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  #1  
Old 08-07-2018, 07:42 PM
Eddietruett Eddietruett is offline
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What is a good all around powder for .223? I'm guessing mostly 55 gr just for plinking. My step son wants to load some .223 since he has the spare time and I've got several presses. Back in the 70's and 80's when I loaded to deer hunt I seem to remember that 3031 was sort of a go to powder. Sure things have changed now. From my rough figuring, I don't see loading .223 to be practical as they can be bought so cheap, but if he wants to, I'll probably help him get started. Another question is what is a cheap bullet just for burning powder? I'm guessing a fmj 55gr? I'm sure he doesn't want to shoot cast in his AR since he carries it on duty and wouldn't want to risk leading or lead build up in the action. My only .223 is a mini 14 and I have shot a little of everything through it and it all works about the same. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:06 PM
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Soooo many to choose from. I am using H335 with fantastic results! Also use AA 2015, 2230,2460, 2520, CFE 223, WW 748, IMR 4895....
Many others will chime in as to THEIR favorite....
Randy
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:17 PM
TjB101 TjB101 is offline
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My go to is 25.5gr Varget with 55gr FMJBT.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:23 PM
Simson-Suhl Simson-Suhl is offline
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Varget and CFE223
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:26 PM
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CFE-223 here, too. And yes, the 55 grain fmj are probably the cheapest plinking bullets with decent accuracy.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:28 PM
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My standard load is H335 behind a 52gr Sierra HPBT MK. That way if I miss the target I know it's me instead of some bargain load. When components are bought in bulk, I can load it for about the same price as Federal XM193.

I'm starting to lean towards CFE223 because of the copper erasing effect.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:46 PM
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I've used A 2230, 2460 and LT-32 and am about to use some 2200. I've also used IMR 3031 and 4198 and recently bought a couple of pounds of Shooter's World Tactical Rifle to try out. I haven't run the A 2200 or SW powders yet but the others performed well for me with 55 and 62 grain bullets. It's about time to load up a couple of batches of 223, since I burnt up around 300 rounds or so today at the range.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:56 PM
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I shot 55gr Horn SJSX with BCL-2, only because it is PIA to get
IMR-4198 in the case. Each one had to be tapped down because
of powder bridging. I'm running at 3100fps. These loads are for
my #3 Ruger.
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:10 PM
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748 and CFE223 meter like water, if he’s using a progressive press. Check Xtreme Bullets for bulk FMJ.
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:24 PM
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I think most are using h335 or cfe for 55gr plinkers. Used to be able to get cheap surplus just a few years ago.
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:26 PM
iouri iouri is offline
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I love Ramshot TAC (and just got another 8lb for $150+ to my door ). Meters like water. I like N140 as well but on progressive it's a pain - it bridges once in a while and makes a mess.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:00 AM
SMSgt SMSgt is offline
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IMR-4198 works for me in my 788 and AR. Usually Hornady 55 grain FMJBT.
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:15 AM
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It mostly depends on the end use and the equipment you have. If we are talking the powder charge has to be weighed for each round: 3031 and Varget are very good choices. If you have a good powder drop: H-335, WW748, Ram-TAC all meter very consistently!

Most 223/556 loads at full power will be around 26 grains of Ball powder and around 22-25 grains of extruded (stick) powder. If the goal is absolute lowest price, less weight equals more rounds per pound!22 grains verses 26 grains is 49 more shots per pound.

In the mid 80's I wanted a load for mass production. I had Winchester military contract over run 55 gr FMJ/BT bullets, WW748 powder and CCI small rifle mag primers (used 3/4 grain less powder than just small rifle!). I loaded 20,000 rounds on my brand new Dillon 450. Case prep took a lot longer than loading! It took about 3 weeks of 2 late nights and all day Saturday. Local stores just didn't have components on hand and I ordered 8 pound kegs, and 5000 primer sleeves in. I ended up with a mass of loose ammo! I needed more ammo cans to keep it in! but what I ended up with a load that out of well made AR-15 w/scope would shoot 1/4 -3/8 inch groups at 100 yards and from very high quality Bolt Actions, would shoot 1/8 to 1/4 inch groups at same distance. Around 4 or 5 years ago my second son bought a pretty good AR so I gave him about half of what I had left (can you say Affordable Birthday Present!), That was around 3000 rounds. I still have about 3500 rounds. and it still shoots well! When I loaded this ammo, Cheap quality factory Ball ammo was 8.9 cents (retail) a round! My ammo was 6.7 cents and shot much better!

About 8 years ago I bought a Savage bold action from a friend. We had named this gun "The M&M Gun"! At 200 yards you could nail M&M's in a string as long as you could maintain concentration! For 1000 yards: With 75 grain Berger VLD bullets set for an longer than SAMMI length, Lake City cases, Varget powder, and Rem 7 1/2 primers (This case if so full you need a Lee FCD to hold it together! But at 1000 yards it shoots 3"! It takes me 3 or 4 hours to put 100 of these together, but to me the results are worth the time and expense!

Like I started with: it depends on the Equipment you have and the the end use you plan on!

Ivan
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:51 AM
scooter123 scooter123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simson-Suhl View Post
Varget and CFE223
Have to agree with this 100%. I use Varget for my precision sub 1/2 MOA loads and CFE223 for plinking loads. BTW, when using Varget I keep fine tip tweezers next to the scale because it meters poorly and every charge requires adjusting.

As for CFE223, it meters nearly as well as H110 so no tweezers required at all, it is a 100% Throw and Go powder with a SD for thrown charges below 0.035 grain. BTW, this means that the thrown charge won't EVER vary by more than 1/10 grain. I will also note that copper fouling eliminator actually does reduce copper fouling in a barrel by a noticeable amount. However it does seem to leave a black sludge like deposit in the receiver so cleaning is a bit more of a chore with this powder.
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:53 AM
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cfe 223 @25.5 with 55g FMJ works for me. It doesn't to mater who's FMJ's you use so I go with the best price.
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  #16  
Old 08-08-2018, 08:03 AM
Eddietruett Eddietruett is offline
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Thanks to all! What I love about this place. Good answers from experienced shooters are just a few keystrokes away.
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMSgt View Post
IMR-4198 works for me in my 788 and AR. Usually Hornady 55 grain FMJBT.
IMR 4198 generally will provide the best grouping performance in most .223 rifles. My best load in my Savage 112-V is 22 grains with any 50-55 grain bullet. There is an old saying to the effect of "if you can't get your .223 rifle to shoot well with 4198 then it won't shoot well with anything." You will have to experiment some to determine the best bullet seating depth.
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:40 AM
Triggernosis Triggernosis is offline
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TAC is good.
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:58 AM
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Varget or 748 for me but with a 55 Spitzer or a good hollow point. For plinking use cheap ammo.
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:32 AM
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Back in the day I used both 4895 and 3031. Now I use W748 behind 52 grain SMK's. For plinking I use the same load of 748 and 55 grain FMJ's
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:24 PM
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An oldie but a goodie, In addition to what has been mentioned is Ball C2. All of what has been listed will give you plinking - hunting accuracy.
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:53 PM
Mike, SC Hunter Mike, SC Hunter is offline
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All I use is WW748
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:51 PM
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H335 and Varget as well. I have so many different brands of 55 grain bullets, I can't keep track of them.
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:24 PM
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I've gotten great performance with H335 for AR's and long barrels, but H322 works better for short barrels such as my AR pistols (10" and 7.5"), and H322 is the ONLY powder I use for my competition Contenders.
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:40 PM
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3031 and H335 work well. I'm working through a jug of 748 and it's as good as the next powder. My loads cost me $0.16/round. 8 cents for 55g fmjbt's, 5 cents for the powder and 3 cents for the primer. Never paid for cases because I saved the cases I shot with when I was using commercial ammo plus you can probably pick up more .223 range brass than you'll ever reload at many ranges.

I'm working up loads for my jug of 748. Decent enough @ 100 yards for cheap range fodder and will demolish soda cans or clay pigeons at that range.

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Old 08-08-2018, 07:54 PM
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Accurate Arms 2015 and 2230 shot the rifling out of three barrels for me -- I mean 20K+ rounds between 3 guns over a 10+ year time frame..
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:28 PM
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For some good shooting 55 grain bullets for the price, a company called Arm or Ally (Formerly Monmouth Reloading) has the Hornady 55 grain Spire Point bullets for 7.2 cents a round, buying by the 1,000 or 2,000 lots. And those bullets are now made with a boat tail instead of being a flat base bullet like they used to be. Easy to load because of the boat tail, accurate and with the lead tip, a decent varmint killing round.

Here is a link to the bullet - <<<Link to Hornady 55 gr Spire Point>>>
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Old 08-10-2018, 07:49 PM
Moe Mentum Moe Mentum is offline
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W748, I can also use the same powder in my .308..
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Old 08-11-2018, 12:28 AM
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Another vote for h322, it is the most accurate for me in 2 different ar 16 inch barrel and 20" and a mini 14. I haven't seen anyone say arcomp yet unless I missed it. I have used it the most with great results. Can't go wrong with hornady 55 FMJ with canalure or Everglades bulk FMJ all shot well for me.
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:08 AM
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H335 and CFE223
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