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Matching .223/5.56 loadings with different powders


barrysuperhawk

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Ok, I have a different sort of problem. I typically shoot .308 in 99% of my 3 gun matches, so most of my reloading effort has gone toward making a load that shoots well out of all of my .308 rifles. As a result, my match ammo is a fairly hot 155gr that I can load with any of 3 different powders and 2 different bullets and still get good accuracy out of 5 different rifles.

This year, I find myself entered in or planning to go to a lot more matches with a .223 instead, either because the range does not allow 308, or simply does not run a heavy class. Since the supply of reloading powders is still rather spotty in my area, I have ended up with 2 or 3 pounds of several different powders, just buying what I could find.

I would like to come up with an acceptable set of loads using the components and powder I already have that I could load a thousand or so rounds to get me through this season and have the various lots be close enough to each other that if I run out of lot A in the middle of a match, I won't be screwed if I have to switch to lot B (think of switching from XM193 to Wolf in the middle of a match).

I have both Hornady and Sierra 52hpbt's and Nosler CC 69's and 77's. I have plenty of the projectiles, and I have about 1200 pieces of prepped LC brass and CCI SR primers.

For powder, I have 3lb H322, 2lb CFE223, 3lb Benchmark, some BL-C(2) and one lonely pound of Varget.

I don't think I have enough of any one powder to meet my thousand round goal, and I don't want to count on being able to source more of any given powder.

Obviously I will work up and test any loads, but what I am mostly looking for is advice on where to start, any combinations that are bad or unsuitable in some way, or basic "This is a good load" information. I am going to be shooting out of a 16" .750 1/9 twist barrel at targets out to 4-500 {potentially}

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You can work with all three bullets. You are going to find that the 52g bullets will start dropping like rocks past 200. they will shoot well. You will find that the trajectory of the 69 and 77s are going to be close-ish. You will need to run a ballistics program with the 69s and 77s to see at what velocities they are about the same. I think that you will find that you can comfortably run both bullets so that the 69 and 77 match up for drop. The 77s will buck the wind better.

CFE, benchmark and Varget are all close in burn rate and should work well for the 69 and 77s. use what's left on the 52g. You are going to have to pick one powder to start with and then match velocity with another powder to get the same drop.

I would load 24g with the BM, Varget, CFE and BLC2 with 69s and 77s after checking to make sure this is a safe charge. Load 5 rds each and crono them all. If safe adjust the powder charges up or down so that all the 77s are running at the same speed and your 69s are running at the same "adjusted for drop speeds. This assumes you pick your largest stock of powder and bullets to serve as the benchmark.

If it was ME....I would pick one bullet and powder that I want to use for my 200 yd plus ammo and buy more of those bullets and that powder. I would load up what ever I have is left with reasonable safe charges and reserve that ammo all for 200 yds and in, it (52g, X or Y bullet) loaded with which ever powder you don't use for the LR load will all shoot pretty close. I would also consider what powder I used in my LR .308 loads and see if that works first before trying something new.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I really like h322 with the heavies... Velocity isn't as great, but accuracy is awesome. It meters very well out of my powder measure. Plus it only takes 22 grains for the 75s so it's economical. :lol: CFE seems to work pretty well, but all I've loaded with that were 55gr soft points which require about 27.6 grains of powder...

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I really like h322 with the heavies... Velocity isn't as great, but accuracy is awesome. It meters very well out of my powder measure. Plus it only takes 22 grains for the 75s so it's economical. :lol: CFE seems to work pretty well, but all I've loaded with that were 55gr soft points which require about 27.6 grains of powder...

I'd be personally very interested in more detailed results of your accuracy testing of H322 with the heavies if you are willing to share. I have used VV N135, VV N140, VV N540, IMR 8208 XBR, Reloader 15, H335, and Varget in some of my testing with varying results but I have never used H322.

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