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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I haven't reloaded 5.56/223 in many years now. I have a full box of 69 grain SMK's. What's a good accurate (non-nuclear) known good load for them? I'm thinking of loading up some to test in my new 16" BCM upper. I have a bunch of factory XM193 but I'd like to do some accuracy testing and I don't see that stuff as being terribly accurate. My barrel is a 1:7" twist. It's new and never been fired except for factory testing.

Here are my available components...

Powders:
IMR-4895 (3.5lbs)
H4895 (2lbs)
IMR-4198 (1lb)
Varget (1lb)
RE-15 (3lbs)
IMR-4064 (7lbs)
H335 (.5lb)
Winchester 748 (1lb)
8208 XBR (1lb)

Cases:
LC Nato (many thousands of pieces)
PMP
Remington

Primers:
CCI 400 & 450

What headspace should I use? Also, any favorite bullets and bullet weights I should be looking at? Speer TNT's, Hornady's, Bergers? Distances will be 100 to 300 yds. I don't see myself shooting past that with these rifles (two AR's, 14.5" & 16"). This rifle is for fun/home defense. I may start building an NM 20" upper some day though.

Tony.
 

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I had a load of 23.7 imr4895 with 70g berger VLD in new black gun industry brass. I'll say it's promising. I had good luck at a high power competition clinic. People asked me what I was shooting load-wise. Honestly though shooting performance is all relative to many factors. I'd work up, of course, because the case fills up fast. I'm working toward getting my AR ready to compete with too.

I'm no head space expert I realize of late. I need to check my .223 die set up with advice I got here for .308. I've had no function problems in my AR. I've tried 69g smks, 69g sgks, 55g Hornady fmj-bt and Nosler 55g.
 

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for 69s:
24-25 varget or RL15
24 H4895
2.245" in LC brass
Any primer, CCI400s my favorite

I like nosler bulk packs of match bullets and hornady VMAX or BTHP bulk packs. Sierras are too expensive and didn't give me that much better accuracy than bulk noslers. For a shorter range bullet look at the flat base varmint ones and 52gr match bullets. They will stabilize out of everything from 12 twist to 7 twist and are deadly accurate to about 500-600 yards depending on velocity.

Not sure what you mean by headspace, 5.56 and wylde chambers are very tolerant so any SB die with the generic '1/8th turn' amount of bump will work. I've been loading for ARs since the Clinton years and have never had any issues doing it that way.
 

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http://accurateshooter.net/Downloads/sierra223ar.pdf

I trust Sierra Load data for accuracy loads over most other websites.

I have had very good results using Sierra's data for Varget...

But Varget is also a PITA to get into the little neck of that .223 case...and a drop tube helped get it in easily.

I would suggest their Accuracy load of 25.3 as a good baseline.

I am currently ( as time permits.. Lol ) trying other Ball like powders, CFE 223, XBR 8208, even LT-32

I have some Factory ammo, you should try out also.. it has proven accurate in my rifles.

Also as far as "inexpensive" 55gr bullets go .... Hornady 55gr FMJ and SP are the accepted accuracy standard.

As for other bullet weights... you will ( sadly ) need to see which ones your rifle likes... my AR's haven't found a 77 load that they really like yet... but love the 75gr Hornady... at 2800 fps.

Hopefully I can find a 77gr load that they like this weekend....

If you want I could go on for hours about suitable bullets for a 1n7 twist.... Lol
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks!

I just went to Sportsman's Warehouse over lunch and they had just stocked the shelves with 10 pounds of Varget. I picked up another pounds and got a box of Hornady 55gr FMJ's for $15. That's going to be really nice for me since I like to buy one box at time at brick & mortar stores.

They had also just put two 8 pound jugs of 3031 on the shelf while I was there.

It's been a good week for me with powder. I just scored a pound of IMR-4895 yesterday too.

Tony.
 

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Last Friday I went out shooting for my birthday. Took the day off from work. It was great. To top it off they had 2 powders I was looking for and some bullets at the 2nd range/lgs I went to. I was having the same luck. It's great when things come together like that.
 

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Just to add, some very experienced competitors who ran the clinic I was at, were speaking highly of the 77g projectiles with Varget. I'm just adding that to go along with the others speaking of that projectile. The load was on the hot side but it seems to be a combination worth exploring at some point. Also if you email berger, they'll send you a pdf from their reloading manual for a particular bullet.
 

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RL-15 works great with 69gr SMKs and the AR15.

Noob14s load spread is dead on. I think my charge was 24.3 or 24.5 gr RL-15, LC case, 69 gr SMK, CCI 41 primer.

Granted Prvi 5.56 shoots MOA out of my Rock River mid-length carbine.

I love my RRA Middy.....

 

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for 69s:
24-25 varget or RL15
24 H4895
2.245" in LC brass
Any primer, CCI400s my favorite

I like nosler bulk packs of match bullets and hornady VMAX or BTHP bulk packs. Sierras are too expensive and didn't give me that much better accuracy than bulk noslers. For a shorter range bullet look at the flat base varmint ones and 52gr match bullets. They will stabilize out of everything from 12 twist to 7 twist and are deadly accurate to about 500-600 yards depending on velocity.

Not sure what you mean by headspace, 5.56 and wylde chambers are very tolerant so any SB die with the generic '1/8th turn' amount of bump will work. I've been loading for ARs since the Clinton years and have never had any issues doing it that way.
I shoot a lot of hornady bullets to.
Just got 500 168's. For about 25 bucks cheaper then nosler and sierra.
 

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RL-15 works great with 69gr SMKs and the AR15.

Noob14s load spread is dead on. I think my charge was 24.3 or 24.5 gr RL-15, LC case, 69 gr SMK, CCI 34 primer.
You have been loading .308 too much Sir GI2... I think you mean another size primer, maybe a #41


Tony,
I would love to give you load data for 8208XBR.
But I wildcatted my AR's in 6X45mm

Glenn
 

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Tony , I've been using the White Oak recommended RL-15 for 69 grn load for about three years in my WOA upper, I substituted Nosler for the SMK. Shoots the house a fire and got me to mid percentage High Master. It works.
 

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What load data you have for 6x45mm? I have been wondering about that with 95SMK.
Sorry, I have not loaded anything above 85 gr. because I want to keep my cartridge OAL at mag length.

What I have shot;
70 gr. SMK HPBT
72 gr. Barnes Varmin-A-tor HPFB
85 gr. SGK HPBT.

What I still need to test...
70 gr. Speer TNT HPFB
75 gr. Speer HPFB
75 gr. Sierra Varminter HPFB
80 gr. Berger Varmint HPFB.
80 gr. Sierra Varminter SBT
85 gr. Sierra Varminter Spitzer

Here is a link to compilation of data for the 6x45mm cartridge;

buckammo.com/Images/6x45_loaddata_5_1.pdf

Glenn
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks again, everyone. I've got all the components from the WOA page.

I was digging through the garage this morning and found a large Cabela's dry box full to the brim with LC once-fired brass which I cleaned resized and deprimed many years ago. Lots of LC04 and LC02 head stamps. I had completely forgot about it. I dropped a few of them in my Wilson case gauge and they were all spot on. Looks like I just need to set up the trimmer and get the seater die out...

I may or may not load some up before tomorrow. If time permits, it will all be good. If not, I've got plenty of M193 to get me on paper and I can do some accuracy work later.

Tony.
 
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