6 posts in this topic

Thought I'd say thanks to all you guys that chimed in and encouraged me on my last reloading thread.. Lots of good info. AND, give you feedback on what Ive worked up.

Sooo... Where to start?

I picked the 53Gr VMAX cuz I really liked the potential numbers, well... Ive got some good ones. I started with BL-C2 and got no where.. slow numbers and no real accuracy. :(

i was getting 3150-3200 and averaging OVER 1" groups.. Switched to TAC, much better! Decent speed and some nice groups, well under an inch.. But I kept thinking, WWFD?? (What Would Frank Do)

Speed! This bullet has a BC of .290, Im gonna find a way to take advantage of it!! So pushed TAC a bit and the groups got bigger :(

On to Benchmark. I worked BM up to the book listed max of 25.0 and got some really sweet groups, like .5-.6" but the speed was averaging about 3187. Interesting tidbit, Hodgdon website lists the max charge for a 53Gr bullet at 26.0. So, you know where I went next! Groups got bigger at 25.2, 25.5 and 25.8, but at 26.0..... BANG! Back to .7" average and speed is averaging 3327! I checked lots of cases before and after and I don't see any signs of pressure problems, so I went for it! As of today I've now shot 50 rounds of this load, I put 10 more over the Chrony in 2 groups of 5 and got .63 and .73 with an average 3328 FPS, Extreme Spread of 36.57, SD of 12.64. Im impressed with Benchmark! Those are really good averages to me! I know lots of you guys can shoot better than .7" average, but 2 things.. Im shooting off a bipod and bean bag and Im really only concerned with "as long as it beats MOA" which means its plenty good for "Minute of Varmint" out to 400+ yards! (and honestly I get SOOO bored shooting paper, my A.D.D. gets the best of me quick!)

The 53 Vmax is pretty impressive with these numbers, if you use a ballistic computer, plug them in and you'll see what I mean. Plug in one of the heavier bullets like 68/69Gr and see just how close the numbers are, kinda cool.

Back to the title... It is seriously rewarding to put in all that researched and time to develop a load and then REALLY have it pay off. Im hooked! Buying a .300 WinMag soon, THAT will be the next BIG challenge!

Thanks again Gang and thanks Frank for recommending BM and inspiring my speedy side. :)


Tikka .223 24" 1/8 twist

53 Gr Vmax

26.0 Gr Benchmark

Rem 71/2 Bench Rest Primers

Harris bipod




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That's great :good:. And you're a wise man to listen to someone who has already gone through the hassles of learning for you already :lol:.

As a hunter, not a competition shooter, anything under MOA is totally capable (to me), you are correct. I have long thought that all that time spent trying to find the difference between 0.8" and 0.3" groups could be much better spent hunting B) . Good luck, now get out there and shoot those bullets and bring us some pics of your triumphant new hobby :sport037fn4:

By the way, if you think getting it finally dialed in felt good, wait until you your first "hit" with it. I would love to see the smile on your face afterward :D .

OK, gotta get back to the shotgun press, just stopped to look up some load data on the pc when I saw this post. I've only got a few thousand loaded this weekend, and with rabbit and bird season coming up they sure as heck ain't gonna load themselves :rolleyes:

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Good job. TAC is a good powder for .223. Watch for primer cratering and carefully inspect the case mouths for any splits if you're running them hot. The cracks can be very small so look closely.

Next, load up a few sets of your favorite load and test them for consistency at 100 yards. Then test it at 200 and 300 yards as well to see how they group. You may find that they keep .7 MOA at 200 but lose it at 300 or beyond. Or maybe they stay sub-MOA at 300. It's worth knowing before you hunt with it.

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But I kept thinking, WWFD?? (What Would Frank Do)


Great write up, Tim, & great job on your load development. That is often the case of mid range loads producing larger groups, and then shrinking again when getting close or at max (or minimum) loads...VERY often! So, again, you did great. And .7" is indeed excellent for a hunting rifle as Bob (Bisley) already pointed out. Great advice by Mike (ratassissin also). Btw, 26 grs of Benchmark & that (approx) bullet weight has worked great in several 223's I've seen or shot. As has other loads of course.

Well, I could go on some more, but will save that for another day. lol... BUT, will add this... If you will be using a 165 gr bullet in your future 300 win mag, RL19 is a dandy... accuracy & velocity wise. With both max & min loads. Just HAD to throw that in. lol

Anyway, Thanks for the update, and Keep up the great work :good:

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Good job STP,

I can sense the excitement in your post. I never realized that we could get so much pleasure out of reloading. I am happy to see that you have a good mentor, as I did (Grant) it means a lot.

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Thanks Guys! Im gonna get out and shoot squeaks this week, let ya know how the new pills do!

VMAX.... The bullet squirrels ask for by name. ;)

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