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Author Topic: .223 - what bullet weight works best?  (Read 4020 times)

cpaspr

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.223 - what bullet weight works best?
« on: February 10, 2011, 05:04:36 PM »
The title says it all.

I'm new to .223 shooting.  I bought 500 bullets from Midway (55 grain, I think) to start with, but is that the most accurate weight?  I know, it all depends. 

What are your experiences?

For now, I'll be shooting these out of a 1983 stainless Mini-14.

Thanks in advance.
Oregon


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Harm

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Re: .223 - what bullet weight works best?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2011, 05:10:13 PM »
in depends on your gun and barrel twist honestly.  I run a Sig 556 with a 1/7 barrel twist for heavier bullets. 
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JesseL

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Re: .223 - what bullet weight works best?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2011, 05:35:20 PM »
I believe your mini-14 has a 1-10" barrel twist, so 55 grains is probably the absolute heaviest bullet you'll stabilize. You may have the best luck around 50 grains.

Bullet weight is only part of it though. The quality of the bullets will play a role, as will the individual preference of the rifle.

Which brings us to what may be the biggest issue - it's an old mini-14. You may not do better than shotgun patterns with any bullet or load.
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cpaspr

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Re: .223 - what bullet weight works best?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2011, 06:45:44 PM »
I believe your mini-14 has a 1-10" barrel twist, so 55 grains is probably the absolute heaviest bullet you'll stabilize. You may have the best luck around 50 grains.

Thanks, I didn't know where to find the twist rate.

Bullet weight is only part of it though. The quality of the bullets will play a role, as will the individual preference of the rifle.

Ever and always factors.

Which brings us to what may be the biggest issue - it's an old mini-14. You may not do better than shotgun patterns with any bullet or load.

It's old, yes.  But I think it's mostly been stored.  Or severely babied.  The wood is almost perfect.  At 50 yards fairly rapid fire I kept them at around 2".  Don't recall if it was offhand or not though.

If it shotgun patterns on me, I'll look into the adjustments Grant mentioned some months back, I think when George had that nail-driver for sale.
Oregon

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Re: .223 - what bullet weight works best?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2011, 01:58:17 AM »
If it's a 1:10 barrel, I'll second the slug weight comments Jesse posted. 

Before you start loading a big batch, I'd do this if I wanted 100 loaded rounds to test a rifle for accuracy potential:

Get a big batch of cases(300 would be what I'd do) head stamp sorted, then size and trim.  Weigh.  Use the 1/3 of them that weigh closest to each other.  Then weigh your slugs, and use the tightest weighing 1/3rd  of the group there as well for load development.

With a slug that small and light, I'd reject any that were greater than + or - 2 grains from the mean, and if was getting really serious about accuracy testing, if I found slugs that varied more than +/- 1 grain on more than a rare occasion, I'd be switching projectiles.
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cpaspr

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Re: .223 - what bullet weight works best?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2011, 05:03:03 PM »
Norseman -

Why sort by headstamp?  If I have them all sized, trimmed and weighing the same (within my acceptable tolerance), their capacities should be identical, I would think.  Hypothetically, anyway.  Is it because the expansion rate per headstamp varies (based on allow)?  Or they use more or less brass in the head?  Or something else?
Oregon

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Re: .223 - what bullet weight works best?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2011, 11:55:57 PM »
Case head thickness varies considerably between brands, and this is one reason I do it, yes.  The other big reason I sort by headstamp as the 1st step is that I end up with a lot less weight variance.  In some cases, the first 100 are close enough I don't have to check any more.  If that is the case, I make a note of it in the logbook considering that type of consistency usually denotes quality.
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cpaspr

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Re: .223 - what bullet weight works best?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2011, 03:13:17 PM »
Thanks.  That makes sense.
Oregon


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