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YosemiteSam37
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Posted: March 22 2011 at 2:08pm | IP Logged Quote YosemiteSam37

Hi,

I am about to load up my first .223 rounds and am thinking of trying Benchmark, as it is available locally and one of my manuals (Nosler) ranks it very high for accuracy in this caliber with 55gr bullets, which is what I have on hand. The gun is an AR with a 18" White Oak Armament "Special Purpose Rifle" barrel on it.

I'm not seeing a lot of recipes out there for this powder, and am wondering why. Also, on almost every burn rate chart I've looked at it is listed right next to the IMR3031, or two spots away, yet I see plenty of loads for the latter in various bullet weights, but Benchmark is only called out for light bullet applications. Why would this be?

Finally, has anyone got a load that might work with Benchmark in a .243 with 100gr bullets? I have several 3031 recipes for this combo, but nothing at all for the Benchmark.

-- Sam

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joed
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Posted: March 22 2011 at 2:42pm | IP Logged Quote joed

I bought Benchmark for my .223 but never got a chance to use it as I sold
the rifle.   You're not seeing many loads because it's a new powder.   What
you need to do it go to the Hodgdon site and look up loading data.   
Guarantee they have it.


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Rocky Raab
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Posted: March 22 2011 at 5:10pm | IP Logged Quote Rocky Raab

Yup, plenty of data at HODGDON or in their Annual Manual.

In the 223, Benchmark is very close to the old favorite H322 in performance, which is to say exemplary.

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hoghunter
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Posted: March 22 2011 at 6:38pm | IP Logged Quote hoghunter

I've used Benchmark for about two years now in two of my 223 (bolt guns).

25.0 grains with 50 grain Nosler shoots under 1/2 moa in my guns. Nosler manual has load published for Benchmark for both 50 and 55 grain bullets.

Could not get good groups with the 55 grain bullets; for those I found that Varget works best.
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NVcaster
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Posted: March 23 2011 at 2:21pm | IP Logged Quote NVcaster

Ive been using Varget but interested in Benchmark. It will
be interesting to see the experience and reports that come
up on this thread.

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YosemiteSam37
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Posted: March 23 2011 at 2:57pm | IP Logged Quote YosemiteSam37

Yes, thanks for the feedback so far, this has been great, and I'll be saving the responses for future experimentation.

I went ahead and picked up some Benchmark, and will give that a try. I realized it was new, and indeed had been to Hodgdon's site for recipes; That's why I was surprised about not finding anything for the .243. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out, and if anyone establishes a load for 100gr .243 bullets. Given its similar burn rate to 3031 I can't imagine that it wouldn't work. I'm not into experimentation that much, however...

The good news is a local shop also carries Varget, RE15, and a variety of others, so if this doesn't work I have some good contenders to try.

Thanks again,

-- Sam



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Rock
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Posted: March 23 2011 at 6:25pm | IP Logged Quote Rock

Sam,

For what it is worth I have been using Benchmark with the 22-250 in my brother in laws Remington Varmint rifle. We have tested at least six of the most recommended powders with limited success; and then I decided to try Benchmark as I had bought a new pound last year to try on my 223 Contender, and all of a sudden half inch groups became common with both of us shooting the rifle.

We have been using 52/53 gr. match bullets from various manufactures, all the bullets tested seem to work about the same, the Benchmark powder was the big difference.

I am sure going to give it a go in my 223 Contender the next time I load some empties.


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gotsig?
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Posted: March 29 2011 at 10:27pm | IP Logged Quote gotsig?

If it's close to H322 I'd get some

I tried a 1# bottle of H322 once and ran right out and bought a 8# jug of it.

I see Varget listed right on up through light to heavy bullets while I only seem to see H322 listed for heavier stuff.... 62g and up. That being said I've used H322 from 52g all the way to 69g with good results ~ 26.0g for 52g bullets and stepped down to 23- 24g for the heavier stuff.

Give Benchmark a try, but if I found some H322 on the shelf I'd pick it up too.
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hoghunter
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Posted: April 01 2011 at 6:26pm | IP Logged Quote hoghunter

One thing I'd like to add about my experience with Benchmark, while I've attained excellent accuracy with 50 grain Nosler bullets, I have not come close to the published velocities stated in the Nosler Manual.

My velocities are running about 150 to 200 f/s less that the published velocties. I'm shooting it from 22" and 24" length barrels.
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