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After spending a lot of time and let's be honest finding food that my .223 likes, I settled on 69gr TMKs and was averaging 0.5 MOA even in my hands. Happy daze .... er until I wanted some more 😝 I must have checked every web site in the western world and telephoned eleventy billion suppliers and discovered that platinum plated unicorn turds are more plentiful. I even emailed Sierra and much to my surprise they emailed back to say that not even they have any and aren't planning to switch on the machine to make 'em for quite a while. FML

If I wanted crap human killing ammo, I can buy it by the bucket load, but I just want to make dainty little holes in paper a long way away.

My rifle is a CZ 527 Varmint in a Form Rifle stock and I like to shoot it at 600 metres on less windy days. I don't think anything lighter than 69gr is going to be any good at 600, but I also have the opportunity to shoot at 300 & 400 at Bulford. Can anyone recommend anything that would be reasonably accurate at three/four hundred? I know from experience that I need to get loads of what ever I will use as it is very fussy and will need several hundred weight of lead before it accepts it's load :)    

I'm assuming that no one on here has a massive stash of 69gr TMKs that are desperate to find a new home for 🤣 

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Same here..... Can't find any 69 grain TMK anywhere!!

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I’ve moved to SMK’s Ralph as couldn’t get TMK’s either. I have a couple of hundred left but not convinced I’ll pick up any more.

Lapua Scenars might be an alternative but not tried yet to source any.

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Not to be found in the USA either, I don't look very often but seen none for at least a year. Wonder where they all went, for that matter the other reloading supplies claimed to be made at record pace.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/27/2022 at 7:28 AM, KABOOM said:

Not to be found in the USA either, I don't look very often but seen none for at least a year. Wonder where they all went, for that matter the other reloading supplies claimed to be made at record pace.

Interestingly, Midway USA lists them as "Out of Stock, No back Order" so they are either over the distant horizon, manufacturing -wise, or they are not going to be made.  I use Nosler Custom Competition.~ Andrew

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  • 3 weeks later...
42 minutes ago, deadcenter said:

+1 for the Nosler custom comps. I've shot these out to 600 metres with excellent results.

Gun is a Rem 700, 1:9 twist.

I hope my gun likes 'em cos I've just invested in 500off. :) Even then I had to get them from two separate suppliers 🙄 

This shortage of reloading stuff mystifies me - there's a market screaming out for target shooting consumable - why don't the companies step in and satisfy the demand and make a load of wonga? Or is a it a ploy to get the prices up, as they appear to have done with fuels?

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1 hour ago, Ralpharama said:

This shortage of reloading stuff mystifies me - there's a market screaming out for target shooting consumable - why don't the companies step in and satisfy the demand and make a load of wonga?

I suggest you do some research on American sites such as the Accurate Shooter Forum where it has been beaten to death. The supply drought has been building up for at least two years coincident with the change in the US presidency which instituted near panic among many US shooters (as did Barak Obama winning a second term eight years earlier).

 This time, things are worse for a wide range of reasons including Covid supply chain disruptions and the international shipping crisis. However, a primary reason has been a sea-change in the American public's thinking. BLM and similar disruptions and 'defunding' police forces as a politically inspired move has put the frighteners on many previously anti-gun Americans. The rate of acquisition of new guns of all types in the USA over recent years has been staggering. It's known precisely how many pistols are being bought including whether by new or existing gun owners as a Federal application to purchase is required and applications are seeing three-figure % growth year on year. New guns and owners = increased demand for factory ammunition and the machines that make brass or bullets can only do one job at a time. It's no coincidence that both Berger and more recently Sierra have joined the ranks of factory ammo manufacturers in a big way and it's more profitable to sell ammo than the bits for the user to make it him/herself. All of the main bullet makers have increased capacity, shifts worked etc and still can't make enough.

Primers have become a primary constraint and the reasons for their shortages is a subject in itself.

Then there is a (much needed) move (maybe!) by some European NATO members to actually equip and train troops properly and there may be some diversion of particularly powder and primers to military ammo. Thanks to globalisation and privatisation policies across the West, there are no longer any government propellant factories nor government arsenal manufactories bar the US Lake City and associated New River powder works (which are contracted out to private sector company management - currently Olin-Winchester). So you're competing with governments for at least some components and it is a difficult and expensive job to expand anything involving explosives these days with fierce local opposition, health & safety regs etc etc. Private company shareholders need to have guaranteed returns too before spending the large amounts needed.

Finally people are just shooting more and consuming more ammo and more components, especially in the US where the Black Rifle in semi-auto form has become almost standard kit. Participation by and demand from existing recreational shooters in all branches of the sport has skyrocketed in recent years. The shortly to arrive 1970s level inflation, stagflation, and maybe severe recessions may take some of the heat out of demand growth, but in a very painful/brutal way for many, sadly. 

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14 hours ago, Laurie said:

I suggest you do some research on American sites such as the Accurate Shooter Forum where it has been beaten to death. The supply drought has been building up for at least two years coincident with the change in the US presidency which instituted near panic among many US shooters (as did Barak Obama winning a second term eight years earlier).

 This time, things are worse for a wide range of reasons including Covid supply chain disruptions and the international shipping crisis. However, a primary reason has been a sea-change in the American public's thinking. BLM and similar disruptions and 'defunding' police forces as a politically inspired move has put the frighteners on many previously anti-gun Americans. The rate of acquisition of new guns of all types in the USA over recent years has been staggering. It's known precisely how many pistols are being bought including whether by new or existing gun owners as a Federal application to purchase is required and applications are seeing three-figure % growth year on year. New guns and owners = increased demand for factory ammunition and the machines that make brass or bullets can only do one job at a time. It's no coincidence that both Berger and more recently Sierra have joined the ranks of factory ammo manufacturers in a big way and it's more profitable to sell ammo than the bits for the user to make it him/herself. All of the main bullet makers have increased capacity, shifts worked etc and still can't make enough.

Primers have become a primary constraint and the reasons for their shortages is a subject in itself.

Then there is a (much needed) move (maybe!) by some European NATO members to actually equip and train troops properly and there may be some diversion of particularly powder and primers to military ammo. Thanks to globalisation and privatisation policies across the West, there are no longer any government propellant factories nor government arsenal manufactories bar the US Lake City and associated New River powder works (which are contracted out to private sector company management - currently Olin-Winchester). So you're competing with governments for at least some components and it is a difficult and expensive job to expand anything involving explosives these days with fierce local opposition, health & safety regs etc etc. Private company shareholders need to have guaranteed returns too before spending the large amounts needed.

Finally people are just shooting more and consuming more ammo and more components, especially in the US where the Black Rifle in semi-auto form has become almost standard kit. Participation by and demand from existing recreational shooters in all branches of the sport has skyrocketed in recent years. The shortly to arrive 1970s level inflation, stagflation, and maybe severe recessions may take some of the heat out of demand growth, but in a very painful/brutal way for many, sadly. 

That was interesting to read, thanks for that. Didn't know the sales situation was as dramatic as that in the USA.

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Thankyou Laurie for taking the time to write that insightful post. Very interesting if somewhat depressing. I am finding I have to shoot less rounds per outing now. If time allowed, I never shot less than a hundred rounds at a range. Now I'm having to9 consider the fact that not only can I not afford such amounts, but I can't even get the components and there seems to be no sign of light at the tunnel with the supply chain; my friend who is an RFD tells me in many cases he is being quoted years not weeks.

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Now I have 500 69gr Noslers for my 1 in 9 barrelled CZ 527, can anyone suggest a load starting point? I am using RS40 powder. 22 grs was the sweet spot with the 69gr TMKs. ie do they use a similar load? In which case it will save me quite a bit of time and the oh so rare reloading components 😃

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Ralph, personally I’d start a full grain under (eg 21gn) and run a simple OCW load test. Load a small number of steadily increasing charge weights. I’d go up 0.3gn at a time.

So, 21.0gn, 21.3gn, 21.6gn, 21.9gn, 22.2gn etc. each charge weight id make 3-5 rounds each.

Stop when you start seeing pressure.

Look at the chrono for the three adjacent charge weights that produce lowest ES/SD and also a similar POI.

Choose the middle of this group as it will be the most stable charge which should cope best for different temperatures/conditions. Don’t really look at group size as you’ll tune this in the next step.

Then fine tune seating depth of your chosen charge weight - starting long (so little jump to the lands) progressively seating shorter (so more of a jump).
Look for 2-3 adjacent groups that look fairly similar in size - this is your optimum window for seating relative to the lands. As your barrels throat erodes, you push the bullet out longer but staying within your best seating window.

5x groups of 3x rounds for your OCW = 15rounds (25 rounds if doing 5x groups)

5x groups of 3x rounds measuring seating depth = 15rounds (25rounds if doing 5x groups)

30x - 50x rounds to find the best load for your rifle (assuming the barrel is already run in and isn’t gonna speed up after the 200-300 mark).

Ensure your shooting position is stable!

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