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First Competition Loads Need Help!

 
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  #1  
Old 05-16-2012, 03:12 PM
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First Competition Loads Need Help!

Ok all I’m getting ready for my first rifle competition this Sunday 5-20-12 and I would like some advice. Here’s the data, a bone stock Savage 220 swift with a 6-18 Nikon scope. The competition is a “Ground Hog Shoot” basically a bench rest 100,200,300 yard shoot at paper targets with a standing GH silhouette.
I have a load that I can currently ½ to ¾ MOA. 55grain C/T Ballistic tips on top of IMR4831 with BR-2 primers, in Remington Brass. I’m planning to do some last minute test shooting Saturday to try out some additional loads. Here’s my questions.
My current hunting load with the 55grain C/T’s has a higher BC then the “Competition” bullets I have from Nosler. Is it worth switching to a “Competition” bullet even thou it has a lower BC? Are they really supposed to be that much better?
I just got a neck sizing die and was thinking about making this round of loads neck size only. My original groups were all shot with new brass. Will using once fired neck sized once fired brass mess up my load or can it only make it better?
Now for the powder, does powder change performance if it has been sitting around for a long time. If so how? I recently inherited some 1lb bottles of powder from my brother but I have no idea how old they are. I can confirm that they have been stored in a cool dark cabinet. These 50 rounds I’ll be making for this shoot will polish of my IMR4831. So will I see a change when I get new powder?
Thanks for any input.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:49 PM
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Re: First Competition Loads Need Help!

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Originally Posted by DennisPA View Post
Ok all I’m getting ready for my first rifle competition this Sunday 5-20-12 and I would like some advice.

Congrats! I never competed with rifles. But, my son just had his first 400yd shoot and did very well. It was great validation of all the work we had put into the rifle, load, and his ability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisPA View Post
Here’s the data, a bone stock Savage 220 swift with a 6-18 Nikon scope. The competition is a “Ground Hog Shoot” basically a bench rest 100,200,300 yard shoot at paper targets with a standing GH silhouette.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisPA View Post
I have a load that I can currently ½ to ¾ MOA. 55grain C/T Ballistic tips on top of IMR4831 with BR-2 primers, in Remington Brass. I’m planning to do some last minute test shooting Saturday to try out some additional loads.
There's not much time. So, I'd be trying to lock down my load and making as few changes as possible. I'm not sure what the situation is regarding sighters.

But, an accurate rifle/load and/or better BC won't do any good if you can't get POA=POI.

Saturday should be all about getting good dope and building confidence in what you have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisPA View Post
Here’s my questions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisPA View Post
My current hunting load with the 55grain C/T’s has a higher BC then the “Competition” bullets I have from Nosler. Is it worth switching to a “Competition” bullet even thou it has a lower BC? Are they really supposed to be that much better?
You'd have to run the numbers side by side to see how much difference it makes at those yardages with a given wind. I wouldn't make changes this late in the game.

Just knowing your load and what it'll do with the conditions you're dealt will make a big difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisPA View Post
I just got a neck sizing die and was thinking about making this round of loads neck size only. My original groups were all shot with new brass. Will using once fired neck sized once fired brass mess up my load or can it only make it better?

Neck or full length sizing can be successful. Did I mention I wouldn't make changes that aren't necessary? If you haven't RE-loaded any thus far, then you will need to confirm your load with whatever dies you have. You might need to add a hair more powder to keep consistent velocity with the virgin brass. But, your accuracy shouldn't change much.

How far from your home range is the shoot? Conditions (altitude/pressure, etc) may be a bigger factor than case capacity of virgin vs neck sized brass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisPA View Post
Now for the powder, does powder change performance if it has been sitting around for a long time. If so how? I recently inherited some 1lb bottles of powder from my brother but I have no idea how old they are. I can confirm that they have been stored in a cool dark cabinet. These 50 rounds I’ll be making for this shoot will polish of my IMR4831. So will I see a change when I get new powder
Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisPA View Post
Thanks for any input.
Powder can be stored for years as you describe without degredation. But if you didn't develop your load from this powder, there could be significant differences in burn rate. So, you definitely need to verify your load with the new powder. It's also advisable to back down 1 or 2 grains and work up at half grain increments while you're fouling your barrel just to be sure there's not a problem with pressure using the new(old) powder.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes!!
Richard
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:24 PM
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Re: First Competition Loads Need Help!

Richard,
That's for all the great info. You confirmed a lot of what I was already thinking. I got a chance to do some more shooting last night and I think I found the load I'm going to compete with. 4 out of 5 were in one ragged hole, darn flyers. I'm going to blam the flyer on the nut behind the trigger.
If I don't make a complete fool out of myself I found another GH shoot about and hour north of me. They do 3,4,500 yards. But I don't want to get ahead of myself.
I checked my elevation with my GPS at my home range (which is my home) and it is 900'. Looking at topo maps my best guess is the Hopewell range is 720 but I'll confirm when I get there.
Thanks again and I'll post some pics of my targets after the shoot.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:58 PM
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Re: First Competition Loads Need Help!

I reccomend if you want to try new loads, neck sizing and flat based bullets is your best bet inside of 500yrds. H4350 works good, if you have a 12 twist the 64grn bergers are the ticket, if its a 14 twist the 55grn nosler tipped varmageddon will treat you right.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:14 AM
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Re: First Competition Loads Need Help!

I believe the comp bullets I have are flat bottom. What is the advantage of the flat bottom over a boat tail?
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:11 AM
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Re: First Competition Loads Need Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisPA View Post
I believe the comp bullets I have are flat bottom. What is the advantage of the flat bottom over a boat tail?
Whereas boattails have multiple angles converging on the shank from both ends, they tend to be a little more complicated to manufacture. Thus, flat bottom bullets are arguably a hair more consistent when they exit the muzzle.

As such, FB bullets are generally preferred for benchrest accuracy out to some distance. ...100-300yds.

400-500 may be a gray area depending on wind conditions of the day.

After 500yds, BC becomes a bigger factor. Hence, boattails dominate long range.

Also, lighter for caliber bullets tend to be FB and varminters seeking extra velocity to either vaporize critters or achieve flatter trajectory to minimize dialing and holdover tend to lean towards those lighter bullets.

-- richard
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:39 AM
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Re: First Competition Loads Need Help!

Well I made it thru my first Ground Hog Shoot! Man that was fun. I'm hooked now. There was about 25 guys all shooting custom IBS type guns. There was only one other factory gun besides me. My 100 yard target was terriable, never shot a group that bad even with factory ammo. My 5 shots all scored but I should have done much better. It was just nerves I was really looking forward to this shoot.
I had about 20 minutes between relays to clean my rifle and check my drops for 200yards. I set up my phone with a timer to make sure I used all my time. I shot my 200 yard group better then 100.
Now for the 300 yard, shot a couple sighters and I couldn't even see them. With my 18 power scope there was no way to see a 22 caliber hole. So I just held for the center of the target watched for the wind to lay and shot. My 300 yard group only had 1 scoring shot but the other four were on the hog so I was very happy. Now I know the rifle and I can make that shot if I could have seen to adjust my drop. Thanks for all the help.

I'm going to try just neck sizing my brass for the next shoot, and see if I need to add some more powder. I do have a question too. I opened my brand new box of Nosler custom competition bullets and there was a material in the box kinda like tumbling media but much smaller. Small enough that I thought is my fall in the hole of the hollow point. Have any of you ever see that?
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