Getting weird flyers with Berger 300gr OTMs

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by varmintH8R, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    This is an abridged version of my issue taken from a review I posted in the R,B,B,B forum earlier. Short story:

    Got a new 338LM. Shot 6 groups (3 rd, 100yd) using 300gr Scenars doing a ladder test for OAL. Results were very good, and only one of the groups had what I considered to be a flyer (1" from his friends). Overall average <0.5". Shoots great.

    I switched to Berger 300gr OTMs, same test. The mag length loads were a horrible catastrophe and I won't count them here. The 4 groups I shot (two 40thou off and two touching the lands) were maddeningly inconsistent. Worth noting that the flyers showed up randomly (either of the 3 shots, one low, one high/right, one left)

    Two groups had 2 shots touching and then a major flyer (1.5 to 2.5")

    One group had two shots within 0.5" and a major flyer

    The final group was one hole. Not even ragged. Damn near perfect.

    So: did I get sloppy and basically suck it up to where I started mixing flyers in to every group, or is it possible for these pills to shoot almost perfect and randomly fly way off course?

    Let me know your experience, and feel free to blame the operator.

    Thanks
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    May I suggest you try a group with them at 200?

    They have shot great in every 338 I loaded them in. But sometimes shoot the same size group at 200 or even tighter.

    Jeff
     

  3. jfseaman

    jfseaman Well-Known Member

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    weight sorted bullets?
    weight sorted brass?
    annealed necks?
    turned necks?
    neck sized?
    tip (meplat) trimmed bullets?
    pointed bullets?
    regular match primers?

    With my 300WSM, 260 and 223 I had already been weight sorting, the biggest thing that helped was regular match primers and neck turning. Annealing helped too but my first 200 yard cloverleaf was after switching to regular match primers and neck turning.

    BTW: 338 is in the build phase.
     
  4. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    Broz: thanks for the response. I will definitely load up some more and move back. The groups are just so non-uniform. 3 of the 4 looked like the group at the top. Looking at just the one I would think shooter error - but 3 out of 4 with one big flyer (in different directions) is suspect. Stranger things have happened.



    JFSeaman: I am weight sorting bullets and brass, brass is new Lapua trimmed and neck sized, federal 215M primers. I do not neck turn. The main point of my question is that the Lapua Scenars (same brass, charge, powder, etc) had no flyers whatsoever. Switched to testing the OTMs and it was like I flipped a switch -BUT- the fact that the groups are two-thirds tight has me questioning myself.
     

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  5. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    What scope and what rail?

    This does not look like a bullet issue, at this point I am guessing rifle problem, scope or mount and shooter.

    Jeff
     
  6. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    Scope mounts tight? I would give them another test to confirm, maybe you were fatigued?
     
  7. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I have fought the Bergers in other rifles. My 257 weatherby would shoot 4-6 '' at 100 and a Barnes tsx would bug hole same load. But I got the otms to shoot in my 338 Norma. I guy I now that shoot in 1000 bench shot crazy tight groups with Scenars 250 Gr, in a Trg and could never get the Bergers to touch them. He spent alot of time and has posted 100 score targets at 1000 bench.I doubt your scope when onegroups and another doesnt
     
  8. jfseaman

    jfseaman Well-Known Member

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    Distance to the lands is all I can think of. I did some work with that for my A-Max 208s but have little advice.

    You could try 210Ms.

    Neck turning and annealing are, well, tedious but worth it.
     
  9. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    NXS 5.5-22x56 in TPS rings. The rail is a 20MOA steel (not sure make, maybe custom) on an Eliseo Tactical chassis. Pinned and bolted. I cleaned and thread locked all screws, but I will re-check them all today. I'm starting to think the only loose screw may be contained in the shooter.

    If I get a chance this week, I'll load up some Scenars (proven to shoot) and some more Bergers and I'll shoot back-to-back groups.
     
  10. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    I have two boys under 5 and a job that is 75% travel. I am always fatigued! Probably couldn't hit a barn well-rested.

    You all have me leaning toward shooter error, so now I am in a no-win:

    If I re-test and they shoot poorly, I am either unfixable or can't use these great bullets

    If I re-test and they shoot great, I've proven that I suck.

    So much for this thread!:D
     
  11. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    Everyone has bad days shooting. Even the greatest benchrest shooters will tell you that they have off days. Test them out again and see how it goes. Kinda of crazy that it would pretty much one hole them and then throw one in another group. Take a chrono with you next time and see what changes with velocity when it throws one. Try to eliminate as many variables as possible. If everything comes back to you being the problem on those shots then try to figure out what you are doing wrong and fix that. That is why shooting is so interesting, there is always something that can be tweeked, fixed or adjusted to make your shoot more accurately.
     
  12. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    A word of caution about shooting bullets with different alloy jackets back to back, it could cause some severe fouling. Also if this has been done I would stop now and do a complete cleaning with Boretech Eliminator.

    Jeff
     
  13. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I had never heard this before. I was cleaning between strings last time out, but probably would not have in this case ... Now I will.
     
  14. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    If your cleaning in between, you should have a fouler shot before your group or at least keep track of it.