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Thread: 223/5.56 subsonic

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    223/5.56 subsonic

    I know the question always asked is why? Like that stops anybody in this forum in their strange quests for stuff nobody else wants. I know 22lr does pretty much the same job, but I cant shoot 22lr thru my 5.56 bolt gun. And it will be going thru a can. You can also get more weight in a 223.

    I messed with it before but always got such garbage results. Either really low velocity where I risked them stuck in the barrel or accuracy killing wide swings in velocity. I tried the usual recipes found on the web: trailboss, titegroup or bullseye. I had extreme spreads w trailboss of 220fps. Needless to say that was not going to work. W a 1-9 twist barrel, 60gr flatbase is about as heavy as I can go with a jacketed bullet. Boat tailed anything wont really work. They sell a hollow point 45gr for the 218 bee that looks like it would work pretty well, but they dont make them heavier.

    Only mold I have is the lyman 55gr. It works in my bolt gun, not terribly accurate. I want them to fit in the magazine, which makes them a bit short for best accuracy w that bullet. But I can get them to work without the large swings in velocity. I used solo 1000 that I have been using in all my other subsonic ammo. And drilled the flashholes out, maybe not critical in larger calibers. But sure seems to be important in the 223. 2.5gr of S1000 got me 1019fps w the 55gr and ES of only 11fps. I used some 60gr SP jacketed I had, 3.5gr of S1000 got me avg 1017fps, w ES of 64.43 fps. Not exactly terrible. Pretty dang accurate.

    What I am looking for is a heavier mold. That 60gr SP thats stable is .755 long. So any cast the same length should work. NOE has a 70gr RN, anybody ever use it?

    http://noebulletmolds.com/NV/product...oducts_id=1478

    Powder coated would imagine it can be driven full velocity if needed.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Odds are with subsonic jacketed bullets you will stick one in the barrel....been there done that.......

    With cast bullets my best results were with 225438 cast soft and TL'd in LLA lightly. A GC was then crimped on the base w/o sizing the bullet. Accuracy w/o GC wasn't too bad in 12" twists but didn't fare well in 7-9" twist ARs. I didn't have to drill the flash holes. I loaded them over 2.2 gr Bullseye....no wad or filler. Velocity was 1060 fps and they were very quiet out of an AR with a can.....pretty quiet w/o the can too.

    Of course they would not function the action.

    Max length of bullet to be stable at 1000 fps in 9" twist is .8".

    Larry Gibson

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tackleberry41 View Post
    I know 22lr does pretty much the same job, but I cant shoot 22lr thru my 5.56 bolt gun.
    Actually, you can. Chamber adapters are made for just this purpose.

    http://www.mcace.com/adapters.htm

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    I shoot a 60 grain CB with 3.5 grains of W231 in my 223 Rem CZ-527 and get 1300 fps -- essentially the same as 22LR. Haven't tried it with my 55 gr FMJ yet but that's on my list. I did it precisely so that I could do some "22" plinking without going out and buying 22LR. Using a cast bullet its less money than 22LR. I realize that's not subsonic, but I think it would be possible.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    With cast bullets my best results were with 225438 cast soft and TL'd in LLA lightly. A GC was then crimped on the base w/o sizing the bullet. Accuracy w/o GC wasn't too bad in 12" twists but didn't fare well in 7-9" twist ARs. I didn't have to drill the flash holes. I loaded them over 2.2 gr Bullseye....no wad or filler. Velocity was 1060 fps and they were very quiet out of an AR with a can.....pretty quiet w/o the can too.

    Of course they would not function the action.

    Max length of bullet to be stable at 1000 fps in 9" twist is .8".

    Larry Gibson[/QUOTE]

    I always worry about shooting GC's through a can. IDK if that's justified but if one came off it could really mess things up, especially on a follow up shot

  6. #6
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    My 223 Rem 700 loves this load. Noe 60gr Rn COL 2.190 over 3.5gr TiteGroup. I sold all but one of my 22rimfires. Cheaper to shoot these than 10 to 15 cent RF Ammo and more fun. Gp

  7. #7
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    As I see it you are trying to take a semi auto with a "go fast" barrel designed to shoot factory loads up to or over 3000 fps and make it go slow.

    That is never going to be ideal. Too many compromises.

    But Larry has given you a path forward, run with it.

    I don't run mine that slow, and I shoot mine in a 1-12 H&R Single shot. I use 4-5 grains of Red Dot under the Bator bullet, no gc, and was aiming for 1300 - 1350 fps. So I could not spend the 3 cents each on gas checks. Yes I am a tight bastige.

    But if you want to go slow, you need to start with a tractor, lots of power, geared low.
    Not a formula one racer, or indy car. Also lots of power, but designed for the fast side.

    You can take a 1 in 12 barrel and load it slow with heavy bullets and get someplace interesting with some work.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    One thing i have found with cast at slow speeds is that to much lube results in high SD.
    They get to slippery. When i cut dow to lubing the bottom groove SD's drop like a stone.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    With a 1-9 twist barrel, 60gr flatbase is about as heavy as I can go with a jacketed bullet. Boat tailed anything wont really work. They sell a hollow point 45gr for the 218 bee that looks like it would work pretty well, but they dont make them heavier.


    Depends on the barrel. I have seen one mans 1-9 twist shoot Hornady 68 grain pretty well. and anything up to it. There are other 1-9 that won't.This is from watching the local HP guys on Sunday afternoons.

    Mine stabilizes 63 gr. but nothing heavier. Anything past 200 yards and you will probably need a 1-8 twist. 1-7 seems to be the current favorite of manufactureres.

    Shiloh
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    It depends on the bullet. I tried 62gr FMJ pulled bullets I had, not stable, the boat tail makes them to long to be stable. A spitzer 60 gr works fine, .750in seems to be the limit. Get up over 60gr not easy to find them in flat base. Im not doing it to be cheaper than a 22lr or replace it. I have plenty of subsonic 22 ammo, the local gun shop has plenty on the shelf. Just an exercise in 'will this work'? I have worked up some 22 hornet loads for the 5.56 bolt gun using blue dot. I have found the smaller the bullet the less noise it makes going supersonic. And using half the powder of a 223, you can use a smaller lighter can, basically a 22lr can vs a big heavy steel one for a full powered 223. Just something I like to play with, Im retired, have alot of time on my hands. Have a mold on the way to see about subsonic in my 8mm M48. I threaded the barrel on my old Spanish mauser in 308, and worked up a subsonic load for it.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about them sticking in the barrel. Ive been fooling with trying to get a 100 grain bullet subsonic in my ARs. Its a very long cast bullet with no lube groves and pc coated. Now that bullet has a lot more friction going down the barrel then any 60 grain bullet would. I wouldn't run it at 600 fps but Ive shot a pretty good pile of them in this experiment at 1000-1100 and never stuck a single one. I'm not doing well though finding a load that stays subsonic and runs the action. Closest ive came is with 4895. I got it to eject with subsonic loads but the bolt doesn't come back far enough to grab another round. Is so close though. Bump it another 1/2 grain and its no longer subsonic. I'm not done trying though. Ive tried 6 powders so far and have 4 more to try today. Bottom line though is that it would be easy to get subsonic in a bolt gun with any 22 cast bullet and with the price of 22lr today id bet it wouldn't be a bit more expensive to shoot. Especially if you did it with a fast powder like bullseye ect.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    Lloyd,
    Try running a 300 aac recoil spring and buffer. That may be enough to get your load to feed.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I was not aware there was a specific recoil spring and buffer for 300blk. My 10.5" 300blk uses the standard buffer and spring.

    I almost would have guessed a low mass buffer/spring set-up to cure this problem, but that's just a guess.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    problem is that if a guy uses a lighter spring or buffer you are going to end up have problems with having enough power to reliably chamber a new round. The 300 blackout develops more pressure at subsonic levels due to its heavier bullet. I thought of your cure myself but guys that have tried it tell me its not the answer. Not that it isn't worth a try though. I don't know what the problem is. Maybe its something Elbert Einstein might have a better answer to then one of us handloaders but I tried re17 and re19 today with the same results. I get within a grain of powder of the gun running but that grain gets me supersonic speed. Re17 was subsonic eject the old brass but wouldn't pick up a new one at 12.9 grains. at 13 it ran but was supersonic. Same thing with 19 at 13.9 and 14. One other major stumbling block here is crud. After 10 or 15 rounds you have unburned powder all through the action that gums up the trigger mechanism and gets in the chamber and makes chambering harder. When and if I find a load that runs its going to be right on the ragged edge of working and not working and if it doesn't run a 30 round mag without a hiccup do to fouling what good is it.
    Quote Originally Posted by luvmy40 View Post
    Lloyd,
    Try running a 300 aac recoil spring and buffer. That may be enough to get your load to feed.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  15. #15
    Boolit Man ikarus1's Avatar
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    there is the 60gr Sniper Sub Sonic 22LR from Aguila. Works well in a suppressed AR with one of the CMMG adapter setups. the 60gr works well with a 1-9 twist gun.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    http://www.davidtubb.com/ar15-buffer-spring-stainless

    http://www.brownells.com/rifle-parts...prod56149.aspx

    OK,
    I found several .300 AAC springs but no "AAC" buffer. You could run an H or H1 instead of an H2 buffer with the lighter 300 spring. If they feed and chamber the 300 Blk they should feed and chamber a.223/5.56

    The question is will the sub sonic .223 load move even the lighter buffer assembly far enough to strip a round or lock back on an empty mag?

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    problem is that if a guy uses a lighter spring or buffer you are going to end up have problems with having enough power to reliably chamber a new round. The 300 blackout develops more pressure at subsonic levels due to its heavier bullet. I thought of your cure myself but guys that have tried it tell me its not the answer. Not that it isn't worth a try though. I don't know what the problem is. Maybe its something Elbert Einstein might have a better answer to then one of us handloaders but I tried re17 and re19 today with the same results. I get within a grain of powder of the gun running but that grain gets me supersonic speed. Re17 was subsonic eject the old brass but wouldn't pick up a new one at 12.9 grains. at 13 it ran but was supersonic. Same thing with 19 at 13.9 and 14. One other major stumbling block here is crud. After 10 or 15 rounds you have unburned powder all through the action that gums up the trigger mechanism and gets in the chamber and makes chambering harder. When and if I find a load that runs its going to be right on the ragged edge of working and not working and if it doesn't run a 30 round mag without a hiccup do to fouling what good is it.
    Try a faster powder? Would a smaller charge of L'il Gun or 4198 or H335 be cleaner without risking detonation?(would detonation even be an issue in a rifle chamber?)

  18. #18
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    ya but I'm sure it wont run the action either.
    Quote Originally Posted by ikarus1 View Post
    there is the 60gr Sniper Sub Sonic 22LR from Aguila. Works well in a suppressed AR with one of the CMMG adapter setups. the 60gr works well with a 1-9 twist gun.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  19. #19
    Boolit Man ikarus1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    ya but I'm sure it wont run the action either.
    Thats what the CMMG adapter does....doesnt need to move the buffer

  20. #20

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check