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any .223 loaders ???

4549 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  xwrench3
since .223 ammo is non existant around here I`m curious as to whats a good starting point? I can get brass from the AR guys at the range.
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I was working on a promising formula last fall when Turkey and Deer season interupted. I will trudge thru the snow up to the shop and get it latter this morning. OR...if you have Sierra's 5th edition its in there also. At stopping point I had optained (ONCE) A .226" group out of my Marlin Varmit Barrel 7X .223. is what I use in my .223. It is a Marlin X7VH with a 1:14" twist barrell @ 24". I load it for accuracy and if you will be hunting with it might want to try a different bullet/formula. If you do let me know as I have loads for hunting with different bullets/powders.

Powder: H335
Bullet: Sierra .224" 52 gr. HPBT MatchKing

Starting load: 24.1 - 2900 fps
Max load: 27.6 - 3400 fps

I use Federal cases, Fed Bulk shot in my gun to form to my chamber then neck sized only.
Primers: Remington 7 1/2 Small Rifle
C.O.A.L. - 2.250"

When I stopped this fall I was up to 26.0 gr and shot the .226" group with it. I have two more batches loaded, 26.2 and 26.4 to try next. I havn't put them thru the crono yet. Will the next batches. All shots where at 100 yds. off the bench with a 24X scope.

I have 13 powders listed for this bullet. The H335 was the reccomended one.
So far havn't crimped them but now that I have a Lee Factory Crimp Die I might try some.

Probley more info than you wanted. Hope this helps. Will be interesting to see what you come up with.
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The Sierra manual has for AR and bolt action if you need me to scan a few pages from the manual let me know.
I've only tried a couple recipes but my G2 Contender likes the Hornady 50g V-Max and 24.0 grns of Vehtavouri N-135 at 3,098 fps.
No, but I re-utilize 223 Rem Brass for 5.56:p I bought 2300 Mil Brass. It was P.I.T.A. to hand prep and de-crimp the pockets, etc. Worth it now! The home-grown .223/5.56 are my 'in case of emergency stash' of fodder. Multi-purpose, but loaded just a tad shy of full NATO standards & high pressures to help offset the short M4 barrel length. Accurate enough for intended purposes, but not bragging rights on paper. No signs of case problems with the 'civilian' brass versus the MHS Mil Brass that is mostly Win or LC. Annealing is a pain...but it sure seems to make a difference. I've got one batch of brass that's seen 6 reloading cycles with the full Monty loads of TAC & X-terminator pushing both the 60gr HP and 65gr SPs. And they've been heated, re=sized with a little trimming (not much stretch after the multiple firings) & re-primed. I did have a few that went to scrap due to neck wall being too thin for my comfort, but not many. Prepping the diminutive cases is a bit tedious, but I've got time to do all it takes to keep the brass functioning through the press and of course, the firing sequence to recovery.

Ramshot listed the high-pressure loads after a lot of whining from users of TAC & X-terminator since all they listed were .223 tables. I'd bet Sierra's Big Green Book probably lists them as well for Ramshot and other MFGs propellants. The suit-wary lawyers are the ones that keep reloader pubs safely in the black when in fact certain calibers and primer/powder/bullet can be safely loaded to higher velocities. I found that out in chatting with Western Powder’s Chief Ballistician for a hot load in my slightly short-throated XL.

The 5.56 is the ONLY caliber I load that's at the envelope. I've found that the sweet spot recipe is usually on the mid to lower side of the tables. Most will probably agree their best 'work' comes from backing off, being identified by batch loads of .2 to .4 grs difference to find and then refine results to arrive at Nirvana. Looks like SW01 spelled out his work, above. The fire forming for a specific bolt gun or single shot and neck sizing is in the Bench Shooters credo. I just don't care about it with M4 fodder, even though my loads seem to print 'minute of game animal', anywho. Range fun, taking a poke at a varmint and SHTF intended cartridges. Right now…no range work…too darned much $$$, because AR owner know they can dump a mag and not even realize it!

Best wishes in your endeavor to create your perfect round for the .223 Remy!

P.S. I think SW01’s ¼ group from an affordable rifle shows what can be achieved with a Marlin. KUDOs Sir!
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The Mil .5.56 brass, like all other DOD brass is thicker and beefer to handle the stronger loads. Make good reloading if you want to go thru the pocket reaming, ect.

Sierra does list the X-terminatior and TAC powder as AR-15 propellent. They have seperate data for ARs and Bolt guns. Sierra reccomends X-terminatior with a 50 gr. for hunting. The X-terminatior seems to produce higher velocities than the TAC. Of course with the sorter AR barrels Bolt gun speeds are not reached, load for load. Test gun for them was a Colt Match AR with a 1:7" twist barrel (20")

They list H335 with the best accuracy in the AR an Bolt guns. Listed for my gun I can get 3800 fps with a 40 gr bullet. Their data was with a 24" barrel 1:14" twist out of a Rem 600. My 26" should do a little better with the same twist.

As for the saftey margins in the data, when I talked to them about .38 data they were insistant (overly so) that they DO NOT publish +P data for the .38 or any other caliber.
@ SW01 I figure Sierra and others don't publish the +P or +P+ type recipes because of litigation issues I'm sure. What QCs does the average Joe have to proof them? He doesn't. Sometimes it seems odd that certain combos will scream and stay well below pressure whereas some powders & boolit combos can cause catastrophic failure...I imagine especially so in some of the older wheel guns. Oh...and the HOT '06 load...after turning about 4 loose...I pulled the boolitz on the others and said the hell with speed. The cases were hot enough to light a fingers sure didn't approve of removing them off the bench right after ejection. Ouch!

I ain't pushing beyond posted advisories. I'm to B-U-T-full to disfigure my ugly old mug:D I still ain't secured a Chrony, but I'd bet my "one-hole load" with the 7mm-08 isn't getting past 2500fps...if that. It goes where the tubes pointed when you touch it off. That's what I been told ;)

Again...can't wait to see your group when you finally tweak the XV's rounds and show the world just how small a hole 3-5 rounds will make in the downrange.
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My daughters .357 really likes the .38 +Ps in Rem 125 gr JHP. I want to see what they print thru the crony. Then start loading the same bullet with Sierra data and when I get to the top see what that graphs. If I stay around 1000 fps in my .38 spcl. that will surfice.

I look at reloading and ballistic data in two groups:

Pistol - For Self Defense I lean toward lighter bullets and higher velocities for penetration in a JHP. At defense ranges X ring groups arnt required.

Rifle - For deer ( and other like sized critters ) a midrange bullet weight ( i.e. 150 gr in .308 ) loaded for ACCURACY is the ticket. ---- Placement ----
Thanx all I appreciate the help..upon further research my rifle is a 1 in 9 twist and my go to book (lymans 49th) sais fast twist rates do best with heavier bullet weights.
I have access to 60 and 73 grain from local suppliers..
This is primarily a target / small game load (Deer are.24 cal min in WA state)
I`ve loaded tons of 30-30 since I began re-loading a little over a year ago but consider myself a novice reloader..I thought I`d challenge myself with something new and see if I can build a load to thread the needle at 300 yards +
It's the quest for that 'perfect' combo of case, primer, propellant and projectile that makes the bench & varmint shooters yearn for their on actualization. Go get 'er! I'll stick with 1-2moa loads for most purposes and not worry if they're not less than a minute, but don't mind some of my best recipe & those results:D I've found a couple and that in itself without too much time and expense was quite rewarding. May your goals of the needle's eye be realized.
.223 load

since .223 ammo is non existant around here I`m curious as to whats a good starting point? I can get brass from the AR guys at the range.
A good load I've been using is CCI small rifle primer, 23.5 grains of IMR 3031 powder and 55 grain SPBT bullets. They have performed very well and give me 1" groups at 100 yards. My load is from Lee reloading manual #2. There are a number of excellent references from powder manufacturers that can be found on line free. Each gun likes different loads so you'll have to experiment some. Good Luck and great shooting!
for what it is worth, the so called "magic formula" that my rifle likes is 27.0 grains of Hodegdon Varget with a 40 grain v-max hornady bullet. i use cci std smalll rifle primers and LC92 brass. my rifle is an H&R Handi-rifle single shot, with a 1 in 12 twist rate. and that load was worked up from a much lower starting point. i would recommend you back that off at least 2 grains, and work up from there. there i no load worth destroying any single human part for, let alone a firearm. i hope you find a good load, i find it a very rewarding hobby.
The problem with getting into handloading .223 now is everyone else has much the same idea. Components are going to be harder to find as a result. The industry has already stated that primers and brass are going into loaded ammunition first. This means there will be much fewer avaliable for reloading.

With more reloading there will be fewer bullets avaliable, as well as powder. Factory produced ammunition does not contain the same powders as reloaders use. They use special "canister grade" powders that are not avaliable to handloaders. But even so with more getting into reloading because of the ammo shortage, many stores are picked clean of most reloading powders. Especially those used for reloading .223 and .308.

Most of the sources I use for brass are completely sold out, and those who have any avaliable want an arm and a leg for it. The Cabela's by me is sold out of most all reloading components, and what they have left is overpriced as a result of the buying insanity the market has seen in the last month or so.
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yes, and those components are in very high demand. so the higher the demand, and the lower the availability, the higher the price. i had the not so wonderfull oppertunity to pay $48.00 for 1k of small pistol primers last month. but no one else had any of them, and unfortunately, neither did i. so, paying an extra $10.00 for a brick of them was much better than not having any. i am seriously considereing cutting my shooting habbit back by about 80-90% until all of this crud blows over. which of course will leave me with no outlet for stress. so either i buy interest in Canadian Club, or take up fishing. personally, the Canadian Club venture sounds like a better way to go. fishing only intensifies stress. because i am lousy at it. if i had to depend on feeding myself with a fishing pole, i would have been dead a long, long time ago!.
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