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Thread: 223 load for predators in alaska

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    Default 223 load for predators in alaska

    Well i looked back a few years and cannot find anything that is suitable to my question. I just picked up a colt and would like to use it for predator hunting up here next fall. I remember reading awhile back that a certain bullet velocity was idea but i do not know what that is any more. If any of you have a favorite that does not do to much hide damage please share. I have a good chance at shooting at more fox than anything with this round so i need something fox friendly.

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    I think you will probably need a solid bullet or one that will not expand much. I have shot a few fox facing straight on that the bullet did not exit with the .223,but most took some sewing. I stopped typing here and went to check my records to see what my bullet speed was and it was not wrote down for some reason. The bullet I am using is a 40 gr. Nosler running very near a maximum load. I was trying to stop from getting a exit but it does not work all the time. I took another look for my notes and found some but not what I was looking for. I found where I had loaded some 55 gr. bullets with a charge of Varget and got a average of 3087 fps. This load did not group well in my gun. Hope some of this will help.

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    My research turned up a magic velocity of 2800 fps, seems to be a fair number of folks that agree if you can keep the bullet under that at the end of the barrel your at a good starting point.

    I went to a heavy bullet and light load to reduce velocity. I'm pushing Sierra 69gr HPBT at around 2450 with a minimum load of Benchmark. They group under an inch at 100 yards from my 16" bull barrel AR. I killed a coyote and a lynx this year, both around 55 yards and both produced quarter sized exits. The Sierras are hollow points but they don't open up at those speeds, they are a target bullet and they aren't actually suppose to expand.

    A friend of mine tried my handloads out of his R15 and they didn't cycle well, not sure if it was the light load or the gun, they cycle great in my gun.

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    I just started loading for the 223, but I have found a sweet load for the 40 gr Nosler ballistic tips using IMR8028. In the neighborhood of 25.5 grains will shoot less than 1/2 moa at 100 yds with my Remington R-15.

    The 55 grain nosler b tips shot a 0.270" center to center group of four rounds with TAC. I thought that was rather outstanding for a semi auto. It does not like partitions at all for some reason...

    I haven't shot a coyote with either bullet yet, but if you are reloading for them, those are some loads that have worked well.

    intersting approach, Limon, with the 69's running that slow. Are those matchkings? Seems like a quarter size exit is pretty darn good. Were they DRT or did they run?

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    thank you guys i will have to try a few of those loads out for calling this fall.

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    I should mention that I have run almost nothing but handloads thru my R15 and have never had any issues cycling...and I have run alot of loads near listed minimum powder charges.

    I spent alot of time and used about 5 different powders trying to get the 60 gr nosler partitions to shoot. So far Ive used H335, TAC, W748, 8028XBR, and 4320.....I am coming to the conclusion that my barrel just doesnt like them. I loaded some up with Accurate 2230 last night so we will see. I have quite a batch of those bullets so I need to come up with something that puts them within an inch or so at 100...

    I have a bunch of 69 grain HPBT's loaded with 748 that I may try as my coyote load. I kind of like Limon's approach and I am not a big fan of sewing hides if I dont have to.

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    i shoot a 42gr. nosler balistic tip vermit lead free bullet with a charge of imr powder. i get 3,200 fps and so far has woked excelent on predators. one small entrace hole, no exit. kills fast too. killed everything except a lynx with it. woked great on fox
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    I shoot Hornady 55gr V Max Varmint express factory loads out of my AR 16" bull barrel that I recently built. Shot a coyote with it a few weeks ago in Washington state at 350yds plus and it hardly did any damage to the hide, clean entrance and coyote was dead right there. Matter of fact I don't remember seeing an exit on it either but never did look as I didn't keep the hide(rubbed). Mind you this was at 350 plus yards, might have inflicted more damage on the hide if it was a closer shot and likely an exit wound. This was a fairly young coyote as well, not too much bigger than your average fox.

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    Just a little side note..I'm assuming your colt is AR style? One thing you have to remember is that AR's love to be oiled up but in the dead of winter a well oiled AR is practically useless all that oil gels up and gunks up your action and firing pin..I love shooting .223 for everything from Ptarmigan to predators to Sitka Blacktails but i have definitely switched over to bolt action only

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    Yes my Colt is an AR style rifle. I plan on using the flitz wax on my rifle to see how it operates that way so i dont gum up anything. I appreciate all the information this forum provides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckwild View Post
    Just a little side note..I'm assuming your colt is AR style? One thing you have to remember is that AR's love to be oiled up but in the dead of winter a well oiled AR is practically useless all that oil gels up and gunks up your action and firing pin..I love shooting .223 for everything from Ptarmigan to predators to Sitka Blacktails but i have definitely switched over to bolt action only
    FWIW - I run mine nearly dry after doing some reading on cold weather lube. The only place I oil is a drop on each side of the bolt carrier and then wipe it off, cycles great. My shooting has been down to -15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    It does not like partitions at all for some reason...

    intersting approach, Limon, with the 69's running that slow. Are those matchkings? Seems like a quarter size exit is pretty darn good. Were they DRT or did they run?
    Both animals ran, however both shots were less than optimal. On the coyote I hit it toward the back of the rib cage and missed all vitals. On the lynx I shot it in the right shoulder and missed the vitals. Since i'm hunting on snow and haven't had trouble following the blood trails on the snow i'm going to keep shooting that load. If I were somewhere that I didn't have the snow to aid in tracking I would probably be more concerned.

    Interesting on the partitions. I tried a minimum load on those too and they shot awefull, that was with Benchmark. I plan on working with them a bit more because i'd like to take a deer or caribou with that gun. I also picked up some 62gr. TTSX to try for that purpose, and maybe predators too.

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    Depends on what you are hunting. The same bullet that works for Fox won't work for Coyote or Wolf. When calling I have two guns in my blind. .17 HMR and either a .223 or a 25-06. Depends on what I feel will be answering the call.
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    I shoot 40gr ballistic tips on my ar. Shot multiple fox (usually no exit), lynx (no exit hole), wolverine(no exit holes) with it with great results. Don`t know how tight of group I can shoot since I don`t have change to take ar to range and bench rest it but usually I hit my targets if they are fox and bigger
    I never use any oil in winter time and it has worked well for me night time just leave outside the tent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Interesting on the partitions. I tried a minimum load on those too and they shot awefull, that was with Benchmark. I plan on working with them a bit more because i'd like to take a deer or caribou with that gun. I also picked up some 62gr. TTSX to try for that purpose, and maybe predators too.
    I'd bet the 62 gr TTSX would be a pretty good bullet for deer size and large predators..I am personally leery of caribou or deer with my 223. I know its done all the time, but somehow it feels under gunned to me...and I'm not really a head shooter on ungulates...Does Barnes make a heavier 224 cal bullet? With a 1 in 9 twist, I should be able to stabilize at least a 70 grain(maybe 75??) bullet...


    akommpa, glad to hear those 40 gr BT's work good for you. I have a lot of those loaded up. Might have to give them a try here this spring....

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    The TSX comes in a 70, it would be interesting to see if you can stabilize that. I thought about taking my AR to Adak some day, just to try it. If I do that my fiancé will be taking a .270 so i'd have that option if the AR didn't work out. I figured that 62 grain ttsx would be a great predator round, especially if I can keep it under 2800 fps or so at the barrel. Better expansion than the Sierras i'm using now but no explosion if I hit bone. That's my theory anyhow.

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    I would bet I could stabilize 70 tsx's. A 1 in 9 stabilizes 69 gr nosler match bullets no problems...

    I may be headed to Adak this spring, if I go, I will probably take my 308. It needs to get initiated...I'd be interested to see how those TSX 62 grainers do on a bou if you go...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    I would bet I could stabilize 70 tsx's. A 1 in 9 stabilizes 69 gr nosler match bullets no problems...

    I may be headed to Adak this spring, if I go, I will probably take my 308. It needs to get initiated...I'd be interested to see how those TSX 62 grainers do on a bou if you go...
    Will do, if we go it would be December 2014 so it will be a bit! What is in Adak in the spring?

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    I am suprised that no one mentioned the Barnes Varmint gernade. That seems to be an excellant bullet with minimal hide damage due to the frangible design. I just got a sweet load for my 22-250 with a 36grain VG and the velocitys should be right at 4k FPS. I will confirm when I run it through the Crony. Wind will be the biggest obsacle due to the weight but with enough practice should be a non issue in reasonable winds.
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    I don't believe that you can stabilize the 70 TSX's in a 1n9--should take a 1n7

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