 Soon.
    For a 69gr bthp max load of 748 is 24.5gr
    BLC-2 is 26.5gr
    IMR4895 is 24.8gr c
    Varget is 26.0gr c
    C.O.L is listed at 2.235 for that gr of bullet
    these numbers are all out of the Hodgdon's 2010 annual manual

    Happy reloading.
     
  3. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    I load the Barnes Triple Shock 62g Solid Copper X Bullet.
    Anything over 62 grains and they recommend a twist rate faster than my 1:9 twist.

    I worked up this load, using about six different powder/primer combinations and the most accuate of those six was fine-tuned as for amount of powder.

    I settled on 25.7g H335 Powder with CCI #41 Mil-Spec Magnum Primer.
    I chronied the load at 3,020 FPS.
     
  4. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    748 and Ball-C are close, but I think a slightly slower powder would likely give better results. Inspector likes H335, that would be a good one to try. I'm thinking slower still, like RL-15, Varget, or 4064.

    Regarding Quickload. I don't think it will do what you ask. It's just another tool, like a good load book. It gets you in the right ballpark. It’s not infallible or even that authoritive. You still have to develop and work-up your own loads, in order to find what works best in YOUR rifle.

    QL works best at helping you narrow down the field - to find THE powder (or three) that will most likely give the best results, so you know where to start and don't go down long time consuming blind alleys with inappropriate powders that are to slow or to fast.
     
  5. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    I've had good results with Nosler 60 gr Partitions over RL 15.

    Jimmy K
     
  6. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Instead of the 69gr BTHP, use the 65gr Sierra GameKing BTSpt.

    It's made for what you're doing.

    I've killed several deer with it from my Rem. M7 w/18.5"bbl and 1/12" twist. It stablilizes and shoots 1.0-1.5" 5-shot groups.

    I use either 26.5gr of BLC2 or 26.0gr of RL15. (H335 is faster than BLC2 and doesn't do as well with bullets above 52gr). I get just under 3,000fps.

    The deer don't know it isn't a .243 w/100gr bullets at same speed.
    They do just "die" the same............
     
  7. DIM

    DIM Member

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    Try 69 gr SMK it never failed, o yeah use 26.4 gr of Varget, you should start at 3100 fps, and this load should be good for 100 yards, but don't push your luck the impact force will dissipate at longer distances.
     
  8. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    The plain Jane 55g Sierra SPBT gamekings will do what you seek just fine without all the reloading data hanky panky of the somewhat oddball projectile you have in mind.
     
  9. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    The Barnes Triple Shock 62gr was my second choice, but @ $27.50/50 or $55/100, they seemed pricy. From what I've read on it, that's a great bullet though.. but the Speer 70gr were more economical and seem to provide similiar deeper penetration @ less than 1/2 the price ($21.99/100).
     
  10. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    I did some testing and I'm losing quite a bit of velocity with the 16" carbine barrel. No where near your "just under 3,000 fps". :(
    Speer 70gr @ 2.140" 25.5gr BLC-2, 2655 fps, ES 28, KE 1096 ft-lbs
    Speer 70gr @ 2.140" 26.0gr BLC-2, 2721 fps, ES 22, KE 1151 ft-lbs
    Speer 70gr @ 2.140" 26.5gr BLC-2, 2775 fps, ES 28, KE 1197 ft-lbs

    With 2775 fps, I drop to 864 ft-lbs @ 100 yards. Still above the 750 ft-lb threshold that some regard but it is getting marginal and would patience for the right shot placement.

    Still waiting for the day I can find some Varget... :cuss:
     
  11. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Do not have much help here for load development, but I have killed the mess out of deer with a 55 grain Soft Point from Black Hills using my AR-15. Good penetration, and the bullet just mushroomed like any other soft point.

    I would develop any bullet with the lead showing spitzer style, and push it to the max speed if it was accurate. Try to get a high should hit for the spine, or the neck will be quicker kills. A good heart/lung shot works too, but you will ruin lots of meat if you tag the shoulder.

    Good luck and let that little pill fly!
     
  12. DIM

    DIM Member

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    If you got BLC-2 then 26.4 would be the max, and 25.8 if you go with 748 that's with 69 gr SMK.
    I didn't know there are still shortages in US, but they were last year as I recall, but everything back to normal again, powders are back so the primers...

    and here are some tips from sierra for AR-15 http://accurateshooter.net/Downloads/sierra223ar.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  13. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Speer #10 gave a max charge of 27 grains of 748 and a CCI 450 primer. I have loaded that charge in the Speer 70 grain semi-sptizer for years. The test rifle in #10 is the Mini-14. This load has been shot in my Mini, Remington 700 and older Colt AR with very good accuracy. Byron
     
  14. Clark

    Clark Member

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    My spiel is that if the 30-06 is the most common cartridge for elk hunting, then the .223 is over kill for the biggest mule buck.
     
  15. azar

    azar Member

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    ssyoumans,

    If you'd like the numbers run in QuickLOAD do a couple of things first. Take a sample of bullets out of the box (say 5 or 10). Measure them and write down the average length. Measure the H20 case capacity of 5 once fired cases. Report the averages back to me.

    Also, you listed the trim length but I didn't see the COAL listed in the OP. Will you be using 2.140" that you showed in a later post? If so, that seems a bit short to me (but I don't load .223 so what do I know). Is that due to a magazine length restriction?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  16. azar

    azar Member

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    Also, what is your barrel length? In the OP you list 20" and in your later post you list 16"? Which one do you want the calculations done with?
     
  17. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    All I can say is if you need 50 bullets a year to hunt deer with then you probably should go to a bigger caliber. The reason they cost more is because they work and you can depend on them. They are mucn much more reliable than ANY soft point. If your conserns are to kill the animal humanely with a .223 I wouldn't choose any other brand. Its not like hunting bullets need to be as cheap as plinking bullets. How many do you really plan on shooting anyway?

    I have a lot of experience with soft points on animals and I can say that they just don't consistently perform. Though the Barnes aren't absolutely guaranteed to expand they are much more reliable to me than any soft point I have tried. That said, soft points have worked for years and years and I wouldn't hesitate to use them out of a bigger gun but when you are using such a small caliber you owe it to the animal to spend a little more on bullets to make sure you aren't causing prolonged suffering.
     
  18. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    Azar - thanks for the help..
    I measured 8 bullets, they averaged .7971", long =.800", shortest = .793"

    Unfortunately, I do not have any fired, but unsized brass. I got bored a few weeks ago and resized all my .223 brass (I only have about 250 pieces) and have primed them. I probably won't make it to the range for at least 2 weeks, since I'm going on vacation next week :( Is there a default? I can provide data for a full length sized R-P brass trimmed to 1.753"

    After reading up a bit more, I think I will use a COAL of 2.240" instead of 2.140". The 2.140" is listed in the Speer #11 manual that I have, but I have no problems chambering 2.240", even that is no where near the rifling on my AR. I understand that the AR has a longer throat than a bolt action 223 rifle, and I would get better accuracy with the bullet COAL closer to the rifling. I'm still over .030" off the rifling.

    Please run the #'s for the 16" barrel, that's my AR. The 20" AR is my brother's & I may just have to borrow it :) If the load works fine in mine, & the COAL is good in his, then it should be fine in there. I can chrono them for the difference.
     
  19. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    It's not that I need 50 rounds to go hunting with, it's that I can easily burn through 40 rounds developing up a load, double that if I go for 2 loads, 1 using W 748 & the other using BLC-2. Heck, I just picked up some Varget at the gun show too. :) By the time I work up a load, 5 rounds for each powder weight, starting 1.5 grains below max, incrementing by .3gr, watching for pressure signs, and send then send some over the chrono, and then check them out for accuracy, I'll easily burn through a box. Then I need some to resight in my scope come hunting season, and a few for actually hunting. Besides, the Speer 70gr seems to have a proven track record. While I like your suggested Barnes round, not everyone is going to shoot the same ammo, else all the other makers would go out of business :eek: I think the Speer is still up to the task at hand.
     
  20. azar

    azar Member

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    ssyoumans,

    Yes, there are program defaults which are usually pretty close for case capacity. Every little bit of tuning for the gun in question does help to give a more accurate calculation. The biggest difference is the bullet length. QuickLOAD does have a bullet database with lengths already in it. Sometimes it is spot on, sometimes very close, sometimes not so close and occasionally WAY off. I can't remember the lengths exactly, but it seems like it had listed a length of 1.200" or 1.300" when the bullets actually measured at 1.435" (Barnes .284 150 grain TTSX). That much of a difference will definitely change the calculations quite a bit.

    I will try and get the numbers run for you tonight.
     
  21. azar

    azar Member

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    QuickLOAD seems to recommend more moderate charges of powder than what Hodgdon does. And that's after the COAL has been adjusted out to 2.240".

    Code:
    Cartridge          : .223 Rem. (SAAMI)
    Bullet             : .224, 70, Speer SSP 1053
    Useable Case Capaci: 25.708 grain H2O = 1.669 cm³
    Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 2.240 inch = 56.90 mm
    Barrel Length      : 16.0 inch = 406.4 mm
    Powder             : Winchester 748
    
    Predicted data by increasing and decreasing the given charge,
    incremented in steps of 0.816% of nominal charge.
    CAUTION: Figures exceed maximum and minimum recommended loads !
    
    Step    Fill. Charge   Vel.  Energy   Pmax   Pmuz  Prop.Burnt B_Time
     %       %    Grains   fps   ft.lbs    psi    psi      %        ms
    
    -08.2   88    22.50   2472     950   40604  10514     91.8    0.973
    -07.3   89    22.70   2496     968   41703  10627     92.3    0.960
    -06.5   90    22.90   2519     986   42834  10739     92.8    0.948
    -05.7   91    23.10   2543    1005   43996  10848     93.2    0.936
    -04.9   91    23.30   2566    1024   45195  10955     93.7    0.924
    -04.1   92    23.50   2590    1043   46427  11060     94.1    0.913
    -03.3   93    23.70   2613    1062   47697  11163     94.5    0.902  ! Near Maximum !
    -02.4   94    23.90   2637    1081   49003  11263     94.9    0.890  ! Near Maximum !
    -01.6   95    24.10   2661    1100   50348  11361     95.3    0.879  ! Near Maximum !
    -00.8   95    24.30   2684    1120   51733  11456     95.7    0.868  ! Near Maximum !
    +00.0   96    24.50   2708    1140   53161  11549     96.0    0.858  ! Near Maximum !
    +00.8   97    24.70   2732    1160   54632  11638     96.4    0.847  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +01.6   98    24.90   2755    1180   56147  11725     96.7    0.837  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +02.4   98    25.10   2779    1200   57710  11810     97.0    0.826  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +03.3   99    25.30   2803    1221   59321  11891     97.3    0.816  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +04.1  100    25.50   2826    1242   60983  11969     97.6    0.806  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    
    Results caused by ± 10% powder lot-to-lot burning rate variation using nominal charge
    Data for burning rate increased by 10% relative to nominal value:
    +Ba     96    24.50   2857    1269   64487  11582     99.7    0.790  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    
    Data for burning rate decreased by 10% relative to nominal value:
    -Ba     96    24.50   2516     984   43141  10894     88.1    0.943
    
    
    Cartridge          : .223 Rem. (SAAMI)
    Bullet             : .224, 70, Speer SSP 1053
    Useable Case Capaci: 25.708 grain H2O = 1.669 cm³
    Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 2.240 inch = 56.90 mm
    Barrel Length      : 16.0 inch = 406.4 mm
    Powder             : Hodgdon BL-C2
    
    Predicted data by increasing and decreasing the given charge,
    incremented in steps of 0.781% of nominal charge.
    CAUTION: Figures exceed maximum and minimum recommended loads !
    
    Step    Fill. Charge   Vel.  Energy   Pmax   Pmuz  Prop.Burnt B_Time
     %       %    Grains   fps   ft.lbs    psi    psi      %        ms
    
    -07.8   91    23.60   2471     949   40898  10663     90.5    0.978
    -07.0   92    23.80   2495     967   42024  10779     91.0    0.965
    -06.3   93    24.00   2518     986   43182  10892     91.5    0.953
    -05.5   94    24.20   2542    1004   44379  11004     91.9    0.941
    -04.7   94    24.40   2565    1023   45612  11115     92.4    0.929
    -03.9   95    24.60   2589    1042   46881  11223     92.8    0.917  ! Near Maximum !
    -03.1   96    24.80   2613    1061   48193  11329     93.3    0.906  ! Near Maximum !
    -02.3   97    25.00   2636    1080   49541  11433     93.7    0.894  ! Near Maximum !
    -01.6   97    25.20   2660    1100   50925  11535     94.1    0.883  ! Near Maximum !
    -00.8   98    25.40   2684    1120   52347  11634     94.5    0.872  ! Near Maximum !
    +00.0   99    25.60   2708    1140   53810  11731     94.9    0.861  ! Near Maximum !
    +00.8  100    25.80   2732    1160   55316  11826     95.3    0.850  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +01.6  101    26.00   2755    1180   56870  11918     95.7    0.839  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +02.3  101    26.20   2779    1201   58472  12008     96.0    0.829  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +03.1  102    26.40   2803    1221   60124  12095     96.3    0.819  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +03.9  103    26.60   2827    1243   61828  12178     96.7    0.808  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    
    Results caused by ± 10% powder lot-to-lot burning rate variation using nominal charge
    Data for burning rate increased by 10% relative to nominal value:
    +Ba     99    25.60   2866    1277   65531  11894     99.3    0.791  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    Data for burning rate decreased by 10% relative to nominal value:
    -Ba     99    25.60   2507     977   42898  10965     86.5    0.951
    
     
  22. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    Thanks for the input.. so, it looks like the both the Speer & Hodgdon data is quite hot, and could be over spec by QL predictions.
    I'll load up some W 748 in 23.5, 23.9, 24.2, 24.5
    In BLC-2, I'll go with 24.4, 25.0, 25.3, 25.6

    The +-10% powder lot to lot variation numbers (43,141 - 64,487 psi) are a bit disturbing, guess that's why you work up a load carefully.

    Thanks again,
    Scott
     
  23. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    Forget the Varget...Reloder 15 will give you higher velocity than Varget with the 62+ grain 223 bullets...and just as accurate.
     
  24. ForneyRider

    ForneyRider Member

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    Swift Scirrocco is the biggest hunting .223 bullet at 75gr.
    See also:
    70gr Speer Semi-Spitzer
    65gr Sierra Game King
    60gr Nosler Partition

    I have used R15, Varget and AA2230 with the 69gr SMK. All worked great. AA2230 is easier to measure.

    I took a button buck with 50gr Federal bulk. Knocked it right out with heart/lung shot. Gone back to 7mm mag.
     
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