A fun reloading choose your own adventure thread - 223 in TR

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by MikeMcCasland, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Gold $$ Contributor

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    Lets pretend you've just concluded day 1 of your state F-Class championship, and have quickly come to the realization that getting 90 VLDs to shoot out of .223s is nothing but internet lies perpetuated by TR shooters who enjoy hazing newbies.

    You've got ~4 hours to load more ammo for tomorrow.

    You have these powders on hand:
    H4895
    Varget
    8208XBR
    N150
    N140
    IMR 4320
    IMR 4895
    TAC

    You have these bullets on hand:
    88 ELDMs
    80 SMKs
    77 TMKs

    These are going into lake city brass that was destined for an AR15, but will have to do.

    Chamber is a .169 ISSF 30" Bartlein.


    What do you blindly load up to try in your first string of unlimited sighters?

    Edit: Will have more 90gr ammo, however looking for backup options to test in match 1 sighters.
     
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  2. milanuk

    milanuk Gold $$ Contributor

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    LR or MR?

    Not sure with that freebore, but an 80 over 24-24.5 Varget is a pretty sure bet. Maybe not the fastest horse in the race, but it'll find the X-ring if you show it the way ;)
     
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  3. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Gold $$ Contributor

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    MR

    I've shot 10 80gr bullets behind 24.5 of Varget, and it was getting me ~2915. Not the best accuracy...so figure I'll roll with 24 even, and dial up a minute vs. the 90s @ 2840
     
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  4. Jdne5b

    Jdne5b Gold $$ Contributor

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    Whats your 90vld load?
     
  5. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Gold $$ Contributor

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    90 VLD
    24.5 Varget
    Lapua Brass
    205GM
    jammed .007"
    @2840fps

    I've shot ~600 of them in the past week trying to get this gun tuned in just for this match. It'll shoot lights out one day, and the next...horrible. I've also gotten it to shoot about ~.012 off the lands, however it feels like the seating depth window is about .001" wide; break that and it punishes you severely.

    I tried it jammed today; jumping tomorrow, and ordering 80.5s next week. ;)
     
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  6. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Gold $$ Contributor

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    Welp, I'll be rolling into the match tomorrow with the 90VLDs, 80SMKs behind 24gr of Varget, and 88 ELDMs behind 23.5 of Varget.

    Take your bets now!
     
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  7. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

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    If I was in your shoes, I wouldn't load any rounds at all. I would wait until just before the first match of the day tomorrow. I would walk up to an F-TR competitor that had shot well the day before and yell, "Hey! Look over there!", while pointing over his/her shoulder. While their attention was momentarily diverted, I would grab up the rifle and ammo and run back to my assigned firing lane before they had any chance to notice what was happening.

    Trust me...this approach is way of more of a sure thing than shooting heavies out of a .223 Rem in F-TR ;););).
     
  8. hottotrot

    hottotrot Silver $$ Contributor

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    Well there's your problem. Try putting the powder behind the bullet. YMMV.
     
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  9. 1911mag

    1911mag Gold $$ Contributor

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    Good luck and let us know which back up worked. I have a 77 TMK, Varget load that is very accurate. My back up load would be 80 Berger under Varget.
    My go to is the 90VLD under N150, .005 jump , lab Radar was 2700 FPS yesterday 55 deg weather. This got me to HM this year Mid Range. Being shot today by a new beginner shooter on our last match of year here
     
  10. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Gold $$ Contributor

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    Hah. I was tired, what can I say? Based on yesterday's results though, doing it this way will probably work better.

    I could throw rocks at an MR target and score better than a 180 in a zero wind condition. :(
     
  11. hottotrot

    hottotrot Silver $$ Contributor

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    All in good fun.:p

    Good luck today! Check back in and let us all know how it went.
     
  12. garandman

    garandman Bolt Gun Bodacious Gold $$ Contributor

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    I hope its not a myth. Got a bolt 224 Valkyrie bbld action coming to me.

    Planing some 90gr loads right now.

    Id recommend trying a Berger bullet (admittedly not an option in the above choies.) Thats my plan anyway.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  13. SPJ

    SPJ Whoops !! Gold $$ Contributor

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    Your toast!:D
     
  14. XTR

    XTR

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    If I had seen your thread in time I might have suggested coming down to 24.3 to see if it would shoot. I think you might be just a little bit fast. I think the velocity your running is closer to the velocity people find with 4895; the loads I’ve heard that work show Varget seems to run closer to 2800.

    One other thought would be to make sure that your seating depth is consistent and that you were truly jammed in not right at touch.
     
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  15. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Gold $$ Contributor

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    Hahahahaha it worked.

    11 sighters to test loads, but the eldms did ok for mixed brass.

    Not a clean, but damn good for zero load dev and mixed LC brass with headlamps from 72 to 2005, last fired in a m16.



    Screenshot_20191006-092127_Chrome.jpg
     
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  16. XTR

    XTR

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    I’ve shot my best to 223 scores with mixed Lake City from the early 90s though I do use the 90 vld.

    I’m glad you got it to work going to match with a gun that doesn’t shoot is an exercise in frustration and not particularly fun.
     
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  17. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

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    Mike - for future reference, here's what has always worked for me: Bartlein 30" 5R barrel cut with the .223 Rem ISSF reamer (0.169" fb), 90 VLDs over H4895 (~23.9 gr @ 2840-2850 fps) or Varget (~24.1 gr @ 2815-2825 fps), bullets seated at .018" to .021" off the lands. I have found there can be a window from about .004" to .007" into the lands that also shoots well, but in my hands this is the narrower and more difficult window of the two. I've always found the window starting somewhere around .018" to .021" off the lands to be wider and more forgiving. Don't be afraid to jump the 90 VLD twenty thousandths or more. The groups will tighten up to one ragged hole when you hit the sweet spot; it should be very obvious.

    In addition, I've worked up some very good loads with the Sierra 95 and Hornady 88 ELDM bullets with H4895 and Varget, respectively, at ~2750 fps and ~2830 fps. However, that is from a rifle chamber with much longer freebore (>.200") than the ISSF reamer cuts. Both the 95s and 88s have much longer bearing surfaces than the 90 VLD. IMO - the ISSF 0.169" freebore is not even close to optimal for either one; you really want at least .050" to .075" more freebore for either of those bullets.
     
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  18. praveen

    praveen Silver $$ Contributor

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    I’ve been shooting Berger 90 BTs out of a factory Savage FTR with great results in mid-range. The Load should be similar to the VLDs.
    So,
    Berger 90 BT
    Lapua Brass
    CCI 450
    N150 - 23.9 grains
    Seated 10 thous off.
    30” barrel
    Velocity - 2750 fps

    This load shoots lights out at midrange but I haven’t been brave enough to try it at long range.
     
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  19. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Gold $$ Contributor

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    Finished up the match with a 583-17x. Not great, but significantly better than the unspeakably bad 557-10x using the 90s (no crossfires; a genuine 557 in zero-wind conditions). I was laughing at how well those 88 ELDMs shot in brass that was unsorted, last fired by some Army PVT, and run through a standard FL sizer. Sacrilege to run something like that in a big match, but hey...it worked. Makes me think all the neck turning/annealing/OCD sorting etc. doesn't matter as much as we might give it credit.


    @Ned Ludd @XTR - Thanks to both of you guys for replying; I genuinely appreciate it. Full disclosure, I've scoured these forums for 10-15 hours on the topic of shooting 223 in TR with the 90s, and have read (and value) your extensive postings throughout the years. I even have a massive 'One Note' worksheet on the 90/223 combo that is heavy with info you guys have posted (same goes for Laurie).


    That said, I just can't get those damn 90 VLDs to shoot. I wish I was joking when I said I literally shot 600 of them in a week in preparation for this match. Doing powder node and seating depth testing twice. Even ran Bergers VLD seating depth test when none of the typical .015 jam to .030 off would tune in consistently.


    In my testing, I can get them to print amazing groups, but I can't get them to do it consistently.....and it seemingly punishes you for literally any minor deviation in shoulder bump/seating depth. I do agree they probably are being run a little hot, however that was the reason for me running a second powder node test (using 10 shot strings, and incrementing .1gr) once I'd already found the optimal seating depth...at least what I thought was the optimal depth.


    On a somewhat related note, on my last 223 barrel for TR I had atrocious ES/SDs with the Varget & 90s combo. However in this one, I actually have a ~9.2 FPS SD over 200 of my most recent test rounds. I can't even explain that, as all of my previous history with 90s in the .223 was ~20+ FPS SDs.


    Either way, I'm throwing in the towel with the 90s. I may play around with the 88 ELDM to see if I can tune it in to shoot tighter, but I'm ordering 80.5s tonight. May not win any state or national titles, but I'll be able to drive home without having a full on existential crisis. ;)

    Edit: It's also ironic that my last MR match, ELDMs blowing up cost me my HM classification (long story, but I'm done with 147s). However the 88 ELDMs ended up being the dark horse today...go figure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  20. Snuggie

    Snuggie F/TR-F/Open Gold $$ Contributor

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    I’ve been shooting 90 vld’s for a couple of years now. Before I shot the 80’s. I made HM with the 90’s two years ago. Won several matches with it. Lapua, Varget, Wolf primers, just touching the lands. Bartlein 5R 30 in 6.5 TW. They DO work!
     
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