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Discussion Starter #22
For 600 yards, you should probably get some other caliber. I tend to think of the .223 as a short range bullet hose.

I would probably use 21.5 grains of Benchmark with the 69 grain Sierra MK. But whatever you do, work up your loads carefully.

I know a lot of guys use H335 and other powders slower than Benchmark, but I still say that you need to use quicker powders such as IMR-3031 and Benchmark in order not to stress the AR-15s gas system.

In a bolt action rifle, I would probably use IMR-4320.

Fluffy
 

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FluffyTheCat said:
For 600 yards, you should probably get some other caliber. I tend to think of the .223 as a short range bullet hose. Fluffy
I tend to agree. Not enough bullet mass for long range shooting. Bill T.
 

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It's hard to concieve every possible bullet weight ,manufacturer, or bullet type. The 77 grain is useable in an AR , but needs to be seated deeper. Some bullets have an ogive that doesn't allow these bullets to feed through an AR's magazine without seating too deep. What works for a bolt rifle doesn't always work in an AR15. Load some up,ladder test your loads, and post your experience. Then everyone will know how the work.

Jeff
 

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The problem with the 77 Grain Sierra Matchking is what percentage of .223 rifles out there can shoot it? Perhaps 10% or less have a 1 in 7" twist which is required to stabilize that long of a bullet in a .223 bore diameter. Most AR-15's are 1 in 9", and many bolt guns are 1 in 10", and even some have a 1 in 12" twist. I've read that a 1 in 9" will stabilize a 75 Grain .223, but that's pushing it. 300 to 400 yards is about the limit for the .223 under most conditions. In heavy wind, forget it.

If you look at the Wimbledon 1,000 yard matches, most of the winners shoot either 6.5-.284, or else one of the .30 caliber Magnums. I believe the .300 Win. Mag. holds more Wimbledon records than any other factory caliber other than perhaps the .30-06. But I think it's even surpassed that. Heavy bullets with high B.C.'s, along with high velocity equals success at 1,000 yards. The .223 is pushing the envelope in all of those departments. Bill T.
 

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Hey I am not trying to ruffle anybody's fur. I just think there are a lot more options to loading for the AR-15 than 3031 and 55gr bullets. The information already posted here is at least in my experience right on the money. The 1x7,1x8 twist barrel has been a standard for service rifles for some time now and someone may correct me but I believe Sierra developed the 77gr mk for loading at magazine length. I have used it for competition in the National Trophy Infantry Team match at Camp Perry. We did quite well with it.
 

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I don't think you're rattling anyone's cage. We just gave answers to the best of our knowledge. I suggested that you try some 77 grain bullets out and see how they work for you. 69 grain Sierras work the best for me. Useable effective range of a .223 usually is around 500 yards,paper punching a bit further. No one here is against experimenting. If they work in your rifle, post the results. Perhaps you have some knowledge we aren't privy to. Sniper Central is all about sharing info and experiences to better us all.

That said, Madgunsmith's original posts/stickies for reloading are for the novice.The loads represented are basic beginner loads.That you don't see a lot of different loads represented is because folks don't want to overwhelm the folks new to loading for the AR15 with a lot of nonbasic extra info .

Jeff
 

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Yes, I understand that this is about providing information for the beginner and I think it does a great service to them. I am very fond of the AR-15, so I just get a little prickly when someone refers to it as a short range bullet hose.
I was trying to recall what the load was we used for NTIT and I am a little embarassed to say I can't. The team captain did all the loading so everybody had the same ammo. I remember it was 77gr mk,rem 7.5,win brass but can't recall the powder. The bullets were seated to 2.250" for the mags and I heard him say at one point the muzzle velocity was just under 2700' per sec. It seemed a very mild load at least out of my rifle which is a stock Colt Sporter Match HBar. At 300yds I was easily able to hold the Xring of a SR-3 which is @ 3".
 

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Just a guess, but it sounds like an IMR4895 or BL-C(2) load. H335, Varget,RL15,N530,N550,and Winchester 760 should all be able to duplicate the velocity. The best way to know for sure is to ask the original loader, unless it's some sort of competition secret.

A place to check out some extreme long range load ideas is www.reloadersnest.com . Be forwarned that a lot of these folks are pushing the envelope on safety for the sake of velocity at long range.

That said, the AR15 is designed for modern combat with moderate ranges. Why shoot 1000 yards when a helicopter or APC can drop you off within 100 yards? It's asking a lot of the little .223/5.56x45 to go past 500 yards. Possible, sure. But practical? Competition is the place where that need exists. I don't think Mad was trying to insult , he just didn't see practical application. There are cartridges far better equipped to compete at 1000 yards. A .22lr can concievably travel over a mile, but it's practical use is 50-100 yards.

Jeff
 

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jeffdorr said:
It's asking a lot of the little .223/5.56x45 to go past 500 yards. Possible, sure. But practical? A .22lr can concievably travel over a mile, but it's practical use is 50-100 yards. Jeff
Good points. I'm very fond of the AR-15 as well, but it doesn't change what it is capable of. Taking the "black rifle equation" out of it, and looking at the cartridge itself, it is little more than a varmint round. And a medium range one at that. While some may have taken deer size game with it, that is really pushing the limit of what the little round is capable of, and the reason it is illegal to hunt deer with it in many states. It just doesn't have enough soup. Bill T.
 

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I shoot 77gr SMK's in NRA Highpower Service Rifle across the course from 200 to 600 and it's a very accurate round. I use 23.9grs of Varget which Sierra lists as their recommendation for accuracy and their maximum load. I know plenty of people shooting this load at 800. Fine for competition but ballistically I do not know what it is pushing at 800 and what terminal ballistics would be. I shoot this round with a 1:8 barrel and I am very happy with the results. The Army seems to be having good success with this load as well.
 

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Would H4895 be too different from Benchmark in terms of extra wear on the gun?

Just lookin to simplify the logistical chain. Benchmark would only be used on 223.
 

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muzzleblast said:
Would H4895 be too different from Benchmark in terms of extra wear on the gun?...
Muzz,
For the number of rounds most civilians will shoot you won't be able to tell any difference. However, it's possible, I suppose, if you were shooting matches and practicing so much that you would wear out barrels.
 

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Thanks Storm,

Sad to say I don't think I will be wearing out a barrel any time soon...Although I wish I could.
 

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I wish I could afford to wear out a barrel. I purchased 1000 rounds of surplus for less than $200 last year, and I saw the same stuff for sale at a local shop yesterday at over $500.

also, I've worked up a ladder load of 52 grain speer hollow points with IMR 4895 (i bought a bunch in bulk awhile back) for my ar, so maybe i'll get a decent recipie out of it. I'll report when I get the results later this week.
 

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muzzleblast said:
Would H4895 be too different from Benchmark in terms of extra wear on the gun?

Just lookin to simplify the logistical chain. Benchmark would only be used on 223.
Muzz,

I used and tested both benchmark and varget in my Bushy Predator. For the heavier bullets I've read it works well, but have no direct experience. However, H4895 is about as available as Varget, due to it's ability to be used in .308 as well.

All of the default disclaimers apply. Work up your loads don't just start with my numbers, etc..etc.

I don't have chrony #'s but no pressure signs are evident with these loads. Both Loads are accurate for me and my rifle. I can regularly keep 5 shot groups at 100 easily under a quarter, occasionally under a dime.

Good accuracy out to 300 as well maintaining under .75-.80 MOA pretty consistently - I think its more of a driver issue.


Bushy Predator:
18" barrel 1-8" twist.

77Gr Sierra SMK
21.1 gr benchmark
Win Brass
CCI 400 or Rem 7.5 primers

77gr Sierra SMK
23.9 gr Varget
Win Brass
CCI 400 or Rem 7.5 primers
 

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that's very cool Mavrick, thanks for posting!

It would simplify my powder collection very nicely.
 

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IMR-3031

To: Fluffy the cat . . . I have really enjoyed your banter on the subject of IMR-3031 for the AR. So I thought- yea let's give it a try. I haven't reloaded 3031 in several years, usually only in a 30-30 Win., but I had about 1/2# of it and thought I would give it a try. I usually set up and reload all of my .223 on a Dillon 550 with Varget, mainly for my PD gun, and have loaded a few "k" for the black toy on it also. I have gone mainly to 4895 for the AR and it shoots well, but your advice on slowing the bolt and keeping it all together kind of hit a soft note with me. I usually reaload around 3 - 5 hundred at a time, that way if I need some I will have it handy - just in case . . :D

So I set up the press and powder measure and start trying to get the IMR-3031 that I have set to about 22 gr. I end up putting about 4 or 5 loads of the powder all over the press and My Wifes new carpet . . ouch :roll: !! It will not feed through the powder measure very well at all, I messed with it and messed with it and keep getting the same results, either over charge or 1/2 a case full. I changed the powder measure slide to the smaller one, usually used on small calibers and pistols, same effect . . it measures about like STRAW, it will not feed well at all - mo matter what I tried to do with it.

So . . I end up sizing a bunch of cases and trickling the powder and single staging them through the seating die on the press, my Rockchucker is in the garage along with the powder measure, most of my reloading is done in the house now a-days on the Dillon. This is a test - mainly to see if I really want to go through all the trouble of doing them "One-at-a-time" like I do for my long range toys. I do several calibers on the Dillon and for the most part it will hold + or - .15 gr. which is about as good as the old eyes will shoot these days anyway.

But - I am going to see what Dillon has to say about the mess that I made on the carpet today and see if I can or possibly can make the press do the job . . All of your mentoring here is not for naut, and you seem to have a very good grasp of the workings of the black toys.

Thanks . . . .
 
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