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Good commercial powder for bulk .223?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Conqueror, Apr 9, 2010.

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  1. Conqueror

    Conqueror Member

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    I would prefer to use surplus powders for their low cost, but the supply is too irregular for my taste. Does anyone have a good recommendation for one of the cheaper commercial powders that will be good under a 55gr FMJ? Woul also like it to use a smaller charge if possible, to maximize yield per lb.

    I would also be happy to look at any leads you guys have on surplus 5.56 powder in 5-10lb lots.

    Thanks!
     
  2. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    A quick check shows Ramshot Tac at $119 for 8lbs at Powder Valley or Hodgdon H335 at $124 for 8lbs currently. They are very close in burn rate and similar in charges but not exactly. Both are excellent in the 223 with 55gr bullets.




    NCsmitty
     
  3. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    AA 2230 would work great, 8lbs for $118 at wideners.

    BLC-2 is another good choice

    For a little more money, around $137/8lbs, IMR-4895 is excellent.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    That's why I bought 32 pounds of SRB-118 back a few years ago. (Back when 1K of 55 Gr FMJ's were around 30 to 35 bucks) Bought an 8 lb jug of 2230-S when I came upon it at a good price. Wish there had been two jugs.

    Availability is always a question with surplus. Buy in quantity, because when it's gone, it's gone.

    TAC & AA 2230, as posted, are about as cheap as any new powders suited to .223, and work well in it.

    Pats Reloading usually has some surplus powders.
     
  5. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Member

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    Ramshot TAC is what everybody talks about, but I've had great luck with Ramshot X-terminator. Requires a little less than TAC as well, especially with 55gr bullets.
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    The Ramshot PDF actually shows Exterminator outdoing TAC velocity wise with 55 Gr bullets with basically the same charge weight.
     
  7. Runningman

    Runningman Member

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    Like the consistency from lot # to lot # of WC844 AKA H335 myself. Been used for decades by the US military in M193 and M855 loads.
     
  8. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    I've used quite a bit of WC 844 but now that availability is limited I've switched to using only H335 for 55 grain loads. The prices of surplus powders have gone up too much due to them being unavailable a lot of the time that I don't think it's worth the dollars saved and having to work up loads each time you switch surplus powder lots. The WC 844 lots I've previously bought all had slightly different burn rates and powder charges had to be adjusted every time. Surplus powders now at approx. $90 for WC 844, I'd rather spend a few dollars more and get a consistent commercial powder. You only save, and this is approximate, about $3.75 per pound which is somewhere around 1.3-1.5 cents per round. Plus Hodgdons data for H335 is the most reliable as to charge versus feet per second of any powder I've tried.
     
  9. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I agree, if you can find some surplus WC 844 (H335) that will probably be your best bet. If you can't find that try and fine some WC 846 (BL-C(2)/W748) which will also work well in the .223/5.56 NATO.

    Unfortunately neither are in stock the few places I know to look but you might find some if you have better sources than I.
     
  10. G36Rick

    G36Rick Member

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    Never used bulk surplus ,but always have great results with Ramshot TAC and Hodgdon Varget with a 55 grainer.
     
  11. Conqueror

    Conqueror Member

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    Yeah, Varget has been my pet 5.56 powder in the past, but it has been a little tough to find lately and is also not on the cheap end of the spectrum. Good stuff though.

    Thanks to everyone for the info so far, keep it coming! I will look into what's been posted.
     
  12. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    AA 2230 would work great, 8lbs for $118 at wideners.

    I've used AA2230 for 223 for over 20 years. I guess I haven't found anything I really like better. A ball powder it meters well and gives no functioning problems in ARs as long as you clean your rifle regularly. I've shot as many as 500-600 rds in one session in an AR with no problems.
     
  13. Conqueror

    Conqueror Member

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    I just did a little excel spreadsheet on the options in the Lee manual and what's been mentioned in this thread. Load data is from Lee and prices are from Powder Valley.

    [​IMG]

    Interestingly, the Hodgdon 4198 is the cheapest per round due to its low charge weight. It's about 100-150fps slower compared to other loads but also offers up to 600 extra rounds per 8lb jug. The other downside is that it doesn't give you a lot of room for load development (though, from past experience, the Lee max loads are quite conservative compared to other load manuals). The Ramshot powders are pretty close though.
     
  14. tabealer

    tabealer Member

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    That's nice work conqueror. I was thinking of doing the same thing.
    Todd
     
  15. tabealer

    tabealer Member

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    Double post
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
  16. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    IIRC, H335 was originally developed by Winchester for the 5.56X45 NATO. IMHO, it's still the best.

    (Although I wouldn't turn down a keg of 2230 or 2230 S if I found one at a good price) :p
     
  17. evan price

    evan price Member

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    H335, hands down, is the cannister powder for 5.56-
    Heck, it works great in 7.62, as well.
     
  18. aerod1

    aerod1 Member

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    I use and prefer H-335 for my 223 cartridges.
     
  19. RH45

    RH45 Member

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    In my .223s, 748 has always been more accurate with 55 grain bullets than H335.

    With the heavier bullets, Varget has been the most accurate out of my rifles.
     
  20. APIT50

    APIT50 Member

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  21. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Don't forget the $22.50 Hazmat fee and the ~$10 S&H (my shipping would be $11.56 to where I live) will bring the price of that WC846 up to $126.50/8 lbs. Still not bad but not a great bargain either. (still almost $16/lb instead of $11.75/lb at the $94 price tag) Darn the government for adding the $22.50 to what we buy online! Just wait until they institute the VAT and then see what everything is going to cost us!!!! :fire:
     
  22. tydephan

    tydephan Member

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    I use BLC-2 for my bulk 223.
     
  23. ants

    ants Member

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    It sure add up fast, doesn't it.

    We have had threads on this Forum, stating that the HazMat fee is NOT government required. The government doesn't even mention a HazMat Fee at all. The carriers add it themselves. Of course, some carriers add it to make up for cost of the training and certification required by the Government to carry hazardous materials, but that is a carrier's decision. It is not a government required levy, at least that's what those other threads said.

    VAT:
    Aren't we already paying a government levied excise tax under the Pittman Robinson Act?
     
  24. Otto

    Otto Member

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    It's not the government adding the fee, it's the carrier.
    And it's $25 now not 22.50
     
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