.243AI Light Versus Heavy Bullets?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by TORCHRIDER, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. TORCHRIDER

    TORCHRIDER Well-Known Member

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    I have a .243AI with Shilen 26" 1/8 twist. Rifle will be used for target shooting from 100 yards to hopefully 1000 yards as my skill increases. It may also be used occasionally for deer and varmints.

    I had planned on shooting the 105-107gr. bullets exclusively. Is there any reason I should look at shooting the lighter bullets? Do they fly better at 100/200 yards than the heavy bullets?

    If I should be looking at a second (lighter) bullet, what weight do you recommend? 75gr?

    Thanks!

    Dave
     
  2. 436

    436 Well-Known Member

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    TORCHRIDER,


    I picked Sierra’s 107gr Mk; and have for many years…they work great for me and always have.
    Berger 105gr VLD would be my next pick in my .243 Win, 243 A.I, 243 WSSM and 6XC
    If I was going to drop bullet weight; however still wanting to stay with the 1-8 twist at the same time; I think Berger’s 100gr Target Match .481 BC would be my choice today, especially out of a 26” barrel…. which the 100gr bullet might work better for long range {1K} type shooting.
    Good luck.
    436
     

  3. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    IMO, You probably wouldn't need to go all the way down to the 75's since you've got an 8 twist. There are good 80-90 grain and even 100 gr. bullets out there if the 105 and 107 stuff doesn't shoot to your satisfaction.
     
  4. TORCHRIDER

    TORCHRIDER Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Guys. I think I am going to start with the Sierra 107 MK's. If that bullet shoots well, there is really no need to go down in weight, right? My concern was that maybe a lighter bullet would shoot better at short (100-200) distances due to the longer bullets not yet stabilizing. Could that be an issue with the 107's at short range or should they (satbilize, go to sleep, etc.) by 100 yards?
     
  5. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    I've heard that theory before, and there may be some truth in it for some people and some bullets/twists. I try and do load development at 200 or even 300 yds (if I can find the time on a calm day)

    Personally, I've never yet had a gun that consistently shot 1" to 2" at 300 yds that wouldn't also shoot around 1/2" or better at 100 yds......Suppose there are exceptions, and perhaps others have had different experiences.

    David Tubb mentions shooting lighter bullets on the short course in High Power.......perhaps due to better accuracy of some lighter bullets, perhaps due to less recoil....perhaps some other reason, perhaps less wind drift do to time of flight over the short distance,..........I don't know for sure.

    Another world record holder (forgetting the name at the moment..sorry) in 1000yd benchrest does his load development at 200 yds. He states that "if a bullet won't shoot good groups at 200, it's not gonna shoot good at 1000 either".

    I do think flat base bullets are a little more likely to shoot really tiny groups at 100, but they aren't as good "way out there".
     
  6. TORCHRIDER

    TORCHRIDER Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the feedback SBruce.
    I believe I got the idea of lighter bullets up close from a book by Zedicker on Highpower. I think its called "Handloading for accuracy" if i am not mistaken. I think I will try the 107's at 200 for load development and then shoot further as my skills progress. I have a new 1000 yard range near my home. Thanks again for the feedback.

    Dave


     
  7. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    You should also try the heavier 115s from Sierra and Berger.
     
  8. 436

    436 Well-Known Member

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    In the 1-8 twist those 115gr bullets are very iffy; especially in the shorter 26" barrel...
    just my findings in my .24 cal rifles... You might be better served using a 1-7 or 1.6.5 twist for those heaver ones.
    Just my .02
    436
     
  9. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    David Tubb mentioned that 1:8 wasn't fast enough for him with his 115 DTAC. I believe he's now using 1:7.5 or maybe even 1:7.?
     
  10. 436

    436 Well-Known Member

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    SBruce
    Yeah, David I'm sure is correct, he gives great council.... however I think most of David's thinking on this; is around 30" inch barrels. I believe {with that said; I can't speak for David obviously} I think when you go to a shorter barrel as you mentioned you might what to even think about the 1-6.5" twist as well. I've had a few barrel in 1-8 as well as 1-7 twist {after talking with David} that got a little long in the tooth... and were set back and cut back to 24" and 26" inch barrels; for Coyote hunting. They seem to have a tough time stabilizing the 115gr and heavier. You may want to also think about Tubb's 111gr bullet... this seems to be a very fine bullet.
    Good luck
    436