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.223 reloading help

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by ruger338, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. ruger338

    ruger338 Eugene, Oregon New Member

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    Finally decided to start reloading .223, up to this point I have only done the larger calibers. Did these straight out of the reloading manual. Brand new can IMR 4320 powder, Hornaday 55 gr bullet, small rifle magnum primers all per the book. Today when shooting the first test samples, the first round was nothing more than the primer pop. I took a peek down the barrel and there was a lot of unburned powder grains. The 2nd and 3rd rounds had similar result, bullets dropped short of 100 yards by about a foot, leaving the rifle on the bench and looking down the barrel, it was 1/2 full of unburned powder. Gun functioned as normal with a different round.
    What am I missing? Powder wasn't wet, opened with the factory seal and put right into the rounds we loaded. Any ideas or pointers?
     
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Does the manual recommend using magnum primers for that load?
     
  3. bballer182

    bballer182 Molalla Active Member

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    What was your charge weight?
     
  4. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    If not recommended, I can see a magnum primer getting things going a little too abruptly given certain powders.. I don't know about getting a jacketed slug out of the bore, but it might start/bump the bullet as far as it can do and then the charge starts to burn.. an ill "contained" event.
     
  5. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    IMR 4320 is a slower burning powder suitable for 62-69 gr .224 bullets.
    Combustion gasses expand and push the bullet down the barrel,
    a heavier bullet moves slower, allows more complete combustion under pressure.
    The light 55 gr bullet is pushed quickly out the barrel by the primer ignition.
    The powder doesn't have time to burn, hence the unburned residue left behind.

    Here is a link to reloading data by Sierra Bullets.
    223 Rem + 223 AI Cartridge Guide within AccurateShooter.com
    Two green Sierra boxes, bolt rifle, AR15 rifle. Choose which you have, scroll down to 55 grain page.

    I like Win 748 and IMR 4198 for .223 reloads.

    Good luck
    Rick
     
  6. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    +1 IMR4320 is too slow for 55gr bullets. Per QuickLoad, you are getting barely 80% powder burnt on a 16" bbl, and less than 2700fps at the muzzle which is quite slow for a 55gr. Not sure even magnum primers are gonna fix that. My go-to powder for 55gr is H335, but would not hesitate to use IMR4198.
     
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like he's getting far less than 80% powder burn if he can see a barrel half full of powder. Also, the bullet isn't even traveling 100 yards.

    The magnum primer isn't part of the problem, most likely a powder issue caused either by a faulty batch (unlikely) or contamination in the case from lube (more likely). IMR 4320 is perfectly acceptable for .223, 55 gr loads and 25.5 gr will put most bullets down the barrel at or near 3,000 fps. More than enough zip to make it well beyond 100 yards. Even 5 times that.

    Simple answer, something happened to keep the powder from lighting off and that will be a problem regardless of fast, slow, or just right. Make absolutely sure there is no lube or moisture in your case before loading. Hard to spot that kind of problem after a primer and part of the powder charge has lit off and sent the bullet down the bore.
     
  8. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Light firing pin strikes?
     
  9. IheartGUNS

    IheartGUNS WaCo Well-Known Member

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    What reloading book are you looking at?
     
  10. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I think it's a foregone conclusion, get a different powder. Lots of unburned powder and not even making 100 yards is like impotence for an AR -- really wants to, tries hard, but never gets it going enough to do some damage.

    I have Accurate 2230 if you want to trade. Works well in my 16" AR.
     
  11. ruger338

    ruger338 Eugene, Oregon New Member

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    Thank you to everyone for your time and responding. I have some work to do!
    I will run a fresh batch with the 4320 I have remaining, ensuring that I don't have any contamination from the case lube. I will switch from the magnum primers and I think I will aim for a heavier grain bullet.
    I was running these through a bolt gun, with the results I had I doubt my AR would have even bumped the action! I will let you know how it goes.