AR15.Com Archives
 55 FMJ Hodgdon H322 CCI Primers .223
unarmedone  [Member]
9/24/2008 11:29:47 PM
I have recently received my reloading kit from Midway. I was wondering if you all could help me with a load for .223.

This is straight from Hodgdon reload site .


55 GR. SPR SP
H322
Low 21.0 max 23.0

I was wondering if you could help me out.
Thanks

AeroE  [Moderator]
9/25/2008 12:09:55 AM
We can help, but we need to know your question.
unarmedone  [Member]
9/25/2008 12:37:17 AM
Sorry if I didn't make any since. I was just wondering if I should use 21grains(beeing the low) or 23grains(Max) for my rounds. I have looked at my books and on hodgdon for reload information. I was thinking about just using 22grains to split the gap.

I have
Mixed 223 brass
55grain PRIVI .224 bullets
CCI 400 Primers
Hodgdon H322 Powder

If this will not work could you suggest a load for me to try with my components.
Thanks
j20owner  [Member]
9/25/2008 1:37:43 AM
Start at 21 grains and work up.

Load 5 at 21 grains and shoot to check accuracy and for pressure signs. If ok, load 5 at 21.5 grains and reshoot. Repeat as needed until you get the accuracy you want or you reach max load of 23 grains.

You could load and shoot more than 5 of each weight, or use smaller jumps in weight between loads.
FB41  [Team Member]
9/25/2008 7:50:39 AM
I use H322 for .223 and IN MY GUNS, 22.5 grains turned out to be the best load in terms of accuracy and functionability.

I use CCI small rifle primers and an assortment of brass, bullets seated to fit in the magazine.

YMMV
AeroE  [Moderator]
9/25/2008 7:50:47 AM
Load manuals show a range of charges that were safe for the test barrel and components used to develop that specific load data.

Since we have to use the components we have, and our rifles don't match the test rifle, we need to do a little testing to make sure that data is okay for our situation.

That means we generally start with a charge weight that is 10% below one shown in a manual, then shoot progressively higher charges until we find a load that gives good accuracy, makes the rifle function correctly, and doesn't produce high pressure that reduces brass life or is dangerous.

10% down from 23 grains is 20.7 grains, but that is lower than the recommended start load in your manual, so we'll use that number, 21 grains to start.

Load up 3 to 5 cartridges with 21.0, then 21.5, 22.0, 22.5, and finally 23.0 grains of H322. Shoot each group of cartridges to find the one that produces the best accuracy.
As you shoot each cartridge in each group, look it over; if you find -
- deep ejector marks on the case head,
- smeared brass on the case head caused by bolt face rotation,
- bent rims where the extractor yanked the case out of the chamber,
- pierced primers,
- black streaks around the edge of the primer,
- or extremely flattened primers, then stop at that charge weight, it's showing signs of producing too much pressure. Back up to the previous charge for your maximum load.

If your rifle is in good condition with correct headspace, I expect you will be able to get to 23.0 grains of powder without a problem. There's a good chance it will be the most accurate, too, but don't be surprised if a lower charge weight is better.

If you find a pierced primer, stop. You need to remove the firing pin from your rifle and polish the tip. Don't shoot more rounds with that charge weight. If you don't fix the friing pin or continue shooting those loads, the ragged edge will cause more primers to pierce and the jet of hot gas will rapidly erode the firing pin until it's unusable and not repairable after just a few more shots.
unarmedone  [Member]
9/25/2008 10:14:03 PM
Thanks for all the information you all have provided. One of these days i might can return the favor.
Keith_J  [Team Member]
9/26/2008 12:00:26 AM
H322 doesn't like heavy loads. It is a very accurate powder in the .223 Rem. I use 22 grains with a moly coated 53 grain Sierra MK. It only chronos 2900 FPS from a 20" barrel but it puts them into knotholes. My best group of 10 shots was under 1/2".

If you shoot a lot, the economy is real.

Those loads are conservative. IF you have a Colt 1:7" with a NATO chamber, these loads have proven safe. Any other chamber? You are on your own!accurateshooter.net/Downloads/sierra223ar.pdf
j20owner  [Member]
9/26/2008 3:06:28 AM
Alright, found my load data finally.

I was able to average 2960fps with Hornady 55gr SPs and 23 grains of H322 in a 1-8" 20" 5.56Nato chambered barrel. That's Hodgdon's max load, which showed no signs of excess pressure, but I will go no further. It's only about 140fps slower than Hodgdon's listed max velocity, which could be due to a difference in barrel length, or just a different gun.

Now, with 23gr H322 and a 53 Sierra MK, I was only able to average 2950fps. Go figure. BTW, those loads were shot on the same day.


Personally, I think either my rifle is a little slow, or my chronograph is a little on the slow side. It is, however consistently slow.
AeroE  [Moderator]
9/26/2008 8:55:39 AM

Originally Posted By j20owner:
Alright, found my load data finally.

I was able to average 2960fps with Hornady 55gr SPs and 23 grains of H322 in a 1-8" 20" 5.56Nato chambered barrel. That's Hodgdon's max load, which showed no signs of excess pressure, but I will go no further. It's only about 140fps slower than Hodgdon's listed max velocity, which could be due to a difference in barrel length, or just a different gun.

Now, with 23gr H322 and a 53 Sierra MK, I was only able to average 2950fps. Go figure. BTW, those loads were shot on the same day.


Personally, I think either my rifle is a little slow, or my chronograph is a little on the slow side. It is, however consistently slow.


I would say those speeds look about right.
Bushman_269  [Team Member]
9/26/2008 9:58:50 AM
The difference in velocity between the Hornady and Sierra bullets can most likely be attributed to a difference in bearing length between the two bullets. A longer bearing length creates more friction (and higher pressures btw) than a bullet of the same weight with a shorter bearing surface. That is why you cannot just switch bullets in a load without working it up again.
Lakemoor  [Team Member]
9/26/2008 10:30:54 AM
Even with 21 grs of H322 w/ Winchester 55gr pills it will still cycle my AR reliablely. Your mileage might vary. In my bolt gun with these cheaper bullet I still get about 1-1.5 MOA. With better quality bullets I would think that it would shrink. I use H322 for the bolt gun and H355 for the AR. You can get a little higher velocity with H355 but I think H322 is more accurate in the bolt gun. Good luck and work your way up.