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Lapua 123 grain Loads

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britrifles View Drop Down
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    Posted: April 04 2019 at 5:05pm
I’m off to the range tomorrow to test a new load.  I’m looking for a lower recoil load for CMP 200 yard Vintage Military Rifle match shooting than my current match load with the 174 gr Sierra MatchKing (SMK).  

The bullet I’ve selected is the Lapua 123 grain FMJ flat base.  It measures 0.3105 in diameter from several samples I checked with a micrometer.  My first loads will be with Varget, 42.0 to 44.0 grains.  Cases are Canadian DI 1944.  WLR primers.  COL 2.90 inches.  I will also test with H4895 if the initial tests with Varget are promising.  

I will post a range report tomorrow. 



Bullet on left is the Lapua 123 gr FMJ.  Bullet in right is the 174 gr SMK.  



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Stanforth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanforth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2019 at 2:50am
Let us know haw you get on. I for one am interested in your findings.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2019 at 8:00am
A while back I tried some 125 Gr loads using bullets for the AK because its the bigger diameter not 7.62mm.
They had to be seated way out to feed from the magazine well, & they didn't group well for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2019 at 12:44pm
The fact that it's got a flat base makes it look much shorter than the SMK; but due to the boat tail of the SMK; it may not be as bad as it initially looks in the photo for seating and jump. Worth measuring the length from the base to where the diameter drops to around .305 to compare accurately.
I would be interested to know the results of your test.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2019 at 6:45pm
Range Results from today: 

This load has some promise.  

Bullet - 123 gr Lapua FMJ Flat Base, 0.3105 dia.
Powder - 44.0 gr Varget
Case- DI 1944
Primer - WLR 
COAL 2.90 inches

This load had noticeably less recoil than my standard match load with 174 gr SMK and 40.0 gr Varget.  Required 4 minutes elevation increase from my standard match load for 200 yd zero. 

After zeroing the rifle with the new load, here is the first 10 shot group fired from No. 4 Mk 1/3 Savage with Faz BBL at 200 yards in prone position with sling.  NRA Short Range (SR) Target.  Not my best results, but still quite acceptable for the CMP VMR matches.  Score 100-5x, extreme spread about 2.5 MOA.  

44 gr Varget about filled the case, I’m going to reduce the load to 42.0 grains and retest.  





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Pukka Bundook View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pukka Bundook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2019 at 7:56pm
That is a lot better result than I thought you'd get Brit!
 
Very nice indeed.   It may be worth playing with these pills myself when I get time.
 
Thanks for showing us!  I am Still surprised!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2019 at 8:04pm
Pukka, I must admit, I did not expect this either.  Some load development may be in order, this was just my first attempt.  

This is a rather strange bullet.  There is a cannelure of sorts, but is it quite wide.  I will take a close up pic tomorrow with dimensions.  I was concerned that neck tension would be weak as the bullet diameter is significantly reduced for a large part of the bearing surface.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanforth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2019 at 2:53am
Thanks for the information. Very helpful.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2019 at 3:30am
Thanks for posting the info from your test. The results look very promising.
I would be interested to compare the profile of the two rounds.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2019 at 5:09am
Good shooting! Thanks for keeping us up to date!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2019 at 5:23am
Here is a close up of the two bullets.  174 gr SMK on left and 123 Lapua FMJ on right.  

Note the “cannelure” on the Lapua bullet.  It is 0.07 inches wide and the bullet diameter in the groove measures 0.304 inches. The base is somewhat concave.  

I seated the bullets so that the neck almost covered the cannelure.  I will try next loads seating out to the lower edge of the cannelure.  



From Lapua website, bottom row of table is the .311 123 gr. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2019 at 5:31am
As a side note, here is why I don’t get excited about three shot groups.  The first three shots in one of the groups I fired yesterday was about 1.0 inch extreme spread at 200 yards, that’s 0.5 MOA.  The fourth shot was an X and opened it up to 1 MOA, the fifth shot was back in with the first three shots.  The final group of ten shots was about 2 MOA.  At least one MOA is attributed to the shooter.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2019 at 6:28am
Britrifles, you make a good point. I was always taught, "ok, rifles warmed up, shooter ready, three consecutive shots to tell how good a group you get." Frustrating some times. Perhaps I should think of it more like a golf handicap? Shoot 10, eliminate your two best and worst shots, then measure? (By the way, I hate golf! Played it for many years, bought many sets of clubs thinking that would improve my game. Never did. Gave it up and started putting my money into Lee Enfields!)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pukka Bundook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2019 at 6:28am
Brit,
You mentioned concern over neck tension;
 
Did you single load for this shoot, or use the magazine?
Very fine shooting either way!!
 
Richard.
 
Edited to ask where you find these bullets, B-R?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2019 at 6:52am
Richard, 

I was single feeding.  I ran 5 rounds thru the magazine several times to see if the cartridges would feed and for the most part they did.  The last round would occasionally pop up out of the front lip on the mag and the bullet nose would get jammed on the left edge of the barrel breach end.

These bullets are available from the typical reloading vendors in the US, Midway, Graf and Son and others.  You will probably also find them in Canada.  



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2019 at 8:01am
You did way, way better than I did!
I was using some "Brand Gimmell" bullets though maybe thats the difference?
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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