223 Reduced Loads Using Blue Dot Powder - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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223 Reduced Loads Using Blue Dot Powder

This information is not mine. It is information that was developed by someone else outside of HPA.

"Blue Dot Range Report: 223 Caliber ( Full )

Bullet Weights Tested:
1. 35 grain Hornady V Max
2. 40 grain Hornady Vmax
3. 45 grain Sierra SP
4. 50 grain Sierra SMP
5. 52 grain Sierra Boat Tail Match
6. 55 grain Winchester FMJ

Rifle Used: Ruger 77 Mk 2, VT 26 inch Barrel, Stainless Steel First yr Model

Case: Lake City Surplus, previously fired

Primer: Remington 6 ½

Powder: Blue Dot

Charge Weight Tested: 4 grains to 14 grains.

Weather: Sunny, NO clouds, 80 degrees, NO wind,

Altitude: 2000 ft

Humidity: Very Low

Field Results:

35 grain Hornady V Max:

4 grs: 1284 fps
5 grs: 1488 fps
6 grs: 1862 fps
7 grs: 2163 fps
8 grs: 2392 fps

9 grs: 2636 fps
10 grs: 2722 fps
11 grs: 3076 fps
12 grs: 3205 fps
13 grs: NO Reading
14 grs: 3518 fps

Hornady 40 grain Vmax:

4 grs: 1161 fps
5 grs: 1538 fps
6 grs: 1798 fps
7 grs: 2148 fps

8 grs: 2243 fps
9 grs: 2539 fps
10 grs: 2771 fps
11 grs: 2956 fps

12 grs: 3013 fps
13 grs: 3218 fps
14 grs: 3375 fps

Sierra 45 grain SP

4 grs: 1239 fps
5 grs: 1447 fps
6 grs: 1688 fps
7 grs: 1880 fps

8 grs: 2118 fps
9 grs: 2363 fps
10 grs: 2553 fps
11 grs: 2811 fps

12 grs: 2875 fps
13 grs: 3008 fps
14 grs: 3164 fps

Sierra 50 grains SMP

4 grs: 1064 fps
5 grs: 1345 fps
6 grs: 1624 fps
7 grs: 1788 fps

8 grs: 2033 fps
9 grs: 2257 fps
10 grs: 2466 fps
11 grs: 2655 fps
12 grs: 2779 fps

13 grs: 2882 fps
14 grs: 3038 fps

Sierra 52 grain Boattail Hollow Point Match

4 grs: 1061 fps
5grs: 1460 fps
6 grs: 1632 fps
7 grs: 1916 fps

8 grs: 2142 fps
9 grs: 2225 fps
10 gr: NO Reading
11 grs: 2673 fps

12 grs: 2782 fps
13 grs: 2879 fps
14 grs: 3012 fps

Winchester 55 grain FMJ

4 grs: 896 fps
5 grs: 1264 fps
6 grs: 1568 fps
7 grs: 1825 fps
8 grs: 1994 fps

9 grs: 2201 fps
10 grs: 2328 fps
11 grs: 2453 fps

12 grs: 2677 fps
13 grs: 2821 fps
14 grs: 2915 fps


1. IN the evaluation of the 223, I came further to the conclusion of the versatility of the 223 in the use of training new shooters, and for a very versatile varmint caliber.
2. Essentially the 223 can be loaded to the specs of a 22 Long rifle, a 218 Bee, a 221 Fireball, a 222 Remington, a 22 Hornet, and a 22 Win Mag., while allowing the shooter to be able to pick the type of bullet that he prefers.
3. Bullets were limited to use of 35 grains to 55 grains. Heavier bullets will not serve any purpose unless a 223 is to be used for deer hunting. I do not believe that their would be a significant difference in the use of a 55 grain bullet vs a 60 grain bullet.
4. The recoil on the lighter loads using 4 to 6 grains of powder had minimal recoil if any at all. These would be ideal for young shooters being trained.
5. Noise level on the lighter loads ( 4 to 6 grains) were on par with a rim fire. An increase in noise level was very noticeable above 7 grains, but still very acceptable. ( No sounding like a rim fire any more)

Noted Observations:

1. It was noted but not considered part of the testing, with a tree used as a back stop for some of the testing, that all bullets ( 45 to 55 grains)penetrated thru the tree at a distance of 20 yds.
2. The diameter of the tree was measured at 5 inches.
3. The 40 grain Vmax loads failed to penetrate the tree at loads above 10 grs, above 2771 fps. However at 10 grains and less, the bullets penetrated thru the tree and did a large amount of damage ( like turning the wood into tooth picks) on the exit side of the tree. The penetration stopped at the 5 grain load.

Some of the Authors Conclusions:

1. I learned some significant items beyond the versatility of the 223 with the bullets tested, but focusing on its use in the field, got some ideas.
2. A light rifle such as a Winchester Featherweight or Rugers Compact model with a 16.5 inch barrel or the Ultra Light with a 20 inch barrel would make a good combo with the use of Blue Dot.
3. Since the powder is burned cleanly in the first 10 to 12 inches of barrel, the shorter barrels are not handicapping velocity in the lighter shorter rifles.
4. The penetration of the 40 grain Vmax into the tree did make me ponder the use of those plastic tip varmint rounds as potential loads for small deer for youth shooters. Just like my observations in the larger calibers, the plastic tipped bullet seem to do a lot more damage, at velocities under 2700 fps. The Vmax surprised me. This is a decision any shooter will have to test on his own and make their own decisions. I am just passing on that I saw potential merit in the application.
5. Although one has to weigh out the potential of Plastic Tipped Varmint bullets on bigger game like deer and antelope, some of these loads in real life use, utilizing Barnes X bullets in 22 caliber I can recommend. They make a 45 grain, 50 grain and 53 grain bullet. The way I saw much better penetration and more damage in wood, at the lower range velocities, 2200 to 2700 fps, this would make a good deer load in many parts of the USA, and recoil is minimal.

I did not test any bigger bullets as I feel that those tested would be represent the best potential with the powder. 60, 63, 64, 65 grain bullets and then the larger match bullets did not give what I considered useful velocity when I have shot them before with Blue Dot, in respect to their field design uses.

Here is the following info on that range report:
this should help you out.. remember to charge a case and then seat the bullet before going onto the next cartridge, that will eliminate the chance of an accidental double charge.. blue dot is bulky tho.. near max charges will not be a problem...

223 Range Report

Powder: Blue Dot

Bullet: Berger 30 grain HP, Varmint

Rifle Used: Ruger 77 VT

Barrel Length: 26 inches

Primer Used: Winchester Small Rifle

Bullet O.A.L. : 15.55 mms

Cartridge O.A.L. : 57.93 mms

10 grs: 2844 fps

11 grs: 3082 fps

12 grs: 3210 fps

13 grs: 3407 fps

14 grs: 3712 fps

15 grs: 3797 fps

15.5 grs: 3814 fps

16 grs: 3873 fps

16.5 grs: 3957 fps.

Accuracy Potential:
Load of 15 grains of Blue Dot, 30 gr Berger, WSR primer:
5 shot group [email protected] 100 yds: 0.4260 0.224 bullet diameter = 0.202 group size
Scope: 6.5 x 20 Simmons.. setting at 10 Power.

Personally my max load is 15 grains.. the extra 150 fps between that and 16.5 grains is not much gained..

Again, these are for academic reference only, anyone using these do so at their own risk, as I can not be responsible for other people loading techniques.. these proved to be accurate in my firearms"
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