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Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: 223 Remington...best boolit choice for small game?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    223 Remington...best boolit choice for small game?

    I went back to my youth over the winter and bought a 452 CZ ultra lux 22lr and a ruger American 22 WMR in the last month and have been small game hunting. I thought it would be fun to up the anti and find some load data for my 223 ltr to shoot at hornet velocities. I don't mind using some 40g j words. What boolits/molds brought out the least destructive results for squirrels and rabbits? Figured I'd start mold shopping and cast some as well. I'm sure I'll have to gc and pic them if I'm going to approach 2000fps.

    My goal is to download my 223 to 22 hornet velocities so I don't have to purchase another rifle and optic and to be able to shoot it without muffs like my rimfire and not blow my ear drums out.

    I figured if I cast some solid soft points and light load them they will be less destructive than the 30g vmax 22 wmr at 2200 fps? I know accuracy can be a challenge with cast but hoping to get MOA or less at a 100 yards and have the reliability with a center fire.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 01-28-2018 at 11:31 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master ammohead's Avatar
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    I think you will find moa accuracy with a 40 gr bullet at 2000 fps to be difficult with any bulllet, and cast maybe more so. I find most of my small game hunting to be 50 yds and less. Good luck and have fun.
    It's what we do!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I have found that with my 223's that they seem to like CB's run a little faster than in my 222 or Hornet - usually around 21-2200 fps. My Hornet likes its CB's run at about 1800. The CB's I am using are in the 53-58 gr range. I am still working on getting my 223 accuracy to match the Hornet's believe it or not.

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    I modified some 223 brass by enlarging the primer hole then loaded with a couple grains of Unique. I then used a .22 pellet from a pellet gun. I was able to get acceptable accuracy to hunt rabbits out to about 20 yards. I used this in my Contender.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    What is the twist in that LTR? I've got a hornet, a fireball and several 223s. Looking at the NOE 37 and 45 gr boolit molds. If the swede would make some more dual pb/gc 4 cavity molds I'd be all over them.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    I found in 22 Hornets, the 222 Rem and the 223 Rem the Lyman 225438 and the 225462 (most used) are the least destructive. For small edible game I drop the velocities down to 1100 fps (22LR range). at 1800 -2000 fps even those can be overly destructive on closer shots where most of my smaller game is taken.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    I found in 22 Hornets, the 222 Rem and the 223 Rem the Lyman 225438 and the 225462 (most used) are the least destructive. For small edible game I drop the velocities down to 1100 fps (22LR range). at 1800 -2000 fps even those can be overly destructive on closer shots where most of my smaller game is taken.
    I've long worked up usable small game loads for all of my rifles, and I think Larry is sharing an almost immutable and unavoidable truth here: edibility imposes a practical cap on velocity for small game rounds.

    I've had no trouble with bullet style, weight, or even diameter; but if I can't get velocity under 1500, and less is better, that load will ruin table fare much too often.
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



    jmort's Avatar
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    I doubt there is any animal that could not be killed with a .223. Not optimal, but the 60 grain Partition will do the job.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Ltr' shave a 1 in 9 twist

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I haven’t put this over a chronograph, but I use an H&R .223 with 1:12” twist for this with a Lee Baylor pushed by 2.0 grs Unique. It’s a bit louder than my unmarked single-shot .22LR rifle (21” barrel), but not as loud as my Savage 93 in .22Mag. I know that’s not very scientific, but it might help. I also have a Lyman 225415 and a RCBS 22-55-SP, and both of these are more accurate than the Bator when going for best accuracy, but they also require higher velocity for that accuracy. And the Bator works fine for my purposes since all my small game hunting is inside of 50yds, and 90% is inside 25yds.
    I passed my last psych eval, how bout you?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    My load of choice is the NOE 225-45 WFN with 3.4gr of trail boss. There are all sorts of options with the pistol powders for small game loads. As others have already said though, keep your velocity down or you will make hamburger. I put one of these 225-45 slugs into the back of a squirrels head with 14gr of 4895 and it turned his head to mush. This bullet driven at around Larry's suggested 1000fps will anchor a squirrel where he is hit.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I've used a Lyman 22541 50gr semi point gas check mold for about 25yrs. It's accurate enough for 50yds on small game. My favorite load for the .22Hornet is 6.2gr #2400 or 4.5gr Unique. Both run ~1,900fps and very accurate.
    From a .223, best load is 7.2gr Unique. Gets 2,050fps. I've taken squirrels to deer with them.
    I've also got the Lee Bator 50gr fngc as well as Lee 55gr FNGC. I don't care for the Bator at all. Not accurate. Haven't shot enough of the 55's to yet have an opinion.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master davidheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmort View Post
    I doubt there is any animal that could not be killed with a .223. Not optimal, but the 60 grain Partition will do the job.
    For me, the 65gr Gameking did the job. In cast I use the 22 Hornet. I haven't had much cast success in the 223 so I can't comment much to that.
    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. -Psalm 91:1

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Markopolo's Avatar
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    I like the Lee Bator boolit..mine cast around 51g average. running with 10.2g of 2400 is my sweet spot with a 1-9 twist bolt gun... I struggled with it at first though. For me, the answer was bitter sweet... sorting, sorting, and a bit more sorting again as I put gas checks on... I always cast several hundred before I started looking at them and sort them by weight, without their pants and lube on.. I ran the mold pretty hot and used tin in my fairly hard alloy.. after all the sorting, I load them grouped by my weight sweet spot. The rest go back into the pot and I cast ingots just for the 223... I gotta tell you, it seems like a lot of extra work, but the payoff is good grouping under an inch, and consistent plinking.. lots of fun.. I guess it appeals to a boolit caster's meticulous nature... I imagine that sorting game will be needed with any 22 boolit you use.... I use a magnifying lamp while sorting to really get a good look with my older eyes....

    Marko
    Last edited by Markopolo; 02-13-2018 at 07:27 PM.
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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