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Old November 8, 2013, 05:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
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Followed instructions, going to have to.....

turn in my "Man" card.

I have this .243 Win that I built that's been sitting on the back burner while I've been working out of state for most of last year. Anyway I'm currently furloughed, but prepared for it, so I have a ton of time to catch up on my reloading and shooting. I have a bunch of heavy bullets bought for it because I twisted it 1:7 to shoot 115 grain Berger and DTAC's.

Data on these bullets is hard to find online and since the only Berger's I own are for this rifle I decided to send them an email instead of buying their book for load data. I was surprised how fast they responded, it only took about four hours and I had the data for the 115's in my sweaty hands. They sent as well a PDF on how to load the VLD's which I've attached below but here's a little excerpt from it that I followed.

Load 24 rounds at the following COAL if you are a hunter (pulling a bullet out of the case with your rifling while in the field can be a hunt ending event which must be avoided) or a competition shooter who worries about pulling a bullet during a match:

1. .010 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
2. .050 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
3. .090 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
4. .130 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds

Shoot 2 (separate) 3 shot groups in fair conditions to see how they group. The remarkable reality of this test is that one of these 4 COALs will outperform the other three by a considerable margin. Once you know which one of these 4 COAL shoots best then you can tweak the COAL +/- .002 or .005. Taking the time to set this test up will pay off when you find that your rifle is capable of shooting the VLD bullets very well (even at 100 yards).
I loaded up the loads just like the instructions said. I was only able to shoot 100 yards today as the wind was kicking and the 100 yard bench gave me more shelter to shoot. I had a steady L-R 5-15 mph wind at the 300 yard bench and gusts up to 25 mph.

The rifle in question was my Steven's 200 that I built. I'm not going to say it shot well because it was a Savage product. I spent around $1800 building this rifle and it had better shoot regardless of what action was used. The only thing original on it is the action and bolt body, the rest has been replaced.

The load I chose to test with was 40 grains of RL-22, CCI 200 primers, and Winchester brass. The PDF didn't say what load to start the test with, so I chose a middle of the road load from the published data. The test took a little over four hours to complete as I was shooting three other rifles as well in between groups. I recorded the MV of all three round groups, and only had my chronograph fail to read the one three shot group in the .050, that is why you see duplicate readings in the exact same order on my spreadsheet.

The first .010 group I messed up on and shot two different targets on accident but it was much larger than the subsequent groups so I didn't include it.

I'm very happy I followed the instructions, and the next test will be at 300 yards.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf VLD - Making it Shoot.pdf (185.0 KB, 65 views)
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Last edited by taylorce1; November 8, 2013 at 05:44 PM.
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Old November 9, 2013, 05:00 AM   #2
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Join Date: November 18, 2009
Location: Arizona
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Nice report. I have experienced similar results using the Berger bullet and method.

I found the groups would start out diverged when on the lands or -.010 in. off.

I just kept on going until I found the best group. I would see my groups converge and then begin diverging again.

I would take the best group and split the difference between the preceding OAL and the succeeding OAL and shoot those OALs for groups. What ever the distance was from the two OAL, I would divide that by 6 so I had three groups below the best one and three above to see if there was improvement on either side of the best one determined by the first Berger suggestion.

After finding the best one of those, it was time to begin tweaking powder charges.

Pretty fascinating stuff.

Carpe Cerveza
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Old November 19, 2013, 11:54 PM   #3
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Tweaked the powder charger 1/2 grain and still shot .4 MOA at 300 yards.

Tried the same seating depth system with the 115 DTAC bullets and it worked pretty much the same. I'm going to try this system with some other bullet as well.

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