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"mid range" .223 loads

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jaysouth, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

    Joined:
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    1,201
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    My favorite gun is a Remington 700 Light Tactical Rifle. It has a 20" 1:9 twist fluted barrel, a Remington 40X trigger and a target stock. So far I have put about a thousand rounds of regular pressure ammo, factory and reloads through it.

    Where I do most of my shooting, the range is limited to 215 yards. As I thought about wear and tear on the barrel, I asked myself, "do I need 3,300 fps loads to punch paper and ring steel at 200 Yards"?

    Looking at the net, I found some reduced loads from a usually reliable source. I started the test with Hornady 55 gr fmjbt (2267B) and 14 to 15 grains of 2400. In that range of powder weights, I found an accuracy node that gave me almost MOA accuracy at 200 years and rang steel with authority. Switching to better hornady bullets and match CCI primers, I got a hair less than MOA. However, I went back to the 2267s and WSPs when I realized that I did not need to spend extra money to slightly increase accuracy to hit 12 inch gongs. I have not chronographed the loads, but I guess around 2,100 fps with clean ignition, clean barrel and freshly ejected cases that were cold to the touch. With neck sizing and regular annealing, LC cases go over 20 loadings. I have had some good down range results with Blue Dot but it is dirty.

    My "mid-range" load will not cycle an AR.

    I am working up loads for the 30-06 and 16-18 grs. 2400 with M-80 pull down FMJ bullets. I will get back to you on that project.
     
    Chuck R. and Bfh_auto like this.
  2. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Another powder that is worth a try is IMR4227. I started with cast data and worked up from there. I stopped when my AR started cycling.
    I'm sure you already know, but using powder in this burn rate can get dangerous fast.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    horsey300 likes this.
  3. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

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    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    I stop shy of the published Max loads for 2400 and cast bullets.

    I have had excellent accuracy with fmj bullets and 2400. 14 grs 2400 in 223 and 7.62x39, 16 grs in 30-30 and 18 grs in 30-06.

    At these velocities, cast bullets are the way to go, but if you can get cheap jacketed bullets, you sure save a lot of work as opposed to casting, coating, sizing, neck and neck enlarging.
     
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  4. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Leavenworth, KS
    I've got the XCR "Compact Tactical" version of your rifle, bought it when they 1st came out with the 40X trigger. I was just thinking the same thing, that it was one of my favorite rifles, while I was shooting it yesterday and making head shots on my turkey swinger at 300 yards. I'm loading the 69 Sierra OTMs and newer TMKs at right around 2900.

    Haven't done the reduced load thing yet, mostly because the majority of my shooting with it is done between 300 and 547 yards (home range).
     
  5. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    Messages:
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    My three 223/5.56 rifles are all non-semis, so I've done a little experimenting with light loads for use in the local indoor range. My current favorite is a 35 grain V-Max (for the .22 Hornet) over a case full of Trail Boss. I haven't chronoed it but I'd guess that energy-wise it was in .22 WMR territory.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  6. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    I can't talk of the AR platform, as you all know my views on that. But I can say on a bolt rifle.

    I went down the same road as you....for the same reasons. The range close to me is 200 yards, my back yard is 100 yards.....I have no real pressing need but a huge desire to "reach out there".

    I will pull up my formulas when I get home if I remember....I have tried several powers, ranging from some VV to Varget, IMR most popular rifle flavors.....but I don't remember them all off hand. I do the same for many of the other bolt rifles, French, german, american Italian, Japanese, Austrian....you name it I have played with reduced loads for them and have had fantastic results with most. Why do I need to pound myself, and guns nearing 100 years old to death to shoot at 200 yards.....you don't.

    Here is one reason I wanted to pick up that quickload program....so I can get ideas on what does what.....some guns I want to keep the pressures really low (trapdoor), some I want the recoil low (get 5 bits of titanium holding your head on and recoil is not something that feels good).

    Back to 223, I have found it to be very forgiving to being "pushed slow", It is also fun to try different bullet profiles....different weights, length (might be limited by your mags)....all kinds of things you can play with and test with.

    Get yourself a chrono....cheap now.....If you are not lucky enough to walk out your back door and shoot work up 5-10 rounds and see what you are getting. Be ready to pull some back apart if they don't pass the smell test.....this is really fun and you can get amazing results.

    I really don't care about the reduced amount of powder....if I pinched my pennies that hard I need to find another hobby.....I reduce at first because I still wanted to shoot.....then I found out the guns still shot well, most better, one or two worse.....some of the old military rifles are so over gassed unless you start screwing around with parts you are going to kill it (G43 anyone).

    It is really fun, fun to see the different drops at distances, fun to still shoot.....it is like an entire new door has opened in this hobby....

    You will have fun.
     
  7. NuclearMeltdown

    NuclearMeltdown Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    93
    I've tried 18 grains of H4895 under a 55 gr SP. The first group was just under an inch. I made these to keep from pitting my steel target gongs.
     
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