The 223 Short Range Test Results

The Rifleman... Shane Hayes signed onto the project as the range tester. He had been looking for a cheap practice round and thinking along the lines of the 223 Short when he discovered the project on GBO. He purchased a blank Green Mountain barrel for his F-Class Target Rifle originally chambered in 223 Remington. Shane had the barrel shipped to Larry, who rechambered it to the 223 Short with the reamer Larry had developed for the project. 1 - 7 twist barrel @ 23.5" long; Rifle Total Weight 11lb - 12lb
Fireforming: Parent cases: Lake City 223/Rem 221 FB/Win. 223; Hodgdon Lil'Gun powder; CCI 500 small pistol primers - 55gr. Hornady V-Max over 9.5gr L’il Gun - The soft pistol primers cratered at 10gr.


Test Results 1 - Prototype Load Development: Parent cases: Lake City 223/Rem 221 FB/Win. 223

(1) Varget powder; CCI BR-4 small rifle primers
55gr. Hornady V-Max - Poor velocity but accuracy at 50yds was promising.

(2) L’il Gun powder; CCI BR-4 small rifle primers
55gr. Hornady V-Max - Started at 9.5gr and got primer cratering at 12.5gr, backed off to 12gr.

(3) 175 yard zero, three shot siting groups at 250yds and 300yds.
Consistently Sub-MOA - With scope fine tuning 300yd groups were reduced from 1.75” spread to 0.75” spread.


Test Results 2 - Early Load Development:
Parent cases: Lake City 223/Rem 221 FB/Win. 223 - Neck tension with 221 FB brass was an issue

(1) H4198 powder; CCI BR-4 small rifle primers
40gr. Hornady V-Max over 14gr - Poor velocity.
75gr Hornady V-Max over 12gr - Excellent accuracy at 2200fps.

(2) L’il Gun powder; CCI BR-4 small rifle primers
40gr Hornady V-Max over 12.7gr. = 3184fps - some primer cratering
55gr. Hornady V-Max over 12.3gr = 2730fps - some primer cratering
Repeatable groups 1” - 1.75” at 200yds.

TRAJECTORY TABLE
Manufacturer:..........Hornady    
Description:.............Vmax (Litz)
Caliber:....................0.224 in    
Weight:....................40.0 gr
Muzzle Velocity:......3184.0 ft/s

Range (yds)........Drop (in)..........Windage (in)..........Velocity (ft/s).........Energy (ft•lbs)
0..........................-1.5..................0.0.........................3198.8...................908.7
25........................-0.8..................0.0.........................3076.1...................840.3
50........................-0.3..................0.1.........................2955.6...................775.7
75.........................0.0..................0.2.........................2837.3...................714.9
100......................-0.0..................0.4.........................2721.4...................657.7
125......................-0.3..................0.7.........................2608.1...................604.1
150......................-0.9..................1.0.........................2497.4...................553.9
175......................-1.9..................1.4.........................2389.5...................507.0
200......................-3.2..................1.8.........................2284.3...................463.4
225......................-5.0..................2.4.........................2181.9...................422.8
250......................-7.2..................3.0.........................2082.3...................385.0
275....................-10.0..................3.7.........................1985.1...................349.9
300....................-13.2..................4.5.........................1890.1...................317.3

Test Results 3 - Additional Early Load Development:
Parent cases: Lake City 223/Rem 221 FB/Win. 223
(1) H4198 powder; CCI BR-4 small rifle primers

(1) Benchmark powder; CCI BR-4 small rifle primers
55gr. Varmint Nightmare over 13, 13.5, 14, 14.3, & 14.5gr - 2500 fps.
75gr. Hornady A-Max, over 12.5, 13, 13.5, & 13.8gr (comp) - Exceptional accuracy at 2100fps, average 2077 fps.
All nine shots covered with a dime a 50 yards.
All but one of another five shot, 13.8gr, group went into one hole. 
At 100yds two shots were in the 1" bulls eye, and only a 1/4" apart.
At 200yds and 300yds drops where close enough for hitting coyotes.

Case Life - After 8 or 9 loadings and no annealing, I have lost or had to toss 5 of 11 Rem 221 FB cases - 3 were from loose primer pockets, and two from cracked necks.  Also 10 of the original 18 LC pieces of brass have failed.  I started with 32 (18xLC, 11x221 FB Rem, 3xWin) pieces of good brass after I culled the cases that had been over stressed from the forming process.  Now I'm down to 17. So that would be a failure rate of 47% after 9 firings.  The interesting thing is, how almost all of them fail at just about the same time.  The LC didn't experience any loose primer pockets, but were culled due to neck or shoulder fractures. 

Also, another interesting note, the cases don't stretch much.  I haven't trimmed any cases since their original trimming.  That includes two full length sizings after the initial forming.  I also ordered a 0.002" undersized mandrel for the Lee collet die.  This has helped a problem I was having with the 221 FB brass.  It seems the brass is thicker at the base of the neck than at the mouth of the case.  It appears to me that the afore mentioned problem coupled with the lack of uniformity of brass thickness in the neck area, means we need to explore inside neck reaming.  To that end, I'm working on making a reamer.  It should be done by the end of next week.

Shane was not shooting paper in this session, just shooting at a 300 yard steel spinner.