F-TR .223 loads

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by shootmore, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. shootmore

    shootmore Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    Messages:
    21
    Im running Sierra Match Kings 90gr with 23.4gr Varget
    in another barrel, Sierra Match Kings 90gr with N140 24.3 - holding about 1/3 minute
    Both free-bored as needed to keep the 90gr SMK off the doughnut.

    Barrels are 30" F-TR

    Wanting more accurracy:
    Im assuming a similar load for 90gr Bergers- yes?
    Im wondering what a good load for Berger 80's / SMK 80's?
    And what about the 95grain Sierra Match Kings?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  2. BronzeArcher

    BronzeArcher

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    86
    Holding 1/3 minute is going to be hard to beat. Do you mean at 100 yards?

    Where are you dropping most points? (vertical, horizontal, or an even split?)

    Are you consistently above 198/200 for 20 shot strings (thus likely to want more cleans and more Xs), or are you still fighting to get to 198 consistently? The path from 190 to 195 is different from 195 to 198 is different from cleans and X count.

    What range is your greatest interest? I've seen awesome things from 80 SMKs and moderate loads of Varget in Lapua brass, but due to lower BCs these advantages evaporate at longer ranges (even at 600 yards under windy conditions.) Twist rate is also important when choosing between the heavier offerings.
     
    Scott Harris and Jdne5b like this.
  3. damoncali

    damoncali Bullet Maker Site $$ Sponsor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2,334
    If you’re shooting a consistent 1/3 MOA, then you’re in all likelihood done. I don’t shoot the .223, but I know that the guys that do are running HOT loads (and shooting well). It’s a killer at 600.
     
  4. JimSC

    JimSC

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2017
    Messages:
    630
    I am using 23.5 Varget over either a 80gn SMK or a 80 gn Berger VLD and 1/3 MOA at 300 is the best I have achieved. The velocity SD numbers are too wide for 600 yard use but for 300 it works
     
  5. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    561
    Your 90gr charges seem a little low relative to what I see most folks running in F-T/R. Assuming you're using a ~.169 reamer, most folks seem to run the 90gr VLD in the 24.4-24.8gr charge range with Varget, getting ~2800FPS with Lapua brass.

    H4895 can push them slightly faster, but will kill brass quicker.
     
  6. raptor1ronin

    raptor1ronin

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Messages:
    256
    For my 90's I use Varget with 23.8grns. Crono on the lab radar at 2800 in 30" Brux barrel with .215 Freebore.
     
  7. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,040
    90g VLDs in my boy’s Savage BVSS with Shilen match barrel

    24.2 Varget
    Lapua brass
    205M primer
    +0.010” into the lands

    2,725 fps, SD 7, ES 17

    Shoots 5 shot groups in 1’s and 2’s.
    [​IMG]

    He’s started shooting mid range F/TR last summer and is doing very well with it (he’s 15)
     
    JLT, Fliers and Zero333 like this.
  8. chevytruck_83

    chevytruck_83

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    765
    Can I ask on this how many shots you can expect from a case pushing the heavies? From my experience it only takes one or two shots before the primer pocket loosens up.
     
  9. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Messages:
    3,023
    The whole reason for using the 90s in a .223 Rem for F-TR is that they will keep up with most .308s loads using bullets up to about 185 gr at 600 yd, without giving up very much even to the 200 gr .308 bullets. Although they can be loaded with ridiculous precision, the 80 gr .224" bullets simply do not have the resistance to wind deflection of the 90s. However, if you're running the 90s below a certain velocity range, you're giving up a fair bit of their performance and undermining the main reason for using them.

    As has been mentioned, running loads with the 90 VLD at approximately 2850 fps from a 30" barrel with H4895 are about as high as you want to go. Brass life isn't so great, and you run the risk of jacket failures. Nonetheless, I have used this particular combination for years and done reasonably well with it. If you want to slow things up a bit, thereby lessening the potential opportunity for jacket failure and improving brass life, the 90s will tune in with Varget at around 20-25 fps slower than H4895. There are a few other powders you could probably use to achieve the same goal. If you drop the speed with the 90s below somewhere in the 2750 - 2775 fps range, you're really not getting any more performance than you would with a good 80 gr bullet like Berger's 80.5 Fullbore, except that brass life and jacket failures with the 80.5s shouldn't be an issue.

    The key to precision with the 90s in my hands is seating depth. If you already have loads for your .223 Rem that are shooting in the .3's, I'd say thats pretty good and I might be tempted not to mess with it any further. However, it may be possible for you to wring some additional [small] amount of precision out of your setup with the 90s, and fine increment seating depth testing is where I'd start. I typically see the 90 VLDs tune in at around .005" to .007" into the lands, and again starting at around .018" to .021" off the lands. For a number of reasons, I prefer to use the seating depth window that is off the lands. For 90s, you need a relatively long freebore, somewhere between the 0.169" cut with PTG's 223 Rem ISSF reamer, and as much as 0.220".
     
    Ajax141, Fliers, Zero333 and 3 others like this.
  10. BronzeArcher

    BronzeArcher

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Messages:
    86
    Hot and heavy is a recipe for short case life (2 shots sometimes). So short, I'm thinking of switching to LC brass and see if I can manage a sort/prep routine to get Lapua accuracy from LC brass (close to free for me).

    In contrast, 23.0-23.5 gr Varget with an 80 SMK is a recipe for forever in Lapua brass. (OK, almost forever, but after 10-15 firings I got my money's worth.)
     
  11. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Messages:
    3,023
    Running 90s over H4895 at about 2850 fps, I will lose a few primer pockets on the very first firing, maybe 10 or so out of every 400 pieces of brass. On the second and third firings, the number is larger, maybe as much as 5-10% of the remaining cases for each successive firing. I have a bunch of 4X-fired brass from different Lots# that I have accumulated over the years, but I typically don't use it in competition. It may be that the cases that have survived 4 firings may have already been selected for extra "hardness" or resistance to deformation in the casehead region, and could survive additional firings, I really don't know. I have heard anecdotally from others that are shooting the .223/90s in F-TR that you might be able to improve brass life in an analogous manner by using a low pressure fireforming load for the first couple firings, but haven't tried that approach myself. The bottom line is that we're asking a LOT from the little .223 Rem case to push 90 gr bullets at velocities well in excess of 2800 fps from a 30" barrel. Poor brass life is simply the trade-off for the performance those loads deliver.
     
    Laurie likes this.
  12. shootmore

    shootmore Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    Messages:
    21
     
  13. shootmore

    shootmore Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    Messages:
    21
    With a Kelby Panda (90gr. Bergers) at 500 yards = 197, 198, 199's (sold it, it was the only lefty in the barn)-regrets, a few. Moving on....

    With Defiance/Krieger 30" I'm shooting 190-195s; this morning at practice shot my first clean (see image) while fire forming. 90gr SMK 24.3gr N140, cci400 primers, 2789FPS, .043 jump ( unexpected I know but the barrel likes it). Tried from 0-.045 jump in .005 increments, it liked .040 and .045 equally.
    Then later with wind went sideways with some vertical and more horizontal- just bad wind calls.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
    Nature Boy likes this.
  14. shootmore

    shootmore Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    Messages:
    21
    Well done!
     
  15. shootmore

    shootmore Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    Messages:
    21
    My sons shot at least 4x with his Lapua brass no sign of issues. I'm just starting 223 so no data yet. I was shooting the 308, then the kid started beating me so I built a .223. A few other outstanding shooters around here were winning the 500yard with 223's to. Its a pleasure to shoot.
     
    Nature Boy likes this.
  16. chevytruck_83

    chevytruck_83

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    765
    223 is a great cartridge. I’m blown away by the accuracy you can get with very little cost to shoot and long barrel life. Even bulk brass from top brass work fantastic out of my jp ctr-02. I’m not maxing out the pressures shooting heavy bullets though. Just 68 grainers.
     
  17. jsthntn247

    jsthntn247

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,636
    Try running a slower 2650 fps load with your brass in a monthly match or two with the 90's. Two low pressure firings on the brass will harden the case head and make it last longer when you pour the coals to it and push it up to 2850.
     
    RDavies likes this.
  18. Snuggie

    Snuggie F/TR-F/Open Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2013
    Messages:
    527
  19. Snuggie

    Snuggie F/TR-F/Open Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2013
    Messages:
    527
    What twist are you running? I’ve been shooting the Berger 90’s for a couple of years now. Bad ass! Lapua Brass, 24.5 Varget, Wolf Primers, just on the lands. I’m shooting a 6.5 TW. LASER! No brass issues at all.
     
  20. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,040
    My 90 VLD loads running at 2,725 shoot so well I don't want to mess with it. Having said that, maybe I'm leaving something on the table by not pushing them harder. I'll have to think about it
     

Share This Page