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Everything posted by VarmLR

  1. VarmLR

    Velocity plateaus in load testing: Why?

    😂 Indeed....might be worth trying different ones though? Uniforming flash holes with the Lyman (other flavours available) if just to remove the odd burr may help ignition consistency, and uniforming pockets is pretty easy to do, and only needs doing once so I do those things.
  2. VarmLR

    Velocity plateaus in load testing: Why?

    ....or uniform primer pockets, or uniform flash holes, or uniform primer seating depth or check powder fill ratio for the load, or check powder burn rate for the barrel for that load...dang those variables again!
  3. VarmLR

    Velocity plateaus in load testing: Why?

    Yes, as far as Satterlee goes, hence my original point that for most of us, it is simply not representative of what can be achieved given the variables...the whole point is that a more representative sample IS needed. Satterlee himself gives a nod to this in his caveats pointing out that everything from brass prep, to charge mass to measurement must be highly disciplined but unless your measurement is better than 0.5% you're on a hiding to nothing unless you fiddle in a fudge factor which sort of negates the whole point of the process. That's why I have serious doubts as to its validity on single shot ladders.
  4. VarmLR

    HbN users: what's your cleaning regime?

    I think it's all been constructive. 😉 It's one of those products, as you say, that you'd risk buying if only because it may extend barrel life....but then again how would anyone know unless they ran two of the same barrels side by side and shot the same loads...which obviously no-one would. It's a "take it or leave it" panacea product with marketing panache. That can be viewed positively as well as negatively.
  5. VarmLR

    Velocity plateaus in load testing: Why?

    You can only work with what you have at the end of the day. I don't lose sleep when my ES figures aren't quite into single figures, precisely because of the variability in measurement, chronys etc. They are only tools. I don't buy the total 30fps in your example Pops' as an absolute mainly because the larger the sample size, the more statistically relevant and representative the results , the more correlation you can do with observed performance (target data) and you really have to use the two together to reach meaningful conclusions. Looking at one half of that equation in isolation lacks rigour. I guess that once you've shot enough within identified areas of low sensitivity, and found a pretty good median point from lots of observed data you can settle on that load and no amount of accuracy in measurement gets it better than that for simple reasons of things like batch to batch variations. In essence, I guess some comp shooters never really stop refining load data between batches because of these variations....or do they? RS, for example, bases a safety margin of plus or minus a whopping 10% batch variation on burn rate when using QL to determine maximum recommended safe loadings. I'm not sure of what the actual batch to batch variations might be but so far, I've seen pretty decent consistency from their powders. I sometimes wonder if we get too concerned and carried away with optimum charge when the reality is that we have no control over batch variations or errors in measurement kt. Where we can make a difference is on case prep, run-out, consistency and batching of projectiles, cases and experimentation with primers. The latter is an interesting one because it throws another fly into the ointment. Several times I've been caught out when load developing and though that a specific bullet simply wont shoot from my barrel....high ES/SD, very average groups etc. A simple change of primer has tightened things up nicely. So much to learn, so little time to learn it in! That's not exclusive to shooting though...
  6. VarmLR

    Velocity plateaus in load testing: Why?

    I use a modified (shooting shed insert for more consistent charges) Lyman gen 6 and check every 5th or 6th charge against some additional calibrated scales. I'm not overly bothered about anything more than 0.1grn (ie +/- 0.05) and that's what I'm probably getting close to. Plateaus for the 6.5 and .308 are considerably more so tighter tolerance just isn't needed imho. Slight case volume variations have more effect at a guess....most cartridge makers seem to charge by volume, not by mass.
  7. VarmLR

    Velocity plateaus in load testing: Why?

    I have done something similar for several of my loads, comparing Satterlee with my own 5 shot OBT/OCW-type approach. I picked a bullet that I've struggled with for a long time to get consistent results from for whatever reason (60 Vmax) for my .223 and also one where load dev was straight forward (6.5/139 Scenar) and in each case: 1. started at 6% under max load and worked up in 1% intervals, shooting 5 at each charge; 2. Recorded MV/ES/SD each time 3. repeated this for different temperatures (about 5 degrees different from 8 Celcius to 22 Celcius, so repeated 3 times to jusdge temp sensitivity). 4. Repeated for two powder batches where similar charges gave simnilar MVs. 5. repeated using a 10 shot Saterlee latter after meticulous brass prep Just recently, I compared my 223 loads from last year to ones for the exact same charge this year but also looked at the charge to velocity curves. The 223 correlated very well indeed, and last year a fluke ES of zero(!) for a 5 shot group resulted in an MV at the same temp within 10fps of that same load tested just a week ago in slightly cooler weather (which one would expect). What was also there was a very close correlation over a 0.4grn range of a virtually flat velocity plateau (within 5fps) where my chosen load was smack in the middle (23.8gr N133). That data correlated very well indeed to several 10 shot Satterlee tests I'd also undertaken although in both cases, the flat spot centre wasn't exactly the same as the OBT centre....I trust the latter more. Out of interest, I looked at 139grn 6.5 scenar data over the past two years...I seem to have amassed considerable field data now for this bullet and RS62. All but two of my field trips for load dev showed remarkable correlation with velocity/charge weight on the charge/MV curve in terms of where velocity plateaus fell be that 1 shot/charge mass increments, 3shot or 5 shot groups. The velocity insensitive median point for all but two of the data sets fell at 43.8grns and the average at 44grns. That's how close it was. There were minor variations in comparative MVs but this was easily explained by temperature variations. I returned to my first two data sets for this powder/bullet combination as I was puzzled as to why MVs and the plateaus didn't correlate well at all and were considerably lower than 4 subsequent data sets, and only when I looked at the dates and the round count for the barrel was that puzzle solved. These data sets were both taken within the first 200 rounds fired from a brand new rifle. The subsequent data sets were all from there to about 1000 rounds. I remain very confident, that with applied discipline to case prep, you can see clear velocity plateaus for pressure insensitive nodes but they are not all especially consistent in breadth. The .223, as one might expect, shows a much narrower plateau (due to way lower case capacity and possibly different ignition characteristics...) than the 6.5 or .308. The largest plateau was with the .308/155grn bullet/RS50. It shot within an ES of about 20 between 44.4 and 45 gr RS50 in my heavy barrelled T3 (I will check those last figures but pretty sure it was something like that). One observation with all of these observed loads is that most of my chosen loads are approaching a full case. The other consideration is breadth variations are almost certainly down to other variations be they random or not which sort of ties in with your point. There are caveats and misgivings though about being over reliant on methods like satterlee. My biggest reservation is sample size. Whilst I have proved to myself, with enough data sets, the such plateaus exist, there are two areas where data is easily misinterpreted. Firstly at charges where you simply are not approaching 100% burn rate due to barrel length (an obvious one but nonetheless missed sometimes) and where ANYTHING changes eg primers and even batch to batch variations of powder. The most obvious though is tying down a single 10 shot ladder with any confidence and since only one of my loads, despite careful prep, has been repeatable that way, I'll stick with more statistically relevant methods. I have tried single shot per charge satterlee ladders but only ever get repeatable results with .223/69gr TMK/RS50. I have repeated this ladder several times with near identical results give or take a few fps in similar conditions and have tried the middle of three plateaus. To my disappointment, it didn't group well and ES/SD were nothing special!!! The higher nodal load, though did quite well. I still remain interested in this topic since in fairness, we debate these things ad infinitum but perhaps rarely in sufficient detail, or depth as for the most part, we skirt over the more empirical side of things. I would be interested in learning more and will keep an open mind, but cannot make any special claims from my own observations save they are what they are.
  8. VarmLR

    HbN users: what's your cleaning regime?

    I can see the benefits over moly which I would never bother with. Frankly, there are so many things to consider, especially for the newcomers to the sport that adding one more fashionable magic paste to the equation simply tempts people to shell out for a shelf full of this and similar "aids to better shooting" with the net effects that many will forget the real basics of truly important things like optimising your propellant/bullet match and case capacity for the most uniform, repeatable, desired terminal ballistics and fine tuning your brass prep and load development accordingly. Call me an old duffer, but time spent behind the trigger, with optimised loads I sincerely believe is worth more than a bucketful of stuff like this. For those already at a level of accuracy and precision, well it may well be of benefit and I can sort of understand why they might want to try this stuff but for everyone else I just think it's another not so magic pill.
  9. VarmLR

    HbN users: what's your cleaning regime?

    Is there any corroborated evidence that Hbn does what it says and exactly by how much does it extend barrel life? If there isn' t any evidence then I wouldn't bother with it. If there was I would consider it. You need more than the say so of " a bloke on a forum says..." or blind faith to convince that thus stuff is worth it. I do remain open minded but barrels are consumables and I question why if this stuff is so good why then are new barrels not coated with it as a selling feature? Manufacturers would have picked up on it by now.
  10. You dont need an over specified scope with bells and whistles chaz so a fully featured 5-30 is pointless for 350 yds imho. Keep it simple. Put the cash into optical quality and repeatability. A used top tier scooe like a used nightforce or s&b is what I'd buy in a max zoom of 4-18 × 44 or 4-18 x 56 or max 5-25 x 56. New I'd buy a vortex gen 2 viper pst...job done. One if my all time favourite scopes for my 223 was a leupold 5-14 × 50 with bdc ret. Really good scope for about £400 used. I now have a nightforce nsx on it which was also used and cost about £900. I won't sell that one. Great unclutteted np2 ret and battleship build with decent turret adjusters and fabulous resolution if not as bright or as wide fov as my pm2. That has accounted for a lot of successful hits on small quarry out to 400yds, is quick and easy to dial for even wearing gloves and will take lots if abuse.
  11. VarmLR

    New load development

    Sooty = insufficient obturation = too low a load. Think very carefully before pushing it further than you have. I'd say that from a 24 inch barrel, 2439 is a bit on the slow side and N140 might give you a bit extra, better still, RS50 which doesn't have the same tendency to pressure spike as it is more linear with charge. You should safely achieve 2550fps with that powder. You may not be getting the velocities you want from N150 because of barrel length. You may not get complete combustion using N150 from a 24 inch barrel PLUS you'd be tempting fate on chamber pressures by continuing to load above recommended max. The weather is currently quite cool. Viht is well known (both N140 and N150) for pressure spiking when temps pick up, especially when loads are hot to begin with. The smarter approach might be to select a different powder to get your intended terminal ballistics rather than try and push your current bullet by upping pressures above manufacturer's stated recommended max load. I would have thought that the Berger should shoot fine in that barrel length. Sierra is usually a very reliable indicator of max loads and they state that you should never exceed 41.8gr with a 180gr bullet shot at 2500fps. I'd say that you're currently taking chances I wouldn't care to with my own .308 by pushing past that. I shot 190s to 2600fps with a very stiff N140 load. It spiked horribly past 42.6gr (not the right powder but all I had). Would't go there again. At around 42gr it shot fine and grouped well at 1000yds. Based on that, and the RS50 being less likely to spike plus giving a little faster burn rate, you should be closer to Varget results over N150. If you're anywhere close to me (Gloucestershire) you'd be welcome to come over and try some as I have some on the shelf.
  12. VarmLR

    Terminal velocity

    Don't worry about it and forget what some literature stipulates. The smk 190 behaves VERY well through the transonic region and I've consistently shot these at moa to 1000 yds when launched at 2600fps. They perform equally well as TMK175's shot at 100fps faster and I have on occasion matched my 6.5CM 139 Scenar loads (well above transonic at 1000yds) shooting the venerable old smk190 from my .308. It's a great jump and transonic tolerant bullet.
  13. I wouldn't lose sleep over case length variations of 5 or 6 thou. Much more and there's always the old argument about neck tension variance but you're likely to get this from badly inconsistently annealed brass too. My 6.5 cases show little signs of growth and I haven't had to trim any in the last 4 reloads. When new, I checked and trimmed all to be uniform +/- 2 thou then forgot about them. Do yourself a favour and buy a Lee factory crimp die. Size your brass, don't worry about small case length variations, load your rounds, add a consistent crimp and watch your ES figures drop...it works.
  14. VarmLR

    60gr V-Max vermin control Loads

    Hi Gunner. I haven't tried those yet but once I've used up all remaining Vmax bullets I think I might just stick with one bullet for vermin control and target...the 69gr TMK but I still need to refine my loads for that bullet as the last batch of powder, and a change of cases resulted in my groups going to pot along with ES opening up. I'll stick with the gameking for Munty but may switch to the (#1395) 65gr one and see if it shoots well with the same load as the 69TMK. I must admit, the 223 for some reason has proved harder than either my .308 or 6.5 to get a consistently good load with (except for the 55gr gameking which remains a spot on load). I've messed around with brass and primers a lot and have settled on Sako brass and Murom KVB-223M primers.
  15. I use the .224 60gr V-max for most of my vermin control duties now, event though I much prefer the 55/50grn SGK for small deer. The V-max isn't suitable for deer due to its rapid expansion which tends to leave big holes and an even bigger mess. It is however an inexpensive bullet at £24/100 and readily available, and being the flat-base version, is remarkably consistent in manufacture. However, it can be awkward to load develop (at least in my humble experience) and it has taken many iterations of powder, bullet and seating depth to come to a consistent load. I have tried traditional ladder testing, OCW and Satterly. The latter doesn't work for every calibre or bullet that I've tried but does tally remarkably well with OCW, but not with more traditional (and costly) ladder group testing, because getting repeatability of those groups is a little hit and miss (literally). For anyone with a similar set-up, my final recipe which gives very consistent and remarkably zippy loads which remain safe and show no signs of (over) pressure are based on the following: Bullet: 60grn Hornady V-Max flat base in .224 Powder: Vhit N133 Barrel: 26" 1/8 twist Cases: Sako (which equate well in internal volume with both PPU and Lapua cases based on measured once fired brass): Primer: Murom KVB-223 Magnum (do NOT use standard SR primers as they may blow with this load) COAL: 2.248" which equates to 0.020" off the lands to ogive for my chamber Results: 5 shot OCW groups, recent average: Whilst the ES is nothing to write home about, I have managed to achieve consistent results with single figure SD values many times over with this load. On this ocassion, I have not payed a lot of attention to brass prep. Had I batched the brass and taken much more care, I have no doubt that ES could be brought down but quite frankly, this has still proved to be a very accurate load over 300 yards which is about as far as I use it. 3165fps doesn't sound that extraordinary until you realise that these are 60gr bullets and not the more usually used 40 to 50gr varieties used with .223. The 40 grainers are close on 3500fps which puts the combo (N133) up there with factory .204 velocities! 223 is just such a versatile little calibre. This makes for a devastating load for fox, crow and squirrels caught on the ground. It would be OK for deer ONLY if neck shot as the mess left otherwise rules them out for anything other than CNS area shots (just to the front of the shoulder). If you are close enough, CNS shots work well and will floor Munty, although I much prefer using the less messy and more accurate Gameking in either 55 or 60 grains. 60gr_223_vmax_23_8gr_n133_31March2019.pdf
  16. VarmLR

    Lyman Gen 6 Vs RCBS Chargemaster Lite

    I use a Lyman Gen6 too and the only issue is it has a tendency to over-load by 0.1 to 0.2 on the odd charge with some powders (longer grained ones like RS62). I more or less sorted that issue by haveing Dave at the Shooting shed make me up a "Thingy" to screw into the end of the dispenser. Much much better and now only very occasionally trips up. I always check every 10 or so against beam scales or my other electronic scale and they tally almost exactly. The Lyman is well within its 0.1 accuracy range and probably closer to 0.05. Even with .223 loads, for the optimum charges, you can drift 0.1 either side and it makes little difference. I keep reminding myself that it doesn't even become that critical at long range unless the cases are batched by volume and even then for my 6.5, the chosen load's pressure insensitive region appears to be about 0.25 to 0.3grains so loading in the middle of that ensures that I have full confidence in the Lyman.
  17. Out of interest today, I included coriolis in my first shot on target at 600m, and looked at the difference without it being considered. I'd allowed for an 8mph full wind which seemed to be spot on (it was very consistent most of the day). For context, first shot on target on a "Macqueens 600m" target was on the outside of the 5 ring, elevation spot on (loads are consistent with lots of chrony data at various temps so confident with those and the BC has been trued by using drop at various distances). That was with Coriolis added in. The difference without may have been just a few inches at that distance and a little higher, so in that instance with it turned off, I'd have just an inch or so further in and high which would have been closer to the V-bull in that instance. It's probably not worth worrying about at those distances where trigger technique and wind count for a lot more. Even if it's been an animal (and I wouldn't shoot one that distance) it would have made no difference to the outcome.
  18. Coriolis might be something you account for within your shooting ballistic app where you're shooting long distance and are after a first shot on target...you'd include it because it is determinable and not variable as such. What is variable are some of the algorithms used to determine it (judging by the slight differences between various ones) and the bullet's velocity downrange. I may be wrong, but as I understood it, the better ballistic apps allow for MV, and together with BC can determine a projectiles flight path and velocity at fixed points so some apps may well account for variations in velocity when calculating the Coriollis effect (I don't know for sure). For target sports where you can get some sighters down-range, it's doesn't really need considering as a few shots should see you on target, after which reading the wind has the biggest single effect (providing your loads are good and consistent). I only include it because I use Strelock Pro has it and I've generally found that app to be spot on providing it's well enough calibrated. I leave it on because at distance, with sighters allowed for, I've probably got more chance of mis-reading the wind effect as the app has of over-compensating for Coriolis so I don't lose sleep over it. I have found Brian Litz to be an excellent reference and would trust his opinion over that of most on the subject unless he's proved wrong.
  19. I'll be there too this weekend hopefully, providing that the weather doesn't throw a wobbly...
  20. Look at Offas Dyke long range club. Reactive targets at the Brecon MOD ranges (amongst others) and plenty of long range opportunities such as Warminster 900m as well as extended ranges out to a mile (Brecons again). Long trip from anywhere but mid-wales but well worth it for a great days shooting in scenery that Bisley can't hope to match. Plenty of experienced friendly shooters (a few ex military too) on hand to provide hints and tips without having to shell out loads. Annual membership is very reasonable and you could get a year's shooting around England and Wales including your ammo costs for probably less than a day's costs at some of the more specialised commercial ranges. Depends what you're after though. For 1-2-1 and explicit LR training you may get a club member give up some time (most are very capable and experienced) but you may prefer dedicated 1-2-1 with all facilities to hand in which case some of the commercial outfits provide at a cost.
  21. VarmLR

    SMG and Sten

    Amazing work. Hats off to whoever did that.
  22. VarmLR

    HbN users: what's your cleaning regime?

    I check my loads every powder batch change but with the powders I use, I seem to get consistent results and low ES without going the to the lengths of Hbn or any of this rigmarole. Not sure if any current UK BR or F class champs bother with it? I do clean the rifles after every use be that 1 shot or 80. KG1 left in for 20 minutes before dry patching as I've found that even Tactical Advantage won't strip out the carbon without repeat applications and a scrub. I simply KG1 then dry patch before using Tactical Advantage which is left in for an hour before dry patching idf lots shot. Just a quick patch through with KG1 for anything up to about 10 rounds through. Job done and no fretting over how slippery or not my bullets are....they're swaged so I am dubious about the claims from any anti-friction coating which can be affected by heat/pressures involved. Plus I'm tight and don't want to spend the extra in time or cash 😂
  23. Just compare that MV in 40gr to factory .204😉 Hornady sell superformance 40gr .204 loads claiming 3900fps but I've seen examples tested at closer to 3600fps (probably down to a shorter barrel than factory tested). That just reinforces the versatility of 223 imho. I've been using 60gr Vmax bullets for years. Fantastic vermin control bullets.
  24. VarmLR

    Watch brands as cars..

    I'm obviously a very mixed up person having several Seikos BUT driving a Lexus 4x4...
  25. VarmLR

    Cheap alternatives

    I just drop them on the garage floor and pick up for the bin when done.

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