View Full Version : .223/5.56 is a PITA to reload!!
I've been reloading for over 25 years an in all that time I have never had a cartridge that is so picky to load for!! Maybe its the platform I'm loading for (AR15) but no matter what I do you can forget repeatable performance ! Exact same loads will not print the same! Groups right! Same load will do 1-1.5" then reload same every thing and get 2-2.5" ! Get a good group at 2800 fps add.2-.3 of a grain and get a 4" group! So now I'm finding the one load that works most of the time and forgeting trying to improve on it! Looks like either H4895 or IMR4895 are the powders, Varget worked with nice STD but accuracy wasn't there! IMR 4064 was ok but STD was wacked and groups were so so!:faint: And before you ask every thing was weighted, bullets ,cases,powder etc! :whistling:
Try RE15 with 23.5-24gr behind a 75 or 77gr, load them as long as your mags will allow and still feed well.
Second you have to drive an AR differently than a bolt gun, they just aren't as easy to shoot. I would get a good 2 stage trigger if possible, the lock time is longer than a bolt gun so when you squeeze the trigger hold it back and don't let go until you hear or see the bullet hit the target.
A light weight 5.56 barrel will jump off the bag or bipod so I am holding the forearm just like I would if shooting prone with no bipod it keeps the front end down. It takes a while to get completely consistent but free recoiling will just not produce the results you want. Also pay attention to where the butt hits your shoulder, it has to be in the exact same spot so not down on the arm on shot, on the shoulder one shot and in the pocket the next. I have a buddy that won the small bore silhouette nationals, he put marks on his vest with a sharpie so he could hit the same spot every time.
Thanks for the Info! Let me add I have over 20 years experience with the AR platform- never shoot less then Expert in military!! That with those standard mil triggers and crappy mil ammo! Now this Colt AR is probably built to tighter specs then mil gun are since its a Match Target model but the basics of shooting one are the same! The inconsistances I'm seeing are not shooter induced the ammo performace is the problem- as shown by the Chrony! As I said trim cases, weight /segragated, primer pockets cleaned/preped, bullets wieght, powder charged weight and can't get repeatable results!
Now granted while in the Military I was only intrested in two things zeroing my rifle for the ammo lot issued and keeping it clean!
I can get .6MOA with 24gr of RE15 and 69gr SMKs or Black Hills 69s and 77s consistently so there must be an issue somewhere. Of course this is one of my cheap 14.5" 8 twist 5R nitro-carburized barrels not a chromelined Colt.
You were correct I had a gun problem!! It's what I call the AR wobble! The Upper to lower mating was loose to say the least that has now been corrected with shim-no more wobble! So now I just have to revisit the loads I worked up as they didn't perform cause of the wobble! Below is a target I shot with a tempary shim installed - it was with Fed M193 ball which shot very crappy with the wobble!:supergrin:
Glad you found it, I know how aggravating it can be when you know you are holding well but the rifle just isn't performing.
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