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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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You've discovered what a lot of shooters learn - different loads may impact on the target at different, unpredictable spots. Or they may all group together.

I have a rifle that will shoot two different loads about 4 minutes apart left-to-right. Same bullet weight, same powder charge, same primer.

You just never know.
I think there is a chance that the stock bedding is pushing more on one side of the barrel or the other. You might want to check that.
Here's a good read:

Techshooters Shooting Pages

I'm afraid if you can't accept that sometimes these things happen, you may have to give up handloading. It isn't a big deal that different loads shoot to different points of impact. In fact it's practically the gospel truth.
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Free float the barrel ahead of the chamber. Then you have eliminated any variable pressure that the stock is putting on the barrel (which can affect how the barrel vibrates).

It might eliminate the problem, or it might be exactly the same. But you'll know whether it is due to bedding. That's all we can do, eliminate one variable at a time.
Well, true re: the bench rest crowd, but they are often on the edge of stability. I've read of groups going sour during a match due to extreme weather. So, it's an issue for them, but not so much for the rest of us mere mortals. Our off-the-shelf guns almost always have plenty of extra twist that conditions don't cause a problem in regards to that.

The main point of the OCW method is to try and find a charge weight that is fairly insensitive to conditions. You would want to fire all of the groups on the same range outing if possible. That should eliminate conditions as a variable. When you pick a load in the middle of a range of several charges that are all consistent, then that load should be fairly insensitive to ordinary weather fluctuations.

Having said that, if you do the work in the middle of summer and hunt in the dead of winter, it might be good to check the results as close to hunting conditions a possible. Or, better, do the load work up in close to expected conditions.

But a change of a few percent in humidity or 20 degrees in temp shouldn't put things in the ditch. If it does, then something else is wrong. Or, you have a very specialized setup as per the first paragraph.
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With the help of the OCW and Quickload and Chris Long's site, you may be able to get a top accuracy node near max velocity. However, it may require selecting a different powder if what you have isn't quite the right speed.

The only way to know, though, will be to test the powders that Quickload suggests and see if it works. An interesting exercise, but maybe not completely required for shooting the occasional coyote....

I'd personally rather keep fewer powders on hand and sacrifice a few fps if that's what it takes to get a stable load. To each his own.
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