Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Ammunition-Gunsmithing > Reloading
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-23-2011, 04:54 PM
Targetslayer's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: North Florida, USA
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Heaviest weight for a .223 service rifle?

I have a Mini-14 (580) with a 18.5 inch barrel 1:9 twist in a .223 cal. I have read that the heaviest weight is "about" 69 grains that my rifle will stabilize. I have been reading my "Hornady Handbook of Reloading" and it has a section on ".223 Remington Sevice Rifle Data" and it states with a barrel of "20 inches, 1:9 twist (ie AR-15) you can load 68 gr, 75 gr and 80 gr.
The section on ".223 Remington" states with a barrel of "26 inches, 1:12 twist, I know is for a bolt type rifle (ie Winchester 700) you can load 40 gr through 60 gr. I have found the best loads for my rifle is 50-55 gr.

The question I poise is: Will a 75 grain A-Max stabilize and shoot well from my 1:9 twist rifle?

It will be used for mostly target, but maybe a deer or two.

I'm always looking for a good load and I know Hornady know more that I and what I have read.

Targetslayer
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-23-2011, 05:19 PM
Rule3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,083
Likes: 4,006
Liked 3,901 Times in 2,163 Posts
Default

This may help, or not Per these guys you are right at the edge.

Read over the whole page not just the chart as bullet design plays a role. I am guessing you would be fine. But I am not that up on the finer 223 elements. I shoot a 1:12 bolt with lighter bullets. I do have a 1:9 AR and just use 65grs in it.

223 Rem + 223 AI Cartridge Guide
__________________
Occam's Razor
NRA, RSO
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-23-2011, 06:41 PM
Targetslayer's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: North Florida, USA
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

OCD1
Thanks for your reply. I bought my rifle new so I have the "Instruction Manual". I know people have gone around and around about the .223 and the 5.56 not being the same round and if your rifle is a .223 you should not shoot a 5.56 round. That being said again, I see the link has very good information and I appreciate it very much. It stated that a 5.56 has a longer throat that a .223 (that's a "Service Rifle" not a Bolt Rifle). My rifle does have a 5.56 chamber as page 11 in the "Instruction Manual" states so I might be SAFE to try a 75 grain without a chamber problem. Like you said it was on the edge of what works and what won't. It looks to be safe to try it. I'll buy a box and I'll let you know if it's a hero or a zero! Thanks again for information, I feel safe that my rifle won't blowup trying something stupid.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad
judgment. -= Will Rogers=-

Thanks again,
Targetslayer
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-23-2011, 07:00 PM
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Texas Coast
Posts: 1,921
Likes: 143
Liked 793 Times in 404 Posts
Default

Barrels are funny things. With at 1:9 twist you are on the bare edge of stability for anything over 69 gr. One 1:9 barrel might not even stabilize a 69 gr, while another one might stabilize up to 75 gr.

The only way you will find out if your particular barrel will stabilize 75 gr bullets is to buy, a 100 load them up and see what happens.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-23-2011, 08:11 PM
Rule3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,083
Likes: 4,006
Liked 3,901 Times in 2,163 Posts
Default

The folks on that 6mmBR site are "the" shooters. I think the info on the entire site is about as accurate as you can get on the web.
As for the twist,
It wouldn't blow up, it's just a matter of accuracy or the bullet holding together in flight. Some bullets out of the wrong twist will just torque into pieces.
__________________
Occam's Razor
NRA, RSO
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-23-2011, 08:28 PM
Targetslayer's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: North Florida, USA
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

OCD1
After looking at the bullet chart of all the .224 the 75 gr looks long. I wander if I can get a 2.25 max oal. Looks a little long to seat and still fit in the magazine. Looks as if it seats on the ogive to give my oal.


Targetslayer
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-23-2011, 08:49 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 417
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 5 Posts
Default

I know for a fact, if you shoot that Berger 90gr. VLD, you need a 6.5" twist. The groups that this bullet will shoot at 600 yds. are amazing. Ten years ago, I would have told you that a .223 did not have enough steam to shoot at that distance. If you are determined to shoot a heavy bullet in .223, I wouldn't mess around with those 69-70gr. bullets.

That 90gr. cartridge will not fit in the mag. So, if you are determined to go with a bullet that is magazine friendly, you have to go with the shorter, lighter bullets.

Last edited by tdan; 01-23-2011 at 08:55 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-23-2011, 09:00 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 468
Likes: 4
Liked 168 Times in 90 Posts
Default

I shoot the 75gr a-max bullet in my 1 in 9 ar. Never had a problem & I load them just off the lands/grooves for the best accuracy. They have to be fed into the rifle 1 shell at a time. Which is no big deal to me since I'm using them for the prone slowfire relay at 600yds in the service rifle shoots.

Just what kind of accuracy are you expecting to get out of your mini-14?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-23-2011, 09:09 PM
Targetslayer's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: North Florida, USA
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest r View Post
Just what kind of accuracy are you expecting to get out of your mini-14?
I'm using open sights. I shoot 100+ yards for varmints and targets. Maybe I should stick to a lighter bullet.

Targetslayer
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-24-2011, 07:58 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hoosier Land!
Posts: 4,389
Likes: 587
Liked 496 Times in 272 Posts
Default

I have a DPMS "Kit" AR-15 in 20" heavy barrel with a 1:9 twist. I can tell you what I shoot. I have two loads.

One is range fodder or urban problem resolution ammo. 55gr with the maximum grains of BLC-(2). It will shoot just over MOA out to 100 yards.
The other load is a 69gr HPBT that has a maximum charge of Varget and it will shoot MOA at that same distance.

The rifle does have a flat top and is scoped. It also has an "A2" stock because I am a dinosaur.

I am amazed at how well the 223 shoots. We shot out to 500 yards with open sights in the Corps. In fact, I shot better with that than I did with the M14 that I went in with! 230/250 if I remember right.

Bullets aren't that expensive, buy some and take an extra crack at the range.

I will say this though, the 223 in my opinion is a tad light for deer sized game. Then I saw where you live and since Florida deer aren't too much bigger than big dogs, you may be OK!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-24-2011, 09:05 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,943
Likes: 0
Liked 199 Times in 127 Posts
Default

Not long ago I decided to "go for broke" and loaded the Hornady 80 gr. A-Max for my DPMS carbine with 1:9 twist. It was the longest and heaviest bullet I could find so I decided to try it, just to see what happens. In order to get the rounds to fit into the magazine I had to cut off the plastic tips of the bullets. I tried a couple of different loads and while accuracy was not spectacular they all produced round holes at 100 yards. The best load gave about 3" at 100 yards, evenly dispersed with no evidence of stringing. Nothing to brag about, but still decent service rifle type accuracy for something that isn't supposed to work at all. A friend has a very expensive LWRC rifle with (I believe) a 1:7 twist and it couldn't do any better, much to my friend's surprise and disgust. It just goes to show that you never know what will happen until you try it. My barrel will stabilize everything from the 35 gr. .223" Hornet bullet to the 80 gr. A-Max.

If you want to shoot deer or similar size game with a .223, the Barnes 62 gr. X Triple Shock is probably the best thing going and dramatically increases the effectiveness of this cartridge.

Dave Sinko
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-24-2011, 10:10 AM
Rule3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,083
Likes: 4,006
Liked 3,901 Times in 2,163 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by smith crazy View Post

I will say this though, the 223 in my opinion is a tad light for deer sized game. Then I saw where you live and since Florida deer aren't too much bigger than big dogs, you may be OK!

But he lives in North Florida and we all know that everything is bigger and better and we did it this way up North.

The Deer get progressively smaller as you move South.

I agree though, 223 is not a good Deer round.Most game areas around here will not let you use a 223.It's not illegal just too many wounded animals that go off and die a slow death.
__________________
Occam's Razor
NRA, RSO
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-24-2011, 10:16 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hoosier Land!
Posts: 4,389
Likes: 587
Liked 496 Times in 272 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by OCD1 View Post
But he lives in North Florida and we all know that everything is bigger and better and we did it this way up North.

The Deer get progressively smaller as you move South.

I agree though, 223 is not a good Deer round.Most game areas around here will not let you use a 223.It's not illegal just too many wounded animals that go off and die a slow death.
Now you're getting it!

Did you get that 45 yet?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-24-2011, 10:20 AM
Targetslayer's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: North Florida, USA
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by smith crazy View Post
I will say this though, the 223 in my opinion is a tad light for deer sized game. Then I saw where you live and since Florida deer aren't too much bigger than big dogs, you may be OK!
You're right about that. A so called deer here dress out to about 50 or 60 lb max. I'm sure I'll hear from some of my deer huntin' buds about the big deer they killed last year. I still think they (the deer) need to grow some. I'm looking for a bullet that won't fragment into dust when hunting. I do shoot a lot of paper. I do load 35gr Varmint Grenade, 50gr, 55gr, 69gr Honrady, Nosler and Sierra bullets with good results. I use H335 and BLC (2) powder.

Targetslayer
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-24-2011, 10:26 AM
Targetslayer's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: North Florida, USA
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Florida Deer

Remember the dog that pulled the sled in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!"? That's a Florida deer


Targstslayer

Last edited by Targetslayer; 01-25-2011 at 05:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-24-2011, 10:28 AM
Rule3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,083
Likes: 4,006
Liked 3,901 Times in 2,163 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by smith crazy View Post
Now you're getting it!

Did you get that 45 yet?
Next week, I got the Dies but no brass, they are out of stock.

Could I borrow 55 (just a safety margin)?? I'll return them. Just target loads.

I sure don't want to buy a box of ammo for almost $40! Man that's expensive stuff.
__________________
Occam's Razor
NRA, RSO
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-24-2011, 12:51 PM
VAdoublegunner's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,059
Likes: 8
Liked 59 Times in 39 Posts
Default

I have an Armalite SPR with a 20" heavy barrel, 1:9 twist. It does very well with Hornady 55gr FMJ-BT bullets (man, I just checked a box of 500. The price tag on them was $22.95 ..oh, for the days!), giving me MOA to just slightly over with a full load of Varget. I generally load all my .223 with Varget.

It will shoot 69gr bullets about the same.

What it really likes is 62/63gr bullets, it's favorites being the Sierra 63gr bullets. They will easily do 1/2 MOA.

But it will not stabilize the 77 gr bullets I tried. Couldn't get any charge or velocity to work well. I mean, I can get 2-2.5" groups, but that's not what I would consider decent out of that rifle.
__________________
" I said, good DAY! "
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
223, carbine, cartridge, hornady, m14, model 14, nosler, remington, winchester

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Reloading Thread, Heaviest weight for a .223 service rifle? in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; I have a Mini-14 (580) with a 18.5 inch barrel 1:9 twist in a .223 cal. I have read that ...
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Bushmaster has heaviest Senior Citizen The Lounge 5 01-16-2012 08:56 PM
Heaviest Bullet load for 460 S&W Mag? Scrapper Reloading 24 12-31-2011 09:39 AM
What's the heaviest bullet you can shoot in a 27-2? SLT223 S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 6 01-12-2011 07:46 PM
Got my rifle back. S&W=Awesome Customer Service jbucknut Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 1 03-18-2010 05:58 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:41 AM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)