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Low power .223 fmj loads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Captain Capsize, Jan 12, 2014.

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  1. Captain Capsize

    Captain Capsize Member

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    I need to ask if there would be a problem loading .223 fmj 55 grain bullets to about 1500 fps. Can't find any load data to cover this. I know I should use cast lead but don't have the means right now to cast some. Am I going to have accuracy problems or other misfortune? Powder recommendations?
     
  2. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    Bolt or AR?
     
  3. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    I'd suggest you buy a couple of reloading books, read them from cover to cover, when finished, start over. Amazing what you can find out after reading !
     
  4. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    He wants to do a 'mouse fart' load. Not many manuals will show how to do this.
     
  5. thefish

    thefish Member

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    I guess the potential problem would be twofold. One, stuck bullet. Two, non cycling.
    These guys make a 5.56 that runs at 980fps, but it's a 100 grain specialized bullet, so I guess on so,e level it's possible.

    http://www.extremeshockusa.com/cgis...tup=1&ida=7&idp=0&his=0&cart_id=1434326.13616

    I guess do the opposite of what everyone recommends. Start at minimum charge, and go down from there.

    But why would you want a .223 moving that slow? Just curious?
     
  6. gpb

    gpb Member

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    The Hodgdon site gives a brief write up on reduced H4895 loads. I doubt if it would cycle a semi-auto, but it should work fine in a bolt gun. I don't know if it'll get you to 1500 fps, but it may get you below 2000.

    http://www.hodgdon.com/#

    Pull down "Data" open H4895 Reduced Rifle Loads.
     
  7. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    I could understand why you'd use an ultra heavy bullet at subsonic speeds, but a 55g fmj at that speed is a little more powerful than a 22 rimfire. Maybe he doesn't have a 22 rifle or can't get 22 LR ammo?

    You can probably do it with about 4 grains of Red Dot but it won't cycle an AR and it's an expensive substitute for a 22LR. If you use a powder slower than this, be prepared for sooty cases, unburned powder and maybe a stuck bullet.
     
  8. thefish

    thefish Member

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  9. thefish

    thefish Member

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    Ok. This is also listed on the hodgdon load data site. good luck. Let us know how it turns out.


    55 GR. HDY FMJ IMR Trail Boss .224" 2.200" 4.0 1074
    55 GR. HDY FMJ Hodgdon Titegroup .224" 2.200" 3.1 1064 4,000 CUP
    55 GR. HDY FMJ Hodgdon Clays .224" 2.200" 3.2 1060 3,700 CUP
     
  10. CLP

    CLP Member

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    Couldn't a third problem be flashover?
     
  11. moxie

    moxie Member

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    "flashover?"

    Of what? The powder burns, and there's nothing else in the chamber to burn or combust.
     
  12. Captain Capsize

    Captain Capsize Member

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    I guess I should have included more detail. First I have 3 loading manuals and have read them several times over the years. I have never needed to load ammo to "mouse fart" ballistics until now. I have a Savage model 24V with a 1:14 twist .223/20 ga. that will be my primary small game getter. I hunted with a .22 mag/20 ga. this year and took my share of squirrels and a turkey. The problem with the .22 mag is it tends to mess up the meat if I can't make a head shot every time. Since I have acquired the .223/20 I am thinking if I down load the .223 to below .22 mag specs It would make the perfect small game firearm. I would also carry some full power .223 loads for the occasional coyote or when a long shot is needed. I am concerned about instability or a stuck bullet. I plan on spending the necessary range time to develop the load I need. I have the means to develop a load that will have the same POI as a full power factory load. I have done it with my 30-30 using lead bullets. If I can find some .223 40-55 grain lead bullets or cast my own I am almost there. Thanks for your replies.
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Speer gives loads in the 1600 fps range with SR4759 in .222 and .222 Magnum. They don't in .223, probably because they would not cycle an automatic. The loads overlap so you could interpolate between .222 and .222 Mag for your .223 Savage.
     
  14. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    Try to get a copy of an old Lyman manual from the 1970'sw or DuPont data from about that time period. They would have data for reduced velocity loads using SR-4759 powder. You should also look at Hodgdon XMP-5744 which is used for reduced velocity loads. I don't know if Trail Boss would be appropriate for use in such a small case but Hodgdon does have data for it's use in calibers such as 30-06 and 375 H&H.
     
  15. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Suggestion: find a forum or other online community of folks shooting cast lead bullets. They'll often be shooting much lower-velocity loads than those developed for jacketed bullets. One starting place: http://www.lasc.us/indexBrennan.htm

    Note that a lead projectile may reduce the likelihood of a stuck bullet in the bore.

    ETA: Here's someone who provides some low-powered .223 loads based on pistol/shotgun powders: http://www.jamescalhoon.com/tobee2.php

    I MAKE NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY AS TO THE SAFETY OF ANY OF THIS STUFF! LOAD AND SHOOT AT YOUR SOLE RISK!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  16. Comrade Mike

    Comrade Mike Member

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    Mouse fart .223 loads that cycle an AR could be great for action shooting where speed is the name of the game. That's about the only application I could imagine.
     
  17. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    If I were attempting to create such a load I'd probably use H4895, 16.0gr of it and work up if need be. Hodgdon lists a max of 26.0gr of H4895 with a 55gr SP bullet. Their reduced load info says that any cartridge in which H4895 is listed, the load can safely be reduced to 60% of the MAX load. Maybe someone with QuickLoad could help you out and run those numbers.
     
  18. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    It appears he want's to make sub-sonic loads for use with a silencer. He will have to go up in bullet weight to 75 grains or higher, but they will not fit in the magazine and be feed one at a time, which will be OK since they most likely will not fully cycle the bolt anyways.

    People do weird things for weird reasons.

    Jim
     
  19. poco loco

    poco loco Member

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    first off this data is old from an old Hercules pamphlet of load data

    they had 2400 listed to 14g max load, I found 13.8 cycled my mini and shot the most accurate groups that mini has ever shot bar none....that's 14g for a 55g fmjbt 2.215 oal 2685fps @ 49,900psi

    No current 2400 data I know of so be cautious and work up slowly from about 10% under the 14 max

    This is from the 1988 Hercules data booklet....

    There's always Trail Boss if you want to go slower yet....
     
  20. spitballer

    spitballer Member

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    I'm not sure what to make of the FMJ's, to be honest. They seem to be kind of hard and I wonder if they're designed for high-pressure ball rounds. I could never get a good seal with the ones I tried and finally gave them up in favor of the thinly jacketed bullets like the v-max.
     
  21. Captain Capsize

    Captain Capsize Member

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    "It appears he want's to make sub-sonic loads for use with a silencer. He will have to go up in bullet weight to 75 grains or higher, but they will not fit in the magazine and be feed one at a time, which will be OK since they most likely will not fully cycle the bolt anyways."
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No, I have done that some 20 years ago. I want reduced loads using commonly available bullets to shoot small game with my .223 single shot rifle without blowing big holes in the critters. And still be able to chamber and fire full power .223 ammo when needed.
     
  22. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    Several people use Blue Dot to create reduced loads in various rifle calibers. I've done it in 223, 30-30 and 243 Win. Anyhow, it is a pistol powder and with a very light charge one must be very careful to not double charge a case!!!!!!
    No filler is needed and I had very good results in 223.
    55gr VNE SP, 7gr Blue Dot, 1,616 fps out of my 16" barrel. Expect around the same velocity with your longer barrel since the pistol powder is 100% burnt in the first 12".
    I think 6gr of Blue Dot should get you down to 1,500 fps.

    I think your biggest problem will be hold over. These loads will have a very different trajectory compared to a 3,000 fps full power 223 load.
    Good luck and load careful.
     
  23. Captain Capsize

    Captain Capsize Member

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    Thanks gents, I ordered a Lyman 45 g. 225 double cav. mold this evening so I will feel better about light pistol powder loads. I have a sackful of pulled 45 cal 230 gr. bullets that had been crimped and are now to small to reload so I will melt them down for .223 bullets.
     
  24. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    I would still try the 4 grains of Red Dot/Clays/Promo/Titewad. Maybe start with 7-8 grains and work down. 5 grains is a typical load for a 120-230g handgun bullet so it should easily push a 55g bullet out the barrel.

    The problem I see is 1500 fps with a 1:14 twist might be marginally stable. I think that was the twist of the original M-16's. Not that it wouldn't work to 100 yards, it's just that it might tumble when it hits and splatter your game worse than a .22 mag.

    For a turkey, I'd definitely load up the 20 gauge and go for a head shot.
     
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