68gr - 70gr

223 68gr / 69gr / 70gr load information

(heavy on TAC powder data)

Everyone is looking for helpful reference material and shooter experiences.. the problem is that it’s scattered all over the web. This made me crazy so I have collected all the “stuff worth reading” below.

Unfortunately when I originally started collected all this stuff on my HD I didn’t bother recording the authors identity (never thought I’d need it). So if you feel I’ve dissed you in some manner, please drop me a note and I’ll be glad to properly reference you. I just wanted to save everyone time and effort.. I have zero interest in stealing credit for your hard work.


(copy of email from Ramshot re: upper limits of TAC loading – march 09)

I asked a similar question to them in march, and got this reply,

TAC can be used for all bullet weights in the .223Rem/5.56mmx45.
We have recently re-tested the TAC from 36 to 60gr.

It also depends on which pressure level you would like to adhere to.
The lower <55000SAAMI spec of the higher MIL/International spec of <62000psi

I am include the guidelines for the Higher <62000psi below.

Caliber: 5.56mmx45NATO. (.223 Remington)
Pressure spec: MIL <58700 Psi “Case mouth” = <62000 Psi chamber
Barrel length: 20” (For 16” barrel reduce velocities by 5 to 6% ca 150 Fps)
Powder: Ramshot – TAC.

Bullet weight: 68 grain HP.
Start load: 23.5 grains (2750 – 2850 Ft/p/sec)
Maximum load: 26.2 grains (3075 – 3175 Ft/p/sec). <62000 Psi

Checking out Hodgdons online data, they seem to list 69 grain, and 75 grain bullet weights - although they are NOT Hornady, they do list loads using Benchmark:

69 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon Varget .224" 2.235" 24.0 2784 39,200 CUP 26.0C 3010 50,200 CUP
69 GR. SIE HPBT IMR IMR 4320 .224" 2.235" 23.0 2673 43,500 PSI 24.8 2873 53,100 PSI
69 GR. SIE HPBT IMR IMR 4064 .224" 2.235" 22.5 2690 42,200 PSI 24.0C 2872 50,900 PSI
69 GR. SIE HPBT Winchester 748 .224" 2.235" 24.5 2870 51,500 CUP
69 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon BL-C(2) .224" 2.235" 24.5 2833 40,600 CUP 26.5 3029 50,100 CUP
69 GR. SIE HPBT IMR IMR 4895 .224" 2.235" 23.3 2783 44,600 PSI 24.8C 2953 53,600 PSI
69 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon H335 .224" 2.235" 22.0 2801 42,400 CUP 24.0 2960 49,500 CUP
69 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon H4895 .224" 2.235" 24.0 2870 41,100 CUP 26.0C 3069 49,700 CUP
69 GR. SIE HPBT IMR IMR 3031 .224" 2.235" 21.0 2707 42,900 PSI 22.5 2906 52,800 PSI
69 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon Benchmark .224" 2.235" 21.5 2770 39,700 CUP 23.5 2970 49,700 CUP
69 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon H322 .224" 2.235" 21.0 2746 40,500 CUP 23.0 2932 49,400 CUP
69 GR. SIE HPBT IMR IMR 4198 .224" 2.235" 18.3 2706 46,300 PSI 19.5 2818 52,300 PSI
70 GR. SPR SP Hodgdon Varget .224" 2.140" 23.5 2827 41,000 CUP 26.0 3024 48,400 CUP
70 GR. SPR SP IMR IMR 4320 .224" 2.140" 20.3 2490 38,200 PSI 24.3 2799 52,900 PSI
70 GR. SPR SP IMR IMR 4064 .224" 2.140" 19.5 2485 42,000 PSI 23.5C 2831 53,300 PSI
70 GR. SPR SP Hodgdon BL-C(2) .224" 2.140" 24.5 2774 41,700 CUP 26.5 2954 50,800 CUP
70 GR. SPR SP IMR IMR 4895 .224" 2.140" 20.2 2562 45,700 PSI 24.5C 2917 52,300 PSI
70 GR. SPR SP Hodgdon H335 .224" 2.140" 21.0 2520 34,500 CUP 23.5 2867 47,900 CUP
70 GR. SPR SP Hodgdon H4895 .224" 2.140" 23.0 2782 40,400 CUP 25.0 2997 50,500 CUP
70 GR. SPR SP IMR IMR 3031 .224" 2.140" 19.0 2582 47,200 PSI 21.2 2729 50,900 PSI
70 GR. SPR SP Hodgdon Benchmark .224" 2.140" 20.5 2665 45,200 CUP 22.8 2869 51,000 CUP
70 GR. SPR SP Hodgdon H322 .224" 2.140" 19.0 2515 37,500 CUP 23.0 2962 51,200 CUP

I just shot 40 rounds yesterday 23.5 gr tac 69 gr nosler custom comp rem 7 1/2 lc brass seated to 2.24 shot from bushy varminter 24inch went into one hole at 50 yards then started breaking clay pidgeons at 200. I have been chasing accuracy problems with this gun and now it looks like I found what shoots well. At least it does at 25 degrees!!brrrrrr

I'm having great results with 23.7g of Tac over 69g Sierra Match Kings.

I have been experimenting with Tac for about a year now and following is some load info I have compiled. The velocities are from my current 1/8 twist 18" 3 land poly rifled bbl. You should chrono your load development in your bbl to be sure of your velocities.

Factory (from production lots I pulled and weighed)
BH 68gr Heavy match = 24gr Tac = 2715
BH 75gr BTHP match= 23.8gr Tac = 2700

My Reloads
75gr Hornady = 23.5gr Tac = 2664
75gr Hornady = 24.5gr Tac = ? not chronod yet, but no over presure signs and great accuracy from my bbl.

55gr MG FMJ = 24.2gr Tac = 2911

I load to an OAL of 2.243

I hope this info helps you out. Remember to work up slowly and watch for signs of overpressure

+1 Varget: 26.5g under 55g fmj for plinking and 25g under 69g MatchKings for more serious target shooting. Been using it for about four years now

I use hornady 68's for 3 gun, I use 24.5 of RL15. I haven't found a gun that won't shoot that load well. They are the best compromise for 3gun and they buck the wind a little better than 69's, they also whack the steel really well.

Lapua/Vihtavuori Powder's website

Primer: Small Rifle
Brass: Lapua
Trim-to: 1.752"
Barrel: 25"
Twist: 1x7

Bullet: 69gr Sierra HPBT
OAL: 2.244"
Powder: 24.1gr N540 (min)
Velocity: 2703fps
Powder: 26.4gr N540 (max)
Velocity: 2986fps

One of my favorite loads, is CCI S.R. primer, Lake City case, 25.3 grs. of TAC and a 69 gr Nosler match seated 2.255 . I have no adverse pressure signs across three different mil-spec chamber guns and it IS a very accurate load in all the guns tried. Two of my m-4's one in 9 twist and in my Sig 556 1/7 twist. Is running right at 3000 fps from the 16" barrels.

I have used lots of different powders in my AR loads over the years, but the Ramshot TAC is one of the better (for the use intended) I have run across.

Anyone have any success using TAC and 69gr. Sierra Matchkings? My 1/9" twist S&W loves the 69 SMK's better than any other bullet, so that's all I use now - and have been sticking mainly with Reloder 15 for it, but since it's such a slow burning powder, I am having to really compress the powder when I seat the bullet, I'd like to start trying some TAC, as that should give me the same velocity with less grains of powder. I do have some TAC, and have loaded up some rounds @24 gr. w/ CCI SR Magnum primers just as a starting point, and it's extremely accurate, but I'd like to have an accurate load thats around 2900 fps - anyone getting anything like that? (by "accurate" I mean less than .75 MOA - my rifle is approaching .5 MOA on it's favorite RL15/69 SMK load).
I also tried some H335, but never could get accuracy below .8 MOA using the 69 SMK's, a bit too fast I suppose.. but - all rifles are different and like different loads.. so who knows...

I use the same load noted above, only with a 69 Sierra and bullet seated farther out, as my long range load in my .223 bolt gun, and it IS a long range tack driver. Sub 1/2 inch out of the bolt gun and my gas guns (on a good day, run 1/2 to 3/4 without a problem. I haven't bothered with the Sierra, rather used the Nosler 69 for my M-4's as for the use intended, fangibility of the Nosler with it's J-4 jacket is better than the Sierra. Typical Sierra match bullets have a heavier jacket than J-4 jackets provide. The Sierra jacket is not what I want, for typical CQB applications, without a cannalure on the Sierra bullet to help upset. Nosler J-4 will upset more readily.

Don't be afraid to try different primers as this will often make more difference than you think. Try a speer br-2 primer, winchester and even the Remington, and before doing that, you might try running your charge a little higher, if no pressure signs showing. Use a chronograph.....

Closer tack driving accuracy is often different than long range accuracy. for the long range, you need to pay attention to your standard deviation and extreme spread......you need the chronograph to do that. Plus differences in primer performance is often indicated by s.d. and e.s. so again,,,,,use the chronograph.

69gr SMK
25.3gr or Varget
Winchester primer
Lake City brass

1/4MOA groups with my DPMS 16" bull barrel.

I have tested a number of different loads and this one seems to do the best all around in all my 223 rifles. You really have to do you own testing to find out waht your rifles like but the load above is a nice place to start.