.223 Remington (5.56x45mm)

Rifles: CZ 527, Bushmaster M4
Bullets: Midsouth, Grafs
Brass: Grafs

With the purchase of my CZ 527, and the rapidly approaching coyote season, the focus of my handloading has shifted back to a predator load. I have gone to factory ammunition for personal defense purposes.

Hodgdon VARGET is the obvious best choice for .223 Remington, because it yields faster velocity, is a Hodgdon Extreme powder (which makes it relatively insensitive to temperature variations), and is a compressed charge in most loads. However, IMR had introduced a new powder, 8208 XBR, which also yields high velocities and is advertised as being totally insensitive to temperature changes. There is also H4895.

Eventually, I will want to go back to making predator loads that are accurate in my AR-15, because I can easily mount a night vision scope to it.

Predator (CZ)

This varmint ammunition will be used primarily on coyote, but also occasionally groundhogs. This will be the load I use with my CZ 527. The bullet should be in the neighborhood of 55gr, because I want plenty of energy out to 400 yards, and because the rifle's rate of twist and the scope's reticle are both optimized for 55gr loads.

Bullet55gr Sierra BlitzKing (BC 0.271)
Hornady 53gr V-Max (BC 0.290)
Nosler 55gr Ballistic Tip (BC 0.267)
IMR 8208 XBR
PrimerFederal GM205M
CaseNosler Custom

I have a bunch of BlitzKings, but I should also try the 53gr Hornady V-Max and probably the Nosler 55gr Ballistic Tip. I want a varmint bullet with a high ballistic coefficient in this weight range, which basically means a boat tail and a polymer tip.

There are three powders I definitely want to try: VARGET, H4895, and IMR 8208 XBR. If none of those work out, there are at least three other Hodgdon Extreme powders I can try.