Favorite .223 Target loads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ahutch71, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. ahutch71

    ahutch71 Member

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    I shoot .223 from a CZ 527, and have been having a good time working up some plinking and target loads. I have been shooting both 55 gr Hornady softpoints with cannelure, and also 55gr cast gas checked (Lee C225-55-RF) pan lubed, cast with Hardball 92-2-6 (similar to #2).

    My current favorite 100yd load for the cast boolits is 13.0gr IMR 4227 with Cream of Wheat (CoW) on top to keep the powder at the bottom of the brass against the primer, slightly compressed. Just shot it yesterday, great accuracy at 100yd (about a 1.5" group, which is good for me). Haven't chrono'd yet but my guess is just a bit north of 2,000 fps (probably closer to 2,100). No leading, I believe due to the gas check, relatively hard alloy, and I've heard that the CoW may have a "scouring" effect.

    My 50yd load is 12.0gr of Accurate 5744 (although I shoot SW Buffalo Rifle as a substitute, and my understanding is that Lovex used to make 5744 for Accurate and it's exactly or almost exactly the same powder...sure behaves like it) with no CoW buffer and the same boolit. Feels like shooting a 22 Mag (almost no recoil) and I can get nearly same hole hits at 50. I have chrono'd that one at 1815, +/- 10fps.

    Anyhow, I'd be interested if others have any "pet loads" in 223 for target work and entertainment. Also, I haven't come up with any real favorites for the Hornady 55 grainers, so suggestions are welcome.
     
  2. patsdad

    patsdad Member

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    I like 4.5 grains of Trail Boss powder with a 52 grain factory second bullet . This groups nicely at 50 yards from a single shot Handi-Rifle. There is no recoil.
     
  3. GoldieMI
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    GoldieMI Contributing Member

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    21.5 Grains H322 / 80 Grain SMK / CCI 400 SRP out of an oryx chassis rifle 1:7 barrel Thompson Compass Gen 1
    these are single loaded
    ES- 11.91 fps
    SD- 4.85 fps
    2679 average velocity
    .5" load - 5 shot group x 5 groups
    stopped development on that load
     
  4. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    For varmint siloette I use 80 eldm 24.4 grains varget, Lapua case and cci br primer. Still finalizing seating depth but it's a good shooter.
     
  5. Jack63

    Jack63 Member

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    I use varget 24.2 55gr. Bullet
     
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  6. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I run mine with 55 brain speer bullets and 9 grains of red dot. dime size groups at 100 yards.
     
  7. ahutch71

    ahutch71 Member

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    I haven’t tried some of the heavier (75, 80gr) projectiles in my 527, as it’s a 1:12 and I’m not sure how they’ll stabilize.

    May have to try this one, at ~2700 might have to enough zing to avoid the wobble, but 1:12 is still pretty slow.
     
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  8. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    For the 55, I liked 25.5 h4895.
    For 77smk I run between 23.8 and 24.0 of IMR4064. Neither are compatible with volumetric measures. But both are extremely accurate.
     
  9. ahutch71

    ahutch71 Member

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    Hmm, I haven’t tried 4064 in 223, but I have a bunch of it (use it and BL-C2 for 308 and 30-06).

    My LGS has a 527 carbine in 223 now, and it has a 1:9 twist vs the 1:12 on my 527 American. May need to think about that...
     
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  10. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    55 grain over 26.0 CFE223.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
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  11. dredd

    dredd Member

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    55/gr Hornady Soft Point and 27/gr of W748 (Thanks RCMODEL)

    100/yrds
    5 Shots - 5/8" grouping out of a 20" bull barrel AR15

    This isn't actually a Target Load.
    I use this rifle for varmints.
     
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  12. GoldieMI
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    GoldieMI Contributing Member

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    I am at 2.436" COAL so not magazine length for most guns...I'm running AICS mags though
     
  13. v8stang289

    v8stang289 Member

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    24.5 gns Varget under a 69gn SMK at 2.285", in PMC brass with a CCI 400 primer.
    Shoots well under moa in my Rem 700 sps tactical, as long as I do my part.
     
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  14. JO JO

    JO JO Member

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    24 gr TAC
    55gr Nosler Varmageddon
    bolt gun 1/9
     
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  15. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    My idea of “target” shooting is 200,300,600yds match target shooting.
    I use 75gr Hornady BTHP match over 24.0gr of H4895 @2.26” for 200-300yds. 3/4moa.
    80gr Sierra matchKings @2.555” (single load) for 600yds over 22.8gr. Hits 2,700fps from my Wilson 20” heavy match barrel. 1/2moa.
    1/8”twist.
     
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  16. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    25 gr of H-335 under a 55gr FMJ.
     
  17. ANATION

    ANATION Member

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    69 gr SMK 23.5 IMR 4064
     
  18. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    If you're 1-12 twist. Stick to the 55 flat base or 52 hpbt. I've had 62hpbt get sideways at 25 yards in a 1-12.
     
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  19. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    23.7gr TAC under a Hornady 62gr FMJBT shot from a Savage Axis 1:9 If I can do my part it is shooting clover leafs @100yds.
     
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  20. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    BL-C2 and that hornady 55gr sp

    +/- 25.5gr of that combo has produced moa groups in every rifle I've ever owned chambered in 223rem or 5.56.

    I've shown this target before. Home swaged jacketed bullets made from free 22lr cases/free range lead and free range pick-up mixed nato brass using a heavy bbl'd $200 savage axis chambered in 223rem.
    P1gfBgs.jpg

    That target was my initial testing with that bullet/rifle combo, only 5-shot groups. But I did more testing and found the same results with that 25.5gr load of bl-c2 and the home made bullet. A close-up of that 25.5gr load from the target above.
    zPxjPex.jpg
     
  21. BBarn

    BBarn Member

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    Many powders seem to work well in mine. I use mostly W748 with 55gr. bullets. Accuracy is very good and it meters well.
     
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  22. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    69 SMK 24.5 grains CFE223
     
  23. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    For a 1:12 twist barrel your going to be forced to using light bullets. The slowest twist I have is 1:10 and it loves the 52gr SMK, 26.1-26.2 gr TAC @ 2.25" OAL = groups < 1 MOA and will produce clover (dime size) if your using good brass.

    For faster twist barrels 25.7 gr Varget, 69gr SMK @ 2.260"
     
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  24. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    25.0 of W748 under 55 grain FMJ or 25.0 of BLC-2 under the same bullet.
     
  25. ahutch71

    ahutch71 Member

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    Thanks for all the replies - I’m going to compile these and put them in my 223 folder so I have plenty of things to try.

    I did call my guy at the LGS (they’re closed for weather but I know him well) and he’s going to hold the 527 carbine with a 1:9 twist for me and I’ll pick it up later this week when things thaw out. That should give me some more options with heavier projectiles (I’m thinking 1:9 will take me up to ~ 70-75 grains?).
     
    horsemen61 likes this.
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