Reloading .223 help 77gr Matching cruch?

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Ok so I've just started reloading .223 Never loaded any rifle rounds before,
I've loaded thousands and thousands of pistol rounds.

Ok so my question is, Is it normal to hear the powder crunch (compress) when seating the bullet in the case.
I got my info from 49th edition Lyman handbook

Set up
Brass Headstamp: WCC and LC
Case length :1.750"
Powder: 23.6gr Varget
bullet: 77gr Sierra Match king HPBT
OAL: 2.260

Any help from anyone that has actually loaded and fired a round like this is most welcome.
 
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Also military brass is thicker so less room.
And therein is one of the reasons you shouldn't shoot 5.56 in a .223 (.223 in a 5.56 is OK)!!

There are other differences in the rounds too, the .223 leade is longer. Case pressures are higher in the 5.56 than .223 which can result in a KB when used in a .223.


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OP
phidelt208
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OK Thanks for the info after looking around in a few different web sited I see that Hodgens does have it listed as a compressed load. I didn't know if I was way out on the edge or not. Lymans handboot lists 23.6gr as midway and 25gr as a max.
 
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You didn't say what rifle you were loading for. Many times this heavier bullet is loaded into rounds for Bolt Action rifles where one is loading one round at a time, not from the magazine.

If shooting in an AR, the max OAL is 2.260 for a round to feed reliably from a magazine. You may want to work with a different powder that has more power from a smaller volume in order to avoid compressed loads if you can't just load them longer.

For this kind of load workup, LEE's 2nd Edition is helpful as it provides data on the Volume/Density relationship of various powders. Some powders take up less room for the same weight and provide enough power to get the bullet moving at the desired speed.
 
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Generally, the longer bullets need to be loaded beyond the normal OAL to work. I have never loaded the sierra 77gr, but have extensive experience with the 69gr, and a little bit with the hornady amax 75gr. Hodgdon Varget is a very bulky powder, and the crunch doesn't surprise me, however, like the 75gr AMAX, I wonder if this bullet is intended to be loaded longer than standard OAL. I would also back off on that powder charge to start, I've found varget to be fairly insensitive to compression, but it's usually a condition I like to avoid. You may also want to try BL-C2 or IMR3031 for this load, and back way off to start.

If you are shooting an AR platform, the 69gr BTHP Match from sierra is one of the best bullets out there for long range match shooting, and wouldn't really recommend going heavier unless there's a strong reason to do so. All of my experiments with bullets heavier have ended in failure.
 

ron

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I shoot NRA High Power and all my rifles love the 77 Sierra Match Kings. I use Winchester cases because they will shoot tighter groups than Lake City. At the 300 yard rapid fire prone stage this load is amazing.
Also many other shooters I know use this same load. Win. brass 23.5 grains of Varget and 77 Sierra Match Kings. 2.260 oal . This will preform better than the 69's at any distance. They are loaded to magazine length. I have fired thousands of this load and it is not a hot load. For short range matches I will use 52 or 69 SMK's . I figure less throat erosion on the barrel. 80 smk loaded long a few thousands off the lands for the 600 yard stage which is single load.
 
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Generally, the longer bullets need to be loaded beyond the normal OAL to work. I have never loaded the sierra 77gr, but have extensive experience with the 69gr, and a little bit with the hornady amax 75gr. Hodgdon Varget is a very bulky powder, and the crunch doesn't surprise me, however, like the 75gr AMAX, I wonder if this bullet is intended to be loaded longer than standard OAL. I would also back off on that powder charge to start, I've found varget to be fairly insensitive to compression, but it's usually a condition I like to avoid. You may also want to try BL-C2 or IMR3031 for this load, and back way off to start.

If you are shooting an AR platform, the 69gr BTHP Match from sierra is one of the best bullets out there for long range match shooting, and wouldn't really recommend going heavier unless there's a strong reason to do so. All of my experiments with bullets heavier have ended in failure.
+1 Good advice on the OAL. Get the Hornady L-N-L Overall Length Gauge and it makes it pretty easy to figure out how long you can go.
 
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If you're shooting the 77 gr bullets in an AR, check out some different powders besides Varget. Varget tends to fill a case rather quickly leaving little room for a longer bullet like the 77 SMK's. Accurate 2230 is one, H-335 and BL-C(2) are a couple that can perform well without being compressed loads at the top end.
 
Make yourself a drop tube. I use one that is over a foot long. I can get 28.0 gr Varget into a 223 case and still seat a 50gr bullet. I would think with the charge you are using, you will have plenty of room.

John
 
Ron, I know you are trying to be cute. Do you even know what a drop tube is. SOP for loading over capacity (compressed) charges in small cases. I am just give some good advice to the OP to help with his problem. You on the other hand.

John
 

ron

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Yes, I have only heard of using a drop tube for black powder. I have never used one and see no need for one. Like I stated I have used 23.5 grains of Varget behind the 77 SMK OAL 2.230 , Winchester cases. For thousands of rounds. No problems. Varget is supposedly less temperature sensitive than many other powders. I just finished off my 2nd 8 lb keg of Varget I purchased 2 years ago. Only
problem is that it does not meter that consistent. I and many other High Power Rifle Shooters are starting to use VV- N140. I am now using VV- N140 for my 80 SMK loads.
 
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Ron, I know you are trying to be cute. Do you even know what a drop tube is. SOP for loading over capacity (compressed) charges in small cases. I am just give some good advice to the OP to help with his problem. You on the other hand.

John
Actually, the "cute" remark is not far off what I do for my compressed, or nearly compressed, loads.

I will pour the powder into the case, put a finger or thumb over the case mouth, and then hold the base of the case against the bowl of my vibrator/tumbler which is running next to the bench. Only takes a couple of seconds and the powder settles real quick.

For those that like to use a drop tube, I recently made one using a LEE Powder funnel and an 8" piece of Brake Tubing I bought at the local O'Reilly (former Schucks) AP Store. I cut the flare off one end and removed the flare nuts. Some JB Weld to hold the straight end into the funnel and the flared end fits over the case mouth of the empty case. Total cost= $3.00 plus about 1/16th of a tube of JB Weld that I always keep around for bedding scope rails, etc.
 

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