.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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Last edited by cleanodeano; 05-25-2020 at 02:49.
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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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