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600yard 223rem loads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by kingcheese, Jan 30, 2013.

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  1. kingcheese

    kingcheese Member

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    I'm looking for a load that will be accurate enough to hit a shillout at 600yards
    my rifle is a mossberg map varminter, 24inch barrel, 1:9 rifling, uses ar mags, right now I've been using 53gr vmax and 53gr tsx, i was looking toward the 75gr amax but was told i can't fit the round in an ar mag, so what you guys recommend, powder recommend, bullets? Cases? Primers? Tricks for preping the brass?
     
  2. highbrow

    highbrow Member

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    75 gr AMAX won't fit in magazine. 75 and 77gr hp will nicely. Some 1-9 twist will stabilize 75gr hp. 24" barrel will help. Need to try them. 24gr Varget or Reloder 15 or TAC should work. Work up to this however.
     
  3. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    I'd have to look at exactly how much Varget I was using Sierra or Nosler 77gr BTHP's seated about .01 off the end of the magazine (I don't have the actual length handy at the moment). Never had a problem, and suckers shot great.

    -Jenrick
     
  4. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    While I'd agree that a 75gr A-Max won't usually fit in an AR magazine, I shoot A-Maxs loaded long and single load them with Varget .010 " shy of the lands.
    Personally, I haven't had any luck shooting 75s in a 1/9 barrel but you may be blessed?
    In your situation, I'd try 69s, long and hope for no wind condition.
     
  5. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    I'm with doug. My load is a 69 SMK over a near max load of varget. In a 1:7 twist 16" AR it does well.
     
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    You will just have to try the heavier bullets and see if they keyhole. It is not a hard limit but most 1:9 barrels won't shoot anything heavier than a 69 SMK. A bud of mine shot 75 AMAX in his 1:9 and it worked out to 600 yards. I have seen others try heavier bullets in their 1:9's and not hit the bull at 300 yards.

    I have shot the 69 SMK at 600 yards and it is wonderfully accurate. But the slightest puff of wind and that bullet sails off to the side.
     
  7. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    Which 75gn? Hornady makes two. The Amax will not stabilize in a 1:9 the BTHP is a great deal shorter and usually will. The Berger 70gn VLD should also shoot well from a 1:9 barrel. It has a higher BC than the 69gn SMK and the Hornady 75gn HPBT. Its not quite as high as the Amax but that's the price you pay for being able to load from the magazine and stabilize in a 1:9 barrel.
     
  8. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

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    75gr Hornady BTHP is shorter and fits better in AR mags than the Amax. I use 24.5gr Varget and load to mag length.
     
  9. kingcheese

    kingcheese Member

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    I also heard filling up a five gallon bucket with rifle brass and pet bedding, then putting it in the back of my truck and driving around could polish the brass, any truth in that?
     
  10. HJ857

    HJ857 Member

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    The 53 grain Vmax is my load of choice out to the limit of my range, which is 550 yards. A 1:9 twist should be a perfect match for the 53.

    If you look at the ballistics of that bullet you'll see that it gives up very little to any of previously mentioned bullets, and outperforms them all at shorter distances and costs a whole lot less.

    Once you get past 600 yards then the 53 Vmax starts losing big, but if you're only shooting out to 600 yards, then you may just be spending extra money on bullets you don't really need. The only other question is whether your rifle will shoot the 53 Vmax accurately.
     
  11. kingcheese

    kingcheese Member

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    It puts the 53gr vmax through one hole at 100, on a 19gr charge of imr4198
     
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    The Sierra 69gr MatchKing bullet Part #1380 should work very well with Varget for what you are looking to do. You might also give the Hornady 68gr BTHP bullet Part #2278 a try bit I can't comment on it's accuracy because I have not tried them yet. I have shot the Sierra bullets.

    If you have a 1:7 twist barrel my choices would be different.
     
  13. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    I was hitting 55 gallon drums at 600 yards all day long with 53gr VMax over a stout load of W748. Works very well out of my 16" 1:9 twist. I was using the 4th mildot on my scope.
     
  14. Rugg_Ed

    Rugg_Ed Member

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    kingcheese
    I have good luck with my 223, 24" Heavy BBL 1:9 twist using 53grn A-Max, 60grn V-Max and 69grn Nosler CC with Varget and TAC. out to further ranges. Wind drift becomes a real issue however at the longer ranges.
    Bullets are set .020 off the rifling and will not fit in the magazine, shooting single shot hand fed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  15. bds
    • Contributing Member

    bds Member

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    Some notes from precision long-range match shooters.

    .223 for Palma Competition - http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com/2012/03/cartridges-223-for-palma-competition.html

     
  16. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    I would think anything longer then a 65gr Serria would have FITS trying to stabilize in a 1:9 twist, a 1:9 is best suited to the 55gr class stuff, you can still shoot 600yd with it but on windy days you will wish you had a 1:7" slinging 80gr VLDs or 77gr SMKs. Better yet a 308 or 6.5x55 :D
     
  17. cacoltguy

    cacoltguy Member

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    The 77 grain Sierra Matchkings are designed to shoot well when seated to magazine length. It's all in the design of the bullet ogive and Sierra made these specifically so Highpower shooters could shoot a heavier bullet from a magazine during the rapid-fire stages. How well they will shoot out of your 1/9 twist barrel is debatable but of course there is only one way to find out. I've shot tons of these bullets (from a magazine) out of my 20 inch 1/7 twist AR for highpower competitions at the 300 yard line and they shoot exceptionally well for me with 24 grains of Reloader-15. This is a slightly compressed load. If your twist rate is enough to stabilize them they are definitely capable of hitting a silhouette at 600 yards. I shoot the 80 grain Sierras at the 600 yard line because of the sleeker, higher ballistic coefficient of the secant-ogive shape, but they aren't designed to be seated at magazine length and must be loaded single shot.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  18. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    1:9 is going to be iffy.

    I got keyholes at a quarter mile with 77gr sierra Matchkings, ended up building a different dedicated upper with a 1:7 twist barrel in 223 wylde, which worked out real good. The only downside is that particular barrel don't shoot 55 gr for jack, and 60 grain is not great. The 223 Wylde has a heck of a long throat before the lands, meant to load bullets overlong and single feed. 55-60gr loaded at magazine length they jump so far to the lands they get a lot of velocity spread, and some runout.
     
  19. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    My High Power shooting buddies tell me you just have to try different bullets to see if the 1 in 9 will stabilize them. I set up a 600 yd. range here at the house for the Jr. High Power shooters to practice on before the annual trek to Camp Perry. They all shoot 75 gr. Hornady's, but I can't say with certainty what twist each of their rifles has. Remember: whether or not a bullet will stabilize with a given twist is more dependent on the length of the bullet than the weight of it.

    A bolt rifle that uses AR mags?.....why?
     
  20. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Experimentation. :)
     
  21. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Member

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    I had a Savage 12FV barrel (26", 1:9) that shot 5 rounds sub half-MOA at 200yd with 75gr HPBT and 24.0gr Varget...2860fps in multiple types of brass (Lapua, Nosler, RP, LC, FP) with CCI 400 or 450.

    Hits on 8" steel @ 650yd were easy and repeatable...so long as the wind call was accurate.

    A 1:9 20" Savage 11 Hog Hunter shot the same load a fuzz under MOA.
     
  22. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Good point!
     
  23. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    I wanted to try to build the "most accurate AR-15 I could build." I won't lie, that upper cost me a mint to put together. And it mostly just sits on a shelf collecting dust!

    The last experimenting I did on it was with seating depth of 77 grain SMK's. I've had a working theory for a while that bullets with the base seated deep in to the casing, with the bearing surface "floating in space", get perturbed and distorted prior to fully entering the throat. I first noticed the phenomenon on 300 win mag, 220 grain bullets, seated with the bearing surface deep in to the cartridge (3.300 OAL). I lost an entire MOA of accuracy if the bullet's bearing surface was seeted deeper than the neck, vs. an OAL matching my lands with the base NOT extending in to the cartridge!

    The same thing happened when I tested it with 223. Seating a 77 grain bullet deep in to the case, so it fits in a magazine, shoots much less accurately than the same bullet seated over-long, with the start of the boattail matching the end of the neck. My group sizes at 1/4 mile (440 yards) were averaging about 3" with the rounds loaded long, and single loaded, versus an average of 6.5" groups from rounds seated deep and fed from the magazine. The groups opened up in each direction, but also grew oblong vertically, and the chronograph showed much a higher velocity spread on rounds seated "deep."

    My theory for this is the that A] the bullet has enough bearing surface for the charge to cause it to "tilt" prior to fully entering the throat, and B] the base of the bullet actually expands under the high pressure, and then re-forms to bore diameter as it enters the throat. (Copper & lead are pretty malleable, and deform much like a wad of jello when faced with 55k PSI of pressure... The rear of the bullet is getting shoved in to a front that is facing resistance, causing the back of the bullet to balloon out slightly, then re-form to bore diameter as it enters the throat.)

    Granted, I don't have the ability to SEE this happening, and can only form hypothesis based on external data gathered, but the velocity spread difference was pretty telling!

    I ALSO believe that the 1:9 twist issue on 77 grain that SOME people (including myself) have seen, with bullets not stabilizing, while OTHER people can shoot those just fine out of the same twist barrel, has a LOT to do with where the leads are located and how much throat erosion there is.

    If the bullet has sufficient free-bore (from an eroded throat) it will "skip" ahead in the bore much easier, the base won't expand as much under pressure, and the bullet will be a little less likely to tilt under pressure as it engages the lands.

    The only data I have to support that theory is from shooting 77gr loaded to magazine depth out of a 16" barrel 1:9 twist that keyholed at 440 yards. The barrel was brand new, the lands were sharp, and the measured velocity spread was MUCH greater than from my experimental 223 wylde chamber which has an additional .25" of freebore over the standard AR barrel (by design, for seating 80 gr bullets overlong).

    The same load in one rifle was engaging the lands almost immediately, while the base was still very deep in the cartridge, while on the other rifle it skipped forward without resistance .25" allowing the base to almost clear the cartridge before engaging the lands. The velocity and accuracy was still not close to what I got with the bullet loaded long, the freebore pays a price...if you don't take advantage of it.

    So my theory on that is the 1:9 twist barrel CAN stabilize a 77 gr bullet *IF* the lands are somewhat worn. (There might also be a chrome lined barrel vs. steel difference, too, but I haven't tested the differences as I don't have a non-lined steel barrel handy that's 1:9, only CM.)

    Anyway, that's the whole story on the "experiment."

    I have 12 different AR barrels sitting on a shelf downstairs, various gas length, various designs, various profiles, various muzzle breaks, it's fun to experiment if your willing to take the time with a barrel wrench. :)
     
  24. kingcheese

    kingcheese Member

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    Its a pretty solid rifle, the at mags give me the ability to hold as much ammo as i need, i can load it with the with the bolt closed, mags are fairly cheap, i had mags, my friends use ars so in a practical situation itmeans that i can use their mags, the action is smooth the ability is there why would you make a rifle chambered in 5.56 use anything but the most common magazine in the world, and for further clarification, this is by no stretch of anyone's imaginations a modified ar15
     
  25. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Heck a bolt gun that takes AR mags isn't a bad thing in my eyes. :)

    That MVP is about $600 less than I spent on that AR upper I built. Sounds like it's more inherently accurate, too.
     
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