Barrel Twist


Temecula California
I am still working on trying to get my Handi Rifle in 223 to shoot.
I have the 30-30 ,30/06 and45/70 barrels for it and they all shoot to point of aim out to 400 yards.
The 223 has a 1-9 twist,
All of the reloading manuals I have have loads for a 1-7 or 1-12 twist.
Do you go up or down on the powder charge for a 1-9 twist?

Have all but eliminated the receiver , forearm , buttstock as they work great with all of the other barrels.
Have not given up on the 223 barrel but am close.
Would appreciate any help or ideas



Well-Known Member
IIRC some of the .223 barrels had a really slow twist, like 14", which is why I didn't bother to get one to cut down to 16.5" and thread for a suppressor and popgun loads. If you haven't actually measured it at 9", make sure. Also check with a tight patch that it isn't loose in the middle of the barrel and check the light rings to see if the chamber is straight, throat concentric with the bore, and the barrel isn't hooked.

As far as loads go the twist doesn't matter, only bullet length. I run the NOE 22-68 Eagan MX-3 copy (truncated cone nose) up to over 2900 fps in my 9" twist Mossberg using 3031 or H335 and hold 1.5 MOA at 100.


Well-Known Member
give us a little more info.
speed, cast bullet, what you expect, how does it do with Jacketed, cheap FMJ bullets, varmint bullets.

once you have a baseline established then we can start moving you forward and get your rifle straightened/figured out.
a 2" varmint bullet or target bullet rifle is gonna be pretty hard to make shoot 1" groups with cast bullets.
to tell you the truth I have no idea what twist rate most of my rifles have, a couple have the twist stamped or etched in the barrel and I take their word for it.
I ignore it but there it is.
the rifle will give me what it gives me, I can't do nuthin about it, so there ain't no sense in getting my panties in a wad over it.
ignore the spinny thingy part and work on stuff you can control.

the 22 cal rifles are small enough there isn't enough rotational mas to be effected by them going around in circles fast anyway.
if they are being affected by it, it is because the COR and your bullets center is really out of whack, or you have changed the shape of the bullet into a flying cylinder that isn't very balanced or aerodynamic.


Redlands, Kalifornistan
1-9" seems to be the "Twist de jour" in 223 rifles being currently made. I have 4 rifles/upper halves in 223, 3 of those 4 use 1-9" twist. I don't use castings in gas guns (yet), a bolter in 1-9" gets my castings for now. Early showings are that 92/6/2 castings in 1-9" twists have a "speed limit" of about 1900-2000 FPS if sized and lubed with Carnauba Red. This applies to both RCBS 22-55-SP and to Lyman #225438, both sized @ .225". I have run #225438 from a Hornet (1-16" twist) at 2400 FPS with excellent accuracy at 100 and 200 yards--bullets were cast of Linotype/.225"/CR lube. I still have a lot of the Lino "438"s on hand, I might cast up some Lino RCBS bullets and see what happens past 1900 FPS.
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Well-Known Member
the upper speed in a 1-9 or my 1-8 twist AR's is over 2800 fps holding the rifles 'same as' accuracy value.
2/6 alloy versus my 4/6 alloy, same rcbs bullets, just slammed through a magazine into a chamber.

what speed do you think Dawn and Alice were shooting in Nevada?
Dawn was shooting that AR with I-4895 using jacketed loads 22.5grs with 55gr bullets.
Alice was pushing almost 2400 FPS with a slower 4831 powder and Dacron.
why do you think 223 brass was flinging to 4 o'clock and 8 feet away, and the other rifle was making that Boom sound?

Linotype will make things worse.
harder is not the direct nor proper answer.
it never has been and never will be [it WAS 'always' the answer, but it was wrong then too]


Redlands, Kalifornistan
I recall that good work done by the ladies and the gas guns. You later told me that cast bullets were the projectiles, and I have been mystified ever since.

It is fair to say that I am in kindergarten when it comes to small caliber cast bullet tech. I have done pretty well with 24 and 25 caliber rifles for a number of years. The 22 centerfires? Well, they are kind of a work in progress. I got some decent results at speed with the Hornet, and not just with Lino bullets--results were decent using 92/6/2 also, on the order of 1.5 MOA or a bit less at 100 and 200 yards to 2400 FPS. The 223 bolter shows some accuracy promise to about 1900-2000 FPS, but things fall apart once past that point. The 22-250s do the same stunt, and they have slower twist rates--1-12" and 1-14". Clearly, SOMETHING I am doing/not doing causes these speed limits with the castings.

I am now chasing other ghosts, with the need for unleaded ammo to hunt rats with locally. Those results are not complicated, and other than a few accuracy surprises the Barnes all-copper bullets aren't much different than Nosler Bal-Tips--they just track differently at longer ranges. (A nice way of saying "They run out of gas sooner".) The other option is to not hunt anymore......and that is just not in the cards.


Well-Known Member
Linotype disintegrates at the driving interface with the lands past about 2K fps in anything with a "normal" twist, to paint it with a broad brush. The famous "If you think so, try this" thread by "Molly" over at boolits addresses this very thing. Gas pressure leaks past the abraded engraves on the trailing side and *poof* goes your accuracy, however Ken Mollohan never did get his head wrapped around the abrasion/leakage concept, nor did very many others and argued persistently against reason and evidence, but it's what's happening to your lovely Linotype at HV. If you don't think so, trap some bullets and investigate the width of the land engraves compared to those of the lands that made them, try various alloys, and observe the difference.

If you want to cheat, cast them of WW alloy + 2% additional tin (or cut Lyman #2 in half with pure lead and throw in 5% Magnum shot), powder coat them, size for a scuff-fit in the throat (probably .226 or .227"), give them about .010" jump to the ball seat, and begin with published starting loads for jacketed bullets of the same weight.


Temecula California
OK Lets see,
Barrel twist is 1-9 measured by me several times.
I have tried cast from the 47grain BRP ,55 Grain Lee, (2) 55 grain Lyman and 62 grain Noe.
Jacketed I have tried Sierra 55 grain Hornady 55grain V Max Hornady 69 grainHPBT Sierra 69 grain HPBT
and berger 55 grain VLD target.
None have performed with any distinction.

Best group has been with the 55 grain V Max but it isn't anything to write home about
Best group so far has been 2 1/2 inches at 100 meters

Have used IMR4198 , H335 , WC844 ( which is MILSPEC H335) IMR 4895 , Varget , IMR3031.
Best load so far is the WC844 at 23 grains.
Next time out it will be WC844 at 24.8 grains

The foreend has a 1 inch square steel beded area under the hold down screw .
It has been there since the beginning and works well with all of the other barrels.
It allows for a 3x5 card folded in half to slide both in front of screw and behind.

Shoot from bench with front rest under foreend screw and rear sand bag.
Same as with all other barrels.
Scope is a Bushnell 3-9 with medium duplex , could not see buying a Leupold for it.
Scope base steel bedded and screws tight.
Rings are leupold and have been lapped to ensure straight and aligned with bore.

Shoot at 8 AM when temps are 70 degrees and zero wind.
Do not know anything more to tell you
That is why was asking about powder as I think I have covered anything physical.



Redlands, Kalifornistan
I have never had trouble achieving decent accuracy from any 223 Rem/5.56 x 45 rifle that had a decent barrel. Even my worst-shooting 223/5.56--the Ruger Mini-14--can hold 1.7 to 2.0 MOA at 200 yards IF YOU USE GOOD BULLETS. My A2 upper half will do 1.5 MOA to 300 meters and beyond, using good bullets. If you use crap bullets like M-193 seconds, expect crap results. The bolter and the rat upper half are righteous 0.5 to 0.7 MOA shooters with bullets they like--and all 4 of them love the Nosler BalTip 55 grainer. So do both of my 22-250 bolters.

Back to the castings in 223. As long as I remain in CA, both cast and jacketed lead bullets are VERBOTEN as hunting equipment. It's all Barnes in the hunting fields. Yeah, I can punch holes in paper, tin cans and people using lead or jacketed bullets, but paper and cans in my world get used to prep for the hunting fields. That is 90% of my shooting.

It is time to MOVE. That is what this 2-week-plus trip east has been about. In 9 months I become Medicare-eligible, and my health-care costs should be reduced about 60% from their present level. We have located several areas with comprehensive medical care that we both need--more affordable housing--more 2nd Amendment-friendly governments--and more access to shooting facilities. All are at least warm year-round. Some were a surprise, very pleasantly so. We will have spent 6 days in Florida......that's called a clue where I used to work.


Well-Known Member
Rodmkr, I'd look a lot closer at the chamber and bore itself, some ting wong.


Well-Known Member
Savage 9T #16 with a Lee 225-55 around 1800fps with H4198 is a match winning combo here. Sporter brrl,4.5-14 scope.

Cpl things that are SOP here on 22's;

>Super clean casting sequence. Water dropped W/W's. My Lee drops some very tight QC bullets.
>Don't size the body,only up to GC.
>GC and the bullet base needs to be as close as possible to perfect. Going so far as to consider milling bases sq before GC install. I don't do it for varmint ammo but would if $ or wood(match trophy) was on the line as I feel this is what turns a 1",moa group rig into bugholes.
>EXTREMELY close fitting top punch can not be stressed enough. Paying very close attention to any,inadvertent "bumping"..... which can,and does work.... just do it,by design,not accident.
>Don't be afraid of running less lube.I only run what little goes above GC. A little goes a long way.
>Handi rifles can have some headspace issues. I like a medium hard jam on my 30-30. Otherwise the cases keep getting shorter.
>Bench technique and rest quality enters the picture. Experiment with different bag locations.
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Active Member
So, you have tried several notoriously accurate jacketed bullets in various weights, with a broad selection of suitable powders. I agree with Ian, sounds like a barrel/chamber- problem. You might try with another scope, though, to eliminate the possibility of a scope problem.


Well-Known Member
i agree with Ian something needs fixed.
it might be something as simple as making the cases a 'crush fit' to the chamber.
I'd bet the neck is waay big, the throat is non existent, the chamber is cut crooked or something like that.
if you can figure out what is different with that barrel, you could probably overcome the issue, unless it is a real crooked or off center chamber.


Well-Known Member
Scope "issues" can be a real bugaboo sometimes when trying to diagnose problems.

It's a very good reason to keep a straight 6 or 10X around. These have enough magnification to get the job done @100..... but are as simple as it gets internally.
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Well-Known Member
22 cal rifles are small enough there isn't enough rotational mass to be effected by them going around in circles fast anyway That is THE problem.
1) small bullet has small mass so even rotational inertia is small.
2) long bullet gives longer 'lever' to act on instability effects. That longer lever will also cause problems with a distorted bullet.
3) IIRC Ian pointed out the hot lead has ~1/2 shear strength of cold. That applies in flight also, lead being malleable, shape can change.
4) general rule, smaller you make something, harder it is to QC. Base, GC, body, jacket dimensions, etc.
I shot some 100gr. Vmax in BO @ 100, not much better than my cast mould! Not saying vmax is bad but they get seated 1/2 into the neck. Had trouble with the 1/2 jax in 30/30 - circumference neck cracks due to stress at the base. I prefer the base in the shoulder or below.


Well-Known Member
All really good points, Popper. When I first sfarted handloading (right before learning how to cast bullets) all I could afford for my 336 were the Speer 100-grain "plinker" half jackets. Had a few necks come apart and remember at the time thinking that my Lee sizing die was making those necks awful small judging by how wasp-waisted the necks were after seating the bullets.