Cast Bullet Loads for the .223

I have been working with some home cast bullet loads for the .223 and thought I would share with you some of the results.

I have been casting the bullets from old wheelweights. This material gives a lead hardness rating of about 11. The bullets are gaschecked and weigh 45 grains. They are cast from a Lyman #225438 mold.

Originally I had been using load data from the Lyman Cast Bullet book. The loads listed there were all on the light side of the load range. I had real good accuracy out of a load using 7 grains of Unique. The load just didn't have a lot of punch (about like a .22 Mag), and while it would be good for small varments or target shooting it lacked the power that I wanted to see from this cartridge.

Lately I have been working with a load using IMR4064 powder instead of the Unique. I am loading it much the same as you would a starting load for jacketed bullets. I have been using 25.5 grains of the IMR4064 which according to the book should be around 3200 fps with jacketed bullets. I think that the lead loads should be near the same speed. I guess I really need a chronograph. The loads seem to shoot very well. They group into a 5 MOA reddot. That will take out any Coyote that happens along. They shoot real clean with this load as well. I have never had a problem with lead in the barrel.

These loads are being shot from a 15" Encore, so the speed data may be off a bit due to the shorter barrel. Gotta get a chrony.