How far can I expect to shoot with this load?

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by PowellSixO, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. PowellSixO

    PowellSixO Well-Known Member

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    Been waiting for an elk hunt for 14 years now, and I finally drew a Unit 22 North Rifle Bull hunt for this December in the great state of AZ. In hopes that this would be the year, I have been putting together a rifle that I hope will help me with this hunt. It's a Savage 111 Trophy Hunter XP 7mm Rem Mag, BlackHawk Picatinny Rail, BlackHawk Rings, Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x44 EBR-1 MOA Scope, and BlackHawk Bipod. I've been working up a load for the rifle lately and here is what I have so far:
    3.425" COAL to the lands fyi
    3.405" COAL (.020" off the lands seems to be the sweet spot with .654" grouping at 100 yards)
    Remmington Brass
    WLRM Primer's
    168gr Berger VLD Hunting Bullet
    H1000 Powder (still working on the gr's, just used the start load so far)
    So any ways I plan to take the powder up until I see signs of excessive pressure and then back off a bit. I don't have a chronograph so I don't know my speeds, but I hope to be at 3000 fps mark or just under. So now to my question. How far do you think my kill range will be with this combination? I plan on shooting a LOT between now and December and want to practice shots up to this distance. I'm thinking that I will be limited to about 600-700 yards, but that's why I'm asking you guys. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. :)
    Here's a picture of the rifle. I do plan to upgrade the stock in the near future.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. cohunter14

    cohunter14 Well-Known Member

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    A lot depends on how much practice you get and how far out you are confident. If the conditions are right, you should easily be able to get past 700 yards if you want to.
     

  3. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    I'm just guessing without velocity data but probably 550-600 would be reasonable. You need to get the load and its velocity figured out either by shooting over a chrono or the hard way of taking the drops and figuring the velocity which by the way is very accurate.

    That is a decent group (.654) at 100 yards. Take it out to 300 yards (my preference) and see what it does. You really need to get the velocity thing figured out to be accurate in your kill range estimation.
     
  4. PowellSixO

    PowellSixO Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. Yeah I have a lot of practice to do. I'm going to see if I can use a friends chronograph, and I also need to get my drop in moa out to 800 yards. Then I will be able to figure out what kind of energy I'm carrying out there. I need to get back to the range!
     
  5. foggybottombob

    foggybottombob Well-Known Member

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    You can get a chronograph for about $75. If you really want to be able to hit anything past 500 yards you need one to verify the consistency of your loads.
     
  6. PowellSixO

    PowellSixO Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a link to one I can purchase for 75$ please. Thanks!
     
  7. PowellSixO

    PowellSixO Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Ok so another question. I was measuring my magazine at lunch and it looks like I have plenty of room to increase my COAL. I never did jam a bullet in the lands or get any closer to the lands than my .020" off the lands when I did my first testing. This .020" load was far better than any of the others, so I'm thinking that I will load a few more up with a few jammed maybe .010" - .005", a few just touching, and a few maybe .005" off the lands and see where that gets me. From what I've read these vld's like to be jammed or touching the lands. What do you guys think?
     
  8. foggybottombob

    foggybottombob Well-Known Member

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    I think that if you jam a bullet into the lands and don't shoot that round, when you eject the round you are as likely as not going to have the bullet stick in the barrel and strew powder everywhere as the cartridge case spins away. To be able to seat a bullet so that the ogive consistently touches the lands you will need a bullet comparator. I have this same issue with Berger VLDs and I just ordered a Hornady Lock-N-Load comparator set from Midway.

    Just as a side note, my Ruger .270 win will only shoot VLDs well when they are loaded touching the lands. If I move 0.005" off the lands the group size more than doubles. But this varies from one rifle to another.
     
  9. PowellSixO

    PowellSixO Well-Known Member

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    I didn't think of that. So what do you think about me try a few loads from .005" off the lands, .010" off, .015" off, and my allready tested .020" off and see which one groups the best? Then I shouldn't have any problem with the bullet sticking in the barrel right?
     
  10. foggybottombob

    foggybottombob Well-Known Member

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    It can't hurt to try things. Typically a bullet with a tangent ogive is not very sensitive to seating depth and a bullet with a secant ogive likely will be sensitive to seating depth. There are exceptions. I don't know what bullet you are shooting.

    A couple of other things to remember about seating touching the lands is that pressure goes up exponentially under this condition. You will need to back off your powder charge two tenths of a grain or so if you try loads with the bullet touching or jammed into lands. Then you can work back up to where you were if there are no pressure signs. I don't know your level of reloading experience but remember to trim cases so that you don't get raised pressure from a too long case neck being crimped onto the bullet because it was forced too far into a chamber.
     
  11. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    Read this first before you waste a bunch of rounds. I'm working on a new load for a 30-06...Re 17, 190gr Berger and things are looking good at .110 off the lands.

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/for...accuracy-berger-vld-bullets-your-rifle-40204/

    Eric Stecker lays it out very well in this article.

    Don't jam the bullet in a hunting load!
     
  12. PowellSixO

    PowellSixO Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that. I'm shooting the 168 Beger VLD Hunting bullets, so they do have a secant ogive. I am fairly new to reloading, and yes I do plan on always trimming the cases to the correct length.

    Thanks again. I started at .020" off the lands and went up to .080". I need to just start over and do exactly like that article said. It did seem like the futher away from .020" I got the bigger my groups were getting, but who knows. I need to find out for sure so I'm not taking wild guess's. I've got a Bass Tourney this weekend so I doubt that I'll make it to the range, but I will post my results once I make it out. Maybe I'll take off early on monday. :)
     
  13. foggybottombob

    foggybottombob Well-Known Member

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    This is my VLD seating depth test. The center is the touching the lands. The upper left is the 0.005" off the lands group. The other groups are further from the lands. Granted there is a flyer on the center target but subsequent testing showed the touching the lands loads to be the best for accuracy.

    [​IMG]