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Discussion Starter #1
I have just acquired a new rifle with a 20" barrel and 1:9 twists.
What have people found as a good load for this combination?
I know that loads will very from rifle to rifle but would like a good starting point.
I would like to stay with 52-55 gr bullets and preferably imr4831 or blc-2 powder.
Thank you for your help
Phil
 

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I've found the 1-9" twist barrel works well with the bullets you've indicated. Lighter 40 grain bullets will shoot but with reduced accuracy. Haven't really tried anything heavier than 60 grain Noslers in my 1-9" twist barrels. Best powder has been H335 although I've used others with varing degrees of success. Most manuals list loads for the popular powders used in this cartridge. A search should reveil numberous threads on this cartridge and its reloading. Look at the bottom left corner of this page for some prior threads on the subject.
 

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The 1:9" twist in your barrel will stabilize the typical 50-55gr bullet weights very well, but of the two powders your listed, only BL-C2 is appropriate for the 223 case capacity. The IMR-4831 powder is simply too slow to give decent performance and even BL-C2 is a little on the slow side. H322 and H335 are both excellent choices, as is Reloder 10X and IMR-4198.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for the information, and I apologize for a typo I meant IMR 4198 not 4831.
Since I have IMR 4198 I will start working on loads tonight,
Phil
 

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Since you have IMR-4198 don't be afraid too experiment with the 40 grain bullets. That powder game me the best accuracy with the light bullets from a 1-9" twist barrel. Most manuals list a very low charge for this combo so you have plenty of room for trials.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hailstone,
Thank you as I have some 40 that I use for my contender I will try them also.
 

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Actually, IMR4198 is faster than BL-C(2). BL-C(2) is slower than Varget, IMR4895, Winchester 748 and a lot of other powders popular for use with heavier bullets in .223. As Hailstone says, 4198 is actually one of the best accuracy powders with light bullets in .223. It does give up 150 fps off top possible velocities, but it is bulkier than the higher number IMR powders and so it still fills the case well with the 21-22 grain loads you usually end up with. That lighter charge (as opposed to 28 grains maximum for BL-C(2)) cuts down on muzzle blast which helps short range accuracy by reducing bullet base yaw at muzzle exit. It is also easier on the AR gas system, if that's what you have. I like 4198 with the 53 grain flat base Sierra MatchKing, in particular, for 100-200 yards.

I think a good compromise choice for your bullet weights is Reloader 10X, which was developed for light bullets. It will get them into the top velocity range with around 24 grains of powder or so.

Your 9" twist will actually stabilize the stubby 77 grain Sierra MatchKing if you choose to try a heavy bullet. I mention that bullet is stubby because length, not weight, is the most critical thing in determining the twist necessary to stabilize a bullet. A 14" twist will stabilize most 50 grain bullet designs very well, so you actually have more twist than you need for you weight choices, but less than you need for something like the 80 grain long range match bullets.
 

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I have a Kimber Longmaster Classic in 223 with a 1:9 twist.

I had no luck at all with any bullet between 50-62 grains. I tried lots of powders too and was quite frustrated because I was reading where others were having good success with the mid range bullets. Bullets 40-45 grains worked really well (any manufacturer), the Sierra 63 grain semi point is outstanding as is the Speer 70 grain Round Nose. Varget, H-4895, and Reloader 10X work really well for me. I use the CCI 400 primer with all powders.

I guess my point is ... if those bullets aren't giving you what you expect, don't be bashful about trying a different bullet before you burn multiple pounds of powder like I did.

This is my rig.

 

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My experience is different than stated above. I shot my best matches at 200 yards with an A2 20" 1:9 twist using 69 grain Sierra Match Kings over IMR 4895 powder. The same combination worked extremely well in 600 yard matches. Then one fine day, I brought 55 grain loads to a 600 yard match and shot so poorly, I may as well have been using a slingshot. The 1:9 simply wouldn't stabilize the 55 grain slug at 600 yards.

Flash
 

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Flash,

What were your load details for the 55's? If they were boattail's they will be at a disadvantage at that weight because of the short bearing surface. Much easier to go down the bore crooked. I could never get them to shoot well in my 14" .222 Rem, either. Try the flat base 53 grain Sierra Matchkings or the flat base 55 grain Berger match bullets. Work them up with IMR4198, H4198 or Reloader 10X. Nothing too slow, as burn regularity and MV extreme spread will not be as good with a slower powder under that light bullet weight range. 600 yards will put the lower BC's of any light bullet at a disadvantage, but they can often be made to shoot best at 100, 200, and sometimes 300 yards if the wind isn't too stiff.
 
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