Groundhog Rifles and Loads

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Scearcy posted this 29 April 2018

I am going to shoot two rifles in the Groundhog match this year. One is a Henry single shot shown in another thread in the forum. The second is a Ruger American 300 Blackout that I acquired a few years ago.  This rifle has a tight throat and refuses to accept any bullet with a nose larger than .300 or so. After rumaging through my odd lots of left over bullets I found two I can chamber.  These are  both from Accurate molds. They are the 31-200G and the 31-200NR.

Last year I ran out of prep time and I just loaded Bullseye in my Groundhog loads and of course it worked fine.  This year I want to try something new so I am going to shoot Trail Boss in both rifles. This tiny case accepts 5 gr as the maximum load w/o being compressed.  My starting load will be 4 gr.  That is all I know right now.

Here is a picture.

Many of the Groundhog match entrants are shooting very interesting rifles. I hope some of you will do a post with pictures.

Jim

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onondaga posted this 30 April 2018

Looks like an interesting quest! I am surprised you aren't trying the Lee 300AAC bullet. I use it in 7.62x39 with Titegroup. The Lee bullet offers unique design advantage with the boat tail that shoots well either bare or gas checked. That gives an additional option for accuracy trials. I shoot them bare in my load.

Gary

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Bohica793 posted this 30 April 2018

I use that 31-200R in my Mosin 91/30 to good effect.  Really nice bullet.

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Scearcy posted this 30 April 2018

Hi Gary

Right now I am trying to get by without buying a new mold. The targets are due June 1 so time is a little short.

I do intend to get a mold for a lighter bullet for long term use but it may not happen this month. The design of the magazine on this rifle pretty much requires a spitzer if I want to feed from the magazine. I have a NOE spitzer mold I have never used. It may be next up before I buy more molds.

Jim

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Scearcy posted this 30 April 2018

Gary

Can I change my mind. Are you referring to the 312 -155 2R? That actually looks exactly right for this rifle!

Jim

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onondaga posted this 30 April 2018

Gary

Can I change my mind. Are you referring to the 312 -155 2R? That actually looks exactly right for this rifle!

Jim

 

NO!

I am referring to the Lee TL309-230-5R. It is the only bullet mold Lee makes with a boat tail base that also fits a gas check and is specifically designed for the 300 Blackout.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/938614/lee-2-cavity-bullet-mold-tl309-230-5r-30-caliber-309-diameter-230-grain-300-aac-blackout-tumble-lube-5-ogive-radius

I'm a little very surprised if you have never heard of this mold from Lee. The bullet is designed to be shot bare boat tailed for low velocity and gas checked at higher velocity. This is a real boat tail bullet design and the first ever that also fits a gas check. A true innovation worth trying in your rifle. Mine actually cast quite large in #2 alloy at .311".

Although specifically designed for the 300 Blackout it can shoot well in any 30 cal rifle. I have even tried it in 30-06 in my 1903A3 backwards as a flat nose Bear hunting bullet. It shoots well backwards! It is a long tapered 5R ogive spire boat tail design. They cast at 221 gr in #2 for me.

You got it the other way around, your Ruger American 300 Blackout has a 1:7 twist and it is made for this weight subsonic Lee TL309-230-5R bullet.

The very first time I tried this bullet was un-sized/tumble lubed with TiteGroup 5 gr from my Remington Spartan 7.62X39 single shot with a 24" chrome lined bore and it shot under 1" @ 50 yards the first 5 shots and didn't get worse.

 

Gary

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Scearcy posted this 30 April 2018

Gary

I have a 300 BLK 230 gr mould and I also have a Lyman 210 gr spitzer I tried.  They don't serve my purpose as I am not trying to build a subsonic load which will cycle the action on an AR. I have a couple of 7.65x39 moulds also but the noses on both of those bullets are too large to chamber with an reasonable OAL. I like 130 gr to 160 gr bullets for the Blackouts small case. It just happens that the two bullets I use in my other two 300 Blackouts are too large for the tight Ruger bore. Hence I was making due with a couple of bore riders which measure in the .299 to .300 range. They happen to be 200 gr bullets but that fact is pure coincidence.

The Ruger shoots an 115 gr semi wadcutter beautifully at 50 yards but I don't have the mold. I just have a couple hundred with gas checks that I purchased at a gun show. GCs are not allowed for the Groundhog shoot.

Jim

 

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onondaga posted this 30 April 2018

Jim, your 1:7 twist in the American is made for heavy bullets like the Lee AAC. That is great if you get light bore riders to shoot but they have far less accuracy potential than the Lee AAC in your twist. If you have to size them at all, only size them to show ink test slide on chambering  on at least the first exposed driving band and that will give them a stable start, If you can also engage the ogive .010" in the ball seat that will add the most stability for the bullet start and accuracy. The bullet does well bare and just tumble lubed subsonic through about 1500 fps. Any faster, use the gas check option. The dual option design shoots well either at low or high velocity by using Lee bullet as a plain boat tail spire  or as a gas checked spire. It is NOT a bore rider, simply seat it to engage the ogive to the ball seat if you can feed it that way and sized so the driving bands contact the chamber for best stable start and highest accuracy potential.

Incidentally, I don't cast these with #2 alloy because I need the strength for the load, I use #2 for durability in this application. I'd recommend #2 because you have a bolt action with magazine feed and the durability is important in that application too. I carry them in my pocket squirrel hunting with a single shot and softer bullets get too beat up..

Gary

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longhunter posted this 01 May 2018

ok I will try this again.

Pic problems.

This is one of my Ground hog rifles this year. 

Its a Winchester Low wall in 25-20 Single Shot.(a dead cartage)  The scope is a Ranger 4X external adjustment mounts.

Below the rifle is a 22lr. for comparison. A 25-20 SS loaded round. The cast bullets are the Ideal bullet from the Ideal Tool Company mold and tool behind the rifle. A RCBS 25-85-CW . And a NOE #260-63-WFN-BX1.  1 GC 1 PB.

The load so far is 6.5 grs of IMR 4227.  More to follow, I hope I can get it to shoot well enough.  It's been fun so far.

The rifle came from New England area and I'm sure it shot ground hogs.  It came with the sling and a tin of lubed bullets. 

The targets will tell. 

Good luck to all shooters.

Jon

Jon Welda CW5 USA Ret. 608 797 0056

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John Alexander posted this 01 May 2018

Gary,

Please help me out.  I don't understand your use of the term durability.

I thought that meant resistence to wearing out.  What do you mean by "durability"?

Thanks.

John

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onondaga posted this 01 May 2018

Gary,

Please help me out.  I don't understand your use of the term durability.

I thought that meant resistence to wearing out.  What do you mean by "durability"?

Thanks.

John

Sure John, It is sometimes a practical matter for me. When I carry cast bullet ammo in my pocket hunting, the alloy strength is important to resist denting and scratching in the pocket. I shoot low velocity ammo in several rifles squirrel hunting. Although 2% antimony range scrap alloy is fine for the load level of these squirrel loads, that 2% alloy gets damaged very easily in my pocket so I cast my squirrel bullets in #2 alloy that is substantially better for pocket carry. That is all I mean by durability in this application. I tried the 2% alloy and they get too banged up from pocket carry, the #2 alloy ones don't. It is routine squirrel hunting for me to put 8 rounds in my stock mounted shell holder and to put 10 rounds in my pocket too. Aside from the squirrels I eat, I occasionally murder chipmunks to express violence and shoot up some ammo.

Gary

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Scearcy posted this 01 May 2018

I just completed the first trip to the range with the little Ruger. The load was 4 gr of Trail Boss behind an Accurate 31-200 NR. My lube was straight  Lee Alox. The bullet is unsized.

I shot 3 - 5 shot groups. The largest was 1.2" and the average was 1.13". I should be satisfied but all three groups showed evidence of vertical stringing and in all three cases the lowest hit in the group showed some evidence of instability. I doubt that this load would do very well at 100 yards. 

I am going to try the same load with the powder charge increased to 4.5 gr and 5 gr.

Gotta keep in mind the Groundhog has a 3" 10 ring.

Jim

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onondaga posted this 01 May 2018

Jim, have you ink tested your bullet fit? That is step one, I hope you didn't skip it. Just having the fit verified in ink before you even shoot should put your groups under 1" @ 50 yards with that charge and bullet if it verifies..

 

Gary

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GP Idaho posted this 01 May 2018

Jim:  Like Gary has said the Lee TL309-230-5R works well in the Blackout.  What's new for me and so far shows promise is the new NOE 311-214-FN-CA5 with it's long .450+ nose there is a lot of stability built in. I nose size the taper out of the nose so that it is a strait .300 or .301 depending on the rifle it's to be fired from. PM me if you'd like to try a few. Gp

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fa38 posted this 11 May 2018

 I shot my target the other day in about a 15 to 20 MPH wind from the left.  I don't think it bothered the bullet very much but it did push me around even shooting siting.

Cody Ballard, RKS gain twist barrel 10.0", Doc Brewer 106 grain spritzer, Win 540 powder 5.9 grains, Win SR primer, Anschutz front sight and MVA Soule rear.  Shot sitting with my elbows on my knees, no sling.

The not so good looking part of my rifle.

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Scearcy posted this 11 May 2018

fa38

That is a beautiful rifle!

Jim

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 11 May 2018

fa38 ...

hey how am i supposed to practice my speed reading when you post eye candy such as that ballard ....   it cost me 5 minutes just drooling over that piece of art ..... thank you .

ken

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fa38 posted this 11 May 2018

Well actually that is not the good looking one and/but the newer good looking one  is not what I used for the groundhog shoot.

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greg posted this 14 May 2018

Hi Jim,

Thought I'd post a picture of my Rem 7 in 300 Blackout with 1:10" twist barrel.  Never shot plain base bullets (except B.P.) and hadn't realized what a challenge they could be.  Load I used for 300 BLK was 5.0 gr Unique and RCBS 150 FNPB.  I'd estimate velocity to be about 1500 fps and it seemed to shot pretty well.  Six grains of Unique seemed to lead barrel pretty good so I cut charge to five grains.  My intention was to shoot 3 different rifles but spent way too much time trying to get a Ruger 77/357 to shoot anything that resembled a group.  Actually, never did get that rifle to shoot plain based bullets and have since just run out of time.  Target for 300 Blk is in the mail.  Thanks for a good and sometimes frustrating time !!

GregRemington mdl 7   

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Scearcy posted this 14 May 2018

Greg

I assume you had to rebarrel that rifle to get a 1x10 twist? Ours is an organization made up of predominantly "Traditional" gentlemen. Almost always I agree but in the case of the 300 Blackout, I continue to be surprised by the limited number of shooters trying this cartridge. I believe that the very fast twists of the factory rifles and the whole fascination with subsonic velocities are the primary impediments to shooters realizing the value of this cartridge for cast bullets.

I will be shooting the 1x7" Ruger American as one of my two rifles but my primary 300 BLK is a rebarreled Remington 700 with a 1x10" barrel. It shoots well. Thanks for sharing.

Jim

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 17 May 2018

ok, ok, .... got together my remmy 722 and B&L Balfor in those " interesting "  adjustable B&L mounts ... ( thanks, Ed Harris ! ) ...... oh, 300 Savage ... in a bolt action, as good as a 308 W. .....

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