Do varmint bullets need time to settle down?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Greywolf18, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    So just a stupid question that I was curious about. I am starting to load for my new 6x47 Lapua, and I have 80gr Varmint Ballistic Tips and 87gr VMax's all behind some R15. I know when reloading my 7WSM for the 180gr Berger Hybrids and VLD's, I've read and witnessed that they need around 200 yards or so to settle down (I've actually shot smaller groups at 200 yards than 100 yards). My question is does all bullets act like that or is it mainly a problem with the VLD's? Should I not do groups at under 200 with the lighter varmint bullets? Thanks for the answers!
     
  2. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, no.

    But also in my experience, I have not seen the VLD's even the 300 grn ones need distance to settle in. They've shot good for me at 100 yds if the gun is capable of shooting.

    My AI 6X47 Lapua shot 3 - 3shot groups that measured 3/16" at 100 yds. Two of them were with the 95 Berger VLD, 1 was with the 105 VLD.

    I personally cant remember any groups I've ever had at 200 or 300 that would repeatably be better than the 100 yd groups from the same load/rifle.

    Please dont take this the wrong way, I am not trying to say you are incorrect or giving false claims. I am sure it's happened as you say.

    This isn't the first time we've heard the theory of "settling down or going to sleep". It's obviously happened enough times that it's became a theory..............Just not one that I've experienced, and I love to shoot alot of paper at 100 to 300 yds when I load develop for any gun. If the twist rate is fast enough for the bullet, they should shoot good at 100 IMO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012

  3. submoa

    submoa Well-Known Member

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    It is common that some bolt tail bullets do take some time to settle down not all but some
     
  4. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input guys. It was something that popped into my head while going to the range to sight in the scope and barrel break in the other day.
     
  5. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    That idea of bullets settling down is misleading. Bryan illustrated it in his book, but the effect of that bullet precipitating around it's axis is exceedingly small and at no time does a stabilized bullet's nose ever make an arc that is as large as the dia of the bullet. If it did it would tumble hence to slow of twist. I myself have seen it enough times to know that grouping can indeed be smaller at 200yrds than 100, but the time the bullet needs to "go to sleep" is nearly non existent compared to what we as shooters contribute to the phenomenon. Go watch a high power silhouette match some time and talk to em. You'll find that 100m is the toughest part when conventional wisdom would have you believe that it should be the easiest. But for the majority of use we can just look at the target and realize a bullet doesn't have wings and cannot change it's fight path, we just simply shoot a little bit better a little farther down range. gun)
     
  6. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    I be thinkin we can now add the 140 VLD to my experiences of NOT needing distance to settle in. Although, I do have to admit, the very best groups I've ever shot at 100 yds have been with flat base bullets, but that's not saying BT bullets wont shoot at 100.

    First is 100 yds, 2nd is 200 yds, 3rd is 700 yds. Brand new 6.5-284, load development and drop confirmation.
     

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