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Thread: What powder?

  1. #1

    What powder?

    ...would you recommend that might be suitable for loading both .223 and .308? I'm after something readily available, not some uber-performing unobtanium where I might be lucky to find a second tub of the stuff. I've had N140 recommended but as I'm new to reloading I don't know if there are any pitfalls. Barrel on the 308 is 22 inches and on the 223 is 26 inches if that makes any difference from determining whether a fast or slower burn powder is best suited?

  2. #2
    More important than barrel length is the rifling twist rate on your 223 and therefore what weight bullets you plan to load in it. If it's a 1/9" job and you're loading 60-70gn bullets, you can happily use N140 for both cartridges. If it's a 1/12" twist which limits you to 55gn top weight as a general rule (there are a handful of heavier exceptions), even more so if it's the 12-inch twist and you want to shoot lightweight (40-50gn) fox bullets, N140 is too slow burning for the 223.

    If you're loading 52-55gn in the 223 and 150-168gn, 175 at a pinch, in the 308, N135 can be used in both although as a compromise it's a little bit slow burning for the 223 and equally a little bit fast burning for 308.

    The same issues apply to alternative makes and grades of powder.

  3. #3
    Yes, powders are better for 40-55gr, other 55-70 grains. But the list of those that perform well across a wide range of bullet weights in both cartridges is a long list. In the middle range 50-64 grains, and 130-165 grains:

    IMR-4895
    IMR-4064
    W-748
    Varget
    TAC
    BL-C(2)
    CFE223
    8208 XBR
    RL-15
    Norma 203B

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Thanks guys

    Yes sorry, should have stated barrel details and bullets I use:

    223: 1/8 twist, 26 inch. I use 50g accutip for fox, and 65 to 70g Sierra match kings for target

    .308: 1/11 twist, 22 inch. For deer, I use 153 and 168g bullets and for target, 153g Sierra Match kings.

    Based on that, anything seem an ideal match or am I looking at two different powders?

  6. #6
    I've got a tub of Benchmark with .223(40gr & 55grn) and .308 (155grn & 168grn) listed on the label.

    Is Reloder 12 still made?
    Last edited by JTO; 25-02-2016 at 09:59.

  7. #7
    Ram TAC. Cheap and available.

  8. #8
    Must say I am suprised you can shoot 50grns in a 1:8 .223 mine wont. Suggest you see my thread on 69 grn TMK's and then you could use N140 in both. Varget which is now in supply could be the answer.

    D

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ChesterP View Post
    Thanks guys

    Yes sorry, should have stated barrel details and bullets I use:

    223: 1/8 twist, 26 inch. I use 50g accutip for fox, and 65 to 70g Sierra match kings for target

    .308: 1/11 twist, 22 inch. For deer, I use 153 and 168g bullets and for target, 153g Sierra Match kings.

    Based on that, anything seem an ideal match or am I looking at two different powders?
    N140 will cover .223 in the 60-70gr range and .308 in the 150-160 range.
    Google Viht reloading manual - it's free online and have a gander at what you can use.
    N140 is generally readily available and reasonably priced, insomuch as any powders are these days.

    Varget will work in the same range but is more expensive and still not as readily available.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by takbok View Post
    Ram TAC. Cheap and available.
    Southern's list was excellent but if I could only pick one I think it might be TAC. Great accuracy and performance across a range of 308 and 223 loads with excellent metering and minimal bore fouling.

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