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Sorry if this is the wrong category. Didn't see a pet load or handload section.
I recently bought a national match AR. It has a 1:8 twist. I have read that 69-8- grain bullets are a recommended weight for bullets. I am headed to Camp Perry Monday to pick up some components at commercial row. Can someone give me some recommendations on some bullets. I would presume some Sierra HPBT's will be recommended. What weight bullet and maybe some powder recommendations. I have several pounds of IMR4895 which I have seen recommended. I used to use it in my NM M1A.

My intent is to shoot the NM match course so loads pertinent to that would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Randy
 

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Bullet and powder

My AR has the same twist.
I use the Sierra 77gr. BTHP and 24 grains of Reloader 15.
Pete
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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I shot the Natoinals for many years, starting with a Garand, going to an AR, then to a national match M1a, then back to the AR. I shot service rifle, a 20" Bushmaster 'based' rifle with a 1/7 twist aftermarket barrel.[Compass lake] The Bushmaster national match came with a 1/8, but in my youth, I was convinced that 1/7 MUST be better..... not for the weights I was shooting, only going to the same 68-69 range you inquire about.
Hornaday 68 and Sierra match 69 bullets are what I used, loading both to 24 grains of IMR 4895. My slow fire/single load ammo was loaded with the same bullet but instead of the IMR 4895, I liked a charge of 24.5 grains of Varget. These loads were loaded long and only neck sized, to the length of the chamber, and always worked well in my gun, tho some would say Varget was not the best. I tried a few matches using Win748, and that shot well also, but I found it way too dirty.

Refer to the Hodgdon website or a good reloading manual to get a starting reference, say 24 grains or so. Work your loads from there, in batches of 10 rounds. Shoot at the same distance and position that you would in the match.

good luck.

I am going to move this to handloads for you, and hopefully you will gain more replies.
 

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My Bushmaster AR has a 7 1/2" twist BlackStar barrel. I run the little 53 grain SMK's at 200 yards to minimize recoil disturbance, but find the 77 grain SMK's are better at 300 yards due to the higher BC helping buck wind. The 77's are stubby enough that they feed from a magazine. I shoot the 80 grain SMK's singly-loaded at 600 to get the better ballistic coefficient (wind again), but I wind up seating them too long for magazine feed.

In my gun, with Winchester cases and WSR primers (I got a bunch of factory primed ones at one point) 23.8, 21.3, and 21.1 grains of Benchmark seems to do pretty well for the 53, 77, and 80, respectively. The 53's are seated to 2.233 COL, the 77's to 2.260" COL, and the 80's to to 1.285" COL.

An 8" twist should be fine for any of the above bullets.

IMR4895 should be a perfectly good powder choice for the two heavier bullets, but I don't think I'd run the lighter one with it, as efficiency would be low and burn dirty. Just don't change powders from short to medium to long range loads. Many guns seem to need about 10 rounds for the fouling pattern to settle in after making a change. How sensitive your gun is to this depends on the barrel, so it's something you want to test for. You might be able to switch between 200 and 300 and not see a big difference, but I wouldn't switch between 300 and 600, as small velocity differences really start to tell at long ranges.
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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I like the 53 Hornadays at 200 also Nick;
they work really really well. At times, when the 53 grain bullets were not available, I substitited Winchesters 55grain power-points. Although the powerpoints were a soft nosed/flat based bullet, they performed amazingly well at 200.

We shot a military style match once at the range, using Army 'dog' targets out to 300 yards, and only A1, A2 and detachable A3 guns were allowed. The course of fire was the national course. There were two simple catagories, 16" and 20". The ammo was standard [supplied by the range] old NATO 55 grain ball ammo. It was suprizing and fun to see how some guns shined, and others crashed and burned. Alot of the 16 inch heavy barrelled carbines really did well.
 

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Yes! If you have the eyeballs for the shorter sight radius, those short, rigid barrels can hold very tight groups. At 600 they hurt you, though, as the bullet velocities have dropped into the transonic range, and some designs can start to tumble when they do that.
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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We shot 600 reduced @ 300 yards. To be honest, I did not even know that they made a 600 reduced Dog target. Never saw any keyholing in the pits, any alot of shots were actually ten ring if not X for the 16 inchers! I was impressed!
 

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Looked to me like the bullets would go transonic between 500 and 600 yards. Up to that point there should be no problem, and there won't necessarily be any tumbling even then. It depends on spin rate and the particular bullet design. What you do get, though, is a lot of extra drag in that range, so wind effects start to get excessive beyond that.
 
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