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About Laurie

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  • Birthday 10/05/1949

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    F-Class, BR, and any form of target shooting that involves a scoped rifle, but doesn't require shooting offhand

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  1.  Hi Laurie, my name is Rens from Dutch, I have a question to you as reload expert, hopefully you can help us, my son and I are looking for a safe start load for our sabatti tactical dessert 308 win,  26 inch barrel, 11.5 twist, we have lapua brass , lapua scenar.  155gr, bullets and Lovex SO62 powder, (we shoot at 100/300 metres and 1000 metres in duitlland Black Forrest)  kind regards Rens,

  2. Laurie

    300 Win Mag loading

    N165 is a very easily ignited powder grade and even though you'll be running charges around the 70gn mark, it doesn't need a magnum primer for match use. In fact as Andrew and others say, some LRMs will most likely increase groups, ES/SDs. LRMs are routinely specified for cartridges like this in US manuals and sources as their primary use is 'hunting' often in (low) temperature extremes we would never see in the UK, and certainly not in range use. A primer that is perefectly adequate at say a low 5 or 10-deg C, can struggle at minus 20 or 30 and even if the cartridge goes 'bang' OK may see such a large MV reduction that anything other than very short distance shots strike low as well as producing reduced terminal energies and bullet expansion. LR Primers though are a really mixed bunch. My tests have shown some standard LRs (eg Remington 9 1/2) as being 'hotter' than other makes of LRM (eg the Russian KVB-7M that works very well in match use in much smaller cartridges). The Federal 215 and 215M alongside both versions of Remington are the ones to be wary of. I'd try CCI-BR2s and Fed 210Ms, both match jobs if you can find any, plus the Murom KVB-7 / PMC LR. The S&B primer gave very good consistency for me in 308 tests and would likely do so even in this larger cartridge. Ball powders in the 70gn plus charge range may be a different matter as some older types need a more vigorous primer to provide consistency in all temperatures. It's difficult to be prescriptive in this matter as many manufacturers have made great strides in making this type of propellant easier to ignite and cleaner burning in recent years given that their main clients are military ammunition suppliers and the military become ever more demanding on reliability, reduced bore fouling, wanting anti-coppering agents, and most demanding of all temperature stability. P B Clermont's Ramshot powders seem to have few or even none of the traditional ball type downsides other than a narrower efficient chamber pressure band. Conversely, although a recent introduction, I found that Hodgdon's CFE223 simply doesn't ignite properly with the reduced primer power of Lapua 308 SR primed 'Palma' cases.
  3. Laurie

    Reloading the 22BR with CFE223

    You may see ignition issues in the BR with this powder David. In 308, I got 48 hangfires and two misfires in 50 Lapua Palma small primer brass rounds loaded with two bullet weights. The BR with its smaller charges may be OK, but this is undoubtedly a harder challenge for primers than most, even the older ball types. 308 in Lapua standard large primer brass was fine with CFE, just the usual ball powder issues of a very narrow operating range - charges too low and you get wide velocity spreads, hit the pressure area it likes and you see a large MV jump allied to tightened ES, go not much higher still and you're into over-pressures. The 'hotter' Murom 'SR 223 Rem' primer was introduced for American AR High-Power XTC shooters under its local Wolf and Tula brandings a few years ago reportedly because some new ball powders didn't ignite well with the existing SR 5,56 Magnum model. I have a suspicion that the 'problematic powder' was CFE. If so, and if it sees potential ignition issues in the 223 with ~25-27gn charges ............
  4. Don't forget the T3X Varmint if you can live with a synthetic stock, available in 260 and 6.5X55mm with a 600mm barrel length option. Alan Seagrave has used the older T3 Varmint / 600mm / 6.5X55mm to frequently win the 1,000 yard Factory Rifle Class in benchrest matches at Diggle for some time now and has shown it is competitive against rifles like the Savage 12 'Precision' in its 6.5-284 F-Class and 6mm BR Benchrest versions at this distance. (The Savage 12s are another option for 1,000 yard out of the box performance, the two mentioned above, 12 FTR in 308, and LRP (Long Range Precision) in 260 or 6.5 Creedmoor. Sadly they're nothing like as cheap as they were some years ago when we first saw them here. The F-Class, BR, and FTR are single-shot jobs with 30-inch barrels; the LRP a DB magazine with 26-inch barrel.)
  5. Laurie

    Straight .284 Bullets

    Several people including many on this forum swear by RS60 in the 284. When it works, it gives excellent results and high MVs. I also know of cases where it has proven to be inconsistent - great results for a while, then nothing good and unable to find the sweet spot again. So, it's certainly worth trying. I've no experience of RS70. An acquaintance who tried it got very, very high MVs but couldn't achieve the desired precision. As that's a grand sample of one, others may have tried it and got satisfactory results. After some early experimentation with hotter powders, I settled on Viht N165 which will give the 175/180 SMKs 2,800-2,850 fps MVs from a 30-inch barrel. N165 has a repuation as being a very cool-burner and hence an aid to barrel life, and it has worked very well for me in both straight 284 and the Shehane. With a 0.327 G7 BC, a relatively mild 2,830 fps MV with the 175gn SMK sees 1,580 fps retained velocity at 1,000 and 1,372 fps at 1,200 (still above the transonic zone) in unpointed form and at 59-deg F at sea level, higher still on upland venues.
  6. Laurie

    Straight .284 Bullets

    The old 175 7mm SMK is an excellent bullet in the 284. It is very jump and load tolerant and its BC is higher than one might imagine from a relatively short tangent ogive design - a bit less than the much less tolerant Berger 180gn VLD and a bit more less than today's favourite, the Hybrid - but not a great deal. The 180 SMK is a VLD form but has an identical form-factor to that of the 175, so its extra 0.10 G7 BC points is entirely doew to the extra 5gn weight. It has not been a particularly well received design. I have a lot of early (non factory pointed) examples I bought very cheap and BTOs are all over the place. With measuring, batching, trimming and pointing, I've got them to shoot well at long-range in the 284 - but a lot of work! The 175 I seat jumped, 15 thou' originally but have never had to redo the COALs - they cope excellently with any throat erosion. The 180 I put into the lands from day one and that works. How they'd do jumped I can't say. The 183 is in a different league drag wise and with a 0.859 form factor (14% less drag than the G7 'reference projectile') / 0.337 BC is one of the highest BC bullets you can buy in 7mm. Because of their length, they need a 1:8.5 twist barrel, ideally 8.25 or faster. (I have an 8 on my 284.) I found they produced dreadful vertical if seated into the lands as per usual VLD practice but US sources report they can shoot well jumped despite being a super-VLD form. I just did some COAL based tests last week at 100 and 40 thou' 'out' looks OK in my rifle, so it'll be tried in a match at that. I suspect though that they are too 'finicky' for most shooters compared to the Berger Hybrid and the need for a faster twist barrel than most have been using will work against them too. (One has to wonder how many reports of their being impossible to get them to shoot well come from people who've got 1:9 twist barrels on their rifles.) Whilst I said unkind things about the early 180 SMKs, recent Sierras are very consistent indeed and I'd imagine the latest iteration of the 180 in factory pointed form will be good. Recent purchase 175s and the 183s are superb in this regard, both as to BTO measurements and weights.
  7. I had a superb Ross maybe 25-30 years ago with excellent wood and metal finish. Some Canadian (Ontario) Regiment name was impressed into the buttstock, but it looked as if it had never been issued and maybe privately owned from new. With original bayonet (very collectable in itself I believe albeit it lacked a scabbard), I paid IIRC £200 which even taking inflation into account was cheap by today's standards. This was a one-off from a museum or private collection, but a few years later a number of refurbished M1910s came onto the surplus market - not nearly as nice looking as mine with a 'Parkerized' type matte black metal finish and very dull timber. They cost more than I'd paid for my nice example and for a few years before Swedish Mausers took over, the Ross was the rifle for historic military arms long-range shooting. I liked my Ross and it shot very well, but with its length, weight, relatively poor balance was as the British ordnance authorities in Woolwich Arseanl kept saying a barely militarised target rifle not a sensible tool to be manufactured and issued en masse to troops who had to be trained in a hurry in a major wartime call-up. ....... and that of course was before actual battle experience brought out the action's problems during WW1. As a range rifle, the only issue I had with it was the rearsight windage adjuster was a slack fit on its threaded bar and moved under recoil. I couldn't understand why my shots were wandering off to the right on my first outing. After the penny dropped, I either had to recentre the windage every three or four shots, or as I did later squeezed some gloopy general purpose glue onto it to hold it in place. I later heard this was a common feature with the rifles.
  8. You'll find it very difficult (and expensive) to find such a thing. Basically, pre 1950 rifle shooting was overwhelmingly with 'as issued' (but often tweaked) military rifles, with military-target sub disciplines such as the GB Service Rifle (b) that allowed SMLEs and LLEs etc with diopter sights, heavy barrels and bedding work. The latter though was tiny compared to the primary discipline and confined to a handful of relatively rich shooters. Many years ago I had three such rifles over different periods - a BSA LLE (copy of the 'Territorial' pattern which in service form were rebuilt long Lee Metfords or or LLEs with updated sights, small front sight-protector ears, and a charger bridge brazed on) but built by BSA as a match rifle from scratch with a folding down full-house rear diopter sight. This could have been used in either plain SR or in enhanced target classes despending on use of the rearsight; a rebuilt SMLE by BSA with the full works (heavy barrel, match sights, new handguard and no tangent rearsight, coil springs and barrel pillars under the hanguard to put downwards pressure on the barrel and force it down into the forend); a Swedish M1896 with a turned down sniper model bolt handle and the receiver drilled and tapped for the Swedish Soderin 600M diopter rearsight, and from marks on the blueing obviously having had one previousaly in situ. The rifles were bought quite cheaply - as being non-standard, demand was actually poorer for such beasts back then, and a s/h Soderin rearight and front tunnel kit was bought for the Mauser for £50. Back then in those far-off days my local dealer York Guns had a big box full of brand new P-H no gunsmithing diopter rearsights in their original brown cardboard packaging for LLEs/SMLEs and No.4s for £25 each, all protected with a grease coating The 303 Enfields were both shot out as was nearly always the case with use of cordite Mk VII; the 6.5 Mauser was an amazingly good shooter and only sold when my eyes couldn't cope with iron sights anymore. Such rifles at modest prices, or rearsights at £25 or £50 now? Forget it! They are all like hen's teeth now and when you do find one, especially one known to shoot well, cost a small fortune. They're often not advertised when they change hands as some fellow club member will have 'first chance' on a sale. There are many otherwise standard No4s and SMLEs with the bolt on rear match sights around and these are the easiest to find and the obvious choice for a military-match class rifle if you can find a good shooter. The Mark III (M1910) Ross straight-pull 303 also comes with a match style rear aperture with windage adjustments and falls within the standard military historic rifle classes (although IIRC the rules say the rearsight windage must be used on its central setting only and not changed to suit wind conditions). So, good luck in your quest. I hope you have deep pockets!
  9. Laurie

    .284 Win brass availability.

    Correct - it is only made on an occasional basis. Hannams Reloading had Win in three or four years ago though and as they didn't sell well, may still have some. Frankly, the Winchester version as made currently is so poor that you're much, much better paying more for Norma. Flash-holes are off centre, oval, and there are so many other issues they're not worth having.
  10. Laurie

    N 150 versus N 550

    You can wear barrels out pretty quickly with N150 too if pressures are high enough. Some of the hot loads for 185/200gn Bergers with N150 in Palma brass only give a 2,000-2,500 round barrel life in 308 Win. Steve D by comparison claims he gets around 3,500 with his N550 load, presumably running at lower pressures. However, these are all small samples and barrel steel / rifling type affects barrel life significantly too. I have a suspicion that if pressures are kept to moderate levels, most of the N500 series won't burn out barrels particualrly quickly. An exception may be N540 as it has a near 40% nitroglycerin content by weight - same as arsenal Cordite .303 British Mk.7. Powders with some nitroglycerin are almost becoming the norm now - the new IMR Endurons all have some and all Alliant powders whether from Nitrochemie, Bofors or General Dynamics St. Marks have this ingredient. All ball types are double-based, likewise Norma extruded powders. I bought a secondhand Musgrave TR 308 many years back with a nearly new Maddco stainless barrel on it and developed a mild 155gn SMK / Alliant Re15 load for it, shot the rifle for three or four seasons and sold it. I meet the buyer regularly who still owns this rifle maybe 15 years on, and he still uses that Re15 load. The barrel round count must be astronomic by now, but he says it still shoots as well as he can, if not better.
  11. Laurie

    N 150 versus N 550

    That's a good (and difficult) question Alan. Viht itself says the N550s are more temperature stable than N100s. Conventional wisdom says that it should be the other way round! Search on forums etc and you find what are in effect opinions, not facts - and they are contradictory from US users claiming everything from excellent to terrible. All I can say about N550 is that it appears to be a bit harder to ignite than N150 in cold weather conditions. (Lapua small primer 308 'Palma' which is ignition / temperature sensitive and N550 starts to lose MV / increase SDs at higher temperatures than N150 this being on or just above freezing.) Steve Donaldson, one of the UK's top F/TR shooters as was although he's now largely dropped out of League levels, has used Palma brass, Berger 210gn BT, and a stiff load of N550 for nearly 2,700 fps from a 34-inch barrel for many years with great results. Back in 2013, he dropped out out of the GB F/TR team and went to the FCWC in Raton, New Mexico as a privateer. Not being subject to team rules, he shot every competition and practice he could over the two weeks and put an enormous round count in - his rifle was borrowed by fellow Rutland team members too. With locally sourced primers and fresh N550, he used his UK load throughout without any charge weight reduction - and did very well in the US National F-Class Championships and then the World Championships. At ~7,500 ft ASL in a semi-desert climate and in a local heatwave temperatures went from cool first thing to very hot by our standards peaking in the mid to high 90s F in the shade by late afternoon on some days in week one, a little cooler (low 90s) in week two. Steve assured me his UK load worked fine throughout and he'd no pressure issues at any time. I believe many 'Match Rifle' competitors use N550 too with 200-230gn bullets in Palma brass and these lads and lasses go off to shoot MR in Australia in sometimes brutal temperatures as an NRA team. Vihtavuori has quietly added anti copper fouling additives to their powders recently and says it will be reformulating most (everything?) in its range to be temperature insensitive in the near future. I'm not surprised - it's becoming increasingly difficult to sell propellants into both sport and military markets these days if they have the reputation of being temperature affected. Hodgdon / ADI has been in the lead for years with the Extreme range of extruded powders, but now IMR (General Dynamics, Valleyfield, Ontario) is adding new 'Enduron' grades which although not quite as good as ADI is still very good indeed, and Alliant ATK's recent additions from Bofors, Karlshoga, Sweden such as Re16 have a new 'TZ' technology claimed to rival the Hodgdon/ADI 'Extreme'. Certainly American users are raving about them in every respect. (We don't get any here as yet - I hope that is going to change.)
  12. Laurie

    N 150 versus N 550

    Viht shows its N100 powders and their N500 equivalents with the same burning rates ........... but they're not. The high-energy versions are slower burning, sometimes significantly so. QuickLOAD lists N530 as slower than N140 never mind N130 through N135 and N560 as being slower burning than N165. Changes in quickness in themselves affect the charge weights that produce peak pressures.
  13. Laurie

    6.5 Creedmoor brass

    Good to know. The 'problem' with SRP brass and 40gn + charges is one of potential powder sensitivity. My experience is with the slightly larger case and charge weight 308 Win 'Palma', another two to six grains powder. In one case (Hodgdon CFE223 'spherical') I got 48 hangfires and two complete misfires at normal UK spring temperatures from 50 rounds; in others (Viht N140 particularly) performance began to be affected below around 3 or 4-deg C. Yet while N140 went to pieces and CFE apparently doesn't work at all in any temperature, N150 works right down to freezing (at least) and H414 'spherical' (made in the same factory as CFE) actually gave higher MVs and smaller ES than in Lapua LRP brass at just above freezing. One of the American 243 Win long-range shooters assured me on another forum that Peterson Cartridge Co. SRP 243 brass was hopeless with his favourite compressed load of coarse-grain / slow burning Hodgdon H1000 in US summer temperatures - 200 fps MV reduction and huge ES values. So, whilst the range user is pretty safe with most primer / powder combinations in the small primer / small flash-hole combination, there is a chance even in our climate that the sporting user could be caught out on particularly cold days and finding your rifle shoots several inches low at a couple of hundred yards range after a long Scottish Highland glen stalk on a red deer isn't fun for either stalker or deer I'd imagine. Just to complicate matters, it seems the small 1.5mm flash-hole is as much a cause of these behaviours as the primer size and brisance, maybe even more so, and it seems some of the new US made SRP versions have stuck to the large (2mm) flash-hole. Starline SRP brass is in this form inlcuding its Creedmoor it seems.
  14. Laurie

    6.5 Creedmoor brass

    As a deer rifle, you may be better using LRP brass. The SRP variety struggles with some powders, but more to the point, may see significant velocity drops in very cold conditions or even hang/misfires. The other potential downside with SRP in high-pressure cartridges is that the small primer is much more prone to severe extrusion back around the firing pin than the large variety. This can manifest itself as 'cratering' or in extreme cases 'blanking' where a disc of primer cup brass detaches and is blown back into the bolt. This is a firing pin tip diameter + pin tip fit in the bolt-face issue. Some rifles are prone to it. (Mik Mak of Dolphin Gun Co. tells me he has done the firing pin reduction / bolt bushing job on over 30 AI rifles - they were fine with 308 Win or 260 Rem etc, but struggled with a rebarrel to 6.5X47mm Lapua and its small primer. I have an FN SPR Winchester 70 based tactical rifle that is hopeless with SR brass, so I've kept as a 260 as I'd only switch to Creedmoor if I could use the SRP variants - entirely for range use in my case.) Note too, this will become a bit more of an issue over time. Peterson Cartridge is offering 243 Win, 260 Rem now in both varieties alongside Creedmoor and 308. We'll maybe see some confusion as these get here and are bought by those unaware of the differences and implications. 6.5 Grendel comes in various forms - at least three primer size / flash-hole diameter variations. I'm sure we're going to see more of these new versions of other cartridges too from Lapua, Peterson and some of the other young US case manafurers.
  15. Laurie

    Alternatives to QuickLoad

    Nor does QuickLOAD - there is no primer input so you cannot determine any effects of using SRP brass v LRP other than that calculated pressures / MVs will normally be overstated. IME with SRP brass, it is not possible to make sensible predictions anyway as it depends very much on the bullet + powder combination. In 308 Win 'Palma' brass, I've seen the SRP effect ranging from the equivalent of around half-grain to 1.4gn charge weight reduction compared to the same combination in Lapua LRP brass with the same capacity. QL is invaluable in other respects of course, such as where the combination contemplated cannot be found anywhere else in manufacturers' published or online datasets. Where possible though it is very important indeed to crosscheck QL results against published data.

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