Reloading The .223 Remington Rifle

Posted on: Tuesday January 5, 2021
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MD Smith

MD Smith


(FN=Flat Nose, SP= Spire Point, HP= Hollow Point, RN= Round Nose) JHP= Jacketed Hollow Point, FMJ=Full Metal Jacket)

Loads for .223 Remington Rifle:

(Note: These are near maximum loads, you should use 10% less to start.)
(See note on Powders below or read all about various Powders.)
Bullet is .224″ diameter. Due to different barrel lengths, type of bullet, seating depth, primer type and other factors, you may not get near the FPS charted. It is just a guide and the reason you should start under these charges and work up.

45 grain JSP (Speer or Sierra Spitzer)
IMR 303125.5* gr.3,300 FPS
IMR 489526.5* gr.3,280
240014.9 gr.3,030
Reloader 1228.0 gr.3,470
Reloader 721.8 gr.3,375
#223027.0 gr.3,447
#246027.0 gr.3,405
50 grain JSP (Hornady Soft Point)
IMR 303125.5* gr.3,225 FPS
IMR 489526.5* gr.3,270
240014.5 gr.2,795
Reloader 1227.0 gr.3,335
Reloader 721.5 gr.3,195
H489526.0 gr.3,174
H33526.0 gr.3,398
#223026.0 gr.3,342
#246026.0 gr.3,329
74826.0 gr.3,200
52 grain JHP (Sierra Hollow Point, Boat-tail)
IMR 303125.5* gr.3,— FPS
IMR 489526.5* gr.3,—
Reloader 1227.5 gr.3,310
Reloader 720.9 gr.3,165
H489526.0 gr.3,123
H33526.0 gr.3,300
#223026.0 gr.3,252
#246025.5 gr.3,234
74825.5 gr.3,160
55 grain JSP (Hornady Soft Point)
IMR 303125.0* gr.3,165 FPS
IMR 489526.0 gr.3,120
240014.0 gr.2,685
Reloader 1227.5 gr.3,255
Reloader 720.5 gr.3,080
H489526.0 gr.3,099
H33525.3 gr.3,203
#223026.0 gr.3,216
#246026.5 gr.3,231
74826.3 gr.3,150
60 grain JSP (Hornady Spire Point)
Reloader 1526.5 gr.3,240 FPS
Reloader 1225.5 gr.3,070
H489525.5 gr.3,078
H33525.0 gr.3,051
#223025.0 gr.2,950
#246025.2 gr.3,015
68 grain JSP (Hornady Hollow Point, Boat-tail)
Reloader 1525.6 gr.3,030 FPS
Reloader 1225.0 gr.2,925
H489523.0 gr.2,679
H33523.5 gr.2,825
#223024.5 gr.2,929
#246024.7 gr.2,991

Discussion: The .223 is fast and flat. I have listed powders of IMR, Hodgdon, Alliant and Accurate. Use which ever you have handy. Slow burning powders generally work better in longer barrels and heavier bullets. .223 Cases will stretch, especially with hot loads, and you definitely need to check each in a case length guage and trim off excess brass. Of course, discard any cases that show a split anywhere on the case. For hunting at long distances with an unobstructed view, you should choose the spire point with a soft lead tip or a hollow point. The .223 is really better for long-range, open country and not so much for the brush and woods. But any clear shot with it is deadly.
There are a number of other high performance bullets on the market. The “boattail” is a very good long range target match bullet. It has very good wind performance. If you are shooting for precision, you should weight each powder charge and put exactly the same amount in each case. Each case should be exactly on specs.

*

2400, Reloader 7, 11, 12, 15, 19, and 22 are products of Alliant (formerly Hercules) Powders.

H335, H450 and H4895 are products of Hodgdon Powders.
IMR 3031 and IMR 4895 are products of IMR (formerly DuPont) Powder Company.
No. 2, No. 5, #2230, #2700, #3100 and #2460 are products of Accurate Arms Company
WMR, WSF, WSL, 760, 748, 231 and 540 are products of Winchester, Components Div.
References: Accurate Arms Co. 1996 Reloading booklet – – Alliant Powder Co. Reloaders’ Guide (1995) – – Hodgdon’s Basic Reloaders Manual (1996) – – Speer Reloading Manual, #12 – – Winchester Reloading Components Manual, 14th edition – – Lyman Piston & Revolver Reloading Handbook, 2nd edition. – – VihtaVuori Oy Company, reloading booklet (1995) – – Numerous magazine articles on reloading special calibers and personal loads where noted.