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  • Finally

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    It was the day I’ve been waiting on, mid fifties and no wind when I had some free time on my hands. Perfect opportunity to take my time and try out my hand loads.


    Results aren’t eye popping but they show promise. I was actually able to do better than the three shot groups using factory ammo as a base line for each rifle.

    Targets are a scribbled mess but it gives me the info I was looking for. We took chronograph readings at the bench after each shot with the corresponding load data, I’ll make neater notes with group sizes and descriptions later.

    First up was my daughter’s .243, started at the lower left bull with Hornady American Whitetail 100gr and worked clockwise until finishing up in the center bull. Charges were all below max, I may tweak it a little more but the last load looks good. I haven’t done the math yet but the average velocity of the last hand loads is probably a little higher than factory but all three are still under the top factory speed. I’m not sure if the 100fps spread on the factory loads were the ammo or the chronograph. All in all this rifle shot a decent group every time. The starting load had two in one hole, the next couple opened up a bit then the last two settled in nice.


  • #2
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    The .270 target wasn’t quite as neat but had fairly consistent results. I started out again with Hornsby American Whitetail on the center bull and ended up with the group about 4” high. Then moved to the lower left and shot two starting loads, then three more loaded a grain higher. I definitely pulled the low shot on the second group. All three on the upper left hit high but about the same result, two close and one off. Pretty much the same until the final group which was right about 1.5 MOA with a spear of just 6fps. This load is under max as well so I may be able to do better.

    The last group was shot at the bottom of the center diamond where it meets the heavy crosshair line. This was a middle load with different brass but the chronograph readings are right in with the same charge weight as the other brass.

    Edit; bullet used in these loads was the same 130gr Hornady Interlock as the factory ammo so pretty good apples to apples comparison. This rifle usually has better results shooting Nosler Ballistic Tips so I’m not too concerned about these groups.
    Last edited by fitch270; 03-21-2021, 07:45 PM.

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    • #3
      Ohhhh, the frustrations and delights of handloading! 😀🤨☹

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      • #4
        Still a lot to learn but at least I’m in the game. I’ll try to duplicate the best results with the same loads before messing with other variables. A seating depth gauge is next on the purchase list though.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
          Ohhhh, the frustrations and delights of handloading! 😀🤨☹
          The only frustration is not knowing how well I was actually shooting. I definitely shanked the one shot with the .270 but also had one that didn’t feel great with the .243 that still landed ok. Maybe that group could have been even better.

          The kid did shoot two of the groups with the .270, one of them on the upper left bull that hit high off the paper and the last group with the other brass. Thing is his groups were similar to mine so probably not us overall.

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          • #6
            A couple thoughts: Any time I have 2 touch with a flier I always shoot 2 more (5shot group). Then I measure all remaining from that lot for uniform seating depth. Also I try to keep track when reloading of how easy/hard the bullets seat, cases may need annealing. (?) If the guns older I will check muzzle for any scratches to the crown. It's been awhile but I think those were always my first thoughts. Continued luck in your search for perfection.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dewman View Post
              A couple thoughts: Any time I have 2 touch with a flier I always shoot 2 more (5shot group). Then I measure all remaining from that lot for uniform seating depth. Also I try to keep track when reloading of how easy/hard the bullets seat, cases may need annealing. (?) If the guns older I will check muzzle for any scratches to the crown. It's been awhile but I think those were always my first thoughts. Continued luck in your search for perfection.
              Thanks Dewman. Good tip about annealing, these particular cases were once fired but have been around awhile.

              My main goal was to try out the chronograph and get an idea of pressure levels, I’d only loaded three of each charge weight. Moving forward I’ll load up at least five per. Looking at a couple different book editions I might be pushing it some with the .243 based on the readings but I’m not sure how well calibrated or consistent the thing is. No signs of excessive pressure with the gun or cases. Next time I’ll run a few makes of .22lr across it to see what they read.

              Right now I’m just happy to have broken the ice and nothing else.
              Last edited by fitch270; 03-21-2021, 09:59 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by fitch270 View Post

                Thanks Dewman. Good tip about annealing, these particular cases were once fired but have been around awhile.

                My main goal was to try out the chronograph and get an idea of pressure levels, I’d only loaded three of each charge weight. Moving forward I’ll load up at least five per. Looking at a couple different book editions I might be pushing it some with the .243 based on the readings but I’m not sure how well calibrated or consistent the thing is. No signs of excessive pressure with the gun or cases. Next time I’ll run a few makes of .22lr across it to see what they read.

                Right now I’m just happy to have broken the ice and nothing else.
                Like you said you are in the game. Feels good to get out, l am going Monday.
                What brand chronograph do you have ?
                For accuracy you should have a velocity spread down to 30 to 50 fps. Lower is even better.
                I would not anneal on once fired brass, you would just be adding one more variable. To hone in on the 'perfect' load you need to change only one variable at a time, otherwise you would be chasing your tail.
                If using standard factory ammo of Remington or Winchester you should use those as a base line. Both Companies know how to make ammo and do it very well. I don't use others as a reference and do not use any designer ammo - just the basic stuff in the weight you will be loading. Pick a weight for each caliber and stick with it, at least at first. Later on you can experiment with other bullets/weights. Good luck, you have a good start. When you get to one ragged hole a feeling of satisfaction will come over you as your reward. Jim

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                • #9
                  I like the .270 last group in center. That can easily be improved.
                  On the .243 and also .270 I think some POI variable might be due to change in bullet hold. You have to be absolutely sure all lube is off inside of case mouth. I use RCBS II which is water soluble so I wash the brass in warm water to remove all residue and let dry a day or so. Petroleum based is hard to get completely off, wiping will not do it. To check bullet hold use some new brass and do not resize or add any lube. Load powder and check each load. Seat bullets to exact same depth and try those. By trying this you have eliminated several possible variables.
                  When you shoot, do not change your hold on the rifle until you fire all shots in that string.
                  Let me know how that looks. Jim

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                  • #10
                    I like the .270 last group in center. That can easily be improved.
                    On the .243 and also .270 I think some POI variable might be due to change in bullet hold. You have to be absolutely sure all lube is off inside of case mouth. I use RCBS II which is water soluble so I wash the brass in warm water to remove all residue. Petroleum based is hard to get completely off, wiping will not do it. To check bullet hold use some new brass and do not resize or add any lube. Load powder and check each load. Seat bullets to exact same depth and try those. By trying this you have eliminated several possible variables.
                    When you shoot, do not change your hold on the rifle until you fire all shots in that string.
                    Let me know how that looks. Jim

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Got to the range - great day. wind at my back so all smoke blew down range.
                      I shot on the bowling pin range where there are resettable round steel discs - probably 6" diameter.
                      The distance is 26 yds to picnic table. All my shooting was off hand.
                      My Taurus 22/22mag needs more practice. The l.r. would not knock the disc over every time. The 22mag has much more authority.
                      I did good for early in the year. Usually 4 out of 5, off hand, with my ruger Blackhawk. I have not had the transfer bar update done so I can load 6 at the range, only 5 when in the woods.
                      Last edited by jhjimbo; 03-22-2021, 05:25 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
                        Got to the range - great day. wind at my back so all smoke blew down range.
                        I shot on the bowling pin range where there are resettable round steel discs - probably 6" diameter.
                        The distance is 26 yds to picnic table. All my shooting was off hand.
                        My Taurus 22/22mag needs more practice. The l.r. would not knock the disc over every time. The 22mag has much more authority.
                        I did good for early in the year. Usually 4 out of 5, off hand, with my ruger Blackhawk. I have not had the transfer bar update done so I can load 6 at the range, only 5 when in the woods.
                        Chronograph is a Caldwell, I bought it a couple years ago but had never used it until yesterday. I did check it out initially, set it up in my basement and tossed something over it just to see if it worked. It can be connected to a smart phone, there’s an app that runs numbers for you, problem is my new phone doesn’t have the input connection that was on the old phone. I need an adapter to connect it.

                        I’m using the same case lube you do, ran them through the tumbler for a couple hours after resizing, they should have been ok. I’ll keep that in mind though.

                        Good to hear you made it to the range today. Keep us updated on the Taurus.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fitch270 View Post
                          Still a lot to learn but at least I’m in the game. I’ll try to duplicate the best results with the same loads before messing with other variables. A seating depth gauge is next on the purchase list though.
                          Good start!

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                          • #14
                            The Taurus shot good - trigger is smoothing out. Got some sight adjustment done but need to go back with a good rest for precise groups.
                            Next, I bought a case of Winchester 22mag so next I am going to sample several different kinds of .22lr that I have a good supply of. I am looking at the brand that will shoot to the closest POI that the 22mag did at about 75yds. So I will shoot a group of mag's, then at the same target shoot the l.r groups to the mag group. The closest lr group will be the ammo combo I will set aside to be used with the Taurus.
                            It is a strech for the l.r. and the mag should be right on at 75yds. I think that will make a nice target and field gun compromise sighting set up for the two rounds.. - iron sights.
                            Last edited by jhjimbo; 03-23-2021, 04:46 PM.

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