Powder recommendation for .223

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by Jim747, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Jim747

    Jim747

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    I have a .223 Savage 12 VLP. 1:9 twist on a 26" barrel.

    I've been working loads and have had good results with VMAX 53 gr (BT), 55's a and 60's. I've tried other bullets but these seem to work best. I "zero" my scope at 200 yards and get the great groups (.6 MOA) with the 53 gr VMAX and 26 gr Varget - that yields 3140 fps on the chronograph.

    Since I will use these loads for prairie dogs and I might have to go out to 400 yards, I would like to see if I can keep accuracy at 3300 or 3400 fps. 26 gr of Varget fills a .223 cartridge so I'm going to have to look at another powder. My loading book lists, IMR 3031, BL-C2, AA 2460 and WIN 748 at speeds of 3400. I use Lee press with the disc measure so I would like a powder that flows well and isn't terribly dirty. Finally, I'll be in Wyoming and it might be hot so I would like a powder that doesn't jump around a lot in hot conditions. Any suggestions which powder to try?

    Jim
     
  2. necchi

    necchi Site $$ Contributor

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    Re: Powder recommendation

    H4895, Benchmark maybe, both are Hodgdons Extreme powders

    They have basic data on-line,,
     
  3. Keith Glasscock

    Keith Glasscock Team Benchmark Site $$ Contributor

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    I'm just about to start experimenting with H322. According to QL, I should be able to get up into the 3500's with it safely while maintaining accuracy. That's the theory at least.

    For now, I'm using 27.5 Varget (compressed a bit - a drop tube is a wonderful thing) - 3380 from a 24" tube
     
  4. effendude

    effendude Site $$ Contributor

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    For the lighter .223 bullets, I like H335. It meters well, good velocity too.
    Scott
     
  5. LCazador

    LCazador Competitive shooter and reloader for 50 years+ Site $$ Contributor

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    AA-2230 or H-335 both meter very well , with H-335 doing better with the heavier bullets . Both are spherical powders , just what you want for " dropped loads " , and yes both do very well in the extreme spread category !! If you're not using a bore scope and a good chronograph , forget everything I said ;D , hee !!
     
  6. nonliberal

    nonliberal Site $$ Contributor

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    In the last 3 .223 I've loaded for the 60gr vmax and H4895 have been a great combination.
     
  7. Shynloco

    Shynloco You can lead a horse to water, but ........ Site $$ Contributor

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    Jim,
    I've got the same rifle (Model 12 VLP DBM) and her favorite load is: 52 Gr Berger FB, being pushed by 28.7 Gr BLC-2, Lapua Brass, Federal Small Match Primers, Ojive depth seating measurement of 3.003. I have run extensive tests but don't chrony my loads. I'm up in the High Desert of So Cal and the temps have not so far interferred in putting together very nice tight 5 shot groups (that a dime easily covers) @100 yds which is what I shoot mostly anymore because of my tired eyes. Might consider trying this load, with perhaps a minor adjustment in the load for your particular rifle. BTW, anything over 53 gr bullets and the groups opened up no matter if they were Bergers, Sierra, or Hornady's.
     
  8. boltfluter

    boltfluter Site $$ Contributor

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    Have a couple of friends that run Benchmark with great results. Very temp. insensitive. Good luck.

    Regards, Paul.

    www.boltfluting.com
     
  9. markm87

    markm87

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    That is the best powder I've ever loaded .223 with. When I use WOLF SRM primers, I can get 1/4" ammo in bulk with my Dillon 550b.
     
  10. lpreddick

    lpreddick Site $$ Contributor

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    8208 xbr 26 gr, 52 gr fowler does wonders in my savage, same twist. my 223 les baer varmint ar shoots these also around 3350 fps and is lethal.
     
  11. nfhjr62

    nfhjr62

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    I read in a history of the AR rifle that Gene Stoner specked the power for the first AR's as IMR 3031
     
  12. wapiti25

    wapiti25 Site $$ Contributor

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    Benchmark is great with the 50-55gr bullets and gives good velocity. You may also look at the 60gr and heavier bullets for less wind drift.
     
  13. wapiti25

    wapiti25 Site $$ Contributor

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    H335 is very temperature sensitive. It shoots good but watch the pressure as the temp. gets hot (90+). I live in the desert and had H335 ruin cases that were good load but max during the winter. The pressures tends to jump at the top with the older ball powders, I have not shot the ones that came out in the last 10yrs or so. 748 was more forgiving as to the jumps in pressure, 20yrs ago when I was shooting it. I think the guns tend to go out of tune using ball powders when the temp. changes. I have a load with H335 that is mild and shoots good using 25grs with a 71/2 primer under a 55gr bullet
     
  14. wapiti25

    wapiti25 Site $$ Contributor

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    The 223 was loaded with the old IMR 8208 that was the original H322 and the Thunderbird 322, T322, T8208. Macnamara wanted all gov ammo loaded with ball powder and the M16's had all kinds of problems and got lot's of my friends killed because of the gun's jamming from fouling. H335 is dirty powder.
     
  15. Jim747

    Jim747

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    Thanks for all the great suggestions. I'm loading for a prairie dog hunt in Wyoming and expect to have 300 and some 400 yard targets. That's why I would like a bit more speed if I can maintain accuracy anf that's why I'm trying to find a powder that is less sensitive to temps. Here is a recent ladder test I did @ 200 yards using the Hornady 53 gr VMAX BT and Varget. Temp was 82 but it's likely to be hotter in Wyoming. https://vimeo.com/44037316 I should say the video is sped up. There were a couple minutes between shots so the barrel would maintain a similar temp.

    Shot number 8 is way off and I expect I messed up on the powder load since the speed was not in line with other rounds.

    Shot no. Varget gr FPS
    1 24.2 2,909
    2 24.4 2,930
    3 24.6 2,926
    4 24.8 2,979
    5 25.0 2,996
    6 25.2 3,024
    7 25.4 3,065
    8 25.6 3,036 OOPS
    9 25.8 3,128
    10 26.0 3,140

    Shots 7,9 and 10 are tight which makes me think a bit more speed might not hurt accuracy. The "store bought" Hornady ammo with the 53 gr VMAX bullet is in the 3450 fps range so I would like to see if I can get there and maintain the tight group. Shot number 8 is an OOPS and makes me feel like I'm getting some value for spending the $$$ on the Chrony. All other loads are almost a stright line increase in speed but that one falls out of the normal range. Call it operator error on my part.

    Jim
     
  16. jerrschmitt

    jerrschmitt

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    My .223 prairie dog load is H322 with a 50 VMAX over a CCI Mag primer. Prior to that I used BLC with good results. Varget is a little slow for most .223 loads.
     
  17. Bradley Walker

    Bradley Walker

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    My favorite 52 grain powder is 2015BR. 25 grains of 2015BR is bughole.

    Seriously you can pretty much substitute VV133 and Reloader 10x. I bet H322 would be very close too... I need to try that...

    BTW, I love the Varget/R15 "full case" load. Very, very consistent... I can load them by hand, but it spills on my progressive!!!
     
  18. th82457

    th82457

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    I have had best results with Benchmark and H322 with 50 to 55 gr. bullets. Both are extremely consistent.
     
  19. A_Gamehog

    A_Gamehog

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    One thing about your quest is to reconsider maximum loads in extreme conditions and short periods between shots.

    You want your rifles to last and the accuracy to be constant for the life of the rifle. I don't shoot the maximum loads

    and strive for accuracy instead of speed. If you want speed shoot the 34 grain bullets @ 3800+ fps. the damage is

    as good as the 204's and the recoil slight. I really like IMR 8208 with the 34's and 53's in a dogtown. Varget is also great.

    Just trying to help as I shoot 5,000+ rds of ammo @ varmints each year, but rotate rifles when the shooting gets good.
     
  20. Shynloco

    Shynloco You can lead a horse to water, but ........ Site $$ Contributor

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    Jim,
    Not to sound like a broken record, but I would try BLC-2 in your rifle. I know H335 is loved by many in their rifles (not to mention Sierra lists it as their "Accuracy Load" for 52 & 53 Gr bullets), but was amongst the worst I tested in my Model 12 VLP when all other factors were the same in the rounds loaded. And to me, the SD on your list is way too much that could be caused by factors OTHER than loading flubs, though they do seem somewhat extreme to me. I have a friend who shoots again the same model 12 VLP rifle who swears by BLC-2 and his SD is usually 8-10 when he chronies his loads and he's big time into hunting PD's.
     

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