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#1 Frank

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 11:55 AM

Up until approx the last 12 months I had only used Benchmark in my 223 & only with the 50gr bullet. All that has now changed since yesterday's range results... Thank Goodness!Benchmark is now my one powder for all 3 calibers. This powder gives BOTH the HIGHEST velocity & BEST accuracy in all 3 of my rifles. Something I seriously doubt any other powder can do. Another powder might give the best accuracy but not WITH the highest velocity for example. All 3 loads are MAX loads so start lower of course. Also, all 3 of my rifles have 26" barrels & anything shorter will give somewhat less velocity. Anyway, the loads are:204... 39 gr Sierra B.K. bullet, 27grs Benchmark, Win brass, Fed 205 match primer, chrono'd 3747 fps 223... 40 gr Nosler Bal Tip, 28.5grs Benchmark, Win brass, Fed 205 match primer, chrono'd 3774 fps22-250... 50 gr Nosler B.T, 36.5 grs Benchmark, Win brass gr, CCI BR primer, book estimate 3900+ fps(pending chronographed). 1st two loads were shot at 70 degree temp w/3rd load @ 78 degrees. All at 500 feet elevation. Also there is much written about the 204 & its high velocities w/the 39/40 gr bullets. Most can be rebutted! BTW, I personally believe it often time pays to test new powders that come out on the market, especially those by Hogdgon & IMR & to a lesser degree, Alliant. (not that Benchmark is any longer considered new). It's that these newer powders can be much improved. EI; Varget, IMR 4007, Benchmark etc. Oh, and speaking of 4007, the manuals show it is supposedly pushing the 50gr bullet at 4,000 fps in the 250. While I have some of this powder, I doubt I will try it anytime soon as I love the concept of one powder for 3 calibers & doing it OUTSTANDING. For a speed freak like myself that is semi-suprising. LOLFrank p.s. I have over 4lbs of Benchmark & all with the same lot #

#2 BADCOYOTE

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 02:53 PM

DON'T BE BRAGGING JUST KIDDING YOU DID GOOD CANT WAIT TO GO KILL SOME YOTES WITH THOSE LOADS.

#3 Frank

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 03:03 PM

Hey, BADCOYOTE, I'm not sure what good those handloads are gonna do me? I mean if we're hunting the buzzard zone I won't be able to use them anyhow. :roflmao3[1]: :smiley-innocent-halo-yellow: :roflmao3[1]: Frank

#4 D-Man

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 04:24 PM

I use Benchmark exclusively in my .223 loads. Love it! 23grains with my 53gr Barnes TSX, and 24.5 grains with my 55grain V-Max bullets. Shoots real nice in my mini-14!Darren

#5 Rob

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 07:33 PM

Gents..Is there a real need to hit the MAX loads these days?Powder is costly, barrels expensive, and recoil (flinch potential) are all factors.Is it macho or true performace advantages that bring the MAX loaders to the table.As you can tell, I am a miser-kind-of-guy looking for good ballistic kill potential, without shooting my wallet to little bits. :drinks:

#6 Frank

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 08:52 PM

Do you REALLY believe that extra grain or two of powder is going to break the wallet... or wear out that barrel that much faster? There is not enough difference to be a difference going from 34.5 grs to 36.5 grs of powder in other words.Any sport costs $$, and those extra pennys spent on that slight increase in powder is nothing compared to the rest of the hunting or shooting costs. Such as GAS, VEHICLES, TAGS, EQUIPEMENT or FIREARMS etc. It is also called PERFORMANCE and just depends on how far you want or don't want to take it. We'd all be shooting 30-30's otherwise & is also why folks WASTE $$ on a 22-250 & SETTLE for 223 performance. Which leads me to... Your comments giving true meaning of being a penny wise & a dollar foolish. Not to mention appearing how little you really do care (or know(?) about handloading, shooting or hunting in general. You're passion is obviously elsewhere, IF any where at all; Considering your miser(ness). Your words, not mine! Frank

#7 Moe

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:09 PM

I found Benchmark to be a very good powder in my 204 and my 223 AI. I also found it to be extremely accurate in my 22-250. The only problem I have is that it's extremely temperature sensitive. I loaded some 50 and 55 grain Nosler BT's with a max load of Benchmark and shot the best groups I've ever gotten from either of my 22-250's. Trouble is it was in the 50's when I did it. I loaded up some more in June and took them to the range and had trouble opening the bolt. To answer the question about velocity....Why buy a 22-250 and load it down to 223 velocities? Why not just buy a 223 to begin with? It's an accurate cartridge. I want the highest velocity I can get. Hydrostatic shock kills efficiently even if you get a bad hit and the 22-250 and 220 Swift deliver those high velocities. Also, the 22-250 is known to shoot better the hotter you load it. To a safe point, that is.

#8 Frank

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 05:29 AM

Why buy a 22-250 and load it down to 223 velocities? Why not just buy a 223 to begin with?

Right on, Moe, right on and my point precisely. :smiley-innocent-halo-yellow: If I didn't love my 250 so much, I could easily have the 223 as my only varmint/predator caliber. hmmm, then again, maybe I don't even need the 250 for that matter.Frank

#9 Moe

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:08 AM

I honestly believe that the 223 is the most overrated cartridge in history. The 222 mag is a more accurate and better designed cartridge yet the military wanted something a bit smaller with the same velocity so a compromise was made and the 223 was developed. Thanks to Curtis Lemay the Air Force was the first service to be issued the AR's. Back in the 60's I worked at Clark Air Force base in the Philippines and was talking to a young guy who was standing guard with an AR. I asked him about it and he told me that it was the most deadly weapon ever developed for the military. He said that all the bullet had to do was pass within two feet of someone and "it would rip his face off." My, oh my......While the 223 is a good predator round it has it's limitations and I really don't believe the majority of what is claimed for it. It is not an effective 400 yard coyote round. If I hunted with a 223 I would keep my shots under 250 yards if I wanted consistent clean kills. I've hunted too long and killed too many coyotes to believe otherwise. The 22-250 extends that range considerably as does the Swift but they have to be loaded properly. Now, before anybody gets his knickers in a twist, I said consistently. Usually this is the point where someone makes the "It's all about shot placement" remark. Almost any centerfire rifle is capable of delivering a mortal wound at long range if the bullet strikes a vital organ but I like clean kills. Consistently clean kills. The 22-250 and the Swift do that better than the 223.

#10 Frank

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:46 AM

Yep, Moe, I totally agree with all of it and is exactly why I L O V E my 250 so much... well, with the possible exception of the 223 being overated. Possibly?! I might extend that max ranger closer to 300 yards; Maybe?Anyway, great pointsFrank

#11 Portagee_Shooter

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 07:40 AM

Interesting thread and worth taking a look at. Is Benchmark a ball or extruded powder? One of the reasons I like H335 is that it meters so nicely and consistantly.For versatility I love the 223. While it may have performance shortcomings compared to the 250 and 222 mag I think it makes up for it in cost and availability of components and ammo. Don't get me wrong...if $$$ were no object I'd be shooting a 250 all the time. The downside of the 250 to me is to be able to take advantage of its incredible accuracy at LONG ranges you've got to invest some serious coin in optics. Again...if $$$ were no object I'd have a Premier or AO scope and work on my 800yd shots. In the mean time...I'll just have to get closer.

#12 tawnoper

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 07:51 AM

The only problem I have is that it's extremely temperature sensitive.

Really? I haven't loaded much of it so I don't have a lot of experience with it....but did try it in my .204 and .223. Seemed to work fine...but that was in cool weather too.I know H335 is pretty temp sensitive and is pretty close to Benchmark in burning rate.I thought Benchmark was part of the "extreme" line of Hodgden powder that wasn't as effected by temp.Extreme powders.

#13 Frank

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 08:01 AM

yeah, I was going to mention that too. Moe, Benchmark is "supposedly" one of the best at handling temp deviations. I'm wondering if your load is perhaps a 1/2gr or so too high? I almost always test my loads in hot weather before (final) concluding any given loadFrank

#14 Moe

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 08:44 AM

In the smaller cases such as the 223 and 204 the temperature sensitivity isn't as critical. But in the larger cases like the 22-250 it shows up rather quickly. This is from my own personal experience and a few other locals plus verified with a call to the Hodgdon folks. In my 204 and 223 AI I never even noticed it. Here are groups I got with Benchmark and my 22-250. My 22-250's haven't much liked the 52 grain Sierras but they do well with Benchmark behind them.

Attached Files



#15 Moe

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 08:57 AM

Huh......I read Hodgdon's description of Benchmark. It's going to hit 106 degrees here today so I'm going out and loading some max loads for my 22-250 and try them out again. Just kidding. I think the key is in their statement that the powder is intended for use in the smaller cases. Yet they do give loads for the 22-250.Wow! I just went to the Hodgdon website and I see that they've deleted the recommended loads with Benchmark for the 22-250. I probably have a printout of earlier data at my reloading bench.

#16 tawnoper

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 09:30 AM

Wow! I just went to the Hodgdon website and I see that they've deleted the recommended loads with Benchmark for the 22-250. I probably have a printout of earlier data at my reloading bench.

Looks like they still list it??...Attached File  1.jpg   41.18KB   13 downloads

#17 Moe

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:41 AM

You're of course right. I must've looked at the 220 Swift instead? I don't know. All I can say is what I've already said. I had problems with the max loads in my 22-250's. When will I ever learn?

#18 Shoot-it

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 02:54 PM

Anyone ever try the w760? I was talking to a person that all he use's in his varmint guns is the w760 he likes this powder for his 22-250 to.He also told me the 220 swift loves to be loaded to the max when the primer starts to flow out of the primer socket that's when it shines. Does this sound familiar.I think the powder is 3030 not sure.

#19 Frank

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 04:26 PM

Portagee, Benchmark is an extruded powder that meters very nicely. Give it a try; if you can find any. Also, with the unheard of screaming velocities I am getting with my 223 (above), it turns a tom cat into a tiger IMHO. It is also extremely accurate. Shoot-it, I have never tried W760. W748 gives outstanding accuracy in the 223 & 50gr bullets, but at only around 3200 fps. Which is below my acceptable speed freaking standards. lol Also, I believe you mean IMR 3031 with the 220 swift? While I have never owned or shot a 220 swift, IMR 3031 does give outstanding performance in the 22-250 with good 3780 fps velocity in my 22-250 w/26" barrel. But again, Benchmark is suppose to give approx 100+ fps and is just as accurate. (see above). Frank

#20 PredatorMaster

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 08:52 PM

:smiley-innocent-halo-yellow:

#21 Shoot-it

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 06:01 PM

Looking at your figures frank the 223 is doing the same thing as the 204.All I shoot is the 223 and 243 in my thinking the 223 is fast enough for varmints .The 243 can be loaded with 55 gr's and shoot as flat as the 22-250 then load up bigger grain if needed.Then again guns are like any other hobby once you get one you want another.I will give benchmark a try if i come across some.

#22 Frank

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 07:15 PM

guns are like any other hobby once you get one you want another.

Right on, Shoot-it... Should have more than one club to play golf with. Sorta the same thing with Shooting. Sorta! LOL Frank




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