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 Favorite powder for 'heavy' .223 loads?
aswrg7  [Team Member]
4/7/2011 11:08:30 PM
I want to load 68-77 grain .223 rounds. I have a 16" M4gery (CAR length gas system) with a 1/7" barrel, and a 20" RRA NM with a 1/8" barrel.

ETA: I have an RCBS digital scale and dispenser.

Based on my manuals, I can go with the following:

Varget
TAC
VV N140
Reloader 15.

Which of these should I go for?

Thanks in advance.
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ronnl001  [Member]
4/7/2011 11:22:28 PM
Do you load for anything else? What kind of press/powder drop? If you're using a progressive, TAC will be the best option since it meters well. Also, don't forget 8208xbr. As I have transitioned away from 55 grain bullets, I have started to migrate to this from h335.
aswrg7  [Team Member]
4/7/2011 11:26:23 PM
I'm using the RCBS digital scale/dispenser. I do reload some other rounds, but I'm not really concerned about that. I would be nice if I could use the same powder on 52 and 55 grain bullets (I also have an AR with an A1 upper).
cookhj  [Member]
4/7/2011 11:29:05 PM
All of the ones you listed are great powders. I've used vv n140, rl 15, and imr 4895 with good success.
Scotts556  [Member]
4/7/2011 11:44:58 PM
I would go with Varget. Works well with 70 grain bergers and 55 grain blitzkings.

Scott
Bend  [Member]
4/7/2011 11:46:36 PM
BL-C2 & TAC
Wingman26  [Team Member]
4/7/2011 11:48:29 PM
All those nice slow burning powders will be wasted in that 16" barrel, short barrel, slow powders, wasted energy turned into a brilliant muzzle flash.

If you really want higher velocities you should be using at least a 20" barrel so you would have some chance that the powder is consumed while the bullet is still in the barrel.
Wingman26  [Team Member]
4/7/2011 11:50:23 PM

Originally Posted By Bend:
BL-C2 & TAC

In Glen Zedeker's book "The Accurate AR15" he points out BLC2 for particular attention, unfortunately it isn't a recommendation, in the entire book he only warns against one powder for 223, and that's BLC2, he calls it "spooky under the sun", not exactly a glowing recommendation!

If you want to use it, it's temperature sensitive so keep your loads on the moderate side.
1911smith  [Team Member]
4/8/2011 12:36:00 AM
Varget is currently what I charge Nosler 77 grain hpbt with. RelOder 15 is a good one too.

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ckelley  [Team Member]
4/8/2011 12:37:35 AM
I've had very good luck with TAC and 69 and 77gr. SMK's. Especially in the 20" 1-8 twist.
NightHawkIX  [Team Member]
4/8/2011 1:20:51 AM
I'd love some feedback if you use the RCBS chargemaster with the Varget powder. Even with my Lyman DPSIII, I still get powder charges that are +/- 0.2gr (sometimes up to +0.3-0.4); wondering if the RCBS can reduce that drift to +/- 0.1
sleepercaprice1  [Team Member]
4/8/2011 5:41:36 AM
I like RE15 for the 68's and 75's that I load.
captono  [Member]
4/8/2011 7:50:44 AM
Try Benchmark. It is a little faster than Varget or TAC and so you should get a better burn in the shorter barrel. It doesn't show much temp sensitivity and burns clean.
aswrg7  [Team Member]
4/8/2011 9:10:40 AM
Originally Posted By NightHawkIX:
I'd love some feedback if you use the RCBS chargemaster with the Varget powder. Even with my Lyman DPSIII, I still get powder charges that are +/- 0.2gr (sometimes up to +0.3-0.4); wondering if the RCBS can reduce that drift to +/- 0.1


My RCBS seems to keep Varget in the +/- .1 grain range.


Do any of these powders burn particularly dirty or particularly clean? Is there anything that's equally good for 16" and 20" barrels?
rn22723  [Member]
4/8/2011 11:22:02 AM
Simple way to look at it...
If you use a progressive then TAC is the best choice based on accuracy potential and metering characteristics. If are single loading and trickling up loads....Varget would be my choice. RL 15 or N140 or even N540...would be my second choice.

aswrg7  [Team Member]
4/8/2011 11:38:22 AM
It looks like TAC is the cheapest choice for me (based on prices at Graf's). I've been using Varget, but I thought I read somewhere that it's pretty dirty––is this true?
RictusGrin  [Team Member]
4/8/2011 12:16:04 PM
My pet load is the 77 SMK with 24.1 of VV N140. However, it meters a bit inconsistently for my tastes and I have started the swing toward TAC as an alternate. Once I have the time to work out the load I wil switch if the accuracy is acceptably similar. My previous loads with TAC suggest that it will be close enough to warrant the switch.
hdbiker1  [Member]
4/8/2011 1:07:13 PM
For 69 SMK I use Varget, 77 SMK I use N140.
ptaylor  [Member]
4/8/2011 1:22:48 PM
I buy AA2520 by the keg. I've gone though 24lbs over the past 3 years. Its dirty but it meters like water and gives good velocity and SD out of my 16" middy. I've heard that TAC burns cleaner and will probably give some a try once I finish off the last keg.
Bend  [Member]
4/8/2011 3:51:59 PM
Originally Posted By Wingman26:

Originally Posted By Bend:
BL-C2 & TAC

In Glen Zedeker's book "The Accurate AR15" he points out BLC2 for particular attention, unfortunately it isn't a recommendation, in the entire book he only warns against one powder for 223, and that's BLC2, he calls it "spooky under the sun", not exactly a glowing recommendation!

If you want to use it, it's temperature sensitive so keep your loads on the moderate side.


That would make BL-C2 just like 748 then. Just saying.

Specop_007  [Team Member]
4/8/2011 3:58:33 PM
I like Varget. R15 seems to be, in the little testing I've done, another choice that gives equal results to what I have found with Varget.

ETA

I use Tac in the progressive with 55's
sleepercaprice1  [Team Member]
4/8/2011 5:21:50 PM
Originally Posted By Bend:
Originally Posted By Wingman26:

Originally Posted By Bend:
BL-C2 & TAC

In Glen Zedeker's book "The Accurate AR15" he points out BLC2 for particular attention, unfortunately it isn't a recommendation, in the entire book he only warns against one powder for 223, and that's BLC2, he calls it "spooky under the sun", not exactly a glowing recommendation!

If you want to use it, it's temperature sensitive so keep your loads on the moderate side.


That would make BL-C2 just like 748 then. Just saying.



Yep. I haven't used any BLC2 in years, but in my experience W748 is temp sensitive. I did some load development and loading in February for P'dog hunt and wound up having to keep my loaded ammo in the shade when I got to South Dakota in June. My ammo that looked fine in the cold weather had some flat primers when it got to 90 degrees outside.

Assaulter  [Member]
4/8/2011 5:39:31 PM
Originally Posted By aswrg7:
I want to load 68-77 grain .223 rounds. I have a 16" M4gery (CAR length gas system) with a 1/7" barrel, and a 20" RRA NM with a 1/8" barrel.

ETA: I have an RCBS digital scale and dispenser.

Based on my manuals, I can go with the following:

Varget
TACVV N140
Reloader 15.

Which of these should I go for?

Thanks in advance.


I've had great success with both of these. I've settled on Tac for my 55's and RE-15 for my 75's, but Tac has worked with with 75's also. Both are capable of sub inch groups with 55's and 75's.
billyhill  [Team Member]
4/8/2011 7:16:27 PM
Originally Posted By aswrg7:
I want to load 68-77 grain .223 rounds. I have a 16" M4gery (CAR length gas system) with a 1/7" barrel, and a 20" RRA NM with a 1/8" barrel.

ETA: I have an RCBS digital scale and dispenser.

Based on my manuals, I can go with the following:

Varget: best accuracy so far with 77s, meters poorly
TAC: Capable of good accuracy with a wide range of bullets, meters very well. Price?
VV N140 I have not used
Reloader 15. Accuracy is better with Prvi 75gr bullets than TAC, works well with a wide range of bullet weights. Meters better than varget.

Which of these should I go for?

Thanks in advance.
.






AeroE  [Moderator]
4/8/2011 9:41:18 PM
Reloder 15 is excellent.

helotaxi  [Member]
4/8/2011 10:05:29 PM
Originally Posted By Wingman26:
All those nice slow burning powders will be wasted in that 16" barrel, short barrel, slow powders, wasted energy turned into a brilliant muzzle flash.

If you really want higher velocities you should be using at least a 20" barrel so you would have some chance that the powder is consumed while the bullet is still in the barrel.


The powder is consumed in the first 6 inches or so of the barrel regardless of barrel length assuming that the powder is properly matched to the cartridge and bullet weight. The fireball has nothing to do with unburned powder and everything to do with high pressure when the bullet clears the barrel and more oxygen is introduced to the combustion products. Because they are still under high pressure and still quite hot, the introduction of more oxygen reignites the gases causes a light show.

The bullet continues to accelerate well after the powder is consumed because the hot combustion products continue to expand. As long as they are still hot and expanding, there is more velocity to be gained by going with a longer barrel.

Something to look at. Look in the handgun section of a reloading manual and compare the pistol data to the rifle data for a cartridge that began life as a rifle cartridge. You'll find that they use the same powders and the same charge weights for the same bullets. I'm quite certain that if it were possible to get more out of a round by using a faster powder in a shorter barrel, the powder and bullet companies would be wise to it and more than happy to advocate it. Problem is that it doesn't work that way. Optimal powder burn rate is determined by expansion ratio which is independent of barrel length. Essentially the rate at which the bullet begins to accelerate combined with the case capacity and the bore size determine the proper powder. Notice that barrel length is not part of that simply because it has no effect.

Heavier bullets require slower powder in the same cartridge because the heavier bullet accelerates more slowly and as a result the powder must burn slower to keep pressure in check. If this were not the case, we would be able to use any powder in any cartridge with any bullet weight.
ReefRaider  [Team Member]
4/8/2011 10:24:50 PM
If I could only have one powder to load everything from 55 grn up to 77 grn for .223 it would be TAC.
aswrg7  [Team Member]
4/8/2011 10:32:34 PM
I drove up to Graf's today and bought some TAC. I've been using Varget, so I should be able to do a decent comparison.
OlsenG_360  [Member]
4/9/2011 12:01:35 AM
Anyone using AA2230 for heavy bullets? My dad has always used it for 52-55 grain bullets with very good results. Metering is amazing after having used IMR-4895 for a while.
ckelley  [Team Member]
4/9/2011 12:34:09 AM
Originally Posted By ReefRaider:
If I could only have one powder to load everything from 55 grn up to 77 grn for .223 it would be TAC.
http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/7611/brass016.jpg


Amen!

IndyGrendel63  [Member]
4/9/2011 12:49:50 AM
I have been using RL-15 for years and it has done well for me. Over the past few years I have tried Varget and TAC and of the two TAC works better for me than Varget. I also want to try that 8028xbr and the new version of RL-15 that was just announced. Oh and I am also going to try X-terminator (by Ramshot). I only shoot 69 and 77 bullets in my 20 incher (1:8 twist)

Indy
DocBob  [Team Member]
4/9/2011 9:01:57 AM
Originally Posted By OlsenG_360:
Anyone using AA2230 for heavy bullets? My dad has always used it for 52-55 grain bullets with very good results. Metering is amazing after having used IMR-4895 for a while.


I built a new high power rifle for this year with a WOA 1-7 DMR 20" barrel and after trying RE15, BLC-2, H335, Varget, and 2230, the 2230 printed 3/4" off the bench with Sierra 69 MK. RE15 came in a close second.

Actually I had never thought about that powder until the shop owner recommended it.

It meters like water, but burns dirty (but not as bad as 748.)
Cycline3  [Member]
4/9/2011 1:54:41 PM
Originally Posted By aswrg7:
I want to load 68-77 grain .223 rounds. I have a 16" M4gery (CAR length gas system) with a 1/7" barrel, and a 20" RRA NM with a 1/8" barrel.


Varget here. I have a 16" carbine and a 20" rifle and both like the heavier bullets. I'm loading the 62gr FMJ from privi (like m193) for plinking and M855 steel core FMJ for plinking and SHTF. I also load 69gr SMK for target work and to have some higher end ammo around. All three of these bullets work extremely well for me with Varget.

Since I can get Varget locally for about the same price as an 8lb jug + haz mat, I tend to just buy it locally because it's here and it works well. I have also used H335, Tac and w748. Varget is my favorite. For me I made the best ammo with it. Also, despite what everyone says about it not metering well, it meters perfectly in my Lee perfect powder measure. The small ball powder meters well too, until a couple grains work into the mechanics of the measure, then the throws are off. I also like that the Varget charges fill a 223 case making it easy to see the levels you loaded before you seat the bullet.
firemedic2000  [Life Member]
4/9/2011 4:49:37 PM
23.8 gr TAC under 77 gr SMK a ragged hole with 18 in barrel. I'm going to try IMR 8208 XBR next in 308 and 223. TAC is a great powder and meters GREAT
PhreakMode  [Team Member]
4/9/2011 9:54:33 PM
Tac is all I load heavy .223 with, no other powder gave me the accuracy and velocity.
zw123  [Member]
4/10/2011 10:27:36 AM
AA2460
R15
Varget
MikeinGA  [Member]
4/10/2011 9:34:11 PM
Originally Posted By aswrg7:
I want to load 68-77 grain .223 rounds. I have a 16" M4gery (CAR length gas system) with a 1/7" barrel, and a 20" RRA NM with a 1/8" barrel.

ETA: I have an RCBS digital scale and dispenser.

Based on my manuals, I can go with the following:

Varget
TAC
VV N140
Reloader 15.

Which of these should I go for?

Thanks in advance.


I my .223 with a 60 gr bullet I use Varget or H4895. These both work great and temp. changes do not vary the speed more then 8 to 10 FPS. I all so used VV N530 and N540. N530 worked great with 60 to 69 gr bullets and N540 for bullets over 69 gr. , but it's higher in price for very littel differance. All these powders were shot with an AR with a 24" barrel. For my tactical carbine with a 16" barrel and a 60 gr bullet I use VV N133 or H335 for best results. I have never used TAC or RELOADER 15. I hope this helps.

Mike

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