Bullet question, Hammer Bullets vs others

GetReel

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Fargo ND
Brief bio.... I have a Cooper Jackson Hunter Long Range 6.5x284 (26" 1-8 twist). I've been playing with the Hornady 143 ELD-X, Berger 140 VLD and currently Berger 140 Elite Hunter. I bet I have 300-400 rounds down the pipe and nothing consistent to show. I have bought the best reloading dies I can (Redding Competition Dies, I ordered proper neck tension bushings for my Lapua brass (.002 neck tension) and I weigh my powder very meticulously to ensure the best consistency I can.
I recently thought I found what I've been after (sub 1/2" MOA) but I can't seem to duplicate load after load. I can shoot a 5 shot .3" group @ 100 but then I take it out to distance and can't hold together (maybe it's me.... I'm looking for a shooting mentor for this reason, 100% self taught on everything).
I can consistently load under 1 MOA but that isn't good enough for me.
I'm just getting frustrated. Everyone on this forum talks so highly of Hammer bullets, I'd like to give them a try.
My concern is, am I giving anything up going from a 140gr bullet to the 124gr Hammer Hunter?
My rifle is a hunting rifle but I haven't drawn a tag in 4 years (thanks ND) so I've been using this time to practice and shooting mostly paper and steel.

Thanks for your time, Dave

Ps, powders I currently have; Retumbo, H4350, H4831sc, IMR 4831, Varget
 

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26Reload

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What is you load workup...didnt see which powder and gr to which bullets...
And numbers to ES and SD.....since we arent there to watch we need specifics to identify possible problems...
My 65284 24.5" shilen thin barrel shot most consistent at 55.8gr rl26, 3070fps, 142 lrab....but I dropped back to 55 to save wear on brass...shooting 2970fps now....i will again work it up and see what it does this winter...
Might be best for target rounds at 55 and season temp difference 55.8 to hunt with.....
I also am contemplating hammers....liter and faster..non explosive bullets...what better can there be...
 

GetReel

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That target is just my most recent. I don’t have my info for other powder/pills combinations.
The gr of powder is written next to each group. The powder and OAL is all written on the top of the target.
I don’t have velocities on those cause I have a Magnetospeed Sporter and I can’t shoot for groups with that attached, and, I shot with my suppressor on and the Sporter doesn’t fit the suppressor, I’d have to take it off.
 

tankgijohn72

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Feb 11, 2014
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Based off of the targets you have posted, there is nothing wrong with your loading practices. You never stated at what ranges your groups open up? It looks like for the most part you are consistently shooting around 1MOA 5 shot groups at 100 yds. How large are your groups at 300, 500, 700? For hunting, what range do you plan to hunt. Do you give up anything with going from a 140 to a lighter all copper? Depends on how you plan to hunt. If you are planning to hunt 500yds and less, pick a powder charge between 56.8 and 57.4. Go spend more time at the range until you are consistently hitting targets at those ranges. It is possible that the bullet is causing larger dispersion at longer ranges, but unlikely based off the groups you have posted.
 

RockyMtnMT

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Brief bio.... I have a Cooper Jackson Hunter Long Range 6.5x284 (26" 1-8 twist). I've been playing with the Hornady 143 ELD-X, Berger 140 VLD and currently Berger 140 Elite Hunter. I bet I have 300-400 rounds down the pipe and nothing consistent to show. I have bought the best reloading dies I can (Redding Competition Dies, I ordered proper neck tension bushings for my Lapua brass (.002 neck tension) and I weigh my powder very meticulously to ensure the best consistency I can.
I recently thought I found what I've been after (sub 1/2" MOA) but I can't seem to duplicate load after load. I can shoot a 5 shot .3" group @ 100 but then I take it out to distance and can't hold together (maybe it's me.... I'm looking for a shooting mentor for this reason, 100% self taught on everything).
I can consistently load under 1 MOA but that isn't good enough for me.
I'm just getting frustrated. Everyone on this forum talks so highly of Hammer bullets, I'd like to give them a try.
My concern is, am I giving anything up going from a 140gr bullet to the 124gr Hammer Hunter?
My rifle is a hunting rifle but I haven't drawn a tag in 4 years (thanks ND) so I've been using this time to practice and shooting mostly paper and steel.

Thanks for your time, Dave

Ps, powders I currently have; Retumbo, H4350, H4831sc, IMR 4831, Varget
There is gives and takes. Your question is what would you lose. You will lose some bc. Physics is physics and weight makes bc. Outside of that everything else is a gain.
 

snox801

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Spring Lake Michigan
I am a recent convert to hammer from lead and I never thought I would because you give up bc. Now that being said I started thinking about how my actual hunting distances come into play. And turns out I lost nothing but gained. So I shoot a 6.5 creed and limited myself to 600ish yards on game. So even though I gave up bc switching to hammer the ease of reloading and the extra speed I picked up makes it very flat for most of the under 500 shots I take. If you really wanna stretch it out lead is still best but you at some point t lose the fps needed to kill so for 1000 yard paper heavy lead can’t be beat but for hunting I don’t think you give up anything. More to gain really.
 

Lpart

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Powell, Wyoming
I agree 100%. Using the 124 gr Hammers in my 6.5 CM with great success. I have limited my shots on game to 600 yards for quite a while. Way too many issues arise beyond that to to suit me. Terminal performance of the 124 has been excellent on deer and sheep for me. Still shoot them at steel occasionally to 1000 yards.
 

GetReel

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Fargo ND
I am a recent convert to hammer from lead and I never thought I would because you give up bc. Now that being said I started thinking about how my actual hunting distances come into play. And turns out I lost nothing but gained. So I shoot a 6.5 creed and limited myself to 600ish yards on game. So even though I gave up bc switching to hammer the ease of reloading and the extra speed I picked up makes it very flat for most of the under 500 shots I take. If you really wanna stretch it out lead is still best but you at some point t lose the fps needed to kill so for 1000 yard paper heavy lead can’t be beat but for hunting I don’t think you give up anything. More to gain really.

Are they really that much easier to reload for? Also, I've never hunted past a few hundred as of now but I want to practice and eventually do so. If I have to think about it, I'd rather have a consistent shooting load with a lighter bullet than an inconsistent heavier one
 

HARPERC

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Spokane, WA
I'm having good results in a few rifles with Hammer's, I like them a lot, very consistent, but I'm not sure that is the answer to what your experiencing.

1) Reality, 0.5 MOA consistently isn't necessarily as easy, as some would have us believe.

2) The wheels coming off at distance. It wouldn't hurt to verify your twist. Are groups growing vertically, horizontally, or randomly?

Everything you have, and are doing looks like quality. There are some good schools out there, it may be time to look into them. A good coach could improve your access to the next level in your shooting.
 

GetReel

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Fargo ND
Everything you have, and are doing looks like quality. There are some good schools out there, it may be time to look into them. A good coach could improve your access to the next level in your shooting.

Im in ND, there are not much for "classes" I can find relatively close. I'd love to attend something to hone my skills.
 

shphtr

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Jul 7, 2006
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Alaska
I basically had the same problem as you with my Cooper Backcountry in 6.5 x 284 after multiple different bullet/powder combinations. It finally all came together with RL 26 and Hammer 139 gr bullets for .2 to maybe .4” groups - consistently! Velocity is 3060 up to 3100. Might be worth a try? Good luck.
 

ShtrRdy

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Using the recipe that gave you a 0.3" group, are you able to repeat that at short range?

Are you keeping your brass grouped as "new", "1x fired", "2x fired", etc.?
 

GetReel

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Fargo ND
Using the recipe that gave you a 0.3" group, are you able to repeat that at short range?

Are you keeping your brass grouped as "new", "1x fired", "2x fired", etc.?

I'll be giving that recipe another try before I scrap it. (57.8gr of Retumbo, 140 Elite Hunter, .010" jump)
I'll even thoroughly clean the rifle, load 10, shoot a fouler and then 3-3shot groups this weekend and report back.

I have 100 pieces of Lapua brass, once fired, on second firing now, but yes I keep separated properly. I sonic clean and media tumble and proper neck sizing.
 
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