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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hand load everything I shoot for the cost savings and the ability to get really accurate loads

That being said I occasionally buy .223 factory rounds loaded but I test fire them for reliability to function in the gun and accuracy.

I have found Wolf and Silver Bear (i.e. Russian) to be reliable but terribly inaccurate (less than 3MOA in a gun that consistently shoots 1/2 MOA)

So I prefer PMC American Eagle with the 55gr FMJ and a local company

Bitteroot Valley Ammunition & Components - © 2011

They load my favorite varmint cartridge using a 55gr Vmax Hornady bullet

Both will shoot dimes at 100 yards and I like the fact that they are brass casings so I can reload from my significant back stock

I have never tried the lake city or black hills stuff

What are your favorites for .223 cartridge manufacturers?
 

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I have the ability to load 223 but have not due to low costs (till now). I preferred PMC, Federal and Lake City produced loads. I have actually had good luck with Herters but most report problems. Steel case stuff generally makes things gum up a little faster. I tend to avoid it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have the ability to load 223 but have not due to low costs (till now). I preferred PMC, Federal and Lake City produced loads. I have actually had good luck with Herters but most report problems. Steel case stuff generally makes things gum up a little faster. I tend to avoid it.
How does the lake city compare in accuracy to your hand loads? I'm very interested as I have a chance to get in on a good sized order.
 

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For general training and shooting purposes, I prefer Federal's XM193 55 grain with Lake City brass in 5.56, in 1,000 round bulk packs, or 900 round boxed packs with stripper clips. It is accurate enough out of semi-auto carbines that it comes in under 2 MOA at 100 yards without concentrating on fundamentals too hard. This ammo is my SHTF ammo.

I also shoot Remington UMC 55 grain in .223 which usually stays at 2 1/2 to 3 MOA out of semi-auto carbines, but can get down to 1 1/2 MOA [or a little better on occasion] out of a 1 in 9" twist bolt-action Remington 700 SPS Tactical, but the ammo is not consistent. The brass is reloadable however, and I could buy it in the green box at WallyWorld for $6.99 pre-panics. Not bad.

For accuracy, I shoot Federal Premium Gold Medal Match 69 grain, which is sub-moa out of the bolt action rifle (above) from the factory, and the FGMM 77 grain will shoot sub-moa out of a semi-auto carbine with 1 in 7" twist if I focus on fundamentals and don't let the barrel heat up too much. The best ammo I can easily find, and pre-panic I bought it around 85 cents a round.

But the best ammo for match accuracy is Black Hills ammo, by far. They make a commercial load that is virtually identical to the military Mk262 round, 77 grain, but it is rare and expensive.

For home and personal defense, I use Hornady TAP FPD in 75 grain. Nickel coated cases, though. I also like the 55 and 60 grain TAP FPD ammo - sub-moa if you do your part. Hornady A-Max Match in 75 grain is also very good ammo, very accurate. I have tried Hornady's Steel Match in .223 53 grain in my bolt gun, with acceptable results (1.25 MOA) - around $10 pre-panic, but not reloadable.

Speer Lawman in 55 grain is also decent ammo for training and reloading (was around $11 a box of 20 pre-panic), and reloadable.

I do not use Tula or Wolf in any of my guns. It would probably be okay in my bolt gun, but I don't trust it, so I don't buy it. And it is not reloadable.

I would stick with the Federal XM193 Lake City brass - it offers decent accuracy (better than XM 855 by about one MOA) and is reloadable, can be sourced readily normally, and is affordable.

I do not reload, yet. But I do save my brass for that, one day (when I retire).... So I only buy and shoot factory ammo. Federal XM193 LC 55 grain would be my pick. My two cents, anyway....
 

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My 223 is a Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle so I don't get all anal retentive about group shooting.
Sellier & Bellot 55 grain FMJ, when I can find it. Brass cased and about $8 per 20 round box.
Also have on hand some Black Hills 55 grain FMJ, and some Wolf 62 grain HP's.
For just sitting in the back pasture to see what's roaming about just before sun rise I use the 5 round mag loaded with Hornady 33 grain Z-Max.
 

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Well I don't hand load 223 yet. I have some components but have not taken to putting them to the press yet. As I noted I've always used factory loads and have a good deal of
brass. In fact in the past I traded brass for powder/primers/ bullets just to stock up.

Accuracy the only one of the factories I've noticed is not as good as the others is Herters. My situation is quite different too. I often just need to hit in front of something
slithering alone and that does the trick - know what I mean? No real accuracy required for that.
How does the lake city compare in accuracy to your hand loads? I'm very interested as I have a chance to get in on a good sized order.
 

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Herters is just the importer. The ammo itself is Eastern European.
But Eastern European is not always bad - Sellier & Belloit is made in the Czech Republic and it's excellent stuff.
 

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Lake City for .223 and 5.56 for me when I can get it
 

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You can't ask that question and get an accurate answer. The reason I say that is I have 2 .223. One is a 1 in 12 twist, the other is a 1 in 9. The 1 in 12 is most accurate with a 55 grain projectile but the 1 in 9 needs a heavier / longer bullet. However for simplicity I only use 55 grain and sighted in the 1 in 9 using that.

Mind you I do not use the 1 in 9 for as long a range as I do the 1 in 12.

Wolf ammo has a varnish on them and it will gum up your breach, don't use it if you don't have to.

Lake city puts a military crimp on their primers and you have to remove that crimp when reloading or you will mess up the primers as you try to seat them. I also find with lake city, I have to work harder to get them in and out of the shell holder in my press.

My rifle range does a tactical match once a month and very few people reload so after the match I picked up all the brass left behind. After just 2 matches I have more brass in both .223 and 9mm then I really need but glad I got it.

With the current market I'm having problems finding powder and primers. I have a reserve of both but don't want to tap into it, I consider those as a prepper item.

I've heard, "do not rely on reloads for personal protection". I do keep store bought in my hand gun for home defense but I have yet to have a miss fire/failure to eject with any of my reloads. With that said, my hand gun is a CZ75B, My sister just purchased a Beretta, my 9mm reloads work perfect in my gun, in fact at 15 yard they are spot on, same hole in the paper every time, but her Beretta they will not eject properly.

The rifling on a CZ starts immediately so for LRN (lead round nose) I have to seat the projectile deeper, because of this internal pressure is greater and I had to reduce the powder. I do not know the velocity but with accuracy like that I don't care. If we put a weaker recoil spring in the Beretta I'm sure it will cycle just fine.

When working up your load, ensure they function in all the weapons you intend to use them in.
 

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For target, break in and sighting in I am still working through a couple cases of PMC I paid $80.00 per 500 rounds back when. I have a round 1000 rounds of M193 but for serious social events I have a good supply of M855 and the new T556TNB1 SOCT Marine Corp round....I am glad I bought what I did when I did cause I sure wouldn't pay the prices today.

Karsten
 

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My Mini-14 like the American Eagle Tactical 55gr loads. The Lake city stuff, especially the 62gr ammo does not shoot well in my rifle (averages about 4" @ 100yds). Nothing shoots as well as my handloads so far although I haven't shot a ton of factory ammo.

-Infidel
 

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for plunking and target shooting I love the AMerican Eagle 55g fmj, for hunting, ect I LOVE the Hornady Vmax 55g and Winchester 55g silver tips.
 

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The only ammo I have fired in the last 20 years that wasn't reloads was NATO 5.56 that I got with my new barrel for my Contender.
 

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I like the Silver Bear 55gr SP, more accurate than m855 in my rifle and soft point is a little more effective on game.
 
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