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22-250 shooting left with reloads

6328 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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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.
You have exceeded the sweet spot in your home load. When that happens the pattern blows upo much like a shotgun pattern. Drop 2 grains and test again. This time you may have verticle, but it will prove what I said. Also when the temps warm up so will your load. You have to load for the same temps you plan on using the gun in. Let us know what happens.
I'm glad to see you are getting some good head knowledge of what happens when you pull the trigger, and more importantly about loading. I should have mentioned this before, but if you are working on an accuracy load it is most important to use a couple of wind flags. At 100 yds 2 would be the bare minimum and 3 would be the best.

The advantage of shooting over wind flags if done correctly is that you eliminate the error of changing wind conditions. In the summer mirage can be a problem too. I bought most of my daisy wheels at an Ace hardware years ago and then proceeded to make the entire wind flag much like NBRSA shooters use.

As for Dan's OCW formula which Broom mentioned. Thats a good goal. But what you said here as a OCW is nothing more then a sweet spot. The accuracy derived from that sweet spot works great at the time you formulated it, but try another day with different temperatures and humidity and you will be shooting all over the place.

The OCW you should be seeking and as Dan explained is a load that you can shoot anytime of the year and in any condition and be accurate. This OCW load would be great for hunting unless you know the conditions that you will be hunting in and they don't vary much. For instance hunting deer in the north in the fall will almost always be in low to moderate temps. Neither extreme cold or extreme hot. If you formulate a load under these same conditions then you will be in good shape for a deer hunt. I'm quite sure that this is the primary load used by most factory loaded ammo.

Then when conditions and temps change radically in the summer you would have to rework your loads for those conditions. You can either pull down all your shells or just keep a seperate batch for summer use. I would keep a seperate batch myself.

When shooting to prove a load always shoot a minimum of one 3 rounds per target. If you're not sure what you shot then shoot another. I always think of this as the joys of loading your own very accurate reloads.
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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?
Explaining how the wind affects your bullet takes more then a few words, or even a few thoughts.

First of all how the different wind directions affect it.
Head wind (12;00) will make the bullet climb, or go up.
Tail wind (6:000 will make IT DROP.
Right wind (3:00) will make it go left
Left wind (9:00) will make it go left.

Now you have to consider all the different possibilities of those directions combined.
1:30 will make the bullet rise and go left
4:30 drop and go left
7:30 drop and go right.
9:30 rise and go right
AND, any combination in between :eek:

The effect the wind has on the bullet in the first 50 to 100 yds has more effect then the wind after 100 yds, thats because at 50 yds, if the bullet is off 1/4 inch it will be off 1/2 inch at 100, 2 inches at 200, 3 inches at 300 and so on. And that is without adding the additional force it has after 50 yds. But the 50 yd affect keeps multiplying. As for wind after 100 yds, yes it has effect.

When benchrest shooters set up wind flags for a 200 yd shoot they will set up 3 before the 100 yds mark, and 2 after. Again, the effect the wind has before 100 yds keeps multiplying all the way to 200yds. But as long as the wind is blowing all the way, it will have continuing affect the full distance. This is boat tails and VLDs (very low drag) included. The VLDs will less affect then standard bullets but still a lot.
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Sounds like a good plan, but I would not load the 36.9 unless your group is still holding. But even then, you may not be able to load the 36.9 until temps cool off again to the current.

The idea of the OCW is that you can put together a load that can be accurate in any temps and other conditions. This is what the factory attempts to do.

Now as for finding the high end sweet spot, this is what bench rest shooters use, but they have to keep close track of changing temps and humidity or they sweet spot load will kill them in competition. So what they do is keep a good log and are constantly chaing their load to coinside with the changing conditions. In other words, they are trying to always be in their sweet spot. This can be a very narrow margin, as small as .2ths of a grain.

So when you are firing your loads, keep good record of what happened. Wtite on the target the temp and humidity, and wind conditions. I use to use my cell phone to give me accurate temp and humidity. Then when all is done you will be able to compare them with an education and know what to load. But you may have to go back and fine tune your best load by adjusting 1 or 2 tenths at a time. This is a lot of work, but when you save your records then you have a great history of what load did what.

You will be able to use this history to back to at a later date and duplicate a load for the future. When ever you shoot, always keep records.
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Quite right Mike. When shooting benchrest a guy may have to adjust his load 6-8 times during the day long shoot, or even change powders. But these guys (one of which I am not) have shot record groups that would be hard to duplicate with an expensive machine. Their whole agenda is extreme accuracy, but that is not waht the OCW is. Again, OCW is nothing more then finding a load that will work well in all expected conditions, even with some variences.

But as for groups going sour during a match because of what you call modest changes in climate, that is true and happens all the time, BUT, not to the best and most experienced.

Again, benchrest shooting is not something that the common shooter should be concerned with. There is just too much to risk when you are about to pull the trigger on that buck of a life time.

Thats why it best to tune your load to a more modest velocity, and not to the top velocity. The top velocity will give you wonderful results in your favored condistions, but break your heart when you least expect it.
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