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223 varmint loads

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Old 01-21-2007, 11:37 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 55
223 varmint loads

I'm picking up a nice compact 223 this week for sub-250yd varminting and need some help getting together a few different loads to try so I'll have something ready for spring. It has a very heavy 20" tube on a 700 action. I'd like to use something in the 40-50gr range but seriously considering the 52gr A-MAX. I'm using 55gr NBT's in my 22-250 heavy varmint rig, but overkill for carrying all day and shots mainly under 200yd. Any and all suggestions welcome.
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Old 01-21-2007, 05:58 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: OK
Posts: 2,145
Re: 223 varmint loads

I have great accuracy in a slim barrel savage with the 50 gr NBT over 28 grains of win 748, cci-400.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:13 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Wis.
Posts: 150
Re: 223 varmint loads


There is nothing wrong with the 52 gr. A-max. My son-in-law has a Savage that is shooting absolutely incredible groups with that bullet in his 22-250.

If, on the other hand you are looking for a little more routine damage, I use the 40 gr. Sierra HP in my 223 for pds. Very accurate in mine and several other 223s that we have tried it in. Mine is a short barrel also and I am using 4198.

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Old 01-21-2007, 11:37 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 439
Re: 223 varmint loads

Don't overlooked the 55 grain Nosler BT for 223. It's the only bullet I feed my 223 Kimber with and it carries more punch than the 40 or 50 grainer. I use 25.5 grain of BLC-2.
To achieve the maximum possible accuracy, all variables must be remove or at least minimize.
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:52 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 186
Re: 223 varmint loads

There are so many loads that will work well in the 223 with all bullet weights. Probably one of the ones that will work in all guns that I have tried is 27.0-28.0g of 748 with a 50g Bullet of your choice or 26.5g or so of 748 with
a 55g Bullet.

If you are looking for splat factor, then the 50g V max or the blitz king will be the best.

If you are looking for economy, then the 50g TNT will shoot like a berger bullet in a lot of custom guns.

Try to seat the bullet to touch the lands if possible or within 0.010.

Benchmark, 322 and 335 all work extremely well in the 223 also, but 748 is my go to powder in the 223 for sustained shooting on dog towns.

N-133 is the fastest with extreme accuracy,but until they get the distribution set up with Hodgdon, supply is very spotty. I shoot the 50's at 3650 out of a 26" bbl using 26.0g of N-133 with 7 1/2 primers, tiny, tiny groups with IMI brass (work up to this load if you try it).

For a pelt friendly 223 load, 26.5g of 748 with a 55g Winchester is hard to beat and really carries a lot of punch on larger coyotes. I killed thousands of p.dogs with this load, also because it is real easy on barrels.

Good luck!
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Old 01-27-2007, 08:53 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: So. IN
Posts: 164
Re: 223 varmint loads

26grns of Benchmark and a 50grn bullet of choice, should do you nicely [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 01-29-2007, 08:49 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 55
Re: 223 varmint loads

Thanks all, I've started with Benchmark, 25.8gr gave me the best velocity and accuracy with the lowest velocity spread using a 52gr A-MAX. Velocity with a 20" bbl is 3285fps and I'm cutting 1/4" groups at 100 yd. Not bad for a start, however, I do plan to try some 748 but I'm curious to see how it acts in the middle of summer in much higher temperatures.
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