.224 Hornady A-Max 75 grain loads ?

This is a discussion on .224 Hornady A-Max 75 grain loads ? within the Cartridges & Calibers forums, part of the Sniping Related category; I'm having problems finding a decent load for these bullets in my Tikka T3 Lite .223 Rem (1 in 8 twist). The bullet is not ...

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  1. #1
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    .224 Hornady A-Max 75 grain loads ?

    I'm having problems finding a decent load for these bullets in my Tikka T3 Lite .223 Rem (1 in 8 twist). The bullet is not stabilizing and is keyholing at just 50 yards. Its a very long bullet, so I'm thinking seating depth might be a problem. Thoughts ? Suggestions ? Loads ?

  2. #2
    APK
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    I tried this in my AR with some very good success before I sold it. My problem was I was limited by mag length. You are not, so there should be no reason it is keyholing. What OAL are you setting them at? What powder? I'll go look for my data on my loads for you.
    "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
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  3. #3
    Sponsors mele's Avatar
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    wow, interesting. a 1:8" twist should stabilize these bullets no problem. I cannot offer any suggestions... sorry

    MEL

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    Quote Originally Posted by APK-223
    I tried this in my AR with some very good success before I sold it.
    Yeah, I understand that the AR's are able to handle this heavy bullets well with their 1 in 9 (?) twist, so I figured the Tikka with a 1 in 8 would do equally well.

    My problem was I was limited by mag length. You are not, so there should be no reason it is keyholing.
    Same problem, actually, because the T3 has a detachable mag. Apparently the Hornady A-Max 75 grain was intended for single-round loading, and thats not a problem for me in a bolt action.

    What OAL are you setting them at? What powder? I'll go look for my data on my loads for you.
    I think OAL might be an issue, because I had no idea what it should be. The only guidance I had was a tip that testing length for these bullets might have been 2.39. So I tried 2.37. Also, I think powder was a problem in my testing. I used 21 grains of IMR 3031 (which was 0.8 less than the maximum compressed charge listed by IMR for the 75 JLK VLD, a different bullet altogether, I know). I think I need a faster powder, because maybe I am not getting the velocity needed here. No chronograph available (yet).

    I would very much appreciate whatever loads and OAL info you can dig up. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mele
    wow, interesting. a 1:8" twist should stabilize these bullets no problem. I cannot offer any suggestions... sorry
    MEL
    I was thinking the same thing, and I am still confident I can make it work. Hopefully APK-223 will be able to dig some load data up for me. Thanks.

  6. #6
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    75 gr. AMAX and the .223 Rem.

    Coywolf,

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    APK
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    Been at work all day and got busy last night I appologize. I'm gonna go eat some dinner then I will look for you I promise! :P

    Hohlspitz is right that some bullets often settle better at distance. Some loads may not shoot 1/4 MOA @ 100yds, but may shoot great at 200. However...I do not believe there should be ANY reason you are getting keyholes at this range. Something is wrong. Do you have any other powders available for use right now or are you going to go grab some more?

    Also, my AR was a RRA 24" Varmiter, it had a 1:8 twist, trust me it is very capable of handling the pills you are using. It is my personal opinion that if you are going to stick with this bullet that you do single load it to get the OAL you want.

    Be back in a bit hopefully with some data and will be able to provide some assistance...I think. :P

    ps- this is the best group I ever shot out of my AR, 3 shots at 100 yds. It was a very low and slow moving load, plus it was mag length if I remember correctly, but the bullet has potential.

    "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
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  8. #8
    APK
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    Alrighty...looks like I have failed tonight...

    I found some of my data, but my OAL is nowhere to be found, it must be back home with my press and other equipment. I appologize, but I think I might be able to help still, at least I'd like to try anyway. Hurts my feelings to see that rifle keyholing for no apparent reason.

    First things we need to determine:

    1. Do you want to load to mag length or not? It can be done, but obviously there are benefits to single-loading, so you need to decide now which is best for you.

    2. Powder- 3031 is way to feakin' slow, we need to get your fill up (you were somewhere around 80% :shock: ) and get a consistant velocity. My data indicates that my setup was the happiest at about 2610fps. The ES and SD were in the single digits, and it shot very nice. I think this is where you want to be. Unless you can safely find a higher vel. node in your setup.

    3. Pick your poison- Do you want to stick with the Amax pills or are you thinking of going with something like a VLD? I say, for cost reasons, stick with the hornadays, but it's up to you.

    4. Once the previous things are determined, we'll set some specs, and do some good testing to determine what works best for you.

    Questions/comments/suggestions welcome.

    Hope I can help you out with this.
    "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
    -Thomas Paine

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    Quote Originally Posted by APK-223
    Alrighty...looks like I have failed tonight...
    I found some of my data, but my OAL is nowhere to be found, it must be back home with my press and other equipment. I appologize, but I think I might be able to help still, at least I'd like to try anyway. Hurts my feelings to see that rifle keyholing for no apparent reason.
    Hehe, same here.

    First things we need to determine:
    1. Do you want to load to mag length or not? It can be done, but obviously there are benefits to single-loading, so you need to decide now which is best for you.
    Mag length is no big deal. I am perfectly comfortable loading them singly.

    2. Powder- 3031 is way to feakin' slow, we need to get your fill up (you were somewhere around 80% :shock: ) and get a consistant velocity. My data indicates that my setup was the happiest at about 2610fps. The ES and SD were in the single digits, and it shot very nice. I think this is where you want to be. Unless you can safely find a higher vel. node in your setup.
    Yeah, I realize that now. I'm a cautious guy normally, but this load was really a function of not knowing any better re the A-max. I have some H4895 coming, but are there any other powders I should try ?

    3. Pick your poison- Do you want to stick with the Amax pills or are you thinking of going with something like a VLD? I say, for cost reasons, stick with the hornadays, but it's up to you.
    The A-max's are fine with me. (They are moly's btw).

    4. Once the previous things are determined, we'll set some specs, and do some good testing to determine what works best for you.
    Ok.

    Questions/comments/suggestions welcome. Hope I can help you out with this.
    You are helping. Thanks.

  10. #10
    APK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coywolf

    First things we need to determine:
    1. Do you want to load to mag length or not? It can be done, but obviously there are benefits to single-loading, so you need to decide now which is best for you.
    Mag length is no big deal. I am perfectly comfortable loading them singly.
    Good to go.

    Now, to load them singly, what has brought me the best luck, is loading them to just engage/kiss the lands then back them of .10"-.15" or so. To do this load one dummy round(no primer/no powder) and seat it really long. Set it in and load it like you normally would. When you extract it, you should visibly be able to see where the rifiling started to engage the surface of the bullet. Measure the OAL of this cartridge, cycle it a few more times, just to make sure it's pushed back as far as it will go, then remeasure.

    Then back out your bullet seating die way past where you feel it should be, run the dummy case all the way to the top of the press stroke, and then screw the die down until it makes contact. Now you need to back it out say a 1/4 turn to 1/2 turn, I guess it depends on the type of die you are using. Now slowly back it down until you reach the desired OAL. It depends on how far off the lands you want to be. But I would think .10"-.15" should be about where you want to be. It's really up to you though.

    2. Powder- 3031 is way to feakin' slow, we need to get your fill up (you were somewhere around 80% :shock: ) and get a consistant velocity. My data indicates that my setup was the happiest at about 2610fps. The ES and SD were in the single digits, and it shot very nice. I think this is where you want to be. Unless you can safely find a higher vel. node in your setup.

    Yeah, I realize that now. I'm a cautious guy normally, but this load was really a function of not knowing any better re the A-max. I have some H4895 coming, but are there any other powders I should try ?
    I've never used H4895 in a .223 Rem before, but I think you are still going to get too much fill (crushed load) to get to the velocity you want to reach. I have used Varget, Re-15 and AA2520. i would use Re-15 personally, but looking at the numbers... H322 looks like a really good candidate too. I've never used it, but just running the numbers to give me an idea of what id can do, you get spectacular velocities, even at 98% fill capacity and it's not even at max pressures. Too keep it simple though, I personaly would stick with what I know, which is Varget and Re-15. You can debate these two powders all day long (many have) but you won't know unless you try them. Either pick one and shoot it until you decide if you like it or not, or put them head to head. It's really your call, but from experience I encourage you keep it simple.

    That said, I do like finding the best round possible, and if you have the time/money to kick it around, I would probably put Re-15/Varget (whichever you prefer) against H322, but no more than 2 powders or you are going to be doing load development until you shoot the barrel out. :P

    3. Pick your poison- Do you want to stick with the Amax pills or are you thinking of going with something like a VLD? I say, for cost reasons, stick with the hornadays, but it's up to you.

    The A-max's are fine with me. (They are moly's btw).
    Good choice IMO, but I have never worked with moly myself so I can't give any real help as to the effects of that.

    4. Once the previous things are determined, we'll set some specs, and do some good testing to determine what works best for you.

    Ok.
    I love testing, I would do it all day if I could. First you need to figure out about what your OAL is, then go from there. Second is picking your powder.

    Questions/comments/suggestions welcome. Hope I can help you out with this.

    You are helping. Thanks.
    I'm doing what I can, just don't want to come across as a know it all. I leanred 95% of what I know from a really knowledgable gentleman who i respect very much, but I am still learning and trying to help who I can.
    "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
    -Thomas Paine

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