.224 90gr and 95gr SMK? Good reports?

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by InkedIan, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. InkedIan

    InkedIan

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    68
    I've read plenty of so so and bad reports on these bullets. Anyone loving these bullets? Can you tell us about your rifle and load specifications.
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,849
    22 caliber?
     
  3. InkedIan

    InkedIan

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    68
    Yes sorry should have made that clear
     
    Terry likes this.
  4. paperpuncher

    paperpuncher Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    317
    I shot the 95 SMK this past year in midrange F class matches. I am shooting a 223 with a 6.75 twist barrel ISSF chamber with an additional.050” added to freebore. I am getting 2750 FPS I am happy with the accuracy had no issues with the bullet at all.
     
    Evlshnngns, InkedIan and Jdne5b like this.
  5. linebaugh

    linebaugh Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Messages:
    180
    I have shot both and plan (hope) to continue with them. The mixed reviews are probably somewhat founded. I have not shot bug holes with either and they are finicky and seem to like to throw a bullet making 5 shot groups open. For what development I have done and for how they are used they work fine for me but probably not for paper matches. Many people may not be rotating them hard enough which is also probably contributing to some poor reviews.

    If my reamer ever arrives I hope to give a review with some very positive vibes on the 95gr but that word HOPE should be capitalized.
     
    raptor1ronin and InkedIan like this.
  6. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    559
    I was shooting them out of a 29" 1:7t .223 Krieger w/ a .170 freebore. I got amazingly good accuracy out of the 90gr SMKs, but only at very low velocities (2300-2400 fps). Once I started pushing them where I needed to be for F-T/R shooting, I started seeing random flyers like linebaugh mentioned.

    It was bizarre, because at low velocities, these bullets were turning multiple groups that averaged mid .3" groups, and that's over 40 rounds off a freaking atlas bipod!

    I will say that I've read a lot about some of the older revisions of the 90gr SMK blowing up, but I never encountered any of that. I also found them to be very consistent from base to ogive, as well as weight (at least in the ~500ct lot I purchased).

    That said, Berger 90s ended up shooting better for me in the velocity range I was targeting.
     
  7. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Messages:
    3,020
    I've recently been doing some load work with the 95s and H4895 in a rifle with 30" 6.8-twist barrel and relatively long freebore. The 95s for me tuned in at ~2750 fps, seated at about .025" off the lands. The precision is acceptable; i.e. I would shoot this load in a match. However, in my hands, the grouping is not as tight as I've come to expect from Berger's 90 VLD. I've shot quite a few otherwise solid groups that had one or two shots just slightly out of the group with the 95s. Not really sure of the explanation. One possibility is that the 90 VLDs over H4895 are running at about 2850 fps, which corresponds to OBT node 4. That has been a very good node for me in both .223 and .308 with the appropriate weight bullets. The 2750-ish node with the 95s is in between OBT nodes, similar to running 200 gr .308 bullets at around 2650 fps. With a 30" barrel, I can't quite hit node 4 with 200s in a .308, or with the 95s in a .223, without going to much higher pressure than I'm willing to accept. Although it certainly works, I have never found the slower node to be quite as solid as node 4.
     
    MrMajestic likes this.
  8. Geno C

    Geno C

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    907
    Do you think the little bit of added volume of the 223ai would be enough to get up to the next node?
     
  9. Jdne5b

    Jdne5b Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Messages:
    1,142
    I imagine brass life would still suffer. I got to 2820 but brass was one and done in a big way (primers fell out) and accuracy sucked. The added capacity of the 223ai probably wouldnt reduce pressure enough to gain even one more firing and be accurate. I'm guessing I needed another .3-.5 grain of powder to be accurate. No way could I do it with Varget or H4895

    You're running into case capacity and high pressure issues. Now if someone made a slower than Varget powder and could fit a BUNCH in a .223 case, then maybe you could get to the higher node at a decent pressure. I just dont think its possible.
     
    Geno C likes this.
  10. natdscott

    natdscott P100, HM, DR, experienced beginner. Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    508
    .224 bullets past the 80 to 82 grain range are hard to make shoot well.

    For most shooters, the time and frustration spent on the "Nineties" at the loading bench would have been better used with an easy 80 load actually ON the range learning to read wind.
     
    22BRGUY likes this.
  11. watercam

    watercam Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,592
    I have been shooting the SMK 90s for a couple of years now with good results to 600 yds.. Easily holds a conventional (as in sling, coat and iron sights) MR X-ring when the shooter does not screw it up. My free-bore is .245" leaving the bullet shank/boat tail joint just above the shoulder/neck joint. 24.7 gr. Varget gives me 2780 fps with good brass life (ten firings from Lapua brass so far).
    I had intended to use them at 800-1000 but our range is always finicky and it became frustrating trying to deal with it with a .223. That's why God made the .308 Palma load!
     
    22BRGUY and swd like this.
  12. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Messages:
    3,020
    The reason you can't hit the next node is that the primer pockets will be wiped out in a single firing. There is already enough case capacity in a .223 Rem to get there with certain powders if you're willing to treat the brass as once and done. I can't see where the AI case modification would make any difference.
     
  13. 1911mag

    1911mag Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    174
    I have 2 years on FTR Mid Range shooting Remington action on a HS stock with 1:7 Bartlien HV 32” barrel. I have used Varget and N150 with 80 and 90VLD’s with good success.
    I also ran the new 95’s with Varget and reached 2700 with a group would shoot a match with. Only problem was 90’s still outperform the 95’s on drop and drift so I sold my lot.
     
  14. B Allen

    B Allen Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    I'm getting ready to build a 223 F-TR rifle would u say the 90 grain gives better scores over the 80 grain? Or would you go with the easy to tune 80's.
     
  15. XTR

    XTR

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    3,580
    At 600 yards the 80s give up a lot to the 90s in windage in an F-TR rifle. In Service Rifle with a 20" barrel I doubt that the 90s gain you much because you're velocity limited.

    The 90VLD is not hard to get to shoot if you follow the recipe.
    1. Get the right chamber. the PTG 223 ISSF reamer with a .169 freebore is the easy button for this, or get a throater and throat it out. You have to get the bullet up out of the case and into the neck.
    2. See #1 above, go no further until you have enough freebore or #4 below is dangerous.
    3. Pic a primer and brass. I've had success with old 90s LC, others run Lapua
    4. Load 24.3gr ±.2 of Varget
    5. Seat jam'd 0.010
    6. That will put you in the vicinity of 2800 ±25FPS
    7. Go shoot Xs
    notes: the .169FB is great if you jam, if you want to jump you may want a little more. Jam 10 and the bearing surface is 1/2 way down the neck, start jumping much and you'll start to get the bullet where the powder goes.

    I get a really good brass life. At least half a dozen reloadings with LC brass before I start to see significant numbers of loose primers.

    Where people have had problems is when they start trying to get up past 2850FPS, things get squirrely and the loads get unstable. My current rig has a 28" barrel and I run right at 2800. I've had a blank that will finish at 30 for a while but haven't gotten around to spinning it up.

    I've read that Greg (Nedd) jumps the 90VLD about 20 with H4895, and it works for him. The above is the recipe that works for me and a lot of others, there is more than one way to do it.


    This is the recipe that a whole bunch of F-TR shooters use. There are some that seat longer, run a little faster and don't necessarily jam them.


    The 90s give up ~3" of windage in a 10 mph full value wind to the 308s running 200s at 600 yards. They give up nothing but recoil t the 185s, and they shoot inside of the 155s at all yard lines.

    I've played with 80 AMAXs just for fun at club matches, but I've never used them in anything "serious". In the above setup you can run the 80s in the high 2800s. I've never shot my 223 past 600. I have 308s for the long lines.

    There are a number of F-TR shooters that shoot the 90s in competition, and they win at mid range.
     
    swd, raptor1ronin, boltfluter and 3 others like this.
  16. InkedIan

    InkedIan

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    68
    So I know the need to argue and change the subject is strong here but I'm really only looking for information on the 90gr SMK (pointed) and 95gr SMK.
     
  17. 1911mag

    1911mag Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    174
    XTR pretty much somes it up. I have shot 80 and 90 VLD’s in matches and the 90’s will put perform in tricky conditions, I have also shot 80’s in good conditions and shot cleans at 600. I would get both and develop loads for them and you decided which one to shoot.
     
  18. TGP

    TGP Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    Messages:
    66
    I'm shooting the pointed 90's( coated in HBN) out of a XP-100 chambered in 22 Creedmoor,1-7" twist, MV is in the low 3000's and accuracy has been very good.

    Glenn
     
    InkedIan likes this.
  19. Jdne5b

    Jdne5b Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Messages:
    1,142
    I ran the 95s for most of this year. It was a 2nd hand rifle that I bought and throated out just to see how they worked. 7 twist, H4895 running 2750ish. I took 3rd at Mo State running them, won a 3rd place medal at midrange nationals for a 300yd relay shooting 200-13x. That barrel is toast now. I have a 6 twist ready to install on an action and Im going to shoot them again next season.
     
    skiutah02 and InkedIan like this.
  20. XTR

    XTR

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    3,580
    Nobody that I know has been running the 90SMK in recent yrs, pointed or otherwise, so there isn't much info out there on it. The 90VLD out performs it. The long bearing surface compared to the VLD makes it harder to achieve similar velocities with a lower BC. Nobody bothers.

    The 95SMK hit the market last yr. That bullet needs a 6.something twist barrel to achieve it's full BC, and nobody has been running those, so the people who have tested the bullet have for the most part done it with 1:7 barrels.

    I've experiment with a few just to see what I needed for seating depth, two people on this thread have used them in competition with some success, but that bullet has several features that will make you need to fully commit to it. The afore mentioned faster than 7 twist barrel to achieve its full BC potential and a very long freebore.

    You don't give any specs on your rifle or plans for what type of shooting you want to do. Greg (Nedd), Jeremy(Jdn5b) and myself all shoot F-TR with the 223(though I did not have mine at the FCNC this yr).

    What you have in this thread is a discussion of the heavy for class 90s that you can use to help make your decisions.

    If you want to run the 95s get a 6.something twist barrel and a throater. If I recall with out looking at my notes I think you need a .270ish freebore for that bullet.
     
    skiutah02 likes this.

Share This Page