Re: .223 recipe
I was a big fan of 748 for my bolt rifles, but now that the AR is the only .223/5.56 I have, I'm staying with Varget. One big reason. It's one of Hodgdons' "extreme" powders, so it remains stable in a wide range of temperatures.
I never do, and absolutely NEVER will "bump fire" any of my guns, but I do fire fast enough to get the chamber pretty hot. Let's say you fire a few rounds pretty fast, and then wait a little while to shoot again. The cartridge in the chamber gets VERY hot. With Varget, that round won't have the same pressure peak that a non-extreme powder does have. I want my barrel to remain at peak accuracy for as long as possible. Refusing to fast fire and avoiding high pressure are but two of the things one does to preserve their firearms.
I fully agree that hunting bullets are the way to go. Reloading is a time consuming and very laborious process. To me, if I invest that effort into loading ammo that is essentially not effective, I have nullified the worth of my investment. Prove it to yourself. Set up a 1 gal. water jug @ 100 yards, and hit it with a FMJ bullet. You may as well be shooting a .22 LR. Next, hit another jug with a 55 gr. PSP, and see that it makes a very satisfying Whump! sound, whilst sending water vapor in a very impressive explosion.
My current .223 recipe uses the 60 gr. Hornady SP over 26.1 gr. of Varget. That bullet costs about 12 cents ea., but the accuracy I get with it makes it worth the extra 3 cents over the bulk 55 gr. PSP. It also matters that every single round I fire is very carefully aimed, and fully expected to connect, out to about 300 yards. It's cheaper to use a good accurate bullet, and require only one, rather than using slightly cheaper bullets, and needing 4 or 5 for the same hit.
PS- You'll often see no COAL for AR ammo, because the "standard" cartridge length is the longest you can make it, and still function in the magazine. This holds true for bullet weights up to about 75 gr. Above that, the ammo has to be very carefully matched to the throat of the chamber, and fed one at a time, because the bullets have to be seated at well over magazine length. Don't even attempt it until and unless you are VERY experienced.
Around here, we don't say "Oh shucks", or "oh man". We say Oh BAMA!!
Last edited by Regular Joe; 05-08-2012 at 10:34 PM..