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Thread: 30-06 150grn Hornady SSt's recipe using Varget

  1. #1

    30-06 150grn Hornady SSt's recipe using Varget

    I made up some rounds for my 30-06 using Varget for the first time last week. Just got to shoot them at some paper today. 150grn SST's using 51grns and Federal primers, 2770fps and 2 -3 inch groups. I want to trim this down as I see some people on here say they're getting sub 3/4" shooting sub 2600fps. I was going to make up a few batches using 48, 49 and 50 grns and wondered if someone might give me a shortcut to something nearer the mark that I can then fine tune.

    Mark
    Flogging will continue until morale improves

  2. #2
    Mark.
    Your initial load is at or over maximum which is never a good place to start, ever. In some circumstances it can lead to catastrophic consequences and at the least, wears out your rifle and brass faster. Lecture over.

    As to the accuracy thing. There is just no way of knowing how to fix your accuracy problem. If it ain't you, it could be a number of issues with the load, the loading method or the gun. It may be that your rifle hates SSTs. Because they work in one gun is no guarantee they will work in another.

    Start at minimum load. Strive for consistency in everything (no mixed lot brass, etc) Trim cases to the same length. Start with the parallel sides of the bullet seated to the base of the neck. Keep notes. It's what I do and it seems to work. It gives you a foundation to work from and eliminate problems or make adjustments.~Muir

  3. #3
    Hi Mark

    Before we start:-
    Which rifle are you using? Are you using a moderator?
    30-06 is a "big-ish" gun & has quite high recoil so the following are more important than with lighter kickers.

    How good is the bedding of the action? & Is it tightened down properly?
    Is the barrel fully floated & clear of the stock? (even with bipod on)
    Is the scope in good nick & fitted right with all screws nipped up?

    Next
    Have you shot tighter groups with any other ammunition?
    Has the bore been deep cleaned recently?

    Shoot your test groups from a really good rest - rifle fit, hold & ergonomics really matter when doing load development.- Especially with big rifles!!

    How fast do you want to go? 2800 is a good speed - much more will start to give you meat damage (general rule of thumb - not specific to SST bullets)
    Did the rounds you shot with 51grains of powder show any pressure signs?? That is max load as per the Hodgdon data. If not you could go up a bit but I normally find best accuracy comes with about 96% of max powder loads (both 308 & 30-06) so about 49 grains might work.
    Your idea of a few steps to get into the ball park is right - then when there, you could play around with bullet seating depth to fine tune it. Start long, with enough seating depth to give about 3mm minimum neck contact, shoot a group then push the next ones in a bit more - I'd go 1mm deeper then shoot another group - etc etc--- each time looking for pressure signs. With luck you'll see a sweet spot & that's where to be!!

    I think there is no real short cut - you may get it right easily but your rifle may just not like your current bullet choice. You have to play & see!!

    Ian

    (p.s. Have you grown a bit of facial hair?? - or did you change your piccie???)

    Edit - +1 on wot Muir said whilst I was two finger typing my post!!

  4. #4
    There is seldom a time when creeping past MAX load is good. The max Varget load for a 150 grain in a 30-06 is running 58,000PSI right now. How much further would it be prudent to take it? Remember that MAX is determined by the level of charge at which there are no pressure excursions over the SAAMI limit for that cartridge. This is one of the reasons that "pressure signs" often, ain't. The load can seem fine until it all of a sudden isn't. Max pressure shortens the life span of the brass. Worse, it puts strain on the weapon. I like to compare it to using a 6 ton auto jack on a 10 ton truck. You might get a way with it, cautiously, once or twice, but if you used it day in and day out you probably wouldn't be surprised when it eventually cracked and crumbled. Rifles are no different.

    I used to run the ragged edge of max all the time when I was young and the world was new. It led to so many headaches that I now find what shoots the best and is kindest to my gun.~Muir

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Yorric View Post
    Hi Mark

    Before we start:-
    Which rifle are you using? Are you using a moderator?
    30-06 is a "big-ish" gun & has quite high recoil so the following are more important than with lighter kickers.

    How good is the bedding of the action? & Is it tightened down properly?
    Is the barrel fully floated & clear of the stock? (even with bipod on)
    Is the scope in good nick & fitted right with all screws nipped up?

    Next
    Have you shot tighter groups with any other ammunition?
    Has the bore been deep cleaned recently?

    Shoot your test groups from a really good rest - rifle fit, hold & ergonomics really matter when doing load development.- Especially with big rifles!!

    How fast do you want to go? 2800 is a good speed - much more will start to give you meat damage (general rule of thumb - not specific to SST bullets)
    Did the rounds you shot with 51grains of powder show any pressure signs?? That is max load as per the Hodgdon data. If not you could go up a bit but I normally find best accuracy comes with about 96% of max powder loads (both 308 & 30-06) so about 49 grains might work.
    Your idea of a few steps to get into the ball park is right - then when there, you could play around with bullet seating depth to fine tune it. Start long, with enough seating depth to give about 3mm minimum neck contact, shoot a group then push the next ones in a bit more - I'd go 1mm deeper then shoot another group - etc etc--- each time looking for pressure signs. With luck you'll see a sweet spot & that's where to be!!

    I think there is no real short cut - you may get it right easily but your rifle may just not like your current bullet choice. You have to play & see!!

    Ian

    (p.s. Have you grown a bit of facial hair?? - or did you change your piccie???)

    Edit - +1 on wot Muir said whilst I was two finger typing my post!!
    Hi Yorric. Good to hear from you. I was trying to be a bit lazy with my post and get in the right ballpark a bit quicker. My stainless Howa shoots 165grn SST's well and consistently with 50grns. With regards to Muir's first point my reason for starting at the maximum was having used 50grns with 165grn SST's I figured with a lighter bullet I would need a little more powder. The change from 165 to 150grn SST's was forced on me by the gun shop having nothing else remotely similar to what I'd been using(usual story)
    Anyway I've knocked up 3 new loads as I suggested in my original post and will get out and shoot them ASAP.
    Thank you for your imput Muir and I shall consider my wrists firmly slapped.

    Cheers

    Mark

    PS there were no signs of excessive pressure, I have actually grown some facial hair but changed my Avatar due to an SD member who threatened to post my photo around local farmers markets saying "don't use this guy for your stalking. He went way over the top and so the thread was deleted. It's sad that people can get so aggressive on a forum but hey ho.
    Flogging will continue until morale improves

  6. #6
    All agreed then! - not much point in overcharging especially with what Muir says about exponential pressure rises (& I bow to his wisdom on most things reloading cos I'm sure he's reloaded & put much more lead down range than most!)

    ​Ian

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Yorric View Post
    All agreed then! - not much point in overcharging especially with what Muir says about exponential pressure rises (& I bow to his wisdom on most things reloading cos I'm sure he's reloaded & put much more lead down range than most!)


    ​Ian
    You are too kind. I am the product of a mis spent youth; I would rather read about hunting, read about shooting, or go shooting, than study my lessons. I was very fortunate to grow up in the shooting community, around gunsmiths and gun makers and men who had the patience to let a nosy kid hang around when they were working. But in the end, I'm still just a "...hillbilly with too many guns and Internet access!" (I love that. I wish I could remember who it was here who called me that.) ~Muir

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    "...hillbilly with too many guns and Internet access!" (I love that. I wish I could remember who it was here who called me that.) ~Muir
    Could that have been JayB by any chance?

    ​Ian

  9. #9
    Nope. I would have added that to the "pay back" tally sheet I'm keeping on him. Oddly, his dear sweet wife refers to me as "the Beastie" which, for some reason, always sounds charming when she says it.~Muir

    (No. The 'hill billy' comment was a shot fired in anger, I think)
    Last edited by Muir; 23-03-2013 at 17:53.

  10. #10
    Sounds to me like a line from the film shooter

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