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Thread: SBR Reloads

  1. #1
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    SBR Reloads

    I have long since wanted to know what to use to get the best results from my 10.5" SBR. Because of that I have been running some tests of my own.

    All of this data is obviously for MY GUN but in general all loads are within safe published load data (with one exception so far).

    I have several thousand 75 grain Hornady bullets that I bought a long time ago. I am shooting them out of a 10.5" SBR.

    A load of 24.8 (?) grains of CFE 223 gave me 2325 fps.

    A load of 23 grains of H335 gave me a velocity of 2312 fps.

    A load of 25.5 grains of Leverevolution gave me a velocity of 2373 fps.**

    ** As far as I know there is no published load data for 223 using Leverevolution. That said Johnny's Reloading Bench made a video using Lever and 77 grain bullets so I extrapolated out of that video. I probably could have gone up even higher in charge weight but it was pointless as it could not catch up to other contenders that I've tried.**

    A load of 24.1 grains of Ramshot TAC gave me a velocity of 2464 fps. This is the max published load on Hodgon's website. This is over 90 fps faster velocity than the next closest competitor (so far). I could probably go up in charge weight even more in my gun but I rarely exceed max. That said I might try to keep going just to see what it yields.

    Hopefully this will be an ongoing test but powder availability is still a problem. None the less at the very least I have at least one powder on the menu that offers substantially better performance than the others out of that particular platform.

    ---

    I ran some more tests and it's definitely delivering. I did several more strings and the average from all of them was nearing 2460 fps. The highest single shot was over 2480.

    Based on what I am seeing this can easily be my new go to for that particular rifle.
    Last edited by alamo5000; 15 June 2022 at 15:53.

  2. #2
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    I don't have any data for heavies out of my SBR, but IIRC CFE223 can get wonky with pressure spikes with heavies, e.g., just a small increase in charge will give you a lot more velocity but you can get to unsafe pressures pretty quickly. RL15, H4064 and H4895 might give you a bit more velocity but are all stick powders, if that matters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoilerUp View Post
    I don't have any data for heavies out of my SBR, but IIRC CFE223 can get wonky with pressure spikes with heavies, e.g., just a small increase in charge will give you a lot more velocity but you can get to unsafe pressures pretty quickly. RL15, H4064 and H4895 might give you a bit more velocity but are all stick powders, if that matters.
    I am doing a lot of testing and plan on doing some more. I don't really care if it's a stick powder or not. Of the powders you mentioned H4895 is definitely now on my short list. It's #94 on the burn rate chart, but also published data shows it giving high velocities.

    I will make a list of candidates and get 4 or 5 of them at a time to test (budget permitting).

    I am not concerned with pure accuracy or anything like that. I am shooting it out of a 10.5" barrel with an Aimpoint T2. I am simply trying to get the best velocity out of that platform. 150 fps (or more) makes a difference when talking about terminal performance.

    I don't know if you have seen this (old) video but look at the velocities he's getting. They are substantially lower out of a similar platform using factory ammo. His average out of a 10" 5.56 upper using Hornady SBR 75 grain ammo is only 2271 fps. Out of an 11" gun he's getting 2320. Just with what I have done so far I am beating both of those numbers by a substantial margin. My averages just using TAC beat those velocities from a similar barrel length by over 180 fps. Even out of his 11" barrel I am beating it by over 130fps using a shorter barrel length.


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    One thing I am learning pretty quickly though is just simply picking something based on where on the burn rate chart it falls is not correct. A faster burning powder might and often does give pitiful velocity results out of shorter barrels.

    There is a category of 'other' that is the real X factor. I think the burn rate matters (for sure), but there are other more important characteristics involved. Basically my current hypothesis is if you can get high velocity from published data as well as being higher on the burn rate chart, then you have a good candidate.

    For example with a 75 grain bullet H4895 is listed as giving 2,907 fps out of a 24" test barrel on Hodgon's website. It is also #94 on the burn rate chart.

    For relative comparison CFE223 is #111 on the chart and TAC is #92. Between those two on their website the velocities are respectively 2820 for TAC and 2876 for CFE223 using the same barrel length.

    My real world testing though with a short 10.5" barrel gave me drastically different results. I got around 130+ fps better velocity out of TAC (in the short barrel) with everything else being constant.

    I don't know what that 'X factor' is for powders that generates more velocity for a given grain weight bullet, but that 'x factor' PLUS the burn rate matters I think.

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    Another powder I’d try is 2000-MR. Been hard to find but it offers the velocity without the pressure spikes like CFE223.

    I recently grabbed an 8# of it; works well in .308 and .223 heavy.


    I’d be curious to see how Hornady’s SBR specific ammo/powder charge differs from a non-SBR variant of an identical bullet weight. Might just have some additional flash suppressant in it, who knows

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    Quote Originally Posted by Former11B View Post
    Another powder I’d try is 2000-MR. Been hard to find but it offers the velocity without the pressure spikes like CFE223.

    I recently grabbed an 8# of it; works well in .308 and .223 heavy.


    I’d be curious to see how Hornady’s SBR specific ammo/powder charge differs from a non-SBR variant of an identical bullet weight. Might just have some additional flash suppressant in it, who knows
    I went ahead and bought #8 of TAC even though I want to keep on testing. It checked every box of what I wanted to accomplish. Yes, powder availability has been a big pain so this factored in to the decision to just get some. I have plenty of other powders to shoot but I have had this question in the back of my mind for a while now.

    In my opinion there is obviously a market for 'sbr specific ammo', but like I said if you watch that video on the Hornady stuff the velocities were pretty low using the same grain weight of bullet. 180+fps is quite a lot, which begs the question that if I can do it why didn't Hornady? On a side note I am not worried about flash at all. Not even 2% of my thinking worries about flash. LOL.

    If I can find 4-5 interesting powders in stock at the same place I will definitely buy them and try, but that might be years away from ever happening. Who knows if I will see powders on the actual shelf locally either. I was going to buy #16 of TAC but I have other expenses coming up so I just did one. It should last me a while to be honest because I shoot/reload more than one type of gun.

    On a side note TAC can also be used in 6 ARC so that's a bonus too I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Former11B View Post
    Another powder I’d try is 2000-MR. Been hard to find but it offers the velocity without the pressure spikes like CFE223.

    I recently grabbed an 8# of it; works well in .308 and .223 heavy.


    I’d be curious to see how Hornady’s SBR specific ammo/powder charge differs from a non-SBR variant of an identical bullet weight. Might just have some additional flash suppressant in it, who knows
    BTW do you have (or have a friend with) a short barrel (10.5, 11.5 etc) that you could test out and get velocity data for?

    If I can find people that have these various powders already it would be extremely nice. This last test cost about $250. Given I have a broader assortment of powders now but it would be nice to kind of cut the chase a bit.

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    I have a 10.5Ē I can test; Iíve got CFE223, 2000MR and RE15 that are suitable for SBR velocity testing and hopefully Iíll have a 13.9Ē up and running soon-ish

    TAC is a powder Iíd like to try due to how it meters, as well as velocity and accuracy from it. If thereís any in stock the next time I buy primers online Iíll snag some

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    Quote Originally Posted by Former11B View Post
    I have a 10.5” I can test; I’ve got CFE223, 2000MR and RE15 that are suitable for SBR velocity testing and hopefully I’ll have a 13.9” up and running soon-ish

    TAC is a powder I’d like to try due to how it meters, as well as velocity and accuracy from it. If there’s any in stock the next time I buy primers online I’ll snag some
    I have two #8 jugs of CFE223. Out of my 10.5" I got 2325 fps with a 75 grain bullet. It's way off from TAC velocities using the same gun, brass and bullets. If you want to use it for something else it works fine, but it's not the best of my tests by any means. It gave me about 130 fps slower than TAC averages velocities.

    I can test it again but I know I went all the way to max and it wasn't even close to TAC.

    It shoots great in 6 ARC. In 223 you probably want it for a slightly longer barrel.

  10. #10
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    I have 12# of CFE left, and due to the pressure spikes I saw on the higher end when testing for precision loads, I decided to leave it for use with 55gr bulk loads. Itís enough to get me 3100 rounds roughly. I was going to buy some once-fired LC brass and load it with #41s to stash away

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Former11B View Post
    I have 12# of CFE left, and due to the pressure spikes I saw on the higher end when testing for precision loads, I decided to leave it for use with 55gr bulk loads. Itís enough to get me 3100 rounds roughly. I was going to buy some once-fired LC brass and load it with #41s to stash away
    When I bought the CFE223 I didn't have the 6ARC yet. Originally I bought it for blaster ammo and just stockpile stuff. Then I finished my 6ARC and it's been excellent for that. I still have enough powder for at least 3500+ rounds of 6ARC.

    I have a few things coming up but I will get at least another #8 jug of TAC. I'm really excited about how it turned out. It meters really good too.

    Honestly I would rather have too much than not enough. Once my TAC arrives I will start loading up a couple thousand 75gr rounds for my 10.5.

    Hopefully some day primers will be plentiful again. If I get the chance I will probably buy 50k of small rifle and 50k small pistol. That would last me a long time for sure.

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    I’m with you there.


    I read about the origin of Hodgdon Powder Co. a while back. Bruce Hodgdon started selling surplus 150lb kegs of 4895 for $30. Id take $30/lb if I could find it on the shelves whenever I wanted it

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