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Reloading Berger Bullets


velocity to low

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Unread 06-23-2013, 04:51 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 6
Re: velocity to low

I started at 62 gr and worked my way to 66 gr in .5 gr increments. Ive found 3 nodes between and 66 gr seems to be the most accurate. Primers are normal, bolt is not stiff so I think its a pretty safe load. My manual lists 170 gr bullet with 65 gr max @ 57000 psi so I think its a conservative load. Hodgdon lists the same but velocity is 2806. I guess my velocity isn't that far off. I figure im around 2770 or so. Im gonna step it out a bit further to see if that is close. Does anyone know how temp sensitive retumbo is. Ive heard that h4831 is pretty stable. Whatever powder I use I want to be able to find a load now and be able to use it this fall and winter without having to work up another mid season.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 10:52 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: The cold part of Montana
Posts: 1,391
Re: velocity to low

You can't really use bullet weight as an indicator, of where you might be at as far as appropriate powder charge is concerned. Take a 160 Nosler Partition, and a 180 Berger Hyrbrid. The listed max charge for the Hybrid with Retumbo is 1.3gr higher than for the Partition in the Hodgdon manual. Why? it's due to differences in bullet construction and material.

Also I would be very care full about listed loads. If I tried to use the Max load from the Hodgdon manual my case would last about 2 rnds, where as I'm running 0.2gr above Bergers listed max and still 0.8gr below Hodgdons max.
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 06-24-2013, 06:15 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Near Napoleon,MI
Posts: 1,192
Re: velocity to low

If one reads the berger reloading manual, the key to obtaining the best velocity without excessive pressure is seating the bullet out as far as practical and throating the barrel to suit. If you load to sami length and have a barrel that is chambered the same way, then of course performance will be "typical" at best.

The downside to this is that one essentially renders the gun useless for shooting bullets that are shorter/lighter since the barrel will behave the same as one that is shot out.

I have noticed that my Shilen match 243AI barrel shoots significantly faster than my previous Savage barrel, even though the twist rate went from 1:9.25 to 1:8 (which you would think might add drag). The lapping might well be worth some additional velocity as well as the consistency of the diameter.

I am typically trying to shoot bullets that weight/length wise are at the limit of each caliber so I am not concerned about loss of utility with lighter/faster bullets.
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