5.56 Ruger American Ranch load info - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 03-16-2020, 21:00   #1
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5.56 Ruger American Ranch load info

Hello all, I have a Ruger American Ranch rifle chambered in 5.56, and I'm searching for a load that will tighten up my groups. I've been playing around with 55Gr FMJ loads, and my rifle has been grouping okay at 100 yards, but it's time for a change.

I've since purchased a box of Hornady 68 Gr Match BTHP bullets, and tried loads using BLC-2, IMR4895, IMR4350, and AA2230. The groups were okay, but I know can still do better. If I had to guess, I'd say I'm using the wrong powder. I've heard good things about Varget, CFE223, Ramshot-Tac, as well as benchmark. I would even consider moving up to the Hornady 69 Gr Match BTHP bullet, as the reviews seem off the charts.

So what's your take on my situation guys? I really hope someone can point me in the right direction.

PS: I shoot between 100 and 200 yards, as that's all I have to work with.
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Old 03-17-2020, 04:02   #2
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You know, I have had good luck with most powders that I have tried for most calibers. Unless your going real precision. Your already have an excellent selection of powders. Varget might work well for you, but I have had excellent results with both AA2230 and IMR4895.
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Old 03-19-2020, 19:59   #3
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Originally Posted by TripleB View Post
Hello all, I have a Ruger American Ranch rifle chambered in 5.56, and I'm searching for a load that will tighten up my groups. I've been playing around with 55Gr FMJ loads, and my rifle has been grouping okay at 100 yards, but it's time for a change.

I've since purchased a box of Hornady 68 Gr Match BTHP bullets, and tried loads using BLC-2, IMR4895, IMR4350, and AA2230. The groups were okay, but I know can still do better. If I had to guess, I'd say I'm using the wrong powder. I've heard good things about Varget, CFE223, Ramshot-Tac, as well as benchmark. I would even consider moving up to the Hornady 69 Gr Match BTHP bullet, as the reviews seem off the charts.

So what's your take on my situation guys? I really hope someone can point me in the right direction.

PS: I shoot between 100 and 200 yards, as that's all I have to work with.
You have the 5.56 chamber on your rifle. I don't believe you are going to get the best accuracy from that chamber. I don't believe you will get the best accuracy from FMJ's either. If you have at least a 1/9 twist you can move up the bullet weight as well. I tend to think your's is a 1/8 twist but I'm not sure. I have a Ruger American .223 compact with a .223 chamber and a 1/8 twist and it likes 55 grain bullets very well.

I am finding that the faster the powder the better the accuracy. I am surprised you are not getting good groups with AA2230. But, it depends on what bullets you are using and the load you are shooting. As a suggestion if you are using 55 grain bullets I would give the Hornady Vmax's a try and Hornady"s 55 grain soft point with 24.8 to 25 grains of AA2230.

Another suggestion would be 24.6 of IMR3031 with a 55 grain bullet. 55 grain hollow point Nosler Varmageddons are a nicely accurate bullet. They are on sale at Sportsman's Warehouse for 20% off this week. Nosler, Hornady, Speer and one more I don't recall are all on sale at Sportsman's this week.

If you are looking for a heavier bullet I also like the Sierra 63 grain SMP. I recently got Sierra's 70 grain SMP's but I have not fired any of them yet. I will probably use AA2520 to launch those. I will use AA2460 for the 63 grain SMP's.

All of these loads are .223 pressure loads except the 25 grains of AA2230. They are just over the 55,000 psi threshold. The 24.8 grains of AA2230 is just right at 55,000 psi. Another AA powder I like is AA2460. It burns slightly slower than the AA2230. AA has a great internet reloading guide and on line loads. Both .223 and 5.56 loads. https://www.accuratepowder.com/wp-co....0-Web-REV.pdf

Of all the powders I mentioned the IMR3031 is the fastest burning powder but among the most accurate I have tried. I have tried other fast burning powders in my Mini 14 and they have all been very accurate but since they are so hot (chamber pressure) you take a big hit on velocity.

The bottom line is your powder choices are too slow for a 55 grain bullet but could do well with heavier bullets. Download a burn rate chart from the internet and for 55 to 63 grain bullets try AA2230 and AA2460. For heavier than 64 grains try AA2520, H4895 and IMR4895. Save the BLC2 and CFE for the 70 grain and bullets.

It's just me but I think your 16" barrel will like the faster powders and middle weight (60 to 63 grain) bullets best.

kwg
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Old 03-22-2020, 18:25   #4
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To compare apples to pears, as oranges are a bit further out... Ive got a Savage Axis I have gotten to shoot inch or under consistently at 100 yards with 52 and 53 grain HPFB bullets, and several flavors of 55. I notice my groups open up with this particular rifle when I get heavier than 55 gn, and it too has a 1/9 twist. I also have a much longer barrel, so thats going to be a tweak on the formula as well. I have had excellent luck with varget, 8208XBR, and IMR4895. 55 gn TTSX with 27.5 of CFE223 gives me almost a single jagged hole... Sierra matchking 53 Gn HPFB with 27.5 of the CFE shot even better. Although a 52 Gn Sierra MK HPFB with 25gn of 8208 opens the group up to about 0.8". 25 seems to be the magic number for 8208 with 52 gn Hornady HPBT match bullets, as well.
images of loads and data that work in my savage, attached. Your results may look horrible with these loads in your rifle... but they work great in this particular one. good luck!!

The one image states 2.08 COL... thats really 2.208", but I know what my shorthand means. lol

Edited to add... These are all 5 shot groups, 100 yards, and no waiting in between shots for the barrel to cool.
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5.56 Ruger American Ranch load info-52bthpm8208.jpg   5.56 Ruger American Ranch load info-55ttsxcfe.jpg   5.56 Ruger American Ranch load info-smk53cfe.jpg   5.56 Ruger American Ranch load info-smk828208.jpg  
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Last edited by Indyarms; 03-26-2020 at 12:47.
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