Reloading suggestions for .338 Lapua

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by LayinItDown, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. LayinItDown

    LayinItDown Active Member

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    Loading is getting a little frustrating with the new lapua. Right now I'm using Federal 215 primers, RL-25 and norma brass. I've been through a couple of boxes of Berger's bullets and getting ready to start my second box of Hornady 285 bthp's.

    I've tried about every powder charge and bullet seating dept with these and can not get any consistancy. I try to shoot in the mornings around 35-45 degrees and keep everything else equal.

    The berger's were not consistant at all. There was always a flyer and the groups would range from 5/8" at 400 one day and 3" the next with all else being equal. The Hornady bullets are more consistant but still having similar issues.

    Could it be as simple as the powder. I'm hearing good things about Retumbo and a few others. (Temp sensitive)

    I know the gun is capable of 1/4" MOA or better at 400 and maybe beyond. My last best group was 3 shots at 1.5" at 400, then a flyer 2" to the left. This was 89 gr RL-25 with the Hornady bullet. My goal is to keep it under 3" at 600.

    Am I being anal about a factory rifle? Any tips or suggestions are welcome. Thanks.......
     

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  2. marioq

    marioq Well-Known Member

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    I have Retumbo and H-1000 and I get .44 inches at 100 yards with Barnes 265 gr bullets.. I am still finalizing the load because, like you, I get a flyer and I am trying to load it at 100 to get the spread where I want it and then move out to further distances... Also, don't have a place with more than 200 where I am now..... But I have not tried the powder you name and I am new at this too so just my experience to the date.... In fact, went to go shoot this morning and the range was closed!!! DAMN!!!
    Good luck
     

  3. joe0121

    joe0121 Well-Known Member

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    Google OCW load development.
     
  4. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    Retumbo works good for me. i would try that or h1000
     
  5. green 788

    green 788 Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like it's already doing very well. Flyers 2 inches to the left of a 1.5 inch group at 400 yards can easily be explained by a tiny amount of wind you didn't see (about a 3 mph wind would do it)... or just the trigger pull or bi-pod loading (pushing harder against one leg than the other) could do it... it's hard to say for sure. Seating depth adjustments can reel in flyers in many cases too.

    I've used Retumbo in my 110BA, and it has done well. I've shot the 300 grain Sierra Matchkings as fast as 2800 fps (with 92 grains of Retumbo), and that was a very accurate load. But due to pressure signs (flat primer, ejector swipe) I decided to drop the charge to 89.3 grains in Lapua brass, and it works very well also. That gives 2700 fps.

    I tried that load at 600 yards just yesterday...

    [​IMG]

    This was the load with a cold clean bore shot. My rifle is at around 120 rounds as of now, still breaking in... and it likes at least 2 fouler shots before it starts 1/2 MOA accuracy. My first fouler shot from a cold clean bore goes about 1/3 MOA low, and slightly right. (see 100 yard target below). I had 3 to 5 mph winds on the 600 yard target, and the low shot in that group was the second shot from a cold clean bore. I don't know why it printed left (wind, or just me)... but low for that shot is the norm in my rifle.

    [​IMG]

    The guys reporting that Retumbo is temperature sensitive are just running their loads too hot. They switch to another powder that won't let them run so fast and they say "voila, this powder isn't as temp sensitive." But Retumbo isn't all that temp sensitive either if you're running sane pressures...

    Dan
     
  6. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    Are you annealing or bushing die the necks for consistent necks?Sounds like you have shot a few.That may help w fliers.
     
  7. green 788

    green 788 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't annealed... I'm still on the first firing of 100 Lapua cases, plus I've shot several Hornady factory loads and used that brass, once fired.

    I use standard FL dies (Lyman in this case).
     
  8. orch

    orch Well-Known Member

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    Hey there... As I just posted on Green 788's thread in next folder down from "reloading"... I'm am shooting almost an identicle load to his with retumbo and 300 gr sierras and am very happy with it....

    One thing I would check is your case neck run out... I was going along good when I started load development with mine then things went to crap on my 3rd loading of my Lapua brass.... Turns out I had a bent decapping pin in my standard RCBS dies that was giving me real bad case neck and bullet runout and was sending fliers all over the place...
    Bought some redding competition bushing dies and that brought every thing back down to nice tight groups....

    I usually anneal my cases every 3 or 4 loading cycles (about when I can feel the neck tension start to increase on resizing and bullet seating... Don't ask me how I can tell, but it just feels like the brass is resisting both oporations more, I anneal and it goes back to normal....)

    Oh I have also tinkered with the 285 hpbt's and retumbo and had a potentially good load but kinda quit it cause the 300 SMK's were shooting so well I felt the time and powder involved in developing it wasn't worth it for me... I have the load info around here somewhere... If I can find it I'll post it for you... Found it:

    285 gr hornady hpbt match
    91.4 gr retumbo
    2822fps
    (couldn't find the oal but it seems I remember i had it set so it was the same distance from the lands as my 300 gr SMK load)

    Also tried a box of 300gr Bergers but they preferred being seated out close to the lands in my gun and that put them way over my overall mag length so it was a deal breaker for me...
    Orch
     
  9. LayinItDown

    LayinItDown Active Member

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    Thanks for the info everyone. Every bit is helpful. My flyer from my last batch may have been due to the wind. I will be rechecking that load and a few others as soon as I can get a super calm day. That can be difficult sometimes in Montana.......

    Any suggestions on case prep. I usually clean them up good and shouldn't need to anneal anything yet, as I am just starting the second loading cycle on them. I'm told trimming them is important after about the 3rd firing.

    I also have some 250 accubonds for hunting I'd like to try. Any load suggestions on that one? I have some H-4831sc on hand I'd like to try with these.

    I have also noticed that the hotter the load is, the more to the right my gun shoots. Is this fairly normal?

    Going bear hunting is less than two weeks, so I'm trying to get this thing dialed in............................
     
  10. LayinItDown

    LayinItDown Active Member

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    Wind was good this morning so I got out to shoot some more test loads. I can shoot 300 yards out my back door, so that's where it was.

    Did different loads and different seating depths for each one. 87-89 of RL25 and .030" - .020" off the lands with the Hornady 285 bthp. Looks like seating depth may be my issue. In every case, the .020" off the lands was much better with 88 being the best at 1.5" at 300.

    My next test will be .010" off the lands with 87, 87.5 and 88 and see where that takes me. If all is good, I may have my load, or I may try to fine tune it with .1 or .2 grains of powder in each direction.

    Do I need to be concerned with extra pressure going from .020" to .010" off the lands?
     
  11. orch

    orch Well-Known Member

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    Hey there sounds like you are headed in the right direction.... As far as seeing pressure spike as you go from .020 to .010 from the lands.... I want to say no, if you are using a powder load lower then your previous max.... But nothing is for sure... Keep an eye on you primers etc... They will tell you if the pressure starts to get up there... If you are running your test loads over a chrono at the same time that may tell you too... I usually find my es will start to go south when I get near pressure problems....

    Orch
     
  12. LayinItDown

    LayinItDown Active Member

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    Thanks Orch. I loaded up another batch this evening and we'll see how that goes on the next quiet day. I didn't think I'd have pressure signs, but I've only been reloading a couple of years. My max, that I came up with, is 89 grains. The bolt got somewhat sticky after a few shots, so I called it quits there. Besides, 89 didn't shoot that good anyway. 87 through 88 feel good and also seem to shoot the best.
     
  13. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    Sinclair makes a chamber length gauge that fits in your brass.Then you can tell actual length and trim accordingly, the theory that a bit longer neck is a good thing for sealing up
     
  14. djtjr

    djtjr Well-Known Member

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    Retumbo and match kings work for me though rl 25 produced 1/4 inch groups in my 340 wby. If you are getting 1.5 inch groups at 400 in a factory gun I would be done.