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Ammo testing Procedure?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by HB, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. HB

    HB Well-Known Member

    Im going to be doing a little ammo testing for my deer rifle this year just to see how it shoots. Its a Savage 243 with a Nikon scope and shooting will be done at 100 yards...

    So what is the best way to go about this? I have 5 brands of ammo and im planning on firing one 5 shot group from each brand to eliminate the obvious poor loads. From there im not so sure. It would seem cleaning every 10 shots would make sense? Im not much of a benchrest shooter so any standard procedure would be nice.

  2. hometheaterman

    hometheaterman Well-Known Member

    Just make sure you let the barrel cool and don't get hot inbetween shots. It's a good idea to let it cool after each shot. However, sometimes you can get 2-3 shots in before letting it cool. Cleaning wouldn't be a bad idea inbetween, but be aware that you may have a few shots shoot to a different poi after cleaning. You may need a few fouler shots. Some rifles I've shot need his and have a different poi the same few shots and others haven't seen a difference.
    Due to that I'm not sure if I would clean it or not. Just depends on how the rifle acts on a clean bore.

    Also make sure you have either a bi pod and a rear bag rest for the rear, or make sure you have a set of sandbags that work well and a good solid bench. Try to control your breathing and squeeze the trigger, don't pull it.
  3. JoeMal

    JoeMal Well-Known Member

    This is an interesting topic...I feel like you can spend hours and hours and hours testing ammo and still not be 100% sure you made the right choice or performed properly

    If you do clean, make sure you clean 'the same way' each time. Over or under cleaning may affect your outcome if not consistent with other cleaning.

    Be sure you are sighting on the target the same way. You mentioned you aren't much of a benchrest shooter...I'm not sure how you plan on being consistent if you aren't supporting your rifle somehow. I would think it would be difficult to explain that your bullet when here instead of there if there are many factors involved, including where the gun is pointed when you pull the trigger. You may want to setup a benchrest just for testing purposes.

    Barrel temperature, as noted, can also affect the accuracy. Be consistent here as to not affect your outcome.

    But aside from all that stuff, I generally shoot 5 shot groups of each ammo to try to determine what ammo makes the best groups. To keep you from cleaning a bunch, you may try this:

    With 1 type of ammo:
    1. Shoot 5 round group 'cold'
    2. Immediately shoot another 5 round group 'warm'
    3. If your barrel is now 'hot', immediately shoot another 5 round group. If you aren't 'hot' yet, shoot off-target until the barrel is.

    So you will have one 'cold', one 'warm' and one 'hot' test for each particular type of ammo. Clean in between ammo types and let the barrel fully cool. Start over with a new ammo.
    Compare results in the end.

    It may not be the best way of doing things, but it makes sense to me and I think you will notice differences in how the ammo performs. But like I said, you also want to make sure all other factors are the same so you aren't introducing different variables for the different tests.

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

    I agree with everyone else. Plan on spending a lot of time, sitting around, letting your barrel cool down. Pick days when there is no breeze or wind at all! Try to find a bench in the shade so your barrel isn't in the hot sun.

    It should be pretty obvious at 100 yards which loads your gun likes and which ones it does not like. The tighter the group, and the more consistent the group, the more the gun most likely happens to "like" that ammo.

    If you only get one selection of ammo that is really pulling a tight group, and let's say it is the only one that has a 165 grain bullet, you may want to then go out and get some more of the same weight bullet that the gun likes.

    If you make notations of everything, that is, which way certain ammo is shooting, whether the ammo feels more powerful than other ammo you are trying, etc and write all the info down on each target, then you won't forget later just which ammo worked best and which was worst.

    If you know the different points of impact of the various ammo you are shooting, you can still use the ammo with wide groups (that the gun doesn't like) to plink with, as long as you know how far left or right and up or down to shoot it compared with that ammo you finally decide on.
  5. HB

    HB Well-Known Member

    :DThanks for the replies. The above makes sense and I'm thinking I may start with a clean barrel and fire 5 shots of the ammo its sighted in with (Super X). From there I'll let the rifle cool and take it nice and slow... maybe shoot some 100 yard groups with my bull barrel savage and try to shoot another 1'' group or two :D
  6. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    it's a deer rifle. you're shooting deer with it. what difference does it make if you have a half-inch or three-inch group at 100 yrds?

    pick your ammo based on terminal ballistics, availability and price.

    spend your practice time trying to figure out where your first-round from a clean, cold bore goes.

    edit: of course, if you want to shoot groups just for fun, education, posterity, by all means, go ahead, and post some pics of the groups with different ammo
  7. HB

    HB Well-Known Member

    I'm just interested how a 300 dollar bolt gun shoots... its a hobby

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