.223 load testing for the AR platform & teflon patched bullets

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  • Last Post 26 April 2017
David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 25 April 2017

"A trip  to the range and some testing gives an option to those fearful of lead fouling in AR platform rifles." Let me first say that having fired several thousand CBs in a Mini-14s, ARs and other semi-auto rifles, I have never experienced any leading. I can add that a friend has several ARs, in fact that is the only rifles he owns. He got into casting for his rifles after I talked him into casting for his handguns. He then bought one mold, a six-cavity Lee C225-55-RF which he uses to make plinking bullets. He has also not experienced any leading or fouling of the gas tube, except some bullet lube in the gas system. He claims the lube fouling is very minor and both of us believe it is vaporized lube. He also feels, and it sounds reasonable to me, that the tiny amount of lube is just blown through the gas system and harms nothing. No lead can be found at all, and he has access to some incredible tiny cameras where he works at NASA. All of his loads consist of Unique, and the bullets are lube sized to .225 with gas checks.

 

Now to my tests this past weekend. I had loaded up 40 rounds with the Lyman 225462, sized to .225” w/ Hornady GCs & RCBS lube, and 6 grs. of Green Dot and SRP. Another 20 rounds were loaded the same with the lone exception, the bullets were not lubed, but wrapped or patched with teflon tape. 

The lubed loads chronographed at an average of 1750 out of my 24” heavy barreled target AR and functioned the action just fine.  Accuracy was good averaging right at 1.20” at 100 yds, but not great. However this is about the best I can do right now, but my son has consistently shot groups around .75” with this gun but with different CB loads. 

Accuracy or lack of is not the point of this post, the teflon wrapped bullets are. As so many are afraid that they will foul their gas system on their AR, I wanted to do a little test to see if the teflon will affect the possibility of accuracy negatively. I can say in this brief and unscientific test it didn't. The teflon bullets tested about the same.

The teflon bullets didn't affect the accuracy of this load one bit. In fact the groups looked as if they were all the same. But with the teflon wrapped bullets, lead doesn't touch the throat or rifling, so there is no chance of lead fouling. If fact they shot real clean and there was little to no fouling of any kind with both loads. 

I plan to do more testing with the teflon wrapped bullets with hopes of finding an accurate loads at velocities above 2000 fps. A fairly new (for me) NOE 70 gr. mold is part of that plan.   

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
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JeffinNZ posted this 26 April 2017

I shoot 6gr of Green Dot under the same bullet in my .223 Rem ADL and it shoots similarly.  Does that load really cycle the AR?

Cheers from New Zealand

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 26 April 2017

Yes Jeff it does. I have a lightweight or reduced buffer spring installed. I only use this rifle for cast loads. As set up with light loads it will dump the brass about 2 feet out. So far I have used only fairly fast burning powders, but I don't think it will cycle with light loads of slower burning powders. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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