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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I'm still looking at a Ruger M77 MK II 223 target rifle and was thinking it would be fun to make up some Hornady Z-Max 40 Grain Boat Tail loads for plinking fun. What do yall think? No I'm not a zombie nut, I am just using this as an example,,,,what I'm looking for is just some light fun for my wife and younger son. Has anyone used this weight of bullet before? If so how was it? Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
WOW, out of 158 people looking, no one has used a 40 grain bullet????
 

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I've used mostly Varget for my 40 grain V Max loads. I've gotten excellent results with several rifles. My targets usually consist of groundhogs and cornfield crows. The 40 grain V Max turns them into a pile of feathers.

I got repeatable 1.20" 5 shot groups at 300 yds using W748 from a 26" bull barrel .223 and the V Max.

Great combo!
 

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I've never loaded less than 55gr. I only have a Mini14 and it doesn't like light bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone for the info.
 

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I've loaded 40s for a 223 before. IMR-4198 and W-748 both worked very, very well for that weight.
 

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I have loaded a bunch of 40 gr bullets. Ballistic Tips, V-Maxes, Z-Maxes, Sierra HP's, you name it. Currently, I load 27.5 gr of Ramshot TAC with the 40 gr Z-Max. And, no, I am not after zombies, I just like to save about $3 per 100 over the price of the V-Maxes. They shoot very well in both my bolt guns with 1 in 12" twist barrels and my AR 1 in 8" twist. Another favorite load is 27.0 gr of Accurate 2015 with the Nosler 40 gr Ballistic Tip. This is a very warm load that I got out of Lyman's No. 48 manual. It is a grain and a half higher than other manuals list, but it seems safe in my Remington 700 SPS Varmint, and pushes close to 3800 fps in warm weather. My TAC load is around 3700 fps. I don't know why more people don't load the 40 gr bullets. They really explode the ground squirrels (or gophers, if you are from Montana). The 50 and 55 gr bullets do a fine job, too, but there is nothing quite like a 40 gr plastic tip bullet vaporizing a rodent at 100 yards or so. And with a rested heavy barrel .223 and 40 gr bullet, you can see it impact in your scope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys for the ideas. I am looking at the Hornady Z-Max bullets also due to the cost savings but I'm looking at the Alliant Powder Pro Varmint, anyone use it yet?
 

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I load the Hornady 40 gr V-Max over 27.5 gr of Ramshot Xterminator. This is my exclusive load for prairie dogs in my Remington 700VS. I get just over 3700 fps and great accuracy. Blows them up.
 

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If you have a yearning for 40 grainers, I'd suggest trying the Sierra Blitz King. Works well with a number of powders and charge weights in my Mini-14, but you better be prepared to drop your cross hairs, as these things can print 4" north of a 55 grain bullet when you stoke them up in the 3500 fps region.
 

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Thanks guys for the ideas. I am looking at the Hornady Z-Max bullets also due to the cost savings but I'm looking at the Alliant Powder Pro Varmint, anyone use it yet?
If you try any of that Alliant Pro Varmint powder, let us know your results. Graf and Sons has the 8 lb keg on sale for just $99.95 + hazmat. Great bargain if it works well. Just don't feel like gambling $127.95 without some additional testimonial. I did gamble on a pair of 8 lb kegs of Ramshot TAC a few years back. For $79.95 ea. plus hazmat and shipping, they were too good a deal to pass up. But a lot of people on message boards claimed they had used it to good effect in the .223, so I was confident I would like it. It worked out well.
 

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If you want a real fly weight bullet that's a blaster then try the Barnes Bullets Varmint Grenade 36gr bullets. The name descibes the mess left behind that used to be a varmint.
 

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I'm still looking at a Ruger M77 MK II 223 target rifle and was thinking it would be fun to make up some Hornady Z-Max 40 Grain Boat Tail loads for plinking fun. What do yall think?
Try this:
8gr of Trail Boss
40gr Sierra HP

My CZ527 shoots 5 under a dime at 50yds, opening to 3/4" @ 100yds. Velocity is about 1600fps, noise is in between a .22LR and a .22 Magnum.

If you have a ton of the ZMax that should work as well, the Sierra bullet costs less, was designed for velocities in the Hornet to .222 range, and will expand nicely on varmints under 100yds.
 

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I shoot a lot of 40 grain bullets, they are what shoots the best out of my rifle with a 1:12 twist. With a regular vmax bullet i can hold 1" @ 100 all day. They arent worth a crap at much over 100 in my 1:9 AR
 

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Try this:
8gr of Trail Boss
40gr Sierra HP

My CZ527 shoots 5 under a dime at 50yds, opening to 3/4" @ 100yds. Velocity is about 1600fps, noise is in between a .22LR and a .22 Magnum.

If you have a ton of the ZMax that should work as well, the Sierra bullet costs less, was designed for velocities in the Hornet to .222 range, and will expand nicely on varmints under 100yds.
I'm fascinated with your load! This is for a .223 Remington cartridge??? It looks like a Hornet load to me--except for the fast-burning pistol powder.

My CZ527 is a .22 Hornet with 1 : 16 twist, but you are talking a .223? My .223 is a Stevens with a 1 : 9 twist and any bullet with weight lower than 55 grains tends to disappear at .223 velocities. If you really are talking about a .223 Remington load, then I am very intrigued, and would like to try a load like this. But I've heard horror stories about loads too light. And pistol powders in long barrels?

Curious I am!
Angky.
 

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I have loaded Hornady V-Max 40gr with 21.2gr of IMR 4198 and get excellent results at 300yds...
 

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I'm fascinated with your load! This is for a .223 Remington cartridge??? It looks like a Hornet load to me--except for the fast-burning pistol powder.

My CZ527 is a .22 Hornet with 1 : 16 twist, but you are talking a .223? My .223 is a Stevens with a 1 : 9 twist and any bullet with weight lower than 55 grains tends to disappear at .223 velocities. If you really are talking about a .223 Remington load, then I am very intrigued, and would like to try a load like this. But I've heard horror stories about loads too light. And pistol powders in long barrels?
This is for a .223, mine is a 1:12 twist, but the difference at the working velocity isn't enough to destroy a bullet with a 1:9. It's a little more than a +P .22LR, in the same velocity range as many of the hyper velocity rimfires. I use it for calling foxes where the ranges are <75yds. It's actually quiet enough that a single stand can produce more than one or two shots in areas where populations are high. The two bullets I've used are the 40gr Sierra HP, and the Hornady 45gr Bee HP. Neither will mess up a hide.

Trail boss isn't really a pistol powder. I use it for practice loads and barrel break in loads. It works great in the .223, .243, 7-08, .280 Rem, 7mm Mag, .30-30, .30-06, .35 Rem, and .35 Whelen in my collection. The .22 Hornet would likely produce .22LR speeds with the lighter bullets.
 

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40gr is light and in the class of "why?", since 55gr are much more common. I've used 40gr in a PS90 5.7x28 and that is one touchy round to load. I'd think a 5.56 in 40gr would suffer in a autoloader, but since you are using a bolt gun (if I read that right) it should be much less sensitive.
 
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