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Old December 11, 2011, 01:49 AM   #1
"JJ"
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FMJ question

Hey guys I have been reloading for handguns for about a year but even newer to reloading for rifle! This is also my first rifle so I am new to them as well. I ran into a situation with my rifle and the way it handles FMJs. I wanted to bounce it off you guys and see what you guys think!
Be gentle!


Rifle is a Savage Edge .223 with a 1-9 twist.
The bullets used are 55gr FMJ BT & Hornady 55gr V-Max.
Powder, for now, is AA 2230.
Loads has been from the min to close to the max.
Distance 100 yards

Ok so I picked up a few boxes of cheep FMJs to get familar with my rifle and scope. I had the scope mounted and bore sighted and on earlier range trips got it zeroed. This was before I had any bullets to reload.
I stumbled across a GREAT deal on some components from a friend. A pound of powder (AA2230) 400 55gr FMJ bullets, 400 rifle primers and 400 brass as a package deal.
I loaded a few of these up for plinking & practice! When I went to the range to see how they performed I had not shot my rifle in a few weeks. After shooting the 1st group I found they were all 3 1/2 inches to the left and about an inch low. I had sighted it in about 1 1/2 inch high. I just assumed while toting it around predator hunting I had bumped it. So I adjusted it.
At the end of the session I shot a group with my 55gr V-max factory hunting rounds. They were 3 1/2 inches to the right and about a inch higher. I REadjusted to 1 1/2 inch high at 100 yards and went on scratching my head.

I have since got some 55gr V-Max to reload. I tried them out today.
There were three different loads and this was the best.
This is 5 shots from 100 yards. Remember I am still a rookie!


I am still working on this and will do some different loads to see if they get any better.
This load was 24 grains. The other loads were 24.5 and 25 grains and they spread out to a bit over 2 inches.

I also shot a five shot group with the factory Hornady 55gr V-Max.



Ok, so I can shoot a decent group.
Well, now I throw in 5 rounds of FMJs. This is now the third brand of FMJs I am trying!
3 1/2 inches to the left and a inch low again?

I can understand if my rifle didn't like the round and sprayed them about. They aren't in a great group but they are in about a 2 to 2 1/2 inch group, just 3 1/2 inches left and a inch low.

So what gives?
Thanks for any tips or advice!
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Old December 11, 2011, 02:10 AM   #2
farmerboy
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A 223 with a 1-9 twist will probably shoot better with 68-75 grainers better but as far as grouping different many bullet types, brands will group different. Find what groups well with your rifle and adjust scope and shoot those same bullets. If you get different bullets, adjust scope and stay with those. You can't jump around with bullets even if they're same weight and expect them to shoot (group) I'n same place.
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Old December 11, 2011, 08:48 AM   #3
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Point of Impact can change when you change a component.
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Old December 11, 2011, 09:17 AM   #4
"JJ"
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Cool, thanks for the info!
I had asked a couple of reloaders that didn't really offer much info!
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Old December 11, 2011, 10:25 AM   #5
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shoot the 55 grain. 75 is way to heavy for your twist rate, your groups are good next powder you may want to try is 3031,
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Old December 11, 2011, 10:38 AM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ
I loaded a few of these up for plinking & practice! When I went to the range to see how they performed I had not shot my rifle in a few weeks. After shooting the 1st group I found they were all 3 1/2 inches to the left and about an inch low. I had sighted it in about 1 1/2 inch high. I just assumed while toting it around predator hunting I had bumped it. So I adjusted it.
At the end of the session I shot a group with my 55gr V-max factory hunting rounds. They were 3 1/2 inches to the right and about a inch higher. I REadjusted to 1 1/2 inch high at 100 yards and went on scratching my head.

I scratched my head about this very phenomenon about 18 months ago.... turns out that not only do different bullets not always hit the same place but different powder residue in the barrel can have a DRAMATIC effect.

The story is in this thread here.

I was Blabberflasted. Not only does the point of impact change as powder residue changes, it even works exactly in reverse.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; December 11, 2011 at 10:57 AM.
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Old December 11, 2011, 10:50 AM   #7
OkieGentleman
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Rifle Grouping

Now that you are reloading you can customize you ammo for the rifle. Try this first get a hardback journal to keep notes in. A cheap ring binder will disappear. Load 5 rounds of the minimum load with the selected components. Put these in a zip lock bag with all the info marked on them. Make rounds in groups of 5 adding .1gr or .2 gn to each batch until you reach below max load. Each batch goes into is own marked bag. Shoot them keeping track of the accuracy and gouping. One of these groups or several will cluster much tighter than the others. Bingo your rifle likes this combination and will give you good accuracy when you shoot. When you change component you get to do it again. Super good excuse to shoot. Keep records and examine the primers to check of any over pressure as you get to the max loads. That 100 fps you get may cost you super one hole groups, faste is not more accurate.
With a hard cover journal you can keep good records of your best loads for each gun you own, scrapes of paper get lost.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old December 11, 2011, 11:07 AM   #8
"JJ"
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Thanks guys! That is what I was needing to know!
I did notice the FMJs were boat tails and the V-Max are flat base.
That is probably enough to make the difference right there.

Great advice OG, I am doing just that!
The guy that got me into reloading suggested the record book. I started with three loads in .5 grain increments and placed each in its own bag with label. My next loads will be in smaller increments, like you suggested, going up and down from the previous best load.

Thanks again for the help guys!
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Old December 11, 2011, 11:29 AM   #9
Brian Pfleuger
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In terms of charge increments, .1 gr is too close to the resolution of the scale to be certain of any real change.

A good guideline is to start 10% below your expected max charge and use increments of between .7% and 1% of max. So, for a 50gr charge, increments would be from 50x.007 (.35gr) to 50x.01 (.5gr). I'd go .4 if it were me. A 25gr charge would be .175 to .25, rounded to .2-.3gr increments.

For load development, Dan Newberry's method comes highly recommended by UncleNick and others who know a lot. Other methods are common and, I'm sure, quite useful. Newberry's makes the most sense to me.
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Old December 11, 2011, 02:17 PM   #10
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Looks like they are constantly grouping so just make adjustments to the scope to compensate. POI can change with component, or velocity changes. Also the first few shots from a clean rifle can change things a bit also.
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Old December 11, 2011, 08:51 PM   #11
"JJ"
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Quote:
In terms of charge increments, .1 gr is too close to the resolution of the scale to be certain of any real change.

A 25gr charge would be .175 to .25, rounded to .2-.3gr increments.
+1

Great info guys!
Thanks!
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Old December 11, 2011, 09:01 PM   #12
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Who cares if point of impact changes?

You can adjust the scope to move the group back on the target.

Ammunition that delvers good groups is more important.

It allows you to practice your part of shooting with possibly less expensive ammunition, an now that you should get similar group sizes with other ammunition of equal quality.

This is why we shoot groups working up a load.

You can always move the group where you want it.

Moving a large grouping is usually a waste of time and not all that productive.
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Old December 24, 2011, 01:24 PM   #13
"JJ"
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Quote:
POI can change with component, or velocity changes.
I wasn't expecting a horizontal POI change. I didn't really know how the bullet coefficient effected the flight path and I am assuming that is what it effecting it here. I though "they are both jacketed bullets that weigh the same"! I just didn't know what to expect. I am learning as I go here so, I came to you guys!


Quote:
shoot the 55 grain. 75 is way to heavy for your twist rate, your groups are good next powder you may want to try is 3031,
Confirmed shooter do you have any personal pet loads you would like to share? My BIL and another reloading friend also suggested this powder. The data I have is; 21.6gr starting load and 24.6 for max. So far in my 1:9 twist barrel higher velocity and the 55gr bullets have not been to accurate. My Nosler manual list the most accurate load of 22.5gr so I think my starting point will be 22.gr increasing .5 grains up to 23.5 and then modifying it from there.

Thanks for the help guys!
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Old December 24, 2011, 11:32 PM   #14
hoffbill
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I agree with Brickeyee, there is no need to adjust the scope when testing, all that matters is if it is on the paper. I just use a clear aiming point and mark the group where ever it lands, the size being the thing of interest. I only set my scope for a round I am going to use to hunt or shoot for score.
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