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  #1  
Old 01-09-2013, 07:17 AM
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55 Grain Accuracy & Twist Rate


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Anyone have any hands-on experience at using GI type 55 grain ammo in 1/9 or 1/7 twist barrels? I'm interested in finding out what to expect in accuracy from these newer twist rates. I'm not concerned about what a specific rifle will do; I'm looking at average accuracy expectations based on bullet weight and twist rate.

I did a forum search and couldn't find anything on this topic.

Thank you,

Rascal
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2013, 08:26 AM
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1/9 works perfect with a 55gr. bullet. It actually works good on everything I have shot from 40gr-65gr. Both my Bushmaster Varmiter Special and Ruger 77 MKII have a 1/9 twist. Both are exceptionally accurate. I never shot a 1/7 twist in a 223 so?
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  #3  
Old 01-09-2013, 09:32 AM
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I just shot some reloads with random head stamp, picked up brass, 55gr SGK's loaded to Accurate's published max load of 2230 in my M&P15 a couple of days ago. I've put an old 3-9x scope on it just to check a few different loads/bullets and they shot a lot better than the 62gr FMJ's and the 70 grain Speers I've tested. Those 55's put 15 bullets in about a 1.5" group, which was half to and inch tighter than anything else it has shot. My 55gr FMJ's are on backorder and who knows if and when I get those but suppose to be in two weeks.

I'm not doing any kind of accuracy load developement for these AR's just testing and working up to max loads for the different bullets to see how they do. I decided to use AA-2230 powder for all loads, bought a bunch of that and will be loading everything at max, just working up to that for each one.

I've never shot a factory loaded bullet, and probably never will, so can't say what any of those would do.

Both of mine are 1:9 twist, so can't say anything about what a 1:7 twist will do, but it's probably a little much for a 55gr.

Last edited by BKeith; 01-09-2013 at 09:35 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-09-2013, 10:00 AM
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Using factory loaded rounds of military ammo 55 grain and 62 grain FMJs. In my Savage varminter with a 1/9 barrel (M12BVSS) which shoots .24 MOA with my reloads. It run both styles of FMJs in about 1.5" groups. I also have a Colt AR with the 1/7 heavy barrel. It showed a marked preference for the 62 grain bullet over the 55s. The accuracy wasn't good as my handloads for this rifle but was still under 1.5" at 100
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2013, 10:53 AM
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Thank's, guys. I appreciate your input. Your information is very helpful.

Any 1/7 shooters out there? I'd like to hear how those GI 55 grainers do.

Rascal
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2013, 12:56 PM
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I've shot 55 gain S&B ammo from my 1/7's alot. At 100 yards, the limit of my rifle range, it will hold a good group, and tight pattern. 55 grain is about as low as I'd go with the 1/7 twist. It's been my experience that my 1/7 guns shoot 62-69 grain very very well, and 77 grain to acceptable accuracy. Granted, I have not sat down and really worked a load out for the 77 grain.
When I shot the National Matches with my AR [before I had my beloved M1A] I shot the 52 grain match Hornaday bullets thru a service rifle Bushmaster with a 1/9 twist on light winded days. I got to sharpshooter with that Bushie. i always felt that particular rifle did well with that bullet/powder combo, especially in the 200 sitting leg of the NM. On windy or very humid days that gun shined in dense air and wind with Hornaday 68 grain match bullets. Try as I might to get the Sierra 69's to shoot well in that gun, it was more of a shotgun pattern with them....
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2013, 03:22 PM
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Thank you, Chris.

What this tells me is that I can use 55 grain FMJ GI equivalent (more or less) in 1/12, 1/9 or 1/7 twist with an expectation of reasonable accuracy. By reasonable, lets say 3 inches at 100 years out to 300 yards. On the other hand, heavier bullets will work well in the faster twists but the 1/12 can't handle them accurately.

Thanks to all who commented.

Rascal
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2013, 01:27 AM
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that's a good general coverage statement.

Handloading will get far better results.
Midway used to offer Winchester power points in 55grain in bulk. For the Bushmaster I referenced above, this was the bullet for this gun out to 200-250 yards.

If ya handload, my recipe was 24.5 grains od Varget under that 55 grainer, with a cci primer. worked every time. Surely not a velocity master [about 2700 if I recall] but 1 inch groups were capabable @ 200 if I did my part.
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2013, 03:44 AM
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If you are limited to shooting factory loads, you'll have to buy several different makes and loads to see what shoots best in your rifles. If you are after the very best accuracy, the Federal Gold Medal Match is excellent. They grouped at 3/4" in my 2 Armalite rifles, but at almost $2 per round was too much for my wallet. So I loaded the Hornady 68 gr. Match in Radway Green 5.56 brass with CCI #41 primers. It took some extensive load developing, but I found a load that equaled the federal GM Match at 3/4" at 100 meters. If your twist will handle a 62 or 68 gr. bullet ( and a 1/9" will) I would not even mess with 55 gr. bullets. The heavier 62 and 68 grainers will be much better at longer ranges with more energy and less drop due to their increased ballistic co-efficient. However, you won't see these gains unless you are shooting beyond 300 meters. Less than that and the 55gr. bullets will be good.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:40 AM
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My AR and Savage 12FV love a 55 gr over 21.5 gr H4198 at 3100 fps. This load shoots 1/2 inc groups out of both rifkes at 100 yards
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  #11  
Old 01-11-2013, 04:14 PM
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Rascal.
The "potential" issue with 55's is the RPM. Dogtowns, TNT's for example have a low RPM rating.
Do a search, I did a post called FYI bullet rpm.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:03 AM
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Darkker is correct, but that is not to say that you cannot shoot 55 grain from a 1/7.
With mil-spec/surp you should really have no issues except accuracy.

Take for example my Sig 556. This rifle would fire rocks if they had primers, but it won't hold anything resembling a tight group @ 100 or beyond with ANY 55 grain ammo. Bump it to 62 grain green tips, or the 69-77 grain range match ammo and it'll hold a dime size group @ 100. I have not had the opportunity to shoot it farther than that.
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  #13  
Old 01-12-2013, 04:06 AM
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With light bullets in a 1 in 7 it is the quality of the bullets. A match grade bullet, even a lighter one, will do OK in a 1 in 7. A faster twist spins the bullet more and any flaws will show up. For a 55 gr the 1 in 12 is ideal. There are a number of variables so you will have to test any loads in your rifle.
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  #14  
Old 01-12-2013, 07:43 AM
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Thanks, guys.

What I'm looking to do here is handload a quantity of 5.56 brass and set it aside for future use.

This is not for any specific rifle. This is for any rifle I might use in the future. Could be a bolt gun, an AR or who knows what.

What I want is ammo that will work in anything within reason so I'm not looking for perfection, other than fit and reliability. Accuracy need only be reasonable. I need enough power to insure function of the rifle. More is better to be sure but above all, it needs to be safe. This sounds rather like the handloader's version of factory ammo.

If it will hold 3 inches at 100 yards/meters, it's good. Two inches is better. I'm not looking for more than that.

Imagine you're out of ammo for your 5.56. I give you a bucketful. You'll want to be sure it is safe and that it's going to work. Of course you'll need to zero, but after that you should be home free.

Running the brass through small base dies means it should fit most any rifle. Yes, hard on brass but I never expect to load those cases again. Do small base dies impact accuracy? Sure, could be, but 3 inch group is my standard, and it is better than nothing.

That's the background. Given twist variables, it sounds like 55 grain GI style is the way to do this.

You fellows have been a lot of help and I appreciate it.
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  #15  
Old 01-14-2013, 09:27 PM
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Given your parameters, I suggest loading a 55gr Hornady FMJ of SP bullet, (if you can find them) with a mid range load of appropriate powder, i.e. Varget, Ramshot TAC, or Exterminator, Accurate 2230, 2460, 2200 or 2015, IMR-8208XBR, or 4895 or H-4895 or H-335, etc. If you can't locate any of the Hornady bullets, consider Sierra or Nosler 55 gr bullets, more expensive but perhaps more available and are high enough quality to survive and thrive even in a 1 in 7" twist. Stay away from the Speer TNT, Hornady SX or Sierra Blitz and their very thin jackets, not friendly in the fast twist barrel. Sadly, these days, it is more buy what you can find and hope it either works or that you can trade for what you need.
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