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Thread: Should I try a smaller bullet for better groupings?

  1. #1

    Should I try a smaller bullet for better groupings?

    Looking for some advice to improve my groupings. I have a Remington 700 in .243, 24" barrel, 1 in 9 and 1/8" twist rate, bought new. I'm using PPU 100grain softpoints. On a bench rest I'm getting groups of 1.5 - 2.5". I'm sure the rifle is capable of better (though perhaps I'm not!). I wondered if I should try the PPU 90 grain as a first step to seeing if I can improve the group, or perhaps a different make entirely? The PPU is obviously very attractive, cost-wise. I don't homeload, and wanted to stick to the heavier bullets as although it's mostly roe here, I have the occasional fallow. Any thoughts or advice gratefully received. Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    I would recommend trying a different brand and see what suits the rifle. I tried PPU in my .308 found a smiler problem, I ended up swapping ammunition to Federal and the groups closed up (also used RWS but there wasn't much difference for my skill level between the 2 apart from price). Hope this helps

  3. #3
    Get someone else to shoot a group with your rifle & see what they achieve. That will tell you if its you that is the problem.
    PPU ammo is generally quite soft loaded & in some cases quite slow. Your accuracy may be improved by using a different brand of ammo that runs faster. Try some Norma 100 grain - it is a bit hotter & the different velocity may do the trick. - Different velocity bullets can often change group size because of barrel harmonics.
    A similar effect can be seen by changing bullet weight - Lighter bullets are faster so again the harmonics change.
    In all the 243 rifles I've owned, I got better groups with lighter bullets. I used to use 75 grain Sierra hollow points for fox & 100 grain for deer. Now I'm tending to go down to 90 grain for small to medium size deer (have big calibres for bigger deer)
    Your 1 in 9 twist barrel should be ok for 100 grain bullets, although it will probably stabilize 90 grainers easier.
    Chronograph your ammo & record velocity against bullet weights - that will help clarify matters.


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Mattlap View Post
    I would recommend trying a different brand and see what suits the rifle.

    never found a rifle that liked PPU although many do

  5. #5
    PPU, is cheap for a reason. Yes, some rifles do ok with them, my 222 included. But i can guarantee that if you try a 75gr vmax norma loading then you'll halve your group sizes.

    1.5" is fine for deer to 150 yards.
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  6. #6
    Are you sure about your twist rate in the Model 700? Remington has put different barrels on different models, because some are made for varmints (1:12 and 1:10 ), some more for deer, some for a mix. They put 1:9.125 in their 6mm Remington rifles, and so did other makers, and those will shoot 100, 105 and 107 grain bullets well.

    To stabilize a 100-gr bullet in 1:10 twist, you have to get it close to 3,000 fps, and most .243s, especially with with short barrels, cannot do that.

    Since you have a Remington, the first thing to try is Remington ammunition. PPU may be too slow. Try 100-gr Core Lokt. Try 90 grain and 95 grain ammunition by Remington, Federal, and Winchester - none of it is expensive. Drop way down to something like 87-gr factory ammo to see how your barrel likes that.

    If you are wanting to shoot deer, drop down to a 95-gr Nosler, Hornady or Speer flat base, and 4350 powder for a starting point.

  7. #7
    I had a t3 in .243, groups were about the same as you with 100grain bullets, went down to 90grain and was getting an inch group, but was harder to close the bolt as they were loaded to long, had someone seat them a couple of thou more and was getting clover leaf with them, but on occasions I would get the odd flier, but nothing to bad to worry about.

  8. #8
    my PH .243 hates PPU but loves RWS and Fiocchi try a couple of brands till you get happy,cheap as chips is,nt always a bargin
    she buys shoes i buy ,shooting,she stops buying shoes,il be amazed

  9. #9
    I had the same as you pulled about 60 ppu apart the powder charge varied by 5 grains and was 2 separate types of powder I then set about finding the right load using the top and bottom weight as min and Max and ppu was good but alot of hassle. I didn't mix the powders and only used the more common one meaning I ended up with about 50 finished rounds. I would try different brands cheap rounds that you can't trust to go where you want are a waste of money

  10. #10
    Many thanks for all your suggestions so far, plenty of food for thought here. I'll definitely try another brand and see how I get on with that.

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