If you’re a reloader, it’s because you value having extra control over what goes into every round. Of course, you can also end up saving a substantial amount of money. Of all the cartridges out there, 223 Remington/5.56mm NATO cartridges are popular for a number of reasons. They’re versatile, and because they’ve been standard military issue for almost 40 years, 223 cases and bullets are never in short supply. Today at Powder Valley, we’re going to take a look at the vast array of 223 powder on the market.
Finding the Right Reloading 223 Powder for You
There are so many varieties of 223 powder available on the market these days, consumers can be easily overwhelmed. At the end of the day, there is no single best powder; it’s really about finding the powder that fits your needs as a shooter. For starters, think about the bullet you want to use and narrow down the field to the propellant that’s fit for your projectile. Generally, shooters who favor the 223 can be broken down into three categories; varmint hunters, target shooters, and recreational shooters.
Here’s a look at excellent 223 reloading powder for each case:
Varmint and Small Game Hunting
Small game and varmint, like prairie dogs, rabbits, woodchucks, etc., are best hunted with lighter, high-velocity bullets. They won’t be as accurate in high winds, but the distances are usually shorter, and wind plays less of a factor. H322 and Varget powders are two solid choices, both from Hodgdon. They’re ideal for small 40 grain varmint bullets. Alliant Power Pro Varmint is another exceptional powder for varmint rounds. If you prefer a slightly heavier bullet, you really can’t go wrong with Hodgdon H335 powder.
Target Shooting and Long-Range Shooting
When accuracy over a longer distance is key, you’ll need to use a heavier bullet with a high ballistics coefficient. This means you’ll need powder with a slower burn-rate, too. Hodgdon CFE223 is a state-of-the-art powder with a low burn rate and additives that reduce copper fouling. It’s great for heavier bullets and will help keep your firearm in top condition. Another good option is IMR 4895 smokeless powder. These powders are also a solid choice for hunters going after medium/big game.
Versatile Powder for Recreational Shooters
Part of learning to be an expert reloader is experimenting with the different options that are available to you. Some other high-quality, versatile, accurate 223 powder includes Hodgdon Benchmark, IMR 8208, Norma 203-B, and Vihtavuori N530. Your local gun shop might not carry all of these premium brands, but luckily, Powder Valley carries both 1lb and 8lb containers from the industry’s top manufacturers at the lowest possible prices. Restock with your go-to powder, or try something new. The results may surprise you.