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Thread: 223 powder for 55 gr Hornady

  1. #1
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    Default 223 powder for 55 gr Hornady

    Has anyone here in AK discovered a favorite load for the 223 Remington cartridge for 55gr bullets.
    I know the manuals are loaded with various loads. However try to find all the powders they list anywhere here.
    Then which is the best overall powder for 55gr bullet and the powder you want will be nowhere to be found.
    Living in Fairbanks with sparce powder selections. Here in the Great North is there a real quality powder for loading the 223 ??
    Want to load 55 gr fmj Hornady for fur hunting and locating powders for this is at best frustrating.
    Load would be with 450 or BR4 primers.
    Firearm is Accurized Mini 14 by choice.
    If possible is there one well qualified powder out there ??
    Thanks for your help...

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    The nice thing is that the .223 can be loaded with several powders. I prefer Varget and CFE223. I have a bunch of benchmark I want to play with but hate to switch things up since I have so much loaded with the CFE. Of course those powders are near impossible to find
    Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

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    Member OKElkHunter's Avatar
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    I believe I'm shooting around 26.5 grains of Varget, 55gr Nosler Ballistic Tips, and CCI Small Rifle Primers with very good results. My 26.5 grain load is close to max in my AR 5.56. If you are shooting a .223 REM you'll have a different max pressure range.

    I'm using AA 2495 for 64gr Nosler Protected Point Bonded bullets. I think around 24 grains. Very accurate.

    Always start with minimum loads and work up. I don't guarentee that my loads will work in your rifle and if using my loads as a baseline, reduce by at least 5% to start and work up in .10 grain increments until you find your load. If you are shooting a .223 REM, I'd recommend reducing by 10% to start.
    “Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong." ~Calvin Coolidge~

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    Quote Originally Posted by OKElkHunter View Post
    I believe I'm shooting around 26.5 grains of Varget, 55gr Nosler Ballistic Tips, and CCI Small Rifle Primers with very good results. My 26.5 grain load is close to max in my AR 5.56. If you are shooting a .223 REM you'll have a different max pressure range.

    I'm using AA 2495 for 64gr Nosler Protected Point Bonded bullets. I think around 24 grains. Very accurate.

    Always start with minimum loads and work up. I don't guarentee that my loads will work in your rifle and if using my loads as a baseline, reduce by at least 5% to start and work up in .10 grain increments until you find your load. If you are shooting a .223 REM, I'd recommend reducing by 10% to start.
    Mind if I ask what barrel length and twist rate you are using? I'm on the verge of starting into the 5.56 world. Just curious. I plan to plunge into the 5.56 world sometime this year.

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    AA2230 is my go to powder for 55 gr. bullets.

    Edit, with reg. CCI small rifle primers.

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    I've had good luck with AA2230 with 55gr and 64gr bullets too. 16" 1-8 Wylde.

    I may be stating the obvious here but I would take your list of powders that are in your manual for .223 55gr down to the store with you and buy WHATEVER is on the list that you can find, for starters. You can get picky about finding the best when stuff is back to normal.

    The powders that have been mentioned here are certainly great options but as your seeing they're still scarce.

  7. #7

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    Benchmark is my powder of choice, and I slip 60 gr nosler partitions for hunting.

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    Member OKElkHunter's Avatar
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    16" Heavy Barrel Carbine, 1 in 7" twist, chrome lined.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
    Mind if I ask what barrel length and twist rate you are using? I'm on the verge of starting into the 5.56 world. Just curious. I plan to plunge into the 5.56 world sometime this year.
    “Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong." ~Calvin Coolidge~

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    Quote Originally Posted by OKElkHunter View Post
    16" Heavy Barrel Carbine, 1 in 7" twist, chrome lined.
    Thanks for the response. I'm still collecting the parts and pieces to start reloading 5.56. I imagine I'll have to start reloading it before I run out of my 5.56 ammo... That or slow down shooting it, which isn't likely. I'm a pistol reloader, so this is new to me. I still need to get some of the case prep tools and the dies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
    Mind if I ask what barrel length and twist rate you are using? I'm on the verge of starting into the 5.56 world. Just curious. I plan to plunge into the 5.56 world sometime this year.
    My Mini 14 accurized has a 24 inch Walther Barrrel with 1x12 twist. I only use it for fur hunting. Barrel work was in addition to other upgrades.
    Brass used is is never mixed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by furbearer View Post
    My Mini 14 accurized has a 24 inch Walther Barrrel with 1x12 twist. I only use it for fur hunting. Barrel work was in addition to other upgrades.
    Brass used is is never mixed.
    Thanks. What's your experience with the 1x12 twist? My understanding is that 55gr at 1x9 was optimal. 1x12 is a, relatively, slow spin rate. Not saying that's bad or anything. I'm just a curious person.

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    couldn't edit above, so here goes:


    ETA: I started reading an article about the AR and how it was originally designed, by Stoner. Seems he designed it with a 1:14 twist and a 55gr bullet. But he noted that the intent of the M16 was closer quarters and bullet spray, not accuracy. They even tried a 1:18 twist which cause serious wobble in flight. Interesting side note, the wounds from those shots were horrifying apparently. The bullet tumbled badly and cause a lot of damage. And legend says that the Russians saw this and assumed it was intentional so they created the 5.45X39mm. But it turns out that the wobble was a mistake. Eventually the AR moved to a 1:12 twist which was standard in M16s shooting 55gr bullets. It's only the later designed heavier bullets that pushed the twist to 1:9 and now 1:7. Fascinating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
    Thanks. What's your experience with the 1x12 twist? My understanding is that 55gr at 1x9 was optimal. 1x12 is a, relatively, slow spin rate. Not saying that's bad or anything. I'm just a curious person.
    Believe the reason Mini 14 223 comes factory with 1x9 twist is to allow you to use all the various bullet weights available for it. Including military surplus ammo.
    From that it was clear to me that factory twist was to accomidate about any bullet made for it, and not actually for a specific bullet weight group.
    Chose the 1x12 twist as i was determined to have a fur hunting rifle that would provide the best accuracy and greatest velocities using lightest bullets at the greatest ranges.
    From there it has evolved into finding a select powder group to develope the load for Hornady 55 gr fmj.
    Done right it will place 3 in a bottle cap at 300 yrds if you do everything else right.
    There are a number of fine rifles out there that are capable of this, i just happen to prefer the Mini 14 personaly.
    Last edited by furbearer; 04-03-2014 at 23:24. Reason: double words in a row

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    When I was reloading 223 in my Contender with a 14" barrel I was using MIL Surplus H322 for about $6 a pound. It burned cleaner than H335 and accuracy was about the same. I believe my loads were 23.5gr and with a 1.5X scope cloverleaf groups were possible.

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    I've been using 25gr varget behind a 63gr sierra with good results. I would suggest varget for your up north ventures because its made to be very temperature resistant. it has excellent consistency when the temps drop and on the trap line that could make a real difference.

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    My wife bought me one of the first commercial 223 rifles on the market Somewhere around 1975. It is a Rem 700v with 1/12 twist. I have shot mostly 52gr or 55gr bullets through it using IMR 4198 with around 21.5gr. It has about 8000 rounds through it and it's getting hard to hold much under 3/4" at 100yds. It's still one of my favorite rifles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by winibezold View Post
    I've been using 25gr varget behind a 63gr sierra with good results. I would suggest varget for your up north ventures because its made to be very temperature resistant. it has excellent consistency when the temps drop and on the trap line that could make a real difference.
    Wonder if you have ever loaded it for a 55gr fmj bullet, and what barrel length and twist are you shooting. ^63 gr sierra would seem a bit harsh on furs. And brass selection would be critical element in building accuracy in a bullet.
    Any hands on experiance with this lighter bullet design ?

    Thanks.
    furbearer

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    i can say i haven't used that loading yet, but i just ran out of H335 for 55gr loads so the varget is next on the shelf for those fmj's. i plan on load testing this weekend so i could probably tell you on monday. rifle is a 20" dpms ss with 1-9" twist. has been doing good with the 63's and 55's i've shot so far.

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    Default Yep best groups I ever got with a 1:9 ar15 was a 60 grain V-max. And benchmark powder

    Quote Originally Posted by DoughNut View Post
    Benchmark is my powder of choice, and I slip 60 gr nosler partitions for hunting.
    To the the shortages I haven't been able to test like I would normally......but it was a hell of a load.

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    Member Corpsman's Avatar
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    My buddy was on the military shooting team, and they use Varget for their 5.56 mm loads.

    Jeff
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