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223 recommendation for 14.5" 1:7 barrel

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BunnMan, Mar 6, 2012.

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  1. BunnMan

    BunnMan Member

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    I've got a 14.5" Daniel Defense cold hammer forged 1:7 barrel chambered in 5.56 Nato on a custom built AR flat top carbine. She's been performing extremely well with the iron flip up sights but I want to see how she can REALLY group. I should have a mount and scope in the mail by the weekend. I recently picked up a set of Hornady 223 dies for my LNL progressive press and have run a thousand or so once fired Lake City 5.56 cases through FL sizing, cleaned and reamed primer pockets and flash holes, and re-primed with CCI small rifle magnum primers, now I need to settle on a bullet and powder combo. Just wondering if anyone has a good published load they have had success with through a tight twist shorty like this. I would assume 62gr and up bullets with powders on the faster side are probably a good direction to lean but experience rules out guesswork so let me know if you have something working well for you. Mind you I am looking for max accuracy out to 300 yards, I don't have anywhere to shoot any further than that. Please only published loads, I will drop back to starting loads and work up to your recommendation.

    Thanks Folks!!!
     
  2. husbandofaromanian

    husbandofaromanian Member

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    Do you have a $200 tax stamp for that sbr?
     
  3. BunnMan

    BunnMan Member

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    Certainly not, but I do have a 2" muzzle brake welded on ;). But thanks for policing my build sir, you never know when you're going to catch an enthusiast educated enough in his discipline to build his own ammunition and sharp enough to establish his own purpose for a custom built rifle and develop a component list to fulfill it and locate a builder reputable enough to pull it off yet DUMB enough to post the stats of an illegal firearm that would land said enthusiast in a federal penitentiary far away from his beloved obsession for ten years in a row...but you keep tryin bro :)

    Now...waddya know about a recipe for me?
     
  4. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    ^:D

    69gr SMK worked up to max/near max w/ Varget at ~2.240".
    55gr Nosler BT worked up to max (beyond max in my case) w/ Varget at around same length.
    53gr SMK and 77gr SMK do well also in a 14.5 / 1:7.

    Edit: 4895 is great for a more moderate load. 8208 has been doing well so far, but I'm still ironing out loads w/ that powder.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I have seen a variety of illegal firearms and actions posted on the internet.

    Anyhow, I would go with a top load of Varget (Assume all usual cautions about "working up", etc.) and 69 or 77 gr SMK.
    I would also try 52 gr SMK. A high BC does not assure best accuracy at short ranges.
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Only advice I an give you is don't even bother trying 62 grain FMJ-BT military type bullets.
    They are not that accurate under the best of circumstances.

    I'd try V-Max or Nosler Ballistic-Tip varmint bullets in 55 or 60 grain.
    Also 52 grain Sierra HP Match.

    A 1/7 barrel that short may very well shoot lighter bullets at higher velocity better then heavy bullets at lower velocity.

    rc
     
  7. husbandofaromanian

    husbandofaromanian Member

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    That kind of strong reaction reminds me of when I asked my wife how her diet was going.
     
  8. BunnMan

    BunnMan Member

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    That wasn't a strong reaction dear boy, you should have picked up on that but omitted the smiley in your quote. I didn't assume any mal-intent and fell long short of implying any illegal activity. I merely invited the snickers of you and others at the implication in your question hoping to draw your own attention to your quick and short sighted assumption. If, in your judgement, my reply constitutes a strong reaction I might suggest applying those same standards to your question which included no smiley's or LOL's. Either there is a hint of implication or you have an extremely dry sense of humor. I would like to believe, and would applaud, if it were the latter. Assuming the latter and a sharpenned sense of humor you can certainly spot the irony that I'm struck with when digesting the intensley patriotic excerpt from the Declaration of Independence in your signature then also your nickname...I, being a true patriot, married American. Then 14 years later divorced american, hahaha. Lighten up my friend, it's all for fun right?

    Seriously husband...lets remain on topic and stifle the drama. My OP is an honest question and pursuit, surely your patriotic ethos permit me the ability to pursue it free from persecution.

    Jim and mntcreek: thanks a ton for useful and practical replies, I will order some of each of the suggested weights of SMK's and a good dose of Varget. That powder seems to carry the general nod for loading this caliber so I reckon it's a good steer.

    rcmodel: I'll give the V-max a look too and a big thanks for the steer away from the military 62gr FMJ-BT. I was about to order a big box of collet pulled surplus bullets for loading as plinkers...no sense plinkin around my target...I'd prefer to hit it...everytime.


    Be Well,

    -BunnMan
     
  9. rem22long40x

    rem22long40x Member

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    Very Well Put . Sr. BunnMan
     
  10. moxie

    moxie Member

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    Sierra lists an "accuracy load" of 21.5 grs. RE-7 under any of their 55 gr. bullets. They show 2900 fps for that load (20" HBAR). It performs well for me with a M-4 profile CMMG, but I am hardly an accuracy shooter.
     
  11. BunnMan

    BunnMan Member

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    Isn't the standard 20" HBAR a 1:9?
     
  12. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    Unless they've changed them, Colt HBar is 1:7.
     
  13. REL1203

    REL1203 Member

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    I have the same upper on my DDM4, and it loves 69SMK with a max load of Varget. I havent messed with anything lighter than 55g. I can confirm the cheap 62g FMJ-BT are junk and not to bother with them.. Either go 55g or go heavy and accurate. I dont have my manuals here at work, but i tried both varget and RL15 with the 69SMKs and mine loved near max loads of both with varget taking a slight edge.
     
  14. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    Not recently. They all changed to 1:7 with the switch to M855/SS109 ammo.
     
  15. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    Heavy does not equal, or result in precision. It is merely heavier. Most heavy for caliber bullets are match style bullets intended for long range shooting and are usually well made, but unless you need the higher BC that the longer bullet profile leads to, the lighter flat-based bullets have the higher propensity for precision. The shorter bullets are less prone to loading with runout and are formed with fewer steps so less chance for manufacturing imperfections. Look at the bullets that short range benchrest shooters use and you'll see light, short flat-based bullets without exception. It isn't coincidence. It really isn't until you get to the longer range competitions that the higher BC bullets and the reduction in wind drift that they offer becomes more important that the factors favoring short, flat-based bullets.
     
  16. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Member

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    It's hard to beat the Sierra Match King 69 grain bullets. The price is rather fair for the amount of performance you get out of them. Another choice that I have been very pleased with is the Nosler Custom Competetion bullets. I have loaded them for .308 and they perform very well. Load data can be found in their reloading manual.
     
  17. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    BunnMan,With that short a barrel I believe the 52 grain Hornady A-Max is about the best accuracy you're going to get even in the 1:7" twist, the velocity just isn't there in the heavier bullets. You might try IMR 4198 powder. Also at 300 yards, is stretching that combination just a bit, I'd start at 19 grns and work my way up to 21.4 grns.
     
  18. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    Velocity has nothing to do with accuracy, only bullet drop and energy. Bullet drop is quite consistent and very predictable, so if you're punching paper out to 300yds or so where wind isn't much of a factor, a short barrel isn't really a handicap.
     
  19. BunnMan

    BunnMan Member

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    Thanks for the direction folks. I got enough here to do some decent experimentatn with. I've heard tales of stripping the jackets off light bullets but never actually heard anybody say they saw it happen. It does shoot 55's pretty well, best groups being around 3" at 100yds through the iron sights. Those weren't surplus rounds but ammo produced by the same folks that built my rifle. They are also a licensed ammo manufacturer. I know it's lake city brass and hornady bullets but not sure about primers and powder. I know they aren't CCI, they had gold primers in them.
     
  20. john wall

    john wall Member

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    I might try a 60-something gr pill behind Accurate 2015. A little less muzzle flash and blast, great powder.
     
  21. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    helotaxi, the fast twist is to stabilize the heavier, thus longer bullet, with that short of barrel (14.5") I doubt the velocity would be sufficient to get high enough to prevent the bullet from fish tailing at much past 100 yards. I have an AR-15 with a bull barrel 20" 1:7 twist. (You can figure about 100fps per inch of barrel) Shooting a 69 grn HPBT bullet using a maximum load I recently Chronographed 2700 fps, therefore subtract 550 fps from a 14.5" barrel and you'll have 2150fps, which is not near fast enough to stabilize a heavier projectile much beyond a 100 yards, as the bullet loses velocity as it increases distance. Hope this makes sense to Ya.
     
  22. BunnMan

    BunnMan Member

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    Now I gotta go and order a chrono, this is just too interesting to not know. I want to get one anyway so I reckon I'll move that plan to the front burner. I've got a Kalashnikov in 223 with a 20" 1:9 heavy barrel and this shorty AR. I'm dying to know the difference in velocity between the two firing the same cartridge. I don't suppose the different twist rates should influence it that much. Do you really think it's going to cost 550fps out of the shorter barrel? Certainly there will be a reduction but I didn't think it would be that drastic.
     
  23. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    The loss of velocity as the bullet goes down range does not affect its spin and reduced velocity means that less spin is required to overcome the drag induced upset forces. The 69 and 77gn SMK are well known to work very well from M4s which have a 14.5" 1:7 twist barrel. Even assuming that your velocity loss numbers are correct, which they are not velocity loss is closer to 50fps per inch within that barrel length range, the 69n SMK would have a Miller stability Index of 2.4 (1.4 being instantly and completely stable) and the 77gn SMK would be in the 1.8 range. The 69gn SMK is comfortably stable out of a 1:7 twist barrel at pretty much any velocity that will get it to clear the barrel; the 77gn needs about 1000fps MV to be instantly stable.

    So no it doesn't make sense to me.

    BunnMan: it isn't nearly that drastic a reduction, don't worry about it. Mk262 mil loads (77gn SMK) get over 2700 fps from an 18" barrel and reloaders have gotten almost 2700fps from 16" barrels.
     
  24. BunnMan

    BunnMan Member

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    I've done some reading about the MK262 out of the M4 in the recent past and the Navy Seal Snipers in the middle east seem to have a lot of praise for that cartridge. If I remember the text right I believe they were engaging targets out to 300 with excellent accuracy and effect out of the little M4. The book is a great read and included alot of detail on ballistics of various rounds in use by US snipers. You need a stomach and head for it because the various authors don't spare much of the psycholigical organ physical detail. If you want to sharpen your shooting knowledge and build a whole new dimension of respect for what our fighting forces are doing for us its well worth your time...book is called Trigger Men. It shocked me that the Seal Snipers over there are employing the M4 as a viable tool when they have so many other weapons at their disposal but its a consistent choice for high volume scenarios. This is the line of thinking that got me leaning toward heavier bullets, I just figured faster powders because I don't have the last few milliseconds of pressure behind the bullet before it clears my handy little carbine.
     
  25. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    A chrony is a great tool and will tell you a lot about your load development, assuming you don't shoot it. IMHO, heavier bullets and shorter barrels go together great.
     
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