52/53 grain .223 loads

Discussion in 'AR15/10 Rifles' started by Bike Effects, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. Bike Effects

    Bike Effects Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    I see a lot of loads here for the .223 AR but not so much with the 52/53 gr. bullets. I plan on working with Sierra MK's and 53 grain Bergers. Has anyone gone this route and worked up loads?
     
  2. Stormrider

    Stormrider Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    493
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    I have a load that shoots1/2 moa in my rifles and a buddies... An M&P 15 16" bbl, an RRA 16" mid-length, and RRA Varmint with a 24" bbl.
    I used brand new LC brass, 25.3g of Alliant's AR15 Comp powder, any primer, I tested Federal SRP, Winchester WSR, CCI 450 and Remmingtion 7 1/2. Bullets were the 52 SMK, 52 AMax, and 53g VMax bullets. Primers made a difference in velocity but not accuracy. I never saw any pressure signs of any kind so I don't believe I'm close to the max but they are fast enough for me. All groups were shot with 10 rounds. Velocities measured from the RRAV 24" barrel. Lowest avg was 3030 and highest was 3273.
    Just as an aside, the most accurate bullet was the 75g AMax in all the rifles, it just had to be single loaded...
     

  3. rdsii64

    rdsii64 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    390
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    3273 out of a 24 inch barrel for a53 grain bullet is really slow. I'm getting that kind of speed out of a 20 inch barrel staying with book listed loads. I suspect that the powder you are using is working very well with your 75 grain bullets but is a bit slow for the lighter 52/53 grain bullets. I am using N133 for lighter bullets. with a 50 grain vmax out of my 20 inch RRA I'm getting an honest 3250, and just over 3400 out of my 24 inch bolt gun. I'm looking to try Hornady's new 53 grain vmax. If I can get close to the same speeds with the new bullet I will be happy
     
  4. Stormrider

    Stormrider Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    493
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    I just stopped adding powder when I started getting that accuracy. I'm sure I could go faster. I just haven't tried.
     
  5. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,256
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    BikeEffects,

    Easy money here. The 223 was originally set up with bullets of about this weight (55 grains, to be exact), and yes, they shoot just fine. Lots of folks will set up a XC match-grade Service Rifle with a 1x12" twist, specifically to shoot reduced course matches or practice. Not only do they shoot just fine, but they'll also give somewhat better barrel life than the heavier bullets. Lighter projectiles will normally call for a somewhat faster powder than their heavyweight counterparts, and there's no exception here. I'd suggest W-W 748, H322, Benchmark, N133 or N135, or any of several others in this general burning range. With this combination, it's probably harder to find one that won't shoot, than it is those that will.

    For what it's worth, I know a lot of guys who load a 5.56mm version of "Mexican Match" by pulling the 55 gr FMJs from M193 ball ammo, and substituting a 52/53 grain bullet with the same load, no other changes. Generally shrinks groups down to less than a third of what the FMJs are capable of. A little something to keep in mind if you ever spot a deal on M193 ball and want something better than just plinking ammo. :)