I got back from a Wyoming praire dog shoot a couple of weeks ago. Man, what a hoot! After 30 years of wanting to go, I finally got a chance. Boys, if you ever want to have a LOT of fun, all I can say is, DO IT!
Now then, after shooting one of the other guys, I am going to build me a AR-15 heavy barrel varmint gun. Going to use the 1-14" twist and use 40-50 grain handloaded bullets. Do any of you have such a rig (or close to it) and have a favorite load? I got a few months to work up a load for it, but if any of you fellahs can give me a head start, it be much appreciated.
Ah, heh heh, let me clarify something. I did NOT shoot one of the guys, I shot one of the other guy's AR-15 rifles. No two legged varmints were injured or killed at all matter of fact. Thought I might better clear that up. Heh heh.
I can't offer to much on the way of reloading info but if your gonna build a designated varmint gun on the AR platform why not chamber it for somthing differant like the 204 or 17Rem. if your dead set on the 223 as your round then I would recomend against the 1-14 twist just incase one day you see that the dogs at 500yds are laughing at you you can laugh back with a 69gr SMK !!
My AR is setup to shoot two legged varmints , I shoot the 55gr Hornady TAP ammo , the accuracy is awsome and it will reach out their a pretty good way , considering that the chances of me shooting at a hostile target past 100 feet let alone 100yds is slim to none
I have an ASA ar-15 with a 24" Lothar Bull bbl.
It has a 1:9 twist that I am told will stabilize the 75 gr match bullets. I know it will the 69 SMK's. It will also stabilize 40 gr v-max's and haven't had one come apart yet. I would go for a 1:9 or so because they are fun to use for practice at longer ranges. Mine also shoots the 55 gr v-max better than the 69 SMK, But then I am still looking for the right load combo for the 69.
Rusty, I shoot the cheapest 55gr soft points I can buy usually Winchester or Hornady bullets. I use Win 748 powder, and buy once fired mixed brass that has been deprimed and cleaned. 1000 brass about 35 bucks, 1000 bullets about 44 bucks when on sale. I have a 1-9 twist and these components produce MOA accuracy. The glory of it is one load for everything, and the 55gr sp is very pelt friendly.
Thanks for all the feedback. I already have a 17 Rem, a 204 Ruger, a 223 Rem bolt gun, a 220 Swift, a 243 Win, and if I really want to reach out there, a 264 Win mag. So you see, this is just for something different. If the dogs are out past 400 yards, I grab my Swift usually. At long range, it seems to be the one. That or the 243. Anyway, I want to use this on our local ground squirrels too where my shots will never be farther than 300 yards. I have shot them with the heavier bullets and the rodents will make it to their holes sometimes after being hit. This is not the case with a 40 grain HP or Vmax hit. They are exploded. So all hence the 40 and 50 grain bullets. Plus I am back on the target quicker with the lighter slugs as well. I do like to see the impacts.