H4350 and still no success

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Greg Duerr, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    Well I finally got some H4350 and could not wait to get to the range and find out how it would shoot in my New .243AI I have been somewhat discouraged with the performance of this rifle after spending the $2000 to have it converted. Well, the best group size measured .957. I started out with a beginning load of 43.5gr and working up to 47.0 seating the 90gr Ballistic tip .020 off the lands. The best group of .957 was at 46.0 Very dissapointing. The fact is that it shoots worse than when it was a factory Rem 700 in the 7mm-08. I did get some H4831SC this weekend and will try that tomorrow staring out at the high load with the standard .243 and working up in .5gr increments. When it was a 7mm-08 I used Varget and the 120gr Barnes TSX and it would hold .7 I borrowed a Rem 700in a ,243 for my antelope hunt, as my rifle was not completed yet and with factory Barnes ammunition was getting .745 with the 80gr TSX.
    I still believe that with the rifle I have I should be getting much better accuracy performance than I am...................
    What am I doing wrong?

    My rilfe was put together by Carolina Prcision Rifles ........................PacNor SM barrel 24inch #4, Jewell trigger , McMillian stock.......................

    If I had to do it over I would have ordered a Cooper, at least with Cooper they give your their accuracy load and that way you have a good starting point..............

    One of the things that I still think about is that when talking with John Lewis of CPR I ask him if this Rifle has the potintial to shoot under .5 .................He would not say yes, .........................................If H4831SC dones not work I will try H1000............................then im all ears .

    I just need some encourgement and some constructive advice.

    Greg
     
  2. gilmillan1

    gilmillan1 Well-Known Member

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    All I can say is that I know how you feel. I have been trying different powders and bullets in my 270, and nothing. But I have seen the light. I got the smallest group I got with one powder and then started playing with the seating depth. It worked well. Have u worked on the seating depth. Remember that if u are only trying powders, u are still half way only. The last factor is adjusting seating depth.
     

  3. gunpower

    gunpower Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried RL 19. It works great in my 243!gun)
     
  4. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

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    You beat me to it. RL-19 was my go to powder in the 243AI. I am also having promising accuracy with Ramshot Big Game & the 87grn V-max in the standard 243.


    t
     
  5. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Greg,

    I feel your pain. I have definitely been there. I just wanted to share my experience as it may give you a few different ideas.

    So I had a pac-nor stainless steel super match grade barrel installed on a winchester action. I did all the usual reloading variations from different powders to different bullets/seating depths to get it to shoot (just like you are doing). I just could not get the gun to shoot better than 1.5 moa. So I sent the barreled action back to pac-nor, and their response was "why didn't you send us this gun ealier?". They checked it out and determined that they had in fact drilled the counterbore of the chamber incorrectly. Honestly, I did not fully understand the specifics of how/where the problem was in the chamber, but they fixed the problem that they were able to see. They also said that with this kind of issue, that they really had no evidence one way or another that it would in fact cause an accuracy problem... Overall I was very happy with their customer service.

    Took the gun to the range... still would not shoot. So after a lot of painful hours and dollars spent shooting and lots of experimenting (details are not important) I sent the scope back to Leupold. They immediately found a problem in the windage/elevation control mechanisms, fixed the problem. They had the same exact reponse as pac-nor: "please do not hesitate to send back the scope in the future if you have any problems, and don't wait so long next time!".

    Straight to the range and the rifle was shooting 1/2 - 3/4 moa. So the problem really was in the scope all along... I technically have no way of proving this, but I don't think pac-nor's chamber issue was the cause of the problem. Leupold verified the problem and fixed it and then the gun shot great. and I'm talking GREAT. and now the gun will shoot just about any load and any powder well, and when you dial it in it's simply superb.

    So my personal experience is that when you have a gun that is a shooter, it simply shoots just about anything pretty well, and then a tuned load is amazing. And from the description of your gun, you've got everything in place... that gun should shoot! And when I read your post it reminded me of my 338 win mag and maybe you have some component with a small flaw/error in it ??

    When you add up the cost of gunpowder and bullets, and time reloading and shooting, you quickly see that paying for postage back to pac-nor or your scope back to the manufactuer to have them check it out may very well be worth it. There was a point when I was cursing pac-nor and sweared I would never get another pac-nor barrel (and leupold!). But now looking back on the experience (it was many years ago) I have had a few more pac-nor barrels installed on different guns and they ALL shoot very very well. So I really don't know any specifics about your gun, and maybe none of this info will help you at all... It just struck me that you've got a gun that should really shoot well, and it looks like you are doing every trick in the book to make great ammo for it... just don't give up on it!:) Good luck and let us know if you figure it out!

    -Chad
     
  6. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

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    Timber,

    You experience is well worth sharing, sometimes assumption can bite us in the rear. I assumed the "normal" accuracy blues checklist has been gone through (this might be a great independent thread:rolleyes:). Rifle action screws properly torqued, base screws properly torqued, ring cross bolts properly torqued, ring cap bolts properly torqued, bore properly cleaned & scope zero & repeatability properly verifled.

    An optic not perfoming properly is much harder to verify, ESPECIALLY if you're tryinig to work loads for a new, unproven rifle. One cannot simply run a box test or a verticle adjustment graph to test tracking & repeatability with your test rifle as there is little to no knowledge as to accuracy. Now, a true custom rifle "should" digest pretty much everything <1moa @ 100 but there are no guarantees in life.

    Your story is a great reminder to K.I.S.S..... something that I know I often struggle with. :D


    t
     
  7. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    It was a brand new Leupold VX3 LR, and I just blindly assumed it would be perfect. But as I slowly checked/replaced other components I realized that the only thing I had not touched/checked was the scope. So what I did was mount a scope from a different rifle that I knew shot well. BINGO! Gun shot great.

    And had I been smarter back then, I should have seen from my groups that the rifle shot very consistent bad groups ... meaning two shots would be within about a 1/2 inch of each other, or often times touching, and there would always be a flyer, where the one bad shot was very much the same from group to group, about 1.5 - 2 inches from the two good shots... I should have keyed in on the scope sooner. When Leupold finally confirmed that the mechanism had an issue from initial manufacturing, it was like a light-bulb went off... the mechanism would always slip under the heavy recoil, but the slippage was always consistent. So the mechanism was toggling between two positions... so with a 3 shot group, 2 of the shots had to be fired from the same position.

    Luckily I wasn't all dumb... when I got the scope back from leupold and started to work up a load, I was able to get really close to a perfectly tuned load by just looking at all my old targets/loads, and identifying which groups had the best 2-shot group.
     
  8. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Greg don't get down on it yet H4350 is too fast for a 243 ai. unless your using very light bullets.

    You will have better luck with slower powder h4831, h1000, rel 19.
     
  9. jfseaman

    jfseaman Well-Known Member

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    Turn your necks.
     
  10. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

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    I don't feel that is completely necessary, especially if his chamber is not on the "tight" side. While a clean-up pass is not a bad idea in any way, at this point I do not feel it will remedy the situation. The way I interpret the issue is a powder/case fault more than erratic ES or LR accuracy.


    Like I said, a cleanup pass is not bad, but not where i'd be looking right now.


    just my .002



    t
     
  11. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    Just doing a measurement of the necks could tell you if turning is necessary... if the variation in neck wall thickness measured at several points around the neck is larger than +/- .002", turning the necks might help.

    A 338wsm wildcat that I have did not shoot good until I bought high-end brass... the Winchester brass I was using had horrible case neck variations after I expanded up to 338 (and it was not great before expanding). The neck wall thickness varied between .012" and .018" in some of the cases. That is simply horrible. The new high-end brass, even after expanding, had a max variation of .001", and that was comparing every brass in two different boxes. Max thickness was .014 and min thickness was .013. So turning was not necessary... And it made a huge difference in accuracy.

    And, it was a pac-nor barrel that didn't shoot very well until I switched brass. Now it shoots amazing. The gun is a true shooter.

    Although, But my first guess is that brass with a much smaller .243 neck would not have the same problem... but five minutes with a set of calipers would confirm one way or another.
     
  12. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    and measuring the outside diameter of your fired cases, and comparing with a loaded case could tell you if you have a tight chamber. Which I guess is more of a possibility with your AI if the chamber was cut on the tight side. I'm not sure if AI chambers are known for tight neck dimensions ???

    Although, with all of that said, I would tend to agree with Outlaw6.0 that your case necks are probably not the problem.

    The reason I'm chiming in is because measuring your brass is free and really does not take very much time to eliminate as a problem source. Being very methodical to eliminate every potential source for error is the only way I've figured out how to make a couple of my rifles shoot well.

    Outlaw also made a very true statement that there are no guarantees with these rifles, however, based only on opinion, I just can't imagine a 243 AI put together by a great gunsmith would not be able to shoot better than 1/2 moa. I also think you are right on track to expect that kind of accuracy out of your rifle, so keep on trying!
     
  13. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the help I have received from the great guys on this forum. I did get good groups using RL19 but was really pushing the limit. 95gr bullet behind 48.5gr.......................I was under the impressing that you could go 10% over standard .243 loads. Was running some hot loads.................I did stop off at the gun store to find that they had just received a shipment of powder ........bought 2lbs of H4831SC Im now shooting the 90gr Ballistic Tip and was very encouraged shooting two groups that went right at .545 the bullets were seated .020 off the lands and this weekend will be starting at .035 and working back to .000 in .005 adjustments..................Im very hopefull that I just might be able to get below that .500 mark that I have never done before.
    I have heard that the .243AI works great with slower powders and will be trying some H1000 dont think I will have to worry about over charging as when I tryed to put in 52gr in the Ackley .................Well no way. So I did load some with a starting load of 50.0.
    Others have sugjested RL 22 or RL25 I did see that the store had some IMR 7828 SSC.
    I ran into a great guy out at the rifle range monday that was also shooting a .243AI He gave me some 87gr Vmax and said that they were murder on Marmonts...............................He offered me any help if I need it and gave me two lbs of H4831SC that he had no use for

    I have a new can of 8lbs of H4350 if anyone wants some.................i only use 1080 gr. of it and will make anyone a deal..............I bought the H4350 about two weeks ago.................

    Greg
     
  14. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Thats great Greg, I figured if you slowed up your powder a-bit it you would see better results.

    The 243ai really shines with the 105-107 grain bullets going over 3050, for really long range shooting. When Len was shooting his 243ai he was using H4831sc if I remember correctly, as was I in my f-class gun.