match AR-15 223 loads??
I have a colt match AR-15 with a 1/7 twist barrel. I was curious what bullet weight and stuff I should go with. I have been loading 55gr smk's but I was thinking about going to a heavier bullet. The reason why is because at 300yrds my groups are terrible. any advice???
you would get better and more info from ar15.com
this would be a factory/hybrid rifle question , not a benchrest question....unless you are trying to tell me you are shooting br with a stock 1/7 ar15. ???
having said all that i' go with 68 and up.....
mike in co
Heavy Bullet .223 Loads
This is surely not the best forum for your question, but I shot AR-15s for many years before moving exclusively to BR competition. I suggest you get the large box (500) of Sierra 80 grain Match Kings and a jug of VV-140 powder. If you have a GOOD batch of LC brass, you can use that - or buy virgin Winchester. Try Winchester Small Rifle, CCI and Federal primers to see what works best for you. Try to do your load development at at least 200 yards. Work up your powder charge by small, 0.2 gr. increments and try seating depths from a light "jam" into the rifling to a moderate bullet jump. All rounds must be single-loaded for best accuracy, so don't worry about fit in the magazine. Good shooting, Ed
I presume your Colt 1:7 match barrel is a 20" model. I have one of those. I've only seen the 24" Colts in 1:9. When the military decided many years ago to put 7" twist barrels on some AR-15 it was to shoot heavy bullets but not in the 80+ grain range. It was primarily done for shooting 62 gn M855 ammo in sub-zero arctic conditions where air density is high.
A 7" twist can handle quite heavy bullets with a longer cartridge OAL, but you'll have trouble feeding low drag 75+ grain bullets from an ar-15 magazine. I'd suggest you try the 77 grain Sierra Matchkings. They aren't suitable for 1000 yard use but will get out considerably further and more accurately and with more terminal energy than standard M855 (62 gn SS109) though the trajectory won't be as flat at shorter ranges. For more info google Mk 262 Mod 1. Thats the military's special ops cartridge which uses this bullet.
The 77 grain Sierra matchking is available with an appropriately placed cannelure for use in the AR-15, Sierra part #1478. http://www.midwayusa.com stocks them at about $15 per box of 50. Also as loaded ammo from Black Hills at $48 per box of 50.
I'd expect the 77 grain SMK to show the most improvement over the 55 grain when shooting at 500 plus yards and in windy conditions. The 55 grain SMK may do better at short range even with the fast twist barrel.
Last edited by Louis Boyd; 06-28-2008 at 11:53 AM.
I've got an AR with a 20" 1 in 8 barrel and noticed that 55 gr bullets tend to go high and right with so-so accuracy when 69-75 gr bullets are more or less centered for wind. Try 69 to 80 gr bullets and you'll be happier even at shorter ranges. The 75 gr Hornady and 77 gr Sierra can be loaded to feed from the magazine, although I've found that I have to seat bullets to an OAL of ~2.24" due to variations in the tips of the bullets. If you want to go to the trouble of uniforming the bullet meplats you could probably seat the bullets longer.
I haven't tried anything heavier than the 75 Hornady HPBT's in mine and have used H4895, Varget, and RL-15 with WSR primers. My rifle seems to prefer H4895 for the 69 gr SMK's and 75 gr Hornady's, but your's could like another powder. Lake City or WW brass is the lightest (largest capacity) and hardest which is good in an AR. Stay away from Federal cases which are heavy and soft.
Try some of Ronnie Cheek's 63 grain custom made bullets. Working up a new load, I combined his 63 grain bullets with 26.0 grains of Varget, Lapua 223 brass and CCI BR4 primers for a 100 yards .084" group with the 31st through 35th bullets out of the box. THe barrel is a 26" Douglas with a 1-8" twist. Since then I've haven't change a thing and have been extremely satisfied with the results at 100 and 200 yards. You might give them a try at 300. Here is Ronnie site: http://www.rcheek.com/ Also, give him a call. He'll answer any questions you may have. Art
Originally Posted by 1000yrd ringer
so its ok then to use the heavier bullet with a 1/7?? I have been loading 24.5grs on IMR 4064. That does ok out to 200yrds but once I get out to 300 it shoots terrible groups. I just figured that the bullet was to light. yea I ment to post this under factory/hybrid but I posted it here on accident. So varget is the best powerder that you have found so far???
I've had several AR's w/ 1-7" twist barrels... they seemed pretty omniverous to me.
I have a couple 'known-good' loads consisting of a 50-55gr bullet (doesn't really seem to matter which, but I usually stick w/ 52gr SMK because the boat tail makes loading easier) over either H335 or Win748. If a gun won't shoot sub-moa @ 100yds w/ one of those two loads... you've either got a problem w/ the gun, the scope, or the trigger puller
Both of the above loads shoot pretty darn well - may not win any BR matches, but not going to leave any points laying around in a reduced course HP Prone match either - from several 20" WOA 1-7" barrels, and one 26" WOA 1-7" tube. By 300yd the wind might start giving you fits, depending on the range, etc. but they should still group good.
For the heavier bullets from the 69gr SMK on up, Varget and RE-15 are probably the two most commonly used powders - because they work really well in a lot of guns. I've driven up to 90gr SMKs thru WOA 1-7" twist tubes w/ no stability problems out to 600yds, but 75-77gr mag length bullets and 75-80gr long range bullets are more common fare, and the 1-7" should handle them all easily. Other powders used include N140, N540, H4895, & TAC.
Offered this advice to a guy I shoot with. He has an HK SL8 and loves this set up.
75gr Amax over Benchmark lit with CCI BR4 or 450 (450 is my favorite). He uses a variety of headstamps but mostly Rem right now as he has a bunch.
This is a rack grade HK and shoots 1 to 1.5 MOA out to 600yds. Pretty darn good.
For a match rifle, I expect groups to be a whole lot better. Do adjust loads in 1 tenth increments.
The OAL is set up to fit in a mag and there is no issue with bullet seat back.
Hope it works for you.
Classic AR 15 loads for a 7 inch twist barrel have been 69 gr and 77 gr using 25gr & 24 gr Varget.