Load testing my Rem Tactical in .223

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Mike6158, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    297
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    I've been working with my .223 bolt gun lately. It's a Remington Tactical. I added a Jewell trigger and a Nightforce NX2 but that's about it. I've only had it a year and for most of that year it's just been sitting there waiting for me to shoot it. Too many other guns to play with... It's not my .338 Edge but it shoots pretty well for a factory rifle. That damned Edge has ruined me. I expect all of my guns to put holes in holes at 100 yards and it's not happening. If I shoot 1/2 moa I wonder what's wrong with the load :cool:

    My first load test was a dismal failure. I loaded them a little hot (not always a bad thing but in this case it was) and rather than say it shot groups I'll say it was more like a spray pattern :D I went back to the Sierra manual and based my second test on their accuracy load of 20.7 gr of RE-7 and worked down from there in .2 gr increments. So far the Sierra manual accuracy load wins. I'll bracket either side of 20.7 in the future to see if I can squeeze anymore out of it.

    The primary purpose of this post is to demonstrate to people that are new to the joy of reloading that a very small powder charge difference will affect accuracy significantly. Load carefully and find out what your rifle likes for the bullet that you are shooting.

    The little target circles are 1/2" in diameter. I still don't pay enough attention to cant but I'm getting better. I added a DE cheekpiece and it seems to help with getting on the scope more consistently. I think I still need to work on that as well.

    I deviated from the shoot 1 then clean method. I shot 5 from each powder weight, let the barrel cool, and then cleaned. With a little more work on technique I think that I can tighten these up. BTW- I can't recommend Lapua brass enough. It's a joy to work with. I shot the "good" load at 200 yards and had a 1/2" group. I didn't have enough ammo to try 300 yards. Maybe next time.


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Johnboy

    Johnboy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    hey if you want to try something get you some IMR8208XBR.I have been loading with this powder and have found that it really works great in my 223 1:9 with a 69gn NCC.and it will knock out one nice hole at 100 for me and give me a 1"3/4 group at 300 with little wind.( 15 shoot group )

    I worked up to the load that I'am useing .I started at 22.0gn's and went all the way up too 25.0gn's.and yes I watched for pressure signs with each load.started to get flat primers with 23.8gn's in my rifel.25.0gn's gave me too flat of a primer so I stuck with 24.5gn's.and this one load gave great accuracy.but now I have backed down .5gn's to 24.0gn's.I started the test loading all rounds with a 2.290 C.O.A.L. and have stuck with that length.

    again its something I worked up too and shoot in my rifel.will even add that this powder seems to be really clean.it only takes a few wet patches along with a few dry to clean my rifel.while brushing with a brass brush between the wet patches.
     

  3. strombeckj

    strombeckj Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    561
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    8208 XBR is a great powder, I like compressed varget for heavy .22cals. Hodgdons max load w/ a 69 gr SIE HPBT is 26.0C of varget @ 3010 FPS. With XBR it is 23.8 @ 2959 FPS. I like to load as full of a case as I can get, seems to bug hole better!:D
     
  4. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    297
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    As soon as I get some breathing room I'm going to load up some test loads with 8208 XBR. I finally got my hands on some.

    IMR's data shows max is 23.1 gr / 2,995 fps. It'll be interesting to see what it does.
     
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Banned

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Varget and Rl15 are good powders for the heavier bullets......
     
  6. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,269
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Couple things
    -STOP cleaning between groups. Don't ever do that.
    -You need more of a load development plan than trying 3 increments of book loads.

    What have you done so far with seating depth?
     
  7. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    297
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Not cleaning between groups would be fine with me. I changed to that from lettting the barrel cool and then cleaning between shots which was the recomendation from the guy that wrote the ladder testing article that I read (and can't find at the moment). He also recommended 3 shot groups. I modified the test to use 5 shot groups.

    First I adjust the powder charge , then I adjust for seating depth. I started at .020 off the lands. Once I find a charge that I like I'll increment seating depth if it's necessary.
     
  8. KIWI AL

    KIWI AL Active Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    i got a sps tactical last week in 223
    have only been looking for pressure signs with varget and 75gr amax so far while giving the barrell a light breakin.
    26 grns gave me 2840 fps and that was a compressed load.
    i have 3 cases of 25.5 and 3 of 26 to test grouping when the rain stops
     
  9. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    297
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    So far I like my SPS Tactical. For a factory rifle it shoots pretty well. I have one in .308 but my son shoots it more than I do and I haven't had the time to work with it. My Sendero (7mm mag) and .338 Edge keep are enough... not to mention pistols and real life...

    I'm going to have to try Varget... I'm starting to look like a powder addict though :D I've got a good selection and I guess you can't ever have too much...