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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #26 
Ranger Joe- Thanks. I had a feeling that some sort of work hardening or brass fatigue had occurred, but now I can visualize it. I've never annealed them. I'm not set up, as of yet, to properly anneal. I've seen videos of guys doing it with templac, a torch, and some luck, but if I'm going to add that to the reloading repertoire I want to use the correct method. I think I'll measure a few 5.56 cases and compare them with a fire firmed Ocelot case, just for fun!
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RangerJoe

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Reply with quote  #27 
I'll anneal brass for you on my annealeez if you pay shipping. I'd suggest twice, before and after first firing.  Should be good to go after that.  How many firings did those cases have before the longitudinal splits?
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wikster1983

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerJoe
I'll anneal brass for you on my annealeez if you pay shipping. I'd suggest twice, before and after first firing.  Should be good to go after that.  How many firings did those cases have before the longitudinal splits?

I can't speak for Cabob- but mine were on fireform shots after being converted from once fired 5.56.

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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #29 
Yeah, what Wikster said. They were on fresh cases. I haven't had a single problem once fire formed. And man, they don't grow. That 40 degree shoulder is amazing. 1.695 before fire forming, 1.688-1.690 fired, and 1.691-1.693 after sizing. It may be a couple more firings before I even need to trim!
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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #30 
RJ, thanks for offering to anneal them. How well does that Annealz machine work? I looked them up last summer, but never followed through on a purchase. I need to someday. We have lots of cases around here that have work hardened over the years, and are in dire need of annealing!
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RangerJoe

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Reply with quote  #31 
Mine works GREAT.  I did buy the Magnum and Small-case wheel kits and am glad I did.  I've done cases ranging from .300 Win Mag & 7mm Rem Mag size, to a wide range of .30-'06 , .308, and .223 based cases (including our 'cats), down to .22 Hornet.  As I recall, the only cases I've had some issue with was the .22 Hornet; the combination of the rim and extreme body taper kept causing cases to fall out while feeding (maybe 1~3 per minute), but it was no big deal.  I don't know when this product came to market, but I wish I had this 30 years ago!
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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #32 
Sounds like a future purchase, for sure.
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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #33 
Man, I'm frustrated right now. I've been hearing great things about the MDWS hybrid muzzle devices, and decided (with the 25% discount) that I just had to have one. Well, the .264 one showed up today (there isn't one for a .257, yet) and I decided to mock it up on my .257 Ocelot barrel. It didn't go as planned....

A little back story:

When the 20" Ocelot barrel showed up about a month ago, the first thing that I did was try to put a new Grovetec thread protector on the barrel. It wouldn't thread on without lots of force. I ended up stealing the one off of my WLV, and it fit great. Screwed right on, no problem. And the new thread protector went onto the WLV barrel with a little force, but not as much as I found with the Ocelot barrel. So I just figured the specs on the threads of the protector might have been a little off. No big deal... Wrong...

Fast forward to now:

I couldn't wait to get the muzzle device put on, grabbed the gun out of the gun safe, unthreaded the thread protector, and tried to thread on the muzzle device. I was able to get it on five threads by hand and thought, "Gee, I should stop... Something doesn't feel right" but I didn't. I grabbed the nearest crescent wrench I could find, put some paper towels over the flat spot on the muzzle device, and proceeded to screw it on two more threads before it became too tight to hold the gun by hand and screw the break on... "Hmm, somethings totally not right." 

So I grabbed my upper vice block, took the scope off and upper off of the lower, and proceeded to go to the shop. I set the upper up in the vise, and proceeded to unscrew the muzzle device off of the barrel. I had to flat "crank" on the muzzle device to get it off. Grr!!! I could hear threads starting to pop! Great.  Well, I finally got it off and this is what I found:

257ocelotbarrel.jpg  257ocelothmd.jpg 

Grr!! I think the threads were too tight on the barrel..... I've just ordered a tap in die in 5/8-24. I wish I had one before I ever tried to screw the muzzle device on. 
I hope I can clean up the threads enough to save the HMD, and use it... Or at least re-use my thread protector... I'm disgusted with myself right now!

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wikster1983

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Reply with quote  #34 
That sucks! I hope you can win on both ends! Good luck!
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Reply with quote  #35 
Did you take the set screw out of the hmd before threading it on?
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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #36 
Yes, the set screw was out.
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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #37 
Well, we're back in business! The Ocelot is up and running!

The 5/8-24 tap and die set that I ordered showed up yesterday, and I was able to save both the HMD and the barrel threads. The HMD cleaned up really easily, while the muzzle of the barrel required some reprofiling of the threads. I wish I would have measured the diameter of the threads before I recut them. It's been a long time since I took any machining class, but I believe the diameter of the barrel was a little oversized before the threads were cut.
Once the threads were cleaned up, the HMD screwed on by hand just like it should have in the first place. I did, however, require a crush washer to get it clocked correctly, but that was no big deal. (My dad has lots of miscellaneous parts like that laying around)
Here's some pics:
257ocelotbrlfx.jpg  257ocelotdie.jpg  257ocelotmzbrk.jpg  257ocelottap.jpg 
257ocelothmdbrl.jpg 
Next was more shooting...

Date: 1/26/2018
Temperature: 33 degrees
Altitude: 4900 ft.
MDWS: 257 Ocelot 1:10 20" barrel
Cases: LC 09 
Primer: CCI 450
2.290 OAL for 87 gr. Hornady SP
2.295 OAL for 100 gr. Nosler BT
2.265 OAL for 117 gr. Sierra Gameking

Once again, it was windy (go figure, it's Wyoming) so no accuracy testing. (Although, it's perfectly calm out at the time of writing)

The goals for today were to:

-Find max for the 87 gr. Hornady with H335, Ramshot Xterminator, and AA2200 in fire formed cases
-Find max for the 100 gr. Nosler BT with AA2200 in fresh cases
-Find max for the 100 gr. Nosler BT with Ramshot Xterminator and AA2200 in fire formed cases
-Find max for the 117 gr. Sierra Gameking with AA2200 in fresh cases
-Find max for the 117 gr. Sierra Gameking with Ramshot Xterminator and AA2200 in fire formed cases

First up: 87 gr. Hornady SP

AA2200:

25.6 gr.- 2864, 2866 (consistent)
25.8 gr.- 2844, 2858 (less velocity than 25.6 gr.)(Max)
26.0 gr.- 2875, 2885 (loose primer pockets upon decapping)(Over Max)

This powder/ bullet combo seems to hit max pressure before max velocity is achieved. (Still room to go up on case fill)

H335:

28.2 gr.- 2880, 2881 (consistent)(Max)(close to 100% case fill)
28.4 gr.- 2870, 2907 (Over Max)(compression)(loose primer pockets upon decapping)
28.6 gr.- 2895, 2921 (Over Max)(compression)(loose primer pockets upon decapping)

This powder/bullet combo gives good case fill, but hits max pressure before max velocity is achieved.

Xterminator:

28.1 gr.- 2952, 2951 (consistent)(compression)
28.3 gr.- 2961, 2967 (Max)(compression)
28.5 gr.- 2991, 2976 (Over Max)(max compression before bullet deformation)(loose primer pockets upon decapping)

This powder/bullet combo is compressed at max charges, but achieves great speed before pressure signs. Will try up to 28.3 for accuracy at 100 yds. Hopefully it isn't too temp sensitive.

Overall, with this bullet Xterminator is looking like it will run neck and neck with TAC. I plan on testing them side by side next outing.

100 gr. Nosler BT

Fresh Cases

AA2200:

24.5 gr.- 2638, 2654 (100% case fill)
24.8 gr.- 2655, 2681 (compression)
25.1 gr.- 2711, 2711 (Max)(consistent)(compression)

Decent powder/bullet combo as charges went up.

Fire Formed Cases

AA2200:

25.1 gr.- 2685, 2704 (slight compression)
25.4 gr.- 2746, 2746 (Max or slightly over)(compression)(one loose primer pocket upon decapping)
25.7 gr.- 2771, 2781 (Over Max)(compression)(loose primer pockets upon decapping)

Hit max quicker than expected with this combo. Good velocity, just high pressure. Will work with further. Try up to 25.3 for accuracy at 100 yds.

Xterminator:

25.8 gr.- 2613, 2603 (compression)
26.1 gr.- 2643, 2647 (consistent)(compression)(slight bullet deformation)
26.4 gr.- 2653, 2655 (Close to Max)(consistent)(max compression)(bullet deformation)

This seems like a very consistent bullet/powder combo, except you run out of case capacity slightly before you reach maximum velocity. Will try up to 26.1 or 26.2 for accuracy at 100 yds.

Overall, with this bullet both of the powders selected have their short comings... AA2200 hits pressure, Xterminator runs out of case capacity. However, I will keep messing with this bullet since I know how well it works on game, even at decreased velocities. In the future I plan on testing shorter 100 gr. bullets, i.e. either the Speer 100 gr. BTSP or the 100 gr. Sierra Gameking, or both. I believe that Xterminator may have a better showing with these bullets.
I also may try 1200-R for this combo. I need to find the Goldilock's powder between these two (AA2200 and Xterminator).
Onto the 117 gr.

117 gr. Sierra Gameking

Fresh Cases

AA2200:

23.5 gr.- 2465, 2466 (almost 100% case fill)(consistent)
23.8 gr.- 2494, 2504 (slight compression)
24.1 gr.- 2512, 2537 (compression)(almost max)

Seems consistent for application. Almost max pressure

Fire Formed Cases

AA2200:

24.1 gr.- 2518, 2532 (almost 100% fill)(not sure why readings almost mirror fresh cases)(close to max)
24.4 gr.- 2593, 2567 (Over Max)(slight compression)(loose primer pockets upon decapping)
24.7 gr.- 2595, 2606 (Over Max)(compression)(loose primer pockets upon decapping)

I almost hit 2600 fps!!! I think this powder may be a little fast for application. Good fill %, but hits pressure very quickly. 24.2 gr. is probably Max. 

Xterminator:

25.4 gr.- 2536, 2527 (consistent)(compression)
25.7 gr.- 2576, 2570 (Max)(compression)
26.0 gr.- 2591, 2583 (Over Max)(more compression)(loose primer pockets upon decapping)

Very consistent powder for application. Not as spikey as AA2200. Will try 25.7 gr into water jugs for expansion test next outing.

Overall, Xterminator is proving itself the better of the two powders tested with this combination. 2573 fps isn't too bad for that heavy of a bullet in a small case. Will experiment with til my supply of bullets runs out...

In conclusion,

The Ocelot had a couple hiccups along the road, but is still proving itself more and more each day. I did have a couple ftf and my first fte with AA2200 today. I believe the gun is getting extremely dirty (I haven't cleaned it in a couple hundred rounds) and needs to be completely stripped, cleaned, and reoiled. I'm sure it will be humming like a sewing machine once that's done.
The Ocelot is showing that it's going to like shorter bullets (just as any other 5.56 based cat).

So far I have learned that the following velocities can be safely achieved with the powders on hand:

87 gr. Hornady:

2950-2960 (Ramshot TAC, Ramshot Xterminator)(All without pressure signs)

This from a 20" barrel. If you put this in a 24" barrel, 3000 fps would be easily obtainable.

100 gr. Nosler BT:

2740 (AA2200)(Max pressure)

Could easily make 2800 fps with this powder/bullet combo in 24" barrel, if you don't hit max pressure.

117 gr. Sierra Gameking:

2575 (Ramshot Xterminator)

2600 fps would be doable with a 22" barrel.

That's it for now. Next will be accuracy testing (if the Wyoming wind will settle for a bit) and water jug testing (my favorite)!

Oh, and the MDWS Hybrid Muzzle Brake works very well!




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RangerJoe

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Reply with quote  #38 
Cabob - glad you're back up & running.  Are you aware of how the HMD is optimally "timed"?  I wrote up instructions for this on-line somewhere... but generally speaking:

If you are a RIGHT handed shooter, best results come from timing the HMD to about 10:30 (looking from butt to muzzle) to 11:30.  If you shoot mostly unsupported, favor the 10:30 position, if you shoot mostly supported - start 11:00 to 11:30.

If you are a LEFT handed shooter, your best performance comes from 1:30 to 12:30.  Again - supported shooting favors more vertical timing.  I'm a righty and have all mine timed about 10:30~10:45.

What we called "rack guns" - those used by right or left hand shooters randomly were timed at 12:00.  That is one of the reasons the HMD comes with a lock screw... so the timing isn't dependent on a crush washer.  I use a single lead shot pellet under the set screw to press into the muzzle threads.  This protects the threads and absolutely secures the MD.

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wikster1983

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Reply with quote  #39 
I can vouch for the solidness of the lead pellet! Awesome advice! ^^^^^^ Just have to remove the brass insert in set screw.
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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #40 
Thanks for the input, Ranger Joe. I haven't seen that info... I'll look for it.
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MDWS

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Reply with quote  #41 
Just catching up after SHOT, and sorry to hear of the troubles CABOB.

Have you been able to determine exactly what the issue was?

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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #42 
I believe the barrel wasn't turned down enough before it was threaded. (I really wish i would have actually measured the diameter before rethreading) When I first tried the hmd on the barrel, and consequently got it stuck, I noticed that the threads closest to the ones that became messed up had a squared profile on top. (The hmd was, for lack of a better term, squishing them). I had also found out, previously, that only one of the thread protectors that I have on hand would thread onto the muzzle. The other one was way too tight, but would thread right onto my 277 WLV barrel. Then when I rethreaded it later on, there was quite a bit of material that had to be removed to clean up the remaining threads to be usable. I've rethreaded lots of thing over the years (ranch work) and never had that much material removed without making brand new threads. It threaded on just fine, however, after rethreading.
I had to use a crush washer to get the hmd to time close to roughly 12 o'clock, because when I tried it without the crush washer it settled at about 3:30 to 4 o'clock hand tight. And I knew I couldn't get it to the correct position without putting too much stress on the remaining threads.
It's all working now, though it may not be as clean a look as some. It's still functional, and that's what really matters.
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MDWS

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Reply with quote  #43 
That's how the HMD is. You use set screw to time it or use a crush washer, or both if you want. There's no way to make them so they time perfectly where you want them.

Ok we will check the barrels we have... and yes it would help if we knew exactly what the issue was but at least it's resolved, glad to hear. Usually this type of issue is from people leaving the set screw in and trying to wrench the device on while the screw drags on the threads and trashes them, but you said your screw was out so we'll take a look.


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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #44 
Good to know. Just trying to be helpful. And yeah, the screw was out. It was laying on the table beside me before I ever even attempted to attach the hmd! It stayed in the same place for three days until the hmd was finally mounted.
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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #45 
I was able to get out today and "murder" some water jugs! I tested the three bullets that I've been working with at 70 yds. Why this distance you ask? Simple, on my shooting range there is a flat spot in the sand that is on the same plane as my shooting bench, making bullet catches a little easier. I've also found that with bigger rounds, what happens at 70 yds, will pretty much be duplicated at 300 yds, i.e. same number of jugs. Although the bullets caught at 300 will have just a smidge more weight retention.

Over my years of water jug testing I've found that any bullet that will make it through three water jugs and have at least 50% wt. retention is a great canidate for deer and antelope. I've also found that if they penetrate more than four jugs and/or retain more than 85% of their wt, that they will get the job done, but will sometimes cause a slower death than necessary. None of this is black and white though... I've seen bullets capable of less make outstanding kills, as well as ones designed for much bigger game!

Onto the data:

36 degrees and windy

First up, 87 gr. Hornady SP (Actually 86.6 gr. in this case)

This is, or should I say "was" since it has been discontinued, supposedly a varmint bullet.... Wait a minute, no it's not. 

Estimated muzzle velocity- (Taken off of previous chrono readings) 2950 fps
Estimated impact velocity- (Calculated using Sterlok and my atmospheric conditions) 2776 fps
Impact energy: 1488 ft. lbs.
Penetration: 3 water jugs
Wt. Retention: 69.5 grs. (80.2%)

All energy expelled on first two jugs, with pencilling on last jug. Core seperation in last jug, but core and jacket laying next to one another. Great performance for a "varmint bullet".
Will try this fall on animals!

Next up, 100 gr. Nosler BT (100.0 in this case)

Estimated muzzle velocity: 2744 fps
Estimated impact velocity: 2608 fps
Impact energy: 1510 ft. lbs.
Penetration: 3 jugs, bouncing off of the front of 4th
Wt. Retention: 66.4 grs. (66.4%)

Typical BT performance. They always weigh between 60 and 70% when pushed within their velocity window. All energy expelled in first two jugs (very similar to 87 gr. Hornady), with pencilling in last jug and dimpling the back of third causing dimple on fourth. Jacket and core seperation but found together in bottom of third jug. 
I actually had to test this twice. In the first test, the jacket came to rest in the third jug and the core punched a hole out and one in the fourth, but didn't penetrate. It was lost. BTW, just the jacket weighed exactly 40 grs. I will probably try this bullet this fall, as well.

Finally, 117 gr. Sierra Gameking (117.0 in this case)

Estimated muzzle velocity: 2575 fps
Estimated impact velocity: 2449 fps
Impact energy: 1558 ft. lbs.
Penetration: 5 jugs
Wt. Retention: 87.3 grs. (74.6%)

This one surprised the hell out of me!! I wasn't sure what to expect, but I'm now calling this bullet "Longshanks". I don't know if it will be soft enough to expand out past 200 yds, but up close this may be a great bullet for big deer and hogs. You could definitely tell the diffence when this bullet impacted over the other two. There was much more authority! The first three jugs were split right in half, with pencilling through the last two. Also demonstrated jacket/core seperation, but were found together. Not as explosive as the first two, but much greater penetration. When driven through shoulders, this looks like it would anchor game in a hurry! Will do more testing at longer ranges, but looks promising.

Here are the some pics of the bullets. L to R: Sierra, Nosler, Hornady

257ocelotbullets1.jpg  257ocelotbullets2.jpg

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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #46 
On a side note: From time to time I've noticed that I get some weird ejection with AA2200, pretty much only with it. I get 3 to 3:30 ejection, but today the cases dribbled off of the shooting bench. (Only going a couple feet). I haven't noticed this with either TAC or Xterminator. I just thoroughly cleaned the gun and bcg last night, reoiled, and it worked fine for the TAC loads. I have noticed that the bolt seems to be overriding the bolt stop on the last round and isn't all of the way open. Every-so-often it will fail to pick up the next round. I've questioned the springs in the mag (ASC mags), but aren't sure. Is there a way to check them? Is there too much bolt speed? I do have some tungsten weights that I could try. Or is my spring becoming weak? Is there a certain unloaded length to check for? Oh, this is the same carbine buffer/spring set up I use for my .277 WLV. It works almost perfect in that. When it comes to reloading, I think of myself as average leaning towards expert. When it comes to AR's, however, I'm a novice. This is where I wish I had someone around that could look at this. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #47 
Update:

I think I may have figured out my feeding and ejection problems.  I took off my gas tube the other night and blew some compressed air through it and the gas block. The tube looked kind of sooty by the gas block. I didn't find any appreciable amount of residue in either, but decided to try it anyways.. I then got to reading about how if sometimes the bcg will come to rest on the follower after the last shot, that it might still be over gassed and causing the bcg to have too much speed and override the bolt catch. I decided to weigh my buffer... I forgot that I had already put a tungsten weight in it for the WLV. Well, I decided to add another one and the final weight comes to 4.62 oz. 
I went out the next day and tried five rounds loaded with 25.3 gr. of AA2200 and 100 gr. Nosler BT. All functioned fine and ejected to 3:30 to 4:00. Sweet!
I was also thinking that I had some mag issues. The mags have only ever been partially loaded so I decided to load them to full capacity and let them sit for awhile (thinking that may help with consistent spring tension). I let them sit overnight with some fresh brass rounds and then went and tested them on the 600 yd range. I shot out to 300 yds. One mag never had a problem, and one had a couple of hiccups about half way through, then worked fine after that. (Oh, and I could only get 19 rounds in each 20 round magazine). Ejection was great too, along with bolt lock back as well. I numbered them when I got home.
Ok, problem solved... Or at least I thought. I fired the 87 gr. Hornady loads with Ramshot TAC the other day for accuracy and never had a single feeding or ejection problem. However, today with H335 and AA2200 it was a different story! 
While testing the 100 gr. Speer BTSP #1408 I tested four different powders: Ramshot TAC, Ramshot Xterminator, H335, and AA2200. TAC and Xterminator functioned flawlessly. H335 had one failure to feed, and a partial lock back on the last round, and AA2200 had multiple failure to feeds and no lock back... What gives? I know the gun needs cleaned again, but I think that there is something amiss with the pressure curve of AA2200 that causes weird things to happen. I'm not sure... Anyways, here's the data from today's testing.

2/3/2018
Temperture: 40 degrees
Altitude: 4900 ft.
Bullet: 100 gr. Speer BTSP #1408
Case: LC 09
Primer: CCI450
Fire Formed Cases

Ramshot TAC

27.3 gr.- 2668, 2675 (compressed)
27.6 gr.- 2691, 2685 (compressed)
27.9 gr.- 2714, 2711 (compressed)(had to turn seater down)
28.2 gr.- 2705, 2725 (way compressed)(had to turn seater down)(slight bullet deformation)

This powder is still too slow. No pressure indications of any sort. Consistent, just slow. Would work as a low pressure load for brass life.

Ramshot Xterminator

26.3 gr.- 2686, 2708 (roughly 100% case fill)
26.6 gr.- 2736, 2759 (slight compression)
26.9 gr.- 2773, 2766 (compression)(barely visible cratering)(barely visible swipes)(Almost Max)
27.2 gr.- 2798, 2793 (compression)(had to turn seater down)(minor swipes)(minor cratering)(Max)(one loose primer pocket upon decapping)

This combo looks very impressive. I will retest with cases fire formed with a lower powder charge. (I.E. tighter primer pockets) The 50 yd target had all eight rounds in a little under 1/2 inch group, with six of them being in a group under .280! Will test up to 27.2 gr., maybe a smidge higher, for accuracy at 100 yds.

H335

26.3 gr.- 2638, 2653
26.6 gr.- 2682, 2679
26.9 gr.- 2701, 2694 (Max)(roughly 100% case fill)(minor cratering)(minor swipes)(one loose primer pocket upon decapping)
27.2 gr.- 2702, 2723 (Over Max)(slight compression)(cratering)(swipes)(loose primer pockets upon decapping)

This powder is disappointing once again. Pressure spikes before max velocity. Great case fill, just not right for application.

AA2200

24.6 gr.- 2658, 2667 (no lock back)
24.9 gr.- 2721, 2711 (ftf)(partial lock back)
25.2 gr.- 2744, 2740 (ftf)(partial lock back)(barely visible cratering)
25.5 gr.- 2772, 2778 (one ftf)(partial lock back)(minor cratering)(95% case fill)(not max yet)

This powder looks great for case fill and velocity... I just don't know why it won't feed consistently. I still have some room to go up, and will try up too 25.8 gr. next time.

Overall, the #1408 Speer looks to be a much better fit than the 100 gr. Nosler BT in the Ocelot. I'm able to get much better velocity with all powders since the Speer is much shorter than the Nosler. On the order of 60- 100 fps higher!!! I may still try the 100 gr. Hotcor or 100 gr. Sierra Pro Hunter if I can find some locally (No luck so far). Although, if I can find an accuracy node close to 2800 fps with the #1408 Speer, my search might be over. Next time up:

- Accuracy testing with Ramshot Xterminator
- Find max with AA2200
- Water jug testing of Speer #1408

P.S. I'm still searching for a consistent and repeatable load for the 87 gr. Hornady. There is a wide node between 29.1 and 29.4 grs of Ramshot TAC, but since I installed the HMD I keep getting two touching, and one flier. I think the harmonics are off a little now. I just started playing with seating depth, but so far have only gone from 2.290 to 2.270 in .010 increments. I can still go another .010 shorter before too much compression, but may concentrate on smaller incremental changes (.005 or so) closer to 2.290. I will keep everyone updated, and hopefully be able to post a few one hole, three shot groups.


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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #48 
Oh, almost forgot. All loads with the Speer #1408 were loaded to 2.290 OAL.
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Reply with quote  #49 
CABOB - I must say, you are doing some GREAT testing and data recording!  Could make an engineer out of you!  [wink]
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Reply with quote  #50 
RJ, I may have a little OCD.... So it's in my nature.😉 Besides, if you aren't going to present thorough info why report anything at all? I always like reading what you have to say, just trying to emulate your thoroughness.
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