Chuck, I also own a tikka 3 in .243. I shoot .3" to .5" groups at 100 yrds with 87gr v-max, win brass, 210m primers, 41.5 grs. H4350, 2.710 coal. This is my fovorite load. I am curious to see how the 85 gr interbond will shoot with this load.
Good luck with the Interbonds. Let us know what kind of patterns you get. Full, modified, or improved cylinder...
I have had very good luck with both 180gr IB in my 30-378 and 162gr A-max bullets in my 7mm RSAUM light gun. I have seen the crooked tips before though but not in the lots of A-max bullets produced this year. The new A-max bullets have been good enough that I have not been sorting them for 600 and 1000yd competition. I won my first 2 1000yd NBRSA competitions I attended this year first one Light gun group and second one Light gun score with one of my targets being a 50-1x (NBRSA record is 50-3x)I also shot a 49-1x and a 49-2x (3 way tie for 3rd place single target score) at the NBRSA nationals this year. With that in mind it surprises me that you canít get the 162ís to shoot in the STW, I believe all the older 162 A-max production has dried up so what you buy today should be the good ones.
Joe Thielen the man at Hornady behind getting the Amax bullets to shoot and his wife Christina have been doing very well with the 208 A-Max bullets in 1000yd competition, in fact Christina placed 2nd in single target LG score at the NBRSA nationals with a 49-4x using 162 A-max bullets in a 280 improved.
I double checked the stw with my deer load. A 160 Sierra BTHP Gameking over 78gr of 7828SSC seated at 3.61. Shot a little over a half inch.
Giving Hornady a little defense, their 58gr VX shoots real good in the Tikka 243. I have not tried the 87 VMax. Also the 154 Interbond that I molycoated shot well in the stw. The interbond bullets kill very well, if you can find one that will shoot.
Accurate, I have not heard any good accuracy reports on the 243 85 gr interbond. Maybe you will have better luck than I did. I tried 4895, 4064, 4350, and 4831. I did not try any ball powders like 414 or 760. You might want to start there. I have had better luck in the past using magnum primers with the ball powders.
I shoot the Hornady .224 75 gr MHP's out of my AR. I can see quite a bit of variation in the tips from lot-to-lot, but overall, they shoot the lights out for me (0.25 - 0.75 MOA).
I tried a box of 180 gr SST's in 30 cal through the Tikka M595 (.308). I ended up using all 100 of the bullets in load work up, trying to find a load that would shoot under one moa. Most loads with the SST's averaged between 1 and 2 moa, where loads with other bullets would average around 0.4 - 0.7 moa. I tried something different, primers (CCI) and powder (Varget), with the last 5 bullets in the box. Those last 5 bullets went into a group just over 1/2 moa. I didn't think it was worth the $ to buy another box just to see if the last group was a fluke.
I inherited a few boxes of old Hornady 30 cal 180 gr Interlocks (flat base). I figured I'd use them for practice shooting off hand with the Tikka M595, but shot a few groups just for kicks. I was surprised to see sub one inch groups right out of the gate, without any work-up, and sub 1/2 moa after some load work-up.
I picked up a bunch of old, flat base, 200 gr Hornady Interlocks in 338 cal at a gun show (they were less that $0.10 per bullet). I figured I'd use them for fouling shots, off hand practice, and as varmint bullets. I shoot them out of my GAP/Sako 338 LM. They group anywhere from the low 2's to 0.7 moa for me and at 3300+ fps, they make for great varmint bullets.
The problem i had with Hornady was with some 168 HPBT bullets when shooting at 600 yrds the person scoring me asked me what bullets i was using as as he could see the contrail corkscrewing into the ten ring and just out of the X ring lucky had some rounds loaded sierra 168 HPBT bullets with me when i switched he then told me every one was in the X ring now, and i ended up with a 200 with 10 Xs and havn't fired any hornady bullets over 300 yrds again ever.
I was using my 03 Springfield Match Rifle in 30/06 with 168 HPBT bullets XC