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extremely reduced .223 loads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BullpupBen, Sep 13, 2009.

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  1. BullpupBen

    BullpupBen Member

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    I've been thinking about the idea of a .223 rifle as a survival weapon/tool. for the round to be useful in that purpose it would have to be able to take down small game like squirrels/small birds/rabbits without destroying the meat.
    With that in mind, does anyone have any data on loading the .223 down to .22 magnum or perhaps even .22 LR levels?
    Is this even possible or would the twist rate be too fast and cause problems with overstabalizing the bullet or something like that?
     
  2. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    What kind of rifle are you talking about. Its easily dooable with a bolt action. An Ar is a no go as it wont cycle the rounds. Do a search for .223 sub sonic loads and you will get all you need. I think the hogdon info has them. Sub sonic loads can be shot about the same speed as a .22 mag.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Lyman #49 lists two 55 grain cast bullet loads in the 1,750 FPS range.

    Doing it with jacketed bullets runs the risk of sticking one in the barrel.

    Speer lists several jacketed bullet reduced loads in the 1,900 - 2,000+ range using XMP-5744 powder.

    The problem you might have is, they will not shoot to the same sight settings as the full power ammo the gun is sighted in with.
    And as already mentioned, an AR-15 would become a pretty clumsy manually operated bolt-action because it won't cycle.

    BTW: You can load .22 cal air-rifle pellets in sized & primed cases, using only the Small Rifle primer as the propellent.
    They are powerful enough to kill small game at close range with head shots.

    rc
     
  4. BullpupBen

    BullpupBen Member

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    I would be manually cycling a semi-auto rifle, presumably. since the intended use is just hunting one animal at a time, I see no disadvantage to having a single-shot rifle.

    You bring up a good point, rcmodel. I think using lead bullets would be fine, but wouldn't a lead bullet at those velocities quickly gunk up the barrel with lead?

    I thought about the sighting problem, but seeing as this would be at close range (50 yards max i suppose) i doubt it would be difficult to hold a few inches above the squirrels head. I do it with my .22 all the time, as it is sighted in for much longer range then I usually shoot it.

    Could you speak a little more about the air rifle pellets? that sounds like a very plausible solution. what do you think the effective (humane) range would be for that? is it accurate? I would imagine those pellets can't really catch on to the rifling.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes, they "catch on to the rifling" due to the over-size skirt.
    Yes, they can be very accurate out to 30-40 yards.
    Even a little spin will stabilize them anyway, because they are a hollow base nose heavy pellet like a badminton shuttlecock.

    I used to shoot pigeons off the barn roof with a 22-250 using them from at least 30 yards.

    No, the Lyman reduced lead bullet loads will not "gunk up the barrel".
    They are both gas check bullets, and when cast of hard alloy such as Linotype, and properly sized and lubed, can be driven faster then that without leading.

    rc
     
  6. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    You could use something like 7 to 7.5 grains of Red Dot. (I use 12.5 grains in .30-06 light loads with copper-plated .30-30 bullets)
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    SR-4759 will work as well as 5744. Designed for reduced loads in rifles, just like 5744. (The new jugs don't have XMP on them)

    I have used 700 X for reduced loads in .22 Hornet & .223.
     
  8. Beelzy

    Beelzy Member

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    Sweet!

    Now I know what I can do with all those SR magnum primers I have.
     
  9. average_shooter

    average_shooter Member

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    OP- you said this would be in a semi-auto? I am assuming an AR then for the purposes of this question/comment.

    Just curious; why would such drastically reduced .223 Rem loads be preferable over getting a .22LR kit and just swapping the bolt and magazine? Then you could hunt small game with .22LR, swap the bolt/magazine, and go back to .223 for larger game or defense.

    I like the idea about the .22 cal. air rifle pellets, I may have to try that one.
     
  10. WNTFW

    WNTFW Member

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    "I like the idea about the .22 cal. air rifle pellets, I may have to try that one."

    I thinking about trying it myself.
    I think RCModel created a truckload of monsters on that post.
     
  11. BullpupBen

    BullpupBen Member

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    Well I'm thinking for a SHTF situation where you might only have one gun and (fill in crazy scenario) need to get food with it for an indefinite period of time.. lets say 50 years. With a centerfire rifle you can cast bullets, reuse cases for a long time when its with such a light load, and storing tens of thousands of primers doesnt take up that much space.
    On the other hand there is no way to make a rimfire round without a lot of dedicated equipment, at least thats my uneducated assumption. for that reason relying on .22LR does not seem like the answer in a worst-possible scenario since they cannot be produced with simple materials and storing up tens of thousands is more difficult than a bunch of primers, powder, and lead ingots.

    The specific gun i was thinking about was a Kel-Tec SU-16, although like I said I don't think that is important with respect to the question.

    Edit to add: I found this thread which is highly relevant to my question, you guys might be interested as well- http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=146269
     
  12. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    so would just using a good .22 air rifle
     
  13. spoonbender

    spoonbender Member

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    This goes back over 30 years so my memory is fuzzy on the exact recipe, but I loaded 6 or 7 gr of Red Dot behind a 40 grain swaged lead bullet with a gas check. I used a small tuft of Dacron pillow stuffing to hold the powder against the primer, kept the accuracy very consistent. A word of caution any time using reduced loads; KEEP the POWDER tight to the primer! On several earlier loads without it, had erratic powder combustion and even a few loads that gave me a tight bolt and flattened primers. With consistent loads, accuracy was basically a single hole at 30 yards. Gray squirrels hated 'em.
     
  14. BullpupBen

    BullpupBen Member

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    Thanks a lot spoonbender, thats just what I was looking for.
     
  15. crawfobj

    crawfobj Member

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    Neat ideas guys. This is the kind of stuff that keeps me coming back to this forum. Way too many guys out there who are smarter than I am...

    Not to burst anyone's bubble, but why not store up 10K .22lr rounds vs. (or in addition to primers) for this purpose? Cost is about the same, you already have a rifle for it (you know you do, and probably more than one), and storage capacity is essentially the same without forcing the square peg into the round hole...

    Still fun to read though.

    Just my $.02.
     
  16. KenWP

    KenWP member

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    There is a fellow makes adapters for all calibers including a 223 that is basically the same size as the case and use's green blank loads for a Remington nail gun. It comes with a punch and die to form bullets out of lead fish weights or buck shot ot even peices of lead and works reasonably well. I have one for a 30-06. You have to use green loads as the reds lead up the barrle to much. I would not be surprised that yellows would work for a 223 due to the small size.
     
  17. BullpupBen

    BullpupBen Member

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    link? explain that a little more? I think it sounded interesting..
     
  18. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    If you're talking about head shots a regular 55gr FMJ load isn't going to waste any meat anyway. Unless, of course, you really like eggs scrambled with squirrel brains. I'd have to be pretty desperate to eat that again.

    50 years is 18,000 days. Depending on the family size you may need more than one squirrel a day to keep the kids happy. Better stock up more ammo! :)

    In the long run you will probably be better off learning to fish or farm.
     
  19. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    Now that's just plain neat. You're my hero, RC! Personally, I have no reason to need to try this except for the fact that I really want to be able to say that I've done this!

    I guess the concept makes enough sense, though I'm curious about how well pellet gun pellets handle the bullet seating die (or do I mean that the other way around?). In practice I suppose this isn't much different in scope than the "simunitions" we train with at work. Those are essentially the mean bastard cousins of paintballs, loaded onto a modified case that I believe is only powered by a primer.
     
  20. KenWP

    KenWP member

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    The adapter is called the Hammond Game Getter. Hammond Enterprises LTD

    Box 41061 Petrolia PO
    Edmonton Alberta
    Canada T6J 6M7
    He can make them to any caliber even wildcats if you supply him with a brand new fired caseing. he advertises in the back of a few gun mags but which ones I don't remember right now. Cost was $25 bucks there abouts for regular rounds.
     
  21. Magnumite

    Magnumite Member

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    Well, since we are talking fixed location here, why not just use an accurate spring action air gun for the small game.

    I like the 22 LR idea for slightly extended range. A T/C Contender pistol is absolutely deadly on squirrels.

    But if the AR platform is the given item, the primer powered pellet gets my vote. That is something I'll have to try.
     
  22. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You don't use the bullet seating die.

    Just press them into the case mouth with your fingers.
    No crimp, no nothing.

    Just press them in and shoot them.

    rc
     
  23. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    I've tried the Hodgdon load of 3.1gr. of Titegroup with a 55gr. FMJ bullet. I knew there was no way this would cycle a semi-auto, but I gave it a try for fun. After firing this load, I would use it is if I was teaching a child how to shoot or if you wanted to pull a prank on someone else and slip one of these into a magazine. There is no recoil - so little that I would check the barrel to make sure that it left (or count the holes in the target). The load is not very accurate at 50 yds, shoots about 8" low if you're sighted in for regular ammo, and is very dirty since it really doesn't produce enough pressure for the brass to make a good seal - expect the whole case to have powder residue on it. For something fun to do or for novelty purposes - it's great, but I wouldn't hunt with it.
     
  24. iblong

    iblong Member

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    Take a trip over to 24 hr camp fire and do a serch of posts by a gentleman called seefire.
    He has done extensive testing of reduced loads using Blue dot powder.
    Ive been loading this powder for 3 yrs now in my 223 bolt,in fact its become my primarry powder for the 223,accurate and clean burnning.loading between 1500 to 3200 fps.
    Bob.
     
  25. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    They have something more than just primers. I have used my guns to kill primers before and it is much quieter than simunitions going off.
     
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