Monday, June 4, 2018

Projectile and Powder Testing for Hunting in California (.223 Remington)

California hunters wanting to hunt deer, bear, and many other animals with a firearm must use legal copper ammunition. With our government officials doing a dance on our regulations and laws, purchasing ammunition has been made more difficult and many companies simply do not want to deal with California at all. In order to find the right ammunition for my rifles I have to find the approved ammunition list, see if a local business or FFL-01 or FFL-07 carries it, and if not see how I can get it through them. Why must it be so difficult? In my opinion, that is precisely what our legislators want. Instead of feeling deflated, I began hand loading again and now I am working on developing loads that I can use while hunting. 

My friend Bill and I spent the better part of three hours developing our test plan for loading up hunting ammunition for the .223 Remington. We carefully developed these loads because many people have AR-15s and many like to hunt coyotes. We decided to come up with some test loads with different components to see what worked best. We compared the copper rounds to the common FMJ to keep things fair. I cleaned, resized, trimmed, and primed the cases myself. Bill and I completed the rest together.

Here are the loads we worked up and tested at the range using a Caldwell Chronograph. I fired five (5) rounds of each load and took the average for the result shown in the velocity column. I highlighted (in red) the fastest rounds to help narrow it down. We loaded the low and high recommendations for each of the Shooter's World powders. The Winchester 748 powder at 24 grains is what we have been loading for years, so we used that as our base.




As you can see, we came away with some great results. Our next step is to shoot each round at a 100 yard target to see how they group. Again, I will be the only one shooting. I am eager to see how they perform at distance. I will give my full report and opinion on which powder, load and projectile I found to be the best performing in a future post. I'll compare the availability of the powder, cost, and performance for the California hunter. This is only scratching the surface of what I would like to accomplish and share with you all. If there is something you'd like to know more about or have a question, please ask. Time to go load up some more for range day!

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