Range Day 032816: Bumpin the Loads Up

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Range Day 032816: Bumpin the Loads Up

Postby Hoot » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:48 pm

The NWS said it would be 54 with a light Southerly wind at 5 Mph. Noon was approaching and so was 50 deg so I packed up and headed out for a rematch. I knew that my first effort's conservative loads were in fact ultra-conservative. QuickLoad does not do a good job modeling this caliber with 125gr bullets. It remains to be seen whether it gets any weight bullet right. Nevertheless, after my first outing I was able to determine a coeeficiet to apply to the different powder characteristics from that first outing to improe QL's ability to predict the next real world results. The case capacity of the 1-fired brass went up respectably and since my magazine will accommodate a slightly longer COL, in this outing I went with 2.30. Probably could have squeaked out 2.34 in hindsight but didn't want the 125 SST dead up against the lands. At least not yet.

Despite increasing charges anywhere from 3 to 4.5gr, I still did not achieve my goal of 2900fps, though got closer with a few powders. I have some AA2200 on the way and will include it in my next outing. It is important to point out that I ended up last year with a backlog couple of outings worth of 450b exoeriments to do yet, so my next 30RAR outing may be secondary to getting old faithful some range time first.

OK, here's a very busy table of what transpired. In the case of AR-Comp and W748. Neither was going to come even close so I saved most of them to use for foulers and sighters. Could have done the same with Benchmark as far as that goes.

Image

So three powders didn't make the cut. As predicted after my first outing, the 125 SST groups did tighten up with more velocity. My Dad's Lead Sled is not the same as a Ransom Rest. I lacked confidence in my AR skills after the last outing and figured I'd give it a try. This caliber is so tame, it was embarrassing using the Lead Sled for it. Back to my BR setup next outing.

Here's how the three best loads flew.

First up H322 at an average of 2768fps (didn't bother zeroing the scope) All groups at 100 yds

Image

Next H335 at an average of 2812fps

Image

Lastly, Benchmark which did get Mr Congeniality at 2654fps

Image

I felt that all three groups were respectable given the height adjust foot on the Lead Sled wobbled a little. Despite the moderate to light recoil, the target was never in the same spot when I slid the rifle back into position after each shot. Like free advice, the Lead Sled was worth every penny my Dad paid for it. :roll:

Besides the AA2200 inbound, I may slip down to Ahlman's to give Ranshot X-Terminator an at bat as well. All of this is so that all of you, don't have to waste your money on powders that won't go the dough using 125 gr bullets. These same powder may well be sweet for heavier bullets and that determination will be made as the spring and summer progress. I will also revisit a couple of these exact loads under Hot temperatures to see how much they go up also some time this year.

This caliber promises pretty good accuracy to come. Its not even broken in yet, nor have I done much in the way of trying to enhance its performance. More to come...

Watch for a 450b Range Report or two in the coming future.

BTW, after I got home, chilled from the 15-20mph wind up my keister, the temperature continued to climb up to 64 degrees. Should have gone later, but hind sight is always 20/20. ;)

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Re: Range Day 032816: Bumpin the Loads Up

Postby commander faschisto » Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:04 pm

Great work, as usual, my Hootster...thanks!
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Re: Range Day 032816: Bumpin the Loads Up

Postby plant_one » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:22 pm

based on how the 125 SST expands @ 2050 fps.. they have to be downright messy at 2600-2700 range :mrgreen:


ive got some nosler 125's i wanna push in the 20" 308 this summer and if i can find a load they're happy with, hopefully put them through something groundhog sized.





those are some nice groups for bucking 15-20 mph winds. get that thing out there in some tamer weather and i'm sure you'll find a load its happy with!
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Re: Range Day 032816: Bumpin the Loads Up

Postby Hoot » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:09 am

plant_one wrote:based on how the 125 SST expands @ 2050 fps.. they have to be downright messy at 2600-2700 range :mrgreen:
ive got some nosler 125's i wanna push in the 20" 308 this summer and if i can find a load they're happy with, hopefully put them through something groundhog sized.
those are some nice groups for bucking 15-20 mph winds. get that thing out there in some tamer weather and i'm sure you'll find a load its happy with!


I'm totally pleased with the 125 SST accuracy as a bullet and I'm sure it would do most any job you want it to at 2700-2800fps. The cases, even with the highest velocity H335, did not show any distress other than the "vampire bites" from the sharp edges on the barrel extension. Even the primers were for all other than that H335 load, pristine. The H335 load had a small degree of beginning to flatten. Certainly not close to as bad as the factory 150gr loads produced at 2460fps. WRT the wind, I really wasn't bucking it. It was straight up my back. Not good when I leaned forward and my heavyweight hoodie rode up off my butt, as I only had a tee shirt on under it. With no wind, that heavyweight hoodie over a tee shirt if good down to about 20 degrees. It weighs around 6 pounds.

I never took my 308 down below 150gr bullets. It really liked 165-168gr bullets. My 6.5 Grendel is an excellent varminter with Hornady 123gr Amax bullets, but my varmint bolt actions will eat its lunch.

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EDIT: WRT Nosler Ballistic Tips (great bullets) or other boat tail bullets. Not a good choice in this caliber. The boat tail portion of the bullet does not contribute to neck tension and robs vital powder capacity. Whenever possible, go with flat base bullets in this one. One of my future experiments is the flat base 110gr Hornady Vmax, which is on sale at Midway right now. I have a box from years ago and intend to give them an at bat. In this caliber, if they deliver on accuracy, they could feasibly be a varmint load. Looks like they should be able to hit 3k+ fps.
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Re: Range Day 032816: Bumpin the Loads Up

Postby IceAxe » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:30 am

Nice work and great info!
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Re: Range Day 032816: Bumpin the Loads Up

Postby plant_one » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:58 am

ya. those fang marks can be frustrating, although i have yet to see that they cause any serious accuracy issues - or at least with my capabilities as a shooter anyway.


and even if a 15-20mph wind isnt crossing your bullet flight path, it can still have effects of moving the shooter around and open up groups, IMHO.

at one of the local ranges i shoot at - i only go and do break'ins and testing on windy days, even if the wind is blowing head into the target boards. With the berms they have, they get a weird swirl down around the target boards and even with a tailwind coming over your shoulder from 6:30 or so, i've seen targets that blow upward from the bottom of the boards, or roll from one corner or the other on an upwards diagonal.


good luck with the 110 vmax.


Hoot wrote:I never took my 308 down below 150gr bullets. It really liked 165-168gr bullets.


ya i've never played with light weight stuff in my 308 either. if i'd not had poor results with the nos BT's in my blackout expanding poorly, i probably wouldn't consider it either. My 16" upper (10 twist) liked 165SST/168 amax's as well - i had multiple loads that shot into the .6xx range (ctc) and i'm hoping my Mega barrel (also a 10 twist) will like them as well as i have a pile of 168 amax because the 16" likes them. i've got ladders built with H4895 and varget sitting ready to go as soon as the weather comes up a few degrees. I try to keep my load development >70 so that i'm getting "summer load" results as much as possible for pressure reasons.


WRT H335 - have you ever tried that in your .308? I've got access (same place as the D0-63) to bulk WC844 - which from what ive been able to gather is the commercial version of H335. my guy swears that hodgdon is doing just what they do with varget (which is just relabeled ADI powder like several offerings of theirs) and selling WC844 as a consumer powder under the H335 brand name. Thinking about splitting a keg of it with my cousin, and have a pound to test with some Hornady 150FMJ's. He wants to load up some plinking stuff with it and we're looking at pre-obama type powder prices if we buy in bulk. Lyman's 49th has data for it and the hornady 150's, but i havent been out to test anything with it yet (that whole temp thing), and just curious if you've played with it as you really seem to like to tinker :) I'm not expecting amazing results, but if we can get a minute of softball load out of it @ 100 yds and have it cycle reliably i know he'll be a happy camper.

i plan to use my part of the keg for 223 - which is right in its wheelhouse.
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