Handloading for 1-7 twist AR .223 Wylde

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by mac86951, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. ar15topgun

    ar15topgun

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    FYI some have been loading the 82 bergers to mag length and doing very well with them in a service rifle.
     
  2. treeman

    treeman

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    Mac, I shot service rifle for several years and for my 600 yrd loads I would weigh brass to 1/2grain and aneal necks every other fireing. after about 6 reloads I'd pitch it and start with a new batch. for 600yrds slow fire I had good luck with h-4895/N540/ AA2520. our rifle team rattle battle load was lc or win brass cci-450 or rem 7-1/2 and 24.5gr vv n140 molyed 77 match king. sounds like you are on the right track. my motto is accuracy trumps velocity every time!!
    regards, Darrell
     
  3. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP

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    8208XBR...there tends to be an accuracy node around the Hodgdon 223 max of 23.2gr, but typically another node around 23.8-24.0gr that is near 5.56 pressures.

    23.8gr with a 77gr Nosler CC @ mag length gives me 2683fps from a 18" 1:8 barrel and sub-half inch @ 100yd 5-shot accuracy...with no pressure signs on primers or brass.
     
  4. I shot a bazillion rounds of that exact loads with LC brass.
     
  5. mac86951

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

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    Ok, I'm loaded up for my next experiments and I'll head out to the range tomorrow am.

    All my loads are 77 Sierra MK loaded to 2.260" for reasons explained elsewhere.

    I'm shooting Ladder testing (5 shot groups) of the following (note I'm also pressure testing, so I'm working my way UP the ladder not DOWN to begin with).

    N140 22.8-24.6gr in 0.2gr increments. I expect to see an accuracy node around 24.4-24.7gr as Sierra did, but there might be one lower too.

    CFE223 22.4-24.2gr This new powder shows potential in raw data, now I'll try it out. I'm expecting higher velocity than my standard loads, so I hope there is an accuracy node near 24.0gr but I'll find out.

    My Standard loads are Varget 23.4gr, and AR-Comp 21.8 gr. I'll compare the above to some AR-Comp to see how it does. Unfortunately I don't have my Chrono, so I'll ladder test at 300y zero'd with my AR-Comp 'standard' load first then go from there. Assuming velocity will change between 2500 (slow) and 2800 (fast) for the ladder, this makes it a 2MOA spread at 300y, which should be enough to see the vertical grouping.

    -Mac
     
  6. mac86951

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

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    Ok, data came back from ladder testing at 330 yards. Temp ~50°F and 10mph gusty crosswind.

    CFE 223: OK
    Vertical spread was ~6" as expected, but a full load of 24.2gr was approx 3 inches lower than my default 21.8gr AR-Comp. I'll need to try again on a chrono, but vertical grouping was decent between 23.9 and 24.2, with an almost horizontal line above 24gr. I'll let you read the rest of the thread for what rifle I shot it out of.

    N140: AWESOME
    point of impact with same zero as above was ~4 inches higher, or right in line with AR-Comp 21.8. Vertical grouping was EXCELLENT, showing two nodes: A slightly picky node at 23.2-23.8 where a good group could come from, and a very solid node at 24.4-24.6gr

    I'll load up some boxes for grouping tests using the above and try for some Chrono data by this summer. I was expecting better velocity from CFE223, so I'll see what the data says.

    -Mac
     
  7. moorepower

    moorepower

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    It has been a few years, but when I was shooting high power in a 1-8 20" barrel, using WW brass, 7 1/2 primers and a healthy dose of VV540 I was getting around 2750 with the 75 Hornady and at 200 yds. it put 10 in 1.5" with the NM sights off a rest. The VV540 will give you fps. but it will sneak up on you when you hit the top. I never popped a primer, and they were not flat. Brass life was good also. If you plan to single load any way, you may consider making the throat longer and loading the bullets out to make room for powder. It would be really nice to get a 24" barrel. You can get low ex with velocity with VV540 IF your gun likes it.
     
  8. mac86951

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

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    Well, 10 shot groups done today with my three loads, all resulting in similar grouping (10MPH headwind).

    N140 was by far the winner for consistency, at 23.7gr.
    AR-Comp at 22.0gr was a little better than the 21.8gr.
    CFE223 surprised me by grouping rounds in a similar fashion as AR-comp,
    so I'll try these loads out during the next few F-class matches.

    -Mac
     
  9. mac86951

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

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    March Match:

    Well, here are the conditions: Temp @ start 52°F and climbing. Peaked at 60°F by end of match. Wind on-off 10-15MPH in your face, to across the course 45° oblique. Not too bad to read, but it caught me on 4 shots as I was all ready to break, then the wind died, making what I'm sure would have been an X into 6, or 7. Otherwise I shot 367-6x thanks to my dropped shots.

    My load for today FC 09 brass, Fed 205M primer, CFE223 24.2gr, Sierra MK 77gr seated to 2.260" I was very surprised to find that the CFE recoil was far less than my N140 of 23.7gr, or Varget 23.4gr. This is probably due to my barrel/gas system being over gassed, and I thought the CFE was a faster burn rate than Varget, but Hodgdon says I'm wrong. Not sure then, I'll try a load workup again. 24.3 is listed Max, so I'll go carefully.

    -Mac
     
  10. mac86951

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

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    Finally got some good bullets in, and I was extremely surprised by the results:

    Powder CFE223, of which I have a bit of experience with 77SMK and like 24.2 gr.

    Ok, bullets I was testing today were both from JLK. For reasons already explained in this thread, I am loading to mag-length which for my two magazines, means 2.260" COL.

    I found that when feeding from the magazine, regardless of velocity (23.6gr to 25gr of CFE223) the JLK 75gr VLD did NOT work well in my rifle. I was lucky to keep 5 of 5 shots in a 12" circle at 200y. I suspected that it was from being fed through the magazine, and later I'll try single loading, however I was not expecting results like that.

    On the contrary, JLKs 77gr conventional fed from the magazine put 5 rounds within 1" at 200y (24.2gr CFE 223).

    Has anyone else tried VLD bullets from Mag Length? 70gr Berger?

    -Mac
     
  11. Rtheurer

    Rtheurer

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    Mac.
    Your results do not suprise me. based off prior trials with VLD bullets for the AR and NRA highpower matches i believe its a hit and miss on weather a large jump to the lands will work. If I where going to try this I would be going into it thinking it might not work and hope that it does knowing what I do about feeding from the Magazine. All my conversations and experiments with this was all pre Berger hunting bullet data which now showes the Berger can and does like or will tolerate a large jump contrarary to what was " believed" to be the accepted way to shoot VLD's. End State is... Try it.... It might work. It may be a simple matter of your barrel just not liking that bullet. That happens alot.... seems like I always plan a project rifle and plan on using X manufacture for the bullet and it never pans out. Unlike you on this instance my rifles seem to like the most expensive and most unavailable bullet on the market.... What the heck is with that? Ha!
    Going back to the quote above. Im kinda confused at what it means. When you say " JLKs 77gr conventional fed from the magazine" what do you mean? Mag length and the 77.s shoot well but you cant find any at this time vs the 75gr JLK VLD you have on hand?

    I have a 6mm FAT Rat ( 6mm Grendal) that shoots Berger 87gr VLD hunting bullets from the Mag like crazy. Very tight groups. In fact that load and rifle had to go into the shoot off for one of the 300 yard Rapid fire National Trophy's at last years National Championship. ( camp Perry, Appreciation Cup) COme to think of it every 300 yard stage was a clean with extremly high X count. So the VLD certainly does not mind jumping. But will your barrellike that particular bullet is the question. I had my hart on shooting the 95gr Sierra match king in that gun for mag length... Well it did not like it and its preferance was for the more expensive berger hunting bullet.
    Mac the hard part for you right now is the nonavailability of components... I feel bad that with all this crazyness going on that a fella here cant go out and shoot becuase some other folks want to sit on and not use the components out there. Kinda sucks for the active shooter.

    RussT
     
  12. mac86951

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

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    Russ,
    I have Sierra 77 gr as my standard (running low as I only grabbed 500 back in December). JLK makes a conventional 7 ogive 77gr, and I have some of those, which produced very good results today in contrast to my VLD results. I did a check for how far the jump is: 2.260" is what I load to for "Mag Length" and the VLD bullet showed touching the lands at 2.350" which is as you say, quite a jump. I hope I'll find a solution, otherwise you'll find some JLKs for sale on the board...

    From the rest of this thread, you can see that I along with other active shooters are making due with what we've got. I've found good loads with 5 powders now, mostly because I bought 1lb containers, then can't find more... I'm hanging in there and I'll be ready when powder is available again for a reasonable price.

    -Mac
     
  13. Rtheurer

    Rtheurer

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    I hear ya.....

    Sounds like a good excuse to down an IPA and burn so High Octane fuel to relieve the fustration... Not in that order however.

    Hope you come up with something.

    RT
     
  14. mac86951

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

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    Ok, got out to the range today and did some more load development. Since I was unable to get any grouping with JLK bullets last time I knew pressure was ok, so I chose to do another test, but this time with seating depth to see how it would affect grouping.

    This time using IMR-4895 I started with a 15 round pressure test seated to mag-length. This showed much improvement, getting my groups into 3" (3-shot groups) at 200Y, way better than the 6"+ groups from the CFE223, but still not up to par yet. I then shot groups with seating depth incrementing in 0.010" to touching. I don't have a Stoney point gauge, instead I figured an easier way to measure to lands. I first close the bolt on an empty chamber and insert my cleaning rod to touching the bolt. I mark that point on the rod (ok I have a milled aluminum stop that I clamp on). I then remove the bolt, and put a bullet to touching the lands. I can use my other hand (and cleaning rod, or other "stick-like" object to hold the bullet on the lands and put my cleaning rod back into the muzzle. The distance between the muzzle and the previous mark is the COL. Easy to seat the bullet into a cartridge and get OAL to O-give using other tools then.

    Anyway, sure enough groups tightened to within 2" as soon as the bullet with 0.010-0.030" off the lands. I'll do more experimenting there, it just means I'll have to single load those rounds, which I already have to do with my 75gr Hornady A-Max loads too.

    70gr Berger VLDs shot average, but I expect to get similar results by doing the same experiment. This means when shooting from Mag Length, my rifle likes the conventional bullets best. Next up, 77 SMK groups, 77gr JLK groups, and 75gr Hornady Match groups. I'd try Noslers too, but I don't have any. I don't suppose anyone reading this would like to sell 100 Nosler 77gr CCs?

    -Mac
     
  15. mac86951

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

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    Ok, we had another windy and warm day. I tested my winter load of 21.8gr AR-comp and 77SMK.

    In the winter it would shoot .75 MOA easy, and better if I was paying attention. My best score to date (of 4 matches is a 375-3X. With the same load today, I shot a 373-12X. 11-X in the first string! You'll be saying, sure a .223 can do it this is just normal, but I'm shooting mag-length in my AR!

    Then the wind picked up for the second string. I've never seen 7 range flags all pointing different directions... I was happy to keep the shots within the 9 ring.

    -Mac

    Next month I'll take out the "secret load" of CFE223 and JLK 77gr. We have a firm theory that ball powders don't perform better than stick powders. I'll start to put that to the test with this combo. My rifle just loves it.
     
  16. Citysmasher

    Citysmasher Guest

    My Red Gun AR-15 space gun will shoot Sierra 77s mag length five shots into a 45 cal sized hole at 100 yards... Often.
     
  17. ar10ar15man

    ar10ar15man Guest

    get a stoney point oal setup for ogive length....
    bullets with in a single lot can vary .005 to 010 easy and some times more....
    so unless you sort your bullets by length, you measuring method is not a good one.....

    iin the future if you have to shoot mag lenght ammo get a chamber based on the bullet and 2.250 oal( that way if a bullet happens to be long oal it will still fit mag)
    if the bbls do not have to be 20 " go for a 24//( i have 2 26")

    hang in there...the fun is in the shooting......
     
  18. mac86951

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

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    [quote author=ar10ar15man

    hang in there...the fun is in the shooting......
    [/quote]

    Right! I'm having a Blast! I bought the upper as an assembled unit so that I could practice the entire reloading process and shooting technique, and I'm amazed at how well it performs. I will go to a 26" barrel with shorter chamber when I'm tired of this one, but it might take a LONG time to shoot out a .223 barrel, excluding some cleaning accident.

    As I have seen quite a few other threads on loading for .223 I think this thread will end soon, I just wanted to start it to share my results as I dialed in some loads. More so I am happy to report several powders that work well, as most people already know about Varget, but I've found that AR-Comp performs well, as does CFE223.

    -Mac
     
  19. Citysmasher

    Citysmasher Guest

    Red Gun AR-15 space gun.

    100 yards 77 SMK moly set at mag length. There are several others the same off to the left not shown in frame.
     

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  20. ar10ar15man

    ar10ar15man Guest

    city,
    if you shot those off a bipod, with match sights..that is impressive...

     

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