I've been working with my .223 bolt gun lately. It's a Remington Tactical. I added a Jewell trigger and a Nightforce NX2 but that's about it. I've only had it a year and for most of that year it's just been sitting there waiting for me to shoot it. Too many other guns to play with... It's not my .338 Edge but it shoots pretty well for a factory rifle. That damned Edge has ruined me. I expect all of my guns to put holes in holes at 100 yards and it's not happening. If I shoot 1/2 moa I wonder what's wrong with the load
My first load test was a dismal failure. I loaded them a little hot (not always a bad thing but in this case it was) and rather than say it shot groups I'll say it was more like a spray pattern
I went back to the Sierra manual and based my second test on their accuracy load of 20.7 gr of RE-7 and worked down from there in .2 gr increments. So far the Sierra manual accuracy load wins. I'll bracket either side of 20.7 in the future to see if I can squeeze anymore out of it.
The primary purpose of this post is to demonstrate to people that are new to the joy of reloading that a very small powder charge difference will affect accuracy significantly. Load carefully and find out what your rifle likes for the bullet that you are shooting.
The little target circles are 1/2" in diameter. I still don't pay enough attention to cant but I'm getting better. I added a DE cheekpiece and it seems to help with getting on the scope more consistently. I think I still need to work on that as well.
I deviated from the shoot 1 then clean method. I shot 5 from each powder weight, let the barrel cool, and then cleaned. With a little more work on technique I think that I can tighten these up. BTW- I can't recommend Lapua brass enough. It's a joy to work with. I shot the "good" load at 200 yards and had a 1/2" group. I didn't have enough ammo to try 300 yards. Maybe next time.