A Data-Driven Approach To Precision Rifles, Optics & Gear
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Tag Archives: 223 Remington

Long-Range Calibers & Cartridges: What The Pros Use

Long Range Calibers and Cartridges

I recently surveyed the top 100+ shooters in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), and this post reviews the calibers and cartridges those guys are running this year. For those of you who may not be familiar with the PRS, it’s an organization that tracks how top competitors place in major rifle matches across the country. PRS matches are tactical/practical long-range rifle matches shot in the field conditions. Typical ranges for steel targets are from 300 to 1200 yards, and they are engaged from prone and improvised positions, often under extreme time pressure. It is one of the fastest growing shooting ...

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Rifle Reloading Data: My Pet Loads for Target & Hunting

These are some of my pet loads. They were what I found to be the most precise in my rifles after extensive and tedious load development. I may tweak the loads slightly as the throat of a barrel erodes, but I don’t typically vary too far from what is shown here. You should always reference a quality reloading manual and start with the minimum recommended loads and work your way up. Just because these have proven safe in my rifles, doesn’t mean they will be in your’s. Chamber dimensions, brass specs, barrel grooves and diameter can vary, so it’s very important ...

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Barrel Length and Velocity

I recently had an opportunity to fire the same 223 Remington ammo over a chronograph out of 3 very different barrel lengths, and recorded the muzzle velocity differences I observed.  The chronograph was an Oehler 35p, which is one of the most accurate in the industry.  The ammo fired was Federal’s 55gr FMJ ammo, and all of it was out of the same box. Here are my measured results: Barrel Length (inches) Average Muzzle Velocity (fps) 20″ 3019 fps 16″ 2837 fps 7.5″ 2135 fps Here is an inferred trendline based on the measured velocities for other 223 Remington barrel ...

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Creighton Audette’s Ladder Test

Creighton Audette came up with a method for developing precision rifle handloads that has been referred to by many names: Incremental Load Development Method (ILDM) The Ladder Test 20 Round String Method Unfortunately many of Audette’s original articles aren’t very accessible, so I wanted to provide a few resources that help flesh out the method to load development he proposed.  I recently tried it out, and although at first I admit I was a little skeptical … after seeing the real world results and some critical thinking about what we are really trying to uncover when doing load development, his ...

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Lapua 223 Rem Brass Weight Variation

I recently weighed 100 pieces of brand new Lapua 223 Remington “Match” brass, and honestly I’m disappointed.  A few people have been telling me how good Lapua brass was, so I was simply expecting more consistency than what I found.  It didn’t stack up well compared to some Norma brass I weighed recently … although the overall quality appears to be good.  In fact, it wasn’t much different than weight distribution of some super-cheap, once-fired Remington 223 brass I bought for 1/5 of the price (the average deviation of the Lapua brass was actually higher).  Here is the resulting data for the Lapua brass, so you can compare for yourself: Average ...

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Best Reloading Brass: Comparison of Manufacturer Uniformity

Many handloaders believe an accurate load starts with quailty brass.  The more uniform the brass, the better accuracy you can expect.  So there are a lot of questions that commonly arise: What is the best brass? Should I use “once fired” or “military surplus” brass? Is quality of Lapua brass really worth the added cost? I stumbled upon some info on 6mmBR.com about a year ago containing some data that can be used to compare of brass uniformity between manufacturers.  I’ve tried to refer back to article several times … but I always have a hard time finding it again, because it is buried in ...

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Remington 223 Brass Weight Variation

I recently weighed 153 pieces of once-fired Remington 223 brass that had all been full-length resized, trimmed to length, deburred, primer pockets uniformed, and neck turned.  Here is the resulting data: Average = 90.8 grains Standard Deviation = 0.71 grains Average Deviation = 0.53 grains (average of the absolute deviations of the data points from the mean … 0.53gr actually isn’t that bad) Variance = 0.51 Extreme Spread = 4.0 grains Extreme Spread as % of total weight = 4% (this is significant) All data was gathered using a RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 Powder Scale, which is accurate to +- 1/10 grain and was calibrated ...

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Hornady .224 Caliber 55gr V-MAX Bullets Weight Variance

Although some people claim the bearing surface of a bullet (the sides of the bullet that touch the rifling as it travels down the barrel) has more impact on a bullets flight, variations in weight also have an impact although the degree of impact is up for debate.  We can all agree that a 35gr bullet would fly much differently than a 80gr bullet shot out of the same rifle.  But is does a 54.8gr bullet fly noticeably different than a 55.3gr bullet? Regardless of whether there is a measureable difference based strictly on bullet weight, I believe the weight of the bullet is strongly correlated to the bearing surface.  To ...

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