F-TR .223 loads

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

  1. Boisblancboy

    Boisblancboy

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    Myself, brother and dad are all shooting the .223 and 90 gr vlds, h-4895 @2835 FPS. .008” jam. All 3 guns shooting the exact same load at 1/2-1/3 MOA. 6.5 twist PAC Nor
     
  2. milanuk

    milanuk Gold $$ Contributor

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    So... how exactly do you determine your seating depth? Using something like the Stoney Point / Hornady OAL tool, or by using something like the Wheeler method for finding the lands?

    I ask mainly because the one is fairly subjective based on the user, whereas the other can be compared from barrel to barrel (somewhat).
     
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  3. Boisblancboy

    Boisblancboy

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    Hornady tool for me. I haven’t tried the Wheeler method but I like his process and video.
     
  4. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

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    I know there is a "love/hate" relationship with the Hornady OAL gauge (Stoney Point tool). My feeling has always been that this is most likely due to how the tool is used. For every new Lot # of bullets, I select ten bullets at random, then take and record all appropriate measurements for the set. I will use that "measurement set" to determine distance to touching the lands for as long as I am shooting that particular Lot # of bullets. I measure the distance to touching with the Hornady OAL gauge with all ten bullets and take the average. Although there may be measurement discrepancies between various methods, this method has worked well for me and the values I obtain seem to fit pretty well with the appearance of engravement marks for bullets seated into the lands, and they match very well with values predicted from the reamer prints.

    If I had to guess, I'd say my measurements probably aren't more than about .003" off from the true value, although that is only an estimate. Nonetheless, it doesn't matter much all that much to me because it's only a reference point. I can determine and reproduce the CBTO measurement of loaded rounds with very good accuracy, and the target tells me which of those are optimal. So ultimately, the CBTO measurements are the critical ones. The inferred distance to touching could be .001", .003", or even .005" off, but I can still load most rounds to +/- .0005" of the desired CBTO.
     
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  5. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

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    How are you chaps getting 2800-2900 fps from a 90-gr bullet in 223 Rem? Hodgdon lists max loads 2554 (CFE 223) and 2527 (H4895) both @53,500 psi from a 24" barrel. You're not going to gain more than about 35 fps (generously) per extra inch of barrel, so even a 30" tube would max at 2760. Juuuust curious.
    -
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  6. liseo

    liseo

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    Hi Ned

    I found a good combination at 2600 fps( only 3 shoots, need further experiment) but at 2625 fps the goups opened a lot. (In this test, I changed the powder weight)

    But at 2600 fps, seems no have advantage over Berger BT 82 grains at 2850 fps, which group reasobably well.

    Therefore, what is the difference in yours size groups between in tune and the off tune?
     
  7. Boisblancboy

    Boisblancboy

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    I’m running 23.5 grains of H 4895 in a 30” barrel. 2830 FPS
     
  8. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Uh huh. As you might have surmised, I had already read that.
    -
     
  9. abersfelderami

    abersfelderami

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    Powder, freebore, barrel lenght.
     
  10. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

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    I wouldn't call any of the groups "bad"...maybe in the 0.5 to 0.6 MOA range for a completely un-tuned/non-optimized load (5 shots at 100 yd). But when the optimal seating depth was found, quarter minute groups were readily achievable, sometimes even a little less, and being even a little as one .003" increment off was enough to make the difference. The optimal velocity will obviously depend on your barrel length and choice of powder. For a 30" barrel chambered with at least 0.169" freebore, most people find the 90s will tune in at around 2850 fps with H4895, and around 2820 fps with Varget. There is probably another node with these powders in the 2750 to 2790 fps range (again, with H4895 tuning in about 20-25 fps faster than Varget). IMO - there is no good reason to shoot the 90s below that velocity unless a very short barrel dictates that you have to. Brass life at the 2820-2850 fps node may not be so great, but that shouldn't be a problem in the upper 2700s. Loading to a velocity any slower than that likely means a sub-optimal load, and will simply be giving up the performance advantages owned by the 90 VLDs relative to other 80-ish gr bullet options. To get the most out of the 90s, you really want 28" to 30" inches of barrel, and at least 0.169" freebore. Otherwise, running the 80s may be the better option.
     
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  11. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

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    These loads require a generous freebore (>/= 0.169") and are seated VERY long (COALs of around 2.64" 2.66"). Hodgdon values are listed for mag length loads, which IMO have little relationship to using a 90 VLD in the small .223 Rem case. I wouldn't even attempt to load the 90 VLDs to mag length; by necessity you'd be giving up way too much of the inherent advantages of this bullet. Loads in the .223 Rem with the 90s and H4895 at ~2850 fps from a 30" barrel are not "mild". QuickLoad generates pressure estimates of around 57K psi, which is over SAAMI max (55K psi). Brass life is accordingly poor, perhaps two to four firings before the primer pockets are done. Others on this forum have discovered that using a couple low-pressure firings first (maybe around 2600 fps from the same setup) seems to work harden the case-head region a bit and extend brass life, but I have not tried that as yet.
     
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  12. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

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    So, apparently, extra freebore allows you to load over 9% beyond Hodgdon's max load. Good to know.
    -
     
  13. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

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    I've never tried to put a number to it, but the effect is substantial. I wouldn't recommend running these loads to someone just starting out, or that is looking for at least 8 to 10 firings from their brass. However, I don't view them in way as being so hot they're "unsafe". I have never observed anything even remotely "alarming" as far as the brass integrity; it's just that the primer pockets don't last long. Anyone running these loads should be prepared to spend a fair bit of coin if they're using Lapua brass.
     
  14. abersfelderami

    abersfelderami

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    SAAMI pressure limit for .223 is 55,000 psi, CIP pressure limit for .223 is 62,366 psi.
    C.I.P :D
     
  15. liseo

    liseo

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    Well

    Will try loads at 2750-2770 and changing depth in smaller increments

    Thanks
     
  16. alphapygmy

    alphapygmy Silver $$ Contributor

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    Anybody tried AR-Comp with the 90 VLD's?
     
  17. clowdis

    clowdis

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    I've been working on getting the new 95 grain Sierra to shoot in my 6.5 twist barrel. It seems to shoot the same groups regardless of powder charge. I'm using Varget and have been through a 3 1/2 grain spread in 1/2 grain increments. Using mixed headstamp military brass and CCI 450 primers while waiting for new Starline brass to arrive. ES and SD are nothing to brag about so hoping the new brass will improve that. Velocity to just over 2700 and that's pushing it a bit too hard. Will shoot it in a 600 yd. match in a couple of weeks. 10 shot groups around 5/8 inch at 100 yds.
     
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  18. Jdne5b

    Jdne5b Gold $$ Contributor

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    1/2 grain is too big. They shoot great at 2750 for me. 5+ firings. Gotta have a super long throat.
     
  19. _Raining

    _Raining

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    In the real world, nothing is the same. You can have fast and slow barrels. Different lots of powder will have different burn rates. Different lots of bullets can behave differently. Different brands casings will have different capacities as will different lots of the same brand. Same thing for primers. Different temperatures will effect burn rate also. Different chambers, throat/freebore will also effect pressure.

    The biggest thing here will be how long these 90's are loaded in F TR rifles (which requires a long freebore) as well as Hodgdon is being conservative vs a reloader working up to signs of pressure.

    I would say the next biggest thing would be case capacity differences, I don't think Hodgdon tests with Lapua brass.

    Different powders have different reputations for how well the burn rate stays consistent from lot to lot, I have read Varget can be annoyingly inconsistent.
     
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  20. damoncali

    damoncali Bullet Maker Site $$ Sponsor

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    It’s unwise to assume that. What is definitely true is that a very long (out of spec) OAL reduces pressure significantly for a given charge weight. Combine that with higher than normal pressures in a long barrel and you can push these bullets just about as hard as they can handle structurally. Not something for beginners to mess around with, but skilled reloaders with custom firearms can make it work (with some trade offs).
     
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