JE, Good point, Iíll make sure my extractor is gtg, then Iíll pull the rest of these bullets, get brave and reload.
In checkinbg the Sierra manual, for comparison, 117-gr(.257) SBTís and 120-gr HPBTís start at 43.6-gr of H4831sc rated at 2700 fps, and, 45.7-gr rated at 2800 fps,( Probly shouldve questioned this,even so, 48.0 grains still seems like a good starting point). If you take the max load Speer gave me (of 52.0) -10%, you get 46.8. With what happened to the loaded Speer @48.5,( pancaked primer, cratered dimple flowing into firing pin hole, etc.), I think Iíll start around 44-45 and push the bullet in a little further. If I get a chance to go out this weekend, Iíll let you know how it goes.. thanks
I can only offer my own experiences with the Speer bullet.
Back in 87, I purchased my first 25-06 in a Rem BDL. My initial goal was to work up a load in bullet weights ranging from 100 - 120grs, which shot somewhere close to the same POI at 200yds. I figured that way I would always have something to cover the conditions I would be hunting in or the game I was hunting.
When looking over the various 120's I settled on the Speer to start with as it just had a look about it that did something for me. In initial testing I found similar to you that it spiked pressure extremely quick in my rifle. Along the same time I was also shooting the 115gr "X" and the Partition. I found that I could easily hit the velocity I was looking for with both of these bullets, and accuracy was totally awesome. After that hunting season, I went back to the 120's and finially did end up working a load up I think using either IMR-4350 or RL-19, that shot groups which raised a BR shooters eyebrow who was a regular at the range. During follow up testing I set up the chrono and found that the load which was for the most part maxed out in my rifle was only hitting around 2780'ish fps. My issue was even with the groups consistantly cutting somewhat one hole at 200yds, the 115's were hitting mid to upper 3100's, and shooting right at 1/2" at the same range. In my mind then as now, I took the added velocity over the slightly smaller group, and haven't looked back.
My take on the Speer was that with the extra bit of bearing surface it was causing pressure to build quicker. This however didn't seem to bother the longer Barnes bullet however even with the solid construction, but the 5grs less weight might have made the difference too. I will say this however about the Speer, I took two deer with it and a friend took one, one at around 180 yds, one about 220yds, and the other at around 250yds. In all cases, the impacts were the hardest hitting I have ever witnessed. One deer was almost folded head to tail, before slamming to the ground, another was completly flipped over, and landed on the side it was shot, the last appeared like it was hit by a truck and slammed sideways several feet before hitting the dirt. These deer weren't the largest in the country but all weighed around 100 - 120 dressed. The damage was not what I expected after witnissing the hits, but substantial non the less.
I settled on the 115gr weight for my rifle mainly due to the Partition. It did everything I needed, at a velocity and accuracy I liked, no matter what the range out to over 400yds.
With a few of the powders that have come out since then, you should be able to work up something which shoots great with that bullet in your rifle. I have since given mine to my daughter and the only thing we have changed since way back when is dropping down to the 110gr Accubond instead of the Partition. The rest of the load is exactly the same. That rifle continues to shoot those tiny groups with the new bullet and the daughter uses it to it's fullest.
Are you sure you have your dies set correctly to just bump the shoulder back? I saw a similar situation with slit case head/blown primer because the shoulder was bumped back too far allow for too much head space when chambered. Too deep into the FL sizing die. This was in .270 Win. the guy was leaving for Africa the next day. Don't know how he made out but we did figure this issue out at the range since someone had gauges and calipers with them.
Just a thought.
Ok, I appreciate the feedback on this thread.. hereís update for what its worth.. bear with me..
I went back several weeks ago to retest. I had loaded some various Speer bullets and thought Iíd start with 45.0 grains and back way off the lands (2.660Ē oal ogive). Long story short, it failed miserably. Stuck case froze bolt. I cannot believe its still excessive pressure.
Nonetheless, I sent it back to Savage and received back last week. Bolt head was not replaced but the invoice said they repaired redrilled the ejector and fixed extractor which was not really damaged but could tell they replaced parts.
Anyway, I decided to (retest again)scrap the Speer bullets and go with what worked in past. Sierra 117-gr SBT, and started low (44.0-gr H4831sc), note this is almost the starting load in the manual; and since I had success with 48.8 grains in the past, I would test in 1 grain increments to see if I could work back up to it.. Well, the three 44.0 grains shot good, then I got the 45.0 gr. ..and blown primer/stuck case again. I could get bolt open, however the extractor and detent ball were blown out and the ejector was blown in. At this point Iím totally at odds with this gun, I cant get proper bolt operation with any constency and I cant believe Iím getting over-pressures/stuck cases now with only 45 grains. This may just be the rifles max but Iím finding that very hard to believe.
Has anyone had similar experiences ? Iím brainstorming every possible culprit but can only think the powder is bad or it just doesnít like H4831. RE-22 has worked well .. however Iíve only been using H4831sc recently, and maybe it cant stand this powder which is hard to believe. Iím thinking switching back to RE22 or getting some Retumbo. Iím even thinking there is some sort of head clearance problem or ejector is just problematic, as Iíve had past issues come up when the ejector is functioning. I may just switch powders and see what happens.. thanks for any further thoughts.