Best powder for the AR ???

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by TexMex247, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. TexMex247

    TexMex247 Well-Known TGT Supporter

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    May 11, 2009
    Leander(NW Austin)
    I started off my journey in .223 reloading with IMR 4198 which many bench rest shooters seem to swear by. However, my experience with it has been less than pleasant. I worked up several loads with 55-60gr bullets over 19.0-21.5gr of powder. Almost no batch, crimped or not, seated at 2.200" or 2.250" ever properly cycled my AR. Even bullets with cannelures loaded over max(most manuals said 20.5max) and well crimped still had issues. Accuracy was always good to excellent but reliability has been poor. In my mini-14 they all fed and fired flawlessly. I have recently acquired some Varget which I expect much better results from. However, I have heard of people having great success with H335, Win748, AA2230 and 2520(for larger bullets) as well as Varget. We'll see how results come in, but if you have an opinion, let it be heard.:icon_popcorn:
     


  2. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Active Member

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    Jan 9, 2009
    Round Rock
    I have used Varget with very good accuracy results (I forget the exact load).
    W-748 is my preferred powder with BLC-2 as a back up choice. They are very close on the burn rate scale and are fine grained ball powders. They meter very well through the Dillon.
    IMR powders tend to burn cleaner but hotter. The longer granules make metering a little less consistant.
     
  3. Bullseye Shooter

    Bullseye Shooter Active Member

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    I started with IMR 4895 cause that's what I had on hand. I have since tried RL 15, Varget and H335. Of those, I've had the best success with H335. With my RRA Nat'l match service rifle at 100 yards I had a 3/4" group using H335 and Nosler 80 grain HPBTs. One of my reloading manuals states that H335 is "the" powder to use in the AR and I have to agree.

    I'm using IMR 4895 strictly for my .308 M1 Garand. What I have left of the Varget is a back-up for the H335 in case I run short.
     
  4. TexMex247

    TexMex247 Well-Known TGT Supporter

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    May 11, 2009
    Leander(NW Austin)
    I just got in an 8 pounder of 2230 but I have to say, the varget was very clean and grouped well. I think my next purchase will be some h335, so I can do some side by side comparisons.
     
  5. captain-03

    captain-03 New Member

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    Jul 11, 2009
    You may have to see what "Your" weapon likes. Different twists in barrels will make a difference in the weight of the boolit; thus, may influence your powder choice.

    I have 4 ARs and a couple of them LOVE the Varget - 24gr under a 55FMJBT (both Colts) - the Bushmaster likes the H4895 and want shoot the Varget worth a da%%.

    Try a few different powders and loads ... I believe all the powders listed above will produce some "good" loads - but again, see what your rifle likes.
     
  6. cuate

    cuate Well-Known

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    Jan 27, 2009
    Comanche Co., Texas
    I asked the same question of an old timer and he told me he used to shoot matches and he used Winchester 748 ball powder, (25.5 grains) in his .223/5.56 rounds behind 62-63 gr. bullets with excellent results. I

    have now loaded and fired hundreds of rounds of my reloads and they seem very accurate and I am satisfied...
     
  7. sharky47

    sharky47 Active Member

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    May 4, 2008
    4198 is not the right powder.

    I like H-322, works flawlessly, meters flawlessly, most places carry it, etc.....
     
  8. ForneyRider

    ForneyRider Member

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    Jul 10, 2008
    Forney, TX
    AA 2230 works pretty well with common bullet sizes, is easy to measure and is cheap.

    Varget and R15 are nice with the heavier bullets, 55gr and up.

    I picked up some Benchmark for 53gr Sierra match bullets. Hoping it does better than the R10x I was using.
     
  9. TexMex247

    TexMex247 Well-Known TGT Supporter

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    May 11, 2009
    Leander(NW Austin)
    AA2230 vs Varget

    So, I've had good luck with Varget although compressed loads kinda scare me. Even with only 25.5gr and a 55gr bullet, they seemed a little crunchy when being seated. At 26gr they were starting to compress so much that you could feel the powder resisting. Now AA2230 on the other hand, leaves plenty of breathing room beneath the bullets and pours/meters like sand. I definitely like the ball powders ease of use but wonder how much the empty space in the case will effect accuracy.
     
  10. marshs313

    marshs313 New Member

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    Aug 10, 2009
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    Ive been working on a couple of loads the first being a 53gr barnes tsx and the other barnes 36gr varmint grenade the 53 gr my max load is 26.5 gr. of w748 and the other 36gr my max ive loaded to 28 gr of w748 haven't shot them yet but am curious to see where my rifles sweet spot is. started both at about 24 gr for the 53gr and 25gr for the 36gr and moved in half grain increments. Ive heard good things about w748 and varget for 223 and ramshot tac for the 36gr.

    As far as the bullets not cycling what reloading dies are you using?
     

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