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Old July 13, 2000, 04:09 PM   #1
Joel Harmon
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Join Date: April 25, 2000
Location: Omaha, NE. USA
Posts: 165
This post is for you long range shooters. I have a Savage 10FP in .223 and I get 1.5" groups with some mil surplus ammo (that I bought at the hardware store) at 100 yards. By the way, I sent the targets to my congressman for the million round march.

I used a sandbag rest in the prone position to make sure the scope was in the same spot every time I fired to minimize error. I have decided to start reloading because 1.5" at 100 yards is no way to go as I am practicing long range shooting and would like to compete in NRA tournaments in the future.

I would like for this rifle to be my short to medium range gun (anywhere from 100 to 500 yards) and get sub MOA groups. I will buy a rifle (probably a mod 70 winchester) in the future in .308 for shooting out to 800 yards or so. In the mean time I will shoot with this rifle until I get proficient out to 400-500 yards.

I know what supplies I will need to be getting when it comes to tools, primers, and brass. I know this just from the info. I have read on this forum. I do have some specific questions regarding the components that probably make the most difference in long range shooting(aside from the rifle)...bullets and powder.

I have seen a wide variety of bullets offered in .224 from the very expensive to the "pulled" rounds that only cost 4.5 cents a bullet. Have any of you ever noticed major accuracy differences when using these pulled bullets (the ones advertised with that familiar saying, "bullets may show some pull marks") as opposed to using some expensive name brand?

I have also noticed that there is quite a bit of mil surplus powder out there and was wondering if it could keep relatively tight groups provided it's measured consistently with a trickler. The stuff is only around $6/lb and it seems to me that all the powder in an 8 lb keg is going to burn the same rate anyway. Therefore, it makes sense to conclude that once you dial in your amount to go into each round every time you should get just as good of groups as you could with the stuff that costs $15/lb. Please feel free to correct me.

What do you guys think about these issues? Like I said, I am new to reloading rifle bullets but do reload shotgun shells in relatively large quantities.

I am being anal about this because I do have a strict budget and would like to pay the lowest possible price for components that will get me the result I desire. I would say that 15 cents/finished round would be about right. Even .75 MOA would be acceptable. Theoretically, that would mean that all my shots would fall into a 3.75" diameter assuming I was a perfect shooter. That's plenty acceptable to me!

Thanks for the help,

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Old July 13, 2000, 04:13 PM   #2
Joel Harmon
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Whoops...forgot to include that 3.75" would be at 500 yards assuming I was a perfect shooter. Sorry.
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Old July 13, 2000, 04:16 PM   #3
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I can't help you on your real question, I just wanted to point out that you will suffer from wind drift more at 500 yards than at 100 yards. So you can't really expect to get 3.75 inches at 500 yards even though you could get .75 at 100 yards.

[This message has been edited by KilgorII (edited July 13, 2000).]
Old July 13, 2000, 06:21 PM   #4
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Join Date: August 29, 1999
Posts: 928
What is the twist rate of your barrel? I thought the Savage had a fairly slow 1 in 12 twist rate.

To shoot out to 500-600 yards you will need to be shooting a much heavier bullet - at least a 69 grainer(minimal really), 75 grainer from Hornady or the 77 or 80 grainers from Sierra, for example. The 80 grainers have to be loaded long and are shot single shot in an AR15. They may present a problem with your chamber.

To stabilize the heavier bullets a 1 in 9 twist barrel can reliably handle up to 69 grainers. One of my 1 in 9s can handle the Hornady 75 grainers and the other puts them all over the target at 200 yards.

For the heavier bullets a 1 in 8 or 1 in 7 twist is really needed for the .223.

For my 200 yard loads I use Accurate Arms 2200 Data Powder. Pretty cheap from Natchez Shooting Supplies. I have good luck with 69 grain or less bullets with it.

I shoot Sierra bullets almost exclusively and buy them in a minimum of 500 round bulk packs.
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Old July 13, 2000, 06:42 PM   #5
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I refuse to lend assistance to anybody who publicly admits to being "anal". Doesn't that mean that he's likely to be a Democrat??
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Old July 14, 2000, 11:51 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 9, 2000
Location: Frisco, Texas, Collin
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No it doesn't mean he is likely to be a democrat. It means he pays attention to the details and is fussy as hell about them. As I tend to be at the other end of the spectrum I don't mind having a few people like that around to keep us in line. Yes I do reload and I force myself to pay attention to the details, I have no desire for a KB in my AR's.

Joel, slick stated the facts pretty well. I have had some very nice groupings out of my AR's using 2200 and either winchester or IMI bullets. I now shoot 24 gr. of Accurate 2300, a Federal small rifle primer, LC brass and a Winchester 55gr. FMJBT. Out of my Colt and Bushy's this load will consistently keep sub MOA. I know this is a light bullet for this range but I have shot this load out to 400 yeards on prarie dogs with great success.

For long range shooting you may have to do some experimenting. I think you could get very good results with 2200. But you need to get some and try it with your rifle. You also need to try different bullet combinations as well.

In working up loadings I have always found it very valuable to buy smaller quantities of powder and bullets from local shops. This may be a little more expensive initially but it will save you from buying large amounts of reloading supplies that don't perform in your rifle.

In loading for a bolt action rifle you have a lot more flexibility than I do in loading for a magazine fed Semi-auto. I would experiment with as many cominations as I had time for and could afford.
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Old July 14, 2000, 09:24 PM   #7
Mouse Gun
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Join Date: January 25, 2000
Posts: 101
What you shoot is definatey going to depend on twist rate. In highpower, unless you shoot anysight class(few and far between in Ohio)or long range you won't be able to use a scope. I'm sure a good smith out there might be able to mount some sights on your rifle and clip guide for raid fire stages. I don't know, I'm not a gunsmith by trade. One of the guys in our club has a 700 that has a removable rear sight and scope for the same rifle and they seem to hold zero. Also how's that trigger? The last FP I shot had terrible trigger, you can ugrade that trigger and I'm sure that will help your shot placement.

I shoot highpower matches mainly with an AR, so if you have a fast twist barrel(1/7, 1/8 or 1/9) I can share some info. I like Sierra and Hornady match bullets even the Blitzking and the VMAX for 100 yard ranges. Powders: Varget, 748, IMR4895 and Reloader15. I look for deals on good quality components and not the cheepest, if you buy right you save alot. Compare a box of Federal match or Premium agianst a batch of your quality hand loads and not against the price of surplus(apples to apples). I don't shoot anything lighter than 69 grains at 200 and 300 and starting to play around with 75-77 grain bullets. Next year to simplify, I'll probably go 77-75 at 200 and 300 if I get the performance I want. Sorry, if I put you to sleep.

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