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Old 07-24-2011, 19:39   #1
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Crimping for .223

It seems that there are only a few choices of projectiles (other than 55gr) on the market in .224 that have a cannelure. Should I assume that if you want to crimp, you are limited to using bullets that have the cannelure, and if so, does anyone know of any projectiles in the 60-70gr range that have a cannelure?

My AR has a 1/9 twist barrel and from what I have read, 69 or 70gr is about the heaviest bullet that will stabilize in that barrel. I would like to load something a little heavier for hunting feral hogs and possibly head shots on deer.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:21   #2
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Get yourself a Lee Factory Crimp die and crimp any bullet you want, cannelure or not. I use one for all my 69 grain loads and would not be without it.
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Old 07-25-2011, 19:00   #3
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Thanks, that is exactly what I was hoping to hear.
One more question. I am planning to load .223 and .243. Would Varget or Benchmark powder be suitable for both? Or maybe H4198? Any recommendations?
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:10   #4
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Varget is what you want for the heavier bullets. It is a great temperature insensitive powder. Good velocities too. I use a surplus powder for all my .223 needs and it outperforms anything else I have tried for velocities with the heavier bullets. Not sure if it is available in the States though.
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Old 07-26-2011, 17:27   #5
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Off the subject but the 223 placed in the ribs of a deer is much better with less chance of shooters error and shooting the jaw off.
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Old 07-26-2011, 17:57   #6
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Agreed. I wouldn't try for a head shot unless it was just the right circumstances but, when the circumstances are right there is much less chance of damage to meat or edible organs. Also, here in Georgia the deer population is so large that we have a 12 per season limit and they can all be does if that's what you prefer. Being a meat hunter it is what I prefer so, head shots aren't going to ruin a good mount either.
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Old 07-27-2011, 18:31   #7
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+1 on the Lee
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:35   #8
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If your gun will shoot 1MOA from the bench then it will shoot 1MOA on a deers head-all you have to do is your part.If you don't feel confident enough to do that then back to the range for more training!BTW-most guns will shoot straighter than the operator!
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:52   #9
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Magnomark, I agree completely but, I also would not choose a .223 as my main hunting rifle unless I was planning to make a head shot (or possibly if it were a bolt action or single shot loaded with a 90GR bullet). I have killed many deer with a .243 and 100gr Remington Core Lokt in the vitals or in the brain. A 22LR is sufficient to kill a deer or hog if shot in the brain, and I have seen caribou taken with a .22LR revolver at close range by shooting them in the same manner. I don't really think that would be a wise choice of weapons for shooting in the vitals.
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Old 08-04-2011, 19:12   #10
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Woodstock,The heaviest .224 hunting bullets would be the Sierra 65gr Gameking,and the Speer 70gr Soft point.

I also use the Lee factory crimping die on almost all of my calibers,they work great.

Hornady also make a couple different 75gr Match bullets that are designed for a 1-9 twist.I shoot them all the time out of my Savage 12-223,and they will shoot 1/4 moa on a regular basis if I do my part.
These are for targets,not hunting.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:53   #11
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Thanks Tex, I understand your point. I was speaking hypothetically about the 90gr .223 of course. It does make me wonder though why they don't make a heavier hunting round for the .223. I know some states say it is not large enough for deer sized game but, Georgia says any centerfire rifle is legal. Now if you could just find a decent load. Like I said though, I wouldn't necessarily be looking to use the .223 as a deer rifle when I have so many others that will do it much better. I personally am a firm believer in the .243s abilities as a deer rifle. I guess what I am getting at is, if you were in a situation where you only had one rifle, I think the .223 would be acceptable for up to deer sized game as well as other (two legged) critters.

Last edited by woodstock; 08-05-2011 at 14:58.
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Old 08-05-2011, 15:58   #12
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We use 223's for deer hunting as well as hog hunting all the time.It all comes down to good shot placement,and using a bullet that penetrates and expands well.
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Old 08-05-2011, 19:51   #13
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OK, you've got me interested. Tell me more. Shot placement is what I'm all about. I just never really thought a 22 was really a good killer unless used for head shots. I would love to hear details.
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:45   #14
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I agree that a .223 is perfectly adequate for Hill Country deer and pigs at 100yd ranges but:

Getting into the bigger hogs and West Texas Mulies at longer ranges you need more gun in order to reliably bag your game.

Average hoof weight for Hill Country deer is 80-90lbs. West Texas Mulies weigh upwards of 200lbs and many times ranges are well in excess of 100yds.

I would consider a .223 absolute bare minimum for game.

A 22lr (rimfire) is highly illegal for any legal "game" animal in Texas. Hogs and exotics are an exception though.

Good shot placement is a good thought but what if your shot is off the mark a few inches due to wind or drop? I want a punch through for a blood trail or at least enough energy for a DRT.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:33   #15
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I agree completely that a .223 is bare minimum for larger deer and hogs if shot in the vitals. I am from So Florida where the feral hogs easily get to be 300lbs and occasionally 400+. I am saying that I have no problem what so ever putting a .223 or even a 22WMR round into the brain of either, deer or hog out to maybe 100yds max, anything less than that distance and I wouldn't think twice. As I stated in another thread, my family has been hunting feral hogs in so Florida for at least 75 years and many were taken with a single shot 22lr. I should qualify that by saying we also have always hunted with dogs so the hogs were usually bayed and shot at close range. On many many ocassions, if the hog was 100lbs or less, we would catch it live, take it home and put it in a pen and fatten it up on corn for 3-6 months before butchering. Hog hunting to me is a lot more than sitting in a stand and waiting for one to walk by and shooting it with large caliber rifle but, in the same note, it requires knowing how to handle a hog up close and personal, and knowing what the animal is capable of doing if you aren't careful. I have seen many in the 200lb range hand caught by the hind legs like a wheelbarrow, rolled over on their back and their throat cut with a good sharp knife. No gun used at all. But that was generally with at least one good bull dog and cur mix latched on to its ear and preferably one on each ear.
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Old 08-15-2011, 16:36   #16
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We've taken many deer with the ranch rifle in .223 and as long as you shoot a psp style bullit, aim on that heart shot, you'll bring him home. Talk about missing a couple of inches and you get both those lungs, and guess what......... you'll bring him home. Texas size deer anyway. Want to go up Kansas way think about it... then aim on that heart shot......
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:20   #17
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Between the wife and I we've shot a couple of semi trailers full of white tail and antelope with our .223's. More than adequate for white tail and antelope sized game up to about 200 lbs if you're careful about the range. No comment with respect to hogs but I would be reluctant to use a .223 due to the heavier sinew structure.

My favorite load for deer and antelope out to about 200 yards:

60 gr Nosler Partition / ??gr Varget with a heavy crimp from a lee factory crimp die. Seating depth / OAL depends on which rifle I'm reloading for.

Couple of notes:
Inside 150 yds we rarely recover a bullet in white tail sized game. Through and through nearly 100% of the time. Maceration and wound geometry tend to indicate good expansion but that's only speculation since I've yet to recover an intact bullet. Occationally the bullet will fragment beyond recovery.

Bullets recovered from 200yds to 300yds tend to perform just as advertised by Nosler with 200 to 250 yds being textbook perfect

Last edited by Gunner-USMC; 09-02-2011 at 11:35. Reason: additional load information
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Old 09-10-2011, 17:09   #18
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Just a comment about the Lee factory crimp die. I hand load all my 7.7mm Jap ammo and tried the Lee factory crimp die because I have had some bullets push into the case upon chambering. The die will cause excessive bullet runout if used on non- cannelure bullets. I know the instructions state that you can use it on non cannelure bullets but beware. You can fart around with yours and see what happens. You don't need a runout guage to check your finished round, just roll it on your bench and watch the bullet. You will see if there is any runout. If we were benchresters we wouldn't be using a Mini 14.

I'm just sayin' fishslayerbob
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:35   #19
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The Factory Crimp Die needs to be adjusted diferently for a non-cannelure bullits. I use about half of the adjustment for them as compared to cannelure bullits. It can actualy deform a bullit if too much crimp presure is used.......
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Old 09-22-2011, 19:55   #20
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Don't ask me how I know this but the Remington 5mm will go thru both lungs of a deer and lodge under the skin on the opposit side. Then they just walk off a few feet and fall over. The 223 would probably go thru 2 or 3 deer no problem. As for the Lee factory crimp die let me please second that motion. Frank
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:25   #21
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Gents, rutro has it in one, just don't get ham handed using the Lee crimp die on non-cannelure bullets and your good to go.

When I can I buy the Lee crimp dies for my rifle die sets. Retirement does have some draw backs.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:17   #22
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Originally Posted by Txhillbilly View Post
Woodstock,The heaviest .224 hunting bullets would be the Sierra 65gr Gameking,and the Speer 70gr Soft point.

I also use the Lee factory crimping die on almost all of my calibers,they work great.

Hornady also make a couple different 75gr Match bullets that are designed for a 1-9 twist.I shoot them all the time out of my Savage 12-223,and they will shoot 1/4 moa on a regular basis if I do my part.
These are for targets,not hunting.
There is some 80gr HPBT out there you can use
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Old 04-10-2012, 23:58   #23
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There's a video on Youtube featuring Richard Lee that shows products in development, it shows things like the Bench Plate System which has been released and then it shows a few things hopefully to come, namely: combination bullet seat/factory crimp for rifle and press mounted die-style adjustable case trimmer/chamfer with hand crank.

I contacted Lee about it on Facebook and they said the trimmer should be out by next year and then cryptically told me "This summer we will be reconfiguring our PaceSetter and Deluxe 4 Die sets to better suit customer demands...stay tuned." So I'm HOPING they're either coming out with the combination or also possible they could be eliminating the roll crimp on the seater die and just relying on the FCD. Am I the only one excited?
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:28   #24
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My hunting load for the 223 is 25.4gr of 2520 and a Sierra gameking 65gr bullet. Shoot em thru the lungs and they all die. FRJ
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Old 04-14-2012, 16:49   #25
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Talking

Originally Posted by rutro View Post
The Factory Crimp Die needs to be adjusted diferently for a non-cannelure bullits. I use about half of the adjustment for them as compared to cannelure bullits. It can actualy deform a bullit if too much crimp presure is used.......
Agree. I've loaded A LOT of .223 and the Lee factory crimp die hasn't failed me yet.
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