Do you shoot your .223?

MarshallDodge

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Just a question for the .223AI owners out there, is it worth the hassle of fireforming for the increased capacity and powder burn? Does it reach higher velocities and accuracy easier than a .223? I have a T3x varmint 223 and it’s amazing, was wondering about chambering the next barrel to .223AI.
I like 223AI but it isn't for everyone. It gives me another 100+ FPS out of a 22" barrel, which really shows at distances beyond 600. Fireforming is easy, just shoot 223, and accuracy is pretty close to the real thing so you can play on steel. The biggest thing I like is that I don't have to keep trimmming the brass once formed like you do with 223.
 

mcfred

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The biggest thing I like is that I don't have to keep trimmming the brass once formed like you do with 223.

This must have to do with people's reloading equipment or process. I have a set of no-frills Federal .223 rem brass thave I've reloaded 15 times. Cases are at ~1.760"OAL, but still .010" short of the chamber length. I generally just use a Lee collet neck-sizer, and I've only FL sized them once and have never trimmed them. They chamber/extract my bolt-action as new; zero effort. The load is a solid 1.5gr over book max (77SMK at 2935fps from 24" barrel), primer pockets are still as tight as ever. Makes me wonder what people're doing to require frequent trimming.
 
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Vio515

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Love the 223. My 223 bolt gun and AR go to the range every time. People are constantly amazed the 223 can do with the right load and a sorted rifle.
 
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MarshallDodge

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This must have to do with people's reloading equipment or process. I have a set of no-frills Federal .223 rem brass thave I've reloaded 15 times. Cases are at ~1.760"OAL, but still .010" short of the chamber length. I generally just use a Lee collet neck-sizer, and I've only FL sized them once and have never trimmed them. They chamber/extract my bolt-action as new; zero effort. The load is a solid 1.5gr over book max (77SMK at 2935fps from 24" barrel), primer pockets are still as tight as ever. Makes me wonder what people're doing to require frequent trimming.
I could be doing something wrong. Typically I need to trim about every 2-3 firings but maybe it is the factory chambers/actions. The new build I pictured above has a custom action and barrel and should hold the case better.
 

mcfred

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I didn't mean to imply you were doing something wrong, if it works for you, then it works. If an Ackley chamber means you don't have to trim as much, and you get more velocity, that's even better. Different brass/loads/chambers/dies can certainly yield different results. I'm just surprised you're having to trim that often.
 
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delinquent pleb

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I like 223AI but it isn't for everyone. It gives me another 100+ FPS out of a 22" barrel, which really shows at distances beyond 600. Fireforming is easy, just shoot 223, and accuracy is pretty close to the real thing so you can play on steel. The biggest thing I like is that I don't have to keep trimmming the brass once formed like you do with 223.

Okay thanks for that. I’m thinking that for the next barrel I’m going with a 26” heavy varmint or medium Palma profile. But it will be 26” to ring out a few extra FPS. Based on your points above the only down side I can see is needing to buy another set of dies. I usually shoot my 223 within 600m-700m with 80gn Berger Full Bore projectiles, some more horse power May not be a bad thing.
 

spife7980

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MarshallDodge

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I didn't mean to imply you were doing something wrong, if it works for you, then it works. If an Ackley chamber means you don't have to trim as much, and you get more velocity, that's even better. Different brass/loads/chambers/dies can certainly yield different results. I'm just surprised you're having to trim that often.
To be fair, I don't take a lot off when I trim. My trimmer is set for 1.755 so it doesn't have to do a lot of work. The brass probably grows .01-.03 per firing/sizing.

Also, isn't Federal brass short out of the box? I've experienced some brass in the past as short as 1.740, and I thought it was FC headstamp?
 

mcfred

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I'm sure my Lake City-produced FC brass is shorter new than what they are now, but I don't have measurements for what they were new. I just check them in my chamber stub-gauge (cut with the same reamer as the chamber). If the cases are too close to the chamfer at the end of the chamber, I'll trim, otherwise I won't worry about .010" since it won't improve my scores at the local steel matches. Shooting a .223 Rem there is already a handicap. 😁

CaseGage.jpg
 
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southerngolfer

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I really enjoy my 223 trainer. When we first got into prs, we all bought suppressors. Then everybody switched to brakes so my can just can. Built a 223 and screwed that baby on there. I find it surprisingly pleasant bc u still have to manage recoil and it’s suppressed. I’ve also been able to shoot some of our local matches with it and have done quite well. Out past 800 I don’t expect much bet anything inside 600 im still very competitive
 

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huntnh

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I shoot mine all the time for training. Saves powder cheaper components that are actually available. With the 80 eldms the dope is pretty similar to my match rifle. Great barrel life cheep to shoot what’s not to like!
 

hic28

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Accurate 5 rd mags are outstanding but their 10rd mags are not as reliable.
What issues have you had with the 10rd accurates. Those are the only ones I’ve seen that haven’t had any issues during comps. I’ve also got 5 of them and unknown how many rounds have been put through them with no issues.

For loading long, just file the front out
 
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southerngolfer

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Yes, I had to dremel the front out of my mag follower too. Seems to be a common trend
 

Moose

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    The 10 rd accurate mag I have will not feed reliably if I load it with more than 5 rds.The bolt will sometimes run over the round and not chamber at all.
     

    DJ 480

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    I feel like this topic has come up a bunch lately, especially with the scarcity of ammo and components. I have had a 223 precision rig for years now, and the more I shoot it, the more I enjoy it. Inside its respectable distance, it does everything else my other calibers do. I like 223 because it doesn't burn up as much powder as my different calibers. Also, I do not have to worry about my family coming out shooting with me and blowing through all my expensive match ammo. My wife also really appreciates the lack of recoil and enjoyability it is to shoot vs. other calibers. It's an all-around fun and practical caliber in a bolt gun. I think everyone should have one! Plus, after a day of shooting 6.5, you strap a can on the 223 and start plinking steel; it turns into a downright giggle gun; a heavy 223 has absolutely no recoil to it.
     
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    hic28

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    The 10 rd accurate mag I have will not feed reliably if I load it with more than 5 rds.The bolt will sometimes run over the round and not chamber at all.
    Sounds more like that mag isn’t sitting high enough. Close your bolt and see if you can push up on the bottom of the mag.
     

    reubenski

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    Half of the 223 precision bolt gun gig is a fully equipped 650/750 or 1050 and bulk reloading components. The Hornady 75gr BTHPs are great bullets with a better BC than the 77 SMK, just as easy to tune, and can be bought in 4000ct bulk packs. Once you get a bullet feeder set up on your press there isn't a more enjoyable feeling than rapidly pumping out accurate 223 ammo. It's a great cartridge; there are so many powders that work really well, finding a universal load that shoots well in everything is very easy, and brass is every where. Most shooters start out with a 308 but I would argue that a 223 bolt gun should be everyone's first. And even when a shooter is advanced it still makes a ton of sense to own and shoot.
     

    reubenski

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    No love for the 80g SMK?
    I'm not a huge fan of Sierra's bullets. I think they want too much money for them. The way the Hornady 75 BTHP shoots I can't see spending the extra money for a Sierra bullet. I paid 14 cents a bullet for the Hornadys.
     

    Temper

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    Now that I got around to shooting my 223 prefit I don't think it's coming off the gun unless I'm going to shoot 1000+. I like it so much I might send it out to get it throated for the 80-90 grainers and really start pushing it.
     
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    DJ 480

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    I'm not a huge fan of Sierra's bullets. I think they want too much money for them. The way the Hornady 75 BTHP shoots I can't see spending the extra money for a Sierra bullet. I paid 14 cents a bullet for the Hornadys.
    Any experience on the 75bthp vs the 75 eldm?
    All I have ever shot is the eldm and was thinking of giving the bthp a whirl.
     

    anon

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    Clever design. AW like presentation of the top round (except always left side). Not often something actually innovative in magazine design - at a nice price point to boot. Good for Magpul.

    View attachment 7731899
    Just another 223 mag that will not accept cartridges loaded with 80 grain bullets for a Wylde or similar chamber.
     
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    st1650

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    Just another 223 mag that will not accept cartridges loaded with 80 grain bullets for a Wylde or similar chamber.
    That’s why I love my SAC desert tech magazine. I think I can load to 2.550. My longest load is 2.535” 80 ELDM ON SAC REM match chamber. Absolute pleasure to shoot.

    I know I modified my 5 rnd Accurate Arms 223 AICS quite a bit for proper 300 blk heavy subsonic feeding - not sure what the max coal would be if you take the whole front plastic plate away.
    It’s a decent mag once you’ve tuned it. Out of the box it’s quite mediocre.

    Overall I’ve always felt like the current offerings were lacking - hope the new MDT DSSF resolves the issues of the earlier plastic AICS 223.
     
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    Sheldon N

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    Any experience on the 75bthp vs the 75 eldm?

    Every barrel I've had has grouped better with the 75 BTHP versus the ELD-M, though my current barrel absolutely loves the ELD-M. Main downside is the worse BC and more wind drift.
     

    st1650

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    Every barrel I've had has grouped better with the 75 BTHP versus the ELD-M, though my current barrel absolutely loves the ELD-M. Main downside is the worse BC and more wind drift.
    Same here with SMK 80/Scenar 77. They group slightly better than the eldm 75 and 80 until 600- 800 yards depending on the wind then the eldm do little bit better due to the better BC
     

    reubenski

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    I bought a bulk pack of 75 eldms thinking I was going to primarily shoot those but I've barely used them because they just don't shoot as well as the BTHPs. They have a real pointy nose so they're probably the type of bullet that would do better with over .100" jump but the irony is that if you stick them that far back in the case they're going to be eating up powder capacity
     

    Averageman

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    I reload so I have boxes of 223 for the bolt rifle. Those loads, with appropriate bullets for the task, are proven accurate in that rifle and separate from the FMJ reloads that the AR likes.
     

    Sheldon N

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    I bought a bulk pack of 75 eldms thinking I was going to primarily shoot those but I've barely used them because they just don't shoot as well as the BTHPs. They have a real pointy nose so they're probably the type of bullet that would do better with over .100" jump but the irony is that if you stick them that far back in the case they're going to be eating up powder capacity

    Want to trade for some BTHP? :)
     
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    Rob01

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    I bought a bulk pack of 75 eldms thinking I was going to primarily shoot those but I've barely used them because they just don't shoot as well as the BTHPs. They have a real pointy nose so they're probably the type of bullet that would do better with over .100" jump but the irony is that if you stick them that far back in the case they're going to be eating up powder capacity

    I load the 75 ELD-Ms for my Tac .223 and load them .020" off the lands and they shoot great. What powder you been using?
     
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    DellaDog

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    My last Bartlein barrel shot 75 ELDMs so well I stocked up on several thousand. The next barrel wouldn’t group them no matter what I tried. Was about to give up on the barrel till I gave the 80 SMKs a try. The 80s shot every bit as well as the ELDMs in the previous barrel.

    As they say, feed it what it likes.
     
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    BuildingConceptsllc

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    accurate but you just cost me some money
    How did I miss this? Did you get some and use them? My mdt plastic mags work "ok" but not great.

    I love my 223. It's such a pleasure to shoot suppressed and it's such a hammer.... what's not to like?
     

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    st1650

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    I load the 75 ELD-Ms for my Tac .223 and load them .020" off the lands and they shoot great. What powder you been using?
    Same here. 0.015 off the lands.
    0.010 for the 80 eld-m

    24.5 varget
     

    st1650

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    My last Bartlein barrel shot 75 ELDMs so well I stocked up on several thousand. The next barrel wouldn’t group them no matter what I tried. Was about to give up on the barrel till I gave the 80 SMKs a try. The 80s shot every bit as well as the ELDMs in the previous barrel.

    As they say, feed it what it likes.
    I love the 80 SMK. Super forgiving and easy to load.
     

    acudaowner

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    probabily not as much as I should but I still love them just as much as all the other guns that I own I do have a special place for all my bolt guns as well as my poor gas guns shame they had to go hide out for a while , but as It's for there own safety It's all good . And I still want a shorty bolt gun in 308 , like a little puppy the idea is just following me around .
     

    Nortex

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    I run an 223ai and will never go without one at this point. It's my go to fun setup for range use and/or hunting. Currently running 80gr eld at 2950fps which duplicates my 6mm bra 110gr load dope out to 650ish.
     

    Rob01

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    Have you tried Varget? I tested some 8208 and it did really good but the Varget was better for group size. The 8208 was still at half moa area though and velocity for both was right where I wanted them in the 2940-50fps area.