Berger 90 grain bullets in 223 Rem

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by Travelor, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Travelor

    Travelor Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
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    I am fortunate enough to be one of the selected shooters to test bullets for Berger. This time it is the 90 grain bullet.

    In researching this bullet and loading data I found an excellent article by Mr. Clint Dalstrom published in the Winter/Spring 2008 edition of The Canadian Marksman. He tested the Sierra, JLK, and Berger bullets at ranges up to 1000 yards. In his testing he settled on 26.2 grains of N550. Using QuickLoad, this load was shown to develop excessively high pressure, therefore I have not loaded to this level and would strongly suggest that no one else try it as a first load.

    Now for my initial test results. The gun selected is a Savage 12 LRVP single shot,right bolt left port) with a factory barrel twist of 1:7 and that has been professionally trued, bedded, and had the barrel diamond lapped. This gun has consistently shot very well.

    I weighed and checked lengths of the ogive on 10 randomly selected bullets and found them to be VERY uniform. I loaded match prepped and weight sorted Winchester cases with the 90 grain Berger bullets. The load was 22.5 grains of N550, Federal 205M primer. The OAL of 2.250" which gave a seating that cased a .010" jump to the rifling. This load was predicted to have a chamber pressure of 52,215 psi and a muzzle velocity of 2617 fps.

    My testing was limited to 200 and 600 yards due to time constraints of another Match scheduled on the same range. The first 200 yard group from a cold clean barrel was 1.267" CTC followed by groups in the .450" CTC range. To say the least, this was VERY GOOD. Now to 600 yards. My procedure here was to shoot to the same point of aim and see both group sizes and the effect of the wind. Wind was 5 mph at 4 o'clock. I shot one 10 shot group that measured 4" horizontally and just under 1" vertically. To me this was most impressive as no changes were made as the wind changed. The group would have placed the majority of the shots inside an F-Class 500 yard X-ring with no wind correction. Pressures in all rounds test fired were mild, suggesting an increase in powder is in order for my next range session with this new bullet.

    Sorry for the limited test so far, but I will have more to come including chronograph findings. Believe it or not, this time of year has gotten very busy with Matches here in Arkansas.

    George
     

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