Suggestions for a .223

n*tsorichguy said: So I just ordered a .223, a Remmy 700 SPS Tactical. Should be here by the weekend! I have no idea what the twist is, all I can get from remington is 1:9 or 1:12. Untill it actually gets here there is no way for me to know. I have been invited to the US this spring to go for Prarie dogs, I was told to expect distances of 350 to 400 yrds. So: Who out there reloads for dogs? What are your pet loads? What would be a good place for me to start? ie: bullet weight/brand and powder combo's I was thinking I would start with a set of .223 dies and then move up to a Lee 1000 for my .223 reloading. Apparently I will need to put together between 1500 & 2000 bullets for the week I will be there. (so a progressive is a must!!) Thanks!

C*mmins4x4 said: With out knowing the twist it's impossible to suggest some loads. That info is on Remingtons website some where IIRC.

n*tsorichguy said: The problem is they are no longer making the Model 700 SPS Tactical, so the info just isn't there! I was kinda hoping someone would chime in with the answer for me :redface:

r*chi said: I use Hornady Match 75gr HPBT over 24.6gr of Varget, it's quite accurate out of my 9 twist savage and drops yotes good. But it would be real expensive at 1500-2k rounds. If your going to be doing a lot of target shooting id be looking a some 55gr FMJBT. Im pretty sure your gun is a 9 twist as well.

sm*k_daddy said: With out knowing the twist it's impossible to suggest some loads. That info is on Remingtons website some where IIRC. Agreed. In my experience, a generic load that works in everything from 1/7" to 1/12" is: 52 gr SMK 25 gr H335 2.260" OAL If this load doesn't shoot well, your gun is cursed. Once you give the twist I can pass on some loads that have worked well for me.

n*tsorichguy said: I just did a google search for "rate of twist in a Remington Model 700 SPS Tactical" I got this from "the fireing line" web site: Confirmed it with Remington. The previous poster was right. Remington said the first 125 rifles are 1/12. The rest are 1/9. These are the 20" Tacticals I am speaking about (to clarify). Only way to tell is via serial number by calling them. So I am going to go out on a whim and say mine will be a 1/9 twist as it would be of a "newer" vintage than the first 125 off the line.......

p*lgrim said: SPS Tac in .223 has a 1:9 twist

p*nkrockboy said: I have shot more than a few gophers at 400 yards with 50 gr Vmax and 25 grains of Benchmark!

R*jamB21 said: Next time order 22-250 in 1/9 twist rate and you be happier, I mean more happier

m*nitou210 said: This load should work with both twists 55gr Nosler Ballistic tip Varget max load in Lyman 49 book, groups in my 1/9 twist 26" XCR just over 1" groups at 300y In good conditions off bench manitou

H*nry Nierychlo said: Hi John I'm using 13.5 gr of Blue Dot pushing either a 55gr Hornady SPSX (very explosive) or a 55gr V-max bullet. The barrel doesn't heat up as much and the accuracy is there. I had a great time in Alberta this year clearing a field of gophers. The SPSX produced some very good aerial acrobatics. It's also a cheaper bullet then all the rest. There's lots of info on the net from a guy called Seafire. Start with a lighter load and work your way up. I found 13.5 gr was the max for my Stevens 200 1-9 twist .223 Regards, Henry

F*ssteel said: Next time order 22-250 in 1/9 twist rate and you be happier, I mean more happier Now there is a caliber a guy wants to shoot all day, Not FS

Cy*N1de said: 50 or 55grn V-Max are devastating on P.Dogs Load them up with H4895, Benchmark or H322 and let em rip. Now there is a caliber a guy wants to shoot all day, Not FS What's wrong with a 22-250. I have sat in a field for more than 8hrs shooting nothing but. The giggle factor far outweighs the slight bit of recoil that this cartridge has.

F*ssteel said: Hi John I'm using 13.5 gr of Blue Dot pushing either a 55gr Hornady SPSX (very explosive) or a 55gr V-max bullet. The barrel doesn't heat up as much and the accuracy is there. I had a great time in Alberta this year clearing a field of gophers. The SPSX produced some very good aerial acrobatics. It's also a cheaper bullet then all the rest. There's lots of info on the net from a guy called Seafire. Start with a lighter load and work your way up. I found 13.5 gr was the max for my Stevens 200 1-9 twist .223 Regards, Henry Interesting data Henry, I was loading 40gr Vmax and the max load for it from Seafire was 14gr. My best accuracy in my gun was with 12gr of Blue Dot.FS

H*nry Nierychlo said: What can I say FS. Maybe cause the bullet is heavier and my Stevens is a 1-9 twist. It Likes the 13.5 load. I found 14.0 gr showing pressure signs and no better accuracy. Nice to see someone else using Blue Dot. It sure works out to be cheap to shoot with the SPSX bullet & only 13.5 gr of powder. Thats just over 500 loads per pound of powder. I think I paid $15.00/100 from WSS earlier this year. It's a cheap shooting load. Regards, Henry

n*tsorichguy said: I never would have thought to try Blue Dot for Acuracy loads to 400yrds. I saw a thread listing a whole bunch of Rifle calibers using Blue dot, but I thought they were all "pussy cat" "plinking" loads. Untill I read all of the posts with recipes I was leaning more towards a 40gr V-Max and Varget, more due to availability (my Local g-store has about 1.5K on the shelf) than anything else. But everybody so far has suggested loads with 50 or 55 gr projectiles..... This must be a "rate of twist" thing. I am really liking the idea of getting 500 rnds of .223 out of a # of powder. I may have to try a # of Blue dot, just to see. I am still trying to gather up a list of stuff, I'm going gun-showing this weekend! Cheers!

F*ssteel said: 50 or 55grn V-Max are devastating on P.Dogs Load them up with H4895, Benchmark or H322 and let em rip. What's wrong with a 22-250. I have sat in a field for more than 8hrs shooting nothing but. The giggle factor far outweighs the slight bit of recoil that this cartridge has. I must just be getting old, would much rather sit behind a 204 for 8 hours. FS

n*tsorichguy said: I got my Remmy 700 SPS Tactical today. It is in fact a 1/9 twist. I also got the 500rnds I ordered with the rifle, so I will be sure to get to the range this weekend! :D Thanks for all of the load data, now if I can just find any of the combo's suggested....... There is a g-show this weekend, hopefully I can find some powder, bulets and primers..... Cheers!

Cy*N1de said: Just to add to your confusion :evil: http://www.reloadersnest.com/frontpage.asp?CaliberID=18

w*rrenb said: My Stevens 223, 1 in 9 twist. 55 grn Nosler BTs, 28 grains of BLC2, yesterday a bit windy, 5 shots less than 0.35" 6 shots 0.7". OAL 2.400" This is over max load in the Lyman and max in the Hornady. Can't wait to chrony it.

n*tsorichguy said: Well I just got back from the g-show. Pickings were a little slim with the options you guys put on here. I did mangae to pick-up 5000 Federal small rifle Match primers @ $45/K I also picked up 1000 50gr Nosler BT and 3 lbs of Benchmark. As soon as I have some brass (soon I hope) I will start to work up a load. Hodgdons load data web site says: 24.0gr min and 26.5gr. max with a OAL of 2.210. Usually I work up a test batch by going in .3gr increments, but that is usually in rifles with 45 to 55gr, of powder "large" centre fires...... Is the process any different with "small" centre fires? Cheers!

C*mmins4x4 said: I usually work up in .2gr increments for the small CF's. Good score on the primers.

Xs24-7 said: A friend of mine bought an SPS Tac this summer in .223. He had no luck at all with light bullets (they shot ok, around 1")...going up to heavier bullets really helped. 55grn Bergers shot well(3/4" or so)...now he is shooting 69 grn Nosler HPBT and it is shooting really well, he found that with the light bullets it was really picky and going +-.1 grn made a noticable difference in group size. Going up to the 69 grn Noslers it was much more forgiving and several loads shot really well.

jm*ddy said: 69 grain SMK and 25.3g Varget you will never go wrong with that combo accurate as hell!

rnbr*-shooter said: Only thing "wrong" with the 40s is that they are tiny little bullets. You have very little choice of where to seat them, and very little room to tune their overall length. You're virtually guaranteed that they'll be jumping quite a bit to reach the rifling (which is not necessarily a bad thing; but if it is, you don't have any way to fix it). I was going to recommend Nosler 50 or 55 grain Ballistic Tips, and I see you've since picked up a thousand. I expect they will do wonders for you. Assuming your rifle is a 1-9" twist, that means you will be able to fire some of the good long range bullets (e.g. 75 HPBTs), but they're probably not worthwhile for casual prairie dog shooting (without a rangefinder); having something fast, flat and accurate (pretty much any 50, 52 or 55 grain bullet) will be better for that. On the other hand for serious P.D. sniping (long range shots, with the use of a rangefinder, doping the wind, trying for a first-shot hit), one of the heavier long range match bullets would be preferred.

n*tsorichguy said: I had it out on Sunday. I was flipping through my Nosler manual and saw that Nosler says Benchmark Powder was the "most accurate" Powder tested and that "25.5gr" of powder was the mosta accurate load in the their test rig. I decided on Saturday Night that I would make up 8 test bullets using their combo. On Sunday at the range, I broke in the barrel (I know most people belive its a myth..... But I need to "make" brass any way.... and it gives me more confidence in my rig, imamgined or not) After I was done that I sighted in at the 25yrd target, them moved to the 100 and then 200. Wind was quartering from L to R at 25 to 35 KMh. American Eagle FMJ 55gr. did pretty well. at 100 http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss207/notsorichguy/AE55.jpg And the Nosler load I pulled out of the book.... at 100 http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss207/notsorichguy/NBT50.jpg I am not going to post the target from 200...... The groups REALL opened up at 200, I think the smallest was 4" but that was also side to side not much up and down stringing. So obviously I have to build up a ladder test, but I have found a starting point I think. So what next, Do I just go to the manual and build up a full ladder test, or is there a shortcut I can take now that I know 25.5gr is .6" @100? Cheers! All in all I am pretty impressed with the rifle, I was told to expect 2"(ish) sized groups at 100 at the best of times with the AE ammo, and I am at 1.4" with a 30kmh wind.

m*tty86suk said: i have been watching this thread as i just bought a sps tactical in 223 aswell, today i tried some 75 grain hpbt hornady, moly coated here we go win case, trimmed to 2.260 wsr primer imr 4895 pressure tested up to 25grains(1 grain over max load as per lyman book), primer showed cratering, coal= 2.315, roughly .010 jump 5 shot groups at 115 yards 22gr .75'' 22.5 .91'' 23 .91'' 23.5 .85'' 24 .5'' . so i quess my 1-9 shoots the 75ers well enough, i am gonna tweak the load around 24 grains this weekend, next i will try some 69 hpbt and 55 grain vmax,

rnbr*-shooter said: notsorichguy, you are not measuring your groups correctly. Groups are normally measured center-to center, you are measuring outside-to-outside. The good news is that you can knock 0.224" off of your indicated readings, to get what you would have gotten on a centre-to-centre basis. Which puts you well under half an inch (congrats!), which is an awfully nice start(!). BTW you are not the first Remington owner I've seen who chooses to shoot 4-shot groups... ;-) As you fire groups with larger numbers of shots in them (5, 10 or even 15 or more) you'll find that they tend to be bigger (of course), but you'll also probably find that "crap ammo" often shows fairly wide flyers, whereas good ammo shows very few flyers (preferably none). I'd say that most 10-shot groups of American Eagle will probably be more than 2" at 100 yards, but I'd suspect that you'll probably be able to keep the vast majority of your Nosler-50-BT 10+ groups well under an inch at 100 yards; welcome to good ammo! matty86suk, sounds like your rifle and ammo are also shooting very nicely.

Myst*c Precision said: If looking for bulk 22cal SP, I can help with both 50 and 55gr bullets. Cheap too. Jerry

n*tsorichguy said: Mystic..... How cheap...... I am currently paying $58.90 per 250 box of 50gr Nosler Ballistic tips. If I can get the same performance for less money...... I'd be all over that like a Fat kid on a Donut! Cheers!

m*tty86suk said: me too^^^

Myst*c Precision said: $150/1000 either 50 or 55gr SP while supplies last. Jerry

rnbr*-shooter said: Jerry are these "plinker-grade" bullets (e.g. perhaps it is fair to expect 2-3" 100 yard groups from them), or are they comparable to high quality hunting or match bullets (e.g. Nosler Ballistic Tips)? (BTW I don't mean to suggest there is anything at all wrong with plinking-grade bullets; in fact plinking-grade ammo is likely good enough for 99-44/100% of .224" bullets that are fired!)

Myst*c Precision said: I have not had a chance to shoot any but feedback has been positive. Now I am going by what others are saying but they are getting in the MOA, sub MOA type accuracy at 100yds with factory rifles and loads. Match bullets, no. Min of evil attacking PD's - yeah, I think they will do the job quite nicely. Heard one shooter was having a hoot smoking PD's with the ARMSCOR 62gr FMJ's. I queried him as I don't think of FMJ's as varmint bullets. Kind of small hole in and out and bullet bouncing over the real estate. He said they 'opened' up the PD very nicely. Didn't get any info on loads or firearm but he has bought a whole bunch more so must be happy. Maybe they are yawing/tumbling on impact and breaking up?????? Both PRVI and ARMSCOR are a nice looking bullet and look very well made. I am sure they will do the job and do so without breaking the bank, Jerry

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