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Thread: .222 RL7 and pressure signs?

  1. #1

    .222 RL7 and pressure signs?

    Hi guys i have been reloading soley for my .222 sako 85 varmint for 3 years now using 40gr vmax and reloader 7, i have never noticed any pressure signs at all and decided to up the charge a bit but im not sure if im gettins signs of pressure or not? I then tried some loads with a 50gr vmax and as i dont have a hornady manual i looked up a few loads on bullet manufacturers websites and had a go but i think i have accidentally strayed over the max load by 1gr, (i do wear safety glasses and check every case after firing) If anyone has a hornady manual handy coule you please confirm what the max is? My dilemma is this load is doing .72" 5 shot groups at 210 yards. The only pressure sign i think im getting is slightly cratered primer and possibly flattened a bit? I will stick a pic up so those of you with more experience than me can advise.
    thanks James
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails untitled.jpg  

  2. #2
    Don't remember the book loads, but 222 data is very mild, saami max at around 55k PSI.

    What powder charge did you use?

    my best load for years has been 21grs of RE7.
    Brian.

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

  3. #3
    Hi Brian, i was using 21.2 and 21.4 gr which i think puts me way over max for the 50gr vmax. I took my guess from the nosler website which shows 20gr for 52 gr bullet so i started in the middle at 21, i dont see any extractor marks i just dont like the cratering around the primer and its definately flattening a bit compared to my mild loads with e the 40gr vmax. I was just wondering if anyone more experienced would notice anything i didnt see. I would also mention that the this is only the second firing for the lapua brass so it would probably be fairly strong as yet. ps im 10 thou off the lands and using rem 7 1/2 benchrest primer. Are you using 21gr with 50 or 40gr bullet?

  4. #4
    what do your other primers look like?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by james19306 View Post
    Hi guys i have been reloading soley for my .222 sako 85 varmint for 3 years now using 40gr vmax and reloader 7, i have never noticed any pressure signs at all and decided to up the charge a bit but im not sure if im gettins signs of pressure or not? I then tried some loads with a 50gr vmax and as i dont have a hornady manual i looked up a few loads on bullet manufacturers websites and had a go but i think i have accidentally strayed over the max load by 1gr, (i do wear safety glasses and check every case after firing) If anyone has a hornady manual handy coule you please confirm what the max is? My dilemma is this load is doing .72" 5 shot groups at 210 yards. The only pressure sign i think im getting is slightly cratered primer and possibly flattened a bit? I will stick a pic up so those of you with more experience than me can advise.
    thanks James
    Normal looking primers there. Look up your load on the Alliant web site
    It is of little use to actually attempt to 'read' a primer for pressure signs, the case head expansion is what you need to measure - before and after firing.

  6. #6
    Doesn't look like much of a problem to me but rather than just viewing the primers why don't you measure the expansion around the web of the cartridge case and take most of the guess work out of it. It has been mentioned several times before on the site and I know that Muir for one has made several postings on the subject.
    Your presnt load seems plenty accurate (.75" five shot group @ 210 yards) just wish I could get my .223 to shoot that good though I seem to have finally cracked it this morning. For some unknown reason .222rem seems easier to crack than .223rem.
    Last edited by 8x57; 10-02-2013 at 17:05.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the replies guys, here is another pic. The three frontier cases on the right were fired in the same gun with 21.6gr rl7 and 40gr v max. I should also add the primers in the frontier were seated shallower than the lapua which were seated between .005 and .007 thou deep, whether it makes any difference im not sure. I also measured the case just above the head. Loaded cases are consistently .374-.3745 and the fired are between .377-.378 so i definately am getting some growth. I also noticed a small amount of the brass buildup on the bolt face but it wiped off very easily with my finger. It shoots brilliant its just as good with the 40gr vmax and believe it or not it is not unusual for me to get 3 shot groups going into .3 of an inch and its just a factory gun. i couldnt be more happy with it, i am just trying to get a bi more oomph as with the 20" tube i was lacking a bit in velocity, plus the 40grainers dont seem to like the wind.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails primer.jpg  

  8. #8
    James, I don't see much evidence of pressure. I am using 50gr NBT over the 21gr charge. This has been very accurate in a number of rifles.

    I would try and recycle the same 10 pieces of brass with this load and see if the primer pockets go loose. If you get 8-10 reloads, I would forget pressure and keep going.
    Brian.

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

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by james19306 View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys, here is another pic. The three frontier cases on the right were fired in the same gun with 21.6gr rl7 and 40gr v max. I should also add the primers in the frontier were seated shallower than the lapua which were seated between .005 and .007 thou deep, whether it makes any difference im not sure. I also measured the case just above the head. Loaded cases are consistently .374-.3745 and the fired are between .377-.378 so i definately am getting some growth. I also noticed a small amount of the brass buildup on the bolt face but it wiped off very easily with my finger. It shoots brilliant its just as good with the 40gr vmax and believe it or not it is not unusual for me to get 3 shot groups going into .3 of an inch and its just a factory gun. i couldnt be more happy with it, i am just trying to get a bi more oomph as with the 20" tube i was lacking a bit in velocity, plus the 40grainers dont seem to like the wind.
    You're mis understanding the head expansion thing. The expansion is compared to the expansion of factory ammunition, not the over all expansion. On the premise that factory ammo is loaded at max SAAMI pressures, any handload that gets to that dimension is considered a max load provided the same brass is used. It takes at least ten rounds of factory ammo, fired and carefully measured, to get that average.~Muir

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    You're mis understanding the head expansion thing. The expansion is compared to the expansion of factory ammunition, not the over all expansion. On the premise that factory ammo is loaded at max SAAMI pressures, any handload that gets to that dimension is considered a max load provided the same brass is used. It takes at least ten rounds of factory ammo, fired and carefully measured, to get that average.~Muir
    Ok i think i get what you mean, im just a bit uneasy about using it in case something goes bang.lol What do we rekon i would need to look out for if i continue to use these cases with this load? I forgot to mention im getting around 3200 fps over the chrono which has got to be high for a 50gr vmax since im using a 20" tube? Im not intentionally looking for a mentally hot load but now im at this speed and accuracy its nice to shoot. Are you seeing any pressure signs at 21gr Brian? ps what primer as i guess it could make a considerable difference too?

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