H4895 and 223 case capacity - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 03-24-2013, 10:56   #1
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H4895 and 223 case capacity

Hi All,

I recently started reloading for 223. I am using FC brass and Hodgdon H4895 powder. Hodgdon lists the starting load at 25grns and max at 26grns. When I load the case with 25grns there is very little room in the case. I have measured out multiple times with a scale to make sure.

I just want to make sure I am not compressing the powder and increasing my pressures inadvertently. It seems if I went to 26grns, there would be no room to seat the bullet. Is this normal for this powder?
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Old 03-24-2013, 18:31   #2
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When you dump from your powder measure dump it slower and you will see a differans. I went to Benchmark and it is a litle better but not muck.

Most loads will be compressed.
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Old 03-24-2013, 21:12   #3
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After filling the case with powder, put you finger over case mouth then give the case a couple of gentle taps on the workbench then proceed.
I have tried at least 10 powders over the years in my .223's and nothing seems to consistantly beat H4895.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:02   #4
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Originally Posted by rx7kevin View Post
Hi All,

I recently started reloading for 223. I am using FC brass and Hodgdon H4895 powder. Hodgdon lists the starting load at 25grns and max at 26grns. When I load the case with 25grns there is very little room in the case. I have measured out multiple times with a scale to make sure.

I just want to make sure I am not compressing the powder and increasing my pressures inadvertently. It seems if I went to 26grns, there would be no room to seat the bullet. Is this normal for this powder?
Hi Kevin, you didn't say what weight bullet you are loading. My Lee manual show that for 55gr using H4895, min - 23 : max -26.2c. Notice the max is a compressed load. IMO there doesn't seem to be any special issue about compressing H4895 in the .223. The same powder from lot to lot can have different density where the volume for the same weight is different. Always go with the weight.

BTW, your caution and asking handloading questions shows that you will continue to be a successful handloader where the chance of blowing your head off is minimized.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 03-27-2013, 17:19   #5
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That is my biggest fear, but I am going slow, step by step. Yes, I am loading 55 grn sp. I looked at my Lee manual and saw the c next to the entry. I need to re-read the manual..... I'll be test firing the rounds on Friday I hope. Thanks for the insights.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:39   #6
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Originally Posted by rx7kevin View Post
Hi All,

I recently started reloading for 223. I am using FC brass and Hodgdon H4895 powder. Hodgdon lists the starting load at 25grns and max at 26grns. When I load the case with 25grns there is very little room in the case. I have measured out multiple times with a scale to make sure.

I just want to make sure I am not compressing the powder and increasing my pressures inadvertently. It seems if I went to 26grns, there would be no room to seat the bullet. Is this normal for this powder?
TRY some Accurate 2230 it is a good 223 powder also H335 is good.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:50   #7
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Also-be aware that dif't manufacturers of cases will have dif't volumes!fed,rem,win,pmc,etc.will all very a little.even the new military issue stuff.Now the old milspec like in pre 1980 will have a smaller case capacity as the gov't liked to use thicker brass then in case of cartridge failure!You need to watch for higher pressures when using the older military brass!
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:06   #8
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Originally Posted by blackhawk44 View Post
After filling the case with powder, put you finger over case mouth then give the case a couple of gentle taps on the workbench then proceed.
I have tried at least 10 powders over the years in my .223's and nothing seems to consistantly beat H4895.
Have you tried the 8208XBR ??

I have found that 25 grains under a dogtown HP will give me VERY consistent accuracy in not only *all* of my rifles, but several for friends I reload for, for their coyote hunting, as well.
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Old 05-21-2013, 23:21   #9
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Having tried 11 other powders in the .223, H4895 has been good to very good in all the rifles that I load for from several bolt guns to lever to autoloaders. Apparently its much like your 8208.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:59   #10
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Originally Posted by AABEAR View Post
TRY some Accurate 2230 it is a good 223 powder also H335 is good.
Those are the powders that I use for .223 and the density is such that there is plenty of room for them. Also, since I load .223 in volume, I like to use my Lee turret press with the Lee Auto Disk powder measure. I can use the double disk setup with the max cavities to get 25 grains of 2230. With 4895 the max cavities are too small to get the full charge weight.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:01   #11
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The .223 Remington cartridge was developed using ball powders. Ball powders meter nicely and fit easily in this case making it a cinch to reload. Ball powders are spherical in shape and stack nicely leaving little space between them.

While 4895 works very well in this cartridge it's an extruded powder. Extruded powder is like little short sticks. They don't meter particularly well as your powder measure often times must cut these little extrusions, you can actually feel the metering chamber cut them.

Because 4895 is an extruded powder it stacks poorly in the case leaving large gaps. These gaps tend to cause issues when seating the bullet and the bullet actually crushes the powder as it's inserted, these are called a compressed load.

Compressed loads are often encountered at or near the maximum powder charge. While this isn't normally a problem it can make loading this cartridge a little tricky. When I load this cartridge with 4895 I'll tap the tray of charged cases in the bench which in turn causes the powder to settle therefore reducing its volume a bit making it easier to insert the bullet.

If using military brass be aware that the brass is thicker therefore it's internal volume is less than that of a commercial .223 Remington case...
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:42   #12
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M-16 started out with stick powder

I agree with everything you said except for one thing. The 5.56 round was orginally developed using stick powder. I was when the Secretary of Defense MacNamara's whiz kids decided to switch to ball powder that the first jambing problems with the M-16 began to develop during its introduction in Viet Nam. That, combined with the mistaken belief that the new super rifle needed no cleaning, caused many malfunctions and lost lives until things were straigtened out.

Stoner's original tests were all conducted with stick powder which had fewer problems so no one knew what issues the switch over to srtick powder might cause. Although it was decided to stay with ball powder, it was decided to issue cleaning kits along with instructions for their use, and the decision was made to chrome plate the chambers and bores. All that greatly reduced the incidence of malfunctions experienced by our troops in Viet Nam.

By the way, I use AA 2230 which is a ball powder when loading .223/5.56. I think it measures and feeds very conistenly. I do use IMR 4895 in just about all my larger Military calibers where compresson has never been an issue.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:44   #13
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You could go to a drop tube. This is one way to get the powder to pack in. A drop tube can be made from cooper tubing or some sort of tubing make it about 8 in long get you self a small fumble to put on top of your drop tube.
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Old 12-16-2013, 12:32   #14
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Tapping the edge of the rim on the bench a few times before seating will help settle the powder some, as will a drop tube. I just bought an R.C.B.S. funnel kit that has several size tips that you can switch, depending on the caliber loaded. I was getting spilled powder occasionally with my regular .22-.45 " one size fits all" funnel, if I didn't get it exactly square on the case mouth. So I went down to the store thinking I'd pick up a .17 funnel for loading the .223's, and saw the R.C.B.S. kit. As a bonus it comes with a small section of drop tube that you can put in the middle, the pamphlet says more sections of tube can be added to make a longer drop tube, but I haven't seen the extra sections advertised.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:41   #15
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There is a lot of powder that fill the case. All you need to do is seat your bullet and all will be OK.
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Old 03-04-2014, 13:20   #16
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That's one beauty of *MOST* rifle powders for the .223/5.56... You just CANT overload it to a dangerous pressure level... you cant fit enough powder in to make it happen!! LOL
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Old 11-22-2016, 18:40   #17
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When needed I use an electric toothbrush to settle powder in the case. I just run the vibrating flat on the shaft along the case.

Nicest thing about Hodgdon data is they list pressure. I seek out powders that provide good case fill with the lowest pressure and shoot a lot of compressed loads. H4895 is a great powder with ~63 grain bullets.
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