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Need help deciphering OCW test results

 
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  #1  
Old 03-05-2006, 08:02 PM
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Need help deciphering OCW test results

I tried the OCW today with my 243. I already have a great load for this rifle using the 85 TSX and AA3100. I would like to find a better load using Varget since it is less temp. sensitive and overall more stable. All rounds were in new brass (meticulously prepped), GM210M primers, 85g TSX's and 2.661" OAL (.020 off of lands).
The measurements I am listing are from the center of the 3 shot group POI to the center of the target POA. I waited anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes between shots and fired 2 barrel fouling shots before beginning my test

Results are:
1. 39.3g Varget 1.550" high, .975" left, 3200 fps, ES 70, SD 38
2. 39.6g Varget 1.273" high, .605" left, 3207 fps, ES 23, SD 11
3. 39.9g Varget 2.022" high, .595" left, 3238 fps, ES 55, SD 27
4. 40.2g Varget 2.065" high, .410" left, 3252 fps, ES 64, SD 34
5. 40.5g Varget 1.735" high, .250" left, 3292 fps, ES 72, SD 41

Loads 3, 4 and 5 share a common POI that is .402" center to center but their average group size is 1.097". Load 2's POI is the farthest from any of the others but was a nifty little .311" group.

Do I choose load 4 because it is the middle of the 3 loads that had the POI's closest to each other and try to tweek the seating depth to close the groups up or do I choose load 2 with the tiny little group and see if it was a fluke by trying to duplicate the group? I know that option 1 is correct but I just can't get that .311" group out of my mind. Help!
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2006, 09:42 PM
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Re: Need help deciphering OCW test results

dog caller,

That TSX is a solid copper bullet I believe...

With Varget, the max with 85 grain bullets in the .243 win is around 38 to 38.5 grains (depending on whose data you're looking at).

It might be that you're too high with the powder charge. Did you have any pressure signs?

Generally a 22" .243 win barrel will give just over 3100 fps with 38 grains of Varget and Sierra's 85 grain BTHP. I don't know how the Barnes bullets will compare to that, but I do know that they're harder, which will usually drive up pressure just a bit.

Can you post a photo of your target? Or email it to me and I'll post it? That would help a lot...

Take care, and stay in touch--we'll figure it out. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

One more question: What rifle are you using, and what barrel length? Thanks,

Dan
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2006, 10:32 PM
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Re: Need help deciphering OCW test results

[ QUOTE ]
With Varget, the max with 85 grain bullets in the .243 win is around 38 to 38.5 grains (depending on whose data you're looking at)

[/ QUOTE ]

Dan,
Barnes manual #3 lists the maximum charge weight for a coated X bullet at 39 grains of Varget. They don't list a Varget load for the regular X bullet. Other powders that are listed for both the XLC (coated) and XBT (non-coated) show that the maximum is always two grains more for the XLC. Knowing this and knowing that Barnes suggests the TSX can handle one or two more grains than the regular XBT, I deduced that a safe starting load for the TSX would be about the same as for the film coated XLC X's. On previous attempts to find a load (the old fashion way)for the TSX and Varget, I started with 36 grains and worked up (in increments of .3 grains) to 39 grains. None of these shot particularly well but showed no signs of pressure. After joining here and reading about the Ladder and OCW tests, I thought I would give the combination another try. Since I showed no pressure signs at 39 grains, I just started there to begin the OCW test.

[ QUOTE ]
It might be that you're too high with the powder charge. Did you have any pressure signs?

[/ QUOTE ]

I carefully checked each round for signs of pressure and found none.



[ QUOTE ]
Can you post a photo of your target?

[/ QUOTE ]

I'll try....



[ QUOTE ]
One more question: What rifle are you using, and what barrel length?

[/ QUOTE ]

It is a 22 inch Savage 16FLSS with a 1 in 10" twist. Also, all rounds were shot over a Prochrono Digital chronograph set 10 feet downrange from the muzzle.

Thanks, Dan, for taking the time to help me with this. Let's see if this picture thingy works [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

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  #4  
Old 03-06-2006, 07:38 AM
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Re: Need help deciphering OCW test results

Just for the sake of discussion, you say,

"Load 2's POI is the farthest from any of the others but was a nifty little .311" group.

(2.) 39.6g Varget 1.273" high, .605" left, 3207 fps, ES 23, SD 11 "

Does this pose problems?

When I do this sort of test, I am not overly concerned with the POI-vs-POA to an extent. I look for just what your target is showing with "Group #2", nice tight group showing low ES & SD.

In my mind and if it were me, I would load up some more of "Load #2", adjust the scope, shoot say 10 over the chrono for groups, and more than likely, if things were similar, go to that load.
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  #5  
Old 03-06-2006, 10:20 AM
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Re: Need help deciphering OCW test results

DC,

Thanks for the photo. That helps illustrate things...

That number 2 group will not be repeatable. If you look at it this way, all it's going to take is a slight pressure drop, and it's shooting just like group number 1. Or a slight pressure increase, and it'll be shooting like group number 3. A pressure drop or increase can be caused by an odd brass case, hot or cool primer, very cold or very warm weather, etc.

I've got to say--based on your results with Varget between 36 and 39 grains (which you say were not good) and the results we see here--this powder/bullet combo is probably not going to work. This is assuming that your rifle is shooting tight with the AA powder you mention. If you're not getting .5" groups at 100 yards with any other bullet and/or powder, then I would look to scope and mount issues as the possible culprit. Also, see if the bore is heavily laiden with copper--another possibility.

If, however, the rifle is indeed shooting well with other powders or bullets, then I would abandon the idea of using the Varget with these particular bullets.

You might try 38.0 grains one more time. That charge should do much better than groups 1, 3, 4, and 5. I think that group 2 is a fluke, but you may want to try it again to see what happens.

Too, based on the "scatter group," which I believe is group number 3--you should find another accuracy node at 40.8 grains. That's well over max in most books, but if you're not getting any pressure signs at 40.5, you should be alright to test 40.8 grains.

What lot number is the Varget you're using? (Should be on an orange label on the bottom of the can, or on the main label if it's a newer lot).


Dan
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2006, 06:54 PM
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Re: Need help deciphering OCW test results

[ QUOTE ]
This is assuming that your rifle is shooting tight with the AA powder you mention.

[/ QUOTE ]

Dan,
I've included a couple of scanned targets which were shot earlier this year. All were using the 85 TSX, 44.5g of AA3100, Federal GM210M primers, Winchester brass and 2.661 OAL which puts this bullet .020" off of the lands. Average velocity is 3081 fps.


This one was .457" center to center, shot at 100 yards



This one is .464" center to center, also shot at 100 yards.



This one measured .997" and was shot at 300 yards.



This 1.007" group was also from 300 yards.

[ QUOTE ]
Also, see if the bore is heavily laiden with copper--another possibility.

[/ QUOTE ]

I use Sweet's 7.62 after every 15-20 rounds, repeating the wet/patch scrub and the dry patch wipe until no color remains. In fact, my wife tells me I will scrub the bore out of a gun way before I will be able to shoot it out of one [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
[ QUOTE ]
What lot number is the Varget you're using?

[/ QUOTE ]

The lot on the current can of Varget I'm using is #10609034076.

Dan, overall I agree with you on probably not being a good combo. I will try to duplicate that #2 load because I feel like I was on my game when I shot it. Conditions were good, I was comfortable, good surprise trigger breaks.....
I can normally tell when I pull one or whatever and the only time I felt that I might have shanked a shot was the second shot on target number 3 (the low shot). Like I told you in my e-mail, I really don't need a load for this bullet as I already have one that shoots extremely well. I just kinda like Varget and wanted to find a load with it. Plus, I've been wanting to try out the OCW method and this seemed like a good opportunity [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

I may play with some loads in the 38g range again and see if I can tweek something a little better than the originals were. Out of all of the loads I shot from 36 to 39 grains, 37.8 and 38.1 showed the most promise. Both of those were between .8" and 1". That would make sense if you feel like there was a node there. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me read this right. I'll buy ya a beer sometime!!

DC
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  #7  
Old 03-06-2006, 07:58 PM
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Re: Need help deciphering OCW test results

Those AA3100 groups are fantastic. It is obvious that you, and your rifle, can shoot. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

Do post back on the 38 grain Varget load with that bullet. I'd be interested to see how it does...

Thanks,

Dan
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