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Thread: I just got an AR .223 and getting ready to reload...

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    Default I just got an AR .223 and getting ready to reload...

    What is a good powder...accurate with 55 gr. bullets and clean burning...any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated...thnx

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    I don't know of any powders that burn so clean I don't have to clean the rifle at all.

    With that out of the way I can't think of a cannister powder I have ever used that didn't burn cleaner than the vast majority of factory loads.

    In .223 I have used H335, BL(C)-2 for sure, a couple others that were close, but my year round go to in .223 is Varget. I give up a little bit of velocity in the summertime, but I don't have to adjust my scope as the seasons change, Varget burns about the same - for me in my guns- regardless of the outdoor temperature.

    Barrel length might be an issue, mine has a 20" barrel so I might be getting away with a little bit slower burning powder than the guy at the next table with a 16" barrel.

    I have not tried Hodgdon's 'new' powder CFE223, supposed to reduce copper fouling in the barrel and supposed to be about perfect for .223.

    FWIW according to the Hodgdon site (http://www.hodgdon.com/rifle.html )one of BLC2 and H335 is essentially the military powder for 5.56 packaged as a cannister powder, the other is 7.62 repackaged....

    I would think you could try any one of the BLC2, H335 and CFE223, get a good idea if you want a faster or slower burning powder for your next purchase and go from there.

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    Member Ryan J's Avatar
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    I use Varget. I made that choice after asking the same question here a few months ago. I was told something along the lines of "fill the case with a good snort of Varget and you'll be happy" and I have been. I think I'm using around 26gr for my 55gr bullets and that does fill the case up just right. I'm getting 1/2" groups out of all my 55gr (Midway Dogtown and Hornady V-max) at 50yds with iron sights and 16" barrel.
    If you can search and find my last post about this, I think H335, Varget and one other were the top three recommendations. I am interested in the CFE223, read an article a couple of weeks ago that gave it pretty good reviews all around including the cleaning properties they claim it has. I may try it once my Varget runs out.

  4. #4

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    Picked up brass, Hornady 55gr V MAX bullets and 1000 Fed. primers..couldn't find Varget powder...also got RCBS AR .223/5.56 dies..I'll ck some other stores for the powder and start reloading next weekend....anyone have experience with RCBS's new AR dies...?

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    I use Win 748 for 'plinking' loads and Varget for the 'serious' loads. Have H335 to play with but have not shot a lot of it yet. It sound like you are off to a good start. Have fun and be safe!

  6. #6

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    I used to load all of my 223s with 28 grains of WW748. Then I loaded a thousand with Varget and decided it would be my go to powder. Then along comes the CFE223 stuff so I loaded 500 rounds with the stuff and the same Hornady 55 gr soft point that I have used for years. The CFE 223 is giving me over 100 fps in velocity gain. It burns clean without a big muzzle flash even in a 16 inch barrel.

    The thing that I'm struggling with now is that the last thousand that I loaded cost me $200 per 1000 to load using Hornady 55 grain SP. I can buy them already loaded from Royals in Billings for $299/1000. Is it worth saving 100 bucks a thousand for me to do them myself? I guess I've got nothing better to do on cold Iowa winter nights than run that green lever up and down.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    I used to load all of my 223s with 28 grains of WW748. Then I loaded a thousand with Varget and decided it would be my go to powder. Then along comes the CFE223 stuff so I loaded 500 rounds with the stuff and the same Hornady 55 gr soft point that I have used for years. The CFE 223 is giving me over 100 fps in velocity gain. It burns clean without a big muzzle flash even in a 16 inch barrel.

    The thing that I'm struggling with now is that the last thousand that I loaded cost me $200 per 1000 to load using Hornady 55 grain SP. I can buy them already loaded from Royals in Billings for $299/1000. Is it worth saving 100 bucks a thousand for me to do them myself? I guess I've got nothing better to do on cold Iowa winter nights than run that green lever up and down.
    You live in the Land of cheap ammo...I guess if I wuz down in the lower 48 I would be reloading for accuracy...FYI..I'm shooting a Rock River Predator Pursuit and will hunt varmints over Nov. and Dec.
    Last edited by Oneriver; 10-22-2012 at 12:21. Reason: include more info.

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    While this powder is almost never listed as a popular 223 loading powder AA2230-C is the best I've used; It is the military powder designed and used for Isreali 223 ammo. Burns clean and is very consistant while not being temperature sensative, I've used over 24 lbs and am currently on my 4 th jug. It works great in the PPC & BR cartridges as well as many others. Loading data is available.
    Buying bullets by the 1000-5000 bulk boxes can save bucks on loading large lots of ammo.
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    My go to powder for .223 and 55 gr bullets is AA2230. I've tried a lot of other powders and always end up grabbing AA2230 when I have a choice. It meters well, fills the case right to where it "looks good" to me, goes bang every time, and is accurate enough for what I need done with various 55 gr bullets.

    (edit: I did stockpile a bunch of H335 because it seems more of an all around powder and it works fine in the .223, but I still like AA 2230 better for the .223. When powder goes on sale I buy what I can; it all gets burned up)

    For 69, 77, and 80 gr bullets I use only RL15.

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    Default I just got an AR .223 and getting ready to reload...

    Varget has traditionally been my go to for 223 and 308, however I recently came across a good deal on an 8lb jug of H4895(extreme), and have not noticed any difference of note between the 2 in 223 with 55gr loads. Since 4895 is such a versitile powder, I wouldn't rule it out if you come across a good deal.
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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Default I just got an AR .223 and getting ready to reload...

    Quote Originally Posted by Oneriver View Post
    Picked up brass, Hornady 55gr V MAX bullets and 1000 Fed. primers..couldn't find Varget powder...also got RCBS AR .223/5.56 dies..I'll ck some other stores for the powder and start reloading next weekend....anyone have experience with RCBS's new AR dies...?
    I've used the small base dies from RCBS, pre- "AR series". The small base die is rarely necessary IMO unless you have an abnormally tight chamber- it just over works the brass. The other feature of the "AR" series is that they taper crimp while seating. This is a non plus for me, since I seat and crimp in two different steps (as I believe everyone should).

    I use a redding die set, and a Lee factory crimp die, and in my experience, is the best setup for consistency and reliability in MY rifle.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oneriver View Post
    You live in the Land of cheap ammo...I guess if I wuz down in the lower 48 I would be reloading for accuracy...FYI..I'm shooting a Rock River Predator Pursuit and will hunt varmints over Nov. and Dec.
    I also have a RR Predator Pursuit. I just sent it with my son to his home in N Dakota. He made 4 running shots on coyotes in one day with it last year. It doesn't do that well in my hands. I use mostly my Rem model 7 Predator Master(I think thats what they call it) in 22-250. I also have a Vanguard 223 with a BlackHawk stock that will get used some this winter. We usually start hunting at first snowfall which can be anytime after the Thanksgiving and hunt through the breeding season which goes until mid to late Feb.

    Many a saturday I wake up to howling winds that make shooting for distance pretty tough. I will be shooting coyotes with a 7mm-08 with 120 grain bullets on those days this winter......or shooting at them anyway!

  13. #13
    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    I use Reloader 15 a lot. A very versatile powder, can load everything from 223 to 375 H&H.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    I've used the small base dies from RCBS, pre- "AR series". The small base die is rarely necessary IMO unless you have an abnormally tight chamber- it just over works the brass. The other feature of the "AR" series is that they taper crimp while seating. This is a non plus for me, since I seat and crimp in two different steps (as I believe everyone should).

    I use a redding die set, and a Lee factory crimp die, and in my experience, is the best setup for consistency and reliability in MY rifle.
    I haven't been crimping my rifle loads unless there is a crimp I don't know about in my RCBS dies (30-06, 22-250) do I need to crimp .223 loads...?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oneriver View Post
    I haven't been crimping my rifle loads unless there is a crimp I don't know about in my RCBS dies (30-06, 22-250) do I need to crimp .223 loads...?
    I have loaded 10,000 223s in the last several years and have never crimped any of them and have never had any bullets shake loose from the case. I always seat bullets at least as deep in the case as the bullet is wide!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oneriver View Post
    I haven't been crimping my rifle loads unless there is a crimp I don't know about in my RCBS dies (30-06, 22-250) do I need to crimp .223 loads...?
    No. I stopped crimping my loads years ago. For a crimp to work and to have consistent accuracy, each case would have to be trimmed to the same over all length to each receive the same measure of crimp.

    Also, for a crimp to work most effectively, you should be loading bullets with a cannelure. Now, if your brass is pretty much from the same lot and or number of firings and their overall length is pretty close, and you're shooting cannelured bullets, and you really want to crimp, set your die up and crimp away. Particularly with plinking ammo where accuracy isn't the goal. Crimping won't give you inaccurate ammo, but it will likely not give you the best accuracy that your rifle and ammo are capable.

    You can crimp, it just isn't necessary in most cases.

    Also, if accuracy isn't the number one goal, just buy a good 5 or 8 pound keg of the Win748 powder and load away. It tends to be cheaper than Varget or RE15.

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    I have used many powders for the 223/5.56x47 in various rifles and I have settled on Hodgdon's Benchmark as the best powder for this cartridge. It has given the best accuracy and is very clean in the action after many rounds fired. It also gives some of the highest velocities with a range of bullet weights. If you're looking for a good one propellant does all for the 5.56, give Benchmark a try. It is also a great powder for the 308 in the AR platform.
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  18. #18

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    The Benchmark powder shot excellent groups in my RRA 15 ...it was 12 degrees out ..makes me wonder who that powder will shoot at 80 degrees..?

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    Here's one reference you should save and refer to it often.

    http://www.6mmbr.com/223Rem.html

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthury View Post
    Here's one reference you should save and refer to it often.

    http://www.6mmbr.com/223Rem.html
    Good article thnx for sharing....I went to Hogdon site and I cannot understand where in heck they would alternate their load data with cup and psi..it just confused me...!!!

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