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Time to Test “New”Loads

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2018 at 7:35pm
gotta agree - wish i had time for this , i have a 4570 that i need to dial in for long range cowboy sidematches and just have not found time yet , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranch Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2018 at 7:56pm
I met Macd on another reloading forum, we were discussing 303 British loads, and his comments brought me here (blame him).

I was looking at loads using the:
  • Hornady 174-grain RN #3130
  • Privi Partizan 180-grain BTSP #B-125
  • Speer 180-grain HCRN #2223
Using the following powders:
  • BL-C(2)
  • H100V
  • H4895
  • Varget
I've shot all the bullets and all the powders already with various loads but wanted to compare the best MOA results for each bullet against the others. Not concerned with the powder that produced it, just want the best MOA for this rifle with near max loads. I'm a QuickLoad and RSI Pressure Trace II shooter, so that is how I look at data using my specific lot of bullets, cases, and powders. All the loads produce 47.0K PSI or 102% useful case capacity, whichever occurs first. I've tried loads beyond the SAAMI limit of 49.0K, but I have extraction problems with both my No. 5 sporter and scout with is a No. 4 MKI. The headspacing was checked on the scout during its rebuild. It is where it should be.

The brass once shot the first time, is resized with the Lee Collet Die and then every fifth cycle is sized with the Lee Pacesetter sizing die (full length die). This brass was starting its 12th cycle and had just been through full-length sizing.

We had a bunch of thunderstorms and dense fog this week so I only was able to shoot the Hornady loads. Honestly, I did not expect much as this has been the poorest performing bullet I've shot to which includes three cast bullets of my design and the Woodleigh #68 215-grain RN.


Because of the heavy rain this week and even though I didn't get any shooting done, I do have the PPU and Speer bullets/loads ready to go. I should be able to shoot these tomorrow.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranch Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2018 at 4:25am
Between some breaks in the lines of thunderstorms, I went out and shot both the PPU and Speer test rounds. The velocities were a lower than that of the Hornady #3130, but that was expected as cases were new, full length sized cases that were 2-grains of H20 that the full-length cases on their 12th cycle that were used with the Hornady. I've included the Hornady performance chart here so it is easier to compare.




I'm only interested in a bullet that delivers 1.5 MOA or less as I need this cartridge delivering on big game out to 200 yards and flipping steel out at 300 yards. The Hornady #3130 could only achieve that with the BL-(C)2 load and with only ten bullets left, I think that bullet has run its course with me.

The PPU bullets with both H100V and Varget are no surprise, even with the fresh cases. This bullet has shot like a laser beam. I will use the H100V as it was the best and this is the only application that I'm using this powder for. My jug of Varget is feeding my 300 Savages and 308 Winchesters so this will take one pup off the tit.

The Speer bullet was a real disappointment. This is the bullet I hoped would work as it is cheaper than the PPU, they both perform well on big game, so it boils down to cents. I do like the lack of a crimp groove on the Speer as the PPU's looks are goofy with its odd band that doesn't represent a traditional groove. I'm not sure what cartridge was referenced for the position, but it was not the 303 British. I can't argue much about it as it's MOA performance way above the other bullets.

What would help the Speer #2223, I believe, would be to sacrifice the bullet jump to get the bullet seated deeper in the case, one caliber to be specific as it is just about all the case neck with allow. I have ten more cases that need to be formed, so I will load and shoot the Speer bullets at a COAL of 2.975".

If I throw in cast bullet designs, I've now shot over 600 rounds in load development between my No. 5 sporter and this scout sporter. I know that I haven't shot that amount with any of the other 26 cartridges I load. If I pull out all the load sheets and targets, my bench looks like a bureaucrats office! I know now that there are certain challenges to what was a black powder cartridge designed for combat use. Honestly, the chamber issues, at least, of very similar to the 7.62x39 for sporting use. You have a chamber cut with a lot of throat to ensure positive feed no matter the condition the ammunition has found itself it. It will go bang. I believe the additional challenge with the 303 British being cartridge starting off as a black powder consumer is finding a smokeless powder that fills the case within the lower pressure confines of the design (as compared to say a 308 win or 30-06 Springfield).

Having the round count in development and having recorded the data when returning cases through four full-length sizings, I've also come up with a constant: keep the full-length vs. neck sized cases at a constant fill rather than a constant grain charge. For instance, the case fill I've used with the full-length sized cases above will be used with the fire formed cases that now follow. I will need to collect the H2O stats today so that I can calculate the grain charges, but if I do that, I can expect similar MOA performance in the strings. The velocities will increase/decrease 4% as you move through the different sizing methods. For neck sizing, I use the Lee Collet Die, and I'm also using the Factory Crimp Die.

Both the PPU and Speer bullet are .311" bullet and the PPU when the cases are full-length sized seat well with the stock .310" EzXpander with the Lee Pacesetter set. On this next round with the Speer, I will use a +.001" EzXpander (.311") as they are a witch to get started.

As soon as my dogs let me, they sleep in front of my gun/reload room door; I will load up the Speers. Hopefully, I will get another break in the heavy thunderstorms that are predicted today.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2018 at 3:34am
Ranch Dog, you have collected a lot of useful information here. Are these all from shortened barrels? How many rounds for the group size (MOA)? Some of these groups look outstanding indeed.

The Quickload data shows how conservative some of published data could be (Hornady and Sierra for example). I don’t know how much of the published data is based on pressure measurements, if any.   Your tests seem to confirm that powder charges need to be significantly higher to reach published velocities.

My current match load of 40.0 gr Re 15 is 1.5 gr above the Sierra published max load for the 174 gr SMK and is still under the MV of the Mk VIIz Service round. It would be interesting to see what pressures are predicted by quickload with this load.

I have not made any progress on the load tests, I’ve been occupied with practicing for a match, which was yesterday.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2018 at 6:27am
I've noticed, & commented on the same findings with Varget in particular. Usually the load about 100 Ft/sec below max tends to be the most accurate in a series.
I tested some Varget in a nickle R-P unfired case with PPU 180 gre SPFB fired in my 1914 ShtLE& got the following:
38 Gr = 2121
39 gr = 2218
40 gr = 2252
41 gr = 2333
all instrumental @ 10'

Well as it wasn’t freezing cold & I had some differing lots of both factory & hand loaded ammo & I was bored out of my skull, suffering from Cabin Fever, I thought I’d do a little test & see what the results were.


I took 3 “representative lots” of .303 British & a “control” of my own hand-loads, to the range & fired them over my PACT chronograph at the customary 10 yards.


The 3 lots were.

South African R1M3Z <> A80 headstamped, A military ball round, but using 39.6 Gr. some kind of nitro cellulose stick powder.


Some Canadian made (Defence Industries) MkVII ball with a DI Z 1943 headstamp. Also a stick propellant of some kind.


British (Radway Green) cordite powered MkVII ball with a RG – 7 – 50 headstamp.


The “control” was R-P brass first time loaded with 174 Gr Sierra MatchKings powered by 37.9 gr of H335.


For giggles I fired 2 warming/fouling shots then set up the chronograph & fired a sample lot of my handloads to verify it was recording accurately.


My R-P handloads.

String # Shot # Ind. Vel. Low High AVG E.S. S.D. A.D. Group/Distance

1 5 2237 2181 2238 2217.0 57.3 20.6 16.0 1.5"@100yd'


I’d call this my “good plinking load”.


Next up the South African R1M3Z <> A80

String # Shot # Ind. Vel. Low High AVG E.S. S.D. A.D. Group/Distance

2 5 2450 2478 2527 2500 @ 10' 49.0 18.9 14.1 2.5" @ 100yd

Just a tad better than my load. But not a cordite-powered load.


Now the DI Canadian DI Z 1943 stuff.

String # Shot # Ind. Vel. Low High AVG E.S. S.D. A.D. Group/Distance

3 5 2450 2486 2622 2500 @ 10' 135.7 49.6 32.6 3" @ 100yd

Not quite as tight as the first two. Not horrible though the group was similar to the R1M3Z, neither as tight as my handload though. Not surprising as it was worked up specifically for this exact rifle.


Finally the “real deal” actual Radway Green 1950 cordite factory loads.

String # Shot # Ind. Vel. Low High AVG E.S. S.D. A.D. Group/Distance

3 5 2450 2364 2452 2410 @ 10' 88.3 32.4 23.1 3 1/4" @ 100yd.


Interestingly it came in right in the middle of the tests variations! The group was about “average” too. What I seem to have found is that a load worked up for a rifle is accurate, no surprise there! The 3 different “military, factory” loads were close to each other for accuracy (2.5” ~ 3.25”) & within the specs for the rifle & load in Military service. The load with the widest spread of velocities was the middle for accuracy; I’m not sure what (if anything) that proves, but it doesn’t seem to have the “wider dispersion of velocity” that we’re supposed to be compensating for compared to non-cordite rounds!


Perhaps I need to also grab a box of modern factory loads as a 4th test lot?

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2018 at 2:42pm
Shamu, this is more good data! 
 
In my experience, it's tough to predict how consistently accurate a load will be based on 5 shots.  In most of my rifles, there will be one or two rounds outside the main group of 10 shots (which I could actually be causing but shooting off a bench will minimize any inconsistencies with holding).  For example, one five shot group may be 1.5 inches at 100 yards, and then the next 5 shots open the group up to 2.5 inches because it contained the one flier of the 10 round group.  Accuracy of British Service Rifle and ammunition was historically judged based on 20 shots and the mean radial dispersion calculated (Figure of Merit).   Hey, look at it this way, it gets you out and shooting more, and that's a good thing! 
 
I've got some Canadian Mk VII cordite ammo which was impressively accurate in my No. 4.  They must have had a good run of bullets.  Fundamentally, I wouldn't think cordite is any better than powder for accuracy. 
 
At times, I've suspected my chrono readings were not consistent.  I have a Alpha Master Shooting Chrony and was getting about a 150 fps change between the shades on or off.  I called the company and they said it should not make nearly that much difference, so I returned it and they sent me a new one.   With the new chrono, the Canadian surplus ammo I checked was surprisingly close to spec velocity, I posted the results somewhere on the forum.  I also tested Canadian Mk VIIIz of more recent manufacture. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SW28fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2018 at 5:53pm
I am rather partial to the Sierra 180 on 38-39 grains of Varget for shooting in CMP Vintage Rifle matches,I won one with that load.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2018 at 4:54am
I think these were on my old PACT model 1.
I've upgraded to a beta master now.

Oddly I don't find a direct link between consistent velocities & accuracy! Ive had some loads with a 20 SD that have shot tighter groups then ones with a 9!
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2018 at 4:20pm
Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:



Oddly I don't find a direct link between consistent velocities & accuracy! Ive had some loads with a 20 SD that have shot tighter groups then ones with a 9!


I have found the same thing, no correlation at all.

I shot a 290-7x (of 300 possible) last weekend in a CMP Vintage Military Rifle Match with my No. 4 using my 174 gr SMK load with 40 gr. Re 15.   Haven’t beaten the National Match record score yet (294-13x) but working on it I know this load can do it, it’s all up to the shooter.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SW28fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2018 at 6:07pm
The record CMP score in 2011 was 295/300 shot by Dan Pate, I scored the target
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2018 at 6:55pm
Originally posted by SW28fan SW28fan wrote:


The record CMP score in 2011 was 295/300 shot by Dan Pate, I scored the target


CMP site article on Brian Williams breaking the National Matches record at the 2017 Perry Nationals. You may be talking about the highest recorded score for any CMP sponsored VMR Games Match in the US?   That means I need 3 more points, that’s going to be tough, my best score to date is a 293 but that wasn't at a VMR match, so doesn’t count...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SW28fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2018 at 7:42pm
Dan did it at a Local Sanctioned Match  I ran that year.  The score was higher than the one that one the nationals.   He did 100/100 slow fire prone, 98/100 rapid fire prone and 97/100 Offhand.  My lifetime high slow fire prone score is 96/100. (with a No4 mk1 Enfield btw)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2018 at 8:56am
The National Matches record set by Brian Williams was with a K-31 Swiss.  I could never shoot that good with an open rear sight.  I can't even see an open rear sight unless I wore 2x reading glasses; then I'd never see the target.
 
I'm usually able to shoot 100 PS and occasionally 100 PR.  Last weekend I dropped three shots on the rapid, just outside the 10 ring, so a 97.  My standing scores are usually in the low 90's; I shot a 93 standing last Saturday at the VMR match, but dropping the 3 shots on the PR cost me.   This is with my LB No. 4 Mk I*/3.  I think if I keep working at it, I should be able to get my VMR score up to 295.  I've only started working on this last year, so still improving.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2018 at 4:43pm
Finally got to shoot a Varget load today. I need to test more, but no doubt the MV is lower than Sierra load tables would suggest as compared to other powders.

My goto match load is DAC ‘56 case, WLR primer, 40.0 gr Re 15, 174 gr SMK at 3.05 in. COL. This load chronos at 2350 fps. The load I tried today was 39.0gr Varget with same bullet, case, primer and COL as my standard match load. This is just below MAX load in Hornady load data for 174 gr. FMJBT bullet at 2400 fps.

I did not set up the chrono, but the MPI is a full 3 MOA below my standard Match load. Accuracy not as good either. No way that 174 gr SMK was moving at 2400 fps with 39 gr Varget.

Next test is to increase Varget charge to 40.0 gr. And see if group improves.    Highest published load I found for Varget with 174 gr HPBT bullet is 42.0gr at 2509 fps, 43,800 CUP (Hodgdon Powders).   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2018 at 9:26pm
This is straight from a Norma Reloading book.
The CUP pressure is right around 44,500.
The actual velocities may differ.
My best chronograph velocity was 2595 for the 174 grn and, 2620 for the 150 grn
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