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Old 12-03-2008, 01:24 PM   #1
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Default Reload info for AR-15 carbine

I'm having all kinds of trouble finding data for .223 carbine (16"). I'm looking for 55 gr BTHP with accuracy and stopping power the major factors. I don't want a real hot load that fries the barrel. 55 gr too light? I'd appreciate any suggestions or links where I can find the info needed. Or, if you have a favorite load, please share. THANX



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Old 12-03-2008, 03:46 PM   #2
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A 55gr bullet should be in every loading manual ever published...



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Old 12-03-2008, 04:19 PM   #3
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You going to use 5.56 cases, or .223? If you google anything, be sure and leave out the AR-15 part. Just look up .223 reloading or 5.56 reloading, or reloading for military calibers. I get Hogdon's annual off my local newsstand which has specifics for many loads. You could contact Sierra or Hornady via e-mail or phone, and I'm sure they would send you plenty of resources via e-mail or in printed form. Those bullet manufacturers have always been excellent through their tech departments and getting resources to me in short order.

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Old 12-03-2008, 08:20 PM   #4
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If you have a fast twist AR (1/7 or 1/9) consider something heavier than 55 gr. A 55 gr BTHP will likely fragment far too quickly in a two legged vermin.

My pet load is a 64 gr. Winchester Power Point in a Winchester commercial case with 25 gr of W-748. DO NOT use this load in a mil type 5.56 case as it will go over pressure in a hurry!

As with any loading data, reduce by 10% and work up.

I am not a big believer in HP bullets in .22 caliber rifles for serious work. They tend to underpenetrate and fail to stop the attacker. I prefer a good soft point to balance expansion and penetration. A .30 caliber HP is fine as they have enough weight to penetrate. A 168 gr BTHP in a .308 is fine but even a 77 gr .224 diameter is iffy IMHO.

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Old 12-03-2008, 08:45 PM   #5
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If you have a fast twist AR (1/7 or 1/9) consider something heavier than 55 gr. A 55 gr BTHP will likely fragment far too quickly in a two legged vermin.

My pet load is a 64 gr. Winchester Power Point in a Winchester commercial case with 25 gr of W-748. DO NOT use this load in a mil type 5.56 case as it will go over pressure in a hurry!


That's what I'm looking for, GREAT INFO THANX. Yeah I do have a 1 in 9 twist and was wondering bout the 55 grain. Also, makes sense what you say bout the power point. My experience was with a Rem 700 BDL chambered for .308 and that sucker would drive nails with BTHPs. I'll try your suggestion, THANX again!
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:21 AM   #6
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My sierra bullet manual has load data specificly for ar-15 rifles. My Hornady manual also list service rifle data (IE AR-15).... Might look into purchasing either of them.

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Old 12-05-2008, 12:54 AM   #7
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I'd consider going with the 52 or 53gr SP bullets out of the 16" barrel. If you go with the heavier bullet you may not have enough velocity to allow it to expand as it should. I'd suggest getting some old phone books and a chrono and experimenting with various loads to see what works out of your rifle. If you reload it makes it much easier. Getting what you want out of a rifle is always a compromise between bullet weight and velocity. What makes it fun is figuring the whole thing out.

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Old 12-08-2008, 01:31 PM   #8
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The main problem with the shorter barrels is the effectiveness of the M-855 (SS-109) projectiles. They do not have sufficient velocity to be effective. Most commercial soft point bullets will have enough velocity to perform properly at carbine velocities. While I have not shot any two legged critters with the 64 gr Power Point bullet (it is my duty load), I have shot several Coyotes with this bullet. They all drop. Recovered bullets are properly expanded.

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Old 12-08-2008, 02:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post
The main problem with the shorter barrels is the effectiveness of the M-855 (SS-109) projectiles. They do not have sufficient velocity to be effective. Most commercial soft point bullets will have enough velocity to perform properly at carbine velocities. While I have not shot any two legged critters with the 64 gr Power Point bullet (it is my duty load), I have shot several Coyotes with this bullet. They all drop. Recovered bullets are properly expanded.
Lots of dead hajjis in Iraq tend to disagree about the M855 being ineffective...
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:54 PM   #10
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Oh, I did not mean to say non-lethal. The M-855 has a "reputation" for ineffective stops out of M-4 rifles. The M-855 was designed for the M-16 A2 rifle at rifle velocities. When launched at carbine velocities it cannot be expected to perform the exact same way. Reduced velocity results in less than stellar yaw on impact and it "tends" to pass through the target. The cavitation and resulting blood loss is still likely fatal, but the devastation of the yawing projectile is greatly reduced.

The point is us non military users of the 5.56mm rifles and carbines can (and should) use good soft points for serious work. Even at carbine velocities, good soft points (such as the Winchester Power Point) are superior to FMJ's.



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