Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group size?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by KiloTango, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. KiloTango

    KiloTango Active Member

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    Custom Rem700 build
    6.5x47 Lapua
    24" Bartlien 1in8 twist 5R
    130gr Berger VLD
    H4350
    Fed 205M
    COAL 2.800" to fit in magazine. This puts the bullets 0.010" off the lands.
    I have been working up loads for this gun. It shows no pressure signs even with loads over listed max, but the loads start to compress and the point of impact shifts dramatically from the non-compressed loads, so I decided to stay away from the compressed loads.
    Consider two loads:
    39.0gr of H4350 yielded my best group of my life at 100 yards of 0.191" center to center measured for overall group size. This group had a vertical measurement of 0.169". The normal group size for this load is just under 0.330", with multiple groups of 0.329" and 0.328". It is very consistent. The vertical measurements are also very similar, always under 0.200".
    The next load I have only tested just today. It was just a whim to try 39.1gr. Measured traditionally, it is a 0.389" group. However, the vertical measured just 0.045"!
    I think I attached pics of the groups. First should be the 0.191", second should be the 39.1gr group with the small vertical, and the third is a more usual 39.0gr group.
    I have not had access to a range with more than 100 yards, but will get to shoot at 300 and maybe 600 next week. Time and components are limited. Which would you load up?
    Thanks,
    Ken
     

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  2. KiloTango

    KiloTango Active Member

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    Re: Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group siz

    The 39.1gr group with small vertical.
     

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  3. KiloTango

    KiloTango Active Member

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    Re: Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group siz

    My best group yet, 0.191".
     

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  4. KiloTango

    KiloTango Active Member

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    Re: Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group siz

    The upload feature is tricky on a phone...
     
  5. Gus McCrae

    Gus McCrae Well-Known Member

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    Re: Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group siz

    Me personally...I would stick with the 39.0 gr. load. The real test will be at 200 yds and beyond to see if the groups hold at distance. There's no shame in either of the those groups. On the other hand...it may not hurt to try them both at 200 yds+ to see what they do.

    Good shootin.
     
  6. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Re: Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group siz

    Hey man, just FYI, but if you use a Photobucket account, you can just paste the image (IMG) code and you won't have to use the upload feature, which works great, considering most websites have a limited number of uploads you can use. If you use a smartphone, you can download the free app, and a photobucket account is free, as well. It's also faster, and your photos don't have to be cropped to a certain size or anything. I have found that the Photobucket route works best for me.

    Also, nice lookin groups! I'd say you've found your barrel's node. I'd stick with that load, if it were me. :D
     
  7. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    Re: Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group siz

    If you want to shoot longrange sometime then I would test any load that you think has potential at 300 yards.

    That's some good looking groups though!
     
  8. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    Re: Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group siz

    If you are in a true accuracy node, a 1/10th grain change in powder charge should make very little difference in accuracy. I am not convinced that your 39.1g load is any more accurate than your 39.0g load. I would argue that both groups fall within a range that your rifle would produce if you continue to fire groups with those loads.

    Moreover, at longer distances, I seriously doubt you will be able to hold tight enough to tell the difference between the two (if there is any, and I don't think there is).

    I agree that you should shoot your loads at 300 yards and look for vertical. I am betting that neither load shows much vertical. After that, shoot at 600 yards and see what you are getting. But, be advised that shooting at 600 yards is likely to tell you more about your technique and ability to adjust for conditions than it will about your rifle/load combination.
     
  9. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    Re: Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group siz

    All those groups are very good. But I don't think there's enough shots in each one for them to be meaningful as far as which load's best. I'd shoot at least 10 shots per group.

    I'd ignore the smallest group shot with a given load. Use the largest one. A load's smallest groups happen only when all the variables cancel each other out or everything's perfect; but you cannot tell which it is. The largest groups happen when all the variables add up together and tell you the most you'll miss your point of aim.

    If one shoots several groups with the same load and they're not all within 10% of the same size, there's not enough shots in them to be very meaningful as far as what accuracy can be counted on all the time with that load.

    Shoot another few-shot group with the same load that produced the smallest one shown in this thread. If it's within 1% of the same size, then it may be the best load to use.

    Vertical shot stringing dimensions are often best for load testing at the longer ranges. Especially if there's a variable cross wind. Shooting shoulder fired rifles from a bench with the rifle's fore end resting atop something typically produces greater horizontal shot stringing than when the rifle's fired from prone with a sling properly used and the fore end resting on something.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  10. coues7

    coues7 Well-Known Member

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    Re: Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group siz

    great groups. Take them out to distance and you'll know very quickly
     
  11. KiloTango

    KiloTango Active Member

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    Re: Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group siz

    Update:
    I loaded some up at 39.0gr and shot an informal 600 yard match.
    Load data changed slightly, as I had some issues with neck sizing related in another post I made.
    Once fired brass, neck sized in a Wilson neck sizer with a 0.285" bushing, spring back got me 0.286" necks vs the 0.2875" of the new brass. So the neck tension was different. But the other variables stayed the same: COAL 2.800", 130gr bergers, FED205M, 39.0gr of H4350.
    We used 300 yard high power slow fire targets at 600.
    Shot 2 sighters and 20 record. Shot a 197-5x. The nines were me mucking it up (shot prone off sand bags that weren't great, the Caldwell dead shot bags, with fogging sunglasses as the sun set).
    Was still fiddling with the scope a bit through the 20 shots, but once I left it alone, the group settled down and 12 shots were in a group 2" high by 5" wide. I'll have to see next Tuesday how I shoot when I have the gun zeroed and maybe use a better rest system...

    PS. I don't have a chronograph or access to one right now...could someone tell me an estimate of my velocity? From a 100 yard zero, it took 14.25MOA to a 600 yard zero. Thanks.
     
  12. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    Re: Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group siz

    Go to JBM and plug your information into one of their ballistic calculators. It should give you a ballpark idea of your velocity. From there, you can generate a drop chart and refine it as you shoot.
     
  13. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    Re: Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group siz

    I think your group's windage spread was caused by wind. But it looks pretty good if only 2" high at 600.

    39 grains of H4350 is 6 grains below max i Hodgdon's data showing 45.5 grains shoots a 140 grain bullet out at 2720 fps. Your load may well be close to 2600.

    The folks I know winning matches and setting records with the 6.5x.284 in high power matches all full length size their cases and get better accuracy than neck only sizing them. That aside, a 2" x 5" 600 yard group with 12 shots in the wind ain't too shabby. If it can be repeated, then by all means do it.
     
  14. KiloTango

    KiloTango Active Member

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    Re: Choice of long range test loads based on overall group size or vertical group siz

    I ran a pressure ladder test, but was getting odd results from compressed loads, and was seeing that from 40.0gr...I don't think I could fit 45.0gr in a 6.5x47 case and be able to seat a bullet...