243 load for a Browning A-Bolt


July 27, 2007, 10:31 PM
I am getting ready to start loading for this rifle. I think I am leaning towards the Speer 75gr HP with a BC of .234. I have had really good results with Speer's 52gr HPBT Match bullets in my AR15 loads so unless there is a really valid (not personal preference) reason to not to go with this bullet it is the one I would like to use. I have a pound of Varget to use and coincidentally that is the most economical powder with that bullet, 37gr-41gr) and at the same time offers the most velocity out of all the other powders. The only downside, in my opinion, is that the bullet isn't a boat tail. The good news is that I bought the Hornady New Dimension Die Set just for this reason. This will be the first time I am picking everything and developing everything on my own without scouring reloading forums for peoples pet loads or people telling me what to pick/use (bullet weight, powder, primer, etc) other than the reloading manual. I am leaning towards the 75gr because I figure it strikes a good balance between the heavier, more expensive bullets with higher BCs and lighter bullets which are apparently well known to erode the barrels of 243s faster. What do you guys think? Does this sound logical and sound to you? Thank you for your thoughts, critiques, opinions and suggestions.

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July 28, 2007, 06:12 AM
The match of the 75gr bullet and Varget is a pretty good one. I had good results from an 80gr bullet and Varget in a Stevens 200 I had.

Accuracy was however better at near the recommended starting load. At 38.0gr, velocity was only about 3,300fps but groups were well under 1" at 100yds (5-shot groups).

Just remember that at the upper pressure levels, the .243 can be a bit "touchy". Add that last grain of powder, and the pressures can jump drammatically. Also, watch the oal of your ammo. It too can affect pressures significantly.

Most of my reloading efforts for the .243 centered on the heavier bullets for deer hunting and the 80gr has been the lightest I ever tried.

Just be sure to adequately trim/chamfer the case mouths when doing initial prep, and you won't have any problems with the flat-base bullets seating properly.

July 28, 2007, 12:48 PM
Sounds good. I like a bullet that is accurate at the LOW end of the recommended powder charge range. One more reason it must be the load to try. Thanks for the info and I will make extra sure I get a really good chamfer on those 243 cases. Would that be better suited for a VLD type chamfer or is a normal chamfer tool of for that?

the new guy
July 31, 2007, 01:46 AM
Varget seems to be a good choice... I'm experimenting myself w/ it. What I've found to be a good trick to accuracy is playing with seating depth to find out what your rifle likes best. You can buy a seating depth guage for a specific calibur for little money, or load a dummy round close to OAL and seat it in the rifle chamber (be careful w/ those varmint bullets though... thin jackets. you may push the bullet into the rifling). Once you know how long the throat is in your chamber start loading 3-5 rounds at a time while seating the bullet about 0.005" deeper for each batch. One of these batches will (usually) show a great improvement in accuracy compared to the others. I have heard that this works for a specific powder charge but once you change that charge or powder the process begins again ( haven't taken mine that far yet) so you may want to find what powder charge your rifle likes first and then refine seating depth. also: if you're not seeing what you want try Hornady's 75 gr V-Max BT- has a BC of 330 (haven't drawn blood yet but very impressive on paper).

August 1, 2007, 09:13 AM
No need to use the VLD chamfer. Not even with the VLD bullets if your sizer is not over sizing the necks. Do however put a good bevel on the inside of the necks however. Most of the OFB and new brass I've prepped recently has some really ragged necks and required a lot of attention. Most were at or over SAAMI max OAL and ALL require trimming.

RE: neck turning. I've got three .22cf's, one in .22Hornet, .223, and .22-250. All three showed significant improvement in accuracy with neck turning. Nothing radical, just enough to "true" up the necks. All three rifles will easily shoot under MOA with prefered loads. The Hornet almost always shot over 1.5moa without the neck truing.

Not insisting you neck turn, but prepping the cases before first reloading is the most important thing you'll do in the reloading process for rifles.

Remember, like with computers, GIGO; garbage in = garbage out

August 1, 2007, 09:51 AM
i use sierra's 85 gr hpbt and 4064, which I've had good luck with for several different calibers. I agree with the poster that the top/fastest load is rarely the most accurate, and I like accurate more than the absolute fastest speed I can get-the 243 is pretty perky even if not loaded to the absolute fastest you can get it to go.

what's going to work best in any individual rifle is impossible to predict, though--you just need to try a few and see.

August 1, 2007, 10:44 AM
Morning, Everyone~

I'm getting great accuracy with 58-gr Hornady V-Max Molys and 42.0-grains (low end) Varget with WLR primers.

I also have had really good (outstanding) performance with Combined Technology (Nosler/Winchester) 95-gr Ballistic Silvertips and H4350 with WLRs.

I'm intrigued, layusn1 with your 75-grain quest. It sounds like a bullet weight I would like to try in the future as a good "tweener" bullet. I look forward to your excellent way of posting your results!

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