As requested 204 Ruger range reports....


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Damon555
February 6, 2012, 04:11 PM
I started a thread a few days ago about the 2 new 204 Rugers that I had gotten and I received some requests to pass on my results. Well, yesterday I had a chance to get them sighted in and today I shot some test loads that I had made up. Here are the results of my first load testing. I did not test velocity today as I just wanted to get in the ballpark of where I'll start running into pressure problems, which by the way, didn't happen with any of the loads.

I'll start with the Remington 700 SPS that I've had for 8 months or so and just got around to testing it.

The first load I tested and by far the most accurate of all my load testing today was a 32 grain V-Max pushed along with some surplus WC844 (H335). I was simply astonished at how accurate this load shot right off the bat. All the groups for this combination were pretty close in size but my last one was really nice. At .430" it seems I might have found the load for this rifle right off the bat....Now I know things change but these results are encouraging.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y234/edlafond/Weapons/EDL_4046.jpg

The next load I tested was a 39 grain Blitzking pushed along by some Varget. This was not a good load combination. It appears that my SPS isn't going to like the heavier bullets. It key holes really bad with 40 grain Vmaxes and the 39 grain Blitzkings are pretty bad too. Needless to say I won't be shooting heavy bullets out of this rifle. Notice the elongated holes....not good.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y234/edlafond/Weapons/EDL_4047.jpg

Next up I tried the same exact loads in my TC Encore pro hunter 204 barrel. No load really stood out with this barrel but all shot respectably. I'll be able to work with these for sure.

Here is the 32 grain Vmax loaded with the aforementioned WC844 powder. This group measured in right at 1".

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y234/edlafond/Weapons/EDL_4048.jpg

The 39 grain Blitzking and Varget load shot fine from the TC barrel. Which is fine by me...@ 28" this is going to be my reach out and touch me rifle. I can get max velocity out of the heavier bullets with the extra few inches. This group measured in @ .875". Plenty good for my initial tests.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y234/edlafond/Weapons/EDL_4050.jpg


A few things to keep in mind. The Remington has had a trigger job and it breaks @ around 2.5 lbs. My TC frame has had nothing done to the trigger and it's a little on the heavy side. I expect my groups to improve once I get the trigger where I want it. And these 2 rifles do not like factory Hornady ammo at all. It's a good thing that I reload.

All these groups were shot from a bench off a bi-pod @ 100 yards.

Also, I am posting this in several different forums so please excuse the repetition. I had a lot of folks wanting to know how this turned out.

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Art Eatman
February 6, 2012, 08:09 PM
Definitely a good start! :)

BrainOnSigs
February 6, 2012, 08:47 PM
Nice start!

I know this can be a cost issue but when I became really serious about testing loads....I purchased an excellent bench rest plus excellent rear bags for a rock solid foundation. My groups shrank immediately. Using a bipod with the rifle tucked into your shoulder leaves to much variance IMHO.

http://brainonsigs.smugmug.com/Other/Things-that-go-BANG/Jesse-Cooper-Range-1/1172465438_QUAiC-L.jpg

Damon555
February 6, 2012, 09:05 PM
Brian, I have a setup such as yours but don't use it unless it's one of my bench guns. The reason I shoot off of a bi-pod for my testing is because I shoot prairie dogs from a bi-pod. I want to duplicate the actual shooting conditions as much as possible. It gives me a more realistic idea of how it will perform in the field. I guess not everything is the same.....I do use a rear bag when I shoot from a bench....it's cheating a little but it's tough to get steady while using your shoulder that's for sure.

viking499
February 6, 2012, 10:42 PM
Brain, what rest did you purchase? I am looking at getting one for rifle and pistol. Is there one rest out there that will do both?

nastynatesfish
February 6, 2012, 11:31 PM
try some H4895 out of your rifle, start around 25.5-26 gr. i was shooting 35gr bergers into groups that got boring to look at.

nastynatesfish
February 6, 2012, 11:33 PM
this was the load i just mentioned with 26gr. my first shot was ALWAYS high left. had to stop cleaning it so often and shoot dirty
http://www.predatormastersforums.com/forums/gallery/80/full/640.jpg

nastynatesfish
February 6, 2012, 11:37 PM
the top corners were varget the center was with 25.5 gr H4895, these are out of an 24" AR
http://www.predatormastersforums.com/forums/gallery/80/medium/517.jpg

Damon555
February 6, 2012, 11:47 PM
Have you ran any of those loads through a chronograph Nasty?

BrainOnSigs
February 7, 2012, 02:44 AM
Brain, I have a setup such as yours but don't use it unless it's one of my bench guns. The reason I shoot off of a bi-pod for my testing is because I shoot prairie dogs from a bi-pod. I want to duplicate the actual shooting conditions as much as possible. It gives me a more realistic idea of how it will perform in the field. I guess not everything is the same.....I do use a rear bag when I shoot from a bench....it's cheating a little but it's tough to get steady while using your shoulder that's for sure.
Damon555....not trying to be critical....but when working up a load I do everything possible to remove any variables. After the load testing is finished, then slap the bipod back on and go whack some sod poodles.

What type of brass and primers are you using? Do you do any neck concentricity sorting? Body or just neck resizing of new brass? Trim and chamfer new brass....etc...etc?

Even if I am using high end brass like Lapua or Norma....I still go thru a progression to ensure the most accurate reloads. If any of my rifles can't shoot 1/4" groups or better at 100 yards I don't want to keep them in my stable. I head out west 2-3 times each year to whack p-dogs in the 100-350 yard range and bigger game like pronghorn or mule deer out to 300 yards. I prefer to know that if I miss that it wasn't the rifle or the load.....just the shooter. My loads give me great confidence shooting paper or when out in the field.

NCsmitty
February 7, 2012, 10:47 AM
You seem to be progressing, but IMO, you really need to use 5 shot groups to solidify an average. Notice that many of your 3 shot groups have two shots in close proximity and a flier, and a 5 shot group will provide better data. You just have to watch the wind.


NCsmitty

Damon555
February 7, 2012, 11:21 AM
You seem to be progressing, but IMO, you really need to use 5 shot groups to solidify an average. Notice that many of your 3 shot groups have two shots in close proximity and a flier, and a 5 shot group will provide better data. You just have to watch the wind.


NCsmitty
Smitty....I usually do shoot 5 shot groups. The above test was done to get me in the ballpark pressure wise and give me some idea of what loads the rifles like. When I get serious I'll shoot 5. Hell, it took 2 hours to shoot just 6 3 shot groups for each rifle. Between taking notes, BSing with the guys at the range and it being a little chilly out that's enough.

Brian, no offense taken....I can handle constructive comments just fine :)

As far as case prep goes....I've been doing this for a quite a while now. I've spent many hundreds of hours going through all the little steps to ensure that every round is perfect in every aspect. Honestly, I quit doing it. It was tedious to chase that last .200" of accuracy. Don't get me wrong I enjoy reloading but I shoot with guys who do all that stuff and to tell you the truth, I'll put my field shooting skills up against anybody.

I've always been able to get my groups to a respectable size just by following good basic reloading practices. My reloads are so much more accurate than factory ammo....that's all I am looking for.

BrainOnSigs
February 7, 2012, 11:34 AM
I guess I enjoy chasing that last bit of accuracy. I certainly wasn't doubting your field shooting skills. My biggest point is that if I routinely shoot sub 1/4 MOA with my rifles and loads........then when I miss a shot I know where the weak links is....the fool behind the trigger. ;)

Nothing better than seeing just a p-dog head poking out of a hole at 200 yards and knowing that he is a goner. :evil:

Or dropping a pronghorn at 300+ yards and always making a one shot, humane kill. Heck I wouldn't have even dreamed of taking this kind of shot 10 years ago.

Again....I wasn't doubting you reloading or shooting skills. I get a little to full of myself sometimes.

Damon555
February 7, 2012, 09:37 PM
You seem to be progressing, but IMO, you really need to use 5 shot groups to solidify an average. Notice that many of your 3 shot groups have two shots in close proximity and a flier, and a 5 shot group will provide better data. You just have to watch the wind.


NCsmitty
Smitty, I shot ya a 5 shot group today with that good load in the SPS....4 shots under a 1/2" then I blew it somehow and ended up putting one out of the group making it around an inch. Oh well, still not bad for the first hand load I've ever tried in that gun.....

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