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Q:
I purchased three unopened lbs. of Hodgdon "Benchmark" powder this morning from a serious bench shooter who doesn't care for it in his heavy barreled .308 target rifle. All of my books are quite old so I looked on line to see what I could find out. It shows pretty high velocity in some of the smaller calibers. Do any of you have practical experience with this powder in the .223 and .22-250?

Question by libertyfirst. Uploaded on May 16, 2010

Answers (3)

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from DakotaMan wrote 3 years 48 weeks ago

Liberty, you lucky devil! I LOVE Benchmark and use it almost exclusively in my .223 varmint bullets. I use 25.5g (close to max load) of it under a 50g VMAX bullet. It chronos real consistently at 3450 fps every shot. I shoot these in a 1:9 twist 24" barrel. These group in the .2 to .3 range in my Bushmaster Varminter. I have found Benchmark to be my most accurate powder for the 50g bullets. Over thousands of shots, my extreme spread has been chronographed at 3421 minimum to 3468 maximum, however if I weigh brass and am careful with consistent case length, primer pocket/holes, turn the necks, etc. they stay in single digit extreme spreads across 10 shot groups. If I make the effort to do this, I can shoot house fly targets all day long, hitting those flies right between the shoulder blades about 70% of the time. You can aim for prairie dog eye balls out to 200 yards. Benchmark accuracy drops off for me with 55g bullets on up... with these I get .5 to .7 group sizes and I can beat that with RL15 and other powders. Good luck with your powder, you got some good stuff there. If you don't like it I will buy it from you. LOL

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from libertyfirst wrote 3 years 48 weeks ago

Dakota
Thank you for the info. I shoot most of my .223 through a 24" bbl. rifle with a Remington short action that I put together a long time ago. It shoots better than I can. I'm very interested in the performance of the Bushmaster Varminter! I seriously didn't know that an auto could shot as you describe having had limited exposure to this type of rifle.
I'll post results on my next day off. Thanks again!

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from DakotaMan wrote 3 years 48 weeks ago

I hope you are pleasantly surprised with the powder. I suspect you will be happy. I used SAAMI OAL specs for the 50g load above so they move smoothly through the magazine. I also was pleasantly surprised to see the Bushy's accuracy. I tried my brother's Varminter on an antelope hunt and was impressed. I expected it to spray them around. I tried it on a knot hole in a fence post about 100 yards away. I kept dropping them all in the same hole close enough I couldn't see but one hole in the post. I got excited and tried it on a couple of antelope. It was just as accurate as my 25-06 and it seemed to deck them about the same as the 25 but I really notices the zero recoil and seeig the bullet hit in the scope. I got one on my return home and was not let down. I think that any of these heavy 24 inch barreled rifles will shoot pretty well whether from Bushy, DPMS, or others. Its all in the well chambered heavy barrel and the nice trigger. I did put a rubber shim in the back of the receiver to stabilize the AR15 upper/lower wobble and that made a little difference too. Let us know how it goes for you.

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from DakotaMan wrote 3 years 48 weeks ago

Liberty, you lucky devil! I LOVE Benchmark and use it almost exclusively in my .223 varmint bullets. I use 25.5g (close to max load) of it under a 50g VMAX bullet. It chronos real consistently at 3450 fps every shot. I shoot these in a 1:9 twist 24" barrel. These group in the .2 to .3 range in my Bushmaster Varminter. I have found Benchmark to be my most accurate powder for the 50g bullets. Over thousands of shots, my extreme spread has been chronographed at 3421 minimum to 3468 maximum, however if I weigh brass and am careful with consistent case length, primer pocket/holes, turn the necks, etc. they stay in single digit extreme spreads across 10 shot groups. If I make the effort to do this, I can shoot house fly targets all day long, hitting those flies right between the shoulder blades about 70% of the time. You can aim for prairie dog eye balls out to 200 yards. Benchmark accuracy drops off for me with 55g bullets on up... with these I get .5 to .7 group sizes and I can beat that with RL15 and other powders. Good luck with your powder, you got some good stuff there. If you don't like it I will buy it from you. LOL

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from libertyfirst wrote 3 years 48 weeks ago

Dakota
Thank you for the info. I shoot most of my .223 through a 24" bbl. rifle with a Remington short action that I put together a long time ago. It shoots better than I can. I'm very interested in the performance of the Bushmaster Varminter! I seriously didn't know that an auto could shot as you describe having had limited exposure to this type of rifle.
I'll post results on my next day off. Thanks again!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 3 years 48 weeks ago

I hope you are pleasantly surprised with the powder. I suspect you will be happy. I used SAAMI OAL specs for the 50g load above so they move smoothly through the magazine. I also was pleasantly surprised to see the Bushy's accuracy. I tried my brother's Varminter on an antelope hunt and was impressed. I expected it to spray them around. I tried it on a knot hole in a fence post about 100 yards away. I kept dropping them all in the same hole close enough I couldn't see but one hole in the post. I got excited and tried it on a couple of antelope. It was just as accurate as my 25-06 and it seemed to deck them about the same as the 25 but I really notices the zero recoil and seeig the bullet hit in the scope. I got one on my return home and was not let down. I think that any of these heavy 24 inch barreled rifles will shoot pretty well whether from Bushy, DPMS, or others. Its all in the well chambered heavy barrel and the nice trigger. I did put a rubber shim in the back of the receiver to stabilize the AR15 upper/lower wobble and that made a little difference too. Let us know how it goes for you.

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