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Reloading confession. Sound familiar?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Sniper66, May 23, 2019.

  1. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    Here's my confession. I load .223 with 50 Sierra BKs and Benchmark powder for prairie dogs. After a disappointing day at the range (Who knows why?), I started obsessing about ways to improve my groups; a friend suggested I try heavier bullets, say in the 65gr range. So I embarked on a hunt for the best bullet and best load. A friend gifted me 3 different bullets. 60, 63 and 65 gr, which I loaded with Varget. The 63 shot best, a Sierra 63 gr SMP. Other friends and acquaintances thru THR suggested different powder so I end up with about 15 different loads with 3 different powders. Then it's off to the range to try my new loads. I shot from a lead-sled type rest to remove as much shooter error as possible. Between each set I pulled a bore snake thru the barrel. I shot 45 loads (15 groups of 3), thinking I would narrow it down to the best 2=3 groups then load more of each to tweek the final load. At the end of this session, I needed to shoot a few of my original 50 gr Sierra BKs with Benchmark in preparation for a prairie dog shoot later this week. They shot significantly better than any of my experimental loads! I shot a 5-round one ragged hole group at 100 yds. All that effort to learn I already have a terrific load (smack self in forehead). Sound familiar??
     
  2. bds

    bds Member

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  3. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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  4. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Sounds familiar enough that I can only smile and snicker a little.

    I have been in your shoes...

    One can't know what isn't broken, until it has been attempted to be fixed!
    :)
     
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  5. bersaguy

    bersaguy Member

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    Yes sir,
    If it ain't broke.....
    Fix it 'till it is :D
     
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  6. forty_caliber
    • Contributing Member

    forty_caliber Contributing Member

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    Chasing the group genie sounds very familiar. I like pushing the edge of the envelope and trying to get the best out of my equipment that I can. Doing these tests are worthwhile for me as they tend to give me confidence in the field that my loads will find their mark because I know exactly how they group.

    At the end of the day the hogs aren't going to know or appreciate that my POI was exactly where I was aiming and the steel is going to ring. Unless a 1000 yard range suddenly becomes available to me I've done all I can.

    .40
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  7. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    The twist rate of your barrel may be affecting your accuracy. A 223 50gr bullet requires a different twist rate than a 65 gr. bullet to be optimal. IMO.
     
  8. Steve in NC

    Steve in NC Member

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    Sniper66, The 223 is a very forgiving case and there are actually a handful of powders that work really really good in that case. Benchmark is one of them. I'm loading some as we speak for my AR also. I have a old Rem 700V in 223 and 50gr wgt is where the magic happens. This is a 12" twist barrel. I've tried various loads and heavier bullets and had some decent groups. But never could get those clusters that just keeps making a ragged hole like those 50gr bullets do.

    If you are ever in experimental mode, H335, WW748, VVN135 are some other powders that I've shot with 50gr bullets that work really really well also. In hot weather I personally like 748. But for overall in any weather benchmark works very very well. And in my 16" AR with lighter loads with 50 and 55gr bullets the muzzle flash is minimal also for that application.

    One observation I saw with your original post. You shot a not so very good group on one day with benchmark and decided to go experimenting. Then you shot a lot on that other day to test these new loads. AFTER shooting all of those testing rounds you then re-fired your benchmark load for group and bingo. You fired them AFTER of the other loads. There is no substitute for actually firing/practicing is my point. We like to blame the gun/load etc but darn we are a huge problem. Been there done that also. ;)

    Steve
     
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  9. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    LOL! Good story. I haven’t had that happen yet, but having OCD, I’m guessing I will.
     
  10. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    Forgot to mention I'm shooting a Remington 700 VSF with 26" fluted barrel with 1:12 twist. It does shoot better warmed up and well fouled, which makes it the perfect priairie dog rifle. That may account for my 5-shot ragged one hole group at the end of my testing session. And frankly, all of the test loads will kill coyotes and most prairie dogs. But, when I get out to 200+ yds some misses start to occur with larger grouping rounds and my confidence level drops. Now the copious quantities of rain have forced me to postpone my prairie dog shoot....grrrr!
     
  11. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Kinda like::)

    science-dance-dancing-tap_dancer-ballerina-angels-tmcn3131_low.jpg
     
  12. entropy

    entropy Member

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    BTDT. I have one load that has shot well in every .223 I or my sons have fired it in-auto or bolt. But I still tinker around with different bullets or powders, and go back to THE load.
     
  13. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Reloder 10X .....works really well with the Hornady 50 grain V-Max in my .223 AR 1/9" twist . ...
     
  14. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Nope. I've never shot a 1-hole group with any rifle at 100 yards. :)

    If I could do that consistently I sure wouldn't mess with the load though.
     
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  15. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    If I did it "consistently", neither would I. On the other hand, in my travels (auctions, gun shows, gifts from friends) I have accumulated a bunch of different powders and bullets. So it seems to compel me to use it.
     
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  16. RodII

    RodII Member

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    I bought my first T/C Contender in a 10" 222 Rem. in about 1978. Checking my load books, their was not a lot of data available, I decided on a 50 gr. Sierra flat base bullet, 20 grains of IMR 4198 powder and Rem 7 1/2 primers. For a 10" barrel and the scopes available I was able to get 5 shot groups at 100 yards of 1 1/2". For some reason I knew I could do better. Over the next several years I added a 14" 222 barrel and over a dozen different bullets and 8 different powders.
    After 10 years and hundreds of different loads I found the most accurate load in the 10" barrel, a 50 gr. Sierra flat base bullet, 20 grains of IMR 4198 powder, and a Rem 7 1/2 primero_O
    The 14" barrel was more accurate, about an inch at 100 yards, it perfered the Hornady 53 gr. flat base match bullet with BLC2, with Reloader 10 not too far behind.
     
  17. Skgreen

    Skgreen Member

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    I have a ROCK SOLID alibi,,,

    I keep my notes on scraps of paper,,, The smaller, the better,,,,
    Buy different bullet weights, and buy a lot of 'em.
    Same w/powders.
    Play around with some combinations, see if there is any magic,,,
    Throw notes on table.
    Move on to a different set of criteria,,, Add more variables,,,
    Throw notes on table,
    Rinse and repeat until you want to shoot something else,,,,(different caliber, pistol iso rifle, whatever,,,)
    Rinse and repeat,,,

    By the time I get back to 'where I started', my notes are in complete disarray.
    So, Rinse and repeat,,,

    Wife bought me a nice journal just to keep my notes,,,,

    Had it over a year now. Still empty,,,, Don't plan on using it,,,, :D

    Why?

    The good ones you know by heart.

    Finding some new 'magic' along the way puts a BIG, BIG smile on my face!!! .
     
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  18. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Right.
    (insert rattled off stream of seemingly random numbers and abbreviations about my target rifle here:D)



    "But, it is the chase. That, is what keeps us hunting..."
     
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