Jump to content


Photo

Remington 700 VLSS .204 Ruger


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 ratassassin

ratassassin

    Big Shooter

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,566 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA
  • Interests:Handloading, hunting, target shooting.

Posted 17 April 2011 - 12:13 PM

Loaded up some Varmint Grenades for my new to me Remington 700 VLSS thumbhole. My rifle has a 26" stainless steel barrel with 1:12 twist. I would have preferred to start with Sierra BK 39 grainers because I've heard such great things about them. But I know I'm going to need a lead free load to hunt Tejon Ranch, hence the Varmint Grenades. Decided to try Ramshot Xterminator since I have a few pounds and it's less expensive than most other powders at $17.50 a lb or around $15.63 a lb if you buy the 8 lb. jug. I mounted up a Bushnell Legend 5-15x40 mil-dot scope and headed to the range. Nice out there this morning, but it was pretty windy. I shot 25 rounds using 5 different loads and determined that it likes 27.0 grains of Xterminator the best. Best group was 5 shots in .404" at 100 yards in between the 10-15 mph gusts. Here's the load:Barnes Varmint Grenade 26 grainRamshot Xterminator: 27.0 grainsCOAL: 2.260"CCI 400Winchester brass (new, trimmed to 1.840", chamferred and deburred but not yet fireformed)I haven't chronned the load yet. Now that I have an accurate load, I'll make up a batch and chron them next weekend. Not sure how these lightweight 26 grain pills will hold up out to 200 yards and beyond, but we'll see. I suspect they're running around 4,000 fps. There's not a lot of load data out there for the .204 Ruger and Xterminator, so I worked up to this load assuming 27.5 gr was a maximum load which was probably being conservative. If you try this load, work up to it. But I saw no evidence of excessive pressures. Here's the groupPosted ImagePosted Image

#2 OrneryOlMofo357

OrneryOlMofo357

    Tikka Shooter, and a bad shot at that.

  • Gold Contributor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,912 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Repulik of Kommieforniastan

Posted 17 April 2011 - 12:31 PM

Great shooting! And with no sights! Wait until you put a scope on that Baby, the groups are bound to shrink even more! :good: Pretty good groups there! Im wondering about Hornadys 24 gr NTX. I saw specs saying 4400 fps from a 26" barrel. I may have to break out the 12FV and give em a try. That Xterminator looks like it works pretty well! :)
“Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that require every citizen to prove they are insured... but not everyone must prove they are a citizen.”

#3 CA Desert Dog

CA Desert Dog

    Big Shooter

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,937 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nolensville, Tennessee
  • Interests:God, family & country. Predator hunting, shooting, reloading.

Posted 17 April 2011 - 01:37 PM

Oh, Ornery you are a funny guy. Of course the groups would have been better if he had a Hawke mounted on that rifle (Ornery made me say that :smiley-funny-post-sign: ).
"Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room." Winston Churchill

#4 ratassassin

ratassassin

    Big Shooter

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,566 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA
  • Interests:Handloading, hunting, target shooting.

Posted 17 April 2011 - 06:29 PM

Ha, could be. The groups definitely would have been better if I dialed the trigger down from the 3.5 lbs set at the factory. Will do that next. The Legend will do for the time being until I get the Vortex Viper PA 6.5-20x44 mil-dot. But have to wait for my checkbook to recover.

#5 OrneryOlMofo357

OrneryOlMofo357

    Tikka Shooter, and a bad shot at that.

  • Gold Contributor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,912 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Repulik of Kommieforniastan

Posted 18 April 2011 - 03:49 AM

I too have been pleasantly suprised by a few lower priced Bushnells, I had one on My Tikka for a couple years before replacing it with the 3200. A member here has it on his rifle now, and its still working great.
“Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that require every citizen to prove they are insured... but not everyone must prove they are a citizen.”

#6 oz_fox_hunter

oz_fox_hunter

    Varmint Hunter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 130 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Trentham, Victoria AU
  • Interests:Hunting feral pest species, riding motorbikes,

Posted 18 April 2011 - 04:34 AM

Very nice rifle dude.. That's the one I wanted but they are pretty pricey in OZ.The lighter projectiles give impressive muzzle velocities but really fall off quickly beyond 200 yards compared to the 39gr and 40 gr offerings. I'm using 39gr. Sierra BKs and 47 grains of AD2206H (IMR4895). Sierra Blitzkings, 2206H and CCI BR4 primers seem be working well for a lot of 204 owners.

#7 CA Desert Dog

CA Desert Dog

    Big Shooter

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,937 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nolensville, Tennessee
  • Interests:God, family & country. Predator hunting, shooting, reloading.

Posted 18 April 2011 - 06:16 AM

Hey Rat, you should really give serious consideration to a Hawke Tactical. It has had excellent reviews on this forum and beats the pants off of the Vortex as far as added features are concerned.Vortex Viper PA 6.5-20x44 mil-dot….about $400.+ or -Hawke 6.5-20 X 42 w/one-half Mil-Dot Reticle….$410.00The new Hawke Sidewinder Tactical Series feature red and green illuminated no-flare reticles and a super strong, 30MM body tube finished in a dark matte black to prevent unwanted reflections. All optical surfaces are fully multi-coated for a brighter, clearer image and designed to perform in low light hunting and shooting conditions. The 20X 1/2 Mil dot reticle is a fully floating design that feature dots and ties spaced at 1/2 Mil-Dot spacing. The hollow bars are calibrated for 0.2 Mil spacing and whole Mil spacing. Also available is the popular SR6 drop calculating reticle and free Hawke ballistic software.Smaller diameter objective lenses enable a lower mounting position on rifles, keeping the shooters head lower and providing maximum scope to barrel alignment. The Tactical Series also features a side focus parallax control with optional 2-inch wheel extension supplied. Minimum focus is 10-yards to infinity. Other features include large easy grip turrets with 1/4 MOA clicks, resettable for zero and locking for extra security. Illuminated red/green reticle with 5 separate levels of brightness including ultra low settings (1-3) for the darkest conditions (with no visible flare inside the scope tube) and brighter settings for dawn and dusk use. Switch to OFF for no illumination. Add the adjustable ocular focus with anti-recoil lock ring, non-slip zoom ring with secure thumb bump for a more positive action, a 4-inch long sunshade to prevent glare in bright conditions, all packed in a reusable hard travel case for safe storage when not in use. It’s the perfect set-up for users that prefer quick release rings. There is a whole lot of value packed into this excellent Hawke Tactical Series.
"Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room." Winston Churchill

#8 Brant

Brant

    StubExt

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,161 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Missouri
  • Interests:Shooting, Hunting, PCP Airguns, Flying (home builts)

Posted 18 April 2011 - 09:16 AM

Good shooting. In the latest Varmint Hunter magazine some guy submitted a photo shooting pdogs at over 500 yards with a 204.

I'm an airgunholic


#9 Baja_Traveler

Baja_Traveler

    Shooter

  • Gold Contributor
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 664 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego

Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:07 AM

I was hitting the 600 yard Pdog steels at Pala several weeks ago with mine. 40 gr Noslers have enough energy left to knock the target over, not sure how it would do on a live dog at that distance though - might not have enough left to expand and just punch a little hole through.

 If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.


#10 Brant

Brant

    StubExt

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,161 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Missouri
  • Interests:Shooting, Hunting, PCP Airguns, Flying (home builts)

Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:41 AM

I think that would do it if you could hit it in a good spot.

I'm an airgunholic


#11 CA Desert Dog

CA Desert Dog

    Big Shooter

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,937 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nolensville, Tennessee
  • Interests:God, family & country. Predator hunting, shooting, reloading.

Posted 18 April 2011 - 11:39 AM

:smiley-innocent-halo-yellow: Personally, I am always amazed and a tad bit skeptical about some of the long distance shots claimed by individuals in Varmint Hunter magazine. I would have a hard enough time seeing a little ground rat at over 1000-yards, let alone being able to shoot the darn thing.
"Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room." Winston Churchill

#12 ratassassin

ratassassin

    Big Shooter

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,566 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA
  • Interests:Handloading, hunting, target shooting.

Posted 18 April 2011 - 06:57 PM

Thanks for the comments and feedback, gents. Oz, I agree the 39 gr SBK's would be ballistically superior and would prefer to use them and only them. But alas, the California legislature feels differently in all of its misguided wisdom. Red, thanks for the specs on the Hawkes. But I've got a bee in my bonnet to get a Viper PA. They're great scopes from everything I read and my friend has one on his .308 Palma rifle so I've seen the quality. A couple weeks ago, he shot an incredible .169" group at 100 yards with Hornady Match 168 gr using that Viper. Now, I'm not knocking the Hawkes. Like I said, I've got 3 already. But I need to try a Vortex Viper next. I like the 30mm tube, 68 MOA of elevation, the side focus is reliable, and adjustments are very repeatable. I also like the regular mil-dots in a second focal plane scope and the objective bell is fairly low profile so I'll be able to get it low to the barrel to still keep a good cheek weld. They don't have a lot of eye relief but with a low recoil rifle like the .204, that won't be an issue. Best thing is the VIP warranty which is one of the best in the industry. On the long distance shooting, I'd bet it's possible to hit a prairie dog at 500 yards and don't doubt Baja T's been able to whack targets at 600. But I suspect the .204 would have difficulty reaching out to 1000 yards accurately.

#13 Frank

Frank

    Big Kahuna

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,759 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Long Beach, Ca
  • Interests:Coyote Hunting #1, Valley Quail 2nd. Former (Idaho) mule deer hunter

Posted 19 April 2011 - 03:08 PM

Mike, great shooting with the non lead bullet... Good job!Well, my GUESS is that your load is actually on the light side, without looking it up & only going by memory & 32gr bullet charges with different powders. I am also guessing the same as you on the velocity at around 4,000 fps. Hey, guessing is always better than reality anyhow... with (reality) being a bxxxh & all. LOLOn the 600 yard shooting... It may actually be easier than one might first think. Key word being easier! Friends & I continually surprise ourselves when shooting at the longer range, larger steal targets... and with light bullets in small calibers, all the way down to the .17 fireball. 3 & 400 yards are very do-able, & just how much energy does it take to kill a rat anyhow? Not much! "Some" of those really long 600-1000 + yard shots that we read about, are also made after someone has shot at such target about 50 times before finally connecting. Again, "some" of them!The larger calibers that everyone seems to love today, has almost nothing, if anything, over the lighter bullets & calibers out to 400 yards (+/-) or there abouts, on small game or targets. I mean, compare our chronographed (aka; actual) 224 dia, 50 gr bullet at over 3900+ fps, or a 224 dia, 40gr bullet at approx 4200 fps to almost any other "actual" bullet/cal velocity out to 400 & perhaps even 500 yards. Most others will not even match, much less beat these ballistics(except the needles extra energy on rats), & if they do it will be by no practical difference. AND 4 or 500 yards is still a L O N G shot for most of us... to hit ANYTHING!. LOL WHEW, ok, I feel better now. lol Anyway, way to go, Mike, & keep on keeping on :unsure: Frank

#14 ratassassin

ratassassin

    Big Shooter

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,566 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA
  • Interests:Handloading, hunting, target shooting.

Posted 19 April 2011 - 07:10 PM

Hey, thanks Frank. I think you could well be right about the load being on the light side. But with no published data for that powder and bullet combo, I'll just have to keep working it up slowly while watching for pressure signs. First thing I need to do is chron where I'm at, then keep working it up from there. I'm going to load some up tonight and chron them this weekend.

#15 oz_fox_hunter

oz_fox_hunter

    Varmint Hunter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 130 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Trentham, Victoria AU
  • Interests:Hunting feral pest species, riding motorbikes,

Posted 20 April 2011 - 04:00 PM

There is one case of a bloke taking out a fox at 600 meters with the Remington VLSS in 204 that was witnessed by several people on the day. This bloke is a well known and respected hunter down this way so I have no doubt the story is true.

#16 ratassassin

ratassassin

    Big Shooter

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,566 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA
  • Interests:Handloading, hunting, target shooting.

Posted 20 April 2011 - 06:39 PM

That's a long way. Any idea what bullet he used?

#17 oz_fox_hunter

oz_fox_hunter

    Varmint Hunter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 130 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Trentham, Victoria AU
  • Interests:Hunting feral pest species, riding motorbikes,

Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:27 PM

Not 100% certain but 39 gr. BKs come to mind. I can find out and let you know.

#18 ratassassin

ratassassin

    Big Shooter

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,566 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA
  • Interests:Handloading, hunting, target shooting.

Posted 23 April 2011 - 07:49 PM

Chronned my Ramshot X-Terminator 27.0 gr load today. It's running 4010 fps average mv. Loaded up a few more test loads at 27.3, 27.5, 27.8 and 28.0. The 28.0 grain load ran an average of 4175 fps with a few hitting 4200. The 28.0 grain load was the most accurate with 4 of the 5 shots in .322" but 1 of the 5 opened the group up to .972". None of the groups today had 5 shots under a half inch. I'm probably going to back it down to 27.0 grains (4010 fps) as that was my best 5 shot group so far and accuracy was suffering today by running the Varmint Grenades faster. No signs of excessive pressure so far in terms of flattened primers, split case necks or a jammed bolt; all cases ejected easily. However I did notice that with the first firing, these brand new Winchester cases got longer by .009" from the original 1.840" trim to length. Also noticed that all the fired brass regardless of the load had bulged .005" about .25" above the case head. That seemed to occur no matter what the load was but appears to be somewhat more pronounced at the highest load in the range I tested, 28.0 grains.Before I went out today, I removed the barreled action from the stock and dialed down the trigger pull weight on the X-Mark Pro. It's a lot nicer now, just as crisp a break but now at about 2.5 lbs.

#19 Frank

Frank

    Big Kahuna

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,759 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Long Beach, Ca
  • Interests:Coyote Hunting #1, Valley Quail 2nd. Former (Idaho) mule deer hunter

Posted 24 April 2011 - 07:08 AM

Sounds like your getting there, Mike... and with non lead bullets, which is an even greater accomplishment. Ugh! lolYa know, quite often when I've had similar loading experiences to yours, I would back off (less than 28grs) like you say, & re-test my original lighter loads. Then later on (days, weeks or whatever), I would re-think what happened and then load up rounds above my last tested max, such as your 28grs. Many times I would be pleasantly surprised, well shocked actually, at the excellent results when doing that. Which by now should not be surprising to me, but still is sometimes. LOL So, in other words, I would not be surprised to see something like 28.5 grs (or ?) doing even better for example. Ya just never know until tried. Anyway, Good job Frank

#20 Brant

Brant

    StubExt

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,161 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Missouri
  • Interests:Shooting, Hunting, PCP Airguns, Flying (home builts)

Posted 24 April 2011 - 08:12 AM

:doh[1]: Personally, I am always amazed and a tad bit skeptical about some of the long distance shots claimed by individuals in Varmint Hunter magazine. I would have a hard enough time seeing a little ground rat at over 1000-yards, let alone being able to shoot the darn thing.

Some of them look obviously phoney. Must not be much verification required.

I'm an airgunholic


#21 ratassassin

ratassassin

    Big Shooter

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,566 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA
  • Interests:Handloading, hunting, target shooting.

Posted 24 April 2011 - 04:06 PM

I have to admit, Frank, that curiousity has gotten the better of me for the reasons you mention. This morning, I loaded up 25 rounds in hotter sets ranging from 28.0 (to confirm my last group and warm up my barrel), 28.2, 28.3, 28.5 (two sets). I'm going to chron all the shots and inspect all the cases carefully between shots to watch for pressure signs. In part, I decided to push on because I read that AA2230 is a very similar, if not the identical, powder as X-Terminator. Both Accurate and Ramshot are part of Western Powders and both powders are listed right next to each other on the burn rate lists. The Accurate published data for AA2230 for the Barnes VG 26 gr runs min 26.7 grains (4050 fps) to a surprising 29.7 grains (4435 fps!) with COAL at 2.250 (ten thousandths shorter than the COAL I used from the Barnes manual). So I figure if I take the Ramshot X-Terminator up to 28.5 grains with a COAL of 2.260, it should be safe enough. We'll see. If you don't see me posting after next weekend, you'll know what happened. :doh[1]: Of course, if the group sizes don't shrink dramatically and achieve one-hole nirvana while running this hot, there's no point in wasting powder and running at higher pressure. So I'd probably then drop back down to 27.0 to improve brass life and reduce barrel wear.

#22 Frank

Frank

    Big Kahuna

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,759 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Long Beach, Ca
  • Interests:Coyote Hunting #1, Valley Quail 2nd. Former (Idaho) mule deer hunter

Posted 24 April 2011 - 07:50 PM

LOL... Great minds really do think alike... Too funny! And no, nothing (bad) is going to happen with those missles you're loading. Oops, wrong choice of words, eh? lol Mike, in all honesty, all along my hunch has been around 29.5gr as max (that I semi-alluded to from my 1st post above). But just a HUNCH of course. Now after reading what you say, my hunch has become a really STRONG hunch. LOLI guess what I am trying to say is, my vote is not to stop at 28.5 if accuracy goes to pot (as long as pressures are not excessive), as that (less accuracy) can happen a lot with "in between or middle" loads. Often times (but not always of course) best accuracy is at the lowest & highest ends of the scale in other words, & the 27gr charge "appears" to be at the low end from what has been gathered so far. HOWEVER ???Anyway, your already doing great & is a nice project. Look forward to your next range resultsFrank

#23 ratassassin

ratassassin

    Big Shooter

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,566 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA
  • Interests:Handloading, hunting, target shooting.

Posted 24 April 2011 - 08:20 PM

Thanks for the advice, Frank. I appreciate it. Will let you know how it goes next weekend.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users