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Thread: Keyhole Varmint Grenades

  1. #1

    Keyhole Varmint Grenades

    No real question here, just an interesting story.

    My neighbour came down to my "range" yesterday afternoon to try out some new loads - 50gr Barnes Varmint Grenades in a 14 twist 22/250 with a max load of Varget.

    Long story short, we could not get them to even hit a 100m target. I brought the target board in to 25m, three rounds in a 6" spread, all of which hit the target sideways leaving a perfect keyhole cut in the paper.

    Comparing the bullets to 50gr NBT's, thay are about 50% longer. I have heard of stabilisation issues and keyholeing in the past, and have had rounds show poor accuracy, but this was unbelieveable. I tried them in my 12 twist Blaser, I at least got them on the paper with a 1.5" group at 100m.

    Seems pretty extreme, but I saw it.....

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  2. #2
    They are not known for accuracy, I'm afraid. Folks I varmint hunt with have tried them, then abandoned them completely. There is little use in being to rapidly expand if you can't hit the critter. I shoot Speer 50 grain TNT's from my .222 and they will disintegrate on impact with anything solid at 3200 fps/mv. ~Muir

  3. #3
    Muir, I think they are an answer in search of a question.

    I have used 50gr Sierra BK's, V-max's, and NBT's in various 222rem's and 22/250's. All have show great accuracy and terminal effect. The Barnes are a hassle I could well live without....

    Just thought it was interesting that they were so badly dispersed and upset at only 25m from the muzzle.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  4. #4
    You'd think they wouldn't be that bad but it could be a twist issue, or a diameter issue (relative to the groove diameter of the rifle) or maybe the bullet isn't handling being driven that fast and is starting to come apart?? I once had an FN-actioned Marlin .243 that would keyhole bullets at 25M and it was a dimensional issue: The rifling was shallow and the bullets moving fast: bad combo. (I chucked the barrel and made a .308!) ~Muir

  5. #5
    the barnes website seems to suggest that it should be a 1:10 or faster for most calibres

    Varmint GrenadeĀ® | Barnes Bullets

  6. #6
    if you push these bullets in the slower shooting 22 cf your find there ok up to 200 yards. the trouble using them in 22/250 is there not designed to go at those speeds the 22/250 pushes them. same for the speer tnt. they tell you to keep them below 3300 fps i think it is. otherwise accuracy will suffer.

    ttell him to use the nostlers or blizkings and he wont go wrong with the varget.

  7. #7
    Think it a twist issue. They say you need a fast twist to make them stable. A mate tried them in a 12 twist 223 and they were a inch and half group at best. I think they have a copper tin core instead of lead so they are really long and hard stabilise without a fast twist.

  8. #8
    As mentioned it is a stabilisation issue; these things are very long for their weight so need a fast twist to stabilise 1:9 or faster, or higher velocity which may not be feasible...

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