Choosing the right 223 Ammo

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by MR WICK, Mar 24, 2022.

  1. MR WICK

    MR WICK Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2021
    Messages:
    355
    I have a Franchi, Momentum, Varmint Elite, made by Benelli. It is chambered in 223. It has a 24" free floating, fluted barrel, with a 1:9 twist. It is mounted with a Vortex Venom Scope.

    A lot of you may know me already.

    I was shooting 69 grain Freedom Munition Reloads last week at 400 and 500 yards. I was killing it. 1 MOA groupings.

    I read Ryan Cleckner's book and he recommended 55 grain Hornday Ammo.

    I took a 100 rounds to the Range and couldn't hit the broadside of a barn with a bulldozer.

    I am out of Freedom Munitions ammo and it's at least a week wait.

    Any opinions on what to do? Stores around town don't carry anything higher then 55 grain.

    I even read a chart that says 55 to 60 grain ammo is best for my twist rate.

    As always. Thanks.
     
  2. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    7,155
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Bullet type is just as important as weight. In general a hollow point or v-max will shoot much better than a fmj. A 68 gr is typically as heavy as you can go with a 1:9 twist. Some 1:9 barrels won’t even stabilize a 68 and others will shoot awesome. Try something with a 50 or 55 grain vmax.
     
    Demi-human and bfoosh006 like this.
  3. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,572
    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    If your gun shoots FM 69 gr great, buy more. Have patience, and stock up when you can.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2022
    Demi-human and gotboostvr like this.
  4. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    961
    "I even read a chart that says 55 to 60 grain ammo is best for my twist rate."

    mathematically speaking...Yes, 55gr to 60gr is "best"
    In the real world.. at least mine ... that has not always been the case.

    https://www.ar15.com/forums/ar-15/Accuracy-Comparison-of-1-9-and-1-7-Twist-Barrels-Firing-55-grain-FMJ-Bullets/118-771140/

    All my .223 / 5.56 barrels ( 1n7 or 1n8 twist ) shoot Fed. TV 50gr ( no longer produced ) fantastically... always right at 1 MOA... but that round is the anti-thesis of "by the book" rounds... short stubby bullet no where near the lands, bulk loaded in mass produced Fed .223 cases and it was cheap. Best price was $5.29/20rds.

    If you have the money, I would suggest trying a variety of factory ammo.

    To be completely honest... every barrel I have shot, has its own preferences when it comes to ammo.
    Or better said... If someone knew how to make every barrel consistently identical... they could sell every darned one they could make.
     
    2ndtimer, gotboostvr and d2wing like this.
  5. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    12,192
    Hornady makes something like 5-6 different 223 and 5.56 loads in 55 grain. Some are match grade, some are hunting grade, some are a short step above rot gut surplus ammo…

    Not every rifle likes every load. That same bullet at a different charge weight or seating depth might shoot beautifully in your rifle. I wouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water just because ONE load at that weight didn’t shoot well.
     
  6. high country

    high country Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    419
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    It is not surprising at all that that rifle likes 69gr hpbt bullets with that twist rate and length. My CZ with the same twist and a 22" barrel really likes them, and you are probably sending them a touch faster from the extra 2 inches. As has been said, try quality ammo in other weights, you might find something else it likes. Otherwise, keep an eye out there are several brands that load a 68 or 69 gr hpbt.

    Just food for thought - in the long run you should really give some consideration into settling up to reload. Then you aren't at the mercy of the stores to stock what you need and you can dial in the load your rifle likes. Reloading components are hard to come by at the moment, but you can definitely find them with a bit of hunting. Personally, I enjoy reloading as much as I do shooting, and seeing results as you find loads a rifle likes is a nice feeling.
     
    South Prairie Jim likes this.
  7. film495

    film495 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Messages:
    2,080
    69 grain Freedom Munition Reloads are your huckleberry
     
    bfoosh006 likes this.
  8. MR WICK

    MR WICK Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2021
    Messages:
    355
    I think you may be right. But there is a two week wait. Going to have to try a couple different rounds tomorrow.
     
  9. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    678
    Location:
    Where Else! TEXAS
    I've never seen a 1-9 twist 223 barrel that wouldn't shoot up to 77gr BTHP bullets excellent. It's not the weight of the bullet as much as it is the length of the bearing surface of the bullet. Most 1-9 twist barrels will fail to stabilize longer bullets like the 75gr AMax & ELD-M or some of the Berger Match style bullets.
     
    MarshallDodge likes this.
  10. MR WICK

    MR WICK Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2021
    Messages:
    355
    A chart I happened upon.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    19,485
    Location:
    Northern Indiana
    Order more than a weeks worth?

    When I was shooting greater quantities, I had enough reloading supplies on hand to load thousands. Literally. I could sit at my Dillon 550 and crank out a couple hundred in twenty minutes.

    I just gave my best friend two 8# jugs of Varget. Each jug makes about 2,000 rounds.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2022
    Demi-human, Riomouse911 and Buzznrose like this.
  12. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    29,531
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    Learn to reload so you can better ensure supply of ammunition.

    RMR bullets manufactures their own "match grade" 69 gr BTHP bullets at $147/1000 with free shipping and offer 5% THR discount (PM members for code) - https://www.rmrbullets.com/shop/bullets/rifle/224-5-56mm/224-69-gr-rmr-jacketed-hollow-point-boat-tail-3-gun-hunter-bullets-new/

    BTW, ELEY uses RMR bullets for their 9mm match ammunition - https://www.eleyammunition.com/minor9_competition_pistol_pcc_rounds

    "We make this bullet ourselves ... It is nearly perfect ... We have the weight and OAL tolerances to near perfect ... We haven’t yet done extensive testing on the BC but you should expect about .320-.335 depending on the velocity you shoot it at.

    For those of you who have been following this bullet, this bullet was actually the very first product RMR ever planned on making ... 6 years but we are finally sending out the first batch of the best 69 grain BTHP you can buy ... Thanks for your patience!"​
     
  13. MR WICK

    MR WICK Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2021
    Messages:
    355
    I am going to order the max that they allow me to. They don't even have them in stock right now. When things settle down with my new job my buddy who reloads is going to teach me.
     
  14. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    19,485
    Location:
    Northern Indiana
    The Reloading Forum here is an incredible source of knowledge

    With a good progressive like my Dillon, you can move at a steady pace and turn out match grade ammo at about a round every 3-5 seconds
     
    Chuck R. likes this.
  15. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    4,579
    Location:
    Missouri
    You just never know what each individual barrel will like the best until you try. I've seen 1-9 twist barrels do very well with the 77 grain bullets and also have seen 1-7 twist barrels do very well with 50 grain bullets.

    And one of the main reasons for the M16A2 1-7 twist barrel was so that it would stabilize the longer M856 tracer rounds. The M856 tracer bullet is 64 grains versus the M855 62 grain bullets. In this case, it is the bullet's overall length that caused the problems when using a 1-9 twist (mostly in extreme cold environments).
     
    entropy likes this.
  16. film495

    film495 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Messages:
    2,080
    how did you find yourself using the 69 grain cartridge? I have a 1:9 twist rifle that shoots .223 and have just stuck to 55 grain, but I'm not shooting targets at 400 meters, really only shot out to about 50 meters so far.

    If you're going to be shooting a couple other boxes to try them, I'd restart and sight in again with whatever you're shooting, the different weight might be altering your POI more than you'd expect, just guessing - but, maybe it is a POI change, more than the consistency of another type of ammo in that barrel.
     
  17. MR WICK

    MR WICK Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2021
    Messages:
    355
    My buddy who I shoot with told me to give it a shot.
     
    Buzznrose likes this.
  18. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    7,155
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I’ve not had luck with 1:9 with the 77gr sierra or 75 gr hornady. I like a 1:8 for those.
     
  19. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,864
    Location:
    Tonica, IL
    Might be worth trying 62 grain if you ever come across some (the kind that is NOT SS109/M885 amd doesnt have the penetrator core). I've heard of quite a few people having good luck with 1:9 twist and that weight.
     
    Seedy Character likes this.
  20. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    13,413
    Location:
    USA
    CapnMac likes this.
  21. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,305
    Location:
    SW NH
    For shooting 400-500 yards with the .223 Remington, I highly recommend sticking with the 68/69/75 grain match hollow point bullets. You MAY find a good shooting lot of 55 grain bullets, but they're going to get pushed around quite a bit beyond 300 yards if there's any kind of breeze.

    It does sound like the Freedom Munitions 69 grain loads are a great fit for your rifle. Definitely stock up when you can. And learn to reload when you have a chance too. I can tell you from experience that all you need to make good mid-range .223 Remington ammo is Hodgdon Varget, 69 grain Nosler Custom Competition bullets, Remington 7 1/2 or CCI BR4 small rifle primers, and a batch of consistent Lake City cases. Load to magazine length and you're done. I have yet to meet a fast-twist .223 Remington barrel that can't be coaxed to shoot under MOA with those components.

    You should also be able to get away with using the 75 grain Hornady HPBT match bullets (not to be confused with the plastic tipped A-Max bullets). I've never tried these in factory loaded form, but reloads using these bullets will shoot MOA in my Colt 6920 (16", 1-7" twist barrel, 5.56 NATO chamber), my Armalite M-15NM rifle (20", 1-7" Wilson stainless steel barrel from White Oak Armament with a .223 Wylde chamber) and my CZ 527FS (20", 1-9" twist barrel, CIP .223 Remington chamber).

    I'll refrain from getting into a rant about "ideal twist rates and bullet weights" for the .223/5.56. A lot of the theories clung to by the tactical rifle crowd are predicated on using what I consider marginal quality bullets and barrels that aren't necessarily given the potential to shoot the best. The short version of my rant is that bullet consistency matters more than twist rate, so long as the bullet length isn't too long for the rifling twist rate. I've seen stubby little 52 grain match bullets produce too many small groups in 1-9" to 1-7" twist barrels to make me believe in over-stabilizing bullets. This is independent of pushing light, thin jacketed bullets fast enough to come apart, which is really a separate but related issue.
     
  22. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    961
  23. doubleh

    doubleh Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,335
    Location:
    NM-south of I-40
    Not all rifles prefer the same load. For instance I have a 1:9 twist 223 that is a sub minute of angle rifle with my 60 gr. handloads. Go above 60 gr. and it become a scattergun. Experimenting with different brands and bullet weights is the only way to find a rifle's preferred load. Consider a friend's advise or what you read in a book a starting point and go from there.
     
  24. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    14,825
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    Components are still hit or miss, but the main advantage with reloading is you can tailor your loads for the intended use, and your particular rifle.
     
  25. lightman

    lightman Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3,689
    Location:
    Sherwood AR
    I'm surprised that your rifle didn't shoot the Hornady 55 grain stuff better. I have 2 223 caliber rifles with a 1-9 twist and they shoot anything between 50 grains and 69 grains well. I haven't shot anything either lighter or heavier than those weights.

    Its been my experience that up to a point a faster twist is a little more forgiving than a twist thats too slow. But then you have cases where an individual barrel will make its own rules!
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice