I completed my first ever custom rifle back in 2008 after accumulating parts for about 9 yrs. Its a Czech '98 Mauser action w/ an inexpensive Adams & Bennett 24" F34 contour (heavy sporter) barrel chambered to 257 Ackley Improved with a Timney featherweight trigger, Dakota 3-position "mod 70 style" shroud safety, with a Pentax Pioneer 4.5-14x 42mm AO on top, in a Rem 798 take-off laminate stock.
In addition to that rifle, I recently traded into a Weatherby Vangard in 257 Roy with the factory tupperware stock on which I mounted a 10x 40mm Bushnell 3200 tacticool w/ mil dot reticle & turrets. I've never loaded for a real magnum, so this is a new experience and Wednesday evening I got to take 'em both out for workouts at up to 300 yards.
The Ackley doesn't care for the (relatively) higher BC projectiles of 115 gr, but performs beautifully (both on paper and terminally) with 100 gr Interlocks, as this 3-shot group fired at 200 yards in a steady breeze attests:
The Roy, on the other hand, seemed to me to not only be the perfect opportunity for me to experience reloading a magnum, but also for the running the monometal bullets that have been all the rage but which I have, thus far, never so much as tested. I'm mostly a whitetail hunter and never saw the need for such hard (and EXPENSIVE) projectiles on such soft targets... especially since I LOVE to shoot!
At any rate, I tested this rifle with 100 gr TTSXs & ETips running RL22 and here are the results:
This is the one TTSX group I had a chance to fire at 100 yds. Its loaded w/ 70 gr RL22, but I found out when journaling that I made a mistake. 2 of the three shots were in Norma 257 WM brass w/ CCI-250s, but one was in a resized RP- 7mm WM case w/ a Win-LRM primer. I'm certain enough that that is what caused the flier that I'm going to retest the load.
Here are results from the 100 gr ETips. All 11 were in Norma 257 WM cases w/ CCI-250s and RL22. When I sat down I fired a shot into the center bull and couldn't see it, so I fired at the lower left bull. I went up and saw each shot while the barrel cooled, and then sat down to complete the center group w/ 2 more shots (total of 3) and the lower left one with one more shot (2 shots). These were at 70 gr.
The upper right was 71, and the lower right 72. I've obviously got my load at 70 gr, and am going to test it over the chrono and at 2- & 300 yards the next time I'm out.
You can imagine how I feel about my first sip of the monometal kool-aid!
Two things to note if you're using this post as a reference. First, the Etip doesn't have the driving bands of the TTSX so I ought to have started lower at 67 ir 68 gr. Second, I had to seat all of these bullets VERY deeply into the case at a COAL of 3.12" which looks REALLY weird, but obviously functions nicely with the "jump" that these bullets are said to need for accuracy.
Thanks all for looking! The 25s might not have the high BCs that long range nuts crave, but they sure have a certain cool factor that others don't!!!!!!!!!
Have a happy weekend celebrating the birth of the greatest country in the history of the world,