How to Reload a .223 Remington Sierra 65 GR

by Gerry Arlen Good
The Remington .223 loaded with a Sierra 65 grain bullet makes a very capable long-range rifle cartridge.

The Remington .223 loaded with a Sierra 65 grain bullet makes a very capable long-range rifle cartridge.

The .223 Remington is the most widely used center-fire rifle cartridge in the world. Originally developed to shoot 55-grain bullets, it can handle bullets ranging in weight from 40 to 90 grains, including the Sierra 65 grain bullet. The Sierra 65 grain needs a faster twist rate (The distance traveled in the barrel in which the bullet makes a complete revolution) than the original 55 grain bullet to obtain maximum stability, so a 1:9 twist rate, or faster, is recommended--one complete revolution for every 9 inches of travel within the barrel).

Measure all cases before reloading and trim the case to the recommended trim-to-length if necessary. Cases measuring longer than the recommended maximum case length should be discarded, as they have stretched from repeated firing, and stretching has reduced the case wall thickness.

Use the following reloading data, but carefully work your way up to the maximum powder charge, checking for signs of excessive pressure--such as blackened or protruding primers--after you fire each round. 22 cal (.224) Sierra 65gr SPBT GameKing #1395 (7"-10" twist barrel only) Powder: Varget (Hodgdon Powders) Charge: Minimum - 22.8, 2600 fps / Max Charge - 26.3, 3100 fps. Powder: IMR-4064 Charge: Minimum - 22.6 grs 2600 fps / Maximum - 26.1 grs., 3100 fps

Use the following data to ensure that the loaded cartridge will seat properly within the gun chamber. Maximum Case Length: 1.760 inches Trim-to-length: 1.750 inches Maximum Cartridge Length: 2.260 inches Primers: CCI 400

Attach the resizing/de-capping die to the reloading press. Lubricate each case and place it into the case holder on the reloading press, then resize and remove the spent primer from each cartridge.

Insert a new primer and fill the case with the recommended powder charge. Replace the resizing/de-capping die with the bullet seating die. Hold the Sierra 65 grain bullet over the case open mouth and slowly lower the bullet seating die until it makes contact with the bullet. Seat the bullet into the case using the reloading press.

Seat the bullet in the case so that the maximum cartridge length does not exceed recommended measurements. Use only recommended primers.

Items you will need

  • Reloading press
  • Loading dies
  • Empty cases
  • Primers
  • Smokeless powder
  • Powder scales
  • Calipers
  • Case trimmer

Tip

  • The Sierra 65 grain bullet is known as the Sierra GameKing 65 Grain Spitzer Boat Tail.

Warnings

  • Use safety glasses when reloading ammunition.
  • Do not reduce powder charges 5 grains below recommended maximum.
  • Do not exceed recommended powder weight charges.
  • Use only recommended primers.
  • Do not store primers in any container other than the container they came in.
  • After firing reloaded ammunition on the range, examine the primer on each fired case. If the primer is pushed out or damaged in any way, reduce your powder charge by .5 grain.
  • Do not reload ammunition around an open flame or heat source.

References

  • "The Complete Book of Practical Handloading"; John Wootters; 1976
  • "Sierra Rifle and Shotgun Reloading Data (5th Ed.);" Robert Hayden; 2003
  • "Modern Combat Ammunition"; Duncan Long; 1991

About the Author

Living in Tucson, Gerry Arlen Good has been writing for 34 years in a wide variety of environments including government, military and business. Good received a B.S. in psychology from Fitchburg State College and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College.

Photo Credits

  • 5.56 head- ammo bullet image by Yanir Taflev from Fotolia.com