3" group 200 yards, GAP .300 WSM, Berger VLD not cutting it? Need advice pls

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by mjm0073, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. mjm0073

    mjm0073 Member

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    Shot my new GA Precision .300 WSM for the first time this weekend. This is a big game rifle for me so, naturally, I chose a hunting cartridge -- HSM's Berger VLD in 168 grain. Below is a photo of the best group I could get at 200 yards (picture uploaded sideways). It was about 100 degrees and humid outside today with wind gusts of up to 10 mph or so at times. I know it's not the rifle and some of it could be me, but I don't think I was off this bad. Am I being too demanding, or is this the best group I can expect?

    I've read several posts where people are getting great results from this HSM round, and I've read relatively few where other folks are not getting great results. Thinking maybe my rifle doesn't like this round and that I might try some match grade ammo for comparison as well as another hunting round.
    What hunting cartridges are you folks using/what would you suggest for me?
     

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  2. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    I would say 98% of the members hear handload the ammo for their rifles. What is the twist rate on your barrel? What are you using for a rest and how long are you waiting between shots? I would try some bigger bullets if it was me 210 VLD etc.....
     

  3. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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    I do think you can expect better, but I don't think it's you or your smith at fault here. HSM is a type of factory ammo right? most of us here hand load(tune) our ammo. You may find some factory stuff that works well in your gun but I'm not sure you'll find stuff that shoots like black hills or federal GM match does from a 308.
     
  4. mjm0073

    mjm0073 Member

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    Bartlein 1-10.5 twist, 5R 25" barrel. Waiting couple minutes at most between shots. Using a Caldwell Lead Sled as a rest. I'm not sure how HSM ammo is classified---Hunting Shack Montana is a local manufacturer that loads a lot of different ammo, and provides ammo to law enforcement. They have a web page at www.thehuntingshack.com . The ammo is a good price and, I think the general consensus is that "quality is pretty good."
     
  5. DUKFVR

    DUKFVR Well-Known Member

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    I think it should do better. I have a 300WSM from a builder on here & I am getting 2in to 2 1/2 with Barnes 165 gr TTSX's factory loads. This is shooting off sandbags. You might just need a different bullet if you are gonna shoot factory. I know the rifle would do better with a better rest , custom load & shooter. Keep experimenting & I bet you will find a better combo for your rifle. Good luck!!
     
  6. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Ditch the lead sled, shoot your rifle over a pack or off a bipod. Wait 10 min between shots its a hunting rilfe not a machine gun. Your zeroing for one shot two at the very most.

    Did you break the barrel in? Are you shooting a clean or fouled bore? Did you mount the scope, lap the rings tourqe them to specs?

    I watch guys at the range chase their zero around the target all the time its kind of fun cause afterwards I take all their brass.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  7. 7stwnut

    7stwnut Well-Known Member

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    Don't stress out, I tried the HSM Berger ammo in one of my 7 mags and it was terrible, 2" groups at 100 yds. The guy on the bench next to me was shooting the HSM Berger ammo out of his 30-378 and it was grouping over 3" at 100. I think their intentions were good, but it seems like the Berger VLDs are more sensitive to seating depth to acheive acceptable accuracy. When I shot the same Berger 168 VLD bullets out of the same 7 mag rifle in my reloads, the accuracy was much better. Try a few other brands and weights. Good luck.
     
  8. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    Berger VLD bullets are very sensitive to seating depth. I don't have any experience with the 300 WSM but I do with 6.5x284. If my seating depth is .025" my group at 200 was 1.5" At .075" i can consistently group .5". It might be that using factory loaded Bergers would be a hit or miss proposition in the accuracy dept.
     
  9. coues7

    coues7 Well-Known Member

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    GAP guarantees 1/2 MOA on all rifles they build (that is my understanding) using factory ammo. If you are getting those groups you need to change something. Call George and get a recommended load from him. If not send it back and have him figure out what is wrong.

    How much experience do you, personally, have with shooting tight groups with other rifles? I'm not implying anything, but some folks think all they have to do is to buy a custom rig and then they'll be shooting bugholes.....not the case.
     
  10. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Before I started reloading, I had a similar experience with one of my .300WM. I had better groups with 180gr and up. If you want to stay with the Berger VLDs until you can reload, try their .185gr.

    Good luck!

    Ed
     
  11. mjm0073

    mjm0073 Member

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    The barrel twist on my rifle is 1-10.5. I got on Berger's website and for that barrel twist they recommend the 210 grain Berger VLD. Best of the West is hand loading that round but, with shipping, it ends up being over $70/box. Like several of the other posts on here, I have also heard that the Berger VLD's are very sensitive to seating depth. As great as the bullet sounds, it seems like there is a lot of room for error and/or maybe best as a reloading round so that one can modify until the best results are achieved in their particular rifle.

    As for my current group, I will admit that some of it might be me. I am no military trained sniper by any means, but I'm not off that bad. From what I've read so far, it really seems to me that I need to be shooting a 180 grain or up with this barrel twist. I have read other people getting good results with the Nosler Accubond, so I might give it a try. 200 grain sounds like the best choice, but I have yet to see anyone loading that round--180 grain is all I've seen. Anyone tried the Nosler Custom? Thoughts?
     
  12. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    It's a numbers game, and mostly I'm guessing you've really only measured the group.
    10 MPH wind gusts, just using rough numbers the calm vs the gust could be 1.5" at 200 yards. Unless you've actually measured the wind, plugged in other variables, and broke out the chronograph you're guessing. An online ballistic calculator can show you the variables Red Rock precision has a user friendly one.
    Scopes aren't as perfect as we like.
    First trip out-give it a chance to break in! Lot's of difference of opinion on what that means, but be patient it's early in the game.
    Clean it good, make sure everything is tightened correctly, and try again.
    The slow down advise is very good, try some dry firing to pass the time learn your trigger.
    Handload or you may have to adjust your expectations, but trying other loads never hurts, but unless tour sure your break in is complete don't write off the one you're using.
    Hang some ribbon, styrofoam cup on a string so you can see it in the scope. You're not on a clock so wait til it's what you want.
    Just guessing from here. Good Luck
     
  13. chas3stix

    chas3stix Well-Known Member

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    FWIW HSM ammunition has an offshoot brand Bitterroot Valley Ammunition. If you read between the lines,there are ties to HSM. They usually sell their wares at the local gun shows.
     
  14. vpexp

    vpexp Active Member

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    I believe it is the ammunition, not the GAP. This weekend i shot a GAP in 7STW. With Nosler 160 gr factory load accubond it will shot 1/2" groups. With HSM 168 berger VLD it shot 2" groups at 100 yards. I also have one in 300 WSM in their non-typical hunter version. It shoots winchester brand ammo with ballistip tips and accubonds into tiny groups. Please try a couple of other brands of factory ammo and i believe you will be very pleased with the rifle. You may need to hand load to get the vld's to group well.