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Powder for 223 loads 55 grain bullet


Worktruck Driver
I choose not to use Varget in .223, because I run out of case capacity around 2800 fps (16" barrel).
It’s definitely a better choice for the heavier bullet. No way it’s going to be good for 55gr. Most people are going to be loading 55gr in bulk on a progressive and it meters like ass out of a powder drop. I use it for 308 and 223 and throw it out of a powder dispensing scale.


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I start to hear the rice krispie's with IMR 3031 in .223, OAL 2.210", around 24.9 but I dont use that load.


"Ho'old on there"
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My .223 loads are 24.5gr Varget. It is the perfect fill for my cases and shot very well with several rifles. I always run load development with every load, even pistols. Interestingly, this same change was very good behind a 69gr match bullet for a 223 precision rifle I had a few years back.
What's the case capacity for IMR 3031?

When I was a kid, my dad's friend (a very prolific local shooter) had a recipe for loading 223 that I can't forget. He stood all the cases up in the loading tray inside of a baking tin. He poured 3031 from the keg to fill every case, and then card leveled the tops. He then loaded a 55-gr bullet, compressing the charge. I've never researched to see what they would be. Always meant to, but rarely have any 3031 on hand any more.
my buddy used to tell me that's how he reloaded his .223, but his was Varget - still....I never feel comfortable with my powder going "crunch"

Dave O

Situationally Aware
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Winchester 748 (formerly 748 BR) still works as well as Varget and IMR 4064 in my 5.56 NATO hand loads.

CAR W748 55gr XTm 100 yds.jpg


New member
For newbies, some cartridge-powder combinations have two nodes. And the faster node may exceed the recommended powder weight from various reloading manuals. And some rifles will tolerate well while others will get sticky bolts or worse. So approach the faster node with great care. Use good brass. Don't use old brass near the end of its life. Don't use known soft brass like Federal "FC" brass. Be very careful when looking for the higher node. I would use 0.1gr steps when experimenting near max and beyond.

Here is an example with the 308 Win load with Hornady 150 Interlock soft point bullet with Reloder 15. The lower node is around 42.5gr of RL15. It shoots easily under 1.0 MOA for all the 308 rifles I have, even gas guns. Three R700 SPS rifles from friends would shoot around 0.75 MOA and less. The higher node is 47.0gr. It hot and accurate out of my Steyr 08 without any problems. No sticky bolts, no blown primers; just high pressure signs like square primers. And boy it's even more accurate, around 0.5MOA or less. But those same R700 rifles would get sticky bolts. So I wouldn't shoot this load in those R700s. And yes, it's the lowly Hornady 150gr Interlock soft point bullet. It is not known for being a match bullet but it is plenty accurate enough most of the time and it is cheap! A friend would regularly shoot the 42.5gr load from his R700 and get groups under 1" at 300 yards. Once in a while he would get a flyer but we couldn't really tell if that was him pulling the trigger or it was the ammo. I love the faster load when shooting 600 yards. Scope dope is around 13.5 MOA (depending on temperature and conditions) instead of 17-ish MOA with the slower 42.5gr. Good luck and stay safe.
Most of my cartridges are wildcats
Right now working on a 30 Raptor by Reeder
308 bullet on 204 Ruger case
IMR 8208 XBR Very popular with AR shooters