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Everything posted by VarmLR

  1. VarmLR

    .308, N140, loose primers

    46gr seems a very stiff load with 155s and N140!!! I believe that 44.2 is the published max recommended safe load by Viht for 155s. Load mine to 44g (also using PPU brass) with excellent results using 155SMKs. At that I'm just starting to get pressure signs (flattening of primers) so wont venture above it. As others have said, it's not worth risking your neck for a hot load. I will be switching to RS52. In 308, it seems you get better MV with lower chamber pressure for that weight of round.
  2. One piece polished SS Pro-shot rod, 38.5" long c/w Pro-shot brass jag (.17 cal), would suit HMR, .17 Hornet, .204 etc. Combo cost me £50. Absolute bargain...Sell for £28, no offers. collection ONLY please. Glos area. Advertised elsewhere so be quick.
  3. VarmLR

    Load Data - 60gr Vmax/N133 in .223

    Yes. Looks like it's safe to load on up a bit. I had thought about vibration to settle the grains but the idea behind the drop tube I use is to achieve even kernel distribution in a swirl-type fill to aid consistent and even burn rate. If loading for my accuracy load, I wouldn't be shaking or otherwise disturbing the fill, short of transport to the shoot as uneven powder distribution has to affect burn rate hence consistency. It will be interesting to see what SD and ES is achieved once the accuracy load is found. I use a 5.25 inch drop tube and thinking on what was said earlier about QL and bulk densities, it's dawned on me that the drop tube and a slow fill would result in a more compact fill than a funnel alone, hence less chance of compressing loads.
  4. VarmLR

    Load Data - 60gr Vmax/N133 in .223

    Thanks Neil, very useful, and all understood. I wont get too concerned with anything other than pressure signs for the moment and report back when I detect any. That might prove useful to those loading 223 and using QL. I'll follow up the thread with chrono date once I've found a node that works for my rifle. Worth also noting at this point that I use a funnel with a drop tube for all my loads.
  5. VarmLR

    Load Data - 60gr Vmax/N133 in .223

    Photo showing case heads and primers. Note load marked on each case for comparison: My CZ527 firing pin tends to leave deep strike marks and the primers are CCI 400 which are pretty soft, so I don't think any of the slight cratering present are signs of over pressure since they are present on all loads from 22.1 upwards. I'm looking more for signs of primer flowing or flattening, and cant see any evidence of that on these:
  6. VarmLR

    Load Data - 60gr Vmax/N133 in .223

    I have a Pro Digital Chrono but wont use it until I have a "best group" load. Ladder tested today. No noticeable recoil until 23gr reached. Only loaded up to 23.2 based on QL, but I needn't have worried as absolutely zero pressure signs that I could detect even at 23.2. Shoulders on all primers nicely defined and no signs of pancaking primer faces or blown primers. No obvious ejector marks or other imprint marks on case heads and all rounds easy to eject. Recoil starts to intrude on sight picture from 23 grains. Will now work up in 1 grain intervals from 23.2 up to 23.8 Won't go beyond that as cases are full at 23.1, so looking for no more than slight compression. No point in taking unnecessary risks and I ought to find a node for groups I'm sure within those limits. One thing that I did notice is that actual charges were no-where near as full as QL predicted. Sierra 5th Ed and Viht Load data suggest a start load at around 22g and this wasn't quite up to the neck of the case, yet QL shows it as 105% capacity. I wasn't really getting any compression until 23.1 was reached. It makes me wonder whether the bulk density figure that QL uses is correct? Sierra shows a max load at 2.250 COAL of 24g. My loads were 2.244 COAL so I wouldn't go up as high as their max. Viht state 24.7 for a 2.244 COAL which seems very high. Extreme caution would seem to be order of the day. Just an annoyingly slow process! Also, my barrel is new so tolerances are quite tight. What works now may not work when the throat suffers some erosion with use, and rifling wears a little.
  7. VarmLR

    Load Data - 60gr Vmax/N133 in .223

    Loaded up a batch today for ladder testing. Started at 22.1grains N133 and worked up in 0.2g intervals to 23.1 which was when case full was reached (well, picking the loaded round up and shaking in near the Mk1 ear lug to listen for free movement of propellant resulted in no sound). Loaded one more up at 23.2 as max load. Not going any hotter than that. Bullet COAL was 2.244". Will go out and shoot each in turn and look fro pressure signs and stop as soon as I reach any sign of over pressure. That then allows me to work back towards 22g in 0.2 intervals for step testing in groups. I'll simply pick the best grouping and that's my load I guess.
  8. VarmLR

    Ogive sizes

    I have a Sinclair nut-job too Phil and have found that it measures quite deep on the ogive, close to the case mouth and this may not represent the throating in my rifles despite what they claim and I certainly wouldn't rely on any comparator for that. Comparator gauges can't tell you the measurement you're after as you are trying to provide the distance without having the chamber yet to measure COAL to lands, so you have to sort of work backwards from the loads you intend to shoot, accounting for whether you will be single shot or magazine feeding. Why not ask for the chamber freebore to be made long enough to allow use of the heavier bullet (presumably you want the higher BC for longer range shooting?) and then accept that your Leape distance may be greater for the lighter bullets, but not necessarily depending on Ogive profile. It can be a compromise when considering chamber length. As long as you can seat the 130's to a parallel shoulder depth bare minimum of 0.5 times diameter (not ideal but safe according to my local riflesmith....one diameter usually better) you may not have any compromise on leape to make if wishing to seat 10 thou off. Bear in mind that if you do it the other way round and seat the 140s deeper, you must then take extra care with the propellant charge as you may be reducing effective case volume and raising pressures if in doing so you are seating deeper for any loads which are not to the same exact spec as provided by the powder manufacturers' load data tables where they state a COAL to start with. The latter situation may also limit you on charge and have the effect of reducing overall effective range potential. Personally, if for long range work, my starting point would be the higher BC bullet and chamber for that.
  9. VarmLR

    Load Data - 60gr Vmax/N133 in .223

    Interesting feedback on the 53g, thank you. I have the same rifle but re-barrelled with a LW Match 1/8 26" barrel. It's a tack driver with 25.2gr N140 under 69g TMKs but I have yet to try it with the 60g Vmax/N133. Interesting that you're using a 24gr load under 60gr A-max which is pretty close to the Vmax. How far off the lands is that by the way? Thanks for that. They certainly do zip along at that!
  10. VarmLR

    Load Data - 60gr Vmax/N133 in .223

    Interesting feedback on the 53g, thank you. Perhaps the 50/55gr is a better bet, but my barrel harmonics will be different. I have the same rifle but re-barrelled with a LW Match 1/8 26" barrel. It's a tack driver with 25.2gr N140 under 69g TMKs but I have yet to try it with the 60g Vmax/N133. Interesting that you're using a 24gr load under 60gr A-max which is pretty close to the Vmax. How far off the lands is that by the way?
  11. VarmLR

    Load Data - 60gr Vmax/N133 in .223

    I really appreciate your input, thank you. I'll take your advice and lower charge to 22.1 as suggested at 10 thou off.
  12. VarmLR

    Load Data - 60gr Vmax/N133 in .223

    I have a Kilo of N133 to use up, so will probably stick with that for the time being but thank you anyway for posting some alternatives. Once the 60g are used up, I'll be changing to the newer high(er) BC 53g Vmax. Out of interest, how hot is QL predicting for 23g N133 at 2.44 COL? (I'm assuming it's the 54570 listed above or is that just max psi for 100% fill at that COL?) That's seated .010" off lands which I would have expected to give very little difference in pressure to say 40 or 50 thou off. Is there somewhere on the COL with that bullet that reduces pressures to closer to your initial table? I can seat in further, no probs as far from a compressed load.
  13. VarmLR

    Load Data - 60gr Vmax/N133 in .223

    Many thanks Xtrema. The Viht load data shows 24.7 to be max load whereas QL would suggest that's a dangerous load? I wont be getting close to that. Playing safe and going for a mid load of 23 grains seems reasonable. I'll load at that and check for any pressure signs. If there aren't any, I'll use that for the crow bashing until I can more accurately verify stepped loads at the range
  14. VarmLR

    t3 bore guide

    Shooting Shed OR speak to Matt at HPS precision rifles in Gloucester. He makes them for any cal in Delron, and I think charges around £15. If I hadn't already had a few from Dave at Shooting Shed, I'd have bought Matts instead.
  15. VarmLR

    Do I HMR or not.

    Now that lambing season is amongst us again, I have been called in for culling crows which have accounted for several lambs already, and not a pretty sight. Trouble is, they are so wary that getting within anything like reasonable distance always proved impossible on the land I shoot. The HMR was what I used to use up until last year and ammo inconsistencies ruined many's an outing. By contrast yesterday, I accounted for at least half a dozen, rain and light breeze not helping. Thing is, closest was 70 yds and furthest was 300 yds. I would never have attempted anything over 100 yds previously with HMR as I didn't have the confidence in POI with the ammo on such a small kill area. 200yds shots with the 223 are regular and I do have the confidence to know that shot placement will be precise to surgical every time out to 200 yds. At 300, the wind becomes more of a factor, but in yesterday's light winds, Strelock suggested 2.5 inch deflection for full wind of a few mph. It was spot on and the pest dropped on the spot with the bullet entry precisely where intended (within half an inch). That is a shot that I would never have taken at 130yds never mind 150 with the HMR. The 223 round is devastating at close range on vermin and humane dispatch is all but guaranteed. To those who do get on with HMR, good luck to you and happy that some are at least having success with it. For many of us though, CF in 17, 222 or 223 just makes more sense, especially for vermin control where we aren't shooting for the pot. One thing intrigues me though is just how polarised on-line opinion seems to be on the HMR. Some claim 1000's of rounds with no issues and high success rates (I do wonder about that). Often, the other side of the coin are reported major ammo inconsistencies, issues with wind at anything like reasonable distances (same goes for 22LR mind) and stories of squibs and worse. What I don't understand is the reason for the polarisation. Generally one would expect mixed reviews, but not the polarised views. Do we think then, that this points towards success being dependant upon specific rifle chamberings and specific ammo batches? It would be interesting for those with success to list their rifles used and ammo used, ditto, those who had less success. If there is no pattern to be had, then it remains a marmite calibre for other reasons, perhaps not understood.
  16. VarmLR

    .308 neck size question...

    I use a Lee Breechlock Challenger press and Lee FL dies (plus some RCBS and Redding neck dies). With Lapua brass, I'm not getting internal neck sizes anywhere as tight as .3. Seems a bit on the slender side? Just measured a few and they averaged .306 to internal (hard to get an accurate measurement with the thickness of my vernier jaws though for internal measurements) and .335 to .336 external (pre-bullet seated). The Lee dies are ok. RCBS ones I use are far nicer and the Redding ones poorer (base model). Seen some very good groups shot by guys using a Lee Loader and they just seem to get the consistency right and take their time.
  17. VarmLR

    long range crow calibre

    Get closer. Few rifles in high winds will give you the confidence at 600 yds. Still conditions, that's another matter. I'd stick with your .223 and use 69 or 70gr bullets. It's what I use for crow and I've no problems out to 300 yds dropping them. Beyond that, the wind is the biggest factor. Lots of gong practice needed for 600yds but can you reliably, every time, hit a 2 or 3 inch gong at 600yds? Few can. Getting closer seems the obvious answer.
  18. .223 + Leup scope would be my choice too. I use a Leup VX3 LR 4.5-14 x 50 on my 223 and can't fault the combination. Very accurate and a fabulous vermin control outfit as well as a good target combo to 400 yds with that scope although I'd prefer the higher mag variant tbh. Plenty of ammo choice. I reload but lots of really good factory ammo available form most RFDs for 223. Can't see any real world advantage to the .204 except it's very much en-vogue at the minute. 223 is plenty flat enough shooting not to worry about MPBR until out past 230 yds on fox. (I zero mine to 200 yds and it's good for crosshairs on from zero to 230yds with fox). Good target rifle too.
  19. VarmLR

    Do I HMR or not.

    Got rid of mine after 5 years putting up with regular ammo inconsistencies. Had to re-zero every batch, far too many squib rounds but no split necks as chamber was good and tight. My rifle regularly jammed and wouldn't eject spent rounds too, almost every outing. Could rarely get a decent batch of my favoured ammo as once in, the shelves cleared in a few weeks so constantly changing brands....then re-zeroing again! In the wind it was a guessing game so longer distance shots often ruled out but up to 100m it was fine. Use the 223 now for similar uses as the HMR used to get used for and don't know why I didn't do it years ago and save myself a lot of wasted time and ammo. I was quite shocked just how much ammo was wasted on the HMR making it no-where near as cheap to shoot as I initially thought. A complete waste of time...I hate the calibre with a vengeance. 223 makes it look silly in every single respect and isn't a great deal noisier with a decent mod.
  20. VarmLR


    Altberg boots. British made, top quality and very comfy. Had mine a while now (military Altberg combat high boots). Very light, comfy and tough. Worn them in extreme weather through very boggy ground and providing I keep them conditioned with Leder Gris, they've kept my feet nice and dry. Why anyone would want to pay £££££££'s for Gucci "shooting" boots when you can pick a pair of these up for under £70 is beyond me, but each to their own. Highly recommended.
  21. VarmLR

    What cleaning rod

    I was using pro-shot until I realised one had taken a slight bend. I didn't help matters by accidentally then standing on it last month and bending it further! Just bought a Tipton carbon rod. Good move...I think. Trouble with the thinner pro-shot rods is that they can take a bend (inevitably) and I don't want to risk my bore with a rod that's even slightly out of true. My 30 cal Pro-shot seems to be holding up fine though. One thing I've wondered about being no chemist...would the (expensive) Tipton carbon rods be adversely affected by cleaning chemicals and solvents? I'm assuming that most laminates don't like being around solvents...one for the chemists amongst you to answer perhaps?
  22. .223 Found it deadly accurate and very dependable. Has a wide range of loadings to take care of everything from long range corvid to foxes and munties. Barrels last a hell of a long time, looked after. Cheap to reload too which was the clincher for me.
  23. VarmLR


    If you have a headspace gauge, you don't need to strip your bolt or use any other method of "feel". I'm always wary of using this "feel" method because you simply don't know for sure whether you're seating back 1 thou off the shoulder or 4 or 5 thou off (which would be excessive for reloads). It may not be such an issue with factory loads to have a little more slack because after fire forming, you bump them back to between zero and 2 thou anyway but I wouldn't take the risk with reloads...could ruin your day...eventually. I use the Hornady headspace comparator tool. This does not provide SAAMI specification as each comparator is sized for a group of calibres so measures slightly off centre of shoulder. No-matter, it allows for very accurate comparison of fire formed to re-sized cases. The idea (as already mentioned by others) is that fire-formed by definition are zero-thou clearance as they have been forced to flow onto the chamber and should be an exact fit to the chamber. Its worth checking a few though. Here's how I do it: Fit headspace gauge to vernier calipers; Close the caliper onto the gauge and re-set to "zero"; Open the gauge and fit a fire formed case into the comparator; Close the gauge, using the same pressure each time, and gently rotate the case, keeping it square, until you have a consistent (minimum) reading. Note that reading; Repeat using two other fire formed cases. You should have the same reading. If one is off, discard that reading as it is possible you have a case which is slightly "off"; You can then set your sizing die and re-size (assumes you have the die correctly set) one of the fire formed cases then re-check using the comparator such that the reading is the same as or up to 2 thou smaller than the reading of the fireformed (unsized) case. If neck sizing, the reading will likely be the same unless you lower the die down a little. Alternatively you can follow these steps (assumes FL sizing die); raise ram to top of stroke in press and screw in FL die, lowering until it just touches. For 14 threads per inch (approx) dies (the norm), each complete turn equates to about 71 thou travel. back the die off by half to one complete turn, tighten the lock ring; lube a case to be re-sized and insert in shell holder and re-size; check using the headspace comparator tool against the fireformed measurement, and adjust the die in very small increments down until you have a reading between 2 thou smaller to zero difference from the fire-formed case. Lock the die off at that. Check the sized case for correct case length and trim as required. Make a dummy round minus primer or powder using the bullet selected for that load to the bullet seating depth required and try this dummy round in your chamber. It should load with just a little resistance when closing the bolt. If it is very stiff to close the bolt, re-check headspace and cartridge overall length to make sure you haven't seated the bullet too long. It's at this point that I like to check my cart dimensions against max tolerances for outside neck and case diameters too. If all is ok, you now have a dummy "comparator" round which you can use as a standard when re-sizing future cases for headspace and also use it as a comparator round for COAL for that bullet. I find that keeping these rounds is very useful, making sure that a permanent marker is used to clearly mark what they are.
  24. VarmLR

    Barnes 168gr .30 cal

    I have a T3 varmint in .308. Mag length is sized for max COAL of 2.800 inches on mine (2015 model). If your 168g TTSX are longer than this when seated 50 thou off, you will have to single feed them.
  25. VarmLR

    Dirty barrel

    My T3's the same. Takes a few rounds on a clean barrel before it starts grouping properly. For hunting, I was advised not to clean it with wipeout or similar between outings but just to dry patch it after each outing and then use wipeout every 70 rounds or so. I've always been a bit uneasy with leaving a CF barrel dirty, so haven't taken that advice yet although with modern S/S barrels and smokeless powders, is it really an issue these days? For target shooting, I clean the rifle after each range session, and fire a few fouling shots at the beginning of the next. It's what cheap FMJ was invented for!

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