As I've understood it the only difference between the powder was the SC (short cut)version was made shorter for more consistant metering and that was it.
The A-Max and Scirocco and Barnes "X" did the same thing in my .308 Win. but the Matchking and Gameking and Palma were all super tight.
I,ve done enough testing with bullets that I always start with a Sierra bullet, find a good load then switch to another sometimes only afterward. The Sierras are kind of a constant in the equation of accuracy I find.
Have you ever switched scopes and checked the mounts to see if it's the culprit? My brothers Burris was once in the same situation.
How about firing one shot at each .2gr increment from starting load to max load in your rifle while plotting on paper ( the target itself is best before things get too mixed up )the placement of each hit with each load fired.
You will quickly find the sweet spot where all of the hits group tightly. The range where they are being wipped out of the group with dwell time in the barrel being shortest and most inconsistant should also be quite apparent.
This tight range is where five to ten round groups should be evaluated in .2gr to .5gr increments.
Brent, I haven't ever changed scopes, or even taken this Simmons off for any reason. I will say, however, that I'd like to yank this scope off and replace it with a Leupold Vari-X III 3.5-10x40mm Long Range M1 with a Mil-Dot reticule. The one at the local sporting goods store is extremely clear and bright, and it has side parralax adjustment instead of the AO. But the lack of money on my part, coupled with the lack of wanting to give it to me for free on their part kinda keeps it out of my hands. For now.
The reason I bought the Simmons in the first place, is that it was the only scope in my price range with the eye relief that I needed. (I wear glasses.) At $180, it was the only thing close. But I have never been totally satisfied with it's clarity.
I've also come to dislike the Redfield style bases, but the only thing that would get the scope back far enough for me was an extended Redfield type ring. I may run into the same problem when I switch to Weaver type bases, and might have to switch to a one piece rail design. Sinclair lists a Lightforce one piece base for a Rem 700 long action at $107.50. Add a set of Leupold MK IV rings at $116.50 and I'm looking at $224.00 just for bases and rings. Another $750.00 for the scope and I'm up to just under $1000. Sigh. The rifle didn't cost that much.
I may try some Sierra's just to see what they do in my rifle. Midway lists them for $1 less than Hornady A-Max's, so maybe I can find a box around here for a similar price. I'd try Scirocco's, but I am simply not going to pay $44.99 for a box of bullets. Not when a box of Sierra's is $18.49.
Something crossed my mind while writing this. How fast do you guys fire your groups? I have been using a similar method to the one put forward by Jim Carmichel in an old Outdoor Life magazine. Five shots in two minutes. I, however, usually have to wait for the wind to stop several times, stretching it to closer to four or five minutes. Am I shooting too fast? Am I shooting too slow?
I'm with you at about 2-5min for a five shot group also depending on wind etc and documentation also if I'm working on load development.
I hear you on the scope funds there too. The only way I was able to pick up my Nightforce right now is I have a charge account with my local sporting goods dealer, needless to say most of my savings is in his bank account because of this. How much of a temptation is 1.5% interest to you guys.
I told my other local dealer that's the reason I bought My Kestrel 4000 from Cabela's, the suck you in six payment plan. So what's he say, well I'll give you a charge account here too.
I'll never have any extra cash now thanks to these three now.
I've a model 700 here that refused to shoot more than 3 shots in a group with out letting the barrel cool down between shots.
The first 3 looked like a nice little clover leave. Every shot after that was a flyer until you let the barrel cool. I removed the
front pressure point on the stock, completely floating the barrel and the problem stopped.
In my 7 mag My occasional fliers stopped when I switched from R-P brass to Norma.
If I can kill that coyote from here, Will you walk out to get him?
Tim, I may switch brands of brass eventually, if I keep having trouble. I'll probably go to Lapua if I do. I hear that it's just as precise as Norma and maybe a little tougher.
I was wondering, how do SMK's (168gr .284dia.) act on game between 50 and 400 yards when pushed at around 3000 fps or a little more? Would they just fragment uselessly, or would they act more like a FMJ? The reason for needing them to work at very close ranges is that this is my only rifle, and I have to use it for hunting in the woods as well. How about Hornady A-Max's? Or do I need to just stick with 'Hunting' bullets at the ranges I'll be shooting?