View Full Version : Advice on loads for 223 and 22-250

Adam Daugherty
12-18-2015, 01:58 PM
Folks, new to the forum. Getting a Hornady classic reloading kit for Christmas. They have a promotion to get 500 bullets with the purchase of this kit. I opted for 500 55 grain Hornady SP W/C bullets. What are some recommended recipes for this bullet for these two guns.
Howa 1500 Varminter in 223 with 1/12 twist barrel. This gun loves 40 grain v max factory loads. Which I plan to get some 40 grainers as well to reload, but that wasn't an option for the free bullets. I have tried 60 grain v max out of this gun and it is 1.25 inch groups at best at 200 yards. 40 grainers are consistent less than 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards. But was hoping I could get a load good enough out of the 55 grainers to be sufficient for coyotes.

Second gun is a Weatherby Vanguard bull barrel sporter in 22-250 with a 1:14 twist barrel. This gun is my father in laws and do not have much experience with it other than just some factory 55 grain Winchester ballistic tip varmint loads.

have bought dies and that is about it so I am open to which powder, primers, etc. for 223 will have some random brass from random factory loads and then some unshot hornady brass.

22-250 will be mostly spent Winchester brass.

Thanks for input

Dusty Stevens
12-18-2015, 02:50 PM
Put n135 in that 22-250 and itll become magic. For the 223 i use n133

Adam Daugherty
12-18-2015, 03:14 PM
Mr Dusty pretty new to all of this, and actually can be a little intimidating reading through all of the info that is available. What primers would you recommend. Also, the kit will come with Hornadys reloading manual. Is it sufficient to get me started, what reads would you recommend a newbie to reloading read. Mainly wanting to get a good overall understanding of burn rates, pressures, etc and how this all affects a round and safety issues. I guess what I am trying to say is that if I have a load that shoots this bullet, with this brand of powder, out of this brass, with this primer instead of just accepting that it shoots good I want to understand why it is an accurate round and understand why another round maynot be as accurate?

Dusty Stevens
12-18-2015, 07:16 PM
Wow man theres years worth if reading on all that!! Start out with whatever primers you can get at your local store. Youll need large rifle and small rifle. Theres a bunch of books on basic reloading- the manual that comes with your kit may have info in there. If not get one of those books i think its called metallic cartridge reloading. It has a picture of a reloading press on the front. Ive seen em at most bookstores. A lee reloading manual has a very good intro. Get your stuff mounted, read all you can and be sure you have good measuring tools. Wear safety glasses while loading and shooting both. Double and triple check powder charges. Ask questions no matter how dumb you think they are- everybody started just like you. Best advice i can give bar none is get a mentor. Not some guy that reloads his deer bullets every year but a real shooter. He will save you tons of money in useless stuff. Where you located? We may have a representative close that can help.

Dusty Stevens
12-18-2015, 07:19 PM

Joe S
12-18-2015, 09:24 PM
If you coming kit does come with their manual (I'm pretty sure it does) you will find most of what you want to know in it. Read the first chapters in the manual and they will lead you on your way to setting up your tooling and the reasoning behind the hows and ways for the most part. The data in rear sections of the book will offer suggestions on what Hornady considers powders and the charge ranges that worked best for them in their lab. Be aware they are not inclusive and there are other choice that may work better as well as the fact that there is no one of anything that is cut in stone as the best in every rifle. Trial and error is needed for the best loads although the loads in the manuals are usually very good starting points and may just include a load you can be happy with.
Lyman has a excellent manual also and it covers multiple bullet makers products to a limited degree, where as Hornadies book is limited to just Hornady bullets. They also cover the "how to" a bit better with more pictures and arrows then the books by the bullet makers. Be aware also your rifle has a lot to do with what you end up with as to what your loads will do. The general factory rifle is not going to produce 0.25" groups with any kind of regularity, 0.75" is more in line with the better results you can expect from good loads in decent factory gun like the varmint, or heavy barreled precision models from Ruger, Remington, or Winchester. Some however will show a strong desire to keep 5 in half inch on a good day. Here are couple videos that might help


Tony C
12-18-2015, 09:45 PM
Howa 1500 Varminter in 223 with 1/12 twist barrel. This gun loves 40 grain v max factory loads. Which I plan to get some 40 grainers as well to reload, but that wasn't an option for the free bullets. I have tried 60 grain v max out of this gun and it is 1.25 inch groups at best at 200 yards. 40 grainers are consistent less than 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards. But was hoping I could get a load good enough out of the 55 grainers to be sufficient for coyotes.

The 1:12 twist barrel will limit the bullet weight at which a bullet will stabilize. Without referring to a known chart, my guess is 60 grain bullets may be close to maximum.

What powders do you have on hand? The .223 is one of the most versatile cartridges there is so far as selection of powders that will work wonderfully. 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards are pretty exceptional for a factory rifle. There are BR rifles that will not achieve that on a consistent basis......

Adam Daugherty
12-19-2015, 04:03 PM
I've got some h4895 and some h335 from what I have researched I think they will be pretty good to get feet wet. The 223 that I have is factory gun that has been worked over by a talented gun smith. He lapped and bedded barrel. Squared lugs and rebuilt trigger.

Tony C
12-19-2015, 05:45 PM
I've got some h4895 and some h335

Should work great.

Dick Grosbier
12-20-2015, 04:13 PM
My all time favorite reloading manual, and I have accumulated a bunch is the LYMAN RELOADING MANUAL


01-06-2016, 03:40 PM
Adam If you are looking for reloading data you can't go wrong with Loadbooks USA. Each book is for one specific cartridge and contains reload data from all the popular powder and bullet makers.
You can order online at http://www.loadbooks.com.
I can shoot five shot 1.2 inch groups with my Savage .223 varmint rifle using Nosler 55 grain ballistic tips. If you are shooting 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards maybe I need some tips from you!
The ranches around here where I shoot ground squirrels can get a little breezy so I use the 55 grain bullets most of time. Twice I've had coyotes move into a field where I was shooting looking for any easy meal. One was right at a 100 yards and the other at about 250 - dropped them both real easy.
Anyway, my favorite ground squirrel/coyote load is 27.5 grains of BLC2 pushing a 55 grain NBT with CCI 400 primers.
Have fun with your project..

01-07-2016, 03:15 AM
...... snip............. 40 grainers are consistent less than 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards. ...... snip........

If you can shoot 5 shot groups below 1/4 MOA using factory ammo you're in the wrong segment of the shooting hobby. Sell all your camo gear, tear up your hunting license, and forget about killing God's little furry creatures.

Buy a goofy looking hat, treat yourself to some very expensive eye glasses in some odd shade of purple or pink, and immediately get into one of the precision target shooting disciplines; bench rest or F-class or something like that.

Shooting sub 1/4 MOA 5-shot groups at 100 yards is the holy grail for most of us, even with very carefully made hand-loads. Doing that at 200 yards is impressive indeed.

Adam Daugherty
01-07-2016, 10:05 AM
Folks thanks for the advice on loads. Looks likes lots of interest has shifted to my misprint, let me re-state that instead of consistent 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards, that should have been 1/2 groups at 100 yards and after a little research my group size determination was not accurate per the terminology used in what the benchrest crowd uses. I was figuring the center of the group and measuring out, so technically what I was calling 1/2 inch groups would have been in reality 1 inch groups. Forgive me for not being up to par on the correct accurateness of my terminology. Basically I was just trying to convey that I think I have an accurate shooting rifle and wanting to experiment with reloading. I have got it down now on how to correctly measure groups. I am new to all of this and except for just shooting to line a rifle up for hunting all of this is new to me, but over the last two weeks I have learned a lot. It is amazing how much info can be gleaned on the subject. Anyways since I first posted this, I have reloaded 100 rounds total (.223, 22-250, .243), I have learned how to set dies, resize cases, trim cases, clean primer pockets, and have even made some shims to fit the hornady hand primer I have to seat the primers a little below flush (the tool seated all primers high from what I could tell). Anyways yesterday evening got to set down on the bench with the sand bags and shoot my first handloads!!!! I shot 3 (4) shot groups at 100 yards. The first group was nothing impressive because to be honest I had just a little nervous feel inside expecting something "bad" to happen being that I am not experienced in this reloading stuff at all. After nothing blew up in my face and cases looked "good" after firing I settled in a little and the groups tightened up. I will try to post a picture of the final (3rd) 4 shot group. it measured 10/16 inches across and according to the way you are suppose to measure groups this would be .6250 minus the bullet diameter of .224 for a group of .401. is this correct? Also while on the subject what is the best primer replacement for Remington 7.5 small rifle primers. A lot of the loads in the manuals call for this primer and they are hard to find in my area.

Adam Daugherty
01-07-2016, 10:18 AM
Also for those interested this came out of a howa 1500 varminter. Loads best I remember as I don't have my notes with me were 21.0 grains of IMR 4198 40 grain v max rem 7.5 primer and COL was same as a hornady factory load that I had, wrote it down but don't recall it exactly.

Also if there is a forum better suited to a newby like me who may be asking too elementary type stuff for this forum please direct me to that forum. Im pretty thicked skin and if I am in the wrong place, no worries, but thanks for what info has been provided.

Doug Casner
01-07-2016, 10:43 AM
Adam, Im glad you straightened that .5 in. group at 200 out of factory rifle. That makes old shooters like me think why is he asking for any info? One of my 223 rifles likes a max charge of vv133 and a 60 gr. ballistic tip nosler. Its a 1-10 twist though. All my 223s are 1-10 or 1-8.

01-08-2016, 01:42 PM
Adam That is a nice group and it looks like your getting it all together.
When I was using 4198 the shape of the powder made it difficult to throw loads that were right on. I dealt with that by adjusting the powder measure to throw a short but close load and finish it with a trickle charger. I only did that for testing. The varmint loads were whatever came out of the powder measure. Close enough.
If you want some interesting reading check out Rifle Magazine Varmint issues. It only comes out once a year but you can order back issues. They run about $10 an issue but it's worth it. You can call them at 1-800-899-7818 or online http://www.riflemagazine.com.

01-11-2016, 01:42 PM
What scope are you using Adam?

01-11-2016, 03:15 PM
All that anyone could say here is in the reloading manual....except maybe some powders involved. Get your dies set such that cases last a while and just have at it. You're as smart as anybody (smarter than me) and will enjoy loading and shooting.

All your brass should be from the same lot. Fireform a set of cases and put any mixed up cases aside. Use them only for "test" cases as you'll need some of those.

Watch out for cases that become too long and if you don't have a case trimmer just bite the bullet and get one.

Don't mix anything per batch. By that I mean don't load using different primers, different cases, different bullets, etc and expect them to group. If you're shooting groundhogs that might be OK.

Seating depth could affect accuracy. You'll need to try different depths to see what happens.

Lastly, if there is a lastly, if you're not using wind flags you're at the mercy of conditions. That's not a good position to be in when trying to squeeze accuracy out of a rifle. A half inch rifle could easily become an inch rifle in the slightest of wind.

01-11-2016, 04:14 PM
Had good results with 50 /55 gr. bullets in both calibers 26.6 Win. 748 in 223 and 38.0 H380 in 22-250
1/12 twist barrels