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I own a Savage .223 rifle with a 1:9 twist
Question: What is the heaviest weight bullet that you would use for this firearm?
I purchased some 77 grain bullets for reloading and read on the box after delivery that they should be used only for 1:7 and 1:8 twist rifles. Would that make my 1:9 twist totally unacceptable? Lastly would there be any danger involved in using it, or is it only a stability issue?
:confused:
 

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Hi, welcome to the Shooter's Forum, glad you joined us and thanks for posting!

I have a Model 12 Savage in .223 with the 1in 9 barrel. It will stablize 69 grain Sierra Matchkings and turn in respectable groups with them. I tried the 77Grain SMK and the groups opened considerably. They weren't keyholing but my rifle wasn't happy with them.
 

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Welcome, . . . . . . . as usual, Monty is right on, I would go no more than 68 or 69, and your probably gonna need to keep the velocity's up with them, much more than that and your gonna run into stability issues.
 

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I have a Model 12 Savage in .223 with the 1in 9 barrel. It will stablize 69 grain Sierra Matchkings and turn in respectable groups with them. I tried the 77Grain SMK and the groups opened considerably. They weren't keyholing but my rifle wasn't happy with them.
My 22" 1:9 barrel will keep 65gr bullets point on and stable as far as I can shoot on my range, 300yds. The 69gr MatchKings look the best as I hit the upper end of the velocity range, near 3000fps, but shoot poorly at 2700fps in starting loads. From my rifle, the 65's have been more accurate.

I suspect it's telling the same story as MontyF has seen. But if you have a longer barrel, and can get more speed/spin, you might be OK.

No hazard to speak of, and they might shoot OK out to 100yds.
 

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Welcome to the forum Uncle Ray ! Shouldn't be any danger but like all the other post's they likely won't be stable enough to be very accurate.
 

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I too have a Savage .223 with a 1 in 9 twist. I have shot virtually all weights of bullets from 50 to 77 through it. Up through 69 Sierras, it shoots great; 77 grain bullets not so great. No keyholing, just 2 inch groups at 100 yards instead of 1 inch or less groups. In fact, my gun shoots 50, 55 and 60 grain V Max bullets with equal accuracy, 1/2 to 3/4 inch groups the norm at 100 yards. Keep in mind that it is the length of the bullet that matters with twist and stability. Some lower weight but longer VLD bullets might not be stable either.
 

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My 24", 1:9 twist has shot good, 53 - 60 grain with at least 1/2" groups @ 100 yards no matter what powder or charge you use. With some work, it shoots much smaller.

With the right powder and load development, it shoots 2 - 3" groups @ 500 yards with 69 grain SMK's.

It also does very well with the round nose 70 grain hunting bullets @ 400 yards. I never plan to shoot those past 200 or so yards but our range doesn't have a 300 yard berm so I had to use 400

I've never tried anything heavier/longer so can't say for sure but usually those longer/heavier bullets require a little more that 1:9 twist.

As for damage to the rifle/barrel, that's not going to happen unless you get frustrated and wrap it around a tree.

One thing I have found out, don't waste your time, powder or primers on those cheap 62 grain FMJ Armscor's. I bought a couple K of those for my AR's and they are absolutely, 100% pure junk. They do just fine in an AR that is for nothing but home defense and would probably never be shot at anything smaller that an 18x35 target, at less than 100 yards, but don't expect to hit anything small. I use those to foul the barrel when I'm shooting for my smallest groups and in a rifle that shoots one hole groups with good loads won't shoot 1.5" groups with those things.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My 22" 1:9 barrel will keep 65gr bullets point on and stable as far as I can shoot on my range, 300yds. The 69gr MatchKings look the best as I hit the upper end of the velocity range, near 3000fps, but shoot poorly at 2700fps in starting loads. From my rifle, the 65's have been more accurate.

I suspect it's telling the same story as MontyF has seen. But if you have a longer barrel, and can get more speed/spin, you might be OK.

No hazard to speak of, and they might shoot OK out to 100yds.
Thanks everyone, your information is priceless and greatly appreciated.
I have the Savage 12 with a 26" barrel, and was wondering if the additional length may be a significient asset ?
I did a bit of research and it appears that I really have to up the velocity to reach any decent kind of stability with this 77 grain bullet which is something I'm not too crazy about doing.
It went as follows:
2000'/s velocity = stability of 1.190
2550'/s velocity = stability of 1.291
3000'/s velocity = stability of 1.362
3500'/s velocity = stability of 1.434
I have a few powders that can give me acceptable velocity without compromising the maximum
load, so I may try a few not expecting too much. I already purchased them, so I should
at least confirm everyone's findings :)
Thanks again!
 

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To byrl

My wife had a 22-250 that would shoot the 69gr sierra through the paper sideways but would shoot the 70gr speer round nose just fine. That's why your comment caught my eye.
That is when I learned that it is the length of the bullet not the weight that is the compelling factor.
 

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Ray,
Between me, MZ5, and a buddy in Tucson; there are 3 Savages and a Remy that will all happily push the 77gr SMK. Groups very nicely to 1200 yards in fact.
Remember that weight is mostly irrelevant to twist, length is what you care about. Remember, test, test, test!!
If you are looking for guesses, go here and lookup the lengths and run the calc.
JBM - Calculations - Stability
 

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Thanks everyone, your information is priceless and greatly appreciated.
I have the Savage 12 with a 26" barrel, and was wondering if the additional length may be a significant asset ?
It's really hard to put a velocity on a barrel length, as a lot of factors play into that. But a 26" barrel could net from 20-40fps/inch. At the upper end of the range with the slower powders, that could be enough boost to make the cut. Bullets lose velocity as they move forward and that is pretty well accepted, but looking at the stuff from ballistics engineers and guys who work directly with the question for a living, spin decreases almost not at all.

For several years I owned a .223/M788 with a 24" barrel, 1:14" twist, and it would keep 63gr Sierra's point on into a tiny group at 300yds.
 

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I emailed Bushmaster a few years back asking for the ideal bullet weight for my new A3. Their response was that a 1:9 twist barrel is matched best with a 62gr bullit. Of course it is a different platform with a 20" barrel.
 

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my savage model 12 in 223 rem, did not like 50gr hornady sp. they went 1 1/4" to well, i'm not saying. it likes 55 gr hornady and 55 gr noslers. they grouped 5 shots 1/4 - 1/2". it should go 50 - 62 or 63gr.
55 gr just worked for me, and i'll try 60ish gr next:)
 

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My wife had a 22-250 that would shoot the 69gr sierra through the paper sideways but would shoot the 70gr speer round nose just fine. That's why your comment caught my eye.
That is when I learned that it is the length of the bullet not the weight that is the compelling factor.

Round nose makes quite a difference, because the further the weight is from the axis of rotation, the greater the stability. It is true that weight doesn't matter anywhere near as much. The chances are that if you melt out the lead, your rifle will stabilise an empty jacket quite well, or the twist which fails to stabilise it won't be very different.
 
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