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22-250 shooting left with reloads

6325 Views 41 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  raptor5618
I am fairly new to reloading but wonder how this could have anything to do with the bullets I loaded. Lots of variables because gun is new Savage varmiter with a Weaver Grand Slam 4.5x-14x 40mm scope. First round, I shot Remington factory loads with hollow points 50 gr.

I got it to shoot OK but newness of gun and especially the trigger led me to think most of the error was of my own doing. I checked the scope for level and found it to be a bit off so adjusted that.

Went to the range with Rem ammo and first shot understandable was off from the adjusting I did. Dialed in the change and fist shot just a bit right of center dot. Second shot touching on the high side. Satisfied it was dialed in properly.

First shot with reload of 36gr Varget using hornady v-max 50 gr head a bit low but almost two inches left. The wind was pretty strong and had shifted some from in my face to maybe 2:30. Fired again and this bullet hit at the same height abut a little bit more left maybe 1/4 or 1/2 inch. I thought it had to be the wind.

Then tried same bullet and head with 36.5 Varget. This bullet hit at the same height as the factory loads but once again was left. Second one left a bit more.

I gave up thinking the wind was just too much and it was cold as **** too.

When I got home went to the Winchester site and to their ballistic table. At 100 yards the wind pretty much has no impact at all.

I weighed each charge with two scales to make sure I was exactly on the number. I mic'd each case to make sure it was at the COL. The barrel is a very thick barrel so I do not think the heat was going to make it move. I did take time after each shot to check where the shot hit so there was at least 1 minute between shots and it was pretty cold. I had a thin barreled 243 that would start moving around if you shot it too much but do not expect this, especially on the 4th shot.

If I had any reason to believe that the movement was not the wind I would have fired another factory round but regrettably I did not.

I read that boat tails could be a bit finicky in the 22-250 so is this what I could expect. Oh shotting the 36 gr load the two hits were pretty close but left. The 36.5 was spread out a bit more. So I am thinking of loading some more with 36 gr but want to have a good handle on what happened before I do that. Any ideas, or experiences would be greatly appreciated.
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Thanks for the info. I adjusted the scope for the factory loads and had it adjusted so I hit dead on at 100. I did not change the scope at all when I tried the two different loads. The load with 36 grs was left but they hit pretty close together. What totally amazes me is that a different change can alter the point of impact left or right that much.

Any one care to venture a guess what would cause the point of impact to change right or left. Up and down makes perfect sense to me but right and left I cannot even venture a guess as to what might cause it to happen. With so many comments that this has happened to them it is clear to me that this was not just some random event. Any Physicists in the house.
I think I understand Trad. I had just cleaned the barrel and only shot 3 times with the Remmington ammo. Of course previous to the cleaning I had fired perhaps 25 shots with the Rem Ammo.
I am the kind of person that likes to know the reason why but I am going to try very hard to let this go. I do not think it has to do with the bedding because two shots with factory hollow points and they are touching in the center box. Change to reloads and left they go, bigger charge goes even more left.

I am going to load some more and see what another day brings. It was windy and very cold so maybe it was me trying to stay warm that pulled them left. I know toward the end I was not taking as much time as at the beginning so the last ones shot with 36.5 grains could have something to do with me but I do not think that it hitting so far left was something I did. Yes this is going to be very interesting.
I only said I like to know why things happen. But I think that it only makes it more interesting that you cannot ever really predict what is going to happen. Sort of a learning process which is right up my alley. I think if you could say add this and then that you will get perfectly shooting bullets then this would just be a way to shoot less expensively and even that is in my mind subject to debate. I like reading about quantum mechanics and you cannot predict things there either so I think I will be fine.

It just is pretty unexpected that a load could be predictably left. Now as far as that bedding goes it is a synthetic stock and I am not sure what I would be looking for, how to look for it and then what to do. But I guess that if I were to adjust it, the rem factory bullets would change their point of impact too.

I am just going to find the charge that give accurate results and adjust the scope to the point of impact.
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One suggestion done

One of the suggestions was to free float the barrel. I had to check out a few videos to see how that would be done and along the way learned a bit about osculation and harmonics and I guess I can see how they could be at the root of my shots going left with these loads.

Anyway, I checked and the barrel is already free floated and if I am not mistaken the gun also has dual pillar bedded stocks. So the suggestion was a good one but thankfully it is not something more that I need to do.

I still have to look at that site suggestion and thought I would get to it tonight but looks like tomorrow is the ticket.

We are going to get some moderate temperatures the next few days so I will be loading down some shells to see what happens. For now I think that even though the load using 36 grains was left they were all very close together. 36.5 was a disaster.

I have to see if I can go down 2 more grains because the load range was not all that big to begin with. Also I have yet to see a load using the hornady v-max head. I double checked my bullets tonight and saw no sign of over pressure so I know that at the very least 36.5 is a safe load.

I will update as to what the low loads do hopefully by this weekend.
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Thanks Magnum. From all the replies I got including yours I learned some things that I am sure would take many years to learn on my own. It also helped me know which topics or issues I needed to research a bit more. Moving the bullet closer or farther from the lands is one example of something that I had not considered. That being said, this is a new gun and I have only shot one type of ammo through it so I guess it is just as likely that the other ammo shot right and the reloads shoot true but left because of my scope adjustment. Since I am new I have yet to either buy the tool or set up a bullet to check what the overall maximum case length could be. Probably the wrong words but where you check how long the bullet would be if it hit the lands which I also know is not where you want a bullet to be. I built these reloads to the exact COL listed in all the books and literature I have seen. I was going to check to see how long the factory loads were but have not.

The factory loads were hollow points so would I then add the length added by the ballistic tip to compare or just to the end of the bullet?
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Because of the responses I did look at some youtube videos that talked about osculation etc and because of that I thought what your comments confirmed. They talked about how a change in force would change how the barrel moved just like hitting a pipe with different levels of force would change the way it vibrates.

I did come across one post that said the hornady load book said that the max with this bullet and Varget is 36.4. I double checked the bullets and there are no signs that there was too much pressure but the strike point was pretty erratic whereas 36 grs was pretty tight. So I am going to build some loads starting at 35 and 35.5 and 36 and see what kind of groups they shoot.

Then I will most certainly use your method of load adjust and shoot. The shots I took with 36 grs was tight enough that I would be more than happy with its accuracy. Without the information I got here I would be very concerned about why the strike point moved. At least now I have heard a logical explanation as to why, while also understanding that predicting what a different build will do is not going to happen. I kind of like that mystery of what will happen with this powder or bullet.

I will look into that method and I appreciate all the help more than I could ever explain. Having no idea why those bullets went left would have driven me crazy looking for an answer.
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Thanks Broom. read everything on the link and think I have a grasp of what he was talking about. Some of the picture examples would have been better if he also wrote his conclusions. I think I will use 36.5 as the max. Most loads I found list 37 but one site said 36.4 was a max with the bullet I use.

I am going to load up a batch of bullets in the different configurations as he suggests and see what happens. Funny thing is that at 36.5 my shots are kind of all over the place which according to the site means if I go up a small percent it will probably be the OCW.

I think the site is great at keeping your thoughts away from thinking the latest greatest tools are the only way you will ever get an accurate bullet configuration. I think I owe everyone here the courtesy of following their suggestions and reporting on the results. So hopefully by the weekend I will be able do what the OCW site suggests. I will have to reread it to figure out exactly what I need to do though.
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jimboLLN thanks for taking the time to provide even more information to aid me in becoming more informed as I move forward in this new endeavor. I am very surprised and thankful for all the help that was offered on this forum. I have been a avid computer user going back to when there was only a few sites on the web and if you spent some time you could read all the content that you could find. So I have been in many forums in a wide variety of topics and I think this is among the best I have been on in terms of the quality of information and how patient most comments are with people like me who are new to this and ask some of the same questions asked by everyone.

I will try that method to see what results I get. It will be interesting I think. One question more. You said that over 100 yards I should have three flags for wind. When I checked the Winchester site it said that there is virtually no effect on this bullet over 100 yards. I set it to 30 miles per hour across from the right and it only changed point of impact about a 1/10 of an inch. My last round of shooting the wind moved from straight into my face to strong from the right. At 200 or 300 yards the effect was very pronounced but at 100 it was of no consequence. What have your experience been?
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Good point Smokinfz1. I am dabbling in kite-boarding where wind speed and direction are extremely important so it makes sense that the more aware you are of the wind the better you will get at knowing what is going on. Oh I golf too where wind is a factor. Thanks.
OK thanks for all the insight. So I am going to try that OCW method. The example did not follow the instructions but here is what I came up with following the instructions as I understand them. I set the max at 36.5 grs Varget. So the two sight in loads will be 33. and 34.6. The next 5 charges will be 35.3, 36.0, 36.3, 36.6 and 36.9. I am not sure why two would fall over the max but I think that I followed as bets I could. There was talk about 1 increment which I have no idea what that meant. I have fired 36.5 and looked at the base with a magnifying glass to see if there was any sign of high pressure and I saw none so I am not so concerned about 36.6 but I just might forgo the 36.9 load as one book Nosler lists 36.5 as the max. I also found several loads on other sights for Varget and the vmax bullet and all said that 36 was worked for them.

The shots I took using 36 were left but were very tightly grouped so I am suspecting that after all this is said and done I will end up using 36 grs.

I am very interested in seeing what happens with those first bullets. Hopefully the wind will be calm so that will be one issue that I will not have to think about. I plan on loading these tonight so any advice you might care to give please do.

Oh I did calculate how many bullets before I am at or around break-even with factory loads. After a mear 1,525 bullets the cost of either path will be roughly the same. I did not consider time as a cost nor did I consider the cost of buying either components or factory bullets.
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I have been keeping records including the targets and what loads I used for which holes but my last time out the weather was just too crazy. I am going to try and use the same shooting pattern as the OCW. I am now certain that the 36.9 is out of the mix. As far as temp goes I picked Varget as my first powder purchase because it is supposed to be the most forgiving as far as temp goes.

If I can find a charge that shoots a decent group I will be using it to go out hunting so the temps will initially be the same as during the load workup. It might actually be colder because so far this winter has been a long spring in PA. I am not and have no desire to do any shooting contests so a load that is consistent is probably good enough for hunting purposes. I will keep in mind the changes due to temperature and now that it is pretty easy to modify what I am shooting I can check to see how things have changed when it starts to warm up.

The number of times where I have had consecutive shots touching are few and far between although this gun did it with factory loads so maybe shooting more will make it a bit more frequent. I live and hunt in PA where 300 yard shots are not very likely so I think if I can group inside of 1 inch I should be fine using it for hunting. I will post the results and try and take a picture of the target if things work out as I hope. There still is a nagging concern about my new USED scope. I think I have the accutrigger figured out and how to get a clear picture in the scope worked out too. So this will be the first time with all the same kind of ammo where I also am more comfortable with the new gear. Never had an accutrigger before and never had a scope with AO and what ever the eyepiece adjustment is.
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After reading as much as I could when I started this I figured Varget was a good choice as many loaders liked how consistent it was and how easily it dispensed. I really liked that it was supposed to be easy to measure out which so far it has been very consistent. I also saw that there were loads for all the other calibers I shoot. If I could find one powder that was good for all my guns I would be very pleased. I really was worried about using the wrong powder or the wrong amount for that powder. I guess that was a little bit irrational because when I record the information I look at the bottle to make sure I have all the info right and mark it down even though there is only one bottle in my house so no mistakes are possible.

For what I am after I think doing this is overkill but I think it will help me learn how to change from one load to the other, How to mark down the information and shells so I know which is which. I also think it will be interesting to see what happens. For my use I think I loading a few more with 36.0 would have been good enough.

But each time I do a part of reloading I am getting to understand things a little bit better so while this is as you say an interesting exercise I think for someone new to reloading it will be a good learning experience. Even things like adjusting my balance scale is not second nature. I still double up on the electric scale to make sure I have it set right. Even the record keeping will evolve as I learn how to keep something that is helpful when looking at it after a while when what seemed clear when I did it becomes a mystery when you have forgotten why you wrote that or what that is. I modified the charges so they are a little closer together and do not go over the max. I really do not want to use the max charge anyway so pushing things to the limits is not what I am after.

In the future I hope to use the gun on other things like woodchucks which are smaller targets but do not require the ultimate in accuracy either. Based on advice from my friend, if I am careful and precise with how I load my accuracy will be better than I would get from factory loads. I also like that I can use any bullet type I want. The stores here only carry a limited variety. You could buy on-line of course but sometimes the bullet change really changes the price.

I think that no matter what I find out this weekend going through the process will be beneficial to my learning curve.
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I am so anxious to see what happens when I try this method. The barrel is free floated, I do not know about glass bedded but if that is not standard in a savage it is not. I did some more reading on ballistics and the impact of wind on a bullet including some sites that have some really intricate calculators and they are suggesting that a 10 MPH 90% wind can affect impact by as much as .75 inches at 100 yards. The wind on my last time out was at least 20 and moved from maybe 1 o'clock to 3 o'clock. So the change in impact could in some part be due to the wind if these most recent site is more accurate than the winchester ballistic calculator which pretty much showed no deflection no matter how strong the side wind was.

No matter I will see what is going on Today or tomorrow. I also was checking for loads and I saw that 36 grs is the max load for some types of bullets so 36.5 is at or very near max load and the bullets fired with that charge went all over. Factory Remington very close, reloaded 36 very close 36.5 nothing close. Some very well could have been me because of frustration at that time because I was wondering what the **** was going on. I understand a bit better now but then I was pretty anxious about the whole thing. I have a 243 that would be very accurate until you fired one to many bullets and then it would fire all over the place.

When I was younger we would just fire away at the target not considering how the barrel might be heating up or fouling up. I have been around a pretty long time so there was not Internet then and who had money to buy books or magazines. My father did not hunt so most of what I learned was from other kids like me.
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