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Thread: 243 Win test loads

  1. #1
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Default 243 Win test loads

    Ahh, things of beauty...

    I put my daughters 243 aside last year when I was swamped with other projects. I've finally caught up and decided to get this thing shooting. I had a decent load with 95gr VLD's over RL-17 shooting nice when I put it aside. However, I've been fortunate with very accurate production rifles and wasn't satisfied with the 1 MOA grouping her rifle was giving me. I expect the little 6mm to do better.

    I've decided to start over with a new powder selection that offers a full case fill and four bullets seated at 0.00, 0.030, 0.060 and 0.090 off the lands to get in the ball park a little quicker. Fortunately this little Ruger tactical will feed all of the selected bullets at their longest length from the magazine. Berger's new book touches on this seating depth drill and I've used it before with success. Generally one of these seating depths will group much better than the rest and further refinements with that depth by going .010 each side of it then .005 each side of that will tweak it's happy spot. Finally further refinements in charge with the winning seating depth will net the best recipe with the selected components.

    I've chosen four bullets, two target bullets and two hunting bullets. Target bullets are 95gr Berger VLD and 90gr Lapua Scenar. The hunting bullets are 95gr Partition and 95gr Ballistic Tip. This rifle is a 1:9 twist 20".

    I will foul the bore with one of the fouling rounds in the center of the box followed by shooting all of one bullet type into four separate three shot groups based on seating depth. This will be followed by cleaning and once again fouling followed by shooting all of another bullet type into four separate targets and repeat with the remaining loads.

    This is generally how I work on load development. The wife has me tied up today and tomorrow, headed to work Sunday, hoping to shoot these things next week. Results will follow.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Kaylees 243 test ammo.jpg   Kaylee's 243.jpg  

  2. #2

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    I'm interested to see the results, feeling curiosity about new things in 24 cal at the moment. From my own background, I'd add the Speer 105 to your list of possibles. All our 243's have loved it, especially those that allowed longer OAL's like the Ruger #1. Deer flat hate it!

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    I've had good luck for years with the Sierra 85 gr HPBT but I'm going to try the copper bullets in my Tikka lite in .243 AI...hope it likes them.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    havent played with the Rl17 yet.. but my savage 243.. really likes the H380
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I'd add the Speer 105 to your list of possibles. All our 243's have loved it, especially those that allowed longer OAL's like the Ruger #1. Deer flat hate it!
    BB,

    What was the twist rate used with the 105? I'm not opposed to trying it. I just went with the selection I listed because of the math check on the long target 95gr bullets selected.

    Both the Nosler selections were more than .125 shorter then the Berger mentioned. The Scenar has about .100 more bearing surface in the neck than the VLD due to it's shape.

    This will be a fun test. I'm just planning on group checks with the mid level charge selected. After dialing in the seating depth I'll break out the Chrony and sneak up on the velocity with the winners.

    The goal is to have a good target load and a good deer load for my daughter. She has recently expressed interest in hunting. She has always loved to shoot. In the picture she's busting clays scattered on the hill side. She already shot the .204 about half a box worth of bullets and was warming up the AR. They're randomly tossed between 100-150 yards away. When they explode she gets instant satisfaction. Paper shooting bores her to death.

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  6. #6

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    Nice I'm hoping to load up some 85 Speers under RL-17 later this winter once my hunting season is all done. Read about some good reports with RL-17 and the 243 and I have a lot of it around already for my 325 WSM, my 338 WM, and my .308 so figure lets just stick with one powder if it works so well in everything else.

    Looking forward to your results Marshall!!!

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Trying to Rep ya Marshall,...Great Thread, particularly interesting for myself, and the .243

    Really appreciate the detail and specifics, learning lots as you post
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  8. #8

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    The original 6mm Remington had a 1-9" twist for shooting 90-105 grn projectiles; These were however semi-pointed flat based bullets. 243's came out with a 1-10" twist and shot varmint weight bullets better. This gave the 243 a slight edge in the varmint fields and it would still launch bullets up to 100 grains pretty well for game animals. Your 243 with a 1-9" twist will digest 105 grain bullets well however as with most varmint style rifles velocities will suffer when compared to lighter bullets in this caliber.
    If you have a can BLC-2 (ball powder) and IMR-4350 (extruded) both work very well in the 243. Hope your daughter enjoys her rifle !!
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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    I have had great success shooting the IMR 4350 with the 100 gr bullet, That is my go to load for black tail deer hunting, I use the 95 Gr HP for coyote hunting in the desert. Have fun.

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    Mind if I ask, why are so many going to the top end in bullet weight for the .243 ??,.... Up to 105's, etc. ??

    It seemed to me, the advantage of that caliber was shooting as light as 58gr, really Fast, and Super Performance in those

    and working up to 85 and 95 grain Partitions for mine was as heavy as I needed for that caliber,...
    or could just use another rifle if needing to go heavy

    Maybe that's just me, but mine was bought for small critters, and Blacktails certainly don't require much to take efficiently
    Killed a fair size Black Bear with one blow to the lungs, and using a 95gr Partition, I was thinking it was actually a near overkill,....
    would back down to the 85 Partition next time

    I worked up loads all last winter for a Tikka T-3 and it performed "Beyond Belief" with the small bullets 58gr types
    and was "Really Pretty Good," with the 85grain Partitions,
    yet it was somewhat noticeably, "not as awesome," accuracy wise
    when launching 85-95 grain bullets, as it was everything small, and super fast

    Just wondering, why stretch into 100-105 grainers, for Deer, etc. with that caliber ??
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    I can't speak for the others but I choose to work up the 95gr bullets because of there higher BC. It takes less knowledge to shoot a slippery bullet, meaning that they are less affected by wind and carry a little flatter. The .204 that she shoots is super fast with the 32-36gr bullets but they drift a lot past 200 yards.

    I bought the 243 for her to have a dedicated hunting rifle. The 308 I have in it's identical twin is crazy accurate. I'm hoping the 243 finishes well too.

    Last year I tried several of the faster powders in this rifle with poor results. They were selected because this rifle has a 20" barrel. I thought the faster powder would finish sooner and capture it's potential. The best load at that time was with 41.5gr of RL-17 and 95gr Nosler ballistic Tips. It shot inside of an inch at 2856fps. COAL was 2.745 @ .090 off in her rifle.

    I also worked up a 85gr Partition load that shot well. It was working with RL-15 and Varget at .025 off the lands. The only problem was a poor case fill and poor velocity which is most likely a short barrel issue.

    After I finish this current round of tests I'll have a better idea of which way to go. Ideally as mentioned earlier I would like two accurate loads, one for targets and one for hunting. I've selected 7828ssc due to the full case fill. That powder shows up in several loading manuals and I have a lot on hand. It may flash a lot, time will tell.

  12. #12

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    To the best of my recollection the Ruger #1 is 1:9, but I don't recall the others (one a Remington and the other a Savage). It sure shoots well from the #1 (the only one we still own, BTW), even better than the others. I just checked the Speer site, and I don't even see it listed any more!

    As for why so heavy, I had expansion troubles on deer past 300 yards with Partitions in the 243 and penetration problems with the light stuff. The 105 is far and away the best I've found for reliable expansion along with good penetration. But then again, I tend to shoot 120's from 257 Roberts, too, so maybe it's just a heavy bullet prejudice for me.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I tend to shoot 120's from 257 Roberts, too, so maybe it's just a heavy bullet prejudice for me.
    I like heavy for caliber bullets too. My daughter won't be shooting game at extended range but the higher BC heavy stuff can work well when dialed in.

    An extreme example is the 338 Lapua. I have dialed in a couple of loads that shoot very nice. One is a 285gr Barnes TSX at 2800fps. The other is a 300gr Berger Hybrid that shoots equally as well at 2775fps. At 1000 yards the lighter lower BC TSX drops 40" more than the Berger. With a 10 mph cross wind the TSX drifts 24" further than the Berger. In this example the heavier higher BC bullet out performs the lighter faster bullet. I think this makes it easier to consistently hit your target.

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    I've got a couple 243's. They really like the lowly 100gr corelock w/imr 4350.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    I made it out to the range this afternoon. It was a nice day for shooting, calm winds, clear sky's and 80 degrees. First up was the Berger 95gr VLD. The groups are labeled 1,2,3,4. They are seated 0.000, 0.030, 0.060, 0.090 off the lands. The 0.000 is not jammed it's just kissing the lands.

    0.000 off the lands shot remarkably well. I thought about closing up the case and going home. Three shots touching to start the day. As the VLD's moved away from the lands the groups opened up. That's commonly reported with the secant ogive but not so with my 175gr VLD .308 Win load.

    Velocity went up as they were seated deeper in the case, further from the lands. I'm going to do some velocity testing with the number one 0.000 off load. Currently 44.0gr of 7828ssc averaged 2840fps out of the 20" barrel.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Second up was the Lapua 90gr Scenar bullet. I added 1.0gr of charge since it was a lighter bullet. This bullet has a tangent ogive. I found it interesting that the Scenar actually shot better as it was moved away from the lands. Group 3 and 4 shot equally as well but group 3 averaged 32fps faster than group 4 with the same charge. Unlike the VLD's that got faster with jump. The Scenar got progressively slower as I moved away from the lands. Group 3 averaged 2936fps with 45.0gr of 7828ssc.

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    The Nosler 95gr Ballistic Tip shot best kissing the lands but was slower than the VLD by an average of 48fps with the same charge. With the Nosler BT the velocity dropped as I moved away from the lands. Since the Ballistic Tip has been so explosive out of other rifles I've hunted with and doesn't offer improvements to the other two target bullets I'm abandoning it's use as a hunting or target bullet out of this rifle. The red marked holes in group 4 were from a chump on the range that used my targets, what a jack azz...

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    The 95gr Partition was last in the test. I loaded it 0.000, 0.025, 0.050 and 0.075 off the lands. The third group at .050 off the lands was respectable for a soft lead tip flat base non target style hunting bullet. I will put some more effort into the Partition and maximize it's potential out of this rifle for a designated hunting load. Velocities were fairly Constant with the Partition at all seating depths. It averaged 2848fps with the 44gr charge of 7828ssc. The red marked holes in group 3 are from the same nut job as above. Down here in AZ we can't drag them out into the woods like you guys up in AK.

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    Before giving up on any of the above bullets I'ld consider trying IMR-4350 powder. Just my .02 !!
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    Before giving up on any of the above bullets I'ld consider trying IMR-4350 powder. Just my .02 !!
    Already have. I tried quite a few of the traditional 243 powder last year when I shaking this thing down. I shot most stuff around an inch with the sme drills.

    This test netted pretty good results. I have one great shooting VLD load and two great shooting Scenar loads on the first trip with yesterdays combos. The Partition load in group three isn't bad for a production rifle either.

    I'll tweak the velocities on those four and end up with one target load and one hunting load. I suspect with the 20" barrel I'll be down about 100fps from traditional 243 velocities but that's OK.

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    I'm enjoying this thread. Keep it going!

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    Thank you for posting the results. Those are some very nice groups. The best I could ever get from the Berger VLD 95 gr bullets was MOA. You have made me want to work with it again and try different powders. In the past I tried different seat depths and powder charges but I always used IMR 4350. I am going to try to change it up now. I will have to try out those Lapua Scenars as well.

    The most accurate load that I have found for my .243 is the Barnes Banded Solid 75 gr. It has a descent BC, but the only problem is that the ATF just banned Barnes from selling them because they have been considered dangerous to law enforcement. Oh well. Thanks again for posting your results. I will be trying some of them out.

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