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This is why you reload

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by CrossHairs, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. CrossHairs

    CrossHairs Tigard Active Member

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    Bought myself a Savage 12 VLP .233 with the intention of punching paper out to the limts of it's ability, it's a really great rifle and accutrigger is all it's made out to be.

    Anyways, to date, I've been using factory ammo (Remmington) just to get the hang of the rifle, the trigger and the way to get the best out of it...and quite frankly, I was left wondering if my shooting was not up to scratch, or if the ammo was...well...turns out it was the latter (although that's not to say I can't improve, that I can certainly do..but I also know what I am capable of).

    Started reloading last week....and, after getting all setup, prepared some sample loads to try out using Hornady V-Max rounds. Discovered that the lightest load gave the lowest grouping. Interestingly, the groups got larger (proportionately) with the increase in powder weight.

    Having chosen a load, I hit the range again, and managed this. I have not seen this kind of accuracy out of the rifle till now.

    So, if your deciding on whether to reload...ask yourself if accuracy is your main goal.

    Out of interest, I also loaded up some Speer TNT's. Other than being hard to load because of the indent in the head catching on the die, they are also less accurate....but also showed an increase in group size with increase in load.

    Not done yet. got some more powder and bullet options to play with.
     
  2. ron22250

    ron22250 Newberg Member

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    Nice group Crosshairs :thumbup:
    Looks like you're doing it right !
     
  3. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    Nice work.

    What was the powder(and how much), primer, and weight of the bullets?
     
  4. johnboy

    johnboy Hillsboro Member

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    You're at the tip of the icebeg for accuracy but look where you are with such little effort so far. You can still weigh, sort, use match brass, and seat bullet closer to lands. There are many things you can do with reloading to improve accuracy so you just need to ask yourself how accurate you need/want to be. Not too difficult was it???????????:thumbup:
     
  5. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    Whoops didn't look at the close-up originally.

    I see you used 22.8 Gr Varget and 55Gr VMax's.

    Did you find your Varget locally? I've got some on order from Cabelas but it's a few weeks out.
     
  6. CrossHairs

    CrossHairs Tigard Active Member

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    Yeah! Could have made the info more obvious!

    I found the Varget over at Fisherman in Oregon City, but I think I got the last 1lb, would have liked to have had more as it seemed to work really well.

    I'm also going to try the 50gr V-Max and do a side by side comparison with the 55gr and see which the rifle prefers.
     
  7. CrossHairs

    CrossHairs Tigard Active Member

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    And I am looking forward to trying some of those techniques out. My intention with the Savage is really to see how much I can wring out of it. For now, 100yds, later, a little further. In the process, I'll learn more about the rifle, how to shoot better, and more importantly, what constitutes a good reload!

    And no....it was not all that difficult to get to this point.

    Out of interest, anyone used an RCBS precision Mic to reduce headspace and define seating depth? Any comments on it, good or bad? Any other ways to do the same thing?
     
  8. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Remember that if you're setting for distance from riflings, overall length (OAL) will vary with bullet type due to bullet shape. The closest you can get the bullet without touching is not always the most accurate or the safest. Something like .020 might be better.

    I measure case length and OAL with digital calipers from Harbor Freight even though I have a set of mics.

    In a bolt, a lot of guys like to "form fire" the brass in the specific gun, and then just neck size after that. That's a bad idea in a semi auto where you need some clearance to feed.

    Now you can find out why some guns prefer a particular powder and even a particular primer brand.

    If you're going to get anal about this, there's no end to it. My personal choice is that if my gun shoots sub MOA, it's more accurate than I am in a hunting situation. If you're going for 1,000 yard competition, you need a different caliber imho.

    Have fun!
     
  9. johnboy

    johnboy Hillsboro Member

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    Agree w Gunner...........1 minute angle (1"@100yds) is all anyone needs for big game as that is a 5" group at 500yds. If you shoot that far at big game you have to know your gun,load,technique etc.(and not use .223) Any more accuracy is unnecessary unless you want 1000yd competition. If I have the time I will sometimes try and squeek more out of a given load but again......not needed. Also bullet must fit in magazine or you will need to load singles. Follow load recipies exactly and work up from lower velocities to higher and be checking for signs of high pressures in the cases as you go. A chronograph is very helpful to see where you are going and the cheap ones have the same sensors as the expensive ones......PS you can use a fired case with your intended bullet and mark it, close bolt, and measure but you must be very careful and do it several times and take highest measurement or difference. Much easier to use the precision mic type tools they say.....
     
  10. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I consider a chrony necessary especially for defense loads, but for hunting loads too. Is the bullet fast enough to expand per manufacturer? Is it at least the same speed as a factory load with that same bullet? Is it getting too fast meaning too much pressure in the chamber? We have no way of measuring chamber pressure but we can get a hint from bullet speed. We can get a good hint at how many ft pounds of energy we're developing too.

    I have this one and a camera tripod: Link If you shoot at a public range, you'll want the wireless digital stuff which keeps you from having to walk out to the chrony after each test to see results.

    Also. I try to buy primers and powder in larger amounts, all of the same lot. When you start with a new lot, everything can change a little.

    $.02
     
  11. johnboy

    johnboy Hillsboro Member

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    As you can see you can get quite involved but it just gets more interesting. Does not need to be complicated and it is not.....loadin the .338's
     
  12. CrossHairs

    CrossHairs Tigard Active Member

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    Some great info.

    The .223 is only going to get me so far downrage, when I mentioned a 'little further' in an earlier post, I really meant probably to 200 yards maybe 300 for the heck of it...but it's really just to see how it performs. I'm also a range rat. So the idea of chasing down big game in the bush with the .223...not going to happen! And I agree....you gotta get a bigger round if you want to go out to 500/600 yards...that's next on the agenda. :)


    As for how anal...well..maybe a little, but there is always a point of either dimishing return, or at the very least, minimal difference. At that point, it's time to stop messing and get on with something else. In the process of getting that far, there is plenty to learn, some useful, some not...and thankfully, there are a lot of knowledgable folks on forums like this that are keen to share.
     
  13. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    A 223 is fine out to 500 yards if the target is at least man-sized. It's actually a fast flat accurate shooter. With any "ordinary" caliber you need to know how much you drop at 500 yards anyway, but once you know...