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Thread: .223 HBAR 69 gr SMK loads

  1. #1
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    .223 HBAR 69 gr SMK loads

    I have a 15 yr old HBAR for which I reload. It has a 1/7 barrel. I have had no luck developing a load for 69 gr SMK's which produces better than 1 1/2 to 2" at 100 yds. I have found several 52 gr loads which perform well and a couple of 77 gr loads which are spectacular.

    Loads tried:

    25.3 gr Varget
    26.0 gr Varget
    25.5 gr 748
    25.3 gr Re15
    24.3 gr AA2520
    20.3 gr IMR4198
    22.5 gr H335
    25.0 gr Vit N140

    All loads are in Lake City brass, cleaned, trimmed, reamed/deburred, and polished. Primers are Win small rifle. AOL is 2.255".

    My befuddlement is due to the fact that bullet weights above and below 69 gr work great.

    Any similar experiences or advice?
    Armed in the Heartland

  2. #2
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    You might want to try some different charges of Varget. I find Varget to be quite accurate under Hornady 68gr OTM bullets in my 20" 1x8 .223 Rem DPMS stainless HBAR-barreled AR.

    I would work up say 5 sets of 5 rounds in .3 or so grain increments. That'll give you a total of 1.2 grain spread from your lowest to highest charge, and hopefully somewhere in there you'll find the sweet spot. For me, it would produce .75 MOA groups.

    I can't recall off the top of my head exactly what charge I used but this one was very, very good.

    On the other hand, I'm having trouble getting my AR to group well with 77-grain bullets, so maybe it's just the rifle.
    If you ever crawl inside an old hollow log and go to sleep, and while you're in there some guys come and seal up both ends and then put it on a truck and take it to another city, boy, I don't know what to tell you. - Jack Handey

  3. #3
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    John Holliger's recommendations - work for me w Re15 and 2460.

    http://www.whiteoakprecision.com/info-reloading.htm

    /Bryan

  4. #4
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    By best loads for my 1/7 H-BAR is 22.5 of W748 and 23.5 of AA2230 both with the 69 Serria Match King. well under an inch at 100 yds. Those are with WSR primers. I've read to use magnum small rifle primers with the W748 but i have not tried them yet. Your OL is right at mine also.

  5. #5
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    Back off the Varget charge bit.

  6. #6
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    Ok, I found it - my best 68gr load (and probably my best load period, any weight / charge) was with 24.9gr Varget. That would jive well with 45ACPUSER's advice to back off the Varget a bit. Try some middle of the road charges and see how she treats you.
    If you ever crawl inside an old hollow log and go to sleep, and while you're in there some guys come and seal up both ends and then put it on a truck and take it to another city, boy, I don't know what to tell you. - Jack Handey

  7. #7
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    Usually if 25.0 gr of Varget and 69gr OTM does not shoot in a gun it is the gun, or the guy pulling trigger needs some bench technique improvement.

  8. #8
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    I've yet to see a rifle shoot a bad group with 24 grains of Varget or RL15 with any bullet unless the twist was too slow.

  9. #9
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    The best groups I ever got with Varget weren't anywhere near the top listed loads. 62gr TSXs were a one hole wonder with 25.0-25.1gr of Varget. Back off and see what happens.

  10. #10
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    I have a 6 1/2 twist AR upper from WOP which shoots the 69 gr SMK's very well using data found in Canuck's link to WOP. I can't tell you just how small the group size is but using this load but I dropped 4 points out of 200 on a reduced 600 yard target (MR-31) on a 100 yard reduced match. I don't remember the X count but it wasn't bad.

    I use 24.8 grs of Reloder 15 in a L/C case using Remington 7 1/2's to light them off.

    Course this upper shoots 53 gr; 77 and 80 gr SMK's really nice too.

    I have another WOP upper with a 7 twist Kreiger. It's only seen 77 and 80 gr SMK's again using Reloder15 and John's data found on Canuck's link to WOP.

    Be aware primers can make a difference.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the advice guys. It seems the general consensus is I'm loading a bit too hot for this weight bullet. There are also some powders suggested that I've not used before. Dang, now I'll have to buy some more stuff, spend time at the bench and lots more time at the range.

    I just got back from fine-tuning the 77 gr loads and they're well under 1 MOA so now I'll concentrate on the 69's. I'll report back when I've got some data.

    Thanks again to all!
    Armed in the Heartland

  12. #12
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    Just looked at my notes . .I think you're a bit light on the H335. My best groups (69 SMK) were at 23.6 grains. Not sure if 1.1 grains would make much of a difference but if your loading manuals agree that it's a safe load then I'd take a look at it. (LC04 case, trimmed, chamfered, flash hole deburred, WSR primer, 69 grain SMK, 2.260 COL)

    FWIW

    Have a good one,
    Dave

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