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16" Barrel .223 Which powder to use?

NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 12,455 ✭✭✭✭
Anyone got a recommendation for a powder to use in a 16" barreled AR? I'm using 55gr FMJ bullets. I've been using 25.5 grains of 4064 but would like a bit more velocity. Mine chronographed at around 2890. I'd like to get a bit faster without going to maximum charge weights. Any ideas?

Comments

  • Pistollero1050Pistollero1050 Member Posts: 1,197 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Win. 748 or varget work real good for me.
  • shoff14shoff14 Member Posts: 11,994 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    There are many that will work. Varget is a little slow for 55 grain bullets out of a 16" barrel. You will also be compressing varget with 55 grain bullets. Not worth the effort. H335 and BLC 2 are what I use with 55 and 62 grain bullets, and the ball powder. I load these for fun and cheapness. BLC 2 will get you close to 3000 with out coming close to max pressures. However, it is very temperature sensitive, so your velocities will vary depending on the day. For heavier bullets I am using Varget.
  • dcs shootersdcs shooters Member Posts: 10,969
    edited November -1
    Add 2230 to the list with BLC-2 and H-335.
  • NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 12,455 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for the info. Of the powders that have been listed, which would be considered the least temperature sensitive?
  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 10,891 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Temperature sensitivity is not your issue. Stressing your AR is. With slow powders, the pressure will still be very high at the gas port. That will over-stress the action or rip the rim off the cartridge in the chamber - or both.

    The powders mentioned are excellent - in a bolt gun. But an AR requires something faster to lower the pressure at the gas port. That does mean you won't get high bullet velocity, but that's the choice you have to make with an AR -- especially a short-barreled one.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 12,455 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Rocky Raab
    Temperature sensitivity is not your issue. Stressing your AR is. With slow powders, the pressure will still be very high at the gas port. That will over-stress the action or rip the rim off the cartridge in the chamber - or both.

    The powders mentioned are excellent - in a bolt gun. But an AR requires something faster to lower the pressure at the gas port. That does mean you won't get high bullet velocity, but that's the choice you have to make with an AR -- especially a short-barreled one.


    So what would you suggest? Let me expand on my original post a bit. Right now I'm using 55 grn FMJs to experiment with and get comfortable with reloading, I'm pretty new to it. Eventually I want to use a 55 grn soft point hunting round of some type. I plan on doing some cougar hunting this winter and want to develop a load that will drop them quickly. I've got a Leupold Mark-AR scope on the gun calibrated to 55 gr bullets so I'd like to get up to about 31-3200 FPS to take advantage of the scopes capabilities.
  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 10,891 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Well, in my 16-inch Contender barrel, I can get right at 3100 fps with a 50-gr bullet over 24.0 H322 - which isn't max. Extruded powders in that general medium-fast range include Reloader 10X, Benchmark, Accurate 2015 and IMR3031. Sphericals include Ramshot X-Terminator, Accurate 2230 and (a bit slower) Ramshot TAC, W748 and H335.

    Forced to choose, I'd go with Benchmark or X-Terminator.

    A good source for all things AR is (not surprisingly) AR15.com
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 12,455 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for the input, Mr. Raab!
  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 10,891 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You are most welcome.

    By the way, I think that temp sensitivity is about 99% marketing hype, but if it a factor for you, Benchmark is a Hodgdon Extreme powder. In fact, the powders called "temperature insensitive" should probably be called "reduced sensitivity" since they are not immune to temperature changes. And even then, it isn't true for all cartridges - or even all loads in a given cartridge, for that matter. Varget, for example, shows reduced sensitivity in the .308, but none in the .223.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 11,480 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'm getting good velocity and accuracy from X-Terminator from 16" barrels. Economical, too.
  • 5mmgunguy5mmgunguy Member Posts: 3,853
    edited November -1
    I am using AA2015.
  • NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 12,455 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for all the input. After doing some more research I'm leaning towards the X-terminator powder. The sphericals seem to meter out of my Dillon press more consistently than the extruded powders.
  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 10,891 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That's probably why Dillon recommends the use of sphericals, huh?
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 12,455 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Rocky Raab
    That's probably why Dillon recommends the use of sphericals, huh?


    Yup...[:I]
    Thanks for the reminder.
  • skyfishskyfish Member Posts: 1,068 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I use Acc 2015 and Ramshot X-terminator.

    I get over 3000fps from my 16" AR with either, grouping is similiar in both my rifles I've tried. I use more X-Term now that all my AR food goes through my progressive(Hornady).

    Don't have my info handy, but both are in the 24.5 gr area and I believe 3100fps. I'll try and check later.
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