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Old January 21, 2013, 08:47 PM   #1
bowtieboy85
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243 winchester not grouping

Hello I am kinda new to reloading and have had good luck so far. But today I tried to make up a round for deer out of my girlfriends 243 . It is a Ruger m77 frontier with a 16.5 inch barrel and 1:9 twist. I was using h4350 and 100gr hornady btsp. The best I could do was maybe 2 inch group at 100yards. Was wondering if the bullet was to heavy for the barrel length or maybe the powder was to slow as I use it for my 06 also?
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Old January 21, 2013, 09:26 PM   #2
flyguy958
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I've had better luck with IMR 4064.
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Old January 21, 2013, 09:27 PM   #3
LE-28
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The rifling twist of your barrel sound right, that's what most 243s barrels are.
How mush freebore are you giving your bullets? That gun should do better than a 2"group at 100yds.

The 4350 should be ok also, I load my 243s at 40gr of IMR4350 with 100gr Hornady bullets and they were tack drivers, litterally. These were both 20"barrels but the fact that your barrel is shorter should have no bearing on the accuracy, just a little on the velocity side.

It's always been my understanding that the powder is all burnt in the first 2-3"of the barrel and the extra length just gives the pressure a longer period of time to interact with on the bullet to gain velocity.

Try to get the bullet out to about .005" from the lands of the riflings.
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Old January 21, 2013, 09:27 PM   #4
Savage99
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Welcome to the forum.

It's usually the rifle, it's scope or the shooting technique and less that the handloads or factory loads are the problem.

Make sure that the scope mounts and bases are tight and that the front quard screw is tight.

After that try a shim made from electrical tape under the action or barrel.

H4350 is excellent for heavier bullets in the 243.

You might try a shorter bullet in that varmint season is up next however I would try checking the guard screw tensions and scope before spending more.
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Old January 21, 2013, 09:40 PM   #5
603Country
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My Ruger Compact, with the 16.5 inch barrel, was rather finicky on loads. It's a 260, so I don't have any favorite loads to share with you, but I did find that IMR4064 worked best for me with the 100 gr bullets. I used R17 powder for the 120 gr bullets. That light little rifle with the whippy barrel was the most difficult rifle I've had to work up good grouping loads for. Be patient. You'll find a good load eventually. I suggest you try a relatively fast powder from the listed ones in the Lyman 49th. I don't have the book in front of me, but I'm guessing that they'll include 4064 or Varget or maybe Reloader 15.
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Old January 21, 2013, 09:59 PM   #6
bowtieboy85
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I know the scope is good or at least is of good quality but I will take your advise and double check all the screws and mounts.... I believe my shooting style is good as I can get submoa groups with other rifles consistently.

As far as the bullet seating I am seating the bullet at the crimp groove in the bullet. col. 2.659
But I did make up a dummy seating it with the bolt to get a depth that would seat it at the rifling... ( was told this was the easiest way) and the col. is 2.722

Is it fine then to just disregard the crimp grove a seat to what is best for my rifle?
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Old January 21, 2013, 10:03 PM   #7
bowtieboy85
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Also I have read that maybe I should try a faster powder. just thought I would review what I had already done before I started trying different powders as to make sure it wasn't something I missed. As I don't have a very lengthy reloading history.
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Old January 21, 2013, 10:49 PM   #8
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I have heard other people claim to get good accuracy out of .243's with faster powders like Varget and IMR-4064 with 100 gr bullets, but my experience has been the opposite. I seem to get better groups with 4350 or slower powders. My best results with heavier bullets (90, 95 and 100 gr) have been with H-450, H-4831, Vihta Vouri N-165, Accurate 3100, IMR-4831. I have obtained very good results with IMR-4064 and Varget with the lighter bullets, 55 to 75 gr. My Sako A-7 doesn't seem to like the heavier, 90 gr + bullets, but it shoots lights out with the 70 gr TNT and Ballistic Tips. But all the 243 Win. rifles I have loaded for (5 of them so far) have all had at least 22" barrels.
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Old January 22, 2013, 07:04 AM   #9
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I've tried several powders with 100 grain Sierra Gamekings, and the powder I use specifically now for that bullet is Winchester Supreme 780, it provided the overall best accuracy for me.
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Old January 22, 2013, 08:52 AM   #10
243winxb
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243 Winchester

The 100gr hornady btsp bullet is to long for that short barrel/twist. Velocity is not high enough. H4350 is a perfect choice or IMR 4350. . Try a Sierra 85gr HPBT # 1530 for deer. Work up a load to about 42 or 43 gr in Win or Rem brass. CCI Br 2 primer. Or use a flat base bullet that is not as long.
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Old January 22, 2013, 09:06 AM   #11
Nevmavrick
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One thing to watch for when shooting those short-barreled, lightweight little carbines, especially when chambered for a high-intensity cartridge, is over heating the barrel. I would doubt that shooting in Mich in the dead of winter would have a LOT of heat problems, lol.
I like to shoot a few, 3 maybe, groups then swab a little with a powder solvent, not a copper solvent, and a dry patch. I don't like to clean it all out, just enough to "even up the high spots." Then I don't have to shoot several "foulers."
'Course, I clean it all out, back to the steel when I get home.
I would load the bullets as close to the leade as I can, though not quite touching. I like to start back about .010 when using a cup-and-core, a monolithic, of course would require more. The cannalure prolly WON'T be in the right spot. Let the rifle tell you where to put the bullet, not the other way around.
H or IMR 4350 should work just fine, but would be best in the upper pressure ranges. If you are loading down for the GF, you might look into a faster powder like 4320, 4064, or even H380, for a ball powder.
Keep an eye on the your case lengths, too
Have fun,
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Old January 22, 2013, 09:14 AM   #12
Nevmavrick
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Thinking on it a bit more, putting a bit more barrel-pressure MIGHT help a bit.
I don't like electrical tape because it's soft, but you might try a couple thicknesses of calling card just back from the end of the forearm.
There's a lot of things you can try before changing the bedding permanently.
Have fun,
Gene
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Old January 22, 2013, 09:23 AM   #13
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtieboy85 View Post

As far as the bullet seating I am seating the bullet at the crimp groove in the bullet. col. 2.659
But I did make up a dummy seating it with the bolt to get a depth that would seat it at the rifling... ( was told this was the easiest way) and the col. is 2.722

Is it fine then to just disregard the crimp grove a seat to what is best for my rifle?
Unless you're crimping into the crimp groove, and there's very little reason you would be with an M77 or any other non-semiauto, the location of the groove is completely irrelevant.
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Old January 22, 2013, 10:30 AM   #14
bowtieboy85
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I have picked up a faster burning powder. Choices where limited due to the selection lately. Also I picked up some 85gr serria btsp. And am gunna spend some quality time changing things up. Thanks for the info and I will let u know how it works.
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Old January 22, 2013, 11:51 AM   #15
schmellba99
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I'd go with a touch faster burning powder, and do what Mr. Pfleuger above said - completely disregard the cannelure on the projectile.

You are currently sitting roughly .006" off the lands (just doing simple math based on your COL's above) - that's a fairly long jump that in my experience doesn't tend to lead to great accuracy.

I'm assuming you have done a ladder test already to determine your optimal powder charge, so from that point I'd load up batches of 5 rounds each with various seating depths and the optimal powder charge and shoot groups to see what your rifle likes best.

Group #1: .005" off lands
Group #2: .004" off lands
Group #3: .003" off lands
Group #4: .002" off lands
Group #5: .001" off lands
Group #6: no jump (seated where the ogive is just touching the lands)
Group #7: .001" into the lands
Group #8: .002" into the lands

Start with group #1 and shoot a 5 shot group. Let the barrel cool, clean the barrel so that you are starting with the same amount (as close as you can get anyway) of fouling before shooting group #2. Wash, rinse and repeat with all the other groups.

Check for pressure signs - especially as you approach touching the lands. Most rifles seem to prefer a short jump, but there are some that don't want any at all. Always inspect your brass after each shot for the classic pressure signs and stop at the first sign of them. If you still can't get acceptable groupings, you may need to look at different projectiles. Typically 100 grains is on the upper limit of most .243 barrel twists. I've had much better luck dropping to the 95 grain pills with mine.
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Old January 22, 2013, 12:16 PM   #16
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Just a poor mans humble opinion here.

Shoot a flat top M-77 here. Only 75-80 gr H.P.s-S.P. have I ever re-loaded for Minnesota size deer and shot thru this rifle. Gave the rifle for my son to use once and haven't been able to get it back. Have no idea how many deer that rifle has taken between the two of us. (many!!) I experimented quite-a-few years ago with different IMR powders. You name them. I shot them thru this rifle at least once. Found IMR 4831 under a 75 gr HP Hornady (my preference) was by far and way the best combo. Grouping at 100 yards reminds me of a very small 3 leaf clover. "Always Irish luck for whom ever carry'ed this little 243 afield."
Get that little 75gr. pill smoking hot upwards of 34-3500 fps. Nothing can survive a rib shot by it. No pass thru. No needing or wanting a blood trail. 75-80 grain'ers enters and dumps 100% of its energy inside the animal right there on the spot and is not known to exist a cavity very often. 100-105 gr. bullets on the other hand are for rookie's or those not knowing and/or kept purposely in the dark. Ever wonder why someone using a 243 and is looking for his deer all day and 1/2 the night stating. "I know I got a good hit on him!" Check out his shells. You'll find them tipped with 100 gr. bullets. Seriously all kidding aside. Drop down to 75-H.P. Hornady's or 80 S.P. (anybody's) for deer size animals. I promise with a well made rib shot you'll never have to walk any farther than 30-50 ft to retrieve your animal. In the small pill categories> its all about speed. In the large pills >its thump! Just my opinion is all. (No critiquing is allowed fellers.)_

Last edited by Sure Shot Mc Gee; January 22, 2013 at 01:40 PM.
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Old January 22, 2013, 01:13 PM   #17
243winxb
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Finding the COL

Start with the bullets base at neck/shoulder junction. This is the full diameter of the base, not the boatail. Take a COL measurement. Load 5. Move the COL out/longer .010" & .020" Load 5 each. Then load some with a shorter COL. In .010" & .020" Load 5 of each COL for a total of 25 rounds. Test fire. COL must fit the magazine & not jam into the rifling. Most single stage presses will give a variation of about .005" COL with the same seating die setting. A progressive as much as .010" variation, same setting.
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Old January 22, 2013, 05:05 PM   #18
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You calling me a rookie Sure-Shot? Never tracked a deer with a 100 grainer from our rifles, but we depend on hits to the boiler region. And I like the fact I can shoot mine further than the girls using lighter bullets!
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Old January 22, 2013, 05:51 PM   #19
bowtieboy85
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Well I combined a little of everything. Double checked all the hardware, cleaned the gun. And purchased some 85gr btsp speers. Switched to a faster powder -power pro 2000 ( sounds more like a vacuum I know..). Well in the end after about 4 tries I have a gun that shoots a little on the south side of a inch at 100 yards. I appreciate all the info saved me a lot of headache.

Oh and I seated the bullet about .010 out
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