243win load using IMR-4350 and Sierra 80 SBT (Blitz) bullet

Discussion in '6mm, 6.5mm, and .25 Cal (Not 6BR)' started by sbranden, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. sbranden

    sbranden

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    I've tried the 80 SBT in my Tikka T3 Lite 243 with several different powders now - and I'm still not satisfied with accuracy.

    I really like this bullet though. It seems to foul less (less bearing surface I guess), holds together well at distance and in wind for me, seems to be able to reach speeds of 3400+ and then due to its light jacket, it just DUMPS energy on any varmints producing solid kills with much more blowup than most anything else I've seen to-date in the 243. I also don't think it gets as easily disrupted (in grass/tall weeds) as the plastic tips.

    I've been through IMR-4064, H414, and Reloader 19 so far. And maybe I'm just too particular. I've definitely had these better than MOA, but haven't been able to get 5 shots to sub 1/2" @ 100, at least not more than maybe once. 3/4-1" is more the norm.

    As I look at IMR-4350 now, I'm thinking I will start going from about 43.0 - 44.0, then try to move up to about 45.5 day 2, where I'll hopefully push up then gradually to about 47.0 by the end of day 3. I've seen a few out there doing 48 and breaking 3500fps with this bullet but in my experience so far with the SBT, that's really really pushing it in a straight 243. If I find something amazingly accurate of course, game over. I've shot enough of these at my first IMR-4064 charge of 39.8 delivering about 3,375fps to know that... well, 3300 and change with this baby is just fine! I'm mainly just interested in finding the most accurate combination I can with this bullet - if anybody out there has any suggestions for me. Thanks.
     
  2. K22

    K22

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,945
    This is an outstanding long range varmint bullet - used it for many years when I hunted varmints with the 243. IMR 4350 shot the best for me with this bullet. The most accurate load however was in the 3,100 f/s range but groups were excellent (for me) in the .4 to .5 range. I was using a heavy barrel Rem 700, 24" length at the time.

    Last year I acquired the same rifle you have, Tikka T3, Lite in 243. Mine is dedicated to deer hunting so I haven't tried many varmint bullets out of it. I've tried the 85 Sierra BTHP which shoots in the .6 range with IMR 4350. The other varmint bullet I've tried is the 87 VMax - for some reason it didn't like IMR 4350 which I found to be very strange - I tried some Varget and it shot reasonable well in the .6 range for a sporter barrel.

    My Tikka shoots the Nosler 90 BT very well, groups in the .4 to .5 range with IMR 4350, Federal Match Primers. However this is not a varmint bullet.

    The top end IMR 4350 loads you listed seem very high to me. What loading Manual are consulting? My Sierra Manual 50th edition list 42.9 of IMR 4350 as the max load for this bullet.
     
  3. sbranden

    sbranden

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    K22, thanks for the quick reply here! Glad to find somebody else who thinks this bullet has the right stuff.

    As for loading manuals, I have Speer, Hornady, the latest Lyman, and then I also consultant Hodgdon's online Reloading Data Center, I look at Nosler's on-line data, I usually poll Sierra direct, and in this case even polled Alliant since I know their RL17 is a lot like IMR-4350. But I also search the Net like crazy and great forums like this one to find what other people are doing -- then I put it all together. I know that's not a perfect answer, and I agree this is rather far above some of the published maximums at least - but that's why I plan to take 3 or 4 different outings in working up slowly to the level I think it will take to achieve the same high 3300's or low to mid-3400 fps performance that I have achieved with this bullet with other powders. And I know IMR-4350 is a great one because it gets used in a lot more powerful guns than the 243, like my 30-06 for example.

    Good input on the 90NBT also. So far, I've only worked with the 95gr Nosler (a little bit), and it showed great promise too. The 70NBT is by far the most accurate bullet I have found in my T3 to-date, in all the many, many bullets I've tried. I did get the 85bthp working well in a friend's Savage 243 right out of the gates with about 42.2 I think it was, at 2.650". I use to shoot this one too with about 38.0 of IMR-4064.
     
  4. K22

    K22

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,945
    Strangely my Tikka shoots best with a COL around 2.650 which as you are probably aware is quite abit shorter than the max. SAMMI specs. I really like the accuracy, handling and extremely smooth action of the Tikka T3 lite and might get one in a 22 250 if I can located one.

    The 80 Sierra Blitz is a no thrills varmint bullet but it was one of the best I ever used in the 243. It also has an attractive price. You've rekindled my interest so this summer I think I'll get a box and take a trip down memory lane during my summer ghogs hunts. ;)

    I primarily use a 223 and 22 250 for ghogs for the past ten years only because where I hunt long shots (beyond 250 yards) are rare so I really don't need the 243.
     
  5. mikegaiz

    mikegaiz Stay frosty, my friend. Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    698
    I shoot a lot of 243 with this bullet, IMR 4064 is my most accurate and I use h380 for mass numbers of varmint loads. Sako actions, hart barrels 28 to 30 in. H380 will give you better barrel life. And if you use molly it will last even longer.
     
  6. sbranden

    sbranden

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    With IMR-4064, I first stopped at 39.8 (that was using CCI BR-2 primers at the time). This past year I worked up to 40.7 using Fed210GM's. I've been seating mine to about 2.695". I had been really hopping them before, from a short 2.615". Would be curious to know about what COL you are using (how far off the rifling you are in yours), and whether you have seen the large variations on lengths that I have with this bullet. You must be hitting some nice speeds with those length barrels! Thanks for the feedback.
     
  7. MrMajestic

    MrMajestic Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,184
    Have you tried any Varget? Burn rate is very close to 4064 and seems to be the ticket in the lighter projectiles in my .243AI's.
     
  8. mikegaiz

    mikegaiz Stay frosty, my friend. Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    698
    I am seating .002 off the lands.
     
  9. sbranden

    sbranden

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    I have not tried Varget with this particular bullet yet. Tried it with the 70NBT's and although I could get the velocity on those up to 3500 easily with about 42.7 or 42.8 grains, even at the lower speeds I could never get consistent groups - consistent being the key word, with Varget. There would almost always be at least one flier. But I use Varget like crazy in my 22-250 and have tried it with even 58 V-MAX's for example in my 243. I think it's a great powder. Very forgiving on the high end, easy to work with where I measure all my loads one by one anyway, and good in changing temps.
     
  10. sbranden

    sbranden

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Well, I have about a half dozen 4-shot groups built now and ready for testing. Going with a consistent 2.295 comparator reading (which maps to a COL of between 2.695 and about 2.704), and will test up to 44.0 of IMR-4350 in my first outing. I'm still fairly far back off the rifling which I think contacts this bullet at around 2.331. Not expecting this to be easy given the luck I've had with this bullet to-date, but who knows - maybe I will get lucky.

    If anyone else out there is shooting 80 Blitz bullets in their 243win and feel they have a load that is just unreal accurate, well... I'm interested. Please reach out to me with a quick PM or e-mail to sbbranden@gmail.com. Thanks very much.
     
  11. sbranden

    sbranden

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Well, I shot 42.0 and I've also done other shooting in the 42-43 range with the Sierra 85 HPBT, but I ran the 80SBT from 43.0 all the way up to 44.0 of IMR-4350 today in my 243win with no real signs of pressure. I need to fire some more, maybe in just .1 grain increments around this spot (43.0), then try some different seating depths to see if I can find a sweet spot for this bullet before trying to push on up. But I think I will be able to get IMR powder to work with this bullet.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. sbranden

    sbranden

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Well, I was going to try seating depth tests next using 43.0 as my one consistent charge - but decided to try and fine tune this a little by just moving closer in to my rifling now... so a few 4-shots groups (42.9, 43.0 again, and 43.1) at about .025 off this next time out. Will wait for a good calm day though, which could take a couple of weeks!

    I'm going to stay on the lookout for some RL17 powder also, as I think this may be the better way to go here - either that or just move back in the 4064 direction again to get a little more speed out of this great bullet, and where I'm hoping more accurate measuring will go a long way to helping out on the accuracy front, for whatever powder/primer combo.
     
  13. fredhorace77

    fredhorace77

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Messages:
    0
    I personally don't see where there is a problem with the current groups you are getting. your going to burn that barrel up if you think your going to get a pencil barreled hunting type gun to shoot 5 shots under 1/2 @100yrds. agg. off of a bench. with all due respect keep in mind your gun is not designed for benchrest. this is a hunting rifle and 3/4-1inch 5 shot groups is awesome for such a light weight factory chambered barrel
     
  14. stinnett1981

    stinnett1981

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    521
    +1

    Shooting .75moa with a factory rifle sounds like you gotta good load and a good rifle. I only own 1 rifle that will shoot better than that. All the others shoot an average .9 - .7 moa. Im rather new to "precision" shooting, but when I can stick a penny on a target at 100 yards and hit it in 1 shot then its a good shooting rifle IMHO!
     
  15. sbranden

    sbranden

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Thanks guys. This Tikka will 1-hole with RL19 & 70NBT's, and I will say - of everything I've tried with the 80SBT in this rifle, IMR-4350 on its first day out was looking really encouraging. I've already got 42.9, another 43.0 group, and 43.1 loaded up at this point (the 42.9 & 43.0 another .010 longer, the 43.1 back at 2.295 or about .036 off), so we'll see.

    Weather isn't cooperating right now, so I may very well lose the rest of March before I can test again. Group at 43 looked good enough though I decided to just fine tune rather than go through a bunch of seating depth tests right now because I really do need to wrap up, then build a bunch, and just start getting on some of these ground-hogs that are digging out again now. At the end of the day, it is just a hunting gun.
     
  16. sbranden

    sbranden

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Well, I had a chance to fire 43.0 of IMR-4350 with the 80 SBT again yesterday, another .010 closer to the rifling, and what a nice difference that made! I feel like I can go all the way to 2.310 now (comparator/base of case to bullet ogive measurement, producing COLs in the 2.715-2.720 range lets say) and probably do even a little better at about .020 off in my gun. But I'm not impressed with the velocity. These 43 grain loads were chrono'ing anywhere from a low of 3,100 fps to a high of about 3,137. I'm already over the recommended maximum, and I shot all the way up to 44.0 initially and didn't find another sweet spot, so rather than push this one any further I think I'm probably going to try some Reloader 17 powder next and work in the 42.5 to 44.0 range again there. I don't have to get 3500 or 3600 fps out of this bullet as some have done, but I do expect to end solidly over 3300 fps... high 3300's approaching 3400 would be nice.
     
  17. K22

    K22

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,945
    That matches my experience with this combo, about 3,100 in a 24" barrel. I was quite pleased with this combo since it grouped in the 1/2 moa range. Sighted at 1.5" high at 100 yards I was dropping about 6.5 inches at 300 yards.
     
  18. sbranden

    sbranden

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    OK, thanks K22. IMR-4350 is the best accuracy I have had yet with these 80's, but I traded a Benchmark for an RL17 that somebody picked up for me, so I definitely need to try this next powder in one or two quick range sessions. I may be back! 3 bullet holes touching, is great progress - but maybe the other powders already tried (IMR-4064, H414, RL19) would have all done better too given the better measuring I am doing now that I got onto really how to measure the bullet to my chamber and am using a comparator to give me consistent seating depths (base of case to bullet ogive).

    Anway, I've got time now on this project since this past weekend I nailed a new 22-250 load! 35.9 of Varget under a 55gr Sierra BlitzKing, lit by a Fed210GM match primer out of Nosler custom brass at "Book COL", 2.350". (Or the first one is 2.350, then I measured that one with the comparator and just seated everying else using the comp measurement only.) These are doing about 3,725fps out of the 24" 1in12 twist barrel of my Savage Model 10: Predator Hunter Max 1.
     
  19. sbranden

    sbranden

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Got a first batch of Reloader 17 / 80 SBT's loaded up now, hoping to test later this weekend.

    43.1, 43.4, 43.7, 43.9, and 44.1 - all seated to what should be about .020 off in my rifle. COL up to a max of 2.722". Don't know if I'll get the chrono out for this round or not, but we'll see.
     
  20. sbranden

    sbranden

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Well, 43.4 and 43.9 both showed promise. I'll go 43.5 next round, and 44.0 (where 44.1 also wasn't too bad, but not quite as good as 43.9), and then move on up with charges at 44.3, 44.5, and 44.7 also. Think I'll back off to .025 off again also.
     

Share This Page