.223 w/77 gr Sierra HPBT and Varget

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by Baer45, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. Baer45

    Baer45 Gold $$ Contributor

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    I am loading the above in new W brass in Bolt Action rifle. This is my first time loading 223 Remington. I would usually just shoot blue box Black Hills. Can I still load these long to just off lands? Also, I am confused about the wide disparity in load data. Even Sierras load data from its book does not match Its subscription load data. I am seeing max loads from 23.7, 24 and 25 gr. I am just looking for accuracy to 500 yards...any input? Shooting in DT 223 conversion w/bartlen barrel 24”.
     
  2. Rset

    Rset

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    A pretty standard load used by many including myself is 24.0 gr varget Load at standard mag length and adjust.
     
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  3. Baer45

    Baer45 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Thanks for the quick response. I guess the one question I have is it ok to load these long close to the lands as I don’t have to worry about fitting a standard AR magazine? I see warnings about not loading to long, etc. and assumed that was just for AR shooters??
     
  4. natdscott

    natdscott P100, HM, DR, experienced beginner. Gold $$ Contributor

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    It’s all about chamber dimensions...ie: freebore length.

    But by the by, loading 77s long isn’t THAT conventional because if you’re gonna do all that, you may as well use a big bullet.
     
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  5. dstoenner

    dstoenner

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    I load this combination but using Lapua brass for my bolt 223. I load to 2.340 with 24.0 of Varget. I get better accuracy loading long than mag length

    david
     
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  6. Baer45

    Baer45 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Thanks. I use Lapua and Peterson’s as well....leaning more towards Peterson lately...
     
  7. Rset

    Rset

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    You can load long if you like, just keep the bearing surface in mind as well as the length to your lands. Adjust as needed to find the sweet spot. If you are not restricted to standard mag length though, you might want to look at a heavier bullet unless you are sitting on a bunch of the 77's
     
  8. Baer45

    Baer45 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Got it. That’s helpful. Maybe I should reload the 77s for my LES Baer 223 AR instead?? I have 500 of them and like 75’s better in my bolt gun...
     
  9. Baer45

    Baer45 Gold $$ Contributor

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    I will, but if I measure my OAL to be .002 off the lands at 2.380, how would need to worry about bearing length? I’m measuring off the ogive (can’t remember that number). Is that what you meant by bearing length? If you are then I am on the same page as you:) different BULLET different lengths..
     
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  10. Wingnut00

    Wingnut00 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Just my opinion but try h-322 or benchmark. I have had shitty luck with varget in a 223. I really believe a smidge faster powder like 322 or benchmark work better. In my 20” 223 with 70 grain billets benchmark is incredible. In my 27” 223 90gr with 322 is amazing. Recommend you give it a try.
     
  11. dfrosch

    dfrosch Silver $$ Contributor

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    .005 to .010 off the lands. Work up to 25.0.

    My 8 twist Shilen barreled Savage shot 1/2" to 3/4" until I hit 24.0, then they went through the same hole. Using some prepped LC brass and a Lee collet die.
     
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  12. GaryL1959

    GaryL1959

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    In MY rifle, the 77 SMK has to be seated fairly deep into the case, due to the shape of the ogive.
    ^^ What Nat says. Your chamber will dictate how long the OAL will be. In my Criterion 8 twist, 'normal ' 223 chamber, the 77 matchkings are on the lands when loaded to a nominal 2.320" cartridge base to tip, same as the 69 grain version. Both shoot the best seated to 15 thou off. The 80 grain SMK's, due to a different ogive profile and bearing surface, can be seated out to 2.46" OAL, for the same 15 thou jump, in my chamber, and can be driven faster than the 77's.
     
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  13. natdscott

    natdscott P100, HM, DR, experienced beginner. Gold $$ Contributor

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    No, you should sell the Les Baer, and recycle the money into more components and/or a cheaper AR.
     
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  14. mac86951

    mac86951 I prefer my targets level and unmoving Gold $$ Contributor

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    77s do well from an AR; but they benefit from seating long. They take up a ton of the case volume seated to 2.260".

    Yes if you're going to seat long; the 80.5 or other heavier bullets have a bigger BC, but heck shoot em if you got em.

    My Wylde chamber needed 23.6gr varget, maybe due to brass or a hot batch of varget. I found other powders like N140 or H4895 more consistent batch to batch; but your mileage may vary.

    -Mac
     
  15. AHC-223AI

    AHC-223AI

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    Just to confuse you more, Sierra's phone app lists the Varget max in 223 Rem (bolt) as 22.6 gr for the 77 HPBT. OAL is 2.260".

    I haven't shot 77s out of mine, but would have little concern going up past 24 gr, especially seating them long.
     
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  16. Baer45

    Baer45 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Ha ha ha....not in this market
    You know, as a matter of interest, it is the most accurate AR I have ever shot and it has an 18” bull barrel amd Jewell trigger. I liked it so much I bought 6.5 Grendal as well and did sell it because I could not shoot it as well as LES could...I would not sell it for anything
     
  17. natdscott

    natdscott P100, HM, DR, experienced beginner. Gold $$ Contributor

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    Not a bad point, re: market.

    That being said, Les charges WELL more than those rifle should be. He's built a franchise, and that's fine...don't fault him for it. But it won't be my money, at least not for a rifle.

    That's raw, but it's truth.

    I can't speak for the price point of his pistols. I just know that Holliger, White, Scandale, and a few other shops are doing equal-or-higher quality work, and the invoices are lower (which is not to say low).
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  18. Baer45

    Baer45 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Well, this is a subject that could be argued for eternity. I’ve been around 1911’s since I was in the Marine Corp in 73’ but did not really learn anything until about 20 years ago before the great gun rush started. At that time you could not find a Bullseye line where the majority of guns just shot were not a LES Baer.. When I helped open one of the largest gun ranges in the country ten years ago, we carried them all. I sold the number 001 and 002 Jones from Cabot (how stupid can I get) but I thought the price of 4500 was ridiculous....I just saw where one was auctioned at over 50,000. We sold Bill Wilson’s Gun’s, his divorced wife’s Nighthawks, etc. and Ed Browns, etc. I got to know some of them well and also saw for myself up close and personal the risk they all take just trying to sell a gun much less one that works. Beside’s having to fight the government they have to train smiths and keep them; find quality parts or make them themselves, worry about a competitor jumping ahead or stealing their smiths, etc. I hope they make every cent they can because they deserve every penny. They were the ones that had originals ideas on how to make custom guns quicker and at affordable prices to the public. Granted, I think the prices are getting out of sight now, but it has nothing to do with greed, it has to do reality. I know for a fact one custom maker who is back logged hundreds of guns (shelved them) but keeps making them so he doesn’t half to lay off a bunch of craftsmen that need the work and have families to care for. They gamble the market will turn. When I got on the other side of the counter I would see people drive an hour to save $20.00 and then brag about it....of course when Obama started the great gun scare on purpose, these buyers were no where to be found and in the city I live in we are down to just 2 stores that sell guns vs 10 pre Obama. Now anyone selling guns or target rest or benches or shooting bags is seeing a 40% decline just from Facebook and Google creating an anti gun culture, steering people away from their web sights, EPA, etc. so I really don’t have much patience when anyone critiques anyone trying to make a dollar in this business, much less their life’s work. Guys who make the custom guns forced the other gunsmiths to step up their work. Who can say that Bill Wilson and Ed Brown each have not made the 1911 better from their inventions? Anyhow, I did not mean to go in this direction but LES Baer sold his $1,700 Premier II “in the simple brown box” for years when others were approaching the $3,000 mark for their comparable gun amd when he did raise the price It was $50.00....I don’t even know what a Premier II cost now, but I know in my opinion it is the best custom 1911 for the dollar, if accuracy is what you are after. As far as his AR’s went, it was his single cut rifle barrels that forced others to do the same. I don’t think he even makes /ARs anymore and if he doesn’t, it’s because he lost a lot of money trying to build something better.I have had a dozen gunsmiths around the country and of those dozen 3 were really good and took pride in their work and when the bill came from each it was more then any custom gun maker charges (Street price). If you are getting a quality gun or AR built for less, someone is loosing money....anyhow, I am biased but after seeing LES Baers manager beg him at a shot show to raise his price and see him hold firm...I have nothing but the utmost respect...
     
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  19. shoot4fun

    shoot4fun Gold $$ Contributor

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    Sierra has two part numbers for 77SMK. One is cannelure and made for shooting in the AR and the other is best for he bolt guns.
    I find 77SMK to be a great shooting bullet about .015 off and you'll fare better with a longer freebore/throat. I would think, from my own experience with the 77SMK and Varget, you can (with proper due diligence) find what you're looking for as to accuracy and velocity.
     
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  20. Baer45

    Baer45 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Thank you so much! That clears up a lot! I have the non cannelure smk!
     

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