AR15.Com Archives
 .223 Rem. Load Using H335 & 55gr. FMJ Pill
Snake_driver  [Member]
12/9/2009 4:53:01 PM
Sorry guys I'm sure this has been asked before but Search only lets me go back 30 Days.

I couldn't get any of my favorite W748 powder last time I went shopping, so I ended up getting a couple of pounds of H335 to load a bunch of .223 Rem.'s.

I'm going to be using a 55 gr. FMJ pill with a standard small rifle primer and new Federal brass.

My research and my loading manuals tells me that a good load is betweeen 25.5gr's. and 26.0gr's. of H335 for velocity, but that isn't as important as accuracy.

So tell me what is your favorite load using H335 with a 55 gr. bullet that gives you the best accuracy. THX!!!
rg1  [Member]
12/9/2009 5:55:13 PM
Just my observations on conflicting load data for .223/5.56 using 55fmj bullets and H335 powder: Hodgdon's data for their H335 powder is realistic. So is Sierra's data. Speer's data is excessive UNLESS using the exact components used in their tests while Hornady data is ultra-conservative in standard .223 loads with H335 while their service rifle data is more reliable in AR's. Speers data for 55 fmj with H335 seems over safe limits in my tests.
I suggest using Hodgdon data at 25.3 grains as a maximum. Federal brass is a little heavier and with less internal volume than many brands of .223 cases. I'd suggest starting at 24.0 grains and working up to 25.0 grains testing for best accuracy. 24.0 grains gets about 2975fps in a 20" AR in my tests using RP and WCC cases.
rn22723  [Team Member]
12/9/2009 8:28:14 PM
How about you just load up some test rounds and make sure they are accurate safe and reliable in your guns!
texinmn  [Member]
12/9/2009 9:47:16 PM
What rg1 wrote..
dryflash3  [Team Member]
12/9/2009 10:47:21 PM
Work up a load, for me best accuracy came about 1 to .5 grs below max listed.

You have to do this yourself, to see what your gun will like.
fenderfreek  [Team Member]
12/10/2009 9:13:10 AM
Mine do nicely with 24-24.3 gn charges in that combo - I use it with FMJ's and Vmax'es alike.

YMMV, but that's both safe and effective.
Hector45  [Team Member]
12/10/2009 9:34:22 AM
Originally Posted By fenderfreek:
Mine do nicely with 24-24.3 gn charges in that combo - I use it with FMJ's and Vmax'es alike.

YMMV, but that's both safe and effective.


You using the Lee Auto-Disc by chance?
Derf  [Member]
12/10/2009 10:24:16 AM
I am using these same componants.
Using the Lee Auto Disk with the double disk set-up(cant remember what numbers tho, and im at work)
i get consistant 23.8-24gr charges, which is just fine for me.
fenderfreek  [Team Member]
12/10/2009 12:03:59 PM
Originally Posted By Hector45:
Originally Posted By fenderfreek:
Mine do nicely with 24-24.3 gn charges in that combo - I use it with FMJ's and Vmax'es alike.

YMMV, but that's both safe and effective.


You using the Lee Auto-Disc by chance?


Yep, sure do.
markm  [Team Member]
12/10/2009 12:09:30 PM
Off topic... but...

Why to people call bullets "Pills"?

It makes me nervous that these people are playing with live ammo.
pdg45acp  [Team Member]
12/10/2009 12:16:15 PM
Originally Posted By Snake_driver:
Sorry guys I'm sure this has been asked before but Search only lets me go back 30 Days.

I couldn't get any of my favorite W748 powder last time I went shopping, so I ended up getting a couple of pounds of H335 to load a bunch of .223 Rem.'s.

I'm going to be using a 55 gr. FMJ pill with a standard small rifle primer and new Federal brass.

My research and my loading manuals tells me that a good load is betweeen 25.5gr's. and 26.0gr's. of H335 for velocity, but that isn't as important as accuracy.

So tell me what is your favorite load using H335 with a 55 gr. bullet that gives you the best accuracy. THX!!!


Get your chronograph out and start with the load data on the side of the h335 bottle.

I make an effort to work magnum primers into any H335 load over 25 grains.
Hokie2000  [Member]
12/10/2009 7:06:11 PM
It's interesting to read some of the powder charges for H335 and I'm curious where everybody is getting their load data. I've been slowly working up a load using 55 gr Hornady FMJ BT bullets (I'm using new Winchester brass and Winchester small rifle primers) and according to my Hornady manual, it lists the min for H335 as 20.8 gr and the max as 23.2. My current batch is using 21.7 gr of H335 and my last batch used 21.0 gr. Am I being conservative with my load? I haven't had any issues with the last batch as far as the rifle functioning and accuracy wasn't that bad at 100 yards.

KB7DX  [Team Member]
12/10/2009 7:40:14 PM
Originally Posted By Hokie2000:
It's interesting to read some of the powder charges for H335 and I'm curious where everybody is getting their load data. I've been slowly working up a load using 55 gr Hornady FMJ BT bullets (I'm using new Winchester brass and Winchester small rifle primers) and according to my Hornady manual, it lists the min for H335 as 20.8 gr and the max as 23.2. My current batch is using 21.7 gr of H335 and my last batch used 21.0 gr. Am I being conservative with my load? I haven't had any issues with the last batch as far as the rifle functioning and accuracy wasn't that bad at 100 yards.


Hornady is VERY conservitive on thier .223 data IMO. I went by this data when I started loading .223 and was shocked to see some guys loading 25+ grains of H335. I have since made up MY mind that Hornady is on the light side.
My best load (accuracy) with a 55g Hornady FMJ is 24.0g H335 using a CCI 450 primer. Seat mid cannalure and a slight crimp. This seems to work well in every brand of brass I have tried it in..especially LC.

STJ  [Team Member]
12/10/2009 8:57:50 PM
26gr of H335 is in the 556 Nato pressure. All the loads you see published are for SAAMI 223 pressures.

BTW I load 26gr of H335 using LC cases and have excellent results...just make sure you have a Nato chamber not a SAAMI.
AR-Admirer  [Member]
12/11/2009 12:17:57 PM
I settled at 24.0 grains of H335 for plinking loads with 55 fmjbt bullets. I started getting pressure signs around 25.3 grains in my Bushy and Stag. I wouldn't hestitate to use between 24.0-25.0 grains.
Zoomer302  [Member]
12/11/2009 12:34:47 PM
I remember reading "25 Gr of 335 over a 55" was a general guideline. Dont have my reloading book with me but I think I load Hornady 55 fmj's with 25 of H335. Anything over 25 and I get pressure signs.
builttoughf250  [Team Member]
12/11/2009 1:01:15 PM
55Gr FMJ, 24.7Gr H335 powder, Winchester primers



100 yards



Snake_driver  [Member]
12/11/2009 1:25:42 PM
That's what I'm talking about! That's some good shooting there Builttough250!

My new Speer Manual shows 24.0 grn's min. and 26.0 grn's max for 55's, .so I'll work-up from 24.0 at .2 gr increments until I get to about 25.5 grn's or so. This is for plinking, so I don't think I'll need to go faster than that to get a good accurate load.

Interestingly, I have an old Hornady 3rd Edition Loading Manual that I bought back in 1985 that shows the min. / max. load for 55's as 21.4 grn's. to 26.3 grn's using H335. That covers a speed of 2,800 fps to 3,300 fps with their 26" test barrel.. Interesting how it changes over the years.

Thanks for all the useful comments!!!
Lakemoor  [Team Member]
12/11/2009 4:24:00 PM
With 55gr FMJBT and 25grs of H355 my primers were getting slightly flattened and was confirmed by somebody else here as well. For paper punching I dropped it down to about 23.5 gr and that cycled all my AR's.

I've since changed to Vithauori N133 and all I can say is man it's clean. Solves the dirty DI problem.
ManNamedJed  [Member]
12/11/2009 5:07:57 PM
I got best accuracy with 25gr.
Clicker58  [Member]
12/11/2009 5:47:06 PM
Semi hijack - does anybody run less than 25 grains of H335 & 55 FMJ in a short barrel? I have an 11.5" upper on my RR and it functions fine with 25 gr but I'm wondering if I could reduce that somewhat and still have enough gas to cycle the shorty.
Thanks.
Buck_Naked  [Member]
12/11/2009 9:13:59 PM
Originally Posted By ManNamedJed:
I got best accuracy with 25gr.


Same here...
topgun40  [Team Member]
12/11/2009 9:57:54 PM
Originally Posted By KB7DX:
Originally Posted By Hokie2000:
It's interesting to read some of the powder charges for H335 and I'm curious where everybody is getting their load data. I've been slowly working up a load using 55 gr Hornady FMJ BT bullets (I'm using new Winchester brass and Winchester small rifle primers) and according to my Hornady manual, it lists the min for H335 as 20.8 gr and the max as 23.2. My current batch is using 21.7 gr of H335 and my last batch used 21.0 gr. Am I being conservative with my load? I haven't had any issues with the last batch as far as the rifle functioning and accuracy wasn't that bad at 100 yards.


Hornady is VERY conservitive on thier .223 data IMO. I went by this data when I started loading .223 and was shocked to see some guys loading 25+ grains of H335. I have since made up MY mind that Hornady is on the light side.
My best load (accuracy) with a 55g Hornady FMJ is 24.0g H335 using a CCI 450 primer. Seat mid cannalure and a slight crimp. This seems to work well in every brand of brass I have tried it in..especially LC.



This is the same load I use also and works great for me also..
TangoFoxtrot  [Member]
12/11/2009 10:12:59 PM
My most accurate load is 27grs which also matches the velocity and trajectory of XM193 in Lake City brass. 27 grains also has the least deviation of any load I've tried.

This data was on a 68 degree day with 52% humidity using LC brass and CCI #41 primers with the H335 in a 20" Colt Hbar barrel:
26grs = 3101fps
26.5grs = 3197fps
27grs = 3256fps
27grs = 3255fps
27.5grs = 3285fps

That days control load was XM193 lot 099:
3243fps

FriscoPete  [Member]
12/11/2009 11:34:35 PM
Here is a comparison of H-335 / 55 grain bullet loads from 5 different sources. You can see that differences in components and chamber variations in test barrels and testing protocols and components can make a difference:

Hornady Max: 23.2 - 3100 fps - 26" barrel.
Nosler Max: 25.0 - 3140 fps (23.0 is the start load) - 24" barrel
Hodgdon Max: 25.3 - 3203 fps (23.0 is the start load) Sierra bullet used
Sierra Max: 25.7 - 3000 fps (23.6 is the start load) - 20" AR barrel
Speer Max: 26.0 - 3092 fps (24.0 is the start load) - 22" barrel

It is obvious that the Hornady maximum is a start load for the other 4 data sources, yet Hornady reported achieving standard SAAMI velocity of around 3100 fps - albeit in a long 26" barrel.

Speer is on the opposite end with the highest charge weight, but reported basically the same velocity when shot from a Ruger M77 MkII bolt (.223 SAAMI chamber assumed). Since velocity is a result of pressure, one can only wonder about the differences in testing equipment and protocol.

The other thing to note is the low velocity of the Sierra load, despite the fact that the charge weight is relatively high at 25.7 grains.

Just to show that there are variations depending on gun and perhaps bullet used, here are some velocities that I have seen in 3 different rifles - using the "hot" Speer maximum of 26.0/H-335 and Hornady 55-gr bullets, LC cases, and Rem 7 1/2 primers - note that no pressure signs on the brass or primer were noted in the particular rifles tested:

3140 fps from a 22" .223 chamber Winchester M70.
3160 fps in the same rifle but with a 55-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet - illustrating that switching bullets will affect pressure.
3150 fps in a Wylde-chamber AR15 20" 1-9 twist. (LC M193 gives 3240 fps in this same AR15 - see note * at bottom)
3060 fps in a .223-chamber Winchester M70 Featherweight 22" barrel using a Sierra 55-gr SP.

While it is possible that a different lot of H-335 can make a difference, and certainly different rifles with their various chamber/throat differences will make a difference - it seems that Hornady's data likely doesn't reflect what most of us will see in our guns - yet it is obvious that there still remains a need for a careful work-up due to the many differences that can be encountered in lot variation, chambers, and components.

An example of this is a friend who's load of 26.0/H-335 with the same components as mine EXCEPT for using a 55-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet - encountered pressure signs when the load (worked up in the winter) was shot in 100 deg temps in the summer. My load with Hornady 55-gr bullets was fine, but his with the Noslers (in a Rem 700 VS) wasn't. Hot temps + a bullet that tends to create more pressure + different rifle. Backing off at least 0.5 to 25.5 or less would solve his pressure issues.
In the case of a person using Federal .223 Rem brass that has been noted for causing pressure issues due to it's thicker walls and thinner web area, a reduced load is certainly recommended.
This is why some posters have different results with loads that are just fine for others.

The majority of handloaders who have no way of chronographing their work-ups as a way of getting a handle on pressure in their guns with their components. When pressure signs appear on the brass and/or primer, then unfortunately excessive pressure is already present. Keeping an eye on the chronograph average velocities lets you know when expected maximum velocity has been reached. In this case it would be in the area of 3107 fps if you average out all five sources. Therefore backing off a bit will normally avoid this and is using good sense.

One good way of getting a good handle on what your limits should be is to average data from all the sources you can get.
In this case, averaging all 5 sources gives an average maximum charge weight of 25 grains at 3107 fps.
If you were to throw out the "odd" maximum charge weight of Hornady and the "odd" low velocity of Sierra you would get this average:
25.5 grains at 3134 fps - which I think would be slightly more realistic figures for barrels in the 20-22" range from what I have seen.

That is why I like to consult as many data sources as possible before setting goals for a load work-up. In addition, one should research and see if the chosen components can add to pressure (Federal .223 brass, Nosler Ballistic Tips, M193 bullets etc.)

Of course this discussion is not about finding your "accuracy node" but just charge/pressure/velocity goals or ceilings. However in my case, accuracy seems to increase with increases in charge weight when loading H-335. Start loads like 23 to 25 grains are only so-so, but loads like 25.5 are very good for me. I think that the bullet used makes a bigger difference than the charge weight.


*While some note that 26.0 grains is a "5.56 NATO-pressure" load - in this particular case it is obvious that true 5.56 NATO-pressure ammo - LC M193 actually is much hotter and 90 fps faster in this particular AR15. This can only be established by the chronograph or a pressure barrel.







SteelonSteel  [Team Member]
12/12/2009 9:52:26 AM
Originally Posted By markm:
Off topic... but...

Why to people call bullets "Pills"?

It makes me nervous that these people are playing with live ammo.


+1 In fact I carried the feeling in my sigline for half a year.

Really, silly lazy jargon indicates a air of sloppiness that doesn't bode well for the care of handloading. Well that's my feelings on the matter. To each his own though.

FriscoPete  [Member]
12/12/2009 11:10:05 AM
Hey it's all just slang. Some people get tired of saying bullets all the time. I first saw the term used in gun magazine articles, and have continued to see it used as such over the years, so I would imagine that the term originated in the distant past with some gun writer. Who knows, maybe even Jack O'Conner started it - he certainly added a style of his own to gun writing that include creative synonyms to liven up dull prose. And if that is the case I really don't think that it indicates a air of sloppiness because he was anything but that.

Sort of like the heat gun writer John Barsness took when he used/uses the term "rifle loonies" to describe those of us with a passion for rifles in Rifle and Handloader magazines. Some people took that as portraying those who are passionate and serious about rifles in way that portrays us as mentally unstable and bad for public image. He was surprised that some people are so serious that they just don't get the inside joke. He now does the Rifle Loony News on his website and sells Rifle Loony hats.
I don't think he is crazy in real life, but the type that invites you in to his house, tells you to take off your shoes, take off your coat, toss your tie and relax! Certainly his use of the term "loony" doesn't make his reloading ability and the outstanding research he has done in that area for Handloader magazine and his current assignments "sloppy".

With a name like "Snake_Driver" - which indicates to me that a person could likely be, or have been, a Cobra gunship pilot and hardly a person that is sloppy about anything really serious- I certainly would be willing to cut some slack on this whole "air of sloppiness" thing if a person uses a term that is synonymous with bullet like pill or boolits (a favorite of our cast bullet brothers). We are among friends here, lets relax and not sweat the small stuff!



Snake_driver  [Member]
12/12/2009 4:41:30 PM
Originally Posted By FriscoPete:
Hey it's all just slang. Some people get tired of saying bullets all the time. I first saw the term used in gun magazine articles, and have continued to see it used as such over the years, so I would imagine that the term originated in the distant past with some gun writer. Who knows, maybe even Jack O'Conner started it - he certainly added a style of his own to gun writing that include creative synonyms to liven up dull prose. And if that is the case I really don't think that it indicates a air of sloppiness because he was anything but that.

Sort of like the heat gun writer John Barsness took when he used/uses the term "rifle loonies" to describe those of us with a passion for rifles in Rifle and Handloader magazines. Some people took that as portraying those who are passionate and serious about rifles in way that portrays us as mentally unstable and bad for public image. He was surprised that some people are so serious that they just don't get the inside joke. He now does the Rifle Loony News on his website and sells Rifle Loony hats.
I don't think he is crazy in real life, but the type that invites you in to his house, tells you to take off your shoes, take off your coat, toss your tie and relax! Certainly his use of the term "loony" doesn't make his reloading ability and the outstanding research he has done in that area for Handloader magazine and his current assignments "sloppy".

With a name like "Snake_Driver" - which indicates to me that a person could likely be, or have been, a Cobra gunship pilot and hardly a person that is sloppy about anything really serious- I certainly would be willing to cut some slack on this whole "air of sloppiness" thing if a person uses a term that is synonymous with bullet like pill or boolits (a favorite of our cast bullet brothers). We are among friends here, lets relax and not sweat the small stuff!





Thanks Pete, you can be in my Army any day! I chose to ignore the little slam, it don't mean nothin'! I didn't know that everyone had to be identical and speak in exactly the same terms.

The term comes from the old saying "the pill that kills".

Yes, I flew Cobras in the Army and the truth is few people around have fired as many rounds in anger as I have. I take that business VERY seriously.

ETA: I've also been reloading for over 25 years and have reloaded thousands of rounds in 8 different calibers without a single failure or overpressure. I'm not a rookie.
LtBlue425  [Team Member]
12/13/2009 8:28:26 PM
We are among friends here, lets relax and not sweat the small stuff!


That's not the Navy way!