New to reloading, very new to .223 reloading

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by RedChili, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. RedChili

    RedChili Member

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    Sep 25, 2008
    I have an Oly .223 AR-15 1:9 stainless and am trying to find a good boolit and load for varmint & target. Going to Wyoming antelope hunting tomorrow, so range time is not an option though I know I should do it. Bringing the AR for some prairie poodles post-goat.

    I have some once fired PMC brass (working with it, seems surprisingly consistent, and the neck mouths are tougher than Winchester through the polisher and trimmer. Annealed necks and all that.). Thought I would start with Varget, full length resize the PMC, and tried to find 68gr. Hornady BTHPs but could only find 60gr. VMax handy in town.

    Hornady's book is MUCH more conservative than Hodgdon's site on loads. So I thought I would start in the middle of Hodgdon - only to discover I could NOT get the full charge of Varget in the case?! It was not shown as compressed until you hit the max. I ended up loading some at 24gr. and even then there was just a tiny bit of crunching seating the boolit from time to time, but they are not compressed.

    What is going on here? Are the PMCs particularly thick walled, like military or something? If so I am glad I picked 24gr.!

    By the way, Varget meters surprisingly consistent, I was surprised, having used W760 up to now loading .300WSM. Varget metered better!

    Sincerely yours, n00b with dumb questions. But at least I searched! :D
     
  2. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    Don't have any experience with the PMC cases, but I don't think they're any thicker than any others. I think you reached the limit for the little .223. Varget is a bit course, the 60gn bullet is kinda long and you're probably having to seat them to fit the mag. Only thing(s) i can think of. JohnnyK.
     

  3. shegs

    shegs New Member

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    Aug 16, 2008
    I had similar problems with Varget,not getting the larger loads into the case( I use Remington brass ). The most I could use was 27.0 grains. Anything above that would ease the head back out a few thou when I took the round out of the bullet seating die. I have started using H335, which is a ball propellant and not as bulky as Varget. Using a RCBS Uniflow powder measure it gives amazingly consistent charge weights, having said that, I read somewhere that H335 was the original propellant used when the .223/5.56 was conceived. Initial testing seems good with 100 yards groups averaging 5/8" out of a cheap CZ527 Hunter.
     
  4. RedChili

    RedChili Member

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    Sep 25, 2008
    Well, serves me right to not try these out at the range. They would not *quite* chamber correctly. Probably just a bit long COAL. So I might just be pulling them apart and trying H335 or something. I should probably make a dummy round without primer or powder just to check out chambering and see what's up.

    I will say the box of Remington Premium$ 50gr. plastic tipped I bought just cuz, the night before we left, shot pretty darn well. Glad I impulsively bought them!

    Guess I will use the Varget to maybe load some varmint ammo for the Ruger .308 that hardly gets shot anymore. A real light bullet might be entertaining. It's got a Burris 3-9x40mm, non ballistic plex, nice scope but not great for longer shots. Oh well.