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Thread: .223 Handi

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    .223 Handi

    I am looking to benefit from experience of others regarding said Handi rifle, .223, 9"(?) twist.
    I have this as-yet-to-be-fired .223 barrel, Lyman 225438 mold (GC/PB) and a Lee Bator mold. (A different mold other than a Lee is out of the question.) Powders on hand are Red Dot, 700X, WST, WSL, Acc 5, Acc7, Unique, Int'l Clay's, 2400, 4227,4759. I want to only shoot cast from this barrel and load development time at the range is limited. Any thoughts or shared experience about possible component combinations would be greatly appreciated.
    I know that each barrel/chamber is different but I am looking for an "educated"starting point. I will be happy to come up with a load that might group 2" or so at 100 yds at .22 may velocities or slower. I have read Beagle's write-up on cast pics, esp concerning the Lyman 438. Alas, I have no Bullseye on hand!

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Land Owner's Avatar
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    DonH - I was working with 50.9 grain (51.5 grains with gas check plus lube), 49/49/2 - Pb/WW/Sn, air cooled, 223 Bator bullets, 0.2258" diameter, in a 223, 1:9" twist, bull barrel, Handi-rifle at 50 yards. I didn't finish.

    The Lyman 4th Ed. has 44 grain and 55 grain boolits in three powders that I use: Unique, IMR 700X, and IMR 4227. I selected 4227 and interpolated min. and max. powder for a 51.5 grain boolit. I loaded 10 cases with 4227 in 0.5 grain powder increments. Ea. primed case weighed between 94.5 and 95.0 grains.

    At 50 yards I got OK groups (<4" dia.) with 11.5 and 12.0 grains of 4227. At 12.5 grains I got a fair group (see pic) and stopped there, to return one day to see if 0.1 grain increments below and above 12.5 will tighten the group.

    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonH View Post
    I am looking to benefit from experience of others regarding said Handi rifle, .223, 9"(?) twist.
    I have this as-yet-to-be-fired .223 barrel, Lyman 225438 mold (GC/PB) and a Lee Bator mold. (A different mold other than a Lee is out of the question.) Powders on hand are Red Dot, 700X, WST, WSL, Acc 5, Acc7, Unique, Int'l Clay's, 2400, 4227,4759. I want to only shoot cast from this barrel and load development time at the range is limited. Any thoughts or shared experience about possible component combinations would be greatly appreciated.
    I know that each barrel/chamber is different but I am looking for an "educated"starting point. I will be happy to come up with a load that might group 2" or so at 100 yds at .22 may velocities or slower. I have read Beagle's write-up on cast pics, esp concerning the Lyman 438. Alas, I have no Bullseye on hand!
    I gave up on cast for the 223 as getting GC on straight was never consistent ,so was accuracy = waste of lead. I love casting but those tiny boolits were ugly after I got done !About the only thing I use factory (Bergers) for ,is the 223/6x45 target and Nosler partions for hunting . I think I still find checks on the bench/floor and haven"t loaded cast 223 for 10-12 yrs ./Ed

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


    tomme boy's Avatar
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    Are you sure that is a 9 twist? The one I had was a 1-12

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    kungfustyle's Avatar
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    I got about 2" groups at 100 yards with 14.5g of 4198 and a 55g RCBS mold. Its running about 2300fps. 1 in 12 twist Tompsons Center.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



    cwlongshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomme boy View Post
    Are you sure that is a 9 twist? The one I had was a 1-12
    . Donít know what that particular twist is. But I can tell ya H&R went to the faster twist on later production barrels.

    I have had both myself. My own KHornet was built on the faster twist. ( only cause it was more accurate bbl. Likely completely unrelated to twist.)

    I have shot a few of those batorís Richard! (Hello man hope all is well!!) They are shooting well in my 1:14 Savage 24 222. Not so well from my 223ís for some reason. Non are pushed hard.

    CW
    NRA Life member ē REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post
    I gave up on cast for the 223 as getting GC on straight was never consistent ,so was accuracy = waste of lead. I love casting but those tiny boolits were ugly after I got done !About the only thing I use factory (Bergers) for ,is the 223/6x45 target and Nosler partions for hunting . I think I still find checks on the bench/floor and haven"t loaded cast 223 for 10-12 yrs ./Ed
    I agree 100% with cast and the 223 Remington cartridge. I could never get them to shoot at all. I tried 4 different boolits wights from 50 to 61 grains and 17, yep seventeen, different powders and I never got either T/Contender (14" and 16") to have beer-can accuracy at 100 yards with any consistency--period...

    Use jacketed from 45 to 50 grains and beer cans are dead at 200 yards with no problems and on a good day, 250 yards...

    So, I know it's not the handgun, optics, or shooter...

    Good-luck...BCB

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks for the replies gentlemen.
    Reading the comments got me thinking, I have read of decent accuracy with cast bullets in Hornet, .222, .22-250 so why not .223? I do not doubt others' experiences. I do think there must be a reason other than the round being cursed. I know I can get accurate loads with jacketed but I have to buy those. I can most likely do much better with .22 LR but I don't get to load those.
    At this point I don't have a lot of shooting time left before I can't see well enough so I want to enjoy what I do have. For me that is the process so I think I will do a chamber cast and slug the barrel to see what I am dealing with then take a swing at it. It can't be much more quirky than pulling bullets from .22 RF cases then using the charged cases to launch breech-seated 225438s from a Stevens single shot just for the heck of it��!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    farmerjim's Avatar
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    I use 700X with the Lee Bator (powder coated) in my 223 Handi. It shoots better with the gas check on the boolit than without. Load it down to about 1.4 grains of 700X and it will be subsonic.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialismóby vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Land Owner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomme boy View Post
    Are you sure that is a 9 twist? The one I had was a 1-12
    I have a 223 bull barrel Handi-rifle in 1:9 twist. I also have a standard tapered barrel Handi-rifle in 1:12 twist.

    I have not tried 700X or Unique - yet. Those are "waiting" for another day.

    CW, I have cast thousands of cheery picked and segregated Bator boolits from 50.2 through 51.1 grains (IIRC). I enjoy casting them. I have been back to the pot five times making that 2 cavity AL mold do work each time in 300 to 400 cycles. Rejection rate has been less than 1% and fill out has been very good. I think I have the heat, alloy, and mold just right for the 223 Bator boolit.

    Somewhere along the line I ran out of lube for the sizer. I had purchased the materials for Satan Lube years ago, procrastinated, and finally made a GALLON of it, cooled in soda can containers and stored in a filing cabinet drawer in the garage, as well as a four cavity PVC lube mold with centerline dowels for the drop in lube-sizer. No more procrastinating. I am ready to go back into Bator (or other cast boolit) reloading.

    ...and I have NOT identified the correct TOP PUNCH for the Bator boolit. The one that is "close" leaves a tiny ring around the nose - but I don't believe it affects accuracy at the velocities we're shooting. I have not tried the "hot glue" fix as that seems "ritually unclean".

    Shoot 'em up. Have fun!
    Last edited by Land Owner; Yesterday at 05:36 AM.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Different experiences than most. 1in7 twist AR. 75 grain boolit sized .225 checked and lubed with Lyman Orange Magic. 15.5 grains W748. 25 yards standing no rest open Magpul sights fist sized groups. 50 yards open sights rested 2 inch groups. I am sure that with an appropriate scope it will do 2 inches at 100 yards. These are for plinking and blasting. Just have fun. With a 1 in 10 or 1 in 12 twist, go 40 to 50 grain boolits at 2000fps or less. 5 to 6 grains of red dot will get you there.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    CW's comment about getting good results in 222 has me wondering. Why the difference?
    Longer neck on the 222? Thicker neck on the 223? Some 223 in military brass and some in commercial?
    Does anyone neck turn the 223 brass?

  13. #13
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I had nothing but good results with Red Dot in moderate doses and cast lead 55 gr bullets in .223.

    In the end I settled on 2 loads, one with a bit more Red Dot and a gas check, and one with a bit less and no check.

    Both were minute of squirrel head at 100. Aimed at the eye, it would be a dead squirrel 10 out of 10. But it might impact half inch in any direction from the eye. Quiet too. And packs more punch than the .22lr.

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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