Makers 250 grain trex load help

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Makers 250 grain trex load help

Postby pwoller » Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:39 pm

I bought some of the makers 250 grain bullets to give a try in my 16inch ar. I used them in my Grendel last year and was very happy with the performance. Going to try and load them for deer this fall and hogs maybe. I was thinking of using lil gun for this load and cci450 or br4’s. So i see Barnes maxes out at 34.1grains for their 250 copper bullet is that a really conservative max? Anyone else load these in an ar and have a good range I can test these at? Non tipped oal that seems to work? With the 250ftx I settled on 41.5 of win296 at 2.225 which was also recommended by the gun manufacturer as a good load. It’s a trident gun. Thanks guys.
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Re: Makers 250 grain trex load help

Postby Hoot » Mon Sep 06, 2021 9:57 pm

While I haven't worked with Makers bullets, I have worked with both CCI450's and BR4's. Go with the CCI450's and leave the BR4's for other SRP bottleneck calibers. As far as 34.1gr Lil Gun goes. Balderdash! Start there and work up.

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Re: Makers 250 grain trex load help

Postby pwoller » Tue Sep 07, 2021 6:16 am

Thanks Hoot. What increments would you suggest and how high do you think I should load to? Obviously if I see pressure I’d stop.
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Re: Makers 250 grain trex load help

Postby Hoot » Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:05 am

pwoller wrote:Thanks Hoot. What increments would you suggest and how high do you think I should load to? Obviously if I see pressure I’d stop.


With my AR platform, I always used .5gr increments. Mind you, I wasn't always out to walk right up to the danger line. This caliber is plenty lethal without pushing it to extremes and I hunted in relatively thick woods. I chronographed every shot. You can't reload effectively without a chrony. with Lil Gun, my velocity increase per half grain increase was pretty much a linear curve upward. Once I hit a velocity plateau, that usually meant that there no more benefit and often but not always, that was where my accuracy node was.

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Re: Makers 250 grain trex load help

Postby pwoller » Tue Sep 07, 2021 4:13 pm

So if you were going out for the first time with lil gun, 450 primers and the 250 trex at .5 increments what would you load up to and how many rounds of each load would you take? My first rounds are always over a chrono.
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Re: Makers 250 grain trex load help

Postby Hoot » Tue Sep 07, 2021 9:53 pm

pwoller wrote:So if you were going out for the first time with lil gun, 450 primers and the 250 trex at .5 increments what would you load up to and how many rounds of each load would you take? My first rounds are always over a chrono.


Assuming your brass prep and reloading technique is consistent, 100 yd, 3 shot groups will give you all the data you need to determine the best load for your platform. For a 250gr bullet, albeit a monolithic copper one, I would start at 36gr Lil Gun and work up from there carefully in .5gr increments seat the bullets to the COL that fits your magazine. Again, I have not seen the Trex bullets. If like the Barnes XPB/TSX bullets, the Trex have driving band grooves around them, there is a benefit to driving a taper crimp down into one of the the grooves, close to maximum COL. Some times that involves loading to a COL slightly less than mag capacity and limiting your maximum powder charge appropriately but the benefit is cartridges where the bullets don't pull out or push in from cycling them. The groove gives the taper crimp something to hold onto as opposed to just the friction between the brass case and the copper bullet. With the Barnes bullets I worked with, I gladly sacrificed a tenth or two of COL for the benefit of a firm hold onto the bullet. Many AR platform users can attest to the tendency of the bullet, even when properly taper crimped, to move a little from the inertia imparted when chambering. Think of an inertial bullet puller. If you have a caliper or better yet a micrometer, measure the diameter of your cases after sizing right where the case walls begin above the web and write them down. Take your measuring device to the range with you. After each shot, measure the same diameter to see how much growth occurred. Repeat with every increase in charge weight step. Some growth is normal but once you see growth greater than .001, that's a pressure sign that's the stop right there point. Also, pay attention to the case heads. If they start backing out of the chamber upon ignition and causing the bolt face to imprint into them, that's a watch your step indicator. Primer flattening is also a go slow sign. I've taken 250gr ftx bullets, which generate less pressure, up to where that occurs and they still don't cause case diameter growth of .001. The imprinting, swipes and primers beginning to lose their rounded edges are not a stop right there indicator. More of a warning of that point not being too far ahead.

Trident barrels are well made but they tend to have fairly tight chambers like match grade barrels have. Of greater concern is that your rifle does not have a rifle length gas system. That can be a booger to get to cycle reliably across a wide range of bullet weights and velocities. I know because once upon a time, I had a 20" Trident barrel that had a rifle length gas system. I ordered it that way so I had no one to blame but myself. I had to open up the gas port size to get it to run but the amount of work and loads it took, ruined my impression of it and I sold it out of spite. Hopefully yours has a carbine length gas system or mid-length one though IMHO, for a 16" barrel, a carbine length gas system is more forgiving. Just my opinion. Bushmaster knew what they were doing when they spec'd their original 450 16" with a carbine length gas system.

Don't hesitate to call it a day if you encounter the aforementioned pressure signs. I hate pulling down risky loads as much as the next guy but as I said, this caliber is just as lethal at 2200fps as it is at 2300. Certainly not worth pushing your luck for the bragging rights of a few more fps.

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Re: Makers 250 grain trex load help

Postby pwoller » Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:16 pm

Hoot I’m crimping with the Lee factory die to .473 and the bullets are still moving out .009 when I drop the bolt. I’m crimping into the cannelure is that acceptable or how much more can I crimp them?
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Re: Makers 250 grain trex load help

Postby Hoot » Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:55 pm

pwoller wrote:Hoot I’m crimping with the Lee factory die to .473 and the bullets are still moving out .009 when I drop the bolt. I’m crimping into the cannelure is that acceptable or how much more can I crimp them?


That would do it, assuming the width of the FCD crimp die bite is not wider than the groove. Can you post an image of what one looks like? 800x600 size works best but 1024x768 will work also.

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Re: Makers 250 grain trex load help

Postby pwoller » Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:33 am

What angle would help?
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Re: Makers 250 grain trex load help

Postby Hoot » Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:52 pm

A sharper image would have helped but it looks to me that the jaw bite width it too wide. IE wider than the width afforded by the groove. That means the jaw contacts the other side of the groove preventing the crimp from engaging the back of the groove. That engagement is critical for preventing forward bullet pulling. its hard to put that concept into words. To be honest, .009 bullet pull will not have that great of an effect upon ballistics. If you want better immobilization, you need to have the bite width narrowed. Check your PM's.

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