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.223 load test
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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GUTS
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Joined: Nov 01, 2007
Posts: 85
Location: South Dakota

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:19 pm    Post subject: .223 load test Reply with quote

I have a DPMS 24"BB in .223 and a Colt A3 HBAR Elite, they are almost identical rifles, both have about the same round count, approx. 150. I figured it was about the end of break-in and time to find what each one liked for food. I loaded 12 different loads, 10 with 55grn VMax and 2 with SS109's. The cases were all once fired LC 06 prepped identically, 1.750" trim, WSR primers, mag length(approx. 2.260"), powdered one at a time with 505 scale and trickler, no crimp, and chambered one at a time without the mag. I shot 5 shot groups at 100yds. It was calm, sunny, and 25 degrees. I used a LeadSled DFT and used the same scope on both rifles, using factory Federal ammo to rezero. It took a few hours but it was fun. I know this dosen't mean anything for anyone elses rifles but mine, I just figured you guys would find it interesting. Here is a couple of pics of the two best groups with each rifle and the worst. The list is the complete test results as accurately as I can measure.






Colt
1 .335" 24.7grns H335 VMax
2 .337" 24.3 H335 VMax
3 .765" 27.0 Varget VMax
4 .938" 24.5 H335 VMax
5 1.021" 23.5 IMR4895 VMax
6 1.050" 24.4 IMR4895 SS109
7 1.059" 25.3 IMR4895 VMax
8 1.103" 25.0 Varget VMax
9 1.280" 25.3 H335 VMax
10 1.286" 26.0 Varget VMax
11 1.579" 24.0 Varget VMax
12 1.850" 24.7 Varget SS109
DPMS
1 .534" 26.0grns Varget VMax
2 .556" 27.0 Varget VMax
3 .631" 24.3 H335 VMax
4 .668" 24.7 H335 VMax
5 1.008" 24.5 H335 VMax
6 1.230" 25.3 H335 VMax
7 1.302" 25.0 Varget VMax
8 1.411" 24.4 IMR4895 SS109
9 1.436" 24.0 IMR4895 VMax
10 1.491" 25.3 IMR4895 VMax
11 1.680" 23.5 IMR4895 VMax
12 2.180" 24.7 Varget SS109

Can I get a break on the pulled shot in the second Colt group? Thanks
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:58 pm    Post subject: Re: .223 load test Reply with quote

Pretty extensive test, thanks for sharing the results! I'm working on a load for my DPMS "Lo Pro Classic" using 60 to 70 grain bullets (1 in 9" twist). If I ever get a chance to test some I'll pass the results along.

By the way, if you can call the flyer it don't count! Wink

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"I ain't no better than anyone else, and there ain't no one better than me!" Ma Kettle

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Dawgdad
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:49 am    Post subject: Re: .223 load test Reply with quote

What is the max load for Varget with the V-max? Looks like V-max likes the speed with that powder. ( probably more case fill density)

I would load 24.5 of H335 under the V-max and call it a good load for either rifle. That appears to be right in the sweet spot for that load.

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GUTS
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Location: South Dakota

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:18 am    Post subject: Re: .223 load test Reply with quote

27 grns of Varget is a compressed load in the book, it fills the case to the bottom of the neck, I wouldn't want to go much higher, The cup pressure is right at the max for my liken. The DPMS seemed to like the "hot" loads of Varget more than the Colt did. What is obvious is neither rifle liked the light load of Varget with the SS109's. What suprised me the most is the over 1.5" difference in the groups from the best to the worst, and how crappy the military bullets performed, Although the SS109's didn't get much of a chance to work because I only used two loads with them. Actually, the two SS109 loads are from my allready loaded stock that I use for plinkin with my M4 clone. I think the SS109's are designed to be pushed around 3300fps and these were no where near that. Both rifles seemed to like 27grns of Varget and the light loads of H335. I also think that anytime you can cover your five shot group with a dime, the rifle shoots pretty well. Smile
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:02 pm    Post subject: Re: .223 load test Reply with quote

I'd go with the "27.0 Varget VMax" load if I was you, I know its not as good in the Colt but would mean you could reload one type of .223 and not have to think about if its the right one your feeding it cause they still shoot pretty good with it! Very Happy

Dimitri

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GUTS
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:13 pm    Post subject: Re: .223 load test Reply with quote

I'll be loading the 24.7 H335 for the Colt and 27.0 of Varget for the DPMS, or else my fun test would be for nothing right? Now I need to do the test again and see how the results compare, I think they call that validating. Smile
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:42 am    Post subject: Re: .223 load test Reply with quote

True Guts! Very Happy

Still I'd forget what was for what gun. And feed the DPMS's the Colt ammo and the Colt the DPMS ammo. Embarassed

Dimitri

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Crackshot
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:51 pm    Post subject: Re: .223 load test Reply with quote

Guts,
We load rounds for 9 Different 223's in this house, 7 of wich are AR type rifles, we use color coded boxes and Dymo labels to save time and alot of head scratching.
By the way, Nice results with your tests. I love my Bushmaster's and DPMS rifles, I have one I just assembled my self with a custom Kreiger barrel of 920" diameter in 1-12 twist. Just finished it so I dont know what it will do yet. Its 0 degrees with a wind chill of well below zero.......Im not shooting in that crap.

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GUTS
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Location: South Dakota

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: .223 load test Reply with quote

It gives a whole new meaning to cold bore shot. I know the feeling, it got down to -12 F. last night here.
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Vince
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:33 am    Post subject: Re: .223 load test Reply with quote

GUTS wrote:
It gives a whole new meaning to cold bore shot. I know the feeling, it got down to -12 F. last night here.

Surprised Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

Not real warm here at the moment either GUTS....got down to 25C (85F)last night....I actually had to pull the sheet up over me, I was feeling a bit cool. Very Happy Laughing

Cheers, Vince

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Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
(Without Commitment, Nothing Gets Done)
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Crackshot
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:11 am    Post subject: Re: .223 load test Reply with quote

Nice Vince! Does it ever get nasty cold for long in your part of the world?

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GUTS
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: .223 load test Reply with quote

I'm glad you made it through the night okay.
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject: Re: .223 load test Reply with quote

Vince wrote:
got down to 25C (85F)last night....I actually had to pull the sheet up over me, I was feeling a bit cool. Very Happy Laughing

When it gets to 25C thats when I normally start wearing shorts to bed cause its so darn hot. Shocked

Dimitri

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Vince
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Location: Brisbane AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:24 pm    Post subject: Re: .223 load test Reply with quote

Crackshot wrote:
Nice Vince! Does it ever get nasty cold for long in your part of the world?

Depends what part of Australia you are in mate. Like the US, we are a large country. In the Far North we are totally tropical...only two seasons, Wet and Dry. In the Far South we aren't all that far North of Antarctica. Were I live is basically sub-tropical...we are on a par with Baja California Mexico. We are on the 27*N Lat line. During Winter we commonly get down to single figures at night...bearing in mind that we use the Celcius or Centigrade means of measuring temperature. 0*C is 32*F.

To get back onto topic...I have found that the best powder for 55gn bullets in the .223 is AR2208 (Varget). Having said that, we didn't try the whole gambit of available powders for two reasons...#1 powder is not cheap here in Australia, and #2 AR2208 (Varget) gives excellent accuracy in the three rifles we load .223 for.

Cheers, Vince

_________________
Cheers, Vince Cheers

Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
(Without Commitment, Nothing Gets Done)
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