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  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 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

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    Quote Originally Posted by tinbum View Post
    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.
    if you pm powder / bullet weight and make etc / col / barrel length and i will quickload it for you
    email...... stephenbarrow@ntlworld.com
    3 bed static at thornwick bay to let 2016....pm for details

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    Quote Originally Posted by loiner1965 View Post
    if you pm powder / bullet weight and make etc / col / barrel length and i will quickload it for you
    Thankyou

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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 enfield2band View Post
    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.
    Actually the twist has to match the bullet. The longer the bullet the faster the twist needs to be - a short bullet should work in a fast twist barrel.

    A longer/heavier bullet (depending upon which formula you use) will require a faster twist. With .223 there are lots of scare stories about over stabilising the bullets, but how stable do you want them?
    Spinning too fast could potentially disintegrate the bullet but I have never heard of any first hand stories of it happening with bullets fired at normal .223 speeds. I regularly shoot 52gn bullets from a 1:7" twist travelling at breakneck speeds and the foxes don't know any different.

    The upshot is faster twist is better, unless you're wildcatting and pushing the envelope regarding pressures and velocities.
    With the 1:8" twist rate you should be able to shoot the heavy 75/77gn bullets and possibly even the 80gns but you'll have to try it and see what your barrel limits are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarge4318 View Post
    Actually the twist has to match the bullet. The longer the bullet the faster the twist needs to be - a short bullet should work in a fast twist barrel.

    A longer/heavier bullet (depending upon which formula you use) will require a faster twist. With .223 there are lots of scare stories about over stabilising the bullets, but how stable do you want them?
    Spinning too fast could potentially disintegrate the bullet but I have never heard of any first hand stories of it happening with bullets fired at normal .223 speeds. I regularly shoot 52gn bullets from a 1:7" twist travelling at breakneck speeds and the foxes don't know any different.

    The upshot is faster twist is better, unless you're wildcatting and pushing the envelope regarding pressures and velocities.
    With the 1:8" twist rate you should be able to shoot the heavy 75/77gn bullets and possibly even the 80gns but you'll have to try it and see what your barrel limits are.
    That's interesting, so a 55grn bullet will still be accurate in a faster barrel, but a heavy bullet needs a fast barrel to be accurate. That is good news as the 55grn are far cheaper

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    Quote Originally Posted by tinbum View Post
    That's interesting, so a 55grn bullet will still be accurate in a faster barrel, but a heavy bullet needs a fast barrel to be accurate. That is good news as the 55grn are far cheaper
    Go by results rather than price , Iíve found out (in my rifle) that the heavier bullets 69 , 77 produce better results at 3-600 yds than the 55ís .
    Some people are happy just to hit the target at 600 where as I want to get them all in the bull / V bull .

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    Quote Originally Posted by JB101 View Post
    Go by results rather than price , I’ve found out (in my rifle) that the heavier bullets 69 , 77 produce better results at 3-600 yds than the 55’s .
    Some people are happy just to hit the target at 600 where as I want to get them all in the bull / V bull .

    I will have some special rounds for when I'm taking things more seriously, but cheap ammo for fast-fire fun will definitely be required. With the factory rounds a full mag dump will cost €45!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarge4318 View Post
    Actually the twist has to match the bullet. The longer the bullet the faster the twist needs to be - a short bullet should work in a fast twist barrel.

    A longer/heavier bullet (depending upon which formula you use) will require a faster twist. With .223 there are lots of scare stories about over stabilising the bullets, but how stable do you want them?
    Spinning too fast could potentially disintegrate the bullet but I have never heard of any first hand stories of it happening with bullets fired at normal .223 speeds. I regularly shoot 52gn bullets from a 1:7" twist travelling at breakneck speeds and the foxes don't know any different.

    The upshot is faster twist is better, unless you're wildcatting and pushing the envelope regarding pressures and velocities.
    With the 1:8" twist rate you should be able to shoot the heavy 75/77gn bullets and possibly even the 80gns but you'll have to try it and see what your barrel limits are.
    I think that is a generalisation. You don't buy the bullets and match the rifle. You use the bullets that are most suited to the gun. It likes saying get a shotgun with a 3 inch chamber and you can shoot anything through it from 2" to 3".
    On that basis why not just buy a 1:6 twist and you can shoot anything through it.

    My .223" was 1:8 I could get clover leaf groups at 100 yards, (prone unrested with a scope) with 68 gr Sierra Match Kings and 68gr Hornady.
    I tried the military bullet and it was on target but would have need developing to be accurate, maybe! I have tried 55gr bullets and they were not suited at all to my rifle. Since the one I was using were good enough I stayed with them rather than go to the expense and time trying to develop a load. The 55gr might work in the faster twist but it might not. It didn't for me.

    If you are going to shoot mostly 55gr bullets why buy a rifle with a fast twist?

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