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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for a starting load for a 223 contender with a 12" barell. I prefer Hodgen powders like Varget, H-322, & H-335. I use 55, 60 & 68 grain bullets. I have an old Liman book that shows loads a couple of grains less than rifle loads. Thought It wouldn't hurt to ask someone who'd done it.
Thanks
Tom
 

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223 loads

Stay with the books that's your best bet or check out Hodgdon's website
http://www.hogdon.com

I would not trust what you read on the web no offense to those on this site but safety first when it comes to reloading.

Kirkned :D
 

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H-322 w/ 55 gr. Sierra spire points has worked well out of my braked 14" barrel.

Out of that short of a barrel, 60 and 68 gr. bullets might be pushing it, but the only way to know is to try.
 

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My powder recs for 223 Rem

9ball, Kirkned is entirely right--the handloading manuals are an EXTREMELY valuable asset and SAFETY is the most important concern. :) Nevertheless, I've gained much useful handloading information from individuals from the 'net, not so much in the form of specific recipes (in other words, don't take a load developed specifically for my barrel, load it in your gun, and expect anything less than a potentially dangerous situation :eek: ....), but w/ "real world" experience. Although the handloading manuals are a wealth of information, they can't tell you everything, especially in the case of Contenders. For example, you won't find information from the manuals about the muzzle blast properties of particular powders when fired from a 14" barrel. That's a particular concern of mine w/ various of my Contender rounds because of my partial hearing loss/chronic ear ringing due to some indiscrete Contender shooting in the past. :( W/ that as an intro, here are my experiences.

I have two, 14" Contender barrels in 223 Rem and both have proven to be real good shooters! I did extensive load development w/ the first barrel, incl H4895, H335, H322, WW748, VarGet, RL12, RL15, VV130, AA2015BR, AA2230, and AA2460. My main use w/ the 223 is prairie dog hunts so muzzle blast is a legitimate concern for me. I settled initially on H322 as it gave a good combo of performance and muzzle blast. At least in my gun, AA2015BR and H322 behaved quite similar w/ similar load data as well. I understand the load data for these two may differ some now. In my barrel, H4895 and H335 had a great deal more muzzle blast w/ similar performance, compared to H322. RL12 was ok, but of course it's since been discontinued.... The others had subpar performance in my barrel. So what load(s) do I use? Initially (both Rem brass, Rem 7 1/2 primers, and H322), Speer 50 gr TNT/24.7 gr powder/OAL 2.330"; Nosler 50 BT/24.5 gr powder/2.335" OAL. Both loads generate about 2950-3000 fps w/ sub-MOA accuracy. :) But, the 40 gr "plastic tipped" bullets were NOT available when I first got my 223 barrel. Since the 40's are now available, looks like I'll change to 40 gr Hornady V-Max/25.5 gr Vihtavuori 130/2.350" OAL/3300 fps (also sub-MOA). 8) I particularly like the VV powder as it's muzzle blast is even less than H322. The worst things about the VV powders is the availability (limited) and smallest container size (TWO pounds) . It's a small grained, extruded powder, similar to H322, that meters quite well. Gary T.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. I'll take the advise and work from there. When I figure in moly bullets and the 12" barell, I'll just drop the starting load a little and go from there. I like working up loads because I get to shoot so much. H322 has also been my favorite, along with Varget, for 223 rifle loads on light bullets. I haven't used anything lighter than 55gr bullets, mostly because of the wind out here on the Kansas prarie. A pound & a half prarie dog gets pretty small at 300 yards. Think I'll get some 40 & 50 gr V-max for the contender after reading your posts. Thanks again for your input.
Tom
 

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9ball,

H-335 and the 50 grain Hornady Single Shot Pistol bullet. I doubt you can stabilize the 60+ grainers...Mine wouldn't. Good-luck...BCB
 
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