Unlike some other bullet manufacturers, The X-Treme 55 grain FMJ-BT bullet is made in-house by X-Treme in Lewiston, ID. They consistently weigh 55 grains (+/- 0.1) and measure 0.740” (+/- .001”) long and 0.224” (+/- 0.0002) in diameter. The boat tail design aids in the loading process and aids in flight characteristics to increase accuracy.
Load development with the Xtreme Bullets .223 55 grain FMJ can take several paths depending on your goals. For instance, are you going to use one load across the course, use a 55 out to 200 and a heavier bullet for ranges past 200, or as a plinker for an afternoon at the range?
My main use for the Xtreme 55 is for 3Gun competition for targets out to about 200 yards. In that realm, I find that it is nice to also match the ballistics of my long range 69 grain load. As such, a velocity of about 2800 fps yields the same approximate trajectory from muzzle to 200 yards. I end up with about a 50/180 zero and a MPBR (maximum point blank range) of 240 yards with a center hold on any 5” target.
Using a 55 grain bullet at about 2800 fps is a very soft load that will have the same dwell time as my 69 grain load, so as long as I use a powder that matches the gas volume and is a little faster, I can maintain full function in my tuned AR15. Many people will end up using powders that are too slow for 55s which will wear gas system components out faster and result in malfunctions since the powder volume is not fully burned. I use AA2200 which is a ball powder that meters great and is several steps faster than TAC which I use for the heavier bullets. There are several other good powders for .223 on the faster side like X-Terminator, H322, Benchmark, RL11, and N130.
When I first work up my test load, I will use 3 or 4 charges separated by 0.2 grains and shoot them over the chronograph and at 25, 50, 100 and 200 yards recording groups of 5 rounds. I am looking for the smallest standard deviation (SD) and group size. As long as I can have a group that is under 2” at 200 yards, I am good with that for a 55 FMJ load. My actual match load is pretty consistently 1.5” for 5 rounds at 200 yards. That accuracy is better than the majority of factory ammo, and certainly anything that is cost effective. With the X-Treme bullets, I have been able to shoot consistent 1 MOA groups out to 300 yards and which is excellent performance from a value priced bullet, and certainly able to tackle most challenges in a 3 Gun match.
Get your X-Treme Bullets today!
Mark Passamaneck, PE
Ballistics and Forensic Engineer