Perfect bullets for the M95 Steyr-Manlicher 8x56R


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shinyroks
April 21, 2012, 11:15 PM
Just wanted to let you all in on a project of mine, involving one of my favorite milsurps... With pictures!!

So I've gotten in the mode of tinkering. must be that time of year. Anyhow, last summer I loaded up a bunch of gas-checked LEE .329 (205 gn) bullets for my M95. I was really surprised how well they shot, all touching or one ragged hole at 50 yds (was too lazy to walk farther that day, or maybe there was wind, I don't remember...)

Anyhow, the bullet was quite finicky with H-4895. I started at 36.0 grains and worked my way up in .5 grain increments, checking for pressure signs and target accuracy. I was quite surprised that the groups tightened up almost miraculously after 42 grains, but it took 43.0 to seal the chamber so that I wasn't getting soot on my glasses. At 44 grains, I got smoke out the muzzle, assuming if it was not daytime I would have seen one heck of a fireball. Seems the powder was not burning completely. The only thing that I wish I had gotten was chrony data, my battery was dead when I got out to the range, and it WAS my bu battery... :what: ...

Anyhow, enter tinkering. two weeks ago I got to rethinking this, and decided I was going to create the bullet for this rifle on a budget. Hocus pocus. So I ordered a LEE sizer in .333 after slugging my bore at .332, and a 338 220 gn bullet mold from the same. I had some 338 GC setting around from a previous experiment, and got to work.

After casting a few 338 bullets, I tumble-lubed them, set on a gas check, and ran them through the sizer. Not surprisingly, after sizing about 20 and creating 3 wheel-weight alloy cylinders of exactly .333 dia, I broke my workbench trying to get the third cylinder out. Time to rethink my plan (and fix my workbench :( ). So, after fixing the workbench to better-than factory specs (note to self, never use a workbench out of the box for reloading...), I ran the bullets trough once forward to size, and once backwards to GC.

I did not swage a single bullet to a cylinder, and the only ones I lost to the process were those who insisted on falling off the sizing pushrod while I was inserting them GC-first. Also, the previous method provided quite the metplat on every bullet, running them through twice left me with an almost round nose.

Anyhow, just dosed them again with LEE tumble lube, and awaiting the loading. maybe I will have the perfect bullet, maybe it will be one big flop.... Will keep you updated on the accuracy etc, or if this turns into one GIANT flop...

In the picture with 4 boolits, the first is one that survived the single-pass sizing, the second the 2-stage sizing/GCing, the third one pass/non GC bullet, and the fourth the donor 338 who so graciously volunteered to be sized next...

The picture with a lead cylinder, well, that is the aforementioned lead cylinder of diameter .333... Sorry that one is blurry, my phone didn't want to take a very good picture, if it is enthralling to you I will use other methods to get you a clearer picture...

Please note that any load data and/or methods provided in this post are designed specifically with MY gun. Neither myself or the High Road are responsible for your loading practices, be safe.

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