.223 loads using H4895 or H4195

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Blacktail, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Blacktail

    Blacktail Well-Known Member

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    May 12, 2006
    Never loaded for a .223 and with bullets scarce could only find 55 gr Nosler BT's. Have both of the above powders on hand and some rem 7 1/2 primers. Just curious to loads any of you have used with these components. It will be shot our of a rem 700 with a 22 inch tube. thnx
     
  2. FAL Shot

    FAL Shot Well-Known Member

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    Oct 9, 2010
    I just worked up a load for my CZ 527 Varmint. The recipe is; Nosler 55BT, 26.0 grains of H4895, WSR primer, Lake City brass, C.O.L. 2.275" (at the lands in my rifle), factory crimped (Lee FCD), Avg. velocity 3202, FPE 1252, ES 23. This is a max load per the Lee reloading manual (jacketed bullet). Back off a bit and watch for pressure signs as you work up to max load. Accuracy was best at this max load in my rifle, as my CZ likes hot loads in the 5.56mm NATO range of energy. FWIW, 5.56mm NATO FNM SS109 is 1397 FPE in my rifle, and it handles it just fine. 1252 FPE represents quite a bit of safety margin.
     

  3. FAL Shot

    FAL Shot Well-Known Member

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    Oct 9, 2010
    I usually find that a slightly compressed load of stick powder works best for high velocity AND accuracy. Per the Lee reloading manual, when you start to compress a strick powder the peak pressure will not increase and might actually decrease until it gets highly compressed. Depending on bullet weight, Benchmark through Varget burn rates have worked best for me. But I hardly ever use a bullet light enough for Benchmark to be the best powder. IMR 8208 XBR is usually the fastest powder I use, but H4895 or Varget usually gets better accuracy AND velocity for me.

    Per the Lee manual, a loose powder load will shoot differently if the rifle is pointed up, level or down. While a loose powder load might be OK for target shooting, I try to avoid it for hunting loads when a shot in any attitude is possible. Also, I start in the MIDDLE of advertised powder loads and work up or down, depending if wanting a heavy or light load. I have sometimes found the highest pressures around 85% capacity and under, and this is especially true in ANY magnum case, even if it does not have "magnum" in the cartridge name, such as .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, .270 Win, etc.

    Also, velocity is related to pressure. If you are running significantly above a speed listed in a load manual, then know that you are also running a higher pressure, most likely.

    It's not safe to work up max loads above any load manual unless you have a chronograph. Primer flattening or loose primer pockets occur at vastly different pressure depending upon brass and primer hardnesses.

    I once got flattened primers in a .22-250 when I was 3 grains ABOVE the minimum load listed in the Nosler manual (I was at 85% capacity), but increasing the load relieved the pressure and was able to go beyond Nosler max all the way up to Lee max without primer flattening. Personally, I never use a field load that isn't at least 90% of case capacity.

    About the only time you are in danger of being overcharged on powder these days is if you are using an old load manual. Any cartridge that is used in old military rifles will have very light loads listed in a modern manual. Rifles such as the CZ 527 that are used by government agencies can stand 5.56mm NATO loads, which are higher than .223 Rem loads. This is why I find my loads that shoot best in my CZ 527 rifles are often at or above maximum .223 Rem specs.

    So ask Remington if your rifle is rated for 5.56mm NATO ammo. If it is, then it probably likes hot loads.