Bullet question, Hammer Bullets vs others

GetReel

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View attachment 112437

This is what I have been working on in Numbers so I can plot the Magnetospeed data at the range on my iphone. Working on several different graphs to visually break this down as well.This is only 3-shot strings but you can decide if 3 or 5 is what you want to do. An average will paint a more accurate picture to pick from than single shots for velocity.

Factory match ammo at the bottom for comparison.

So I'm gonna guess 40.5 is where you will start seating depth tests?
 

WiscGunner

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I manuallybidentified my nodes until I get the graphs working cleanly.

41.5 had the best average velocity 41.4 = 2788
41.6 = 2788

41.9 (41.8 to 42) was very nice as well 42.7 (42.6 to 42.8) but I chose to use 41.5 as it was a couple nodes lower than max. If my ammo sits out in the sun in the summer velocity can ready spike and these numbers were in the shade plus I have no interest in squeezing every last fps as it does very little for me in a match and would rather have extra barrel life.
 

WiscGunner

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The ES was best at 40.5 but not much different than 41.5t. Everything is a compromise in performance. My next endeaver is to test a batch with the primer pockets uniformed vs non-uniformered to see if the gain is worth it to me. Then I may play with different primers but really I have a great load that works well for me and shoots easily .25” groups at 100yrds and will do 1/2 that if I take my time on the trigger. The rest of refining the load is just playing around. I have very little time and my range is 2.5hours from me. I just want a load that will work and I can bulk load a thousand so my time is spend shooting.

When I did seating depth testing I started with .02 off the lands as a popular recommendation for the 140eldm but I wanted to know for my setup. They perform better for me with a bit more jump than that but I will not adjust my load. On a new barrel I want to be on the small side of my jump “node” so as the throat wears I stay in the jump “node” longer before needing to retweak my ammo.
 

yorke-1

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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

Yes, they are in my experience. I seat the bullets to mag length (or .015" off the lands in a single shot), pick a powder, load up about 8 shots in .5gr increments for most of the cases I work with, then shoot over a chronograph. I look for either a target velocity or for the change in velocity from charge to charge to plateau. From there I load 6 rounds with whichever charge weight gave the velocity I'm happy with, then shoot 3 shots at 100 yards. If I like that group I shoot the other 3 shots at 300 yards. If I'm happy with the results, I load up a whole bunch and just start shooting.

Of course there have been a couple times I've just picked a powder charge, dumped it into a case, stuffed a Hammer on top with an OAL that will feed through the mag, fired 3 shots at 100 yards, shot a sub MOA group with a factory rifle and called it good. load up 6 more rounds, 3 to confirm zero and 3 to chronograph, then start practicing. Load work done in less than 10 shots.
 

GetReel

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Gotcha.
I've got 55 bullets left (the 140 Berger Elite Hunters). I think I will be loading them all with what I have now because I know it will hold well to 300 (that's as long as my local range is), I'll use those to practice eye positioning, hold, trigger squeeze etc... Then I'll have my Hammers I ordered and try to go by a velocity node with more per string to get a better average
 

WiscGunner

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BTW I do not claim to be the foremost expert nor have ALL the answers. This is just what works for me.

I use a Forster Coax, priming on the press is very consistent. I de-prime with a sinclair decapping die. I gently clean 30-45 min with stainless media in a FA tumbler with 10lbs of media and 200pcs of brass so there is less violent tumbling as well there are fewerpieces of brass. I media seperate in a Dillon media separator.

I lube with Lanolin/alcohol method from 6.5 Guys and full length size with a Forester die. I open the necks with a sinclair mandrel die then clean again for 30min in wet tumbler. Drying is done is a cheap food dehydrator from amazon. Then I run the clean brass through my Giraud and brush the debris from the neck.

I measure my powder with a Chargermadter with an LRI insert and tweaked programming. I run the chargemaster on a APC UPS battery backup (unplugged) for best accuracy. I dump the powder thru an Area 419 funnel and seat the bullets in my Forster with their micrometer die.

Easy, repeatable and very accurate system that eliminates a lot of variables.

I need to get an Annealeze next for bulk annealing and add that to my routine.
 

RockyMtnMT

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As much as I would like guys to burn a couple hundred rounds shooting 5 shoot groups at .2g powder increments and then do seating depth adjustments in 5 shoot groups, because I would sell a lot more bullets, it is just not needed. I'd rather see guys out practicing shooting from hunting positions and winning bets with Their shooting buddies. If you really love the loading process then load more rifles with less shots.
 

yorke-1

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Gotcha.
I've got 55 bullets left (the 140 Berger Elite Hunters). I think I will be loading them all with what I have now because I know it will hold well to 300 (that's as long as my local range is), I'll use those to practice eye positioning, hold, trigger squeeze etc... Then I'll have my Hammers I ordered and try to go by a velocity node with more per string to get a better average

Just a thought, but have you tried any 142 Sierra Matchkings in there? I don't think I've ever seen a 6.5x284 that didn't shoot well with a 142 SMK seated about .015" off the lands and 49.5-51.0gr of H4831sc. Maybe the grouping problem isn't your load at all, but an issue with your scope/bedding/barrel. Trying one of the old standard loads may be a good way to test that.

I'd suggest finding a relatively inexpensive bullet with a similar BC to the 124 Hammers so you can get more practice in. Maybe something like the 123 Lapua Scenar or 123 Nosler HPBT. It's very likely that you just need to get some more trigger time to get your group size down consistently and unless you've got deep pockets, finding a less expensive practice bullet will let you shoot a lot more.
 

GetReel

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As much as I would like guys to burn a couple hundred rounds shooting 5 shoot groups at .2g powder increments and then do seating depth adjustments in 5 shoot groups, because I would sell a lot more bullets, it is just not needed. I'd rather see guys out practicing shooting from hunting positions and winning bets with Their shooting buddies. If you really love the loading process then load more rifles with less shots.

What would you suggest to find a good hunting load?
 

GetReel

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Just a thought, but have you tried any 142 Sierra Matchkings in there? I don't think I've ever seen a 6.5x284 that didn't shoot well with a 142 SMK seated about .015" off the lands and 49.5-51.0gr of H4831sc. Maybe the grouping problem isn't your load at all, but an issue with your scope/bedding/barrel. Trying one of the old standard loads may be a good way to test that.

I'd suggest finding a relatively inexpensive bullet with a similar BC to the 124 Hammers so you can get more practice in. Maybe something like the 123 Lapua Scenar or 123 Nosler HPBT. It's very likely that you just need to get some more trigger time to get your group size down consistently and unless you've got deep pockets, finding a less expensive practice bullet will let you shoot a lot more.

I haven't tried the 142's because they are a target bullet and this is for hunting.

I will be using my Tikka 223 for additional practice too
 

WiscGunner

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As much as I would like guys to burn a couple hundred rounds shooting 5 shoot groups at .2g powder increments and then do seating depth adjustments in 5 shoot groups, because I would sell a lot more bullets, it is just not needed. I'd rather see guys out practicing shooting from hunting positions and winning bets with Their shooting buddies. If you really love the loading process then load more rifles with less shots.


I agree, I wouldn’t nevessarily burn expensive solids with that much load development either but my range is 2.5hrs one way as I live in the liberal stonghold of Madison. Not worth it to me to make several trips so I over do it on option to take so one trip does it for me. My ELD-Ms were .25/pc.
 

yorke-1

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I haven't tried the 142's because they are a target bullet and this is for hunting.

I will be using my Tikka 223 for additional practice too

My thinking is that shooting a proven match bullet will give you a base line of what the rifle is capable of under ideal conditions. It will help rule out a problem with the gun/scope which could be causing your inconsistent results with the other bullets.
 

RockyMtnMT

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What would you suggest to find a good hunting load?
I load in much the same way that Yorke described. I load with a abbreviated ladder at 200y. Most cases unless small like a creed I load in 1g increments 1 shot per load all at the same aim point. All shots are chronographed. I expect to see very close to moa for the load development. Even with 200 fps in vel change. I want to see uniform increases in vel for each increase in powder charge. If the target is loose or vel is erratic I don't mess around, I move to the next powder. I have learned not to make the gun like what it doesn't. Once pressure is found or top expected vel is found, (adjust down from pressure as needed) then load 4 or five of these to shoot for average vel and accuracy. If using a mag speed and es it's not poor, then load several more to shoot for accuracy and zero. If using lab radar skip the last step and zero on the step before. At this point I am almost always done and moving on to verify drops. If on the rare occasion that accuracy is not as good as expected then I will move on to seating depth adjustment. I started the process at the longest coal that fits the rifle without touching the lands (If mag allows I start at 20 thou off)so there is only one way to go from here. Shorter. Now I will seat shorter in 20 thou increments or a 1/4 shorter on the seater die. I'll shoot a group of 2 at each adjustment. If the group is not good with 2 there is no point in shooting a 3rd, It won't make the group better. If 2 are good I'll shoot more. Accuracy should be found within 3-4 seating depth adjustments. It is truly rare to need to mess with seating depth, Hammer Bullets are very seating depth tolerant.

That's it!
 

stx

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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.
RL 26 was the answer to my Cooper Backcountry 6.5x284 accuracy/velocity issue, as well....3 shot group at 100 yds

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