Problems with Midsouth's "Varmint Nightmare Xtreme" bullets


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MinnMooney
July 12, 2010, 12:47 PM
This thread could go here or in reloading so feel free to move it.

I loaded some of Midsouth's 55gr H.P. bulk bullets for my .22-250 and the first 4-5 test loads shot well so I made the mistake of reloading 500 for the .22-250 and 500 for .223 Rem. A month ago I was in North Dakota shooting prairie dogs and noticed that some shots weren't producing any dirt splashes. I chalked it up to the fact that I was alone - no spotter - and I just didn't see them. That's when I noticed that the dirt splashes were happening at the outer rim of the scope and sometimes further. That translated into a miss by 7-15 feet at 400-500 yards!! I shot many more only to see this happening with about 20-25% of the shots.
Upon returning home I set up paper targets at various ranges and shot. The groups were only fair - @ best - to really bad. At 100 yds, I shot 1.5" - 3" 5-shot groups with a few groups missing a shot altogether. At my 25 yd target, I saw why some holes were missing. Some bullets were "keyholing" and others were totally absent. This was true in all 3 of my .22-250 rifles (all with 1:12" twist rates) & in 2 of my .223 Rem. rifles (unknown twist). In my AR-15, the bullets "blew apart entirely! It has a 1:9" twist.
I can't find any rifle that will shoot these cheap bullets. BTW, MidwayUSA's cheap-o bulk bullets (Dogtown) shoot as good or better than just about any bullet at any price. They seem as accurate as Sierra's Match Kings and blow up prairie dogs as well and polymer-tipped bullets costing almost twice as much.

Any thoughts or similar incidents?

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Maverick223
July 12, 2010, 01:16 PM
Thank you for the review, and the recommendation to use Dogtown bullets. I am in the market for cheap, but accurate, moderate range (sub-500yds) plinker bullets for my .223Rem. Hope you find a good load for all those bullets.

:)

ssyoumans
July 12, 2010, 01:29 PM
I thought the Dogtown bullets were the same as the varmit nightmare bullets. Both the JHP and the SP bullets have the exact same ballistic coefficients as Midway's Dogtown bullets. I'm not having any problems with the 55gr VNE JHP or the 55gr VNE SP out of my S&W M&P AR15. I'm not a pro benchrest shooter but am getting ~1" groups using BLC-2 & W748 at around 2900 fps. 1:9" barrel, 16".

APIT50
July 12, 2010, 01:35 PM
I shoot them in a 1:10" twist ar 15 with no problems. Are you applying a heavy crimp to the bullets? I have found that the jackets on the VNE bullets is pretty darned thin. The barrel in your AR might be a bit too fast but the 22-250 should be plenty slow enough. I use the Lee FCD on all of my .223.

NCsmitty
July 12, 2010, 02:56 PM
and the first 4-5 test loads shot well so I made the mistake of reloading 500 for the .22-250 and 500 for .223 Rem.

MinnMooney, did you base your load selection on 4-5 rounds or 4-5 groups?

You're not the first guy to think that you had your load dialed, only to find an issue after the fact.

Get yourself a bullet puller or a inertia hammer puller, and salvage what you can.
Most people have good luck with the VN bullets.



NCsmitty

MinnMooney
July 12, 2010, 03:35 PM
I thought the Dogtown bullets were the same as the varmit nightmare bullets. Both the JHP and the SP bullets have the exact same ballistic coefficients as Midway's Dogtown bullets.
They look alike until you mic them and see that they aren't quite the same. I believe they are made by two different companies. BTW, don't go by the B.C. that's published. I find that a B.C. of 0.15 from 2800-3800fps, 0.14 from 2200-2799fps, 0.132 from 1600-2199 and 0.128 below 1600fps worked much better for the Dogtowns. I couldn't get an accurate B.C. on the VNX's due to their inconsistancy.

Are you applying a heavy crimp to the bullets?
No crimp what-so-ever.

I have found that the jackets on the VNE bullets is pretty darned thin.
I believe you're correct. That's why my .22-250 (@ 3800fps) were disintegrating.

MinnMooney, did you base your load selection on 4-5 rounds or 4-5 groups?
I, too, thought that the Dogtowns & the VNXs were the same bullets so I just loaded 5 of them and tested them. they seemed to work fine except for one bad flyer which I attributed to my 1st shot out of a cleaned barrel but I have no idea, really, if it was the 1st or 3rd or last for that matter.

"Thank you" all for your comments & help.

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