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Old April 29, 2019, 08:50 PM   #1
ninosdemente
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Attempt to test different loads

Got a chance to load different rounds for this past weekend and finally got a chance to go to the range. Although I am satisfied with the results I obtained, I know there is much improvement and testing that needs to be done. I really need to go one day and just test by myself and not with other people (feel that I'm rushed, perhaps that was my first mistake).

So I tested the following in 5 shot groups.

Barnes Match Burner 69gr with IMR 4064 in .3 increments and Varget in .5 increments.

Nosler CC 69gr with Varget in .5 increments.

They're scattered, which means I have to work significantly on my firing.

This is where I will ask for you to school me. What do the results tell me other than the poor shooting skill I have.

The test were done at 100yds. I failed to adjust scope from using it at the 50yds. I'm planning on testing the same again to see what results I get, hopefully better results.

http://www.mentegraphics.com/pictures/98.jpg
http://www.mentegraphics.com/pictures/99.jpg
http://www.mentegraphics.com/pictures/100.jpg

The last picture, target was placed between metal step stake. The last group hit it twice and ruined the group.

Thanks in advanced.
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Old April 29, 2019, 10:35 PM   #2
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If those were fired with a Palmetto Armory AR with iron sights from standing position I would say you are the best marksman in the country. But if it was a McMillon tube gun with March optics and a front rest and bag from a bench then they are pretty crappy. If I knew what kind of gear I could probably narrow that opinion down a bit
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Old April 29, 2019, 10:35 PM   #3
TX Nimrod
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We can’t offer much help without more information. I assume this is a .223, what platform? What sighting equipment? What kind of rest? Wind? How fast were the groups fired?


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Old April 29, 2019, 10:47 PM   #4
NoSecondBest
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Adjusting your scope from 50 to 100 yards makes no difference. You're looking for best groups. If you're asking for help, you need to tell what caliber (I'm assuming .223?), barrel twist is very important with .223, so what's your's, what kind of rest, optics, etc. There's no info here to even make an intelligent suggestion. I bought a barrel for my gun about two months ago in .223, and I've loaded around eighty different powder/bullet combinations so far trying to find out what works best. You can get all caught up in the "ladder" thing, but when I start out looking for what's best I look for right bullet and right powder to start with. I've been using six different powders so far and nine different bullets. If you provide a bit more info, I can tell you what I've found in my gun so far that seems to look promising. If you're twist and gun are very different than mine, nothing I say is worth anything. So, what can you tell us before we start telling you?
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Old April 29, 2019, 11:27 PM   #5
ninosdemente
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Info would help, right? Lol.

Savage 12FV 223
Vortex Diamondback Tactical
Caldwell bag https://www.amazon.com/Caldwell-Dead...s%2C150&sr=8-9
Don't have wind meter and there was some wind.
Rounds were 3-4 seconds apart
1:9 twist

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I know they are bad... but have to start somewhere. Yes looking to get best group possible. I consider myself in amateur level so at the moment only have those projectiles to work with and two powders.
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Old April 30, 2019, 12:22 AM   #6
NoSecondBest
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I sent you a PM with a few safe "book" loads I've found to shoot very well in my gun. It also has a 1:9 twist. All are safe and not at max. They are well under sub 1moa in my gun, and it's not known as a real "tack driver". It's a TC Encore ProHunter I put together for use as an all weather varmint gun (yotes, fox, etc). It's got an MGM barrel and hanger system on it and does pretty good though. I've owned several Savage rifles over the years, and they were all excellent shooters. Good luck.
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Old April 30, 2019, 07:08 AM   #7
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I would take a closer look at the 24.9gr and 25.4gr loads. I will work under the assumption that they are safe loads, I didn't look them up.

Looks to me like you found a "node" of accuracy. Both loads print very close to the same place, and don't look bad. If it was me, and it's not, I would try some more within that load range. Maybe .2gr increments.
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Old April 30, 2019, 08:29 AM   #8
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one thing that was common across most groups was the horizontal stringing. That could be wind, technique, charge or load. I would take that 24.9 load and play with seating depth and see if that horizontal starts to go vertical. Pay real close attention to your technique and use wind flags. Some fiberglass driveway stakes from a hardware store and plastic boundary tape makes effective and inexpensive wind flags. Cheek weld and rear bag misalignment will cause horizontals also so pay close attention to technique
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Old April 30, 2019, 10:12 AM   #9
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As you close in on a load, I am going to suggest a technique:

Fire the loads: fouling shot. A B A B A B A B A B aimed at targets (someplace for your fowling shot then) R L R L R L etc.

This technique will greatly reduce effects that change over time that corrupt your grouping data. Heat, barrel condition, wind, scope errors (like slowly shaking loose), fatigue, change in hold, mood of the gods... shooting 5 A then 5 B might contain changes in the shooting situation not due the ammunition. As you get close to optimal, eliminating all the variables but load gets critical.

Slow down your shooting as you zero in on a load, heat is not your friend.
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Old April 30, 2019, 11:36 AM   #10
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I know they are bad... but have to start somewhere.
They aren't bad. Not at all. I think, right now, with your stated level of experience, you're expecting a little too much. Seems like every rifle (and shooter) on the Internet is a sub-moa, one hole group match winner, right out of the box, and right out of the gate, so to speak. That's not my experience in the real world.

I'm going to make some suggestions I think will help, take them for what you feel they're worth...

First, DO IT AGAIN. Same loads, distance, etc. One 5 shot group with a given load only tells you what that load did, in your hands, that day. It may show you the potential, but it doesn't show you what the load might be capable of, on average.

Then. do it again, a third time, same everything, and see what you get.

Next, SLOW DOWN.

If you want to shoot the smallest groups possible, the key is uniformity. IN everything, the ammo, the gun, YOU, all together.

Take your time. Its not a race. Treat each shot as if its the only shot and it has to be "perfect". Wait for the wind to be the same each time. Space the shots so the barrel stays cool. Don't rush the shot, no matter what. Smooth, steady, the same each time.

Your rifle may be capable of one hole groups, your ammo may be capable of one hole groups, but if you aren't capable of holding and shooting a one hole group, you'll never know for sure. The simplest thing to work on, is your skill/technique. But its not always the simplest thing to recognize where you need the improvement.

Don't tinker with the rifle, don't tinker with the ammo (yet), do some more careful shooting, and see if your results are consistent.

ONLY CHANGE ONE THING AT A TIME!


If you get a load that shoots tiny groups, great. Do it again! and again. and again. Do it tomorrow, do it next week. See if it was just you having a really good day, or if it's actually the load combination shooting consistently well. Once you get to the point of being confident that you can consistently get a certain result, THEN, you can look to using the tips, tricks, and tweaks of loading to see if you can improve your "standard" results significantly.

Sometimes, you can, sometimes, you can't. Some guy saying "do this, and that. and they'll all go into one hole, only means those things worked for him, not that they WILL do the same for you. Only that they MIGHT.

Shoot some more, see if your worst or your best groups were a fluke, or if they always shoot that way. Don't worry about moving on, until you know that as a baseline.

Good luck, let us know how it goes!
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Old April 30, 2019, 12:03 PM   #11
Don Fischer
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Every group you shot string's horizontal, I'd check bedding. Maybe a high spot in the barrel channel somewhere or maybe the action simply not seated in the stock well. take a couple dollar bills folded in half and try to slide them down the barrel from the front of the stock to the action, should slide freely all the way to the action. Next tighten the action screw's and then slowly loosen the front screw while watching the barrel in front of the receiver or at the front of the stock, that will show any bind in the action. The barrel should not move at all. Do the barrel channel first as if it touch's somewhere it could do exactly what your looking for the action to do even if the action isn't doing it.

I do that with every new rifle before I start shooting. Eliminate possible bedding problem's right from the git go! Then go to shooting. With the bedding right and good shooting mechanic's, the group's should appear in a round shape, not vertical or horizontal. Your's are all vertical!
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Old April 30, 2019, 12:48 PM   #12
hounddawg
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Like 44 Amp said, getting itty bitty groups takes a lot of practice and I think his post is probably the best advice on the page

I have never used any Barnes bullets but unless you are dead set on the Barnes try 69 or 77 SMKs. My opinion is they are probably the easiest .223 bullets I have did load workups on
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Old April 30, 2019, 01:03 PM   #13
T. O'Heir
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"...feel that I'm rushed..." Yep. Best to test loads without any distractions. More about one's concentration than anything else.
It's best to test one bullet and powder at a time too.
"...IMR4064 in .3 increments..." Use half a grain. .3 won't be any more accurate.
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Old May 1, 2019, 11:45 AM   #14
ninosdemente
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NoSecondBest, thanks for the pm. Will take a look at it and reply back.

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OldNick, the max load for Varget is 26gr and 4064 is 25.5gr. Pretty close to max.

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hounddawg, thanks for the suggestion. I will try the wind flag method, but will ask the ranger if that is allowed. I know I have to work on my technique. Not set on the Barnes, to be honest they were at $20 a box, which for me is easier as I can get more boxes of those and Nosler. Have been wanting to test the SMK's as well. Just more that what I want to spend at the moment. I know I will have to eventually but not now. Have to keep an eye out online to see if I can find some type of deal.

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stinkeypete, searched fouling shot. Found this video of a few: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV3oWnwlTi8

Yes I know I have to slow down.

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44 AMP, yes guilty, I know I have to crawl before I can walk. Sometimes I want to run, lol. On your first suggestion.... when repeating the same load, try the same load at reasonable x amount of times on different days or same day? I have been told and read that practicing on a 22lr will help with technique. This is my ignorance speaking out loud, how does a 22lr help improve vs in this case firing the .223 rifle only? I do at times shoot to practice on technique just don't do much of it as weather does determine if I do go to the range. Specially since it is an outdoor range.

I also knew that rushing wasn't a good idea either which that is on me as I decided to do so.

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Don Fischer, took a bill and folded it in half and did slide from front end of barrel to the action with no problem. Have not done tightened the screws yet.

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T. O'Heir, have to force my self to go alone only. Hate to leave my son at home when I know he enjoys it as much as I do. Guess in this situation I'm happy he spends his time on the phone when he is done for the day. As I don't have many weekends to shoot, plus wife not happy about me going every weekend, lol, have limited weekends. Part of reason why I would have to get as much as I can.
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Old May 1, 2019, 01:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
when repeating the same load, try the same load at reasonable x amount of times on different days or same day?
Same day, different day, doesn't matter as long as the rifle is "cold" when you start, and the barrel is not excessively fouled. Ideally you want everything as close to the conditions when you fired the previous group as practical. Doesn't matter if its 3 hours later or next week The gun "cold" meaning not heated from previous shots (same as it was the last time, right?) And with approximately the same amount of fouling in the barrel. (Meaning, if you started with a clean bore the last time, took a fouling shot, then shot your group, do that again, for the next "record" group, for consistency. Don't do your "repeat" group with a barrel that's had 300 shots through it without cleaning, unless that is what you did before.) You are looking to make everything as consistent as possible, so you can see if inconsistency is in the ammo.

Quote:
I have been told and read that practicing on a 22lr will help with technique. This is my ignorance speaking out loud, how does a 22lr help improve vs in this case firing the .223 rifle only?
How does a 22lr help improve, vs...anything ? It helps by allowing you to fire live rounds, as cheaply as practical, while the process of shooting gives you practice with the fundamentals needed. Shouldering the firearm, getting into stable shooting positions, breath control, trigger control, aligning the sights, aiming, etc. ALL these are the same for a .22lr as anything else you shoot. Fundamentals. The more you practice them, (and learn to get them right), the better starting point you have when moving to larger caliber rounds and different guns.

Bigger rounds and different guns will require additional things, but the base fundamentals are all found in shooting .22LR (except recoil, THAT, you learn on bigger guns! )

Dryfiring practice (if the gun is suited for it) also does a lot, but isn't quite the same as actually firing live rounds.

Here's a trick you can practice with dryfiring, to help give you an idea about some of it. Get a laser pointer, (cheap is ok) tape it to your barrel. Doesn't have to be perfectly aligned. Just has to be secure so it doesn't move on its own. Aim the EMPTY rifle (check it, then check it again, then check it a 3rd time!!) so you can see the laser dot on a wall. What is it doing? Bouncing and wobbling? Or fairly steady (it will always wobble a little we're not machines) Watch the dot as you dry fire the gun. What does it do? Jump around? Move left. right, up down, when you pull the trigger? Just a tiny bit, or several inches???

the goal is only a tiny movement (or none) when the hammer falls. There is more to it, of course but this thread isn't the place to cover basic marksmanship fundamentals. Keep reading, keep practicing, when you have questions, ask. Someone around here will be happy to tell you way more than you want to know!
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Old May 1, 2019, 03:38 PM   #16
ninosdemente
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The rifle was fired before I started the test loads. Did get a good amount of rounds. It had plenty of time to cool down as I set it aside, while using a different rifle.

The barrel was cleaned weeks prior to showing up to the range. It had about 100 rounds through it between 2 people, then let it cool down and test my loads. Perhaps I will restart the process all over again to where it will be easier for me to start the testing. Probably wont shoot another 100 rounds again. I get what you mean about consistency.

Thanks for explaining regarding the 22lr technique. Yes, I have a 30-06 and won't do past 20 rounds in one trip, lol.

How would one know if a gun is suited for dry firing?

The laser never occurred to me to try that. Won't hurt to try. Thanks again for the help.
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Old May 1, 2019, 05:51 PM   #17
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"They're scattered, which means I have to work significantly on my firing."

If so, what were you "testing"?
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Old May 1, 2019, 08:24 PM   #18
hounddawg
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Not set on the Barnes, to be honest they were at $20 a box, which for me is easier as I can get more boxes of those and Nosler.
No need to apologize, I was just over at the Nosler factory seconds store looking for .264 blems and overruns.

I have never tried the Nosler 77 gn Custom Competitions but the 69gn CC's shoot as good as Sierras in th eright rifle. MY AR loves them. My bolt barrel is a faster twist and just plain won't shoot anything below 77gns worth a crap no matter who makes it but I bet that barrel of yours would love a 69 SMK or Nosler sitting on top of a nice charge of Varget. Keep an eye on the Nosler factory store on the blems and overruns page once every week or so. The inventory changes often and prices are good
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Last edited by hounddawg; May 1, 2019 at 08:33 PM.
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Old May 1, 2019, 09:10 PM   #19
ninosdemente
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Mobuck, I actually thought I was going to get better results. Wrong. Oh well, start over again.

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I have seen some online sites that offered blemished. Not that I am picky just have no clue how they perform as the non blemish ones. Any difference? Have seen of course at a better deal. They were some Hornady and some didn't have any label other than 22 cal blemish projectiles.
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