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Duplicate 223 69 gr SMK load

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#1 ejvette


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Posted 24 November 2009 - 05:57 AM

Hi All

I am new to the forum and pretty much new to rifle shooting (other than .22 rifles) So my buddies decide it would be fun to go out to South Dakota and shoot P. Dogs. Now i have an excuse to buy a rifle . I purchase a Les Baer Ultimate Varmint with a 24" 9:1 twist barrel. I started with some fiocchi 55 FMJ they are ok for 100 yd plinking. But then i picked a few boxes of federal gold medal 69 gr SMK's i attached the result with a 2" target at 150 yrds. I then purchased some black hills 69 gr smk's could not achieve the same result. I reload alot of pistol and was not planning on reloading 223 but this stuff is very expensive sooooo i guess I am reloading 223 now. I have a dillon 550. My question is does anyone have a receipie to duplicate the federal gold medal 69 gr smk's ? I see alot of people are using Varget and sierra recommends 25.3 grs for this bullet but from what i have read on various forums there seems to be metering issues with the Dillon.

I'm open to any suggestions since I am pretty much starting from scratch although i do have 5000 federal 205 small rifle primers i need to use.

Thanks in advance for helping a newbie


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#2 shooter steve

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 08:39 AM

I have never hunted with smk's. This bullet was specifically designed for target shooting, so I can't say how it will open up on the dogs. I shoot 50gr V-Max's pushed by 27gr of H335. A lot of people go with the 55s and I would have, but these bullets were for a bolt gun with a 15 twist tube. Anything over 52grs would really start opening the group up. I ended up selling that rifle, and started running that stuff thru the ar and it does pretty good. Not as good as the bolt gun, but it may have to do with the lead in the throat. I really prefer the Nos BT, but I got a huge deal on the Hornady's in bulk, so that is what I shoot now. Both will give very good accuracy results. Good luck with your dog hunt.
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#3 Chills1994



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Posted 25 November 2009 - 09:45 AM

If you have a chronograph, that might give you some idea of how fast those federal gold medal 69 SMK's are leaving your gun.

Then, possibly, for grins and giggles you could take one apart and maybe... possibly figure out what powder they are using... at least if anything figure out if it is a "ball" or a "stick" powder. Not that it would necessarily jive up with any powder us reloaders have access to.

Then you could try Varget or H335, load like 10 of each up in say 0.1 grain increments and shoot them over your chrono, and see how well they actually group on paper.

It seems like every time I go to the gunshow looking for H335 powder somebody was there already at the crack of dawn and bought it all up.

I have used Varget, and yeah, it can be a little crunchey. Supposedly, from what I have read here on the forums the H335 stuff flows like water.

There is a little technique with the Varget, just wait for a one thousand or two thousand count when the handle is at the bottom. That gives enough time for the powder to settle in to the powder bar's cavity.

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#4 MarkCO


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Posted 25 November 2009 - 09:49 AM

50 grain Varmint bullets are your best bet and they cost less. I use the 50 grain from Nosler and Barnes with 200 yards groups out of my match JP that are right at 1".


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#5 MustangGreg66


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Posted 25 November 2009 - 12:10 PM

I would echo the suggestion for a varmint specific bullet. I've shot ground squirrels with 52gr Sierra Matchkings and they work at closer ranges, but they don't explode with the same spectacle as the v-max bullets. I've also found the v-max bullets to be especially accurate and a very effective killer out to longer ranges. When I hunted with .223 I also had a load around 27gr of H335. The Sierra manual at the time listed H335 as the most accurate and highest velocity in 50-52gr bullets.

With the 1-9 twist you could use 55gr V-max or even 60gr v-max bullets... Surprisingly enough MidwayUSA has all three bullets for the same price per 100. Each step up in weight has a higher ballistic coefficient if you're worried about shooting in the wind or extended range (as can be the case shooting PDs). If you have the time, I'd try all three and shop around to see if you can get a better price somewhere else (midwayUSA has been known to have prices a little higher than some), if not, I'm sure the 50 or 55gr v-max will work fine for you.

If you want to go with another company. As MarkCO stated, the 50gr Nosler Ballistic Tip (also available in 55gr) has been known to be an excellent bullet, tho in my experience a little more expensive than the v-max. And Sierra makes a 50 and 55gr Blitzking bullet. These are all polymer tipped bullets made to expand and explode on varmints. You could also go with a non-match HP made for varminting. Those bullets are cheaper than the polymer tipped bullets, but I've been hard pressed to find a bullet that out performs the v-max.

I hope this helps and you have a blast shooting PDs. I've always wanted to go, but have never scrounged up the cash to go.
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#6 00bullitt



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Posted 30 November 2009 - 09:08 AM

I can highly recommend Hodgden Benchmark as an excellent extruded powder alternative to Varget. Works great with light projectiles all the way up to 77's. Gives excellent velocity and accuracy. I've loaded many various bullets and load combos and rarely get over 1" groups at 100. Most of the time it is 1/2-3/4" 5 shot groups. Very good powder that meters fantastic and produces excellent results.

Speed is Fine,Accuracy is final....but accurate hits at extremely high speed is final much faster.

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#7 trickpony


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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:41 PM

I agree with 00Bullitt, Benchmark is an excellent propellant for many .223 loads. Being new to 3-Gun this year and new to loading .223 I started using Benchmark on my Gunsmith's recommendation and never looked back. I've been shooting Sierra 69 gr. HPBT Matchkings and Nosler 69 gr. J4 Comps as well as some JLK 75's and the performance has been excellent!

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