223 77 SMK Varget speed.

GLB

Sergeant
Belligerents
Sep 16, 2011
193
6
22
Alaska
I have worked up a good load with the 77 smk and 23.5 Varget. All groups together average.51 moa. Its going to be awhile before I can get back to the range to chrono. Any guess what FPS I should be getting?
AR 15
BCM SS 18” barrel 1/8 twist
 

Ballistic RPh

Online Training Member
Online Training Access
Minuteman
Mar 1, 2019
63
13
12
I’d guess around 2500. I get 2500 FPS with 24.1gr varget out of my 16” AR.
 

Ballistic RPh

Online Training Member
Online Training Access
Minuteman
Mar 1, 2019
63
13
12
Thanks, I was hopping to be closer to 2600. It sure shoots good.
What brass are you using? Did you do a ladder test or OCW up to 24 gr? Should be able to fit some more powder in there.
 

GLB

Sergeant
Belligerents
Sep 16, 2011
193
6
22
Alaska
Remington brass, 7.5 BR primers. I worked up to 24 grns Varget. All groups were sub moa but the 23.5 was clearly the best grps.
 

txguero

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Sep 28, 2019
115
90
34
Watch the mk252 series that Johnnys Reloading Bench made on YouTube. Different rifle, barrel, and brass, but might give you a ballpark idea of where you’re at. If you can swing it, buy a chrono, it’ll be a game changer for you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: waveslayer

FCS

Gunny Sergeant
Commercial Supporter
Belligerents
Jun 3, 2005
1,844
239
169
ABQ, NM
www.mccourtmunitionsllc.com
I have worked up a good load with the 77 smk and 23.5 Varget. All groups together average.51 moa. Its going to be awhile before I can get back to the range to chrono. Any guess what FPS I should be getting?
AR 15
BCM SS 18” barrel 1/8 twist
2450 +/- 20 fps, best guesstimate
 

GLB

Sergeant
Belligerents
Sep 16, 2011
193
6
22
Alaska
Thanks for the informed replies. My chronograph is at another location. I know that 23.5- 24 is a common load for service rifle and wanted to get some idea what others have for speed.
 

GMZ

Retired
Belligerents
Mar 15, 2007
209
147
49
PNW
Hah I get 2900 in my 26” Bartlein too...bolt gun 24.6 gr Varget at 2.480 with any 75/77 class bullet.

For ARs like OP asked for:

23.5 gr Varget
77 SMK
FC 12 brass
CCI 400
2537 FPS avg from 16” WOA SDM w/can.

Accuracy was about .6 for 5 but I got over 100 FPS more velocity, lower SD, and same accuracy with the same load of XBR 8208.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The_Count

sea2summit

Trying to get past 100m
Belligerents
Mar 1, 2009
474
391
69
I'm getting 2525 out of a 16" barrel with 77gr Custom Comps and 23.1gr Varget, it's just cheap steel banger ammo but now I'm curious about loading up some smk's to see if they're really that much slower.
 

natdscott

Experienced Beginner
Belligerents
Jun 13, 2008
1,164
646
219
Any reason you are doing your so-called load development without a chronograph?
He might be more concerned with listening to the gun through careful workup, and judging the load on how it shoots rather than how fast it flies.

Admirable pursuit, actually.

I really couldn't quote you exact speeds or SD, or ES on a whole ton of the loads I've used pretty well in competition. I just know they were what got the gun to print under 1/2, and that precision is what gets me good hits, groups, scores, etc. Not speed.

Thanks, I was hopping to be closer to 2600. It sure shoots good.
You can probably push a little more, but watch it carefully. 24.0 in Varget can get a little spikey, I think. RE15 is about 1/4 to 1/2 a grain more before it does the same.

My specs in my head refer mostly to Lake City, which is better brass. Most of us are getting somewhere between 2,650 and 2,700 pretty easily in the 20" tubes, with those charges.

Post some images of the primers, and the entire casings.

Remington brass, 7.5 BR primers. I worked up to 24 grns Varget. All groups were sub moa but the 23.5 was clearly the best grps.
As always, even if it isn't a speed you like as well as if it were faster, go with the one that shoots best. A 1/2 minute gun is worth quite a bit of windage. And confidence.
 

GLB

Sergeant
Belligerents
Sep 16, 2011
193
6
22
Alaska
I have a load that is 2654 FPS avg. with the 77SMK and N140 that groups .53 avg as well. The Varget load has the same accuracy but much slower.
 

Billiam1211

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Feb 19, 2018
274
82
34
31
IL
I run 24.5gr of Varget with 77gr SMK and 205 Match AR primers and velocity is 2768fps. That is coming out of an 18-inch barrel.
 

Billiam1211

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Feb 19, 2018
274
82
34
31
IL
I run 24.5gr of Varget with 77gr SMK and 205 Match AR primers and velocity is 2768fps. That is coming out of an 18-inch barrel.
In the Sierra manual under AR-15 the listed max for Varget is 24 grains, which are typically conservative when it comes to pressure. The issue with 556 is case capacity and compressed loads, especially when trying to keep an overall length of 2.260 for feeding reliability.

Regardless, if you work up to 24.5 grains of Varget safely and there are no signs of pressure there's nothing wrong with that loading. Tons of people on here have posted similar loads around 24-24.5 grains of Varget as being a highly accurate node. I have 250 pieces of Lake City brass that have used that load without issue. My AR consistently prints about .6 MOA with that load, even out to longer distances.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

GLB

Sergeant
Belligerents
Sep 16, 2011
193
6
22
Alaska
^^^ yep I have seen people go that high but it’s definitely hot and very compressed. I went up to 24 Varget and that was compress some as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Billiam1211

natdscott

Experienced Beginner
Belligerents
Jun 13, 2008
1,164
646
219
@Billiam1211 that’s fine. I’m not telling you how to live your life. You don’t have to justify shit to me. :)

I’m stating, for the record, that that is not how I live mine.

I’ve seen too much shit break in ARs from guys trying to make them boltguns for me to recommend heavy loads on the open internet. A little too much sunlight on a magazine full of those, and you might be picking anvils out of your trigger group. Seen it. A LOT. Cloned Mk262...had to cut 0.010” off the bullets to make the powder fit. I get it.

I just don’t, because I’ve maybe FINALLY learned for myself what it should NOT be asked to do.

It’s one of those “stupid games, stupid prizes” things, where if you push the limits day in and day out, sooner or later, you won’t have the right stuff.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Billiam1211

Billiam1211

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Feb 19, 2018
274
82
34
31
IL
@Billiam1211 that’s fine. I’m not telling you how to live your life. You don’t have to justify shit to me. :)

I’m stating, for the record, that that is not how I live mine.

I’ve seen too much shit break in ARs from guys trying to make them boltguns for me to recommend heavy loads on the open internet. A little too much sunlight on a magazine full of those, and you might be picking anvils out of your trigger group. Seen it. A LOT. Cloned Mk262...had to cut 0.010” off the bullets to make the powder fit. I get it.

I just don’t, because I’ve maybe FINALLY learned for myself what it should NOT be asked to do.

It’s one of those “stupid games, stupid prizes” things, where if you push the limits day in and day out, sooner or later, you won’t have the right stuff.
I think you’re assuming a lot here. I’m certainly not doubting your experience, lots of very knowledgeable people on here and what you’re saying makes total sense. However to pooh-pooh someone’s load that’s a 1/2 grain over max is silly. I did my due diligence and it has been completely safe in my rifle for years. That load is an accuracy load for long distance, I dont burn it down. Just providing a velocity data point for the OP.
 
Last edited:

whatsupdoc

Major Hide Member
Belligerents
Minuteman
Dec 12, 2017
1,011
930
119
I have had better luck with 23.2 gr of IMR8208 with 77SMK out of a 22" Bull barrel.
Charge is not compressed and meters better than Varget and is super accurate.


Stats - Average 2842.79 fps
Stats - Highest 2855.87 fps
Stats - Lowest 2831.09 fps
Stats - Ext. Spread 24.78 fps
Stats - Std. Dev 7.74 fps

Shot ID
1 2838
2 2856
3 2845
4 2842
5 2847
6 2846
7 2839
8 2851
9 2831
10 2833
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Belligerents
Aug 10, 2001
7,873
3,520
219
74
Arizona, good place for me...
I run the Hornady 75gr HPBT with 23.5gr of Varget in three different 24" guns (a Savage 11VT, and a pair of Stag Super Varminters).

I'm assuming somewhere around 2750fps. Accuracy at 600yd was competitive in F T/R.

Greg