243 Winchester continued

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  • Last Post 17 August 2017
Scearcy posted this 17 April 2017

Someone suggested a few weeks back that I should start a new thread because the first was growing too long.  Fair enough! My initial reaction was that there probably was not much information left that would be interesting. We have had a brief but interesting discussion about the use of H335 the past couple of days in the first thread.

This past month a number of us have been playing with plain base bullets in largely 30 caliber rifles. It was surprising to me how readily we have found pretty good loads using softer alloys and lower velocities. I decided to try the same thing with the 243. My bullet choice is the NOE 105 gr. The alloy is the same alloy I have been using for PB bullets in my 3006. Finally I took a couple of accuracy loads from the older Lyman manuals.

I should mention that I was shooting in a 15 mph gusty wind. So then here is the first group using soft slow fat bullets:

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Scearcy posted this 17 April 2017

The first group looks like a number I have shot in the past. I think this load would benefit from an additional 1/2 gr of powder.

The next 2 groups are a revelation to me. I only shot them 2 hours ago so in my methodical (slooowwww) way I need to think about this a bit. I thought you guys would find these groups interesting. They are within spitting distance of the National records in Hunter class. Who would have thunk?

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45 2.1 posted this 17 April 2017

A larger sizing diameter and an alloy change (BHN doesn't mean much, it's how you get to it that matters) will get you farther along................

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Scearcy posted this 17 April 2017

45 2.1

I am not sure what your point is? Farther along than what?

Jim

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OU812 posted this 17 April 2017

Scearcy,   I hope you figure out how to do that consistently.

IMR 4198 has worked well for me also...but difficult to meter. Been thinking about buying RCBS's new Chargemaster Lite electronic powder charger.

 

 

...

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45 2.1 posted this 17 April 2017

45 2.1

I am not sure what your point is? Farther along than what?

Jim                      

 

Better accuracy than you're getting now. BHN can be achieved thru alloying certain percentages of antimony, tin, arsenic and lead and air cooled to a certain BHN (or heat treated to a higher BHN than the air cooled produces)....... or a like BHN by using a lot less antimony, tin and arsenic in the alloy and heat treating or water dropping the cast bullet out of the mold.

Example: Linotype air cooled is about 21 BHN and heat treated is a lot more. Most people can find the antimony, tin percentages in lino on the web. A mix of wheel weights / pure lead..... 50% each air cools to about 8 BHN and when it is water dropped it is about 19 BHN after a minimum of two weeks (WW has varying percentages of antimony and tin, but the mix should have about 2% antimony and less than 1/2% tin). Both alloys have close BHN's.. lino air cooled and WW/Pb water dropped. Shoot both in the same load and the WW/Pb will probably shoot better (it has for me).

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Scearcy posted this 17 April 2017

OK I am not really arguing here but rather thinking out loud. First if I can continue to get anything close to the two groups above, it is going to be hard to get me to try another alloy. Second I have 3 pots sitting on my casting bench. One contains pure lino, one contains foundry 92-6-2 and one contains a secret mix (just kidding) that measures exactly BHN 11.5. For the last three months I have shot either pure lino or pure hardball (92-6-2) in these 243s. These are BHN 20-22 and BHN 16-18 respectively. I have shot them slow and I have shot them fast. I have been rewarded with an occasional 1.25” group and have shot a bunch of 1.5” - 2.0” groups.

There is no magic here but rather well over 800 rounds through 3 rifles using two foundry pure hard alloys and at least a half dozen powders. According to my notes the best groups have usually been in the 1700 fps range using loads which are closer to minimum that maximum. The Lyman manual I have been following notes that best accuracy with the 243 is usually obtained below 1750 fps. That has been my experience also.

I have retired the two faster twist rifles to so they can pursue other interests. Since the slower twist barrel was the most accurate, I decided why not try it with a softer alloy ahead of a slightly gentler load. Why not indeed? If I can get a 7 1/2# sporter to shoot a 9/16” group in a 15 mph wind and then follow it with another sub 1” group, the load will have my undivided attention.

I have been shooting registered CBA matches for over 20 years. I know that conventional wisdom is that small bore gas checked bullets need to be hard. I have measured some really good groups which were shot using linotype bullets. We compete comfortably in the knowledge that when in doubt, try a harder bullet.

Maybe so, maybe not so. I usually like to believe what my eyes tell me and I have seen very few groups shot with conventional equipment that are any better than that one above. Does one group prove anything? Not much except maybe when it is a tight as the .57 group. Do 2 groups prove anything? Prove - no. Indicate - probably.I believe these are the best 2 groups I have gotten since starting this project. You can be sure I will shoot several more groups before relying heavily on this load but I am unlikely to abandon it before it has been thoroughly tested. I do remain aware of the fact that the warmer weather may be contributing to better performance now. It is also true that I have solved the lube problems I was experiencing early on. Both of these facts could be giving this load an edge relative to the harder alloys I was shooting in February. 

Anyhow this is getting too long. I apologize for sounding irritated but I was. If someone would like to join me in this effort, feel free to say so. PM if you wish. Now that spring is here I will be unable to continue to commit this much time to testing loads.

 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 18 April 2017

thanks jim ... just like watching an old style john wayne movie ... where the hero wins !! ....  good stuff !

do you feel you can comment on your adventures with bullet lube ??

hoping you get a lot more of those amazing targets .

ken

 

 

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Scearcy posted this 20 April 2017

Analysis of IMR 4198 with NOE 105 FN

Load         Average         Extreme          Standard

                  Velocity         Spread             Deviation

13.5 gr      1577                 25                     9.6

14.5 gr      1650                 15                      5.1

15.5 gr      1736                 34                    14.6

16.5 gr      1805                 46                    15.3

17.5 gr      1875                 58                    19.1

None of the loads leaded the barrel. 13.5 gr shot very well on the last trip to the range. It appears likely that best accuracy might be found in the 14-14.5  gr range. 

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John Alexander posted this 21 April 2017

I have been competing  in CBA matches with 223s in factory rifles for over 35 years , sometimes with success against the thirty calibers, sometimes with less.  I am in danger of getting a case of the vapors when I again hear the old saw that you need hard alloys for the small calibers. My experience has been I get luckier when I go from linotype to much softer alloys.

I believe that taking the advice to use hard alloys for the small bores is directly responsible for the belief that the small bores are hard to shoot accurately.

Hang in there Jim and good luck in duplicating those two groups.

John

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MarkinEllensburg posted this 21 April 2017

Thanks for that input John. I think I'll try ww in my .25.

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Scearcy posted this 21 April 2017

I'll post some more groups in about a week. They will be with the soft alloy.  What I have seen so far makes me a believer but another 30-40 rounds won't hurt anything.

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OU812 posted this 22 April 2017

I have about 1.5 lbs of “older long” cut IMR 4198.

I read that the newer IMR 4198 is a shorter cut (meters better) and is temperature stable .... much different than the older stuff? I bet it shoots different also. 

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Scearcy posted this 22 April 2017

My earlier test was with H4198 which is the short kernel temperature stable stuff.  It didn't seem to perform quite as well as the IMR stuff. Its similar but obviously not identical. All I can say is that IMR 4198 looks good in this rifle. I am sure that there are others here who know more about the differences.

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Scearcy posted this 02 May 2017

I promised to get back to this thread once I had an opportunity to shoot some more groups. The picture is fairly much self explanatory. I ruined the one group by going into brain fart mode and changing my grip for 3 shots. Old habits die hard, particularly bad habits it seems.

I am going to shoot this load in the local matches this summer. It will be interesting to see if it holds up at 200 yd.

I hope you found something useful in these two long,  sometimes misdirected threads.

Jim

 

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frnkeore posted this 03 May 2017

Excellent, Jim! I like it!!!

I'm suprized that 4198 can produce such great accuracy at those low pressures.

Frank

 

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John Alexander posted this 03 May 2017

Terrific string of groups!  I have lost track of which rifle you are now shooting. Whatever it is it may turn into a pretty good rifle when you get it tuned up and start using hard alloy.

Historical note:  The late Mike Mohler was shooting 4198 in his Ruger 243 when he won all the marbles at the 2007 CBA nationals and set a batch of records three of which are still standing, in spite of nine additional years of good shooting by other production class shooters, almost all shooting 30 calibers as God intended.  Mike was using 17.5 grains with a 95 grain Mos bullet.

John

 

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Scearcy posted this 03 May 2017

The Tikka of course.

Hard alloys and 30 calibers as God intended - You've left me with a smile!

Jim

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 03 May 2017

hi jim .... ya didn't really think you were going to sneak that lyman super moly lube by us ....  didja ?? ....

ken

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Scearcy posted this 03 May 2017

Usually I don't worry much about lube but I shot a bunch during cold weather this winter. When combined with a harder alloy?? I had leading problems which is very unusual. No it wasn't sizing and/or fit. None of that has changed since early February. The Super Moly is a little messy to work with but I can live with that when it delivers the goods.  Also I like the fact that I can buy all I want at my LGS. PS: The NOE 243 bullet uses very little lube.

Seriously if someone is trying to get a 243 shooting well --- try the NOE bullet. Just saying.

Jim

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Maven posted this 03 May 2017

Good shooting, Jim!  Btw, other than the messiness and price, I've never had a problem with Lyman SuperMoly lube + that's approximately the same load of IMR 4198 that I use with Ly. #245496 in my .243Win.

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Scearcy posted this 15 July 2017

This thread has been dormant for some time so I thought I would give a brief update. I have been using the Tikka 243 in matches this summer. My load is 14 gr of IMR 4198 behind the NOE 245105FN. The average of ALL of the 5 shot groups shot to date is 1.019". I keep thinking back to that 1 poor group - 1 poor shot actually - that pushed this average up over 1". Momentary carelessness on my part.

The last two matches my scores with this rifle have been 193-3x and 194-3x. Absent shooter mental error on target #3, the last match should have been 197-3x.

I continue to be pleasantly surprised by what this cartridge will do in an accurate rifle. It is noteworthy that any poor shot can be traced directly to an error I have made. I don't believe there has been a single unexplained "flyer" this summer.

Jim

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John Alexander posted this 15 July 2017

The  Tikkas will shoot but it's tough shooting a featherweight with a round forend. Any variation in the shooting will make you pay when near the 1 MOA level.  I am having the same problem with my T3.  I have been shooting 75 years and still seem to forget how to do it over the winter.  Have to shoot all winter and see if that helps.  Hope to see you at the nationals.

John

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Scearcy posted this 15 July 2017

Hi John,

All of the shooting I did in February and March has definitely helped me this summer. The other thing that has helped is the absence of recoil with the 243. This allows me to work with a relaxed and relatively light hold. The T3 performs the best for me if my shoulder pressure is light and my cheek pressure is very light. That would be hard to do with a 308 for example.

I am not sure about the nationals. I am checking off an item from my bucket list this year. After owning the land for 25 years i am finally putting up a "deer shack".  Once the shell is complete it will need to be wired, insulated, a wood stove installed and furniture built. It looks like a busy fall but I am looking forward to it. Oh did I mention that the ruffed grouse population is up 60%. I need to get after them as well as the next population peak will be 10 years away and thats a long time.

Gotta stay busy

Jim

 

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.22-10-45 posted this 15 July 2017

Please parden me if I'm way off base here and I probably am comparing apples to oranges, but I too bought into the small caliber must be hard alloy theory..but for a differen't reason.  I have been shooting cast in the .22's for years and found extreem hardness wasn't necessary for accuracy.  But when I started to work with an original 1895 Winchester-Lee straight-pull sporting rifle chambered for the .236 (6mm) Lee-Navy, my concern was for the fast 1-71/2" twist.  So I cast up some hard Steriotype Ideal 245495, as well as some cast of range scrap.  My biggest headache came when I found the throat to be .0005" UNDER groove dia!...with a very long throat..so long a bullet held in case neck only by gas check still didn't reach rifling.  I finally had to size bullet to groove dia., size first two bands .001" under bore dia. in order to prevent bullet from being pushed back into case as action was closed.  The gas check did spring back to .001" over groove dia. so I was hoping it would at least seal the bore. Lyman Super Moly was used and bullets were tumble-coated in Moly before lubing. Since this rifle has an open buckhorn rear and german silver front blade, I decided to do testing at only 50yds.  I first tried H4227...10.0gr. shooting to sights and giving 3/4" groups.  I then tried TrailBoss..interestingly..a 10.0gr. charge also shot to sights with 3/4" groups.  All the H4227 loads..including heaver charges that opened groups to patterns left case necks blackened.  All TrailBoss loads, including the very light starting ones, left case necks clean..also muzzle blast was less using TB.  I used the range scrap bullets for these tests and there wasn't a speck of lead in the bore...this rifle hasn't been shot much and bore is very bright and smooth.  I did move back to 100yds and was getting 1 1/8" groups which I didn't think too shabby for open irons and 60+ year old eyes.  A Gehman adjustable iiris diopter on the shooting glasses really sharpens up the sights.  I never did get around to using the hard stuff.  I admit 10grs. is a pretty light load, but I was only after accuracy.  I know my rifle isn't anywhere near the same league as your scoped modern rifle, but it;s interesting that we both found a softer bullet works in a 6mm.  Yours is a very interesting project, I look forward to reading more.

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John Alexander posted this 16 July 2017

Jim,

Forgot to congratulate you on great shooting with the 243.  It's one thing to shoot some great groups when things are going well but one inch average with a light production rifle for ALL the groups you have shot including matches is truly outstanding.  We get used to hearing about the best group someone has shot or the best single aggregate.  Most of us don't want to remember the bad groups or the bad days. Keep up the good shooting. It would be a shame to not see if you could win hunting rifle class again at the nationals.

John

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Scearcy posted this 24 July 2017

Here is the bad with the good. This past weekend we shot the Region 5 regional championship. This is a 2 day match that is identical in format to the Nationals. Saturday was the 100 yard leg and Sunday was 200 yards. I have shot the load we have been discussing above in 6 matches this year including a 200 yard match.  It has shot fine. The weekend was hot (90s) and with humidity of about 70%. I do not pretend to understand why but my bullets were totally unstable at 200 yards.  Approximately half of them were missing the paper. At 35 degrees in April, they shot just fine at 200 yards. The Tikka has a 10" twist. 

Today as I am typing up the match results, I am bandaging my wounds and reflecting on my next move. I can easily boost the muzzle velocity of my loads by 400 fps but what other gremlins will that uncover?

Jim

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OU812 posted this 24 July 2017

I wish I had a range to practice @ 200 yards. If it shoots good @ 200, you would think it would shoot good @ 100.

The bullets that hit the paper, were holes tilted. It is easy to tell.

Scope crosshairs canted?http://www.microlevel.biz/cant_errors.html#vha

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Scearcy posted this 24 July 2017

Oblong holes for the ones that hit the paper at 200 yards.  About 1/2 missed target, backer and even the frame. I suppose they could have been going end over end.  The 100 yard targets showed evidence of very slight tipping for about 1/3 of the shots. There had been no evidence of tipping at either 100 or 200 prior to this weekend. I have read that heavier air (high humidity?) can aggravate instability. Don't know but it sure was ugly yesterday.

Increasing velocity will help some but I am not sure if it will be a cure. I hate to abandon this bullet since it fits the throat perfectly and shoots very well - when stable.

 

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Scearcy posted this 24 July 2017

Twist calculators available on line seem to agree that a muzzle velocity of roughly 2,000 fps will be required to stabilize the NOE or RCBS bullet at 200 yards.

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joeb33050 posted this 24 July 2017

If your Tikka T3 is 10" twist as the catalog says, then the noe bullet at .925 long without gas check is too long per greenhill, which requires a min twist of 9.7". The 10" twist is on the ragged edge. lighter bullets or colder weather or higher altitude or maybe slower bullets make it worse.

joe b.  

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Scearcy posted this 24 July 2017

Joe,

Yup my notes all agree with what you are saying. BTW the NOE bullet finishes at .938" with the check so it is even a little worse than you suspect. The confusing part of this is that I have shot probably 100 rounds at 200 yards before yesterday.  Some of them were fired is fairly cool weather. They were Ok and then yesterday all ____ broke loose.  I couldn't keep them on the target frame.

Anyhow one of the calculators on the web indicates that at 1950 fps the 10" twist should be ok - just barely. I am loading this afternoon so I'll know soon enough. If more speed doesn't work I will likely have to try the Saeco 87 gr bullet which is a little shorter. The RCBS 95 gr bullet is .928" so that is scarcely better than the NOE bullet.

Jim

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Paul Pollard posted this 25 July 2017

With higher humidity, the air is actually less dense than dry air.

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OU812 posted this 25 July 2017

Is your barrel clean? Sometimes it can be difficult to remove old lead and carbon deposits.

I wonder if something changed in your reloading procedure. I am bad about not taking notes when reloading.

Have you tried softer 20-1 alloy? Seems to me smaller calibers work better with softer alloy.

 

 

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Scearcy posted this 25 July 2017

Really! That may be the answer then. Obviously I was pushing the envelope at 200 yards and it is apparently a very fine line between just barely stable and no accuracy at all at 200 yds. Interesting factoid - my 5 shot agg at 100 yards was under 1". We shot this event first thing in the morning on Saturday. Ten shot groups and score targets were both subpar at 100 yds later in the day. Now when I look carefully at those targets, about 1/3 of the holes showed some tipping even at 100 yds. As the match director, I never take time to look at my own targets until the day after the match so I never noticed the tipping until yesterday.

I wondered about the barrel also but the bore scope shows it to be perfectly clean. I am already shooting a soft alloy - which I hope will hold up at 2,000 fps. I am going to test 4 different loads in that speed range some time this week. Paul, you shoot 6mm bullets at 200 yds. Is your rifle 1x9 or 1x10 twist?

Jim

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Paul Pollard posted this 25 July 2017

1:14 twist. Bullet is .245 x .835 @ 2390 fps. Linotype or 70/30 linotype:lead. Weight is 80 to 82 grains, ready to load.

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Scearcy posted this 25 July 2017

Ah! so many differences. It is hard to draw conclusions.

I have begun to suspect that my problem may also be related to dynamic stability. The gyroscopic stability of a bullet should not degrade as it slows with distance - in theory. The dynamic stability, if marginal, will readily fail as a bullet becomes transonic, however. As I understand it, good gyroscopic stability may mitigate this failure in some cases. My bullets have definitely slowed to the transonic range by the time they reach 200 yards. They are also have marginal gyroscopic stability to begin with. I may be having a problem which theoretically is very similar to the one faced by Palma shooters with their 308s.

Jim

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Scearcy posted this 17 August 2017

It is time for an update. I tried adding velocity to improve the stability of the NOE 245-105. No dice! 1900 fps would probably be ok to reach out to 100 yards most of the time but it did not hold stability at 200 yds.

Paul Pollard provided me with a NOE 245-80 FN mold. I very much appreciate getting this mold as it is currently not in production. I cast 250 bullets last week and loaded up using 14 gr of IMR 4198. The first 6 ten shot groups produced an average group size of about 1.38" These groups were shot by 2 different shooters on 3 different days.  I have not had an opportunity to try this load at 200 yards. This short little bullet seems unlikely to do well in the wind at 200.

I will post a picture of group #6 a little later. In general each group has been better than the one before it (and those shot by my guest shooter we better than mine).

Jim

 

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Scearcy posted this 17 August 2017

This is the last group I fired yesterday. The rifle is the Tikka T3. The mold is the NOE 245-80 FN and the load is 14 gr of IMR 4198 over a Remington 9 1/2 primer. Note I switched to the Remington primers for the two groups yesterday. I certainly can't say for sure that it helped. I did slow my pace of firing so that 10 shots required a bit over 14 minutes. I also placed a handkerchief over the comb of the rifle so it wouldn't stick to my fat cheek. .88 inches

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OU812 posted this 17 August 2017

Nice group.

How often do you clean the barrel? I pull a bore snake after shooting about 10 shots then scrub my barrel clean after 20-22 shots.

Have you tried Tite Group powder yet? It seems to foul barrel less (less powder equals less fowling). I can tell how much hard fouling is in barrel when pushing wet patch down barrel. 

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Scearcy posted this 17 August 2017

As long as I stay with a high quality lube, I can't tell much difference between cleaning every 25 rounds or cleaning every 50 rounds. If I were at the nationals, I would clean after every leg which is every 25-30 rounds. This group was shot with rounds 16 through 25. The 2nd patch squeaked, the 4th patch came out white. With harder lubes or with 45-45-10 (in my experience) the fouling got hard really fast so I never went more than 25 rounds.

I am uncomfortable using a bore snake at a match so I rarely use them for practice either. I use them for bird hunting or deer hunting when cleaning rods are inconvenient.

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