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High BC 223 load

Customizing cartridges

High BC 223 load

Postby practice-more » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:40 pm

I shot a small match last weekend (see thread in the competition forum) and now I want to work up a load for my RRA Operator III with 16: 1:9 bbl. The cheap factory ammo I've been using is shooting very well, but I think there is still room for improvement.

The goal is going to be a long range accurate bullet that has sufficient terminal ballistics for killing coyotes.

I have an older Lyman turret press and I'm slowly piecing together the tools and components I need. Reloading is a new venture for me but I have several friends who know what they are doing and will help. I'll follow the manuals and take a safety first approach.

Right now I'm considering the Sierra 69gn Tipped Match King. BC is just over .370 and I should be able to stabilize that in my barrel. They are a "target" bullet but I have read enough reviews of success on varmint that I'm willing to give them a try.

Powder is still up in the air. It is pretty tough to get Varget right now, but Reloader 15, Accurate 2520 and BLC(2) are others I'm considering.

If any reloading guys out there have any load advice that relates to what I'm looking to accomplish, I'll take it.

General reloading advice or tips are welcome too.

Mitch
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Re: High BC 223 load

Postby Sconnierider » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:29 pm

Any one of those powders will work. When faced with this dilemma I start with the one that meters out the easiest/ most consistent. Keep your primers consistent as well, switching them from batch to batch can mess up a load.
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Re: High BC 223 load

Postby practice-more » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:28 pm

Thanks Sconnierider

I paid a visit to a local dealer and picked up a pound of Varget, CCI 450's and Hornady case lube. He has dies, bullets and a couple other misc. items on order for me.

Now I just need to get a bench set up in a spare corner of the house ... somewhere.

I'm not 100% certain of my primer choice but I'll try. I'm still reading and learning but there are some concerns about slam fires in AR's. However, most agree that the 450's work OK but tend to give yield higher pressures. I'll start out light and work my way up.

Mitch
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Re: High BC 223 load

Postby practice-more » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:53 pm

Been working up a load and trying to find nice evenings after work to test them out.

I'm getting good accuracy with Varget and the Sierra TMK's but with the looong bullets and magazine length limits, I'm running into a compressed load issue well before recommended max. The groups are tightening up but I simply can't get any more powder in the case even though I'm not seeing any pressure issue signs.

Tonight I printed a group (ignoring 1 flyer) of 6 shots at 300 yard that measured 1.440". I'm happy with that for a 16" bbl AR.

Hopefully I can pick up another powder or two this week and try a few similar pressure loads with more dense powders. If I can maintain those group sizes and not have to fight COL runout due to compressed loads, I'll be happy.

Mitch
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Re: High BC 223 load

Postby Sconnierider » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:45 pm

Mitch, helluva nice group at 300! Yeah, working in the confines of what you can feasibly fit in the mag can be a pain. All the same, that's a darn fine group for a 16" bbl at 300!
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Re: High BC 223 load

Postby Sconnierider » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:48 pm

Oh yeah, it's said that the copper cup primers are the ones that can lead to slam fires in an AR. I don't recall who makes them although I will say that the reading I did had me believing that this was more a problem in select or fully auto ARs than semi autos. So I didn't worry about it because I am not that guy.
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Re: High BC 223 load

Postby practice-more » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:43 pm

Thanks Sconnierider.

This gun shoots around 0.6 to 0.7 MOA (3-shot) without too much trouble. Even the cheap Fiocchi factory loads with 50gn V-max will do that at 100 yards. The problem I have with them is that, outside of 200 yards, they really start to show a lot of elevation deviation. It could be the velocity consistency or the shooter.

Yes, I read about some slam fire issues but I think it was isolated to just a couple types of primers. So far no troubles there.

Almost all of my hand loads so far have far out-grouped the Fiocchi with respect to elevation so I'm feeling good about how this will turn out.

I've been doing powder research and my head is spinning but I did a little shopping today and loaded up another batch tonight.

Sierra 69 TMK
Hodgdon Benchmark
CCI 450

I started near minimum and worked up 5 different loads approaching max. They loaded MUCH nicer not being compressed at all.

Now to just get a nice day to shoot them.

Mitch
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Re: High BC 223 load

Postby practice-more » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:46 am

Finally ... for anyone who still cares:

I ended up straying away from the 69 TMK's. I just couldn't consistently get the groups I wanted. I think I may have been on the verge of too slow of a barrel twist, something I knew was borderline from the start.

I went back to some old faithful 53gn Hornady V-max bullets over a good dose of Varget.

Several consecutive 0.5gn charge loads yielded good groups at 200 yds with very little elevation difference between the groupings.

Based upon that, I loaded up a batch in the mid-high range of what was working and I should be set. Staying mid high in the rage in 60 degree weather should still keep me within the low end of that that pressure/velocity range at below zero temps.

Final groupings prone from a bipod were 5 shot groups averaging 1.2" at 200 yds.

Next project will be an all around load for a new Savage 12 LRP in 243.

Mitch
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Re: High BC 223 load

Postby practice-more » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:47 pm

Load time again ...

Soon I will be building a bolt action 223 and I intend to load the 53 Vmax for that gun.

To keep my AR loads separate, I’m going to work up a new load with some 50 Zmax (yellow tipped Vmax).

Wanting to push a little more velocity than I was able to get out of a case capacity load of Varget, I opted to try some H322.

A ladder test of charges per the Hornady manual yielded the following results:
Bottom end - terrible groups and awful chrono data.
Middle - decent groups and pretty good chrono data.
Upper end - great groups but the velocities were opening up a little.

Given it was about 0 this morning, I don’t want a max pressure load that could be over pressure in hot weather. I think I will stick with a middle-high charge.

Overall, the groups are as good or a little better than I was getting with Varget and I picked up quite a bit of velocity.

In the photos A=average, E=extreme spread, S=standard deviation. I also noted the number of shots and the center to center group size.

I’m pretty sure I pulled the high shot in the 24.0 group. I plan to load up a batch of them for more playing!

Now I just need to find some fur!

Mitch
Attachments
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Re: High BC 223 load

Postby practice-more » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:03 pm

Here are the other two photos.
Attachments
C5B9A353-216B-475A-852A-5AD83FE12FA2.jpeg
9C629CD4-5E9D-4D45-ABE1-BCCEC5279E0C.jpeg
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