Well I went to the range today to try out some test loads.I loaded up some target loads with Hornady 68gr BTHP Match bullets.
I usually shoot 75gr Match bullets,but had a box of these and thought I'd see if my Savage 12 and RRA Varminter would like them.
For these loads,I used several Hogdon powders-H322,H335,Varget,and BL-C2.I also loaded 2 sets with IMR 4895.
I used different OAL for the testing. RRA=2.250" to fit in magazine.
Savage 12=2.400" .40 off lands
Both groups were loaded with Winchester small rifle primers.
I used Lake City brass for the RRA loads,and Winchester brass for the Savage.
The weather was good,about 68-70*,but the wind was blowing 15-20mph. The range is surrounded on 3 sides with tall concrete walls,and the wind comes over them and starts swirling around causing dust devils.
With the wind,I really wasn't expecting great results,but I think I found a couple loads for each rifle.
Of course,if the idiot behind the gun wouldn't screw up on a great group some of them would have been excellent groups,but of course I blew it.
Range was 100 yards.
First up was the RRA-The first two groups were with BL-C2,and I was really surprised that they were so far out around 2" and 2.5".That sucks!
Next-Varget,This powder is pretty universal.I have always shot good groups with it.First group just under 1/2",second group slightly bigger around 3/4"
Next-IMR 4895,I haven't shot this powder enough to know what it likes.Nothing great but not too bad,first group around 1.25" second closer to 1"
Next-H335,Like Varget,a great powder for 223 bullets heavy or light. First group around 3/4",second one opened up.Probably me,around 1.25"
Last up-H322,I have never liked this powder.I think it works better with 55gr and lighter bullets and I don't shoot them.The first group surprised me,around 1",the second one opened up 1.25-1.5".
I then grabbed the Savage 12 and saw what it would do.
First up was the H322,well I thought so.On the first shot aiming at the top left target,I pulled the trigger and Poof-not Bang.Looking at the target through the scope,I can see that the bullet hit almost at the bottom of the sheet near the bottom right corner of the lower left target.
The primer strike was good,the case looks good.Maybe I just messed up on the powder charge.I'll find out more when I pull the bullets on the other nine shells.
The shots on the target were from some 55gr FMJ that I had in my bag,after I finished shooting the test loads.
Next-H335,The first group was off around 1.25",second one was around 3/4"
Next-Varget,The first group I was off around 1.25",then had a great second group until I pulled a shot.I turned an under 1/2" group into a 3/4" group.
Next-IMR 4895,I think I can work with this load and have a good one.I blew the first group,but the second one was around 3/4".
Last up-BL-C2,This rifle likes loads with this powder.First group was just over 1/2",and the second one would've been under 1/2",but once again I BLEW IT!
Oh well,I still had fun and have a few new loads to work with.
I'll post some more pics.