Questions about chronograph speeds and powder amount

leecheater

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Jan 22, 2018
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Saint Cloud, MN
Hello All, I am a long time lurker. I really appreciate the knowledge here. I still consider myself novice. I know I have a lot to learn. Been reloading 223 for prairie dogs and coyotes. I finally got my Magnetosport Sporter fired up yesterday. The fps were a range from 2670-to-2790. I am shooting 55 grain Nosler ballistic tips with 24.5 grains of Varget with my Tikka T3x. Using CCI 400 small rifle primers. I am picky about COAL. We did do some ladder loads, with less and more powder. We have found this load to be the one the Tikka likes the best so far.

My question, should I be even more picky about the Varget grains? Will making every load exactly 24.5 (or other) help make me more accurate? My Lee Precision Loader is pretty accurate but if I weigh 10 powder drops they do vary a bit. It could be 24.3 up to 24.7. Is this going to make much difference in shooting out to 300 yards?

Thanks
 

Slick8

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Aug 13, 2012
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The Republic of Texas
Its not going to make a tremendous difference at 300 but you're talking minute of Prarie dog so yeah you'll want to fix that.

Besides, part of the fun or sickness is getting every little detail down to the knatts arse. You can easily start splitting hairs but at a minimum you need a quality beam scale and a powder trickler.
 

leecheater

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Jan 22, 2018
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Location
Saint Cloud, MN
I do have a powder trickler and an electric scale. I also have a beam scale but found the electronic one quicker, but maybe not as accurate? When loading a couple of thousand rounds for my brother, nephew and myself having to trickle every round will slow the process. I tried Ramshot Tac and also CFE 223, it seems they meter a bit better but I didn't find them as accurate.
 

Slick8

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Then your next best option would be a precision measure such as a Harrells.

Have you loaded some rounds and actually shot at 300 to see what your vertical dispersion is?
 

leecheater

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Jan 22, 2018
Messages
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Location
Saint Cloud, MN
I have shot that far while out hunting them but where I live next to impossible to find a 300 yard range. I do plan to visit a friend in a couple of weeks who lives about 75 miles from my home who has a 500 yard range.
 

dmj

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Nov 16, 2013
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831
I'm not an expert. But seems like you have a pretty good spread in your velocity. Someplace around 120 fps. Curious as to what kind of groups your rifle is shooting? Not sure the difference in powder amounts would account for the difference in velocity. Guess the other question would be are you happy with the way your rifle shoots and performance you are currently getting. If so and you aren't seeing any pressure issues just keep having fun.
 

LaHunter

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Sep 30, 2012
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N.E. Louisiana
Hello All, I am a long time lurker. I really appreciate the knowledge here. I still consider myself novice. I know I have a lot to learn. Been reloading 223 for prairie dogs and coyotes. I finally got my Magnetosport Sporter fired up yesterday. The fps were a range from 2670-to-2790. I am shooting 55 grain Nosler ballistic tips with 24.5 grains of Varget with my Tikka T3x. Using CCI 400 small rifle primers. I am picky about COAL. We did do some ladder loads, with less and more powder. We have found this load to be the one the Tikka likes the best so far.

My question, should I be even more picky about the Varget grains? Will making every load exactly 24.5 (or other) help make me more accurate? My Lee Precision Loader is pretty accurate but if I weigh 10 powder drops they do vary a bit. It could be 24.3 up to 24.7. Is this going to make much difference in shooting out to 300 yards?

Thanks
Most likely yes. A fps spread of 120 fps is a lot. Something is causing that variation. In a case as small as a .223, a charge wt variance of .4 grains would be pretty significant I would think.
 

kiwikid

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Oct 21, 2012
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533
Location
New Zealand
Although I don't know what length your barrel is your velocity seems very low for 24.5 grains of Varget in a 223. The Nosler manual suggests you should be close to 2950 fps with the 55 grain BT with that load. I have found great accuracy with Benchmark in the four 223 rifles I load for with 55 grain bullets at just over 3100 fps.
 

leecheater

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Joined
Jan 22, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Saint Cloud, MN
Thanks for help everyone. I may need to bump up the amount of powder. I do have some benchmark powder that I ordered about 10 days ago since the Vargot is out of stock every where I tried to find it. I was able to get to the range near my house last evening. I am somewhat satisfied with results. This is at 100 yards only with my suppressor. It got dark on me so I had to stop as I was thinking of moving one click to the left and one up. These were my last 8-9 shots of the evening.
 

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lancetkenyon

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Jun 3, 2013
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My electronic powder dispenser/scale is not very accurate. It can be off by as much as .3-.4gr. When a target weight is achieved, I move it over to a good RBCS 5-0-5 and trickle up. 30.0 can range from 29.7 to 30.1 actual grains.

120fps is a big ES to deal with for prairie dogs out to 300-400ish. I would definitely look at why that ES is so high. Differences in actual charge weights, along with different brass headstamps would be my guess if you are loading for bulk. I try to load my "precision" .223 w. 69 SMKs in Lake City brass only, with exactly measured charge weights to the individual kernel, and have an ES of 15. My 50 V-Max varmint loads get mixed headstamp brass, and still only have a 50 ES. That is across any other headstamp I have on hand, R-P, Win, S&B, Fed, etc.. Plenty for coyotes out to 400 though.

I use Varget for 69SMKs @ 3033fps, Benchmark for my 50 V-Max @ 3305fps from my 24" barreled gasser.
 

leecheater

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Joined
Jan 22, 2018
Messages
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Location
Saint Cloud, MN
Lance you are correct about the head stamps. I got a deal on used brass from one of the local ranges. There must be 5-6 different stamps. I am going to try my tickler and also may need to pony up and get my own specific brass that I run through the Tikka. The barrel is 22.4" The guys I hunt with are typically using AR-15s. I usually load a couple of thousand for them and so I have just used the Lee powder drop set to average of 24.5.

I am beginning to understand what Slick8 says about the "knats arse" in details.
 

Stiltsville

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May 20, 2020
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Florida,USA
If you have the current Lee measure, it is rated second only to Harrell. If you switch to a ball powder you'll cut that variance to +- 1/10 gr.
 

lancetkenyon

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Keep the best for yourself, a big batch of same headstamped brass. I like Lake City myself. "LC" It is a bit thicker, as it is military NATO 5.56 brass. Need to remove/swage the primer crimp, but it is good brass.

Maybe weigh a few of each of the others, then sort the brass you give out to friends by headstamp. One guy gets 2 headstamps that are close in brass weight, another guy gets two others that are close. Within 3-5 grains of brass weight or so should really cut down ES.
 

leecheater

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Saint Cloud, MN
I like your idea about the brass. I usually do swage them all. It adds another step but it's quick. I have been told about the ball powder advantage. I also just purchased one of these for my Lee Powder drop. Maybe this along with ball powder and consistent brass will do it.


They say it works better than the original.
 

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