perplexing group with different loads


January 23, 2013, 03:40 PM
I've been working up loads for my <somewhat new> hunting rifle, a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in .308 Winchester, SC made.
It's an impressive rifle. At least I'm impressed. It shoots better than my Savage .308, which, technically, should have been a better bench gun (since sold). But on to the reloading part of this post...
You know how it is, working up loads for your ideal or "pet" load for such and such, an afternoon of loading and I have a few extra here, one or two extra here, one cartridge seated too far, etc. I had 4 cartridges that I wasn't willing to shoot for test loads so I set up the bench to basically get rid of them so I could reload the brass. At 50 yards on a bench, this is what they did. The load recipes are written on the target. I expected the shots to be all over the place, and definitely not in the bullseye. Three different loads of various weight bullets and powder charges and I get a group like this:

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January 23, 2013, 03:42 PM
50 yards is too close to see much difference.


January 23, 2013, 03:56 PM
Agreed, 50 yds. won't indicate much of anything. Even 100 yds. is not going to tell much of a story as to how they will group at 200 yds. and beyond.


January 24, 2013, 08:11 AM
I'm not dismissing what you're saying about 50 yards being too close.
But, I'm having a hard time accepting it. I've shot 3 different factory loads:
Remington CoreLokts 150 grain
Winchester Power Point 150 grain
Lake City ammo 147 gr. I think

All 3 hit at different spots around the orange bullseye. I mean they all group well, but have different points of impact.

Anyways, still perplexing..

January 24, 2013, 08:18 AM
I am not sure why you are perplexed? What result were you expecting?

January 24, 2013, 09:05 AM
Perplexing? They are different loads. Step off a few and you won't need a micrometer to see that they are indeed quite different from each other.

January 24, 2013, 09:31 AM
What did I expect? I expected the two bullets of the same load, the Nosler BT's, to be touching or in the same hole. Then I expected the 168 grain bullet to be different, then I expected the 125 grain bullet, traveling at 300 fps more than any of them, to be really different. Maybe I just don't know much about rifle ballistics, which apparently is the case.

January 24, 2013, 05:13 PM
At 200 yds you might see more difference. At 50 yds a rifle bullet barely has time to get accustomed to fiying. It may be still be be slightly unstable due to follow thru and different bullet profiles. It is just too close to make any judgements and also to be the cause for any worries. The only rifle bullet that you can evaluate at all at 50 is the lowly .22.

January 24, 2013, 05:38 PM
From up close many trees look the same...but when you get further away you get some perspective.

Back up to 200 yards and shoot the same exact loads. I think you'll get the surprise you want at that point.

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