High velocity 223 AI

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by J E Custom, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    With all of the emphasis on heavy bullets lately, I was wondering if anyone was/had tried the lightest bullets in the 223 ?

    There are listed loads of over 3800 to 3900 ft/sec using the 30 to 40 Grain bullets. Distances will be less than 500 yards (200 to 300 most of the time).

    I am interested in doing some experimenting with this. I have a 223 WSSM that has exceeded 4600 ft/sec with no signs of pressure, but I am concerned about barrel life with it and wanted to save it for heavier bullets.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  2. Gord0

    Gord0 Well-Known Member

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    I played a little with a single shot I have, but didn't have a chrono at the time. It's got a throat a mile long so those short bullets didn't really work well in it. And it's never been very accurate. It's a NEF handi rifle. I kinda want to pick up some of those light varmint grenades and play with it again.
    According to Hodgdon with a standard 223 and a 35gr nosler ballistic tip, you can push almost 3900 with a compressed load of 4895. I'd think with a 223ai you could get close to 4000 and have pretty good life with everything.
     
  3. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

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    40's yeah. Lots of them. The more powder you burn & the higher the energy content the harder it'll be on your barrel throat. I have a handy little barrel life calculator that's been pretty darned good at telling me when I'd need to pitch a barrel on match rifles. I like Benchmark in .223. My calculator says with benchmark at 27-28gn and a 35gn pill you should see well over 3900fps at a near max load (55k psi) with barrel life of over 9K rounds. Powders with greater energy content like Varget cut that number to 7500. PM me if you want to race some paper and experiment with those numbers a bit for different powders.
     
    Hand Skills likes this.
  4. Ndfarmer

    Ndfarmer Member

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    I agree 100% with ballisticsguy. 28 grains of benchmark with a 40 grain nosler ballistic tip is crazy accurate in my tikka 223.
     
  5. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    The old Varmint Hunting Magazine July 1995 did article on 223AI. Test rifle was Rem action,27.5" #7 Pac-Nor Super Match barrel,1/14 twist. Reason I kept article, I had 223AI build with Krieger barrel,1/14 twist barrel @26" on Rem 40x action. I send Rem heavy barrel to Krieger so they could match it.

    They only gave one load with 40gr BT everything else was 50gr,52gr,and 55gr bullets. This is load they rec best accuracy with 40gr BT, 31gr/H-335 @ 3925fps. I never did shoot that load.

    I've got 223 on Rem action,McMillan stock,Kreiger sporter barrel @24" with 1/14 twist barrel. I think if I put longer heavy barrel I'd come close to those AI loads. I also shoot 222AI with 1/14 twist barrel.

    I see where Nolser max load for 40gr is Benchmarch. What about AI the 222mag case.
     
  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to all for the info.

    Tom. My rifle is a 26" barreled Lilja with a 1 in 8 twist. It is built on a Sako S 491 action. originally I had planed on shooting 60 to 70 grain bullets and my hope is that the fast twist doesn't hurt the lighter bullets accuracy.

    The load you posted for the 223 AI using the h 335 looks interesting and I may start there. I realize that the 1 in 8 is not ideal and if I was going to build a 223 for these bullets I would go with a 1 in 12 or 1 in 14 twist, but i want to try anyway.

    Any more suggestions are welcome.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  7. Gord0

    Gord0 Well-Known Member

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    You could try the Barnes 36gr varmint grenade. It's pretty long for it's weight.
     
  8. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, At least I shouldn't have jacket separation issues.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  9. Gord0

    Gord0 Well-Known Member

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    They are a jacketed bullet, just long for their weight. They have a copper/tin powdered core. But they're meant for high velocity. As in 220 swift with full house loads, and a 36gr bullet. I think they'd hold together in a 223ai.
     
  10. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I hope so, but my rifle has a 1 in 8 twist and most Swifts and 22/250s
    run 1 in 12 or 1 in 14 twist so the bullet RPM will be much slower Than in a 1 in 8 twist.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  11. Gord0

    Gord0 Well-Known Member

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    I just did the calculation. 360,000rpm at 4000fps... That's up there. If it holds together it'll have some impressive results on critters!
     
  12. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Yes, thanks
    That's more than a small block Chevy can do for sure.:eek::eek:

    J E CUSTOM
     
  13. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

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    I've used Varmint Grenade bullets in this loading and LOVE them. From 30 feet out of an 18" barrel with a max load shot at a large jack rabbit (not a tiny cottontail, a BIG jack) the bullet entered the right shoulder, violently fragmented and forced ALL of the organs out as (as near as I can tell) a vapor by hydraulically splitting the belly from neck to butt and ejecting them via that egress route. I say a "vapor" because I couldn't find a bit of any organ remaining that was bigger than pea. The rest of the carcass was perfectly intact and I was even able to eat the thing without picking pieces of jacket out of the meat.
     
  14. NEMTHunter

    NEMTHunter Well-Known Member

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    If jacketed bullets fail you could always try the 44 grain hammer or 40 grain cutting edge bullets.

    I would like to see the speed you can get.