Barnes Varmint Grenades

texass

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Anybody have experience working up a load with these? I am trying to put something together for my Remington 700 PSS in .223. This gun will shoot dime sized 100 yd. groups with Black hills remanufacture 60 gn. vmax ammo - no problem. I put together a couple different loads with the varmint grenades and spent a frustrating day at the range on Monday.

The gun has 1 in 9 twist so it likes the heavier bullets....I tried both 36 gn and 50 gn varmint grenades with limited success. I have been told (by Barnes technical guys) that I should have good luck with the 36 gn as they tend to be long for their weight. I loaded everything .02 off the lands as recommended for VGs using a Stoney Point COAL measuring tool and Sinclair comparator to set the lenghts.

Load details:

36 gn V. grenades
H322 powder 25.5 - 27.5 gns in .5 gn increments
Lake city brass
CCI #41 primers
Best group 1" at the lowest powder charge
Groups opened up with more powder

50 gn V. Grenades
H4895 powder 23 -25 gn in .5 gn increments
lake city brass
CCI #41 primers
Best group 1" at the lowest charge
Groups got larger from there but not as big as the 36 gn.

Bottom line: groups were barely acceptable at the minimum charges and got worse as velocity increased. None of these charges are "hot" and showed no signs of pressure issues. I was shooting 6 shot groups, running a patch of Kroil and two dry patches through the bore between groups. I also shot a single fouling shot after the patches.

The only suggestion I got from Barnes was to back off the lands a bit farther and try again. The fact that groups got larger with velocity might point to this because usually they see groups shrink as the load goes up.

Just before leaving I decided to bust out the Vmax Black Hills and put seven shots inside a dime! Ouch


Thanks for any help!
Texass
 



myfriendis410

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The only suggestion I was going to make was to try seating at around .050" off the lands. I remember reading somewhere that the Barnes bullets worked best with some "jump".
 

texass

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Went back to the range on Monday with loads that were a bit farther off the lands (.05) and the groups did improve a bit. The best were about .75 inch at 100 yards. Not terrible, but these are careful handloads and the gun will shoot much better with remanufactured vmax stuff (less than .5 inch). It also seemed that this load was pretty good out to 200 yards but got inconsistent at 300.

A guy had a chrono so I put a few of the loads that grouped best (50 gn V. Grenadses) through there to get some velocities. There was a pretty big spread. Most were around 3140- 3155, but I had one at 3220 ( 80 fps faster). These loads were all individually weighed so I was surprized to get that much variation.

Barnes guy said to try another powder....any other ideas?

Thx,
Texass
 

myfriendis410

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Try a Federal Match or a CCI match primer, maybe.

I've used Varget with some success, you might try that too. Inconsistent velocities tell me either too light a primer or, possibly uneven neck tension on the bullet. Did you trim cases? That could have some bearing. Is it a match chamber? If so, you might have to neck turn the brass to get even neck tension. Try a different primer first, though.
 

MJB

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I agree first change primer and check the neck size of the brass. I have a feeling that once shot brass/primed is to blame.

I doubt it's the powder but maybe the primer hole is clogged that could give inconsistent burn.
 

Bwana Turtle

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Some guns just don't like Barnes Bullets PERIOD. it's especially true of the X bullet. If I remember correctly the Varmint Grenades don't have the TSX type grooves on them. I found a big improvement in accuracy with the TSX's over the X's and XLC's. In guns that didn't like Barnes bullets, the accuracy improved with TSX's but still wasn't as good as with other bullets. In other guns Barnes bullets (TSX's) yeild the best accuracy. And believe me, I tried everything, Seating depth, powders, primers, neck tension, different brass etc.
 

brknarrow

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why even waste your time. vmax are 10x more disruptive, those grenades are carp!!!i'll be in a lead free zone in a few days$^#^$#^# my arse.
vmax till somp'm better hits the market
 

texass

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brknarrow,

I have a spring membership at Tejon Ranch so I needed to develope a "lead Free" load to shoot squirrels. Believe me I was plenty happy with the V-max. Unfortunately Tejon is currently "Gun Free" at least for the next few weeks.

Good news is I hit the range again on Monday with some fire-formed brass, Remington 7 1/2 BR primers, 24.5 grains of H 4895 and 50 Grain V. Grenades. Shot quite a few 5 shot groups under 1/2 inch! I think the two changes did the trick. This load held tight down range as well, was able to knock steel rabbits down consistently at 400 yards before the wind came up. These Varmint Grenades will definitely get blown around quite a bit.

Anyway, I've got something useful now just in time for Tejon to ban firearms for a month..[attachment=52741:DSCN1526small.jpg]
 

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texass

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Mr. Turtle,

I had pretty good luck with Barnes TSX bullets in my 7mm Mag. I just loaded some 120 Gn Tipped TSX for Monday's range session and things went real smooth. Started with a middle of the range load with IMR 4831, groups were fine and just got tighter right up to the max load @ 69 grains of powder. I'm working this load for an Antelope trip to Wyoming this fall..... this load was still tight out at 400 yards.

Here is a 3 shot group at 100 yards:[attachment=52748:DSCN1528small.jpg]
 

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ozstriker22

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Heysues christo!

Texass, you're gonna have to help me load up my 300wsm :)

Dime size holes at 100. I LOVE IT!!!
 

texass

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Ozy,

This has been a bit of a learning experience, I have not reloaded in years and the only reason I started again is because I could not find .223 lead free ammo with the heavier bullets. It was a tough go with the .223 stuff (that's why I started the thread) but the 7mm stuff was real easy.

If your gun shoots factory barnes ammo good then I suggest you just buy it at the store and save yourself allot of time and money. If not, we can work something up, you need to buy the dies, shells, powder, primers, and bullets!! A few trips to the range and you will likely get some good results. I think it takes allot of shooting to hit the point where you actually save money by reloading. Shooting groups is not much fun to me, especially with the magnums. But hitting the plates way out there with ammo that groups tight at 100 is allot of fun.

Later,
Texass
 


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