.223 varmint bullet, 1-9 twist, will it fail?

Zep

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A friend is thinking about purchasing a sporter length .223 bolt action and he wants to use it for woodchucks as far out as he can shoot it. Guessing 250 yards with sufficient terminal velocity for a humane kill.

He is going to want to use a varmint bullet (lead or polymer tip) in the range of 50 or 55 grains. The gun he is considering buying has a 1-9 twist rate.

At max loads do you think the twist is too fast and will the bullet break apart in flight? How fast do you think he can push it.

Bullet suggestions appreciated as well.

Any input is appreciated.

Much thanks.
 
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Trickymissfit

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A friend is thinking about purchasing a sporter length .223 bolt action and he wants to use it for woodchucks as far out as he can shoot it. Guessing 250 yards with sufficient terminal velocity for a humane kill.

He is going to want to use a varmint bullet (lead or polymer tip) in the range of 50 or 55 grains. The gun he is considering buying has a 1-9 twist rate.

At max loads do you think the twist is too fast and will the bullet break apart in flight? How fast do you think he can push it.

Bullet suggestions appreciated as well.

Any input it appreciated.

Much thanks.

I'd start out with a 60 grain bullet if it were me. They Hornaday Vmax should work just fine as well. Somewhere around 3100 fps would be a good starting point (27.0 grains of BLC2 with a 60 grain bullet = 3050fps)
gary
 

rash powder

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I hunt whitetails with a .223. Longest shot I have taken is in the 200yd range, the deer fell in its tracks.

My rifles in .223 for hunting are a Ruger M77 in stainless - not sure which MK model, probably II. The other is a Rock River Arms Coyote with a 20" barrel. I use off the shelf ammo, usually 55grn ballistic tips. I've been using 55grn soft points since getting the RR as I wasn't sure if the ballistic tips would feed properly.

For woodchuck sized game, a .223 will be more than sufficient. Not sure I would bother with reloading either. Hornady Custom loads come out at about 3100FPS and group wonderfully for my RR.

Matt N
 

Code4

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I have a 1 in 9" twist .223. No, those projectiles will not come apart. I however did not have any quick success in developing accurate loads with the lighter projectiles as my rifle prefers 65 and 69 grain weights.

I have found the Nosler 69 HPBT competition match (bulk pack) projectiles extremely frangible on rabbits and foxes compared to the Sierra 65 SptBt which I use for game up to 40kg in weight.
 

Trickymissfit

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I hunt whitetails with a .223. Longest shot I have taken is in the 200yd range, the deer fell in its tracks.

My rifles in .223 for hunting are a Ruger M77 in stainless - not sure which MK model, probably II. The other is a Rock River Arms Coyote with a 20" barrel. I use off the shelf ammo, usually 55grn ballistic tips. I've been using 55grn soft points since getting the RR as I wasn't sure if the ballistic tips would feed properly.

For woodchuck sized game, a .223 will be more than sufficient. Not sure I would bother with reloading either. Hornady Custom loads come out at about 3100FPS and group wonderfully for my RR.

Matt N

how far do you chase them?
gary
 

SBruce

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I too agree that you should be fine shooting the 50-55's out of a 9 twist.

I have a couple of 8 twist 223's and they don't make the 55's come apart. The guns do shoot 60 grn and heavier bullets better though.

9 twist is an excellent compromise for most bullets in a 223 IMO. It will probably shoot the 50's or 55's better than my 8 does, and you just might still be able to stabilize the 69 grn stuff.
 

112Savage

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My savage 223 1:9 loves the 53grain V-max. This bullet is interesting on groundhogs. Head and chest shots most of the time are entry holes only with no exit. Stomach shots cause tons of damage with entrails becoming out-trails.
 

Trickymissfit

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I too agree that you should be fine shooting the 50-55's out of a 9 twist.

I have a couple of 8 twist 223's and they don't make the 55's come apart. The guns do shoot 60 grn and heavier bullets better though.

9 twist is an excellent compromise for most bullets in a 223 IMO. It will probably shoot the 50's or 55's better than my 8 does, and you just might still be able to stabilize the 69 grn stuff.

there are bullets that will come apart in fast twist barrels as well as being driven way too fast in a moderate twist barrel. The old TNT and SX bullets from Speer & Hornaday come to mind (I have had the explode in mid air). But bullets like the Vmax and others are fine to shoot in a fast twist barrel. I well remember shooting bullets in one of my 6mm's that literally exploded going thru plain old card board.

I've found that a 12 twist will handle most anything under a .3 B/C, but think an 1:11 would be better. A typical 1:14 twist is going to shoot 55 grain Vmax bullets just fine, but may often not work well with a 55 grain BT from Nosler. I thought my barrel just didn't like them till I found out that most guys were having the same problem due to an increased B/C. A few weeks back I shot a .223 in 1:10 twist. It will shoot 60 grain Hornadays all day long, but doubt it'd shoot the 69 grain bullet. Yet he same rifle (an AR15) shot 55 grain Vmax bullets in the sixes just like clock work with really nice round holes. I think the groups will open up with 50 grain Vmax bullets, but not a lot.
gary
 

Trickymissfit

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The furthest one ever went from where I shot it was about 40 yards. He walked away. Didn't even know he was dead.

I don't know what deer look like where you live, but we get 250+lb. deer all the time around here. You'd chase that deer for miles before the coyotes found him first. At 100 yards a 60 grain bullet will have about 960 ft. lb. of energy, and an 85 grain bullet in a .243 will have 1640ft. lb. of energy. These were figured as max loads right out of the Speer manual. The 60 grain Hornaday has a little better B/C, and driven to 3200 fps, it will have 1058 ft. lb. of energy at 100 yards. That's considered to be the minimum power for deer at impact. At 200 yards it's down to 811 ft. lb. The 87 grain 6mm at 100 yards will have 1726 ft. lb. of energy. At 200 yards it will have 1400 ft. lb. and still more energy at 300 yards than the .223 will have at 100 yards.
gary
 

SBruce

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there are bullets that will come apart in fast twist barrels as well as being driven way too fast in a moderate twist barrel. The old TNT and SX bullets from Speer & Hornaday come to mind (I have had the explode in mid air). But bullets like the Vmax and others are fine to shoot in a fast twist barrel. I well remember shooting bullets in one of my 6mm's that literally exploded going thru plain old card board.
gary

That's right, I had forgotten about the those bullets. The Sierra Blitz was another bullet that would come apart real easily. If I recall correctly, they weren't supposed to be shot above 3400'/sec even in a moderate twist.

Since they started making the polymer tips, I don't see many of the old TNT/Blitz style anymore.
 

Trickymissfit

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That's right, I had forgotten about the those bullets. The Sierra Blitz was another bullet that would come apart real easily. If I recall correctly, they weren't supposed to be shot above 3400'/sec even in a moderate twist.

Since they started making the polymer tips, I don't see many of the old TNT/Blitz style anymore.

I don't know about all the Sierra Blitz bullets, but have pushed the 80 grain 6mm to 3450fps with no problems so far. Most of the time I shot them at around 3350fps. I would also think that a 22 caliber Blitz would have a thinner jacket than the 6mm does, and that's what the problem really is. By the way that 80 grain bullets is extremely hard on big coyotes, and found it killed them better than the 85 and 87 grain bullets.
gary
 
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