Do you remember if his name was William?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.
Following your meticulous work as always Professor X. The 85.5 look like they are slippery! Excited to see what they do for you.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.
Thanks, great info.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.