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I just ordered some Lapua small primer 6 creed brass--a box of 500 115 gr rdf's just came in. As soon as I'm done with my current work with my 338 LM I'll get back to this one.
 

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I took the Valkyrie to another sniper match last weekend at the Tac Pro Shooting Range about 75 miles West of the DFW Metroplex. They gave little information ahead of time what the events would be or how they would be run except be prepared to shoot out to 1200 yards which the 88 ELD-Ms will do. The match was very interesting and challenging. It had 12 stages of the most challenging shooting I have ever done ... and I was not prepared like I should have been. The first thing they told us was to pack up all our gear and leave our trucks behind. We hiked all day to all the stages and you could only use what you carried with you. With all the rain we have been having, the land was carpeted with wild flowers. We shot support and unsupported, prone, sitting, kneeling, and standing. The targets were as small as 1/4" at 100 yards used for precision drills (I didn't have my 75-Amax short range load shooting well enough to hit that small of a target. We also shot varying targets out to 1000 yards. Some long distance targets were unknown distance out in open fields and you were only allowed to determine the range with the scope's reticle. The 88 ELD has significantly more KE than the faster 75 Amax and had no problem energetically ringing the steel at distance. We had 5 people drop out so only 15 finished. I thought I personally and my loads could do better but still finished in the top 1/3. The guy that won has shot this event for 10 years straight, had a 20 pound rifle that cost close to $10,000 with scope, and he carried and used a tripod with him all day (a bit over the top in my view but it contributed to his success when he was allowed to use it).

I don't feel handicapped at all using the Valkyrie along side Creedmoors, 308s, etc. They told us to be prepared to shoot out to 1200 yards which caused me to learn my 1" tube scope doesn't have enough elevation to go past 1000 yards so ordered a 20-moa scope mount. Midway has a viable unit on sale for around $50 if your on a budget. I've never had a 20-moa offset before so thought I would try it.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/993923/ar-stoner-extended-1-piece-cantilever-scope-mount-picatinny-style-with-integral-rings-ar-15-matte-black
Do you remember if his name was William?

:)
 

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Well, I took H at his word and bought some Lapua small primer 6mm creed brass and loaded some 115 gr rdf's driven by ramshot magnum--in a word, AWESOME results, difference between night and day struggling with the other large primer/ faster powders. Thanks for the great tip H!!
 

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Discussion Starter #85
overPressure, I think you have some valuable information that others could benefit from. It probably would be best if you shared your experience on a dedicated 6mm Creedmoor thread so its easy for them to find.
 

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overPressure, I think you have some valuable information that others could benefit from. It probably would be best if you shared your experience on a dedicated 6mm Creedmoor thread so its easy for them to find.
I agree 100%--I will try to rectify shortly--sorry!
 

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Great write up. Thank you. Your experience probably saved me a hundred hours of cursing and frustration. I've been trying to use Benchmark because it is near 100% burn rate and has a high efficiency rating in QL. I'll change course and try some H414 and RL26 with the 95gr SMK to see if that alleviates some of my inconsisteny issues. Cold bore has been very consistent and repeatable out to 720 yds, but I have been unsuccessful in achieving good groups.

As a side note, your experience with RL17 is the same as mine. I use it for cold weather only. It is amazing at keeping steady velocities at low temps, but is scary when you make loads in the spring or winter and shoot them in the fall or summer. I've never ruptured a case, but did pierce a primer in my 7mm-08.
 

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Discussion Starter #88 (Edited)
77 Tipped Match Kings (TMK)

I finally got back out to the range today with the Valkyrie. I have been wanting to develop an accurate load with a mag-length COAL, velocity was not an objective. H had suggested using the 77 TMK in the Valkyrie so I gave it a try with Varget and CCI 400 and 450 primes. COAL was 2.270" which was 0.010" off the lands. Nothing exciting with the 400s but I got excited with the Powder vs Velocity Ladder with the CCI 450s. I used 0.3 grain increments (1 shot per charge) from 24.0 up to 25.5. Right around 25.2 looks like the accuracy node. Now I need to load up a batch and put it through its paces. This should be good for close in work out to 500-600 yards.

Oh, the VLD seating stem left an indentation ring to the TMK's ogive as the bullet was starting to seat in the neck (not a compressed load). I switched to a seating die with a regular stem and had no issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #89 (Edited)
Hornady Brass and Concentricity

I have mentioned in previous posts that the bullet seating die was leaving marks/rings on the bullet ogive of several bullets. It turns out the lot of Hornady brass (500 count) I have has necks that are too small/tight. This was causing too much force to start the insertion of the bullet. It was that force that was causing the issue with ogive getting deformed/ringed with the 77 SMK even with a standard seating stem. The force of insertion was also causing concentricity issues especially with the Lee die that does not fully support the case and bullet like a competition seating die does. Bullet insertion was distorting the brass. Most bullets were so out of round, I could see it as I spun the bullet, some more than 0.010" off. My loads with resized brass in the Redding die are typically less than 0.002" off in concentricity. Example, out of 20 rounds loaded, I had only one round greater than 0.002" off. Of the 20 rounds loaded with the Lee die and new Hornady brass without running the neck over the expander ball, only three rounds were less than 0.004". I have 3 Valkyrie seating dies, Redding S-type bushing, Foster, and Lee (bought just to get the collet crimp die).

Anyway, I solved the issues of marks on the ogive and concentricity by just running the cases up over a .224 expander ball (I did not resize the neck in the die). Note, I do not use an expander ball with the neck bushing resizing dies. I just size the brass down to the diameter I need. This helps improve concentricity.

Note, the Redding VLD seating die has worked the best for me by far. I used JB Weld in the Foster seating stem with a 77 TMK to make a dedicated seating die for the TMK.
 

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Discussion Starter #90
The 25.2 grains of Varget has worked well with the 77 TMK and I will use that in my next match. I still will be using the 88 ELD-M on top of R17 as my long range bullet.

I'm still working toward that optimum combination of bullet and powder while I'm using the ELD-M to gain experience in local long-range precision matches. I have 95 SMKs loaded with Win 760 for a 1000-yard comparison with the 88 ELD-M. I've been reading positive comments on Berger's new 85.5 grain Hybrid so finally gave in and ordered a box. I loaded up powder vs velocity ladder in 2000MR and R15 for initial load development. The shank of the 85.5 Hybrid seats perfectly into the case neck at a 2.295" COAL. To be 0.010" off the lands, my COAL is 2.380". Here is a picture comparison of the 77 TMK, 85.5 Hybrid, 88 ELD-M, and 95 SMK.

The weather will not be good for the next week but hope to get out when it clears.
 

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The 25.2 grains of Varget has worked well with the 77 TMK and I will use that in my next match. I still will be using the 88 ELD-M on top of R17 as my long range bullet.

I'm still working toward that optimum combination of bullet and powder while I'm using the ELD-M to gain experience in local long-range precision matches. I have 95 SMKs loaded with Win 760 for a 1000-yard comparison with the 88 ELD-M. I've been reading positive comments on Berger's new 85.5 grain Hybrid so finally gave in and ordered a box. I loaded up powder vs velocity ladder in 2000MR and R15 for initial load development. The shank of the 85.5 Hybrid seats perfectly into the case neck at a 2.295" COAL. To be 0.010" off the lands, my COAL is 2.380". Here is a picture comparison of the 77 TMK, 85.5 Hybrid, 88 ELD-M, and 95 SMK.

The weather will not be good for the next week but hope to get out when it clears.
Following your meticulous work as always Professor X. The 85.5 look like they are slippery! Excited to see what they do for you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #94
Despite a week long forcast of heavy rain, yesterday afternoon cleared for a short time. So, before everything goes crazy with lock-downs, I drove out to the range to get some recoil therapy. I was anxious to see how the Berger 85.5 Hybrid did.

First, a couple observations from the reloading session. Note that the COAL (2.380”) for the 85.5 is slightly longer than the 88 ELD and 95 SMK indicating it has a longer ogive. Since it is loaded longer, I’m getting additional case capacity then just being a lighter, shorter bullet. If loaded to 2.295”, the back end of the 85.5’s shank is at the bottom of the case mouth. It’s like this bullet was specifically tuned for this cartridge.

Below are the targets from yesterday. Remember, all these are loaded longer than magazine COALs, e.g., 2.355” for the ELD and 2.380” for the Hybrid. So remember, don’t expect these powder charges to be safe in a case loaded to magazine length. Load 10% down and work up to your rifle’s performance boundary.

The 88 ELD-M is my baseline load for now. The first batch of 30 I loaded were shooting ¼ moa. This second batch has opened up but still below moa (first 3-shot group shown below). This is plenty good enough for learning how to ring steel past 1000 yards. The Berger 85.5 Hybrid impacts (2[SUP]nd[/SUP] and 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] ) were a ladder made up of a single powder charge weight in 0.3 grain increments. These are some of the tightest ladders I have ever shot which leads me to believe this will be a very accurate bullet in the Valkyrie. They are so tight; I believe I need to go to 3-shot groups to fine-tune this load and will likely concentrate on the R15 powder. Both 2000MR and R15 at the highest charge weight showed no signs for high pressure, i.e., no swipes, no flat primers. Since I didn’t reach the performance boundary for this bullet/powder combination in my rifle, I will load a bit hotter and see if I can achieve 2800 fps. At this velocity, the 85.5 Hybrid will have a flatter trajectory than the ELD or SMK to 1000 yards.

I’ve just begun using these two powders. Any feedback is welcome including how well these powders perform across changing temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter #95
BC (G1) measurements at this range session were 0.560 for the 88 ELD-M and 0.502 for the 85.5 Hybrid. Advertised is 0.545 and 0.524, respectively. The ELD-M has always measured advertised to 0.015 above while the 95 SMK (advertised 0.600) has been advertised to 0.050 below. I presuming that Hornady tested the 88 ELD-M in 1:7 twist (most common for the Valkyrie) and the 1:6.5 twist I have is stabilizing the bullet more allowing it to achieve a better BC. Conversely, the 95 SMK requires a minimum of 1:6.5 twist to stabilize but a faster twist may be needed to fully stabilize and reliably achieve the advertised BC. I was a bit surprised that the Hybrid’s BC came 0.020 low at 0.502. Berger's advertised BCs are typically very accurate. I’ve concluded the accuracy of my measured BCs is directly related to how accurately the weather station 13 miles away reflects range conditions. Still, the relative difference is a valid comparison. Also, the doppler measurements provided by the LabRadar are very accurate, but they are taken within a 100 yards or less from the muzzle where the bullets have not gone to “sleep” yet. This is why I want to do a 1000-yard test of these three bullets to verify BCs based on bullet drop after the bullets have gone to sleep.
 

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Despite a week long forcast of heavy rain, yesterday afternoon cleared for a short time. So, before everything goes crazy with lock-downs, I drove out to the range to get some recoil therapy. I was anxious to see how the Berger 85.5 Hybrid did.

First, a couple observations from the reloading session. Note that the COAL (2.380”) for the 85.5 is slightly longer than the 88 ELD and 95 SMK indicating it has a longer ogive. Since it is loaded longer, I’m getting additional case capacity then just being a lighter, shorter bullet. If loaded to 2.295”, the back end of the 85.5’s shank is at the bottom of the case mouth. It’s like this bullet was specifically tuned for this cartridge.

Below are the targets from yesterday. Remember, all these are loaded longer than magazine COALs, e.g., 2.355” for the ELD and 2.380” for the Hybrid. So remember, don’t expect these powder charges to be safe in a case loaded to magazine length. Load 10% down and work up to your rifle’s performance boundary.

The 88 ELD-M is my baseline load for now. The first batch of 30 I loaded were shooting ¼ moa. This second batch has opened up but still below moa (first 3-shot group shown below). This is plenty good enough for learning how to ring steel past 1000 yards. The Berger 85.5 Hybrid impacts (2[SUP]nd[/SUP] and 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] ) were a ladder made up of a single powder charge weight in 0.3 grain increments. These are some of the tightest ladders I have ever shot which leads me to believe this will be a very accurate bullet in the Valkyrie. They are so tight; I believe I need to go to 3-shot groups to fine-tune this load and will likely concentrate on the R15 powder. Both 2000MR and R15 at the highest charge weight showed no signs for high pressure, i.e., no swipes, no flat primers. Since I didn’t reach the performance boundary for this bullet/powder combination in my rifle, I will load a bit hotter and see if I can achieve 2800 fps. At this velocity, the 85.5 Hybrid will have a flatter trajectory than the ELD or SMK to 1000 yards.

I’ve just begun using these two powders. Any feedback is welcome including how well these powders perform across changing temperature.
Thanks, great info.
 

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Discussion Starter #97 (Edited)
Made it out for some recoil therapy yesterday evening and did two more ladders. R15 loads above 26.1 grains were become compressed as COALs were starting to vary/increase. 2000MR appears to be the winner. This is the tightest ladder I have ever shot. At 28.4 grains of 2000 MR, the primer was flattening and had just a hint of cratering around the primer. Still no swipes but not uncommon with an AGB. Alliant recommends 27.1 grains max load but that is with Federal brass and a 2.25" COAL. Loading long is a significant advantage with this bullet and powder combination. I will now go to 3-shot groups to define the accuracy node ... or ... load at 28.4 and adjust COAL to fine tune. Even at 28.4 grains of 2000MR, I should be ok as the temps warm up but will have to pay attention. BC for the 85.5 Hybrid measured 0.522 this session.
 

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Discussion Starter #98
Made it to the range yesterday. Temps were 12 F warmer with light rain. Shot at 200 yards as there was no one on that range (social distancing). The target says it all - 28.1 grains of 2000MR was the sweet spot! I adjusted windage and elevation based on the last ladder and was pleased to see both groups be on-target at 200 yards. 28.4 grains had a case with a swipe so wouldn't have continued with that charge weight even if it grouped better. Now I'm ready to do my 1000 yard assessment of the 85.5 Hybrid, 88 ELD-M, and 95 SMK.
 

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Discussion Starter #99
I finally had a break from work and good weather to do a 1000-yard ballistic coefficient (BC) assessment for the 3 long-range bullets I’m shooting in my 22” ARP 1:6.5 224 Valkyrie; the 88gr Hornady ELD-M, 95gr Sierra SMK, and lately the 85.5 Berger Hybrid. I’ve wanted to do this for some time to verify the BCs I’ve derived from the data collected using a LabRadar doppler chronograph. This unit tracks bullet velocity every 3 feet within 100 yards of the muzzle. The ELD-M’s derived BC has matched Hornady’s advertised BC but the derived/tested BC for Sierra's 95gr SMK has been significantly less than what Sierra has advertised. The derived BCs for the 85.5 Berger Hybrid has been a bit lower than what Berger has advertised. So the objective of this test was to see if the bullet’s BCs improved after they go to “sleep” down range.

For this test, the 88gr Hornady ELD-M was used as the baseline for comparison and data analysis. The plan was to shoot 8-shot groups at 1000 yards and compare vertical point of impact (POI) to calculated trajectory data. These calculations were done using JBM’s on-line app along with forecast weather data. I had enough bullets loaded to do a 3-shot group at 100 yards to establish scope zero for each bullet and still have 8 shots for the 1000-yard BC assessment. You may notice that there are only 7 impacts for the 88gr Hornady ELD-M. The plastic tip broke off one of the ELD-M bullets which was not fired. I have never had this happened with a ballistic tip before.

At the range, a 6-foot wide and 5-foot tall piece of cardboard was used as a target board (saved from a water heater installation several years ago). Pictures of the test set-up and target board are below. Windage was adjusted to offset the bullet impacts trying to shoot the 85.5 Berger Hybrid (yellow) on the left, 88gr Hornady ELD-M (red) in the middle, and 95gr Sierra SMK (green) on the right. You can see that I didn’t compensate well enough for the varying tail-wind (5-9 mph) that was quartering from the left shoulder. The air temperature was 78 degrees F. Load data and recorded muzzle velocities are below. Caution, these powder charges may not be safe in your rifle. Start 10% lower and work up.

85.5gr Berger Hybrid – 2856 fps (28.1gr 2000MR) [BC 0.524, 0.500 Tested] – 2.380” COAL
88gr Hornady ELD-M – 2702 fps (26.8gr R17) [BC 0.545, 0.545 Tested] – 2.355” COAL
95gr Sierra SMK – 2652 fps (26.7gr W760) [BC 0.600, 0.545 Tested] – 2.365” COAL
1000-yd Test Set-up HD.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #100
There could be several ways to look at and analyze these results, however, there are a lot of variables involved. I found that the data aligned and the results made sense when the 88 ELD-M was used as the benchmark and the analyzed kept relative to the ELD-M. Note, this is collected data/real-world results but this doesn’t mean that your rifle will have the same outcome with these bullets.
1000-yd Table Results with MV.jpg
1000-yd Test Results HD.jpg
 
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