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Prince 555
01-05-2008, 11:59 PM
I was in a huge reloading supply store about 30 miles from here today
to check on a good powder for the .222 Remington and .222 Rem.
Magnum.
The salesman who is a .222 benchrest shooter said that several
members of another rifle target club have been ordering Varget
by the kegs 4 and 5 at a time for shooting in the .222 class cases.
He said they're finding out it's the most accurate powder they've
ever tested. He said that he didn't know any load data yet.
Have any of you guys worked up any good loads for the .222 and
or the .222 Magnum ?

Thanks Very Much

JerrySharrett
01-06-2008, 06:30 AM
Benchrest 222? Must be a local club shoot or the like.

Varget would be very slow for the 222 or even the 222 Mag Imp.

With H322 and a 40 grain bullet you can get about 3300 fps in the 222 Rem.

A case full of Varget in the 222 Rem Mag Imp only gets about 3300 fps and the 222 Rem Mag Imp case holds 32 grains water while the straight 222 Rem only holds 27 grains water.

f d shuster
01-06-2008, 07:46 AM
Prince555: Excellent load for both of my 222s' ( factory Rem 700 & Sako Vixen w/ Hart 1-14) is the Hodgdon recommended load of 22.2 grs. H322 w/ 50 gr. v-max, seated .020" off the lands. Seated to touch & group sizes will double. This has been the most consistantly accurate load combo I've found for both 222s'. Recently picked up another old Sako Vixen (L46) this one in 222 Rem Mag., and so far, best load is 26.5 IMR 4895, 50 gr. 50 v-max at .020" off the lands. To get acceptable brass for the 222 mag. ( have a good supply of Lapua for the 222), rather than use the Remington, I'm getting very good results by re-forming Hornady 204 to 222 mag. The Hornady brass I've been using is very high quality, far and above the typical Rem with neck wall thickness variations of .004". 2 great little ctgs.,too bad they went by the wayside with the coming of the 223.

Pete Wass
01-06-2008, 08:34 AM
Prince555: Excellent load for both of my 222s' ( factory Rem 700 & Sako Vixen w/ Hart 1-14) is the Hodgdon recommended load of 22.2 grs. H322 w/ 50 gr. v-max, seated .020" off the lands. Seated to touch & group sizes will double. This has been the most consistantly accurate load combo I've found for both 222s'. Recently picked up another old Sako Vixen (L46) this one in 222 Rem Mag., and so far, best load is 26.5 IMR 4895, 50 gr. 50 v-max at .020" off the lands. To get acceptable brass for the 222 mag. ( have a good supply of Lapua for the 222), rather than use the Remington, I'm getting very good results by re-forming Hornady 204 to 222 mag. The Hornady brass I've been using is very high quality, far and above the typical Rem with neck wall thickness variations of .004". 2 great little ctgs.,too bad they went by the wayside with the coming of the 223.

The H-4895 in the 223 bench rifle I use to own was great. I don't remember the load now but 26.5g sounds like it. Clean burning and very consistent. Great case and fun to shoot but THE WIND! I use brass I had picked up off the range, there is always a ton of it, and saw no difference in accuracy from the few carefully prepared ones that came with the rifle. The rifle has a minimum SAMMI chamber in it. It still lives I am told.

mojo2138
01-06-2008, 12:05 PM
You might find Varget a little slow for the 222/Duece Mag cases. I did not find it in any of my loading manuals.

There was posted a Powder Burn Rate Chart on here on 9-26-06 titled "POWDER BURN RATE CHART." Should be maybe printed off and saved for reference. Anyway, the Varget is a whole lot slower than 4895, 322, 4198,and VV N133. You might not see velocity that you want and wind bucking would be bad for an already wind sensitive load.

My tight neck 222 in a bench gun likes 20.2 grains of H4198 and 52 grain Cheeks flatbase. and is fun to pull out sometimes and try to keep up with the 6's....sometimes get lucky.

I have a 223x38 degree shoulder which is close in capacity to the mag that likes 25 to 26 grains of H4895 and the 52 grainer.

NOTE: theses cases are nowhere near as strong as PPC or BR brass and you can blow a primer pocket before you know it. Consult reloading manuals for the final word as this is my rifle and yours Will certainly behave differently. Be safe and start 15% low and work up gradually while watching for pressure signs. ALWAYS wear safety glasses when shooting "especially" this family of cases as they can let go on you with disasterous consequences without any warning.

Years ago when these cases were the hot setup for matches, you would see shooters trashing their cases between relays because some liked to shoot them in the danger zone.

Boyd Allen
01-06-2008, 12:38 PM
Your salesman reminds me of the name of a local take-out place ...Full-O-Bull. There are a lot of powders that have done well in the duce, but Varget, I don't think so. 322, 748, 133, RL7, 335, 4198....

John S
01-06-2008, 02:19 PM
I have an older Sako in 222 Rem Mag with a compact Leupold 3X9 SWEET!

Here's the info:

Sierra 55 HPBT, Primer WSR, Brass Rem, 28.5 grs. of Varget, Velocity at 10 feet 3250 fps.

Loaded to feed out of magizine with OAL of 2.284.

Best of luck.

jonmdavis62
01-06-2008, 03:16 PM
the best loads l have used in 222 Rem.Mag. have been with
748 and 52-53 gr.match bullets.

f d shuster
01-06-2008, 03:26 PM
JohnS: Your old Sako 222 mag. can't be too different from mine. My serial# is 488xx, 3 rd. removable magazine, varmint contour 23.5" bbl. Bofors steel barrel, and yes with my borescope, does have small areas of pitting. I'm told Bofors steel had a high sulpher content(?), and that causes the pitting. My L46 222 was so bad I replaced it w/ a Hart 1-14. Speaking of barrel twist: did you ever measure yours? I did and keep coming up with 1-16.

ReedG
01-06-2008, 04:06 PM
Varget is one of the best powders I've ever used in .223 Remington, especially with heavier bullets in the 60- to 69-gr. range. I've never had a quick enough twist to go heavier.

With a 40-gr. V-Max you can go to 30.0 gr. of Varget, but it takes fireformed Winchester or Federal cases to get that much powder in; 28.0 works good. With 50- and 52-gr. V-Max or Sierra's, 27.0 to 27.5 will sing when you find the right seating depth. 26.0 or 26.5 with Sierra 69-gr. MKs is great and 26.5 to 27.5 with the Sierra 60-gr. These loads are in Savage's with 1:9 twist and Ruger and Tikka with 1:12 (not heavy bullets).

Slow powders like Varget, BL-C(2), W748 and A2230C work great in .223 and always have shot better in my loads with regular primers, not magnum. W748 is one of the best but I have found it hard to keep in tune. Varget's consistency is unbeatable.

FWIW, the Hodgdon manual lists loads for the .222 with Varget and they are the fastest loads listed for 50- to 63-gr. bullets.

rhaney2
01-06-2008, 04:27 PM
the best loads l have used in 222 Rem.Mag. have been with
748 and 52-53 gr.match bullets.

I'll secomd that,i tried Varget and it was ok but not as good as ww-748

Prince 555
01-06-2008, 10:50 PM
Thanks for all the Great loads & information.
I'm going to try several of them.
John S. ---Was that load of 28.5 Varget a compressed load ?

Boyd Allen
01-06-2008, 11:24 PM
A little more detail about Vatget in the .222 with 50 and 53 grain bullets. The top velocity listed for the former (Hodgdon No. 27 Data Manual, 24" barrel) was 3,114 from a compressed load of 25 gr. which generated only 42,700 CUP. The 53 grainers were topped out at only 3,097, with a couple of thousnd more CUP than the 50s.This is not what I call getting all of the potential out of a .222 velocity wise, and the only reason that it was the highest velocity load (IMO) is because it was from a "modern" manual, limited to excessively "lawyered" maximum pressures. When I was shooting a Duce, my best loads were around 3,200 to 3,250 with 748. (I know, looking at the manuals, it doesn't seem possible) The accuracy was excellent. "When I did my part":D Some new manuals are not as useful as the old ones for powder selection. Of the modern versions, I like the one by Nosler the best. It seems closer to reality.

Prince 555
01-08-2008, 11:04 PM
What's the best way to open up the .204 case neck to .222.
Just run it over the expander ball from the .222 Mag. dies ?
Is the case capacity for the Hornady about the same as the
Remington .222 Mag. brass ?


Thanks

ReedG
01-09-2008, 08:26 AM
I certainly agree that modern reloading manuals are written by lawyers, but when I see and hear some handloaders I understand why. The loads in the Hodgdon manual are quite low by my own experiences and even I hate to list my actual loads on the forum sometimes because of any perceived liability.

Varget is almost certainly not the "best" powder for the .222, but certainly can be loaded to be a good choice. Varget can burn pretty dirty until it gets up to reasonable pressures. W748 is as good as it gets for accuracy, and it really makes a .223 with 1:9 twist sing with heavy bullets.

There is a lot of variation in .223 case capacities. Winchester seems to be the "biggest", Lapua and IMI the "smallest". I've used lots of Federal but find the primer pockets don't last, and I've never had good luck with Remington brass. With fireformed, neck-sized Winchester brass 28.5 of Varget trickled from an 8" drop tube comes about halfway up the neck. If you just dump it in it may run over. It seems Varget likes to be compressed because the "good" loads are all that way.

Don't overlook Benchmark in your load testing. It fits nicely between Varget and H322 in burn rate and works very well with 40- to 55-gr. bullets in .223.

I presume all the "maximum" loads in the Hodgdon manual for the .222 are pitifully low because none of them approaches 50,000 or 55,000 CUP. But then they have to remember that someone may be putting them into an old Savage 340-era gun.

It's curious the Hodgdon data doesn't list any loads for Varget in .222 Magnum. I'm guessing it's because their data was all compiled before Varget came along, as it should work good in the slightly larger Magnum case.

To expand the .204 neck up to .22, a good, long-taper expander will do the trick. I prefer a K&M or Sinclair expander mandrel.