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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have been reloading pistol caliber's for a few years now but have never reloaded rifle ammo. I currently have on hand a few pounds of Varget but I have been reading that some folks prefer H335 for .223 reloads. Other than Varget being extruded and H335 being spherical is one powder better suited for .223 reloads ?

Thank you....
 

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There are lots of powders that are suitable. Check the manuals for the bullet weight you are considering. I have good results with H4895 with 55gr bullets in both my 20" and 26" .223 rifles.
 

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"The Real Deal"
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Both are good powders for .223 rem. I have found that 335 does really well with the 40 grain vmax. Varget is a good powder across many weights for the .223. I use a small rifle magnum primer for the 335, std small rifle primer for varget. But either will serve you well.
 

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I use Varget for my 55gr rounds through a Lyman powder measure and it seems to be just fine. When I use IMR 8208xbr, it is like measuring cornflakes... lots of crunching and halting... not sure why that is. I have loaded about 1500 so far and fired over 600 and no issues. I have some 335 but have not dipped into them yet.
 

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I use Varget for my 55gr rounds through a Lyman powder measure and it seems to be just fine. When I use IMR 8208xbr, it is like measuring cornflakes... lots of crunching and halting... not sure why that is. I have loaded about 1500 so far and fired over 600 and no issues. I have some 335 but have not dipped into them yet.
If ypur using a powder drop, the 8028 is probably being chopped in half, which is probably giving you inconsistant charge weights. I found the stick or flake does that in powder drops, ball does not. I use an auto scale dispener and have to change a few fine adjustments between ball and stick but get accurate meterd loads. Double check your charges they will probably be off.
 
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I use BL-C(2), which meters really well. Haven't done too much loading with it since I have factory 5.56mm available, but the loads I did put together with the BL-C(2) and 55gn FMJ seemed to work really well.

Aqualung
 

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If ypur using a powder drop, the 8028 is probably being chopped in half, which is probably giving you inconsistant charge weights. I found the stick or flake does that in powder drops, ball does not. Double check your charges they will probably be off.
True statement.
 

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If ypur using a powder drop, the 8028 is probably being chopped in half, which is probably giving you inconsistant charge weights. I found the stick or flake does that in powder drops, ball does not. I use an auto scale dispener and have to change a few fine adjustments between ball and stick but get accurate meterd loads. Double check your charges they will probably be off.
I put every charge on my scale and wind up adding or taking a few sticks (with one of my pointy juice container straws) to get it just even. Those Chargemasters will probably take the pinch out of my neck when I get one. With the Varget, I rarely have a hang up and if I do I just throw it back in the top of the powder measure and redo the charge and it is right on.
 

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rojasj--You didn't mention if your .223 loads will be used in a bolt action or semi-auto, could make a difference as to powder, but not critical. Over the last 25 years I've reloaded .223/5.56 mm I've used a variety of powders. Have used all that have been mentioned with good results except 8028 and Varget. I've used and love Varget though in a host of other calibers such as 250 and 300 Savage, 30/06, 8mm, and 303 British. IMO Varget is the Unique (powder) of rifle reloading, alot of applications. I bought a pound of CFE223 several months ago, but have yet to try it. I've also had good luck with Accurate 2230. I must say though all my loadings have been shot in a Ruger Mini-14 and several AR-15's. One that hasn't been mentioned and I probably have loaded more rounds with for .223/5.56 is Winchester 748, a ball powder. Meters great, burns clean, and I've had excellent accuracy with it in the 52-55 grain bullet range. As mentioned previously, check load manuals, also use a powder/powders that once you find one or two that work good for you, you can replenish your supply as needed. Knew of a guy once that bought a pound of powder for his favorite bolt gun while traveling, worked great in his rifle, but when he went to buy more he found that none of his local GS's stocked it.
 

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I put every charge on my scale and wind up adding or taking a few sticks (with one of my pointy juice container straws) to get it just even. Those Chargemasters will probably take the pinch out of my neck when I get one. With the Varget, I rarely have a hang up and if I do I just throw it back in the top of the powder measure and redo the charge and it is right on.
Yes you will benefit from a scale dispenser. I have the hornady, it works well if you fine tune it, speed, metering, trickle adjustment etc. I ran into the problem you have, thats why i bought the dispenser. I can do it beam scale as a back up, but the dispenser is faster. I do 380acp to 50 bmg with 218 grains a charge on it. Well worth the money. RCBS chargemaster is my next go to if this one dies.

146884
 

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rojasj--You didn't mention if your .223 loads will be used in a bolt action or semi-auto, could make a difference as to powder, but not critical. Over the last 25 years I've reloaded .223/5.56 mm I've used a variety of powders. Have used all that have been mentioned with good results except 8028 and Varget. I've used and love Varget though in a host of other calibers such as 250 and 300 Savage, 30/06, 8mm, and 303 British. IMO Varget is the Unique (powder) of rifle reloading, alot of applications. I bought a pound of CFE223 several months ago, but have yet to try it. I've also had good luck with Accurate 2230. I must say though all my loadings have been shot in a Ruger Mini-14 and several AR-15's. One that hasn't been mentioned and I probably have loaded more rounds with for .223/5.56 is Winchester 748, a ball powder. Meters great, burns clean, and I've had excellent accuracy with it in the 52-55 grain bullet range. As mentioned previously, check load manuals, also use a powder/powders that once you find one or two that work good for you, you can replenish your supply as needed. Knew of a guy once that bought a pound of powder for his favorite bolt gun while traveling, worked great in his rifle, but when he went to buy more he found that none of his local GS's stocked it.
Your right it does make a difference between bolt and semi, in particular if i crimp or not. Its funny how some rifles are picky on powders they like.

Have used w748 been a long time though. Good powder.

A few others that i have used.

Benchmark
IMR3031
CFE223
H4895 (with 75 and 77gr hpbt)
AR COMP
BL-C(2)

I use the most of H335, Varget, H4895, and benchmark in .223 rem for my autos. Some of those are shared with the other calibers i load for.
 
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In these days of powder shortages ... sometimes the best powder is the one you "have a few pounds on hand" of ... after looking in a couple reloading manuals , there is plenty of data and Varget would seem to be a good choice ... It's what you got !

Last powder shortage taught me to load with powders I had (stashed on the back of the shelf was two full cans of Alcan #5 ) it worked just fine .
When I couldn't get Bullseye I scrounged some Red Dot and 700X...discovered two useful powders .
Hope you have a stash of primers ...those are getting endangered lately .
Gary
 

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The 223 is a very forgiving cartridge, if it goes bang it's quite accurate. I load 55gr FMJ and 65gr sierra game king. My go to are h335, cfe 223, w748, reloader10X in no particular order. During the last hoarding episode I used 3031 and 4064 . I use load data closest to 3000fps and I've had good results across the board.
 

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I've tried most of the previous mentioned powders but am a fan of CFE223. It meters perfectly and is consistent in my .223/5.56 loads and great performance in my .308 Win AMerican Rifle.
 

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My goto powder for my Remington Mod 700 (223 Rem) used to be W-748 .... very accurate with 55gr bullets. One day while on a prairie dog hunt, I got into a target rich environment .... lots of prairied dogs running about. After 5 shots in fairly rapid secession, the bolt on my 700 locked up and wouldn't open.

When I got home from the hunt, I did some research on W-748 powder. Turns out it is one of the worst for pressure increases as powder temperatures increase. So what was happening .... my chamber got very hot then the heat transferred to the brass case where it heated up the powder and caused chamber pressure to elevate dramatically. Needless to say, that was the end of my W-748 use.

Varget was a very new powder at the time and Hodgdon's claimed it was temperature compensated (extreme rated) from zero deg F to 130 deg F where velocity didn't change more than 13 fps across the temperature range. I worked up a load of 26.5gr with a 55gr Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet .... exceptionally accurate and I could shoot my 700 without having the bolt lock up. I've used the same load with Hornady V-Max bullets .... also very accurate. These loads also perform very well in my AR556.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you all.. I just wanted to be sure that I was using a good powder with my first .233 reloads.
 

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Interesting Iowegan your report on Win 748. I've never had that problem shooting it in Mini14 or AR's even when rapping off multiple mags of 20/30 rounds when having a 'mad moment' with my trigger finger. Off course I've read/heard that semi-auto chambers are a little more generous in size than a like caliber for a bolt action rifle which maybe is the reason for your Rem 700 expanding your brass more and sticking. I do like Varget and all of the powders listed as not temp sensitive. Varget is my go to powder for use in my Ruger 77 250 Savage for winter coyote hunting. 1" and less MOA at 100 yards if I do my part. Also use it in my Savage 99 250 Savage, loading for both rifles a Hornady 75 grain plastic tip V-Max or a 87 grain Speer SP. (For what it's worth IMR 3031 is a favorite also for the 250). Hornady's Titegroup is another good one that isn't temp or position sensitive for 9mm and 45acp, it's my go to powder for those calibers. I've an itch to do some reloading this week, think I'll try and work up some Varget loads in the .223/5.56 and see how they do, have always wanted to try it.-I have one AR with a good scope for varmint use that I do take coyote hunting once in a while that can and does reach out and touch those howlin critters.. Reload mostly 55 grain SP's and FMJ's, do load some 52-53 Grain HP's on occasion.
 

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Hog Leg, Shooting a semi-auto at a fast rate of fire probably doesn't give the powder much time to heat up. Where I ran into problems was shooting several rounds, chambering a fresh round, then shooting again after maybe 20 seconds. This is probably the worst case scenario for powder heating up.

I found 55gr FMJs were the least accurate of all the bullet types I've tried. I had great luck with Speer 55gr hollow points and much better luck with Nosler Ballistic Tips, which will hold a 1" group at 250 yards in my Mod 700 providing there is no wind. The twist rate for my Mod 700 is 1:12 so it doesn't do very well with bullets over 60 gr. Another great 223 Rem load for calm winds is a Hornady 40gr V-Max. It is dynamite on prairie dogs .... nothing left but hair, teeth, and eyeballs.
 
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