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  1. #1

    .223 match reloading

    So I have been looking into shooting matches at Atterburry this year and have the Ar pretty well dialed in on 55gr ammo. Currently loading 55 grain fmj bt hornady over ram tac powder. I'm gonna start loading 68 grain hornady for matches this year. And I'm trying to develop a load for the matches. The rifle has Red River arms 18" stainless match barrel, wylde chamber 1-8 twist. Main thing I don't know is what powder I should use as I have only ever used imr4895 and ramtac. I'm really more worried about consistent fps and less worried about over all velocity. I've heard varget is a good choice but not sure what I should try or if the ram tac will be fine.

    Also on a side note, If any one reading this is a member of hoosier hills, pm me please I need info on how to join the club.

  2. #2
    Grandmaster sloughfoot's Avatar
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    For 200 or 300 yards, 24.5 grains of any suitable powder under your 68 grain bullets will work just fine as you establish your zeros. For 600 yards use one grain less under a 80 grain bullet. Go out and learn. Welcome to the highpower world.

    Until you learn the game and can hold hard, it doesn't really matter much what powder or load you use as long as it is safe. You won't shoot clean until you learn to shoot clean.

    Shoot a match or two and what I say will make sense.
    Last edited by sloughfoot; 1 Week Ago at 03:26.
    Red Fire 372

  3. #3
    Marksman dhamby's Avatar
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    I would recommend trying something in the 70-80gr range for your projectile instead of the 68gr. I recently picked up some 73gr eldm projectiles and will be working a loaf up for them with H4895 (same burn rate as imr4895).

  4. #4
    Load 77 grain Sierras or Noslers and load to magazine length. 24 grains of IMR 4895 is capable of winning the match. Concentrate on your position and offhand. Everything else gets better with offhand practice. The guys at CIHPRS are fine folks. They will treat you well. You are also welcome to come down to Southern Indiana RIfle & Pistol CLub. Southern Indiana Rifle and Pistol Club ? 17906 State Road 60, Borden, Indiana 47106 We shoot the CMP Vintage matches as well as the NRA High Power RIfle matches. Drop by any time, or contact me. Best of luck, and have a great day.
    Freedom First!! Negotiate EVERYTHING ELSE later

  5. #5
    Sharpshooter
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    The 69 Sierra is a better bullet. If there's no other reason behind your choice of the Hornady 68 than "just because"....go with the Green box stuff instead. It wins more often.

    Incidentally, the 69 SMK still holds my X-count record at 300 Sim of 12X, even in light of a lot of really good bullets (73 Berger, 77 Sierra, 80 Sierra, 82 Berger) being sent from that yardline.

    There's been some good advice here. If you can afford to run them, any of the Nosler/Sierra/Berger/Lapua 77 BTHP bullets perform basically identically to one another. They are a much more capable bullet in the wind, and are very much a 600 yard bullet.

    If I were you, I'd shoot all of my 55 ammo and buy/load no more of it.

    If I had a bunch of Hornady 68 bullets on hand already, I'd load them and shoot them all. TAC will work, as would 4895. That said, Varget or AA2520 are better, and Varget is far and away the favorite for that bullet weight range, at least among "thinking" shooters. But probably not worth switching powders unless you are loading thousands.

    When you go over 65 grains, the scale starts really tipping more to the Varget-to-Reloder 15 range of burn rates and densities. There are probably 15 powders in common use, but Reloder 15 and Varget are well in the lead as the #1 and #2 powders used in NRA SR Competition, in that order. For full course shooting, RE15 is a shade better for 77s and particularly 80s, and it is a lot cleaner powder.

    For magazine loadings, stay away from the VLD, ELD, AMAX, et al. pointy bullets for the time being. They CAN be made to shoot well out of the magazine (aided greatly by a chamber shortened for such), but they are more touchy and do not tolerate jump nearly so well as a tangent ogive BTHP like we've been discussing.

    That's actually the same theory behind my dislike for the H68. It doesn't shoot as well, as consistently, as the Sierra. If you look at it kinda careful-like, you can see why...it's sortof a secant ogive. Secant doesn't self-align as well, and does NOT tolerate lands being eroded asymmetrically, which is unfortunately sometimes the case. Dunno. I just never saw it get close to the 69, so I stopped caring, or trying.

    Sloughfoot and Denny particularly spoke truth when they said that you just need to shoot more, but by the sound of it, you have spent some time at Atterbury?

    There is not specific need to make up a single-fed 80 grain load for 5/600. That said, if you get serious, you may find you want to. Will I kick your butt with your 77s, all else equal, with my single-fed 80 Loads? Absolutely. But it won't be by TENS of points. Even so, better is still better.

    Also. No magazine load has ever...

    EVER.

    ...equaled the groups of my slow fire LR ammo. (But a hint is that the 77s, while very slick, are still behind the 69 and 73...)


    Last thing: don't let anybody convince you to load 3 loads. TWO loads is arguably more than needed to win most club matches. But the idea that you need a light-weight fast load to shoot good scores in Offhand is absolutely false, and was made an awful lot further incorrect by the AR15.

    What you need to do is hold th' damn gun still and focus on the front sight.

    -Nate
    Last edited by natdscott; 1 Week Ago at 14:29.

  6. #6
    Thanks for all the reply's

    To answer a few question, I have shot the course of fire before several time but not since my military days, so not with in last 15 yrs, and not a bullseye style mach it was just measueard hit or miss on man size target. This will be a different game and require different approach.

    So the reason for the 55 grain is one cost savings while working on just getting consistent tight groups. No real need to throw high price when just working on getting groups tight. (if I'm wrong please tell me). But that was my thought process.

    As for choosing the 68 grain Hornaday or 69 Sierra. I have a box of both I was gonna try and see which one would hold better groups in my rifle. But for this year will be a year of learning the ropes I hope to be competitive but not my main goal really it's my love for and missing shooting long range. So with that and wanting to keep it simple (ie.) load everything mag length. I was looking at the lighter grain h-68, s-69. I was under the assumption that the larger ones would be incapable of magazine load. Also I wanted to keep my range card simple to calculate and figured a consistent load one yardage to another would be easier and more simplified. Especially since I will be using a scope on my ar with a ballistic calculator to figure dope for the yardages. Cause as of this point I have been unable to shoot beyond 100 yards. Trying to find a range I can join to be able to get at least a 200 yrd zero. So Dennymac thanks for the offer if you want drop me a pm I would be more than happy to come out and shoot a day with you and pick your brain on how this how competition thing works. Or any one else for that fact Im always willing to shoot and learn.

  7. #7
    Marksman dhamby's Avatar
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    There are some 70gr + projectiles you can still load to be magazine fed, the 73gr eldm I mentioned were designed for that. You can also load the 75gr hpbt, 77gr smk, and the new 70gr RDF to fit in a magazine.

  8. #8
    Sharpshooter
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    Hamby, if you don't mind my asking, why the fascination with the ELDM?

    -Nate

  9. #9
    Marksman dhamby's Avatar
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    So far they seem to be working well and the BC is higher than those that have been available in the past that can he loaded to still fit into an AR mag.

  10. #10
    Thanks where are you getting them from, I usally use midway or cheaper than dirt. Sometime plainfield shooting supply.


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