Federal Gold Medal 73gr Berger .223Rem & Colt Accurized Rifle


Several months ago I  reviewed the Colt  accurized rifle ,the CAR HBAR ELITE as it is  also named,  and said I do a follow up post about how it shoots and further ranges.     So while out this week  testing the new Federal Gold Medal  556 load using the Berger VLD 73 gr. bullet I killed two birds with one stone.

The new GMM load has come out alongside the very popular 77gr Sierra  bullet loaded loading.  Berger has been around a long time but  until relatively recently, if you weren’t a handloader you may not have heard about them.      Berger has been making very accurate and innovative bullet designs for bench rest shooting, high power and varmint hunting for a long time.   It was  a wonder it took as long as it did before some company started using those bullets in a factory load.

The new gold medal load is loaded to 223mm pressures and will feed through AR15 magazines.  Cases are the federal match cases with the bluish water proofing sealant.   The bullet is the “open tip” match hollow point boat tailed.     The Colt has  a marking of “1/9” on the  barrel but don’t let that give you the impression that these will work in your other brand 1/9 twist barrel. The reality is the Colt barrel more closely measures 1/8.5  twist.  So before spending a lot of money on this ammo or buying those bullets, take a careful measure of your barrel twist.  This is easy enough to do with a cleaning rod, a sharpie and a tape measure.

I shot the ammo at 500 yards using a NRA 200 yard bullseye target.

A full 20 rounds was fired at the target for a record group after sighter shots.    I can’t offer up more than one targets because  conditions and light started to change and I was afraid it woud become a matter of me fighting wind and light as opposed to trying to shoot in conditions to give results  one could look at without having to determine how much was error from wind, light or shooter.  I hope the group gives an idea  of what the ammo is capable of as well as the HBAR ELITE.      I ran out of time and light before I could shoot the same ammo in a MK12 SPR.


  1. You have done an outstanding job analyzing your rifle shooting heavy for caliber bullets with 1/9 twist rate at 500 yd.s.
    But.. I think you need to verify what your altitude and muzzle velocity were at the time you were shooting. Could it be that the higher muzzle velocity generated in your “longish” 24″ barrel and could well be the reason why your bullet groups are so tight and stabilized? An 18″ barrel with a 1/9 twist might not have the same results.

    • good idea, buy me some more of that gold medal and send it to me along with the proper measuring devices and ballistic software and I will get right on it. and the colts barrel is in reality a 1/8.5 twist

  2. Your CAR-A3 HBAR Elite (like mine) has a receiver marked .223 and a barrel marked 5.56 NATO.

    I phoned Colt and they said either is OK to shoot in it but my question is (for shooting paper targets at 150 yards) which is likely to be most accurate?

    Thanks for a great review.


    • every single CARA3 ever made has 223 marked lower and a barrel marked 556 NATO. its a 556 NATO chamber, colt only makes barrels with 556 NATO chambers, I think I mentioned it in the article.

      whichever you have match quality ammo for will be the most accurate. being 556 pressure or 223 pressure alone has nothing to do with the accuracy


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here