Not wanting to start a fuss or any argument about best worst bullet....just interested in hearing what bullets you guys have had success with shooting good groups with using a 1 in 12 twist handi rifle .223....thanks for the info!!
I've mostly used 40 and 50 grain bullets with 1-12" twist rifles. I've used a variety of them but the Nosler 40/50 BT, Hornady 40/50 V-Max and most any 50 grain SP has worked well. The various 55s should also work about as well but for whatever reason I just rarely ever chose that bullet weight. I've also used a huge pile of Speer 50 TNT and they always shot tight groups.
If it is small groups you want, the 52 and 53 gr. Sierra MK bullets are what I would try. They are also good varmint bullets, but for groundhogs I like the Sierra 50 gr. Blitz bullets a little better. As GB said, the TNT bullets are great varmint bullets, but I always got a little better accuracy from the Sierra bullets. You will just have to see what your gun likes best.
I've got a Remington 700 223 varmint 1:12 (26" heavy barrel). At first it shot poorly and I believe the barrel needed to break in. After a couple hundred rounds, I get consistent hits out to 350 yards with 53 grain V-Max, and these will group just under an inch, like .75 to .8 inch at 100 yards. 350 is the farthest I've been able to shoot with it.
The last few weeks I've been working with 52 grain Sierra Match Kings and getting good results. After load development I can repeatably get 1/2" groups at 100 yards.
I can tell you what bullet didn't work; I tried a bulk 55 grain soft point with cannelure and these things group like 3 1/2 inches. Not pretty. problem is I bought 500 of them because they were cheap. Live and learn.
I happen to have one of those 1:12 twist handi-rifles. Back when I shot it a lot, I fed it a steady diet of 45 grain Sierra Varminters over IMR 4198. If you reload, I'd recommend checking them out. They're absolute dynamite on coyotes.
I'll tell you something that's funny. Frustrating too. With that Rem 700 I mentioned here, after a lot of work I had a load using CFE-223 and the 62 grain SMK that shot 1/2" at 100 yards consistently. I loaded and fired many of these, going through two pounds of the powder I bought (iirc) two years ago.
I used up all that powder. I bought a new pound of it a couple weeks ago. I just loaded some rounds, everything the same...brass, primer, bullet, charge weight. Groups are 2 1/4" at 100 yds.
I tried CFE 223 in both my Grendel and a 5.56. Did not get good accuracy after trying several bullets and you really need to clean your barrel when you change from one powder to another as CFE leaves a residue that makes some guns shoot poorly for 20 shots or so.
22.5 grains of IMR4198 and a Hornady 40 VMax has killed a lot of Iowa Coyotes out to 300+ yards. I use it for spot and stalk or tracking a coyote. On windy days or towards the end of winter when the coyotes have wised up a bunch I take an identical gun only in 243.
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