.223 loads shot from my Mini - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 05-21-2020, 10:53   #1
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.223 loads shot from my Mini

I grew a wild hair and decided it was time to test some .223 ammo. I have been playing with various loads of ammo since the lock down for Covid-19 started and yesterday I decided to formalize some of my tests. I also had a conversation with Richard Coss about some .223 loads for the Mini. All of these loads were shot with Nosler 62 grain hollow point Varmageddons. All were shot at 50 yards and I used a 4 shot group.

Here are the loads:
1. AA2015 22.7g
2. RL10x 22.7g
3. H335 21.4g
4. IMR 3031 22.0g
5. AA2230 23.8g
6. Benchmark 22.7g
7. AA2460 24.0g
8. IMR8208 23.2g
9. AA2520 26.5g

I want to say that some loads looked right and some loads looked all wrong. Load #5 AA2230 loaded with 23.8 grains. That load looks right while load #3 and load #8 just looked wrong. When you look at a burn rate chart the H335 and the AA2230 are pretty much in the same bracket. The same with loads #7 and #8. The AA2460 is slightly faster than the IMR8208 and after shooting both powders in various load, I agree that the AA2460 is a faster burning powder and develops pressure faster than the IMR2808. But, you see that Loads #3 and #8 are loaded lighter than #5 and #7.

These numbers came from their manufacturer's web site. Although the AA2460 load was actually 24.6 grains on Western's web site. I have already tried that load with 60 grain bullets and I knew it was just a tad too hot so I changed it to 24 grains for the 62 grain Nosler. Both sites listed the pressures for that weight bullet. Those pressures sounded "logical" for a .223 load.

Now I know there are variables and the manufacturers have to factor that in. All I'm saying is sometimes a load just looks right and some times it doesn't. I have the advantage of experience and trial and error but if you are a beginner, you probably won't see these small details and the makers of the powder have to factor that in for their own safety. (too many un employeed lawyers) The 23.8 grains of AA2230 looked right and the 21.4g of H335 load looked wrong and it proved it on my test target. The AA2230 had a group of .700" while the H335 group was 2.44 inches.

The best target of the day was the first 3 rounds I shot with 24.5 grains of IMR3031 and a 55 grain Hornaday soft point. It was my fouling shots after cleaning my barrel last night before starting the rest of the tests. That 3 shot group was .435" at 50 yards from a room temperature barrel.

My biggest nemesis was the first round fired from a test group. In most cases the first round POI almost always separated from the rest of the 4 shot group. I have not had my rifle apart recently and all I did last night was clean the barrel without taking it apart. In the 10 groups fired 8 had the first round land in a different location than the following rounds.

My routine was to fire 4 rounds at each target. Remove the magazine, fetch my brass and check the primers, look at the target via the spotting scope and reload the magazine with my nest set of test bullets. The barrel was warm to the touch after the 3rd test but no where near hot.

Anyway, here is a few pictures of the target I used.
Attached Thumbnails
.223 loads shot from my Mini-imgp8075.jpg   .223 loads shot from my Mini-imgp8076.jpg   .223 loads shot from my Mini-imgp8077.jpg  
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Old 05-22-2020, 13:13   #2
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KWG020: Show us your gun. So we can see how it is setup (optic etc)

That group at 3 O'Clock looks pretty good.

Seems like you are a bit light on most of the loads. I don't mess with anything but ball powder as I can't stand checking each case to make sure all the powder went in the hole, and the load below has worked consistently across all of my carbines..

My Standard .223 load for use in all my different carbines is 25.0 gr of W748/BL-C2 With a Hornady 55 gr FMJBT.

It is even on the light side, and 26.5 is considered top end for that powder/bullet.

Anyway I applaud your fortitude in testing all these different loads, you are well above my level of patience.

Randy
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Old 05-24-2020, 20:23   #3
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Although I never measure my groups at 50 yds. ( do not know why, no reason) I appreciate Your testing and results.
I saved an old target shot at 75 yds. Load was with H 335 , and it always gave me more consistent groups with 55 gr. bullets of different manufactures.
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Old 05-26-2020, 14:03   #4
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Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
KWG020: Show us your gun. So we can see how it is setup (optic etc)

That group at 3 O'Clock looks pretty good.

Seems like you are a bit light on most of the loads. I don't mess with anything but ball powder as I can't stand checking each case to make sure all the powder went in the hole, and the load below has worked consistently across all of my carbines..

My Standard .223 load for use in all my different carbines is 25.0 gr of W748/BL-C2 With a Hornady 55 gr FMJBT.

It is even on the light side, and 26.5 is considered top end for that powder/bullet.

Anyway I applaud your fortitude in testing all these different loads, you are well above my level of patience.

Randy
I just got back from a camping trip so my response is a little slow.

Hello W.R. It's a 580 series stainless Mini with a Choate flash hider/front sight and a Nikon 2-7 Prostaff on it. I shoot at 50 yards mostly because I only have a 20 power lens on my spotting scope. It's too hard to see my hits at 100 yards with only 20 power.

I'm cooking up some more loads and I will try to get back out to the range when it quits raining.

kwg
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Old 06-16-2020, 14:23   #5
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KWG020:
I have about 300 brass cases in 5.56. How do they run through the .223 dies? I'm gonna get me some dies unless there is any special considerations??
Thank you in advance.
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Old 06-18-2020, 13:47   #6
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Originally Posted by chill1955 View Post
KWG020:
I have about 300 brass cases in 5.56. How do they run through the .223 dies? I'm gonna get me some dies unless there is any special considerations??
Thank you in advance.
The 5.56 and .223 brass all go through the same resizer dies. The difference is going to be the thickness of the necks and the crimped primer pockets. I do like to sort my brass by military and commercial.

The military brass needs to have the primer pockets addressed in some manner and the thicker material in the neck will probably need to be trimmed after the first resizing and after several shootings because the material seems to "grow". By the 3rd shooting the thick necks have pretty much slimmed down.

If you use a taper crimp die the thicker necks tend to crimp more which can cause a bulged shoulder. It's best to reload commercial with commercial brass and military brass with military brass. But, during the resizing process you can do both together.
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Old 06-24-2020, 21:17   #7
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Primers are not going to de-prime during resize? Can you tell me a bit more about the primer pocket issue?
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:50   #8
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Originally Posted by chill1955 View Post
Primers are not going to de-prime during resize? Can you tell me a bit more about the primer pocket issue?
Chill-
The military brass often has primers crimped in place to prevent a blown primer from jamming a rifle or machine gun. Some are crimped and sealed with a lacquer or asphalt sealer. There are times when the decapping pin will pierce the primer, or it may not stick out far enough to actually eject the spent primer.
Also, once the primer is removed, the crimpen edge of the primer pocket will impede the insertion of a fresh primer. Therefore, the crimp will need to be removed. This can be done by swaging, or reaming. Take your pick, they both work. I ream using my chamfer/deburring tool mounted in a drill chuck turning very slowly. A dedicated primer pocket reamer is probably best, as it cuts a radius on the edge of the primer pocket.
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Old 06-25-2020, 15:39   #9
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Thank you sir. I went out and watched a few guys doing it. I'll probably just do a deep champher to get rid of the ledge from the crimp. Thank you for your time buddy.
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:56   #10
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Anytime.
Just to let you know, Dillon Precision makes a neat bench mounted tool that swages primer pockets quickly. If your reloading a lot of military brass, it's worth the $100 or so.
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Old 07-01-2020, 12:41   #11
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Theres no reason to bother to load anything but the 60 gr Partition softpoints. Ball ammo is so cheap, and powder and bullets so expensive, that it's just not worth loading practice ammo. That might change if the virus keeps messing up everything. Haven't bothered to do anything from the strong side shoulder in many years. it's just not required. Check it now and then, and it's always still just as fast and accurate as ever. The .177 pellet rifle handles the precision practice and the airsoft handles the fast stuff, along with the .22lr conversion unit.

With the suppressor in place, the full power 223 ammo is every bit as "tame" to use as is the .22lr conversion unit, used without the suppressor. So there's very little need of 223 firing. Maybe 1000 rds per year. 5000 rds thru the 22 unit in the AR per year, almost all from the weak side shoulder. Slow fire practice is just not required. Every time that's tried, the results are the same as they've been for 50 years.
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Old 07-01-2020, 12:44   #12
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Originally Posted by chill1955 View Post
Primers are not going to de-prime during resize? Can you tell me a bit more about the primer pocket issue?
Not if you remove the de-capping pin from the sizer die (f you dont want them removed, that is) . Always just de-primed and re-primed by hand, using the single station press and the lee autoprime, cause the primer issues are 90+% of the problems with progressive reloaders. If you remove that issue, you can roll right along with everything else, loading about 800 rds per hour, given a case feeder and bullet feeder. and hoppers set up for same. The depriming, sizing and priming can be done mindlessly, while watching tv, so there's no reason to care that the rate of completion of those 2 steps just 200 rds per hour.
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Old Yesterday, 06:36   #13
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Originally Posted by chill1955 View Post
Thank you sir. I went out and watched a few guys doing it. I'll probably just do a deep champher to get rid of the ledge from the crimp. Thank you for your time buddy.
Don't go too deep. Just enough to get rid of the crimp. If you remove too much material the primer won't have much to hold on to once you insert it. Take as little off as possible.

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