.243 load help

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Terrytf, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Terrytf

    Terrytf Well-Known Member

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    I have a savage .243 with a 1 in 9.5 twist with 22" barrel .went out this weekend to give it the first shots .groups of 1 inch at 100 yards . I'm using Barnes 85gr tsx with 45.5 gr of hunter powder . not so good . any help with this . as I live in a lead free zone I need to stay with the lead free stuff and have had great luck with barnes with all my other rifles.
     
  2. budlight

    budlight Well-Known Member

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    You could have several things going on. the 9.5 twist rate is optimized for about 100 grain 243's. The powder that you using is between H4350 and 4831. So IMO you are not really using it with a 85 grain and 22 inches of barrel. It's close though. i'd look a a burn rate chart and find a powder slightly faster than H4350. Like H414, h380, or your Big game (Ramshot)

    You didn't say a depth to the lands.
     

  3. Terrytf

    Terrytf Well-Known Member

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    You didn't say a depth to the lands.???? I'm new at this sorry I dont know what this is.. I went with the hunter powder becuse that is what barnes said works the best in there reloading book #4. 100 gr bullet would be nice but barnes stops at 85 gr .. on the powder how about vihtavuori n540 I have some of that ..
     
  4. budlight

    budlight Well-Known Member

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    N540 would work. If you loading book doesn't give a certain powder you can always go to a burn rate chart and figure out very close to what you might need for a starting load. Which a few grains less the max load of a faster burning powder is safe. (less Pressure because it is slower burning.)

    Powder Burn Rates


    You need to read up on the bullet seating depth. Your .243 105 - 107 gr boat tailed hollow points are very long bullets compared to your 70 gr varmint bullet. So you have to figure out what max length the bullet can be seated out to just barely touch the barrel rifling lands when you jack the bolt all the way down.

    You need a long cleaning rod or rod of some type in case you get the bullet left in the rifling when you jack the case out. You can also buy the bullet seating length tool.

    Just seat the bullet way out when you first load it and you carefully jack the bullet in. If it touches stop and jack it out. Put it back in the seater with a couple more turns down on it and try again. You want to get to point where you see the probably 4 dings on the sloped edge of your bullet nose with the bolt fully closed. Now with a caliper measure the length of you bullet/case total length. Now write the figure in your reloading book notes for that 85 grain bullet. Pressure and accuracy is affected by how close the bullet is placed near the rifling lands Now you need to test where the sweet spot is for your rifle. So load up 3-4 bullets with the loading seater turned down a thread or so and then caliper the round to make it .003 shorter than actually touching the lands. The 3-4 more rounds .006 shorter.......... Read up on bullet seating depth.

    but anyway. Get your groups down small. Make good notes on seating depth for each type of bullet grain.

    Only put one bullet in at a time. The recoil can dent the tips on any soft pointed bullet or maybe change the seating depth on hard nosed bullets. Always keep your bullets at the same temperature or testing goes out the window. Bullets sitting in the sun make more pressure when they are shot.
     
  5. Terrytf

    Terrytf Well-Known Member

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    thank you for the info... I will get started with all this and load up many diferant round's and see what I can find to work the best . I have been thinking about getting a bullet seating length tool. but many others said dont worry about it as long as it fits its good ..I will let you know what i find
     
  6. ScottB

    ScottB Well-Known Member

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  7. Terrytf

    Terrytf Well-Known Member

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    here in CA there are lead free zones no hunting with any lead except birds with shot.and some zones lead is ok. I have tryed the nosler lead free had much better groups with barnes but that was with the 270 and .223 might have to try nosler with the .243 . just ordered 200 more barnes 85gr tsx to try some diferant powder and loads
     
  8. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    i do not shoot barnes. i have shot a lot of 85 grain bullets. had good results with varget and I4064
     
  9. Terrytf

    Terrytf Well-Known Member

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    Well I now have 10 different powder loads and 4 different seating depth with the 85gr barnes tsx to go try and I'm hoping one works with a 1/9.5 twist . loaded 5 per powder and each powder with 4 different seating depths now have 200 loaded rounds to go try . is this a good start or did I just blow it ...
     
  10. cahunter805

    cahunter805 Well-Known Member

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    I live in Ca lead free zone also. I have been using the barnes bullets in my 243 with great accuracy. I am using IMR4831. This has given me great groups from the start and only gotten better with seating depth changes. I think loading 10 different powder loads and 4 seating depths isnt how I would approach finding a load. What powders do you have? Have you tried loading the bullets to the barnes recommended seating depth?
     
  11. Terrytf

    Terrytf Well-Known Member

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    I have tried ramshot hunter 45 gr with over all length of 2.645. got about a 1" group at 100y. I do have a set of loads with imr 4831. I will try those first but from what I have seen the vihtavuori n540 or the imr 4320 will do really good . just looking to split holes at 100y then I will see what goes on at 500y with the top 3 loads. and I have been loading right out of the barens book just no luck with the 243 yet. I did load more with the hunter the book says they did the best with it but with a 24" barrel I have a 22" barrel
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  12. budlight

    budlight Well-Known Member

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  13. cahunter805

    cahunter805 Well-Known Member

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    Terry I would try a couple loads with the IMR 4831 and IMR 4350 and see if anything groups a little better. If not I would try the hunter again but play with the seating depth. Also you should really measure the lands and I usually start about .050 off the lands with barnes. You can then try your most accurate load a little closer and further from the lands to see if it helps tighten them.
     
  14. Tom264

    Tom264 Well-Known Member

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    Jam the lands.........