223 Handloads for AR: Varget or H335?

by rob @, Monday, May 22, 2017, 11:29 (394 days ago)

I have a full pound of H335 and I already know it's accurate with the Hornady 60g soft point in both of my AR's. I have cases primed and ready for powder to start working up a load for the Sierra 65g GameKing. Sierra says use the data for the 63 grain Sierra bullet and the Sierra manual shows 50.2 (from memory...may be wrong) as the accuracy load. All the forums seem to point to an almost cult following for Varget in the 223 and the manuals seem to indicate about a 100 fps increase over the other powders...not sure how that would look in a 16 or 18 inch barrel though. I'm more concerned with accuracy than velocity and 335 seems to hold its own in the latter department as well. I'll be using a 16" 5.56 with a carbine gas system and the other rifle is an 18" 223 Wylde with rifle gas system. Any advice or suggestions? I'd prefer to stick with one of these two powders.

Here's a non-answer for you.

by Hoot @, Diversityville, Liberal-sota, Monday, May 22, 2017, 12:31 (394 days ago) @ rob
edited by Hoot, Monday, May 22, 2017, 12:38

I am a big fan of Varget. However, I have not used it in the .223---in fact, I have only loaded 50 rounds of .223....ever. And haven't even shot those! Interesting to hear about Varget in that cartridge though. I'll have to keep that in mind when I finally get through what's been loaded.

Edited to add: My .223


I like your 223...

by rob @, Monday, May 22, 2017, 14:00 (394 days ago) @ Hoot

A lot classier than mine:-)

Thank you.

by Hoot @, Diversityville, Liberal-sota, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 06:56 (394 days ago) @ rob

It's a gift from Dad. I shot it before when he had it but haven't shot it since it came to live here. Need to fix that.

50.2 grains may require slight compression <NM>

by RidinLou, Middle TN, Monday, May 22, 2017, 15:50 (394 days ago) @ rob



by rob @, Monday, May 22, 2017, 18:38 (394 days ago) @ RidinLou

That should have been 25.2. That's what happens when I'm distracted with food!

Varget is a favorite for competition

by bj @, Monday, May 22, 2017, 20:09 (394 days ago) @ rob

People shooting highpower competition like Varget and Reloader 15, and sometimes even WW748. This is typically with bullets from 69 grains to 80 grains in 20" and longer barrels. I have had very good luck with Reloader 15 and 52 grain bullets, I think Varget would still work for that. 60-65 grain bullets should be fine with either powder. Whether these will be more accurate than H335 will require testing in your rifle.

There are a lot of powders that will work in a carbine length barrel. In a 20" barrel you can find powders that are marginally too fast to give proper pressure at the gas port. I found that H332 can be very accurate with 52 grain bullets but may not reliably function a 20" barrel gun. The powders listed above are used a lot because they work well so no reason to change, but there might be another 5 or 10 powders that could be interchangeable with medium weight bullets.

Varget is a favorite for competition

by rob @, Monday, May 22, 2017, 21:17 (394 days ago) @ bj

I'll probably just go with H335 since I already have it and know it works in my other load. If it does well in both rifles and both loads, I'll just buy an 8 pound keg of it and be happy.

223 Handloads for AR: Varget or H335?

by Cherokee @, Medina, Ohio, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 07:31 (394 days ago) @ rob

When Varget became popular, I tested it against my tried and true H335 loads with standard bullets, no heavy weights. I found no difference in my shooting from two AR'S and a Mini-14. I look for accuracy, not velocity. H335 is a lot easier to load with too. YMMV


by rob @, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 07:44 (394 days ago) @ Cherokee

Thank you:) Sounds like I'm on the right track sticking with 335. I agree with you about accuracy over velocity, especially with the smaller bullets and larger game. Blowing up varmints might be a different matter but I'd switch to a smaller faster bullet for that.

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