Variance in load data

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by scrappydoo, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo Active Member

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    So after working up a load with Hornady .224 60 gr SP (and absolutely loving that bullet) I decided to try something new. I got a box of Sierra 55 gr fmjbt with cannelure to play with. It didn't say there's a cannelure on the box so I'm assuming all of their 55 gr fmjbt stuff has it? I didn't get very good results with the Sierra 50 gr so I'll try the 55 gr and see what happens.

    Anyway, onto my question. I'm looking up load data and getting conflicting info. Sierra's loadings are a lot hotter than Accurate's, but their stuff is listed specifically for the AR-15. I looked up Hornady's info and for their 55 gr fmjbt it matches Sierra's. Here's the differences I'm seeing using AA-2230:
    Sierra: 23.3 min - 26.1 max
    Hornady: 24min - 26 max
    Accurate: 22.2 min - 24.7 max

    The huge difference has me a little nervous, and because it's the powder manufacturer makes it worse. Would you guys feel comfortable using Sierra/hornady's info or Accurate's? I inclined to use the former because it's two sources that agree. Thanks guys!
  2. iusmc2002

    iusmc2002 Active Member

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    Wouldn't you want to go with the manufacturers specs? I would THINK they test their own recipes, don't they?
  3. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo Active Member

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    That's why I'm asking. The bullet and powder manufacturers have different data. I just don't know which is more reliable and am hoping that using a 3rd source is a safe way to figure out which to use. Plus there's some old timers here that I'm sure have used this combination before.
  4. Dutchy556

    Dutchy556 Member

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    I'd be totally comfortable with around 26gr as per Speer & Hornady's data.

    I'd probably work up some test loads from around 23.5/24 to 26 and see what works best - keeping an eye out for pressure signs at the higher end but I would think it would be fine.

    In fact, I'll probably be doing exactly that in the near future, I've been meaning to try some loads with 2230.
  5. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo Active Member

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    Cool, thank for the piece of mind. I think I'll start at 23.5 and work up to 25.5 in .5 gr increments.
  6. Dutchy556

    Dutchy556 Member

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    Sounds like a good plan to me. I've got a buddy who uses 2230 and IIRC he gets best results with something like 25.2 with 55s out of a 16" carbine, so that's probably a good range to try.
  7. AMProducts

    AMProducts Well-Known Member

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    Accurate Arms publishes data that is intentionally anemic, it's stupid and annoying. I loaded up a bunch of .30 carbine at the "max" AA data, and most of it wouldn't cycle in my newer M1 carbine, but my WW2 era worn out gun would. I do not like AA's data at all, and as a consequence I have largely stopped using their powders.

    After looking at the sierra data, and using their load, (which was about 10% hotter) the cycling issues ceased.

    If you want a real performer for .223, try western's "Tac" powder, it is incredible what kind of performance that powder can get out of .223 and .308. I highly recommend it.
  8. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo Active Member

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    I'm guessing AA is listening too closely to their attorneys? It's good to know that it's their data that's light and not Sierra and Hornady's being too hot.

    When doing research on different loads Tac seems to come up a lot. That's definitely the next powder I plan to pick up. This is the one you're talking about right? It's not a particularly hard powder to find is it?
  9. deadshot2

    deadshot2 Well-Known Member

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    I load thousands of 55gr FMJ-BT's for my AR using 25.4 gr of AA2230. While this specific bullet isn't shown in Accurate's data it's a long used "rule of thumb" that one can use the data for a heavier bullet as a starting point when the exact bullet is not listed. Accurate shows a load of 25.3 gr for the M-855 cartridge which uses a 62 gr. bullet.

    You will be perfectly OK using the Sierra/Hornady data for 2230. For some reason Accurate shows data for just about every bullet sold BUT the most common of all, the military M-193 55 gr FMJ-BT. Go figure.
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 Well-Known Member

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    TAC is a slower burning powder than 2230 and more suited to heavier bullets. For the 55gr the 2230 will be a cleaner powder in an AR.

    BTW, they both come from the SAME company, just different names. Western Powders Inc owns the brands Ramshot and Accurate.
  11. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo Active Member

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    That makes sense because their websites are almost identical. One last question about the cannulure. If a bullet has it, do I need to seat the bullet deep enough to use it, and do I have to crimp it? I'm not apposed to crimping, but my rifle isn't as accurate when I seat bullets that deep.
  12. AMProducts

    AMProducts Well-Known Member

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    You do not have to seat to the cannelure, nor do you have to crimp, if you are shooting an auto rifle it's highly recommended, but for bolt guns is not necessary as the rounds arn't slammed against the feed ramp during the loading process. Some rounds with greater neck tension don't need crimping either even under these circumstances, it all depends on your gun.
  13. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Resident Science Nut

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    The variation between those loads is not that significant, its about 6% on the max loadings. Its typical to find differing published loads, it just depends on where the publisher considers a sign of a max safe load to be. The actual max pressure for failure may be considerably larger, but obviously testers don't to go that far.

    As always, its best to start out at around minimum and work your way up to what you're comfortable with.
  14. wingernew3

    wingernew3 New Member

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    SIERRA has a max of 26.1 and accurate shows a maximum of 23.5. Thats alot more than 6 percent. More like 10% or 2.6 grains. Thats a lot of powder to play with. Be careful what you do with this. You cant go wrong with starting low and working up to a load that works reliably and accurately in your gun.