Richard Craver

Thoughts, Musings And The Occasional Rant

Back In The Saddle

Written By: richardwcraver - Oct• 26•18

Finally! It’s been a long summer, it’s been stinking hot, and finally the earth has tilted on it’s axis and fall (Or autumn if you prefer) is upon us! I have done very little with reloading activities since the spring. My reloading area is in the garage and it is just too hot most days to get out there loading ammo or prepping brass. We had an unusually wet spring, and adequate rain during the summer so the mosquitos eat me up if I open the garage door in the evenings.  The first heavy frost has killed the little blood suckers. Late in the summer I purchased a refurbished portable air conditioner that kept it manageable if the output was blowing right on me. So here I am with my kind of weather!

I have been intermittantly working on a couple buckets of range brass over the summer. A couple nights ago I finished prepping the 9mm cases and part of the .223 cases. I still have two small buckets of .223 to full length resize and trim to length before they too go into the WalMart bait buckets to await their turn to be re-birthed as freedom seeds.

I sat down last night an loaded 145 rounds of 9mm using the last of my Berry’s plated flat point 147 grain bullets with a load I developed earlier. I’ve been happy with them, the perceived recoil is not as snappy as 115 grain rounds I’ve loaded, I feel it more as a push backward than a snap.

But I want to experiment with some other weights and recipes. A couple months ago I ordered some 125 grain jacketed hollow point bullets from Everglades Ammo in, you guess it, Florida. 125 grain is a popular weight for competition shooting. Shooting 9mm in IPSC and USPSA competition requires 125 grain or heavier bullets, making 125 minor power factor or higher. I hope to shoot a match at the club this fall. The informal club setting allows caliber from .22 to .45 with no regard to power factor and such. But … if I enjoy shooting competition and want to go to a sanctioned match, it’s good to shoot ammo that will make minor power factor, which means I need to get or access a chronograph to fully develop those loads. Besides, I get to go nerdy and experiment.

I also ordered some of Everglades 62 grain full metal jacket .223 bullets. I hope the 62 grain .223’s work well with my rifle. I have had decent results with Everglades and other manufacturers 55 grain full metal jacket bullets and good results with Hornady 68 grain boat tail match bullets. My aim is for an accurate, yet economical target bullet without going to the price point of match grade bullets; a prudent compromise. A little explanation follows.

Rifled barrels cause the bullet to spin stabilize, think of a football player putting a spin on the ball as it is thrown to stabilize it’s flight. My barrel is a 1:8 twist, meaning the bullet makes one revolution for each 8 inches of barrel travel.  The .223 cartridge was designed around a 55 grain bullet with a 1:10 barrel, imparting less spin. 68 grain and up generally require a 1:7 or even 1:6 twist to stabilize the bullet. So 1:8 and 1:9 barrels are a compromise twist rate to ‘adequately’ stabilize a broad range of common bullet weights. Although .223 bullet weights are found from around 30-45 grain super high velocity varmint loads up to heavy 75-90 grain long range loads that buck the wind. Most shooters shoot 55-69 grain full metal jacket rounds as good all purpose rounds. I’m hoping to find the sweet spot of bullet weight to work with my general purpose barrel. They better work, I ordered 500 of them.

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