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Thread: 223 Tc

  1. #1
    GunLoad Trainee
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    Sep 2008
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    Default 223 Tc

    i have a 223 TC old style the ex picked it up for me as a birthday present in the 70's and i have a 225415 I think thats the # lyman mould and would like to have any ones input on a powder and may be an alloy to use i do have some lynotype boolits made from it and they weigh about 46 gr average but would like to have them a little heaver... Thanks THE CAT

  2. #2
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    Welcome to the guide CAT.

    From when you got it, I assume you are talking about a 10" barrel. I would not worry about the bullet weight right off, but rather would care more about the diameter and whether or not your barrel will shoot it accurately. (If it likes the bullet, you can add more lead to the alloy to bring the weight up, but IME - with a 20" T/C Contender Carbine barrel - it likes them as hard as possible. For hunting, you will get little or no expansion with that bullet anyway, it's the meplat - flat nose - that kills varmints so well.) Get some RIGG lead remover/solvent for when you go a little too hot with your charge, and better yet, a Lewis Lead Removal Tool to go along with it.

    I would lean towards faster powders like IMR3031, RE7, and IMR4198 with reduced charges. I have not tried any pistol powders as I got decent accuracy using the same bullet (1.5-2" @ 100yds) with the three above, and I sold the barrel (not the mould!!!) to a friend who just had to have it a month ago. If he wants to start experimenting some more with cast in it, I will post some results. I'm not sure what the best choice would be with a short barrel, but I would likely start with the fastest of the three, 4198. You might have to go to something even faster, and if so I would suggest you ask next door on the CB board about it. My powder choices may prove useless to you with the short barrel, but even so, I think you will get a usable load with at least one of them.

    The general formula for reducing rifle powder charges for cast loads works like this:
    (J = jacketed)
    JMax - JMin = X, Jmin - X = CastMin
    With a small case like the .223, I would work up from the CastMin in .5gr increments. Working up small bore cast loads that don't fill the grooves with lead fouling can be a real challenge. Bullet diameter is the most critical factor, followed by hardness. You must slug your bore to find the exact groove diameter, (measured with a MIC, not a caliper for an accurate reading) then try sizing .001, .002, and .003" over. My 20" carbine likes that bullet in lino .002" over. At .001" it leads heavily, at .003" the groups open up, but I have seen others with .221Fireball, .222, & .223 barrels that prefer bullets sized that way. No way to predict which yours will like best, or even if it will like that bullet.

    I'd stick with lino alloy for now, at the pressures/velocities you get with with .223, you want the strongest alloy you can get. There is a really good discussion about alloy strength and rotational energy in cast bullets in Lee's Modern Reloading that explains it much better that I can in the limited space here. That and the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook are the two best written sources for data and info, but the very best source there is you will find right next door at Cast Boolits. This is not intended to discourage you from experimenting with softer alloys, but keep in mind that if you try to push them too hard/fast or if they are the least bit undersized, you'll be busy for quite a while mining the lead out of your grooves.

    As to lube, I use Lee Liquid Alox and push-through sizers and I am very happy with the combination. If you will be using a conventional luber/sizer, I cannot give you much in the way of practical advice on lube except Bullshop's Speed Green, which a good friend uses with high vel small bore cast (.22, 6mm, .25, 6.5mm) with good results. Felix next door has come up with a first class recipe for a home made lube, too. You can find a link to The Bullshop at the bottom of the CB Home Page, and Felix's recipe using the "search" feature. After size, the lube is probably the most critical factor with the smaller bores. Most anything will work with a big heavy slow bullet, but choices become much more limited when you are pushing the envelope with a small light fast bullet.

    Be patient, and only change one thing at a time when experimenting to be sure of what works and what doesn't. It's easy to get discouraged if good results aren't achieved as quicky or as easily as hoped, but there are many more variables involved with cast than with jacketed. You aren't starting out with one of the more cast friendly cartridges like .45-70, 30-30, or .38spl for which there are almost limitless choices of moulds and thousands of casters who have been working with them for generations. You are working on the cutting edge in an area that few caster venture into, but that only makes it more fun, and ultimately, so much more rewarding when you drop a woodchuck or a coyote out beyond a hundred yards with one of your own bullets, or even if you just shoot a bragging-sized group with them. Please take a minute to post your results, too, good or bad. Either way, we can all learn something from them that will help us at some point down the road with our own explorations.
    Last edited by versifier; 09-09-2008 at 05:46 PM.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check        

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