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25-223
Graycard  [Member]
This cartridge has been in parts of a few threads but I thought it was time that it got it's own posting.


Like many on the forum, I was looking for something that would give me a little more punch out of my AR without having to make major investments. I will give 320pf credit for talking me into trying the 25-223. It is about as simple as it gets. The only change to your firearm is the barrel. The bolt and magazines stay the same. You simply neck up the .223 brass to .25 and trim the case back slightly.

Wanting a "walk-around" rifle that would be easy to carry on my 4-wheeler or on short walks around the property, I went with a 16" barrel. I know a longer barrel would give me a bit more velocity but I can't complain with the results.

I've been playing with the loads for a couple of months and as of yesterday the average velocity for a ten shot string was 2470 FPS with a 100 gr. Speer BTSP. Brent has done a good bit more testing than I and I'm sure he will jump in with his results. There was one side effect that I really had not planned on. After I had shot around 100 rounds in the new barrel everything just fell into place. The rifle started turning in groups that no one could complain about.
For my first jump into a wildcat I'm finding the problems that it can cause. My standard upper is starting to gather dust. I'm shopping for a new trigger since the standard one "just isn't good enough" for this rifle. But most of all, I'm smiling more.

marinesg1012  [Member]
Thanks for the review... where did you get your 25 cal barrel? have you had a chance to kill anything with it yet?

all of these rounds based off the 556 are pretty cool.
Graycard  [Member]
where did you get your 25 cal barrel? have you had a chance to kill anything with it yet?

I ordered the barrel blank from Brownells (Shilen), used 320pf's reamer, TP555 turned and chambered the blank.
Brent has been talking about having a group of them done and I may go for a longer one just for the fun of it.
I'll have to wait for hunting season to come around but I will take this rifle out. By then I should have all of the loads worked out and be set to go. It should be a winner in the 150 yard range.
wombat25  [Team Member]
Tag for effect. Thanks for sharing.

Definitely interested in a barrel...are your dies Hornady custom?

Curlymaple42  [Member]
Yup, never cared much about triggers until my 6.5Grendel build. Now I REALLY want a good trigger!! Interesting wildcat! Have fun!
Graycard  [Member]
...are your dies Hornady custom?


C-H/4D did the dies.
That is the blessing with this rifle. Just the dies and a barrel. All of my loads have been made using once fired Lake City brass which is about as cheap as it gets. Using Pmags (20 round) and Brownells (30 round) has given me 100% without a single round failing to feed.
Overton-AR  [Team Member]
This sounds like a great wildcat. I just jumped into the 6x45, but this sounds fun as well.
Altair  [Team Member]
Will this round handle the Nosler BT 100 and 115gr bullets or are they too long to seat at magazine length?
wombat25  [Team Member]
Just looked up dies at http://www.ch4d.com/. At around $80.00, they're much less than others are charging for custom dies. Now I'm intrigued.

Definitely keep us posted if you or someone else decides to do a run of barrels.





ETA: I think I would go for a 20".
pitpig  [Member]
Interesting!
Like many others, I've always stayed away from wildcats because of the brass & die issues, and is it something I'm willing to mess with in the long run? This DOES seem like an easy way (cheap) to experiment. I'll be watching this thread closely, please keep us updated if someone decides to do a run of barrels. I'd like a 20" barrel (for antelope & cyotes).
rc109a  [Team Member]
I would be interested in this calber as well. I am slowly converting most of my 223's AR's into other calibers. I will keep one, so that gives me oom to grow

If someone decides to do a barrel run, let me know...
bowslngr  [Team Member]
I am in for one of these barrels as well. Sounds like a great project.
Graycard  [Member]
Will this round handle the Nosler BT 100 and 115gr bullets or are they too long to seat at magazine length?

I have been using the Speer 100 gr. BTSP and with the results I have been getting with accuracy I'll stay with them. I'm sure the Nosler BT 100's won't be a problem but I have not seen anything heavier that works with the magazine restriction. I guess the main thing with this wildcat is to start out knowing it's limits. It will not set the world afire but it does out class a standard .223 and makes a nice little carry package. If you like something different the 25-223 will fit the bill.

Just looked up dies at http://www.ch4d.com/. At around $80.00, they're much less than others are charging for custom dies. Now I'm intrigued.

What's not to like. I'm just a poor photographer and I hate paying more than I have to.

I just got back in from trying a load (it's nice having my range 200 yds. from the house.)

16" barrel
Speer 100 gr. BTSP
Win. Small Rifle primers
Lake City brass
Hodgdon H322

I started at 21.0 grains for 2190 fps avg. and worked up to 24.2 grains for 2482 fps avg. This about fills the case but it seems to be a reliable load without any pressure signs.
I've played with the 1680 but after about 21.0 grains it seemed a llittle too hit or miss with the pressures.
But hey, I've got awhile before I will try hunting with it. I will say that I'm really starting to like the AR (I've always been a "polished blue and walnut" type of guy). I've used them as photo props but finallly it is getting fun to shoot.
QuicksilverJPR  [Team Member]
Originally Posted By Graycard:
Will this round handle the Nosler BT 100 and 115gr bullets or are they too long to seat at magazine length?

I have been using the Speer 100 gr. BTSP and with the results I have been getting with accuracy I'll stay with them. I'm sure the Nosler BT 100's won't be a problem but I have not seen anything heavier that works with the magazine restriction. I guess the main thing with this wildcat is to start out knowing it's limits. It will not set the world afire but it does out class a standard .223 and makes a nice little carry package. If you like something different the 25-223 will fit the bill.

Just looked up dies at http://www.ch4d.com/. At around $80.00, they're much less than others are charging for custom dies. Now I'm intrigued.

What's not to like. I'm just a poor photographer and I hate paying more than I have to.

I just got back in from trying a load (it's nice having my range 200 yds. from the house.)

16" barrel
Speer 100 gr. BTSP
Win. Small Rifle primers
Lake City brass
Hodgdon H322

I started at 21.0 grains for 2190 fps avg. and worked up to 24.2 grains for 2482 fps avg. This about fills the case but it seems to be a reliable load without any pressure signs.
I've played with the 1680 but after about 21.0 grains it seemed a llittle too hit or miss with the pressures.
But hey, I've got awhile before I will try hunting with it. I will say that I'm really starting to like the AR (I've always been a "polished blue and walnut" type of guy). I've used them as photo props but finallly it is getting fun to shoot.


H4198, RE7/10X and Ramshot X-Terminator should be tried as well...
Graycard  [Member]
Thank you sir, I'll give them a try.
chris65  [Team Member]
Nice...welcome to the wildcat family. Pics of rifle?
Altair  [Team Member]
Originally Posted By Graycard:
Originally Posted By Altair:
Will this round handle the Nosler BT 100 and 115gr bullets or are they too long to seat at magazine length?

I have been using the Speer 100 gr. BTSP and with the results I have been getting with accuracy I'll stay with them. I'm sure the Nosler BT 100's won't be a problem but I have not seen anything heavier that works with the magazine restriction. I guess the main thing with this wildcat is to start out knowing it's limits. It will not set the world afire but it does out class a standard .223 and makes a nice little carry package. If you like something different the 25-223 will fit the bill.


The reason I ask is that I'm also looking at a 6.5MPC which will handle 120gr 6.5 bullets pretty well. I like the Nosler bullets as they have a pretty proven track record at the lower velocities achieved with these .223 wildcats. I'm just trying to best weigh out the options. I don't expect a .25-223 to replace the 6.8SPC and the 6.5Grendel. I know it will have limitations, I'm just trying to guage which if the 223 based wildcats will fit my needs (ok, desires) the best. I wish I could afford them all...

So you think the 115gr bullet might be too long for this cartridge. What do you think about the 110gr Accubond? Would a round with the shoulder set back slightly, like the .25x40, better suit my needs with the longer bullets or would I lose too much velocity with the lower capacity and extra weight?
Graycard  [Member]
From what I have been reading the .25x40 would be better suited to handle the longer and heavier bullets. But I can not speak for what velocities you will get with them since I have not tested them for myself. I will say that I had my eyes opened a bit a few weeks ago when I was testing chronographs. One brand would read almost exactly 50 FPS faster on every shot. Add that to the fact of how one barrel will react differently from the next and things can change rather fast when you are working up loads. I've been reloading since the 70's and always err on the safe side. If I have not tried it for myself I just don't feel qualified to advise you the best way to go.

If I had a reamer for one of Kurt's ?x40's I would have given them a try. They all seemed interesting but the 25-223 was the way to go with money and availability. I even looked at the 6.5 MPC but with only one source (one I thought was overpriced) I passed on it.
ronaldmwilliams  [Team Member]
Originally Posted By Graycard:
Will this round handle the Nosler BT 100 and 115gr bullets or are they too long to seat at magazine length?

I have been using the Speer 100 gr. BTSP and with the results I have been getting with accuracy I'll stay with them. I'm sure the Nosler BT 100's won't be a problem but I have not seen anything heavier that works with the magazine restriction. I guess the main thing with this wildcat is to start out knowing it's limits. It will not set the world afire but it does out class a standard .223 and makes a nice little carry package. If you like something different the 25-223 will fit the bill.

Just looked up dies at http://www.ch4d.com/. At around $80.00, they're much less than others are charging for custom dies. Now I'm intrigued.

What's not to like. I'm just a poor photographer and I hate paying more than I have to.

I just got back in from trying a load (it's nice having my range 200 yds. from the house.)

16" barrel
Speer 100 gr. BTSP
Win. Small Rifle primers
Lake City brass
Hodgdon H322

I started at 21.0 grains for 2190 fps avg. and worked up to 24.2 grains for 2482 fps avg. This about fills the case but it seems to be a reliable load without any pressure signs.
I've played with the 1680 but after about 21.0 grains it seemed a llittle too hit or miss with the pressures.
But hey, I've got awhile before I will try hunting with it. I will say that I'm really starting to like the AR (I've always been a "polished blue and walnut" type of guy). I've used them as photo props but finallly it is getting fun to shoot.


I found the same thing in my 223/.556 varients.
6mmAR15  [Member]
Interesting wildcat..........can do nothing that the 6x45 already does.........IMHO one defeats the purpose of 223 based wildcats like the 6x45 by using heavy bullets.........the 6x45 shines with bullets in the 80-85 grain weight catagory.........heavier bullets are best served in the 243 Winchester case..............
Dr69er  [Member]
I found same thing with the 6X45 round with the AA1680 limit seems to be about 20.5 grs with the 20" Rifle Gas Bbl.
Altair  [Team Member]
Originally Posted By 6mmAR15:
Interesting wildcat..........can do nothing that the 6x45 already does.........IMHO one defeats the purpose of 223 based wildcats like the 6x45 by using heavy bullets.........the 6x45 shines with bullets in the 80-85 grain weight catagory.........heavier bullets are best served in the 243 Winchester case..............


While I like what I've seen on the 6x45 I think there are things the .25-223 does better. The .25 will fire an 85gr bullet at 2900fps based on Kurts data on the .25x40. I suspect the .25-223 would do just as well while the info I've found on the 6x45 indicates it will fire an 85gr bullet at 2500fps. That's a fairly substantial difference (1179 ft/lbs vs 1587 ft/lbs muzzle energy). While I understand that you pay a price in ballistic coefficient when you increase bore and maintain weight, there are definitely applications where that is a reasonable trade off. I think each of these rounds serves a purpose, if it didn't you wouldn't see so many different calibers still available, the market would have defined the best performing calibers and the rest would have just gone away (by caliber I mean actual bullet diameter, not a complete cartridge).

ETA: The 6.5 MPC will push a 95gr bullet to 2800fps (1653 ft/lbs) while the 7.62x40 will push a 110gr bullet to 2700fps (1780 ft/lbs). It seems that every increase in bore diameter increases case efficiency and muzzle energy but generally at the expense of ballistic coefficient. All of them seem to like light for caliber bullets (not surprising with the magazine length restriction) and that becomes more evident the larger the bore.
6mmAR15  [Member]
I for one don't tend to look at numbers like some folks do..........100 fps, oh yes, than it must be better.......I rountinely was getting 2700 fps out of a twenty inch AR with 80 grain Sierra SPBT bullets........

In 1973 the cartridge set a new IBS 200yard record of 0.3062. This in itself tells me the 6x45 is an accurate round.......There is no denying the BC of 6mm bullets............................

Like I said it is indeed another interesting wildcat...........I stand by my convictions.....It can't do anything more than the 6x45.............we will have to agree to disagree.........
wombat25  [Team Member]
Originally Posted By 6mmAR15:
Interesting wildcat..........can do nothing that the 6x45 already does


From another vantage point, it would seem that the 25-223 can do everything that the 6x45 does, but with the extra advantage of being able to propel heavier (100-grain and thereabouts) bullets at very respectable velocities. I'll grant you that going much heavier or futher in bullet diameter with the .223 case might make for some unacceptable trade-offs, but 2500 fps w/ a 100-grain bullet out of a 16-inch barrel definitely has me interested. At the same time, the 25-223 will have no problem with the 85-87-grain projectiles typically used by 6x45 shooters (I'll grant in advance that the .257 bullets will have a slightly lower BC than .243 of the same weight...BFD).

Let's look at this yet another way...the .25-06 and .270 are both derived from the parent case and for all practical purposes occupy basically the same niche. Any deer hit with the .25-06's 120-grain .257 bullet vs. the .270's 130-grain .277 bullet (assuming proper placement) will be equally dead. Yet each cartridge is succesful in its own right, as each offers its own drawbacks and benefits. Same with 6x45 and 25-223.

Altair  [Team Member]
Originally Posted By 6mmAR15:
I for one don't tend to look at numbers like some folks do..........100 fps, oh yes, than it must be better.......I rountinely was getting 2700 fps out of a twenty inch AR with 80 grain Sierra SPBT bullets........

In 1973 the cartridge set a new IBS 200yard record of 0.3062. This in itself tells me the 6x45 is an accurate round.......There is no denying the BC of 6mm bullets............................

Like I said it is indeed another interesting wildcat...........I stand by my convictions.....It can't do anything more than the 6x45.............we will have to agree to disagree.........


I agree that numbers aren't everying. I have no doubt that you have had significant success with the 6x45. I'm also not saying the .25-223 is better, worse, or the same. I'm just saying that they are different and both have their strengths. As a hunting round, I'd be more comfortable with the .25 because it can handle heavier bullets, but that is my preference and not intended to suggest you couldn't use the 6mm.
Graycard  [Member]
I stand by my convictions.....It can't do anything more than the 6x45.............we will have to agree to disagree.........

Nothing wrong with that.
The .25-.223 does "ring my chimes" and that alone is all I ask of it. I was looking for a 150 yard carbine that was easy to carry and had enough power for anything on my land (I have no desire to shoot any of my bears.) There are a lot of calibers and a lot of other firearms that would fill that need but this is the choice I made and at least I know I'll be the only one in my woods with one.