Handloading subsonic .223

Blackfork is trying to develop subsonic loads for his .223:

I looked on the Hogden site and found a subsonic load: 3.1 grains of Titegroup and a 55 grain bullet. I tried 3.1 grains of Titegroup under a Nosler 69. It works, doesn’t cycle the rifle but it’s quiet. The gun kind of rattles a bit when it goes off. Kind of a beefed up .22lr. About six inches under the zero for my normal ammo.

As he said, a problem is that a subsonic 55 grain has about the same muzzle energy as a High velocity .22 Long Rifle. On the other hand a heavy 77 grain bullet will not give great accuracy unless the correct barrel twist is used. The Shooting Times says a 1:8 twist rate is the minimum need to stabilize a 77 grain Sierra MatchKing.

I look forward to following BlackFork’s progress.

More at BlackFork

Hat Tip: Snowflakes in Hell

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • You could spend a couple of thousand dollars on an AR rifle and reloading equipment, and spend countless hours developing this load … or you could spend a hunnert-fifty dollars on a Marlin Model 60 and get a few cases of premium high-velocity ammo, plus a “beater” used car.

    Does the idea of subsonic .223 strike anyone else as a bit silly?

  • jdun1911

    He has to careful when loading reloading rifle caliber to subsonic.

    Make sure the bullet clear the barrel with each shot or bad things will happen.

    • jdun1911, good point. You really need to ensure the projectile leaves the barrel. A bulge in the barrel cause by a bullet hitting a stuck bullet will kill accuracy,

  • jdun1911

    I should have proof read. I mean: “reloading rifle caliber to subsonic.” not “loading reloading rifle caliber to subsonic.”

    I read many posts in the past where subsonic rifle rounds cause KB!. In one case someone die of it. Make sure the bullet clear the barrel before squeezing another round!