TO all, Finally got the first newly designed Lilja 3 groove 1-8 twist 270 barrels fitted to a customers 270 Allen Mag and headed out yesterday morning and this morning to test accuracy and velocity potential before shipping the rifle.
Here is the pic of the rifle tested, Its a Savage receiver with the barrel fitted via a Rem 700, Badger Ord recoil Lug, Choate Ult. Sniper stock , Lilja barrel, Holland QD brake and Rifles Basix trigger set at 10 oz. A Near base was fitted to the receiver as well.
I will admit I am not a fan of the looks of the stock but on the bench I have come to really like this design. Very comfortable to shoot and easy to shoot accurately.
Yesterday, I simply loaded up my standard load which I use in my personal 270 Allen Mag which is fitted with a Pac-Nor SM 30" 1-8 barrel. This is 100.0 gr WC872 which produces 3265 fps with the 169.5 gr ULD RBBT Wildcat bullet.
I was expecting more velocity from the Lilja barrel so I just loaded 12 test loads up with this load and headed out to the 100 yard range to check things out.
Got the rifle bore sited with a XOTIC USS 4-16 56mm in the rings and took the first two shots on paper at 100 yards to see where they were printing.
Not bad, this was with fireforming loads so I was very happy with the first two. Made a scope adjustment and shot three more and these went into a .485" ctc group exactly where I wanted them, roughly 1.4" high at 100 yards.
I figured time to stop playing and headed back to the 500 yard position and set up again. I ran four of the 100.0 gr loads through the rifle and got an average velocity of 3278 fps. Slightly faster then the Pac Nor barrel with same loads but it seemed there was noticably less pressure in the Lilja.
I walked up to the target(this is how I get my excercise [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]!!) and was pleased to see the four shot group out of the freshly machined barrel.
This was roughly .43 moa, I was totally satisfied with the accuracy potential of this rifle as the loads were not taylored for it nor were they running that high in pressure and the barrel was still in need of a complete break in.
Still, I was curious about the velocity potential with the Lilja barrel. I headed back to the loading bench and looked up my notes and found that in the Pac Nor SM barrel the primers were getting loose with a load of 103.0 gr and a velocity in the 3370 range.
I also looked over the cases fired in the PN and the ones just fired in the Lilja and the Lilja brass has noticably less pressure sign then the pac Nor barrel produced.
I had to see where this new barrel design would top out. I loaded up some more test loads starting at 101.0 gr and going to 104.0 gr which resulted in blown primer pockets in my Pac Nor barrel.
Here are the results of these loads fired this morning:
101.0 gr...........3265 fps
102.0 gr...........3286 fps
103.0 gr...........3331 fps
104.0 gr...........3377 fps
Accuracy was acceptible, running in the 3/8" to 3/4" range for all loads consistantly at 100 yards which for a ULD bullet is acceptible in my book.
Headed back to the bench to check the primer pockets on these cases which now had three firings on them. All were tight as they were before I loaded them. No looseness at all!!
Now I was thinking very good things about this new Lilja barrel design. I had to find the end of the road!!!
I resized the same cases and loaded them up with the next three levels up in loads, 105, 106 and 107 gr and headed back out to test them. It was starting to warm up now, roughly 75 degrees.
Here are the velocity averages:
105.0 gr........3410 fps
106.0 gr........3487 fps
107.0 gr........3523 fps -one case, slightly sticky extraction, light extractor mark on case head with this load.
Accuracy consistancy tightened up noticably with these top loads as well. I was sure though that the 107.0 gr cases were blown as this level of velocity.
But to my suprise, when I deprimed the cases, now on their fourth firing, I was happy to fine that only one of the 107.0 gr loads had a noticably loosened primer pocket and it would still be usible for at least one more firing in my opinion. The other two were still in very good shape.
That said, in this rifle and in these shooting conditions, I feel this load is to hot and that the 106.0 gr load at 3487 fps should be considered the max working load. As such the Lilja barrel produced +100 fps more velocity then the Pac Nor loaded to the same appearant pressures as far as primer pocket lossening was concerned.
From these results, I instantly got ahold of Richard and planted the seed for more bullet weight, possibly a 185 gr ULD RBBT in 270 as I am positive that these barrels chambered for the 270 Allen Mag would push 3300 fps very hard with a 185 gr bullet. We will see what he thinks of the idea!!
All in all, if someone is looking to build a top quality rifle in the .277" bore, this would be a very hard barrel to beat as far as accuracy, velocity and bore finish. Dan did himself proud again with this barrel!!!
Now I just can't wait to try the 1-7 twist 3 grooves for the 7mm Allen Mag!!!
If you want a great fast twist 270 barrel, get ahold of Dan Lilja as they are tooled up and ready to build these barrels!!