Best BC Bullet for AR15?

Discussion in 'AR15/10 Rifles' started by ovastafford, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. ovastafford

    ovastafford Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    938
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    I was wanting to start loading for my ar 15 varminter. What is the heaviest and best ballistic coefficient bullet that will feed from the magazine? Any load ideas and tips also welcome. Iv never hand loaded for a semi auto. Thanks
     
  2. topbrass

    topbrass Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    192
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    You can stuff a 90gr into a .223 magazine, but you wont get the best performance from the bullet because your powder capacity may be compromised and it is not real good to have so much bullet below the shoulder.

    Having said that, I load 80gr smk's with 24 gr RL15 to mag length and they work great. And 77 gr Nosler are my standard XTC bullet for service rifle.
     

  3. Don Ward

    Don Ward Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    We have had good luck with the 73gr Berger BT in the ARs. Not the highest BC, but very accurate and good match for the case capacity.
     
  4. cavtrooper94

    cavtrooper94 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Don

    Have you guys tried loading the 70gr VLD into an AR? I've been wanting to try this but havn't had time.
     
  5. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

    Messages:
    4,803
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    The choice of bullet weight will depend on what twist you have most importantly.

    90 grs call for 6.5-7 twist, while you probably have a 8 or 9 twist.

    BH
     
  6. 7mmSendaro

    7mmSendaro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    909
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    I have great luck with the 69 grain SMK and Varget. I have had good luck on the terminal end on coyotes from 50 yards out to 275 so far. Not the best BC out there but it seems to be a good compromise for me. I am shooting them out of a 1 in 8" twist.
     
  7. ovastafford

    ovastafford Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    938
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    The 70 gr berger vld sounds pretty cool. I have a 1 in 9 twist and according to their website it would work fine. Anybody else tried em? Thanks for all the replies!
     
  8. Don Ward

    Don Ward Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Not in the AR but we are messing with some in a 1:9 bolt 223. So far the 73BT is shooting better but with some playing I'm sure theres a recipe for the 70 to shoot great.

    The 70 VLD loaded long looks cool in the 223 so thats worth a few points right there :D
     
  9. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    I have always been a fan of the 69 gr SMK but lately I have been playing with the 60 gr Ballistic Tip. This bullet has a crimping groove specifically for use in the AR rifles. In my very short barreled Ruger SR I wanted to see what it could do as this rifle only has a 1-9 twist.

    Loading data says you can get 3150 fps with this bullet in a 24" barrel length with Benchmark, since my rifle is just over 16" in length I was hoping to get close to 3000 fps and I would be happy, thats right where she ended up with a very comfortable load as far as pressures.

    BC on this bullet is supposed to be .270 but from my drop testing, it seems to be a bit higher then this as I had to use .290 to get my drop chart to match up.

    First outing with the new load which does easily fit in the magazines turned in several 1/3 to 1/2 moa three shot groups at 100 yards which to be honest suprised the hell out of me!!!

    I then tested the drop numbers with a mil dot reticle and after some tweaking of the drop chart, she was hitting on the money out to 700 yards in calm conditions. I was also able to connect 3 for 3 on gophers at 224, 485 and 515 yards, again, a great suprise to me. I was also impressed with the bullets performance terminally. At 224 yards, the gopher was dramatically dispatched with obvious bullet expansion. At the two longer ranges, it was not like the expansion at the closer range but there was alot more expansion then what you would ever get with any SMK or any other match hollow point at that range. Not the standard hit and flop like most match bullets, actual significant damage was done.

    Again, certainly not the highest BC bullet but the way I see it, the 223 is a 700 yard MAX chambering and more realistic 500-600 is more practical except in IDEAL conditions. For this range, the 60 gr Ballistic tip does very well and offers pretty decent expansion at the longer ranges.

    In a longer barrel length of 24" and loaded to 3150 fps, it would be far superior to what I am seeing with my lower velocities in the short Ruger barrel length.
     
  10. ovastafford

    ovastafford Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    938
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Thanks, thats what I was thinking as far as 600-700 yards max. I'm going to use it for coyotes. The thing that worries me about the vlds is I bet they are pretty long and would hurt capacity some. Also they are temper mental about seating depth which I wouldn't have a lot to work with.

    Fifty, I take it you crimped yours and what was your oal, load info, etc..? Thanks!
     
  11. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    My load is 24.5 grains of Benchmark with a CCI-BR4 primer and I would have to check on the OAL. I have it in my load log book but that is currently up at the shop.

    Basically, I seated the bullet to a depth so that I could JUST see the last bit of the grimping groove in the bullet and then I crimp the case mouth with a reasonable amount of crimp.

    Please keep in mind this load a over what most loading manuals will recommend but in my rifle its producing pressures where it should be. If used in a faster twist rifle you may see more pressure. You may see more pressure even with same twist barrel because of barrel variations.

    The 60 gr Ballistic Tip comes with load data inside the box. At least the 5, 250 ct boxes I got in had load data.

    Back to the match bullets, remember that the 223 is rather anemic in velocity to start with so at ranges much past 300 yards, likely the match bullets with tight meplats will give little if any expansion. I am sure most of you know exactly what a coyote will do when hit with a bullet that does not expand, unless you bit support bone or central nervous system he will run quite a ways and often he will get to his den.

    At long range the 60 gr BT certainly does not have explosive expansion but it does have expansion much more significant then any match bullet I have tested.

    Another thing with the heavy match bullets, when seated to fit in an AR magazine, they will drop potential velocity by up to 150 fps compared to if that bullet could be seated out so the base of the bullet is at the base of the jacket. So, while the 70, 75, 80 and 90 gr bullets have a decent advantage in BC but often, for the useful range of the 223, even with these bullet, the faster medium weight bullets in the 55-65 grain range, especially tipped bullets will run with any of these bullets out to 600 yards and offer much better terminal performance, the choice is pretty easy for me.
     
  12. mpstan

    mpstan Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Probably a little outside the box you guys want to play in, but isn't the highest BC bullet for an AR-15 among these?

    Berger 130 VLD .552 BC
    Hornady 123 AMax .510
    Lapua 123 Scenar .547
    Sierra 123 MK .610

    All 6.5 projectiles, available in a 6.5 Grendel.................

    Cheers
     
  13. Moki

    Moki Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Several years ago I asked one of the Sierra Bulletsmiths this question.

    He told me to try their .246 BC 60gr HP Varminter all I can say is "WOW" this is one accurate bullet I have shot it in a 1 - 9" twist Rem 700-P/Ruger Mini 14 Target/RA XCR-L Standard and a 21" 1 - 12" twist T/C Contender carbine and it awesome in everyone of these rifles.

    I shot a wolf at 220 yards thru the chest with this bullet the bullet exited the off side the wolf was down before I came out of recoil and only it's rear leg quivered a little then it was over.
     
  14. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    94
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    I've had good luck with the 55gr & 60gr VMax bullets,along with the 75gr AMax loaded out to mag length. My AR's have 1-8 twist,and I load with several powders H335,H322,BL-C2,and Varget.