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223 Loads for 16 Barrel

This is a discussion on 223 Loads for 16 Barrel within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Lutz48, Here's some food for thought …. a 24" barrel with the Varget load I posted (55gr V-Max or 55gr Ballistic tip with 26.5gr of ...

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Old November 28th, 2019, 07:42 PM   #16
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Lutz48, Here's some food for thought …. a 24" barrel with the Varget load I posted (55gr V-Max or 55gr Ballistic tip with 26.5gr of Varget) produces 300 fps more velocity in a 24" barrel than it does in a 16.1" barrel (actual chronograph results). A higher velocity will produce a flatter trajectory …… less time exposed to gravity, thus less drop and less time exposed to wind, thus less wind drift and because bullet spin rate is dependent on velocity, the bullet will spin much faster, thus better downrange stability. These attributes favor a longer barrel every time. No doubt, if you use the right bullet, right type of powder and charge weight, a 16" barrel can be pretty accurate at modest distances but it won't beat a 22" (or longer) barrel, especially at extended distances. So, the point of my comment was …. a longer barrel is way less ammo fussy and typically more accurate than a shorter barrel.

I have a newer Remington Mod 700 BDL with a 24" 1:9 twist rate barrel, chambered in 223 Rem. It chronographs my above load at 3260 fps so I can easily maintain 1 MOA out to at least 500 yards on a calm day …. probably farther but I don't have the luxury of a longer range. MY AR-556 has a faster twist rate of 1:8 but because of the lower velocity (2950 fps), it doesn't group very tight at distances much beyond 200 yards, in fact getting a 1" group at 100 yards is a challenge. I have tried bullet weights from 55gr to 70gr and found the 55gr bullets group the best at virtually all distances. Granted, an AR556 is not a bolt action like your American Ranch …. but your rifle does not have a 22" barrel like a Predator or a 26" like a Hawkeye Varmint.

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Old November 29th, 2019, 11:07 AM   #17
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Cheap and accurate load...

I don't have a Ranch Rifle (but plan on getting one soon). However, I did a project to develop the cheapest range load with the best accuracy in 223 for my Ruger Mini-14 with 16" barrel. I selected H335 over CFE223 because of cost. I sort cases and use the same brand for each run and only 223's, size all cases to the same length (1.751"), remove primer crimp with consistent bevel for all cases, meter and check every load, and crimp a bit with a Lee FC die, with Winchester Small Rifle primers. I settled on a low load of 23 grains and it's pretty accurate. 55 grain FMJ boat tail Top Brass bullets (and plan to try X-tremes soon). No noticeable temperature problems here in Phoenix. I'm loading for $0.20/round. I think accuracy is a matter of consistency at the bench.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 07:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Lutz48 View Post
I am working up an accuracy load for the 223 cartridge for the Ruger American Ranch rifle with the 16-1/8” barrel. H335 isn’t working out too well and as I understand can be temperature sensitive. I use the rifle in Montana where we have significant temperature extremes. I want to use a a ball or fine powder so I can use the powder measure and not have to trickle every charge. What loads have others used with success in this firearm.
I have been struggling getting an accurate load with H335. It is affordable but it's just not accurate in my go to guns. I switched to AA2230 and I have found 24.8 grains to 25 grains with a 55 grain soft point to be nicely accurate in a Mini 14 and a Ruger American with a 18" barrel. I plan on loading up some 63 grain Sierra SMP's with the next AA powder up, AA2460. Both 2230 and 2460 meter extremely well.

I had a 16" barrel on my Mini and found the faster powders (RL10x and AA2015) gave me the best accuracy with 55 grain bullets. (Hornady 55 SP and 55 grain Nosler Varmageddons) but doing some simple math the velocity was less than stellar. The AA2230 and 2460 gave me a little more velocity with only a little loss of accuracy. The Mini had the original skinny barrel and I have since replaced it with the tapered and heavier Ruger 18.5" barrel. I switched to the AA2230 and 2460 after a friend who had a chrono said the 2460 gave him the best velocity out of his 16" AR barrel. Sorry, I do not remember what his numbers were.


Last edited by kwg020; November 30th, 2019 at 07:13 PM.
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