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Will this work? down loading 223 to 22 hornet levels

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Will this work? down loading 223 to 22 hornet levels

Old 01-08-2016, 06:25 PM
Giant Nontypical
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.223 can be downloaded to 22LR velocities with the right powder. People shoot subsonic ammo through suppressed rifles all the time, and a subsonic load is just a reduced power load. It generally takes a smaller amount of powder, and you'll be using a shotgun or handgun type of powder with a relatively faster burn rate, like Blue Dot or the like. Do a google search for .223 remington and blue dot powder and you'll find lots of info. Hodgdon's webside lists data for several subsonic loads.

That said, I have shot lots of coyotes with a .223, and damage to the pelts was generally very minimal. The 40 grain Hornady V-max bullets I've used will generally not leave much in the way of an exit wound. The 55 grain Sierra Gamekings I carry with me most of the time will exit, but the exit wound generally isn't very big.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:12 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Neck sealing with reduced loads. The neck of the case expands and forms a seal, keeping the burning powder in the barrel and not back flashing into the chamber.

Something to look at when you are working up low power loads.

Easy to check, polish the outside of of a case neck, shoot it and see if you can see powder burns rearwards down the neck and/or on the case.

Most of what I was doing was experimenting on cast lead bullets (for the zombie apocalypse). Lower velocities really reduces lead fouling.

If you go too low on velocity the neck may not seal and the back flash can get to be an issue.

Burning powder bypassing the neck and getting into the chamber can have long term corrosive effects on the chamber wall.

I'm sure some of the hand load experts can explain this better, maybe use better words.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:30 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Velocity isn't the only consideration. Barrel twist rate combined with reduced velocity just may make the end results worse and not better.

I'm not going to say it won't work, I'm just saying the engineers spent a lot of time and energy developing combinations of velocity, bullet weight and twist rate that do work.

I spent hundreds of hours trying to improve .308 performance in one of my rifles. And eventually ended up right back where I started, following the manufactures recommendations.

I'm not saying the journey wasn't enjoyable, but in the end, basically a waste of time.

I've shot hundreds of Fox, the vast majority with a .308. Usually on a Deer hunt near the end of prime time. And have rarely messed up a pelt.

The vast majority were hole in, hole out.

Even with my .222 Remington. Pointed soft point bullets rarely expanded any in Fox, Nutria or even Hare.

The majority of my shots were just behind the shoulder, broad side. The next most common was down, starting near the backbone, shooting from the rear, bullet exiting between the front legs or low chest.

No exploded or severely damaged pelts I can remember.

I did explode one Fox using a buddies 30-06. He bounded just as I shot and I gut shot him. What a mess and one of the more unforgettable odors I can remember.

Last edited by MudderChuck; 01-11-2016 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:37 AM
Nontypical Buck
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I had an IMR 3031 hunch and found this to support that it may work well.

Page 22-23


If you want to get even slower, some of the cast bullet loads may work.

The only way to know for sure is to try it. Check to make sure the case is sealing well. Experiment to see if the bullet stabilizes well enough for accuracy. And then hunt with it and see if the bullet stabilizes enough not to tear things up a lot.

Different barrel twist rates are going to preform differently. The trick is to match your velocity and bullet weight with your twist rate. .223 rifles (I've seen them all the way from 1in14 to 1in7) are kind of notorious for having radically different twist rates, usually depending on barrel length, velocity and the recommended bullet weights.


Last edited by MudderChuck; 01-14-2016 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:51 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Appreciating all the advice. Thanks!
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