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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Loaded some 223 the other night. First time loading with this bullet. Sierra GameKing. 65gr. Spitzer Boat Tail with a soft point.
Using my Lee 223 RGB die set. Set the bullet seater to seat at 2.277 for OAL. Tried a dummy and it fit in my mag for my mini and smoked a bullet with no signs of being on the lands. Cases, all Remington, were all trimmed to 1.749 and using Winchester SR primers that seated well into the primer pocket.
After loading twenty I checked with my caliper for OAL. Most all seated at 2.277 +/- .001. I had one that seated at 2.265 and a couple that seated at 2.280 for OAL. And a few that ran 2.274. But I'm talking about a difference of .015 here between the shortest and longest.
WTF???
Could it be a difference in neck tension and possible flattening the soft point a little to give an OAL of 2.265? And not flatten the nose of the soft point with less neck tension to allow a OAL of 2.280?
Never ran into this problem before, but as I stated, it's the first time I have ever loaded this soft point bullet.
Didn't change my seating die setting at any time and used the same stroke with the press.
?????????
 

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If it is the soft point crushing (flattening) you would see it. I doubt that the seating plug is seating that bullet from the tip. Most seating plugs are hollow and engage the bullet on it's outside diameter somewhere on the tapered nose. If the shape of the bullet is not perfect you will get differences in seating depth. I ran into this BIG TIME with surplus, pulled .308" 147gr FMJs.
I load the 65gr Sierra. I took 2 deer this past season with my AR in .223 Rem. using them. I don't get too anal about seating depth of hunting ammo. As long as they fit in the mag, the typical limiting factor in the AR, that is fine with me. I use a Lee die set also and still have some loaded. I will go through them and see how much they vary and get back to you.
Motor
 

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I'm not sure I have an answer for you. I was trimming .223 Remington brass last weekend and notice that when i put the case in the trimmer that it would not line up with the pilot/trimmer. My thought was.....bent rims and that does change the OAL when sitting in the shell holder. And soft point bullet deforming? maybe a little. I load the 55gr SP
and have notice some changes in OAL, too. I'm not sure......I think it is a conspiracy to drive us crazy worrying about it. (chuckle)
 

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OK,
I measured 34 rounds. My "target" AOL is 2.235" The longest one is 2.242" The shortest one with a normal undamaged tip is 2.232" There are a couple with slightly flattened tips. This most likely was caused by some sort of rough handling. The shortest of the tip damaged rounds is 2.225" These "soft points" are really soft as with most of this type bullet and do get altered fairly easily. Muggsy brings up a good point too. A bent rim. I will be watching for that the next time I have one of those WTF?? moments. BTW: Muggsy. I agree with your last statement. I gave up chasing AOL's on soft point ammo long ago. One time in and out of the mag or even in and out of "the box" and its different.
Motor
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the tips. So the seating depth should be pretty consistant.
No doubt the cases are not perfect as most are range pick ups and I can notice a little difference in some of the soft points. As long as they all function well, and shoot well, I won't worry about it.
I am basically loading these for my mini and my XSIL's new AR. Just punching holes in paper.
Tried the tight patch on my mini and it seems to have a 1in7 twist so I thought I would try a heavier bullet to see if accuracy increased. Tried to check the twist in the AR but couldn't pull the patch through the bore. Actually broke my 22 caliber sloted tip trying. It was full of comoline. Gave it back to my SIL and told him to clean the bore well before we fired it. Being a new AR I am sure it probably has a 1in7 twist also. I will check again after he cleans the bore.
Thanks guys.
And since I have some of you guys attention about the 223, what is your favorite powder for that caliber? Right now I am using 748.
 

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arat,
The powder question is a real tuff one. I know my "test bed" is small (just one rifle) but I have had no bad results with anything. I use Reloader 15 with the 65 & 69gr bullets. My 50gr V-Max load is with IMR-4198. Last year I got some CCI-450's in a package deal. My Speer manual recommends them with ball powder so I tried some with H-335 and a few different 55gr bullets (Speer, Sierra, Hornady) all shot good some were just flat out amazing like between 1/2 and 3/4 minute. I also have very good loads using WC-846 and have tried Reloader 7 with good results too.
Basically I started out needing one very accurate load for my varmint hunting then from there tried what ever I could get my hands on for plinking ammo and have found the caliber to be very easy to get to shoot good. My rifle is 1 in 9 twist. Oh. I do have a good load using W-748 also. I think it was with a 55gr bullet also. I havn't tried it the magnum primer. It's not a powder I keep on stock any more.
Motor
 

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I also have found the 223 to be difficult. I have trimmed brass carefully, discarding any cases that did not trim, so they were all the same. Loaded them on the same equipment that I do everything with (usually the OAL is darn near exactly the same every round for all other calibers) and it is all over the place for OAL. I fought it for ages, even going so far as to seat the rounds slowly and forcing the OAL the same. This was horrible too --- now they had the same OAL but the bullets were all over the place depth-wise. After a lot of poking at it what I have concluded is that the case necks, shoulders, and all do not always seem to resize in similar ratios --- and that possibly the random brass I pick up was already widely varied in those same ratios.

After a while I gave up --- I just want stuff for 3 gun and my ammo has been more than accurate enough for that. Now I seat the bullets to their preformed crimp ring (using the hornady 55 grain boat tails that have a crimp ring) and crimp them there and call it good enough.

Not sure how helpful that was as I never really resolved it, except to say that if you want match grade ammo, you might be best served buying the brass or sorting it by brand at least.

As for powder, I use 2230, which has served quite well so I have not tried any others. My ammo is capable of hitting a skeet clay sized target at 100-200 yards or less. I could not say how tight it would really group but I would not expect it to be sub MOA for sure, probably more like 2 moa.

Enough of the useless ramble, time to re-read the other tips here, maybe I will try it again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All good info. Thanks.
Before I decide to switch powders I am going to see how well the 65gr bullets do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here is my final test group with the 65gr BTSP Sierra's. This is a 5 shot group!! It measures about .550" CTC.
Motor
Five shot group? Two went through the same hole?
 

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Yes, that is the only logical assumption. Or one missed the backstop all together.:p
I was shooting it a couple weeks ago and it "oval" holes twice in two different groups with two different loads.
If you had the target in your hand the upper right hole is very slightly out of round and since the others are round I don't think it was bullet yah.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, that is the only logical assumption. Or one missed the backstop all together.:p
I was shooting it a couple weeks ago and it "oval" holes twice in two different groups with two different loads.
If you had the target in your hand the upper right hole is very slightly out of round and since the others are round I don't think it was bullet yah.
That's some fine shootin'. I can't shoot that well with my old eyes. Maybe with a scoped weapon.
I have seen bullet yaw in my mini with 55gr. bullets. That's why I am going to try heavier.
 

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arat,
My rifle is a Rem. VTR-15. It has a 4x-16x scope on it. I shoot my test ammo from a lead sled also. The rifle is featured in my avatar sitting at one of my favorite groundhog hunting spots. I know it's a very small photo. Here is a bigger one.
Motor

Warning: I forgot to reduce the photo size before downloading it so if you click on it it will take a few seconds to view. Sorry about that.

That is an older photo when I used to hunt with the brass catcher attached. I had a couple deflect back into the action so I quit using it while hunting. When fired off of the bipod it piles it's brass up nicely about 3 feet from the rifle anyway with the exception of the last round in the mag. It falls about the same distance away but at a different angle. Oh yeah. It now has a Hogue grip on it too.
 

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Mike, your kidding right?
I shoot my test loads at 100 yards. My farthest groundhog kill to date is 342 yards. 1st shot kill. I have missed a few at that range too but it was dead calm on the evening when I got the one at 342.
Motor
 
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