How good is good enough?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by jimsbriar, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. jimsbriar

    jimsbriar Active Member

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    Hi all

    I have a question that may generate some discussion. so, I have a sako finnlight 85 in 6.5x55. I have been slowly working up loads using lapua brass, fed 210 primers, 130 berger VLD and IMR 4350.

    Max load according to the berger manual is 43 gr. with a published velocity of 2696 fps. at 43 gr. I was only able to get 2417 fps and my high/low spread was 57 fps. so, I kept creeping forward with the charge. Now I am at 46 gr. with a velocity of 2817 fps and a high/low spread of 8 fps.

    I still have no visible signs of pressure. no marks on the case head, no cratered primers, no overly flattened primers and no bulge marks around the base of the case.

    The gun keeps getting more and more accurate and my high/low spread gets smaller and smaller with every increasing charge. Right now I have 1/2" MOA.

    how far should I push this? How good is good enough for those 600-700 yard shots?

    thanks in advance!!
     
  2. stomp442

    stomp442 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 15, 2013
    You probly got a little room to work up with a 130 but if the accuracy is there I wouldn't mess with it. I am more concerned about how well a rifle shoots vs how fast it is.
     

  3. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

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    +1. Nothing against continuing to establish a max load as long as the results are more beneficial to your needs compared to what you have already established and safe!
     
  4. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the previous comments. You are very likely close to the point when you are going to start seeing pressure signs. I wouldn't be too concerned that you are at 46 grains within the Berger Manual max load of 43 grains. Many of the loads shown in their manual show charge weights that are lower than many shooters use likely because the COAL's are SAMMI spec. This is the case with my 6.5x284. Using a Berger 140, the max charge is 51 gr of H4831sc. My load is 53 gr. I load my bullet closer to the lands so I was able to get away with a higher charge weight. I have no pressure signs. At 54 gr I started to get sticky extraction so I backed off and stuck with 53. Your load seems to be pretty solid in terms of velocity, ES, and accuracy but if you were inclined to seek higher performance you could increase charge weight in .3 or .5 gr increments and watch the pressure signs. I really depends on your comfort zone and goal. IMO.
     
  5. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Taking a quick look at some different load data sources, it looks like 2750-2800 fps is about max that they all recommend with a 129-130 gr bullet weight but all are loaded to roughly 45,000 to 50,000 psi for the older rifles that the Swede was chambered in. In a modern rifle, this chambering will easily handle modern chamber pressures into the +60,000 psi range easily which will give a noticeable boost in velocity.

    You are at the upper range or slightly over what I have found so I would say stay there. Your accuracy is top notch, your extreme spreads are perfect, could not be better. Do not push things any harder and get off paper targets and get out and start practicing with some practical field testing to get your drop chart developed and proven. I would say your load development is DONE!!!
     
  6. jimsbriar

    jimsbriar Active Member

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    Hey all,

    I want to express my sincere thank you for your feedback....you guys are what make this forum such a great place!

    I am taking your advice and stopping my load development while I am ahead...Its time to begin practicing at longer ranges with the load I have.

    once again thanks

    jim