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Thread: .223 newbie questions

  1. #1
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    .223 newbie questions

    Hi, I am about to start reloading .223 and will certainly have a few (probably dumb) questions. Here's the first:

    I will initially be firing 55 grain bullets through a 16" barrel with a 1:8 twist rate. I am looking at powders which are currently available in the shoo I use, my choice basically comes down to spherical or tubular. Can someone tell me in very simple terms what difference this would make, and which is better, if any?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tinbum View Post
    Hi, I am about to start reloading .223 and will certainly have a few (probably dumb) questions. Here's the first:

    I will initially be firing 55 grain bullets through a 16" barrel with a 1:8 twist rate. I am looking at powders which are currently available in the shoo I use, my choice basically comes down to spherical or tubular. Can someone tell me in very simple terms what difference this would make, and which is better, if any?
    Tubular powder will burn faster because it has a bigger surface area than a flat disc. It does not matter which powder you choose. The loading data will give you a start load and maximum load, which must not be exceeded.
    You might have to try several different loads before you find one that suits your gun. When it is a good load you should be able to shoot clover leaf groups at 100 yards.

    The bullet has to match the rifling twist. The faster the twist the longer the bullet has to be. I can't remember off hand what bullet is for the 1:8 twist. I'm sure someone will tell you if the 55gr is not right.

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    .223 newbie questions Your Message

    With a 1:8 twist you should find that bullets in the 60gr range will perform best.
    you might even find that you rifle does not like 50/52/55 grain bullets.

    Don't buy to many bullets until you know what the rifle will perform best with, see if you beg, borrow or steal some instead first.
    6.5 55 SWEDE.223 HOWA VARMINT NIKON 8X32X50 -.22LR CZ STYLE-16" .17 HMR CZ AMERICAN-16" SIMMONS AETEC-12G BERETTA A.302,AYA NO 4,BAIKAL O&U

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    Quote Originally Posted by enfield2band View Post
    Tubular powder will burn faster because it has a bigger surface area than a flat disc. It does not matter which powder you choose. The loading data will give you a start load and maximum load, which must not be exceeded.
    You might have to try several different loads before you find one that suits your gun. When it is a good load you should be able to shoot clover leaf groups at 100 yards.

    The bullet has to match the rifling twist. The faster the twist the longer the bullet has to be. I can't remember off hand what bullet is for the 1:8 twist. I'm sure someone will tell you if the 55gr is not right.
    Thankyou, then I would guess fast burning would be better in a semi auto, slower in a bolt action?

    The shop threw in a couple of hundred 55 grn heads, but I think the faster spin of the 7 & 8 allow for a heavier/longer bullet? That's what I got from reading t'interwebs anyway. It's probably wrong which is why I ask here

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    Quote Originally Posted by CROWMAN View Post
    With a 1:8 twist you should find that bullets in the 60gr range will perform best.
    you might even find that you rifle does not like 50/52/55 grain bullets.

    Don't buy to many bullets until you know what the rifle will perform best with, see if you beg, borrow or steal some instead first.
    Thankyou. I have 120 factory 55grn loads and 200 heads, I am a child trapped in a big, fat man's body. They won't last long! I have a friend with a .222, I'll see if I can try some of his if they're heavier.

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    As said, the 55gn would be better in a 1:10 or 1:12 twist... 1:8 is better for 69gns

    (My shooting buddy bought a Remingtom .223 with 1:12 twist, and the gunshop sold him some 69gn ammo... they went through the target sideways at 25 yds!!)

    Any medium speed RIFLE powder will do... Something like Ramshot TAC is what I use for 55gns, and Vhit N140 for 69gns... but check published loading data...

    Daryll

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daryll View Post
    As said, the 55gn would be better in a 1:10 or 1:12 twist... 1:8 is better for 69gns

    (My shooting buddy bought a Remingtom .223 with 1:12 twist, and the gunshop sold him some 69gn ammo... they went through the target sideways at 25 yds!!)

    Any medium speed RIFLE powder will do... Something like Ramshot TAC is what I use for 55gns, and Vhit N140 for 69gns... but check published loading data...

    Daryll
    The shop has a 25m range, so me and a mate tried quite a few before I chose this. I know it's only 25m, but when I zerod it, all three shots went through the same hole, and the correct way around

  8. #8
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    Twist rate

    I have a Sako 75 in .222 with a 1 in 14 twist.. it shoots 55gn bullets, giving half inch groups at 100yards.. never tried a heavier bullet. Must be the quality of the barrel..

    amc577

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    1:8 will enable you to use and stabilise the heavier bullets 69,75,77,80. & 90 grain
    N140 gives good results
    Ball powders tend to meter consistently through most powder measures where as grain type not so consistently although the LEE perfect powder measure which uses a ‘wiper’ performs very well.
    You may find seating the bullet off the lands 10-20 thou improves accuracy (you’ll have to try that out )
    If a magazine fed rifle then watch out for over length(magazine) as they may not fit (to long) if set off from the lands .
    Other than that a cracking round out to 600yds and beyond weather (wind ) permitting using the heavier bullets .

    ATB
    James

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    The barrel is a stainless Sig Saur and is supposed to be quite good. We have a range not far away that offers up to 800m, so it would be fun giving that a go.
    My friend Jon has already mentioned bullet seating depths, I'll let him help me experiment with that. It is mag fed, currently a big, daft 30 round one that just gets in the way, I have a ten round on order. I don't know if they'll accept the same lengths?

    Lots of exciting testing to come

  11. #11
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    If you are new to reloading don't experiment with the bullet sitting close to the lands. This needs experience. If you get it wrong and the bullet is touching the lands it will put your breech pressures through the roof. There is also the danger of pushing the bullet back into the case that will also up the breech pressures.
    Stick to factory loads and the recommended COL for now.

    Stay safe and enjoy yourself.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinbum View Post
    The barrel is a stainless Sig Saur and is supposed to be quite good. We have a range not far away that offers up to 800m, so it would be fun giving that a go.
    My friend Jon has already mentioned bullet seating depths, I'll let him help me experiment with that. It is mag fed, currently a big, daft 30 round one that just gets in the way, I have a ten round on order. I don't know if they'll accept the same lengths?

    Lots of exciting testing to come
    Bullet length ‘should’ be the same for both mags, this length will limit the max length of the cartridge & therefore the bullet seating depth unless you load one round at a time .
    Let us know how you get on

    ATB
    James

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    Powder query: Vectan SP powders are from SP2 (fastest) to SP13 (slowest), they list SP7 & SP10 for .223. SP10 is for bullet weight up to 55 grains with a starting load of 20.8 grains. SP7 is for bullet weight from 60 grains with a starting load of 20.1.

    I have a nearly full tub of SP8, why isn't that or the SP9 listed? Is it unsuitable, or do those other two simply cover the range of bullet weights, so they don't bother listing this?

  14. #14
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    As far as I can find out sp8 was developed for 9mm
    There is not a lot of info on Sp9 for 223 that I could find🙁

    I would suggest staying with a more known powder for 223 such as N140 as there is a lot more info on that available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JB101 View Post
    As far as I can find out sp8 was developed for 9mm
    There is not a lot of info on Sp9 for 223 that I could find🙁

    I would suggest staying with a more known powder for 223 such as N140 as there is a lot more info on that available.
    I am very limited as to which powders I can get, the N130/133/140 are all out, I can get Vectan SP7 in a 2kg tub only or tu3000 in 2kg or 500g which would be better for testing

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