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77 grain Sierra Match King in 223 Remington


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#1 OFFLINE   waterdog69

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Posted Aug. 23 2010 - 03:54 PM

In my ongoing quest to master (chase my tail) with the AR at 400+ yards I am wanting to try the 77 grain Sierra Match King loaded and seated at "magazine length".

I am ideally looking for a load that will give me 1/2 MOA groups at 400 and 600 yards, but I am willing to start from scratch if I have to. I have had great success with the 69 grain SMK and the 80 grain Berger VLD. The only problen with the Berger VLD is the over all length is well beyond the max of 2.260" and the 69 grain SMK's blow like leaves in the wind.

My "go to" powder is Varget, I use it on everything from the 40 grain V-MAX to the 80 grain Berger.

I want any and ALL suggestions and comments. I am an experienced loader and will accept my own liability when trying any loads anyone may wish to share with me. :)

Thank You,
Watergog69


#2 OFFLINE   dakotadad

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Posted Aug. 24 2010 - 12:18 PM

I had some decent results (0.393 MOA) at 100 yds with 77 gr. Nosler HPBT using 23.5 gr of Varget. It averaged 2600 fps. At 24.5 gr of Varget, I got (0.944 MOA) at 2730 fps. This is out of an 18" bull barrel 1:8 twist. All of these were crimped with a Lee Factory Crimp Die. COL was 2.260. Not sure how all that might compare with the 77 gr Match Kings. I haven't had the opportunity to test the Noslers at longer ranges but it is on my "to do list". I can get out to 450 yds where I shoot.

Varget is my favorite powder and I'm also doing some loading for 75 & 80 AMAX with Reloader 15.


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#3 OFFLINE   KENNYOHIOHUNTER

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Posted Aug. 24 2010 - 12:44 PM

I have no experience with doing this in magazine overall length but we do use Varget when we use the heavy pills to shoot from 600 to 1,000, we just load them single, and they are very compressed loads to say the least.

From 200 out to 500 we use standardized loads and bullet weights, after that is when it is time to pay attention to small details.

Of course I have only shot a couple of match events, and for the most part I suck at it but it's all in good fun.
Some guy's are unreal with a set of iron sights at distances that can make you dizzy trying to concentrate on the target.


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#4 OFFLINE   waterdog69

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Posted Aug. 24 2010 - 04:19 PM

I had some decent results (0.393 MOA) at 100 yds with 77 gr. Nosler HPBT using 23.5 gr of Varget. It averaged 2600 fps. At 24.5 gr of Varget, I got (0.944 MOA) at 2730 fps. This is out of an 18" bull barrel 1:8 twist. All of these were crimped with a Lee Factory Crimp Die. COL was 2.260. Not sure how all that might compare with the 77 gr Match Kings. I haven't had the opportunity to test the Noslers at longer ranges but it is on my "to do list". I can get out to 450 yds where I shoot.

Varget is my favorite powder and I'm also doing some loading for 75 & 80 AMAX with Reloader 15.


Your results are kinda what I am looking for in a couple ways, I have concerns with the rounder ogive of the 77gr bullets. Ironicly I have found the same accuracy change with the .5gr powder change in the heavier bullet loads I am using with varget.
Shot with a guy a few weeks ago who was getting ready for Camp Perry. He was using the 80gr AMAX and 24? Grains Reloader 15. He shot a MOA at 600 with his "Service Rifle" with "Match" sights. I was impressed with his ability. He was also shooting at a 600 yard target, the X ring is 1 MOA and the 7 ring is about 30? Inches in diameter. The guys on his team also use the same load....found out later they won, their name is "Team Hornady".....go figure :laugh:

The only reason I am trying the 77SMK is for the "magazine" length. My 80gr Berger load is 2.435" COL


#5 OFFLINE   waterdog69

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Posted Aug. 24 2010 - 04:28 PM

I had some decent results (0.393 MOA) at 100 yds with 77 gr. Nosler HPBT using 23.5 gr of Varget. It averaged 2600 fps. At 24.5 gr of Varget, I got (0.944 MOA) at 2730 fps. This is out of an 18" bull barrel 1:8 twist. All of these were crimped with a Lee Factory Crimp Die. COL was 2.260. Not sure how all that might compare with the 77 gr Match Kings. I haven't had the opportunity to test the Noslers at longer ranges but it is on my "to do list". I can get out to 450 yds where I shoot.

Varget is my favorite powder and I'm also doing some loading for 75 & 80 AMAX with Reloader 15.




I forgot to mention that I do not crimp any "tagret" loads. Have you tried this load without crimping?


#6 OFFLINE   waterdog69

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Posted Aug. 24 2010 - 04:34 PM

I have no experience with doing this in magazine overall length but we do use Varget when we use the heavy pills to shoot from 600 to 1,000, we just load them single, and they are very compressed loads to say the least. From 200 out to 500 we use standardized loads and bullet weights, after that is when it is time to pay attention to small details.

Of course I have only shot a couple of match events, and for the most part I suck at it but it's all in good fun.
Some guy's are unreal with a set of iron sights at distances that can make you dizzy trying to concentrate on the target. The trick is to use the correct size target for the specific distance. At 400 yards my front post is wider than a human torso. :laugh:




I am using 25.5gr Varget with the 69gr SMK and 24.5gr Varget with the 80gr Berger.....they both make a crunching sound when seating the bullet. I also use 28gr Varget for the 40 and 50 grain V-MAX and the 52 grain Sierra Match King. 28 grains of Varget will not fit in the case without vibrating it! :laugh: It sounds scary.....but Lyman says you can do it, its in their book! :thumb:


#7 OFFLINE   dakotadad

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Posted Aug. 24 2010 - 08:09 PM

I forgot to mention that I do not crimp any "tagret" loads. Have you tried this load without crimping?


I plan to run a measured crimp pressure series on these starting with no crimp. I just ran that on some 55 gr Sierra BlitzKings and I'm getting tighter groups on most of the crimp pressures than I did with no crimp. So far I've tried 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 Ft-Lb crimps. I'm picking up another torque wrench next week to try higher pressures. The best on the BlitzKings so far was 6 and 12 Ft-Lbs


#8 OFFLINE   KillerMedic

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Posted Aug. 24 2010 - 11:09 PM

23.7gr Varget is the noted MAX for a .223 chambered barrel. Most Service Rifle shooters are using a Wylde chamber or some variant of it so we use 5.56mm loading specs for our 600yard ammo. Just a note so you don't get into pressure issues based on your chamber.

For the 77 SMK at mag length you should be around 24-24.5gr of Varget and see 2700 fps +/- with a 20" 1in8 twist (it will be compressed and a long drop tube may help get it in tighter). This is a benchmark standard loading in the Highpower ranks. Over the years the lots of Varget have varied so testing with a chrony is always a good idea. You also want a harder/thicker primer such as Rem 7-1/2, CCI Br-4 or 41 or any brand Magnum primer. These help you to keep from popping primers when running hot loads.

Some other standard Highpower/Service Rifle 600yd loads:
RE-15 24-24.5gr
N140 24-24.7gr

And if you have some TAC we have played with 24.5-25gr and had decent results. Some rifles like it and some don't.

Hope this helps.


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#9 OFFLINE   waterdog69

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Posted Aug. 25 2010 - 09:29 AM

23.7gr Varget is the noted MAX for a .223 chambered barrel. Most Service Rifle shooters are using a Wylde chamber or some variant of it so we use 5.56mm loading specs for our 600yard ammo. Just a note so you don't get into pressure issues based on your chamber.

For the 77 SMK at mag length you should be around 24-24.5gr of Varget and see 2700 fps +/- with a 20" 1in8 twist (it will be compressed and a long drop tube may help get it in tighter). This is a benchmark standard loading in the Highpower ranks. Over the years the lots of Varget have varied so testing with a chrony is always a good idea. You also want a harder/thicker primer such as Rem 7-1/2, CCI Br-4 or 41 or any brand Magnum primer. These help you to keep from popping primers when running hot loads.

Some other standard Highpower/Service Rifle 600yd loads:
RE-15 24-24.5gr
N140 24-24.7gr

And if you have some TAC we have played with 24.5-25gr and had decent results. Some rifles like it and some don't.

Hope this helps.


Medic...out!



Thank you very much for the info! I will try your load for the 77SMK at mag length.:thumb:

The two Krieger barrels I am using were chambered accordingly by Rick White at Compass Lake Engineering. I am a little familiar with Bill Wylde and I think Rock River uses his 223Wylde chamber. So far all of my loads fall within the parameters that Lyman specifies in their manual, although I would never try firing these loads through a standard 223 Remington chambered rifle.

I only know a couple High Power shooters and both of those guys are using the 308WIN. We do however seem to have several Service Rifle guys that come to shoot, but none of them use the 77SMK.

I am really looking for a mag length load that I can basically "blue print" one of my rifles to....have a "dope" chart in 50 yard increments out to 600 yards. I thought I had it with the 69gr SMK, but they seem to be greatly affected by the wind, I can't believe how they move around.

Thanks again! :)


#10 OFFLINE   dakotadad

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Posted Aug. 25 2010 - 01:25 PM

23.7gr Varget is the noted MAX for a .223 chambered barrel. Most Service Rifle shooters are using a Wylde chamber or some variant of it so we use 5.56mm loading specs for our 600yard ammo. Just a note so you don't get into pressure issues based on your chamber.




Medic...out!


I don't want to get into pressure problems either. Sierra data for 223 shows MAX of 23.9 Varget using the 77 gr HPBT but their test firearm is a 20" 1 - 7" twist. Hodgdon 223 data shows the 23.7 MAX. Nosler data shows 24.5 Varget as MAX on their 77 gr using 1 - 7" twist also. I'm shooting 18" 1 - 8" twist.

How does twist and barrel length affect MAX powder loads? If it does, how do you find data for a different barrel than that used for the data development?


#11 OFFLINE   waterdog69

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Posted Aug. 25 2010 - 02:59 PM

I don't want to get into pressure problems either. Sierra data for 223 shows MAX of 23.9 Varget using the 77 gr HPBT but their test firearm is a 20" 1 - 7" twist. Hodgdon 223 data shows the 23.7 MAX. Nosler data shows 24.5 Varget as MAX on their 77 gr using 1 - 7" twist also. I'm shooting 18" 1 - 8" twist.

How does twist and barrel length affect MAX powder loads? If it does, how do you find data for a different barrel than that used for the data development?


Interesting.....My Lyman manual says 25 grains MAX of Varget...I will check into this. I always assumed the chamber geometry would have more to do with it than barrel length and twist. I have this info somewhere....I remember reading about it and actually looking at a chart. It had something to do with the dwell time vs bolt carrier weight and why some carbines and sbr's will short stroke. I know the colt hbar has a chamber that will accept the longer bullets and everyone else who wanted to get into the service rifle scene followed suit. The colt hbar is supposed to have .100" longer lead before the rifling. This is all good stuff to know, glad we are talking about this stuff.


#12 OFFLINE   KENNYOHIOHUNTER

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Posted Aug. 25 2010 - 04:19 PM

I don't want to get into pressure problems either. Sierra data for 223 shows MAX of 23.9 Varget using the 77 gr HPBT but their test firearm is a 20" 1 - 7" twist. Hodgdon 223 data shows the 23.7 MAX. Nosler data shows 24.5 Varget as MAX on their 77 gr using 1 - 7" twist also. I'm shooting 18" 1 - 8" twist.

How does twist and barrel length affect MAX powder loads? If it does, how do you find data for a different barrel than that used for the data development?



I think he was referring to the Wylde chamber and it's ability to shoot .223 and 5.56 so that you can load to higher specs.

The twist and barrel length realy only have an affect on velocity and bullet stabilization, which are both critical when pushing a .223 bullet past 600yds. You have to keep them supersonic or they will hit the dirt before they 1,000yd line, basicly, and that requires a lot of powder.

I was not aware that any of these could be loaded and used to shoot beyond 600yds in magazine overall length. That is why the compressed loads are chambered one at a time, they are way to long to fit into a mag, but I am referring to shooting between 600 and 1,000 and keeping them .010-.020 off of the lands.
For shooting at 600yd we use either 69,75,or 77gr bullets but for 1,000 it is 75 and 80gr. Heck, some guy's say they use 90gr bullet and a 1:6.5 twist barrel but I have no experience with that.


#13 OFFLINE   dakotadad

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Posted Aug. 25 2010 - 04:34 PM

Interesting.....My Lyman manual says 25 grains MAX of Varget...I will check into this. I always assumed the chamber geometry would have more to do with it than barrel length and twist. I have this info somewhere....I remember reading about it and actually looking at a chart. It had something to do with the dwell time vs bolt carrier weight and why some carbines and sbr's will short stroke. I know the colt hbar has a chamber that will accept the longer bullets and everyone else who wanted to get into the service rifle scene followed suit. The colt hbar is supposed to have .100" longer lead before the rifling. This is all good stuff to know, glad we are talking about this stuff.


Hope you can find that and share the information here. The Sierra and Nosler data are just listing 223 and I thought that referred to chamber. Also, the Sierra data specifies COL of 2.260 so I believe that would just fit the magazine.


#14 OFFLINE   waterdog69

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Posted Sep. 01 2010 - 09:37 PM

OK...preliminary results are favorable. Thank You! :thumb:

To qualify this load I shot 5 rounds at 100 yards to start out. The first two shots I pulled, the 3rd and 4th shot's in the same hole and 5 went at the top of the 3 and 4 hole....considering it was 8:20PM and "sprinkling" I am happy.

I immediatly went to the 400 yard bench. I hit the 1MOA steel plate on the second shot...just using the same "dope" as the 80 grainer! I am looking forward to the 600 yard "paper" results. :)

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#15 OFFLINE   waterdog69

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Posted Sep. 01 2010 - 09:44 PM

23.7gr Varget is the noted MAX for a .223 chambered barrel. Most Service Rifle shooters are using a Wylde chamber or some variant of it so we use 5.56mm loading specs for our 600yard ammo. Just a note so you don't get into pressure issues based on your chamber.

For the 77 SMK at mag length you should be around 24-24.5gr of Varget and see 2700 fps +/- with a 20" 1in8 twist (it will be compressed and a long drop tube may help get it in tighter). This is a benchmark standard loading in the Highpower ranks. Over the years the lots of Varget have varied so testing with a chrony is always a good idea. You also want a harder/thicker primer such as Rem 7-1/2, CCI Br-4 or 41 or any brand Magnum primer. These help you to keep from popping primers when running hot loads.

Some other standard Highpower/Service Rifle 600yd loads:
RE-15 24-24.5gr
N140 24-24.7gr

And if you have some TAC we have played with 24.5-25gr and had decent results. Some rifles like it and some don't.

Hope this helps.


Medic...out!




I tried the load you suggested and you can see the initial results from tonight on my previous post. :thumb:

24.5 grains of Varget
77 grain SMK
COL 2.260"
CCI 400 primer


#16 OFFLINE   waterdog69

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Posted Sep. 03 2010 - 06:09 PM

Well......kinda got tired of waiting on the wind to quit. Weather man says it will be blowing thru the weekend. Today the wind was 20 to 25 with 35 mph gusts. I went to the range anyhow....

I was able to dope the wind and consistantly hit the 1MOA steel at 400 yards. The wind was coming at me at about a 45 degree angle at 20 to 35 mph. I shot between gusts using about 14" of lead.

The 600 was a little different, I could only hold 1.5 MOA...the wind was kicking my a$$. I may have to come up with some portable lighting and shoot late at night this weekend. I will monitor the wind overnight and see what happens. Can't wait for some calm weather. :)


#17 OFFLINE   waterdog69

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Posted Sep. 04 2010 - 09:31 PM

My final results in calm weather (5 mph wind) is a series of 3 round groups:

400 yards: I shot 3 groups averaging 1.500"

600 yards: I shot 2 groups averaging 3.200"

600 yards: I shot a 7 rounds at our 10" steel plate with 6 rounds in a 3.800" group and 1 flyer 2" from the group making it a little less than 1MOA


I will consider this a very good "magazine" length load. They do not fly as well as the Berger 80 grain VLD "Match" bullets but that is understandable. These babies really knock the heck out of the steel and are very consistant shot for shot. In the last few days I have shot a total of 50 rounds loaded in "mixed" brass using 24.5 grains of Varget seated at 2.255 to 2.260 COL.

I am a happy camper! :thumb: :)

P.S.
In each of the 3 round groups at 600 yards, 2 of the 3 were within 2.00" of each other...someone who can actually shoot well could probably do much better.

Edited by waterdog69, Sep. 04 2010 - 09:41 PM.






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