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Load problem 53 grain vmax and 223

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Unread 07-08-2012, 11:58 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 23
Load problem 53 grain vmax and 223

Got a new 223 bolt with 26 bull barrel factory Remington. I got it because it is an exact replica of my 300 rum sendero. My old 223 load with 53 grain vmax is a no go. I'm using Remington 7 1/2 primers and worked from 23.5 up to 24.9 the hotter I got the better the group was getting. I have no pressure issues right now and I got chrony reading around 3220 for the 24.9 on three of the shots error on the other two. I had about a .623 group with 24.9 benchmark but the group was lined up perfectly in a vertical line. I use lapua brass as well

Would playing with the seating depth help with this? I have it loaded 2.412 coal touching the lands. I know I jump my 185 vlds .006 in my .300 rum with great results. If I jumped these 53 grain pills would it help.

Or should I just slowly raise the charge. I tried varget and aa2230 and benchmark performed better.

I ask because I will have one more shooting session this summer before football season starts. I'm a coach so during that time of the year I can't afford to work on new loads. I really want to solve this issue. I have been reloading for several years so I'm not completely new to reloading but still need some help from time it time. I want at least .3 5 shot group I'm a perfectionist. Please help I want to be safe no matter what? Please help before I leave a project unfinished.
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Unread 07-09-2012, 08:26 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,608
Re: Load problem 53 grain vmax and 223

You've already answered your own question.

(1) as a perfectionist, you know there aren't any shortcuts
(2) you also indicated that you're aware that adjusting seating depth will affect group size
(3) you indicated the group continued to tighten up as you increased powder yet you never got pressure signs

With only one more opportunity to test loads.... stick with Benchmark since it's your best load/confidence so far.

Load 10 of your best thus far to confirm if it's repeatable albeit not fully up to expectations.

Then, load up a lot more variations (powder charge and seating depth) than you'll need and pull bullets on the ones that aren't going to work out.

The problem you'll have now is that one more range session may not give you ample time to (a) find the tiny group you're after, and (b) shoot enough of that particular recipe to confirm that it's repeatable.

I feel your frustration with having limited trips to the range. This is why I love Wilson dies for tuning at the range.

Best of luck,
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Unread 07-09-2012, 08:46 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Southwest Virginia
Posts: 135
Re: Load problem 53 grain vmax and 223

I think you're on the right track as far as increasing the powder charge and seating the bullets out a little farther. I was loading my 53 grain V-max's at 2.25" OAL and while the groups looked good at 100yds it displayed quite a bit more vertical stringing at 600 yds. There is a wonderful article about handloading on this link
Secrets of the Houston Warehouse

This gentleman has probably forgotten more about reloading than I'll ever know but he shared some valuable information in the interview. I will say that the faster I went the better my groups got. I'm using IMR 8208xbr, Rem 7.5's, and Lake City '07 cases in my savage 12VLP 26". I found that I got good groups at max book load but didn't have pressure signs so I went further and found another load that shot well. Good luck and be safe.
Learning every day.
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Unread 07-09-2012, 10:29 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: The cold part of Montana
Posts: 1,391
Re: Load problem 53 grain vmax and 223

to answer your question about jumping the Vmax, I can't get em to touch the lands in my 22-250 so I seat them 0.200" into the neck. this is what I'm getting. this is a 5 shot group the flyer is 100% me
Keep in mind the animals we shoot for food and display are not bullet proof. Contrary to popular belief, they bleed and die just like they did a hundred years ago. Being competent with a given rifle is far more important than impressive ballistics and poor shootability. High velocity misses never put a steak in the freezer.

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Unread 07-09-2012, 05:45 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 23
Re: Load problem 53 grain vmax and 223

Ok thank you for the input I will load 10 the old way and start throwing in the new variables I will go ahead and load around 50 and just make a day with it and that gun. While it cools after cleaning I will go ahead and play with the other guns.

I will keep an eye out for pressure signs as well.

Thank you for the help again
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