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Author Topic: Reloading the 223 for the AR-15  (Read 7162 times)

fspitzdorf

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Reloading the 223 for the AR-15
« on: November 10, 2008, 12:03:04 PM »
In reloading 223 to run through the AR what powder(s) are acceptable.  Mine is sporting a DPMS upper w/ 20" Stainless bull.  Chambered for 223 Rem, 1:9 twist.  Are there any specific do's and don'ts?  I have 600 or so rounds of brass ready for priming and assembly... Snow has begun to fall... so now is as good a time as any.


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TWBryan

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Re: Reloading the 223 for the AR-15
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2008, 07:55:13 PM »
So far I've used H355 and 4198.
Thanks

TWBryan

DougW

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Re: Reloading the 223 for the AR-15
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2008, 10:21:24 PM »
H335, H322, IMR4895, AA2230, IMR4064, Varget

All that I have tried so far. I think H322 might be what I am looking for. Test fire soon. The H335 and Varget work very well. But, so do IMR4064 and IMR4895. I may end up settling on IMR4895 (.303, 30.06), IMR4064 (.308, .223) and H322 (.223).  But, still like the Varget and H335 :banghead.

What to do? Too many choices of really good powder.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2008, 10:02:56 PM by DougW »

MarshallDodge

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Re: Reloading the 223 for the AR-15
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2008, 12:02:26 AM »
H335, Benchmark, Varget. Vihtavuori N135 is nice and clean. 

Make sure you full length size and trim the brass.  Any bullet 55 grain and heavier should work well.
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xsquidgator

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Re: Reloading the 223 for the AR-15
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2008, 06:04:36 AM »
I've been using BL-C(2) with 55 grain FMJ in a 16" carbine.  I suppose it's acceptable, but the other powders are probably better.  Working up to the max load of BLC2 gives me about 1" groups at 100 yards which is what I was getting from the commercial ammo.
But at these max loads (27.5 grains BL-C(2) under 55FMJ in .223) my reloads do not match the velocities of commercial ammo.  I get about 3100 fps out of my carbine with S&B 55FMJs, but only about 2950 fps with a max load of BL-C(2) and 55FMJ.

I had a bunch of BL-C(2) because data was available for it in a lot of calibers.  It will work (I use it for all other milsurp loads too).  However, now I understand why some powders are probably optimal for some calibers, barrel lengths, and gas systems.  Once I finish off most of my current keg of BLC2 I'll probably try one of the others.

DougW

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Re: Reloading the 223 for the AR-15
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2009, 11:43:02 AM »
Went to the Range on Friday, and shot some of the H322 loads. It is MUCH SOFTER shooting than my Varget ond H335 loads. It may not be useful as a load for 3 gum match shooting though. I am going to have to do some load work ups for the H322, but for now I will go back to the H335, which is easy to meter and performs very well. I may also go to Varget, because I can load a large variety of calibers with it.
Hmmmmmmmm......................

What to do NOW???

 :banghead

professor gun

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Re: Reloading the 223 for the AR-15
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2009, 11:59:28 PM »
I have reached a point where I use only BLC(2) for my .223 loads.  Meters very nicely and gives me good consistency.

I use a lot of Varget in .308, per some of your comments here I am going to have to try it in .223.


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Re: Reloading the 223 for the AR-15
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2009, 12:09:07 AM »
All of the powders mentioned will work just fine.  But if you can afford it, and it gives good groups and velocity for you, shoot the Vit N135 in your ARs, it runs VERY clean.
This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

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Re: Reloading the 223 for the AR-15
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2009, 01:30:53 AM »
All of the powders mentioned will work just fine.  But if you can afford it, and it gives good groups and velocity for you, shoot the Vit N135 in your ARs, it runs VERY clean.
And that means greater reliability in the AR system. 
I don't know if it's advisable, but I know a guy that uses Small Rifle Magnum primers in his .223 loads for his AR.   He claims he gets better powder burns with H335 I think it is.  Of course he is a loudmouth know it all and thinks he gets his stuff cheaper at Cabella's.   (never mind that I called Cabella's and they are 2 bucks more not including the gas and time to drive out to get it.  I don't want to spoil him)  But he is sometimes right.  About this though -I don't know.
Anyone have thoughts about the use of Magnum Primers for you AR loads?
The biggest seller is BLC2 powder.  We can't keep it in stock.
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xsquidgator

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Re: Reloading the 223 for the AR-15
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2009, 06:28:09 AM »
And that means greater reliability in the AR system. 
I don't know if it's advisable, but I know a guy that uses Small Rifle Magnum primers in his .223 loads for his AR.   He claims he gets better powder burns with H335 I think it is.  Of course he is a loudmouth know it all and thinks he gets his stuff cheaper at Cabella's.   (never mind that I called Cabella's and they are 2 bucks more not including the gas and time to drive out to get it.  I don't want to spoil him)  But he is sometimes right.  About this though -I don't know.
Anyone have thoughts about the use of Magnum Primers for you AR loads?
The biggest seller is BLC2 powder.  We can't keep it in stock.


The magnum primer vs regular primer issue came up on the reloading board here...
http://wethearmed.com/index.php/topic,1325.0.html

I did an experiment with BL-C(2) powder to see if it matters in .223, and in my case comparing CCI magnum SR primers to Winchester SR primers, it did.  (Best comparison would have been CCI primers exclusively, but that's what I had to work with).

Shooting 55FMJs out of a 16" Bushmaster, I got

223, 55FMJ and 27.5 grains (published max) BL-C(2) in Bushmaster XM15 with 1/9 16" barrel, col 2.215":

WinSR primers              --> 2815 +- 53 fps (sorry for the high SD, this is just 5 in a row).
CCI#450 mag SR primers --> 2895 +- 25 fps


So by my experience the magnum primers got me a significant increase in muzzle velocity.  I like BL-C(2) because it's so versatile, but when I use up my keg of it I may well try a different powder that's better for .223  Having a 16" AR carbine, I know I shouldn't expect 3300 fps with 55FMJs.  But darn it, my S&B commercial ammo (55 grain) gets over 3000 fps, I ought to be able to do that too and it bugs me that I can't with a max load of BL-C(2)!  This load I tested is fine accuracy wise and shoots ~ 1 MOA, but I'd like to fully duplicate the muzzle velocity of factory ammo and ain't gonna happen with BL-C(2).

I also tried this experiment for 30 M1 Carbine rounds using W296 powder, and there the magnum vs regular primer made no real difference in muzzle velocity.

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Re: Reloading the 223 for the AR-15
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2009, 07:57:49 AM »
In my experience with it, H335 does generally prefer a magnum primer, regardless of the caliber it's used in.
This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries


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