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Discussion Starter #121 (Edited)
Phase 2 Begins

I've done a complete cleaning of the rifle from end-to-end. The Berger 90 VLD's and Hornady A-Tip's are in. I've redone all my bullet and distance to the lands measurements. I'm ready for a fresh start!

Below is the bullet line-up that I'm using in this Valkyrie. I'm going to concentrate on the 88 ELD-M, 90 VLD, 90 A-Tip, and 95 SMK initially. I haven't finalized what the first range session is going to consist of. The 90 VLD caught me by surprise. It's ogive is very long. I can only load out to 2.410" COALs in my modified magazine and receivers which is 0.050" off the lands with this bullet. You can see how long and blended the transition is to the bullet shank on the 90 VLD when next to the ELD-M and A-Tip which has a visually clear boundary where the bullet shank begins. I will need to do Berger's recommended "jump" tests with this bullet. I did the CG comparison since I know an object in flight is more stable the farther forward its center of mass is located.

This initial range session will just be for familiarization with what performance I can get with Win 760 powder plus BC verification for the new comers. Just looking at them, I expect the Berger to be better than the advertised 0.534 (G1) or at least cleanly beat the 85.5 Hybrid which was 0.020 less than its advertise 0.524. I will be pleasantly surprised if the A-Tip makes 0.585 (G1) but anything over 0.550 with good down-range consistency will be worth their cost.

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Berger's hybrid ogive bullet is their claim to fame. It's also the reason why you can wander around with "shotgun pattern" results and then all of a sudden everything comes together extremely tightly. Those a-tips are something, they come packed like a cognac.; )
 

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Discussion Starter #123
I decided on my load-out and am ready to head to the range to start Phase 2. I loaded three different COALs for the Berger 90 VLDs (2.410, 2.380, 2.350) to see how they react (lower left corner). I loaded all the 88-90s with 28.2 grains of W760 to get a good idea of top-end performance, compare, and measure BCs. All were loaded at 0.010" off the lands except the Bergers which cannot even reach the lands. You can see the mark on the ogive where I spun the bullet in the CBTO tool. No bullets were tweaked in my Hornady concentricity tool (resisted the urge). The 55 E-Tips on the right side are for the Valkyrie I use to hunt with (took a large boar DRT at 175 yards earlier this week).

First impressions. I've never had a bullet load with such poor concentricity as the Berger 90 VLD. I'm suspect that the ogive is so long that it starts to enter the case before the case is being held aligned in the die's "chamber". Most were 0.006" to 0.009" out. The best concentricity out of 9 loads for the 90 VLD was 0.004" out, which was the most for the 88 ELD-M. I may try a different technique for bullet seating next time by doing it in steps.

The 88 ELD-M has always done well with respect to concentricity, this time 0.001" to 0.003" out with one at 0.004". The 95 SMKs had four rounds at 0.002" and one at 0.006" out. I typically get one or two that far out (before I would tweak them but not this time). The Hornady A-Tip provided five of the most concentric rounds I have ever loaded. All were 0.001" or less except for one at 0.002". It will be interesting to see what happens at the range.

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I decided on my load-out and am ready to head to the range to start Phase 2. I loaded three different COALs for the Berger 90 VLDs (2.410, 2.380, 2.350) to see how they react (lower left corner). I loaded all the 88-90s with 28.2 grains of W760 to get a good idea of top-end performance, compare, and measure BCs. All were loaded at 0.010" off the lands except the Bergers which cannot even reach the lands. You can see the mark on the ogive where I spun the bullet in the CBTO tool. No bullets were tweaked in my Hornady concentricity tool (resisted the urge). The 55 E-Tips on the right side are for the Valkyrie I use to hunt with (took a large boar DRT at 175 yards earlier this week).

First impressions. I've never had a bullet load with such poor concentricity as the Berger 90 VLD. I'm suspect that the ogive is so long that it starts to enter the case before the case is being held aligned in the die's "chamber". Most were 0.006" to 0.009" out. The best concentricity out of 9 loads for the 90 VLD was 0.004" out, which was the most for the 88 ELD-M. I may try a different technique for bullet seating next time by doing it in steps.

The 88 ELD-M has always done well with respect to concentricity, this time 0.001" to 0.003" out with one at 0.004". The 95 SMKs had four rounds at 0.002" and one at 0.006" out. I typically get one or two that far out (before I would tweak them but not this time). The Hornady A-Tip provided five of the most concentric rounds I have ever loaded. All were 0.001" or less except for one at 0.002". It will be interesting to see what happens at the range.

View attachment 61510
Are you sure your seating stem might not be pushing the vlds around?
 

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Discussion Starter #125
It is Redding's VLD seating stem as a special order part. I can take the die apart and check your suggestion.
 

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Reddings are usually pretty good at centering in my experience. I do remember when I was playing around with early valk cases there was some variation in neck wall thicknesses from one brand of brass to the other, sometimes variation in the same case. Now that I think about so more--I ran into some runout issues recently on a turret press of mine--turns out the turret was worn just enough that it was cocking up just a bit when completing the lever motion--that would definitely do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #127 (Edited)
I made it to the range this morning and was generally pleased with the results. I single feed all the rounds to eliminate any auto-loading interactions. I made no scope adjustments during the range session. I had made adjustments for 250 yards but decided on the way out to put the board at 200 yards.

The 95 SMK which turned in the best results with the old batch of Win 760 powder needs lots more work. It's lower than advertised BC has been consistent and verified at 1000 yards. The 90 A-Tip did fine for the first time out and its BC of 0.585 (G1) was verified. The 88 ELD-M has consistently measured 0.545 (G1) and the group tightened up with the higher charge weight. I'm going to reload a the ELD-M and 77 TMK in bulk, using them as the primary load while I slowly work on the loads for the other bullets.

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Discussion Starter #128
The Berger 90 VLD will be redone after I find a way to seat the bullet in stages to reduce the concentricity issue which were bad enough that I could see it when the bullet was spun. I looked like its sweet spot is around 0.040 to 0.070" off the lands in this barrel.

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Haven’t been on here in quite some time now. Can’t believe this thread is still going! LOL. Shot mine for the first time since September of last year today. Shot OK, been seriously considering ditching the whole Valkyrie thing and going back to 5.56 on this particular gun, due to the current state of affairs and costs and availability of factory Ammo and reloading components
 

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Discussion Starter #130
gmvk30, this thread has focused on long range. I've recently picked up hunting with the Valkyrie. Federal's 60 grain V-max shot a cloverleaf with 3 bullets touching at 100 yards with this barrel. Another Valkyrie buddy says he finds his reloads cannot beat the Hornady 75 BTHP factory ammo. LAXAMMO has them on-sale this weekend. I've reloaded 55 grain E-Tips in resized Federal brass with CFE and getting 3400+ fps in a 20" Valkyrie I built as a dedicated night hunting rig. The all-copper E-Tip has the structural integrity to stay together at these faster spin rates and has been vaporizing coyotes. I dropped a 350 lb boar at 175 yards with the E-Tip (bullet still had 1000 lb-ft KE). Here is sequence of a coyote shot at 60 yards just before the scope washed out as it ran into the sun. You can see the two columns of vapor/mist rising out of the entry and exit wound.

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Nice! the barrel that your talking about with the 60gr Vmax, is that the 22” long free bore OG barrel, or the 20” one you mentioned?
 

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Discussion Starter #132
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Nice. I’ll see if I can find some to try. Yesterday I forgot my mags. 🤦🏻‍♂️ Had to single load. Would be nice to have factory stuff that shoots decent that will fit in a non windowed mag.
 

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Discussion Starter #135
I’m using Hornady 224 Valkyrie brass for precision long range and resized Federal for hunting. I never tried resizing 6.8 brass to 224. I think there would be too many complications with neck thickness to deal with. But now that you bring it up, I may just try it for fun.
 

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I’m using Hornady 224 Valkyrie brass for precision long range and resized Federal for hunting. I never tried resizing 6.8 brass to 224. I think there would be too many complications with neck thickness to deal with. But now that you bring it up, I may just try it for fun.
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Discussion Starter #137
Thanks to MBW36330 help, I've been resizing 6.8mm brass to 224 Valkyrie. I believe I've got the process down and will post details later next week. I haven't shot any yet but have been able to chamber dummy rounds. This morning, I was at the work bench comparing new Hornady and Federal 224 Valkyrie to brass resized from new S&B 6.8mm brass. Here were the results filling the cases with CFE to the top of the case. I wasn't expecting this big a difference or for Hornady to be less than Federal. I will likely buy some new S&B 6.8 brass from CavityBackBullets and make S&B my go to brass in the Valkyrie.

Federal - 32.6 grains
Hornady - 32.1 grains
S&B - 33.6 grains
 

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Xman, very interested to see details on your process to step 6.8 down to 224. Haven't been happy with Hornady brass life so I figured I give it a try. No regards to over working brass or neck thickness. Just flying by the seat of my pants with what I had in the garage.

Have a pile old Barrett reject brass that I used to experiment on. Trimmed to the 1.590 and then used combo of TAC 6 and 224 dies to find a process that didn't crease/tear shoulder. Target brass is batch of 10 year old SSA stuff I've been hording for a rainy day. Had to adjust process a little from junk brass but final process ended at trim to 1.576, 1 pass thru Tac 6 FL and 3 passes thru 224 FL. Each pass was calibrated in turns (+ or -) from shell holder. Leaves just one barely noticeably dimple right at shoulder/wall junction.

Two runs through and brass is really holding up well. Primer pockets are still very tight. At same loading, Hornady pockets would be loose. Going to run test brass until failure. Sure I have some neck issues but that will cross that bridge when issue presents itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #139
kblack, glad you are making progress! My apologies, I have a write-up with pictures and details of the steps I used to resize in one step using a 24 Nosler die. I'll try finish and post it tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #140
Here is the thread with details of reforming 6.8mm brass to 224 Valkyrie

 
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