Varget for 223 AR?

Discussion in 'AR15/10 Rifles' started by yote doctor, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. yote doctor

    yote doctor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    501
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    I have 4lbs of Varget sitting here. I am waiting for my new AR to show up and wanted to get some loads ready. Anyone using this powder accurately? I am going to try the 69gr Sierras and for sure the 55gr Vmax.

    Thanks
     
  2. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    I've tried it, and plan on trying some more. So far, the best 200 yd group I've gotten was with 25 grns Varget and Sierra 60 grn HP. Once fired, prepped, uniformed and sorted brass, neck sized. CCI match primer. Bullets seated at maximum magazine length.

    Rifle is a custom 22" heavy barrel upper, Bushmaster lower, 25X optics for the load testing.

    3 shots touched, 4th opened to 9/16" There was a flier too, that opened to group to 15/16". I don't recall if the flyer was the 1st shot or last or somewhere in between, but overall, that's 1/2 moa. Not counting the flyer, it's just a hair over 1/4 minute.

    I intend to load more and try just a little each side of 25 and see how they all stack up. 26 grains also gave 5 shot groups under an inch at 200 yds, just not as pretty as those 4 of 5 that I got with 25 grns.

    Good Luck,
     

  3. long450

    long450 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    537
    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    It should work just fine. I have shot about 60 # s of it over the last 16 years, mostly out of an AR15. It is a uasable powder for both bullets, but it likes the heavier bullets. It is slow enough you will run out of case capacity on the lighter bullets. I have swiitched to VV540 for heavier bullets in the AR15 in the last 5 years to gain velocity with the 80 gr VLD. I shoot moly bullets out my 20" barrel approaching 3000 fps with the VV540 and with the varget, I only get around 2850 fps. I use Wolf magnum, CCI BR4, CCI450, and Federal small BR primers in Lake City cases.
     
  4. yote doctor

    yote doctor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    501
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Sounds good guys. I figured it should work but wanted to hear it from you guys. Cant wait to get this rifle in my grasp and get it to the range!
     
  5. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,256
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Varget is a bit too slow for best results with the 55 grain bullets, but will work acceptably well with the 69s. This is about the lowest weight that Varget is really well suited to. The stuff positively shines with 77 and 80 grain bullets (as well as 75s, 82s and even 90s). Great velocity and accuracy both. The two favorite powders for Highpower competitors using the ARs is about an even splt between Varget and RL-15. Both are superb choices for this bullet weight range, but I'd want somethign a little faster for the 55s. H322, Benchmark, V-V N133 or N135, etc.. The Varget will work with the lighter bullets, but you're velocities will be down just a bit.
     
  6. yote doctor

    yote doctor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    501
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Thanks Kevin! Good info.

    So always full length size casings when shooting them out of an AR?

    Just purchased a redding 3 die set.... Want to return it and get just a regular die set if thats what I should use. Save me $25 too.
     
  7. Hntbambi

    Hntbambi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    156
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    I tried Varget in my AR with 50 gr bullets as I bought a thousand of them for varmint hunting and was disappointed with the results. I have had great success with Hodgdon BL-C(2) though. Once my lightweight bullets are gone, I will look at heavies for that gun (1:9" twist).
     
  8. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    332
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Uh, yup! I was FL sizing my 6.8, and it wasn't enough. Kind of sucks hind tit when click no-bang happens, and the deer saunters away!
     
  9. orangeride

    orangeride Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    24.5 gr varget, lapua brass, rem 7.5m primers 69 SMK 2.250" OAL . Consistent 1/2 moa 5 shots @ 200
     
  10. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    I'm glad to hear Kevin mention Benchmark. I've got some rounds loaded with 2 different bullets with Benchmark. I'll probably even try those before I load up any more with Varget. Then I'll take the best of both and compare against each other later.

    I know that FL sizing is the overall preferred method with semi auto's. Hard to disagree with the reasons why. However, I wanted to see if I could get good functioning with NS only for one or two fireings.........Successful test so far, 40 rounds fired, not a single malfunction.

    I won't push my luck very far with this particular gun, and I'll probably go to FL sizeing after all the cases have 2 fireings on them.
     
  11. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,256
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Yote Doc,

    Yes, FL sizing is an absolute must with any Service Rifle, not just the ARs. You may or may not need S/B dies, that depends on how tight the chamber is, how "loose" the sizing die is, etc.. Most don't, but it sure doesn't hurt anything, and it's better to err on the side of more clearance.
     
  12. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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

    Not saying that N/S cases won't work in the ARs, just that at some point you will have problems with them. It's a bit like making a mad dash across a freeway during rush hour traffic, surviving, and declaring that it's perfectly safe; it's not, and eventually, you're gonna become a bumper sticker on a Mack truck if you keep doing it often enough.

    If you're lucky, you'll eventually get a round that won't fully chamber, but is jammed so tightly in the chamber that you can't extract it by simply pulling on the charging handle. This leads to setting the butt on the ground and stomping on the charging handle (yes, I've seen military armorers doing this, frantically, on the line at Perry). Not to mention the really ugly possibllities that this potentially invites, you can usually count on a bent charging handle, and some other cosmetic damage to the reciever. All in all, not a good thing.

    It's foolish to learn from your own mistakes, if you can learn from the mistakes of others. Trust me, it's cheaper, less painful, less embarrassing and saves a whole lot of frustration this way. Full length on the Service Rifles always, neck sizing (if you absolutely must) only on the bolt guns.
     
  13. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Kevin,

    Thanks for the heads up. I see your point.

    I certainly don't want to take a chance of damaging my new upper. Even with my bolt guns, I've found that I can usually only go about 3 or 4 fireings before needing to FL size.
     
  14. Idaho Shooter

    Idaho Shooter Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I have a standard M4 with a 16 barrel. A few summers ago, I spent three months formulating the perfect combo and ended up with CCI 400 primers, 55gr. Moly Vmax bullets, Winchester cases and 24.5grs of Varget. My best five shot group at a 100yrds was 3/8”i.e. one raggedy hole. Because of part swapping, I ended up re-sighting in the rifle and somehow ended up shooting paper plates at 595yrds. I shot a few rounds of miscellaneous stuff out of my range bag and couldn’t hit the 2x4’ backstop. I then found ten rounds of my Varget loads. The first five shot grouped at 3.5” and the second at 4.5 “. That deer season I decided to take my newly found tack driver hunting and dropped a large three point at 316yrds.

    I have also used Varget in another AR I built, a lightweight 18” SS fluted barrel with 1:8 twist. No paper results with this one but to my surprise I was able to detonate two water jugs, one right after the other, at 758yrds. One jug was taken with a Black hills 69gr HP and the other with a Berger 70gr bullet loaded with the same load described above.

    Yes, it is true I have a bias for Varget it just seems to work.

    Greg