Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Beginning Powder for 223 and 30-06

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by JohnW1963, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. JohnW1963


    Aug 13, 2008
    I am looking for some beginning powder for both 223 and 30-06 and have read as many threads on powders as I could find with a quick search and the ABC's on powders last night. For 223 I prefer the slightly heavier bullets at 68-70gr HPBT and will be target shooting at 100 yards mostly. For 30-06 I like the 168 gr HPBT bullet and will also be target shooting at 100 yards. Hopefully I'll be able to get on a range with up to 600 yard capacity in the next year or two as well so the distance may stretch out somewhat.

    Powder seems to be a scarce commodity and I have any opportunity to get some Vihtavuori N140, 8lbs for $200. Price is high compared to Wideners ($162 for 8lbs + ship) but they only have the 1 lb in stock for $24.50. Widener's states that the N140 is similar to H380, IMR 4320 and Herc Reloader 15.

    8 lbs is a lot to buy and if it isn't going to work that well I don't want to be stuck with a load of powder I don't want to use. Will N140 work well in both the 223 and 30-06? Or, would I be better off first buying some 1 lb bottles of something specific for 223 and another specific for 30-06? H322 seems to be fairly popular for 223 and Herc Reloader 15 for 223 with heavier bullets. H335 seems to be for 223 lighter bullets. What's a good powder for 30-06 168 to 180 gr?

    Any feedback will be appreciated.
  2. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    When working up loads for sub-MOA you'll find that every barrel is different, even two barrels of identical rifles will perform differently with the same powder.

    You may save your self a lot of money by buying single pound containers of two different powders, (after doing some research), work up loads, decide on the best powder, add a pound of another powder and repeat the process until you find the combination that yields the smallest MOA.

    When deciding on bullet weight keep in mind your rate of twist... it will have a dramatic effect on bullet stabilization. Buy different weights and configurations in hundred round boxes and work up your bullet and powder combinations.

    Developing accuracy loads for rifles is much more enjoyable than doing it for handgun calibers since there are so many more variables involved but it is not something that can properly be done overnight.

    Take your time, enjoy the process and be safe.



    DEADLYACCURATE Senior Member

    Oct 24, 2009
    Good post agreed
  4. Ahmid

    Ahmid CLM

    Feb 6, 2007
    Look in the reloading manuals for Winchester 748 for 223, and Winchester 760for 30-06. Been loading for 50 years and have settled on those two powders for 223 and 30-06.
    Hate to give out my loads on the Internet.
  5. For heavy bullets in .223 (69 to 80gr) I like Varget in my AR-15 Service Rifle it will do Sub MOA at 100 yards. It also is not temp sensitive. I have used Reloader 15 and get the same results. For 30.06 in my Garand I use IMR4895.
  6. hoffy


    Jun 12, 2007
    I Have not used much of the Vit. powders, but BLC-2 might fit the bill, I am out the door and just hopped on for a minute. I have had good success with it in 223, but have not had an '06 for years, but have been loading with it for several 308 win. When I reload, I have two ways of looking at it. 1st and most often is to find a powder that i can use in several guns( I load for 20+ cartridges) with acceptable accuracy, meaning fair is good enough. 2nd there are rifles and handguns I want the best possible accuracy and that involves a lot of work and experimentation . The way things are these days with components only makes it harder. I have many reloading manuals, and subscribe to, but it costs$, though well worth it. It is published by the same people that publish Handloader and Rifle magazines. I am due to work up a load for some extra heavy 223s myself, just haven't had time. I don't benchrest much and if I can get my "shooters" ( I collect and have a bunch of rifles, most of which I rarely shoot) to hit a 4 inch cube at ~100 yards off hand , with a tight sling, I am happy for my non tack driving loads (I have a 7mm mag that will put 3 shots touching off a rest at 100 yards, one of my most accurate rifles, but i tried 6 or 7 powders with the 160ish grain bullets I use ) Something else to consider in these times- powder on your shelf is better than the same keg on somebody else's, good luck. I got to try to find a four pounder of unique, if I can afford it. :steamed:
  7. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    Good points from Jack. This is the time when reloading friends are handy.

    Several of you each buy a 1# can of different powders you want to try. Do the same with a 100 count packs of projectiles. Split the projectiles and pass the can around. You all get to try different combinations, and no one gets stuck with too much of stuff they can't use. Also good to see different guns shoot the same bullet/powder combination. You'll soon lean that loading manuals are just a safe starting point.

    BTW, once upon a time (they may still if you call them up) Nosler, Speer and Hornady woulld send you a sample pack of projectiles For a small fee you'd get 10 each of what they offered in the calibers you were interested in. Really nice for load development.

    So far, I've been quite pleased with Varget for 223. It meters very nicely in the Dillon powder dump, works well with 55gr FMJ BT in a 1:9 twist 16" barrel.

  8. professor gun

    professor gun

    Dec 18, 2007
    I like Varget and BLC(2) in these two calibers.
  9. I like 748 for the 223. It works for 70 grain bullets. I've used it for years and it burns cooler (supposedly), cleaner and produced generally good results with just about any weight bullet.
    IMR 4064 will work for both cartridges at your preferred bullet weights.
    IMR 4350 is a very popular powder for the '06 with 168 grn bullets but not really usable for the 223. So, as has been suggested, you might just buy a pound of IMR 4064 and start there. At the prices today you don't need the wrong powder aging on your shelf. I thought about suggesting starting loads but you should do your own homework.
  10. hogfish

    hogfish Señor Member

    Aug 4, 2005
    H4895 is a very fun powder because you can load all the way down to 60% of Hodgdon's listed max loads. I believe it is still a pretty common powder and should be pretty easy to find.

  11. VARGET is my choice, I use the starting loads and it preforms well....
  12. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    I've had good luck with Varget and 69 grainers in .223 and 168's in my .30-06. If I'm going any heavier with my .30-06, I've had the most success with Reloader-22.

    But by all means - take Jack's advice. Don't buy bulk until you find something you like.
  13. Bultx1215


    May 23, 2008
    Bulverde Tx
    Another vote for H4895 and Varget.

    H4895 seems to be a very versatile and easy to get powder. I even like it for .30-30. The more I use it with the .223's, the more I like it. :D
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010