Best powder for AR15 w/16 inch barrel?
Hi all! I will be finishing up on a custom upper very soon and will be doing all my own reloading. What powders are you folks finding works best with a 16-inch barrel? I'm thinking a faster burning powder would work best?
Best to buy a manual and follow it precisely as to there specifications.
Google IMR for a less comprehensive free version.
Last edited by aklaunch; 12-26-12 at 19:46.
There are so many different powders and you will get so many different answers. It really is a personal preference. I prefer TAC, lots of people use varget, h335, h322 but your asking a very vague question. What weight projo are you planning on using?
Last edited by RearwardAssist; 12-26-12 at 21:32.
That would be H335 instead of H355 wouldn't it? I use Ramshot TAC as well as Accurate Arms 2230 with 55 gr. bullets and H335 with 62 gr. SS109 bullet pulls.
Originally Posted by RearwardAssist
Last edited by davidz71; 12-26-12 at 20:47.
Every barrel is different, there are so many powders. The powders that work for an Ar are not that far apart as far as burn rate. There are faster and slower, but your barrel is going to have little to do with the powder you choose. Faster for lighter bullets, and slower for heavier. That is not even set in stone a member markm has a killer load using h322 for 77 matchkings. Most Will say h322 is to fast for the weight, but his results show different.
Your going to have to do the leg work for your gun, but barrel length is the least important part of the equation. Once you get to shorter barrels it gets more important, because you are trying to squeeze more speed from a short barrel. With a 16" barrel choose powder for the bullet your loading.
Last edited by jstone; 12-26-12 at 20:59.
Yes thank you I edited the original post to avoid any confusion.
Originally Posted by davidz71
Would I be crazy to say that reloading manuals are becoming obsolete? You can call the powder company directly and they can tell you what charge weights floor and ceiling to throw based of your data to get you close until you can chrono.
I was thinking the same exact thing the other day. Why would I spend $30+ for a manual when I could call the manufacturer (or just find it online) for the exact bullet and powder combo I want to use.
Originally Posted by theblackknight
The only thing that mine has come in handy for is giving me an idea of where to start to work up a load for 62gr TBBC...since nobody seems to have ever loaded this bullet
Not crazy but loading manuals are essential. You can call a manufacturer, but you have to write it down. You might have a dislexic moment and mess up the numbers. What if you want to load, and there closed. If you call and ask for a specific powder bullet combo that's not to bad, but what if you want data for multiple powders. Or you would like to know how all the powders tested compare. Most companies are good to us, and Will spend time with us giving us all the info we ask for. If everyone stops buying books, and starts to bug the companies for all the data in the book they will get tired of it possibly causing us all to loose a great resource. Try to get load data from federal. They are not helpful.
Originally Posted by theblackknight
Book also give you so much more information than just load data. Im not sure how long you guys have been loading, but there has been a trend in people not buying books which has lead to a trend of lazy loaders. Not saying you guys are in that category, but i see a lot of questions that could be answered if they owned a full book. Blacknight & ironman8 the only questions or posts i have seen from both of you either lead to good discussion or are good answers.
If you do not want to buy manuals you can get them for free from multiple companies. Books are not obsolete new loader are getting lazy and want to be spoon fed everything. I feel it is very important for loader to have manuals i have given some away, and bought a few for people.
Ironman8 the 62 tbbc was not released as a component. That is why there is no data for it. When speer was making the tbbc they only had data for the 55. Now that they are a federal product we Will never get any data.
Another thing is a lot of loader seem feel s is going to htf, and if you fit into that pitch what do you do when it happens and you can't call a company or.access the internet.
Last edited by jstone; 12-27-12 at 04:41.
All the actual load data you will need for loading .223 can be found online, free of charge, directly from the manufacturer of the powder. You don't need a load manual for that.
http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/default.html (there are some older full manuals here in pdf)
Or if you want something more recent but don't want to pay you can check your local library. A book will give you more insight on the reloading process but all that information can be found online these days too.
Each gun is an individual so no one can tell you which powder will be best for your rifle. If you are shooting iron sights, a 4moa red dot or surplus FMJBT bullets, you probably won't be able to see an accuracy difference between several different powders. Look at this chart and find Hodgdon H332 and CFE223, http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html I recommend staying between those two powder on the burn chart. Going faster and you may start having cycling issues though some people use 4198 just fine (Works fine in my Mini 14). I generally use Ramshot X myself. WC844 is a good budget powder if you can actually find it right now, uses H335 load data but start at 85% instead of 90% for load development.
Last edited by NWcityguy2; 12-27-12 at 07:35.
Reloading Manual & Powder
Powder: Use powder that's most commonly available and can be used in multiple loads and Calibers. I use IMR 4895 for both 5.56mm (55grain) and 7.62mm (150 Grain) reloading.
What happens when SHTF in NBC catastrophy? What happens to Electrical power, internet grid in the event of EMD in "N" to our Electronics such as watches, computers, PDA, phones?
On the positive side, what has Mean time between failure of > 100+ years, doesn't need battery, always available when needed?
Agree with jstone, manuals have more than reloading data, some are better than others. After 15+ years of Reloading, I learned about causes of Slam Fires in Gas operating rifles (AKA: AR15, M4, M16) reloading from Sierra 5th Edition. When I pass away, next generation (or someone still alive) will have references.
I use varget, but aa2230 and aa2520 are pretty much always available local so I am working up loads with those.
Aa2230 is basically identical to ramshot xterminator according to the manufacturer and the data is interchangeable.
The data is available online from them as well for many types of bullets.
njsarn, that's funny, I used to use IMR 4895 in both loads as well. Kind of a pain to meter sometimes, but worked where it counted.
I've switched to TAC and Varget mostly, but I am not set on any one powder for everything; I run 14.5 and 18" barrels these days, so loads vary. Get a manual--disregard above about skipping it and just calling! It's a one-time investment (or once every few years, anyway) and well worth it.
I stick with H335 and TAC.
Loading manuals are great . They don't cost a whole lot and provide hours of education , IMO better than any gun magazine.
Use a manual. Lyman's is a cheap and fast reading.
Most have already stated this, but to clarify-
w/ a 16in barrel, the most important factor in deciding your powder is the bullet. Fast buring for the light ones, slower burning for the heavier.
Unless your a competition shooter, i suggest picking a single powder and making your loads work for you. Practical accuracy can easily be obtained with all .223 powder
Each AR that you own will most prefer it's own particular load. There are usually some loads that will perform well in many different rifles, but each rifle will shoot best with one in particular. If you own 30 AR's you can spend some serious time and money trying to determine this. One interesting concept that I found while reading a firearms magazine the other day was a shop that offers a custom box of several different loads to assist you in finding the best load for your rifle:
Interesting concept and one that I will be trying for a recent bolt gun that I picked up. That said I have used many powders for .223 to include H335, H332, AA 2230 and lately CFE 223. All have performed well.
I now have the Lyman 49th ed and the Sierra manuals. Wealth of knowledge from both.
H335 or TAC meter well and have performed admirably.