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Reloading Berger Bullets


Your take of my Ladder

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Unread 03-28-2006, 03:16 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Mouth of Hobble Crk Canyon, Utah
Posts: 630
Your take of my Ladder

Shot this just yesteday.

24 yr old Rem 700 in 30-06
Leupold M8 4x scope.
Customized by removing action metal and turning down barrel 22" factory barrel to .550" at muzzle.
Trigger @ 3 crisp lbs.
Action bedded and fully freefloated barrel.
Over all weight is 6 lb 8 oz.
I've put probably 1500 rds through it and is pretty much my dream rifle from 24 yrs ago.

-Fully prepped (not weight sorted) WW cases on 4th firing, -FL sized in Forster BR dies, shoulder set back .003".
-WLR primer
-Ramshot Hunter (58 to 61 grains in .2 grain increments)
-Nosler 180 Ballistic Tips seated to the lands (3.540" OAL)in Forster Ultra Seater

Five fouling/pressure shots (58 to 61 gr) were fired then sights were adjusted to place shots on target. Cases were mic'd just forward of extractor groove with no no case showing more than .0002" expansion. Wind was from 1-2 o'clock at about 2-3 mps, maxing at 8 mph but shots were pretty much inbetween gusts.

Ohler M33 Chronotach w/ sky screens.
Target has a 4" square center.

1. 58.0 gr = 2644 fps, 43 degrees
2. 58.2 gr = 2659 fps
3. 58.4 gr = 2673 fps
4. 58.6 gr = 2702 fps
5. 58.8 gr = 2689 fps
6. 59.0 gr = 2724 fps
7. 59.2 gr = 2720 fps
8. 59.4 gr = 2736 fps
9. 59.6 gr = 2732 fps, gust of right to left wind.
10 59.8 gr = 2745 fps
11 60.0 gr = 2742 fps
12 60.2 gr = 2739 fps
13 60.4 gr = 2742 fps
14 60.6 gr = 2770 fps, 46 degrees
15 60.8 gr = 2780 fps
16 61.0 gr = 2796 fps, fastest 180 gr vel I've seen in this gun.

You can see my 60 and 61 grain fouling shots underneath the masking tape. The spread between 60, 60.5 and 61 gr fouling shots was only 2-7/8". This kind of confirms my thinking that the sweet spot is probably number 15.


Big Al
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Unread 03-29-2006, 10:27 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 877
Re: Your take of my Ladder

Id do some testing at 59.5 and 60.7.
Id prolly do 6 of each, then 9 of the best of those. Shoot 3 shots per target, then mark through your bullet holes onto another target to get an idea of how the groups relate to each other. Use different colors for different origional targets. This will let you look at your 3, 3shot targets as 3, 3shot targets, 3 six shot targets(targets 1+2, 2+3, 3+1), and one 9 shot target(all three targets).
After thats done wou will have 15shots to evaluate for the best load. Usually enough to see if precision and ES is up to snuff.
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Unread 03-29-2006, 12:35 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,876
Re: Your take of my Ladder

Big Al,

For my own benefit as much as anything, I've done 'my' analysis. I hope I don't come off sounding offensive or negative. I realy want to see if I come up with the same conclusion/prediction/suggestion as Abinok.

Also I don't know if you're after bug holes or minute of deer? I'm thinking minute of deer with potential for a chuck now and then when the opportunity presents itself....

With a couple of clicks to the right, or holding for the wind a bit more, all of the shots except 3 & 11 would have hit a deer pretty much where you would want.

A plot of the velocity vs powder weight shows an increase in velocity of only about 63 FPS between shots 7 and 13. Further investigation between 60 and 60.4 grains could be considered. Note that there may be no good explanation for shots 3, 11 & 13. I would disregard their placement.

Also shots 8 & 9 are at similar elevations and occur at a somewhat of a flat spot (ES of 4) before velocity increases with shot #10 to a higher more broad velocity plateau. Further investigation here would be worthwhile also.

Charting the shots shows that velocity begins to climb with shot 14 and continues to increase through shot 16. Velocities greater than that produced by 60.4 gr of powder may not be necessary. I'd do no more testing above 60.4 gr unless you are a velocity nut like I am, but velocity in the area of 2740 isn't too shabby for a 22" bbl.

Summary: I'd load 3 at 59.5 gr and three at 60 or 60.1 gr, keeping everything else the same. I'd then shoot one shot from each load alternately, maybe at the same target even, but logging velocity and placement of each shot. It could be predicted that you would get too different groups at two different elevations with one group being observably smaller than the other.

Also, I'd consider doing the shooting at 200 yds or less. Not having personal experience with that particular scope, parallex may be a factor on either side of 150 yds plus the your target may be more "aimable" at a shorter distance.

Keep us posted on your progress. I'm bettin that little rifle is fun to shoot and a dream to carry.

Good luck

Now, I'll read what abinok said and see if I even came close.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Unread 03-29-2006, 10:14 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 230
Re: Your take of my Ladder

I agree with 15. Vertical seems to like being ran up there. Very good, especially with a 4x.
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Unread 03-29-2006, 10:28 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: west of Little Rock ,Ark.
Posts: 1,271
Re: Your take of my Ladder

I don't think your done yet . You haven't mentioned any pressure problems and I am doing the ass..........uming thing as far as this being a " hunting load "

If it is a hunting load and you want max whack then load some on top of the ladder you have . Just me, but if you are wanting all U can Be out of this rig for hunting then you haven't looked at the top yet .

Sometimes there is a good accuracy node up there , sometimes even better than anywhere else . Reckon you won't know till you see and it reeally won't make a big diff about bbl life as you are using it as a hunting rifle .

Jim B.
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Unread 03-29-2006, 11:13 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Mouth of Hobble Crk Canyon, Utah
Posts: 630
Re: Your take of my Ladder

Ok, my head is hurting from digesting all your advice.

I see the relationship between shots 8 and 9 (59.5 gr), assuming that 9 really was blown that far left by the gust of wind.


Sorry to say it may take some time for me digest your discription of "3 of this and 9 of that to get 15".


Bug holes and velocity! My H4895 load keeps putting 5 into 3" or less at 300 yds. Problem is the velocity is running only 2665. Yes it will kill an elk but I'm feeling anxious about getting 2700 plus and 2750 would really make my day.

I too note the minimal vel increase between 7 and 13. Too bad their scattered all over the target.

Are you saying that because of the low ES between 11, 12 & 13 I might consider re-shooting those and ignore the scatter gun effect?

I believe the reason I can get such fast velocities with this 22" barrel is my OAL is 3.540"; seated quite far out and against the lands. Thus the extra room for more powder and less pressure. I have no doubt I could top 2800 and really not see any .0006" (my self imposed max based upon the article by Rick Jamison last yrs Hodgdon reloading annual) case head expansion until 62-63 grains.

Ok, so 200 yd groups of 3 to 5 of 59.5, 60.1 and 60.8.

I think [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

Big Al

Oh yeah! It fun to carry
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Unread 03-30-2006, 07:57 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,876
Re: Your take of my Ladder


Bug holes and velocity! <font color="blue"> My kinda guy! </font>

Oh yeah! It fun to carry <font color="blue">Is it the rifle or the elk that is fun to carry? </font> [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

[/ QUOTE ]

With your added information I'll change my recommendation.

See attached plot of powder vs velocity. It will explain some of the things I said in the above post.

Also, as jimm noted, you have more room to grow in the velocity direction. Let's milk this sucker for all she'll give!

Shots 14, 15 and 16 aren't grouped all that badly plus velocity is rising through shot 16.

Following jimm's recommendation, I'd start at 61 grains and go up 0.1 grains at a time until you reach your pressure limit per measurement and/or you begin getting marginal velocity increase with the increase of powder.

Velocity will max out when you start sending more powder down range than you do bullet as evidenced by holes in your chrony readout cover as I have in mine. (jimm's was completely shot out [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]) Oh, darn, just remembered you're using one of those fancy ones [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

Once you reach your maximum velocity, check the accuracy w/a 3 shot group. If accuracy is heading in the right direction, work out the fine tuning and tweek it a bit.

Finally, and don't leave this step out! After you get the load shooting as good as it will with the components you are using, keep everything the same but <font color="blue">switch </font> to CCI 200s and shoot another group. I'm bettin' you'll be supprised.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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