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NON-LEAD Follow-up Range Results


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#1 Frank

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 03:58 PM

Well, made it back from a 2nd round of testing Factory Non-lead ammo in my 223 VLS & custom Mini 14. I was semi-surprised at the results... which are:REM VLS (bolt action) w/12" twist shot the 36gr grenade Black Hills, blue box the best of the 2 ammo's in this rifle. Smallest "5" shot group was under 3/4" @ 100 yds which it did the last time out also. However, on avg groups ran approx 1 1/4". Velocity was chrono'd at 3832 fps. This ammo is consistent with no flyers!The 43gr Federal Premium TNT's would put 3 or 4 shots at around 1 1/4", then throw the 4th &/or 5th shot wildly to an overall size of 2 1/8". Although rare, I have seen this happen before mostly with handloads & again is why ammo needs tested wtih 5 shots at some point. Not just 3! Did not chrono 43gr TNT in the VLS.Custom Mini 14 w/10" twist shot the 43gr TNT's best (opposite of VLS above). 5 shot groups avg at approx 1 3/8". However the TNT's shot the smallest groups at approx 1 1/8". Velocity chrono'd @ 3545 fpsThe 36gr grenades shot the largest groups at approx 2 1/8" & they also did not shoot the smallest groups. Overall average ran approx 1 5/8". Did not chrono 36 grenades in mini. Anyhow, these are the ammo & rifles I'm going with in the buzzard zone. "IF" I go, but at least have that option now. Frank

#2 ehd

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 08:12 PM

I agree with the 5 shot groups. Suprised the tnts didnt do better.I did some shooting today . Switching scopes on my 243 to a leupold from a sightron. Smaller dot in the leupold. Anyway with the 80 grain Rem . PLHP it shot a 5 shot group that measured a .30 Hole!! @ 100. Thank god for lead .At least for a while..

#3 Portagee_Shooter

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 10:27 AM

Thanks for the report Frank. What loads (powder,amount) are you using with the 36gr VG's? 3800 seems pretty fast. I would imagine you should get pretty explosive results with that velocity. Also, do you think that you run the risk of barrel burn out at that velocity?ThanksPS

#4 Frank

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 04:00 PM

Eric, I usually hear the best results including yours, from the TNT's in 22-250 caliber. Not sure why, but? And I totally agree that the lead bullets cannot be beat in terms of accuracy. I was using 223's only in my testing.Portagee, with the all copper bullets, I am only testing "Factory" fodder that I very seldom shoot. I shoot handloads almost exclusively in my bolt guns. (may want to double check my original post above). Anyway, I just do not want to put the time, money & energy into something (copper handloads) I will seldom shoot or an area that I will seldom hunt & thus why I am using factory stuff only for in the condor range. Yeah, I was also surprised by the extra high velocity w/the 36grainers. And yes, it would be a little harder on the barrel. However, it is a 223 & cannot hold a lot of powder, along with the fact I really won't shoot it that much, as again, I will seldom hunt the condor range & won't use it for target work either. The all copper bullets, factory or handloads are just too inaccurate compared to my lead bullets. But accurate enough to kill a big ole coyote. lolFrank

#5 Portagee_Shooter

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 05:09 PM

Guess I should have read it a little closer. Still, You've got me intrigued into checking out the 36gr VG's. Since I spend half my time in the condor safety zone I've got to have good loads in lead free fodder. I've still got 300+ of the 50gr varmint grenades which shoot very well for me. Once I burn them up I'll probably check out the 36gr VG. I really want a more "explosive" result and the 50's just wont go fast enough in the 223.

#6 Frank

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 05:44 PM

Portagee, are you handloading your rounds and what caliber are you using? Good to hear you got the 50 grainers to shoot well. I actually did try some handloads including the 50 grs but could not get any to shoot well so quickly gave up for the reasons stated above. However, you do need a good copper load. Choice of bullet weight could be semi tough.They are all good looking bullets. If I could get the 43gr TNT to shoot, I believe that would be my choice, however? Partly why I say that is, I did notice a HUGE difference in energy between the bullets when I shot the steel silhoettes at 200, 300 & 400 yards. The 36 grainers did not hit near as hard, which may be some consideration. Maybe?!?! (the 43 & 50 grainers hit subtantially harder in othe words)Anyway, sounds like your doing well and good luckFrank

#7 Portagee_Shooter

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 06:27 PM

Yes, these are the same handloads we were writing about on the reloading thread. 50gr 223 3100fps.

#8 Frank

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 06:42 PM

LOL... yeah, I remembered that after I had sent my note. I am a huge fan of high velocity with a need for speed so can understand your wanting to try the 36 grainers. Plus they will still have plenty of punch. I'm going with them in my VLS for the buzzard zone & the 43gr in my mini. Keep us posted on your future load developmentsFrank




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