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Thread: Ar15. Suggest an accurate target bullet...

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Ar15. Suggest an accurate target bullet...

    Buddy helped me load my first 223 rounds today. After having shot PMC for 6 months, grouping 1.25" on average, I was hoping to see an improvement. My buddy is getting consistent 0.5 MOA with 24.2 grains of varget and 77 matchking molys, the same bullet and powder we used today. We both are shooting Barnes Precision ar15's. But in three powder weights, my gun would not best 1" groups with it, some more like 1.5". I got 4 pounds of varget this morning at LGS. Guess I need to try some other bullets. Any suggestions. 1:8 twist 16" stainless Montana barrel. We both shot mirroring groups with the 3 test rounds and our results were near identical. Looking for accurate 100-300 yard round. Any ideas?



    Dan

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    I have had good accuracy with the 77 grain nosler competition match bullets. ANother to try would be the 75 gr Amax bullets, but they cannot be loaded to magazine length.

    For overall accuracy with a more standard wt bullet, every nosler ballistic tip bullet from 40 gr to 55 gr has been exceptional in my 1:9 twist Remington. This is with different powders, Tac, 8208XBR, 2230, Varget, etc...

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    with 1/8" Ive had great luck with Sierra Matchking 77 gr. Nosler CC's are nearly identical IIRC, but ive never had them side by side in the same rifle with the same load.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Buddy helped me load my first 223 rounds today. After having shot PMC for 6 months, grouping 1.25" on average, I was hoping to see an improvement. My buddy is getting consistent 0.5 MOA with 24.2 grains of varget and 77 matchking molys, the same bullet and powder we used today. We both are shooting Barnes Precision ar15's. But in three powder weights, my gun would not best 1" groups with it, some more like 1.5". I got 4 pounds of varget this morning at LGS. Guess I need to try some other bullets. Any suggestions. 1:8 twist 16" stainless Montana barrel. We both shot mirroring groups with the 3 test rounds and our results were near identical. Looking for accurate 100-300 yard round. Any ideas?



    Dan
    Tough to trump the Hornady 68 grain BTHP for a magazine fed AR. Like everyone else, I've had trouble finding particular bullets in the past few months, but I suspect that will somewhat east up in the near future. I've been using H335 for .223 class cartridges for at least 25 years and haven't found anything to change that, though I'm open to any and all improvements. Looking to try CFE 223 when it's available and I'm in town next, but I'll continue to suffer 335 till then.......
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    I am using Varget, pushing Sierra 69BTHP's in my Bushmaster Predator and can clover leaf three shots at 100yards off the bench. Have been playing with V-max 55 grain bullets and they are OK but I think that I can get them to shoot better.

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention the 68/69 gr bthp's. Of all the bullets Ive tried in my rifle, I think they have shot the most consistently good groups at 100 yds, which is as far as I've target shot my 223.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    What ware the powder charges, type and grains? Are we talking 1 at 100 yards or something else?


    My personal feeling is if one of your first 3 loadings got you down to 1moa your doing pretty good and should explore fine tuning that. Sounds to me like the rifle will shoot those Barnes but you still need to do some work yet to dial it in. If you got down to 1moa in your first 3 attempts its sure worth seeing if you can tweak what you have before trying other powder and bullets.
     
    At 3 charge weights you only just have started developing that, if you like that bullet carry on before starting development of another load. If you go jumping ship on powder/bullets/loads too soon you may never luck onto the magic combination that your rifle likes.
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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    77 gr Sierra Matchking
    Varget in 24.2. 23.9. 23.6

    Lowest powder charge was 1" group. Middle and higher were bit worse, towards 1.5".

    Now we were just using once fired PMC brass. I got 100 lapua brass coming in from midway. That might help, with the appropriate case preparation, sorting of weights, trimming to length, etc. I also got redding dies to use on my rock chucker and charge master to weigh and drop each load. Today, we made them on a dillon 550B. Ordered 100 matchking 69's and my buddy and I are loading some 68 gr hornady bthp at his house in the morning. Lots of variables. Wondering if I should further work up this matchking moly 77 gr load or try other bullets. To this thought, if sticking with the 77 MK moly (which I bought 500 of today) what should I do differently? Got a little discouraged today. Perhaps prematurely. Maybe my goals are more lofty than they should be for the gun. I am wanting 1/2 MOA out of this thing. His Barnes Precision shoots it all day long. But each barrel is different of course.




    Dan

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Varget is obviously a good choice for powders, but for the heavier 224 cal bullets, 2000MR was pretty impressive in my rifle for accuracy.

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    I've shot a lot of .223. Reloaded my own for years. Several years ago I got away from .223 and missed having it. When I went back it was on a limited basis with a .223 over 20 Ga. Savage 24. I bought this when I first started coming to Alaska, and have kept it there ever since. A few years back I had it chambered for .223 AI. While I loved .223 before, .223 AI is a totally new love affair. The range of loads is improved, as is the muzzle velocity and flatness of trajectory.

    I'd reccomend looking heavilly at .223 AI if .223 is going to be what you shoot all the time. Of course, my bias is in my own results for my particular type of shooting, as a result, YMMV.

    Beyond that. .257 Robetrs and .240 Weatherby have been my favorites in the under 7mm catagory.

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Huh, an AI AR-15...
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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    AI AI O...


    More interested in a bullet change at this point rather than a caliber change. If I was going to change caliber on the AR platform, I would be giving the Grendel 6.5 a hard look.

    Any bullet suggestions guys?


    Thanks for any further contribution.



    Dan

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    Member SockeyeOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    Huh, an AI AR-15...
    Why not? Salmon swim upstream too.

    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    AI AI O...

    If I was going to change caliber on the AR platform, I would be giving the Grendel 6.5 a hard look.
    AI, AI, I kno.....

    Just ruminating out loud I guess. It gets dark early now you know.....

    6.5 Grendel. Perfect. Why is this thread still going and why aren't you at the gunsmiths?

    For real world practical suggestions I can't reccomend anything that hasn't been printed in a bunch of books already.

    I wish you the best of luck in finding the load you are looking for.

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    I got just over .4 MOA with 69gr HPBT Sierra Match Kings and a minimum charge of Benchmark. I"m shooting a 16" 1-8 bull barrel AR also.

    I have tried several other bullet/powder combinations and nothing else has done that well, partitions with 4 different powders are barrely under 2 MOA, 62gr TTSX I got about 1 MOA with Accurate 2230 IIRC, Nosler 64gr bonded I managed about .7 MOA with Accurate 2230 also, Hornady 55gr FMJ-BT about 1 MOA, Hornady SP about 1.5 MOA, don't recall the powder for those two.

    My gun definately seems to have a preference for heavier bullet weights, I have not tried anything over 69gr. yet. Between the TTSX, Bonded Solid Base Nosler and Sierra i'm about done with load developement for this gun and don't have any plans for further development.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SockeyeOne View Post
    Why not? Salmon swim upstream too.


    For real world practical suggestions I can't reccomend anything that hasn't been printed in a bunch of books already.

    If I had a bunch of books I wouldn't be begging for info here.

    First rounds I ever reloaded were 12 hours ago.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I got just over .4 MOA with 69gr HPBT Sierra Match Kings and a minimum charge of Benchmark. I"m shooting a 16" 1-8 bull barrel AR
    Ordered a hundred of them the other day. Fingers crossed for similar results you had. Awesome shooting.



    Dan

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    Member SockeyeOne's Avatar
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    First rounds I ever reloaded were 12 hours ago.
    Sorry dude. I really had no idea.

    Goes to show I really should be minding my own business.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I appreciate yours and all the others input. We did varget in 24.2. 23.9 & 23.6. Will do 23.3 and 23 in morning. Any more velocity sacrificed will negate the long range efficacy of this 77 gr SMK. We will also load up four test batches of Hornady 68 gr BTHP my buddy has. I got some 69 SMK on the way. Hopefully one of these combos will get me sub MOA. Which is my main requirement as it will effect long range target shooting. I am not amped up at the idea of showing off dime sized groups on paper at 100 yards. But I need this level of accuracy, along with down range performance. There is a 1200 range in the mountains of SW Virginia that has matches each month. If I can't shoot sub MOA, it will be very difficult banging steel at 300, 500, 800, etc... That is why I am trying so hard to get this heavy (and longer) bullet to work. If not, I may just have to go with a 68/69 gr bullet and deal with the increased effect of wind and vertical drop.



    Dan

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    Member SockeyeOne's Avatar
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    I think its cool you are working out your thoughts on .223 here in public.

    All I can add is that if you are really going all this way, do your homework well (clearly you are doing your best), cool your barrel if you really care, and go with the results you get and feel comfortable with them.

    If not we'll all still be here to tell you how we did it a little different and got a little different results.

    I still say AI if you like .223 and are going to handload. Others will likely not agree. Re-chambering be ****ed. Its not that expensive at a good smith in this caliber.

    I also say .240 Wby is better, so what do I know.....

    YMMV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    I appreciate yours and all the others input. We did varget in 24.2. 23.9 & 23.6. Will do 23.3 and 23 in morning. Any more velocity sacrificed will negate the long range efficacy of this 77 gr SMK. We will also load up four test batches of Hornady 68 gr BTHP my buddy has. I got some 69 SMK on the way. Hopefully one of these combos will get me sub MOA. Which is my main requirement as it will effect long range target shooting. I am not amped up at the idea of showing off dime sized groups on paper at 100 yards. But I need this level of accuracy, along with down range performance. There is a 1200 range in the mountains of SW Virginia that has matches each month. If I can't shoot sub MOA, it will be very difficult banging steel at 300, 500, 800, etc... That is why I am trying so hard to get this heavy (and longer) bullet to work. If not, I may just have to go with a 68/69 gr bullet and deal with the increased effect of wind and vertical drop.



    Dan
    I've never been fond of Varget, though others find it useful. I've always gotten higher velocity and comparable accuracy with other powders in various chamberings. I'd start with 22.0 grains of H335 (commercial brass and standard small rifle primers) with the 68 BTHP and increase powder until I hit 2850-2900 fps (with a 16 inch barrel). I've not used the 77 SMK, but I'd rather 68 BTHP in the .223 than 75 BTHP (both from Hornady) in the .223 with very few exceptions. The extra velocity is more significant than the very slight increase in b.c. IME and that'll hold true to nearly 800 yards. If you're popping targets and the rules allow, then single loading the 75 A-Max is where you want to be. Just getting started in reloading can be a frustrating thing; don't give up and you'll eventually find what you're looking for.........
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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