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What's a proven varmint load for the 5.56?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by harmonic, Nov 13, 2008.

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  1. harmonic

    harmonic member

    Aug 10, 2007
    For a varmint AR that's chambered for the 5.56, what's a good setup? What brand brass do you use? Do you ever use 223 brass for precision work?

    Let's say the barrel is 1 in 8. What's your best bullet?

    Powder, etc?

  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    All I have used for the last 35 years is LC GI brass, WW748 powder, and about anyones 55 grain varmint bullet.

    I used to use mostly Sierra 53 grain Match HP's.
    Today, either Hornady V-Max, or Nosler Ballistic-Tips shoot extremely well in all three of my .223's and give more reliably expansion at long range.

    For small varmints, on up to coyote size, I am of the opinion that the 50-55 grain weight give the most explosive performance.

    Heavier bullets are undoubtedly better for long range windy conditions, but are somewhat lacking in the explosive expansion I want at long range.

    As for commercial .223 vis GI 5.56 brass?

    I bought 1,500 commercial Remington .223 cases a couple years ago, and it is no more uniform or precise then the old LC GI 5.56 I have.
  3. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    S32-E152 Hunter Valley
    I tried some 40gr HP and 45gr HP in .223rem. They were highly explosive upon impact on small targets. But I've also found that the lightweight/short profile bullets loose their velocity fast at longer ranges, as well being more influenced in windy conditions.

    I like the Hornady SX range in 50gr & 55gr SP for varmiting work. I'm also trying out some nice quality bulk varmit 55gr HPBT's atm, and so far have had good results.
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