6.8 SPC Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
PSA lower ALG defense QMS trigger and JP low-power springs
Hogue grip and Magpul stock
Ares Armor upper with ARP 20" target crown and ARP Superbolt
Syrac Adjustable gas block and ALG Defense rail
Nitrex 3.5-10x50 on SWFA mount

First trip to the range for shooting my new 6.8 was terrible. So terrible that I'm not even going to link the thread I posted about it. but I learned A LOT in all aspects of my loading and shooting. My groups were disappointing but I've made changes and am on the right track.
Second trip to the range reinforced one lesson that didn't quite sink in from the first one. go slower. I was still way too ambitious with the amount of ammo I loaded and the time I had. Overall, my average groups went down in size by about 50% switching to properly sized brass and hand-weighing charges.
Shooting from a bipod/sandbag on 2nd trip. The second trip was still using pulled Federal primed brass... full-length sized with a Hornady die that didn't bump the shoulder back any from stock.

Also, I learned that I either need shooting lessons or I need to do my testing from a sled. My groups are all over the place laterally. I know that a significant amount of error is from me, which leaves me with hope that the ammo I'm crafting is actually way better than I can shoot it.

Chrony Tip: Always carry a spare battery. Ensure you're shots are in the middle of the device and not cheating towards an upright. A ShootingChrony does not work in the shade.

Packing Tip: Make a packing list. Your chrony tripod is useless if you left the foot attached to your camera at home. Then you end up Macgyver'ing something together out of the spare-pile-of-broken-target-stands. The list should be extensive, detailing every tiny little item you don't want to forget. Take it to the outside of your rifle case. Pack everything the night before.

Scheduling Tip: tell your wife you plan on being home 2hrs AFTER you really plan to be home, so that when things run late, you're on time, or you're a hero because you're home early.

REMEMBER TO HYDRATE! If you're headed to the range during the summer, I recommend a gallon of water for a 5hr session.

I think I'm leaving a little on the table with the 110gr ProHunter seconds. For sub 300yd hunting, even my worst groups will work for accuracy, but I'll be glad when I've shot them all so I can see what some 1st quality stuff will do.

With the 110gr TSX's, I bought those when SPS had their killer sale earlier in the year and think the gun just doesn't like them as much as the ProHunters.
IN GENERAL, for the same amount of powder, the TSX's are about 100fps faster, some more/some less. The TSX's are longer and intrude into the case more, so I assume build more pressure which equals velocity.

RL-10x and A2200 are almost identical for velocity, and both are about 150fps or greater than H322/H355.
H322 is about 50fps faster than H335

Here is the stuff for my SECOND RANGE SESSION:


More accurate as they got faster, but TOO HOT! The first two groups are fine, but I was getting primer blow-by on the last 2 strings.



I like... the velocity was up there too. 29.7gr was very accurate on my 3rd range trip as well. Also a perfect example of WHY THE HELL AM I SO ERRATIC... first five strings area all left, and last 2 are well right?


Again, I got primer blow-by as the pressure went up. 28.9 grains worked very well on my 3rd range trip.



Several of the hits on the center bullseye should have been top-right... my bad.



The good, the bad, and the ugly.

28.4gr grouped well on my 3rd range trip... will revisit this bullet powder combo.


All over the place.

YIKES!!! Although by this time my eyes hurt and I was starving.



<o:p></o
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,484 Posts
Judging by the photo of the brass with the 110TSX unless it's the lighting playing tricks it looks like you have some noticeable cratering on the primers. You may need to back off a bit on those.

You weren't done were you? Sorry about that bud
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Judging by the photo of the brass with the 110TSX unless it's the lighting playing tricks it looks like you have some noticeable cratering on the primers. You may need to back off a bit on those.

You weren't done were you? Sorry about that bud
No worries, the internet is the Devil anyways. What target with the TSX's were you talking about... I'll post a higher resolution. I know that most of these strings are up towards the max... might also be a part of my larger overall problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,484 Posts
No worries, the internet is the Devil anyways. What target with the TSX's were you talking about... I'll post a higher resolution. I know that most of these strings are up towards the max... might also be a part of my larger overall problem.
He pic of the brass on the bottom with 110TSX and AA 2200 looks like there is craterimg and the primers flattened out quit a bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Also take note that the Barnes bullets, while they are copper, are a different alloy from the usual jacketing copper. They seem to have a different friction factor and don't like any other copper in the barrel. To get the best results with them you need to start with a copper-free barrel and foul it with a few Barnes bullets before shooting for group.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Closer view of TSX's with A2200... left to right: 27.5 / 27.8 / 28.1 / 28.4 / 28.7 / 29.0

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,253 Posts
First trip to the range for shooting my new 6.8 was terrible. So terrible that I'm not even going to link the thread I posted about it. but I learned A LOT in all aspects of my loading and shooting. My groups were disappointing but I've made changes and am on the right track.<o:p</o
SamNavy, I'm just going to be blunt. You are not on track.

First, your first trip to the range with a new build is to break-in your barrel, not to do load development. I'm going to assume you didn't do a break-in by how many rounds you shot. Suggested break-in: 1-shot then clean with copper solvent (Recommend, BoreTech Eliminator) - repeat 4 more times (total of 5). 2-shots then clean with copper solvent - repeat 1 more time (total of 2). 3-shots then clean with copper solvent - repeat 1 more time (total of 2). That is 15 total rounds - this is a minimum break-in. I'd recommend you make sure all the copper is out of your barrel then start over with a break-in to make sure you've worked down the high spots in the bore. Cooper build up will shield the high spots unless you get the copper out. I had 6 ARP barrels and only one has shot clean from the start (15 shot break-in then run with it). All the others have needed multiple copper cleanings every 10 to 20 rounds until they have gotten quite a few rounds down the tube.

Second, you see pressure signs and you keep right on shooting. STOP!!! If you are getting powder blow by on your crimped primers you are way over max chamber pressure. STOP!!! Where did you get your R10x load data for the 110 TSX? You were likely near max chamber pressure when you started the ladder at 28.5. When you see velocity progression go non-linear like that - STOP!!! Don't keep shooting. Bring the rounds home and pull them.

Third, your blowing a lot of precious metal down range for little gain. 5-shot groups are a waste of powder/bullets, your time, and barrel life until you know the accuracy node for a particular load. Read up on Optimum Charge Weight (OCW) so you know what to look for in group size and POI shifts to better determine your accuracy node. Your not just looking for group size your looking how the POI shifts (actually, doesn't shift) between each load increment. E.g., You are looking for the 2 or 3 increments to have very close POI (6- to 9-shot grouping). Once you know your barrel and the OCW technique, you can reduce from 3-shots per charge, to 2-shot per charge, and even 1-shot per charge. Shoot 1 round with each charge increment first so you know your pressure boundaries for that bullet-powder combination and look for non-linear velocity jumps or decreases/fall-off. Then follow-up with the remaining 2 shots at each POA but don't shoot the ones with over pressure signs. With my 18-inch and 20-inch ARPs, I can usually develop a hunting load in 12 rounds or less.

You didn't list COAL or ambient temperature. You will find the advantage of AA2200 and R10x much diminished in winter weather compared to H322 which is much less sensitive to temperature changes. Because you ran high pressure on several loads, some of your cases won't get many reloads. Also, the loads you develop with new brass typically are not repeatable in resized brass because the case capacity has changed after the first firing. Depending on how much unfired Fed brass you have, you might want to pick a bullet that did well so far and use the new brass for that and start resizing your fired brass to develop loads for other combination (shoulder set-back 0.003" to 0.004"). Do you have a swage tool to get the primer crimps out?

I'm going to catch my breath.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,791 Posts
Also starting loads at near max velocities using Federal brass which has less volume compared to SSA, Nosler and S&B brass. I do not use Federal brass (only because I have so much SSA) but seen too many posts that imply Federal is softer and does not last especially at pushed loads. Those that praise Federal brass usually work at lower velocities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,253 Posts
SamNavy, I need to apologize for being so abrupt. I certainly didn't offer much encouragement and I may have dampened others from adding their insights. You certainly laid out your data well and that takes a lot of time and effort. You had several good groupings and look forward to seeing the progress you made.

110 SPH 30.3 H335
110 SPH 27.8 AA2200
110 TSX 28.7 AA2200
110 TSX 28.4 H322 like you said the velocity was a bit disappointing but this load should shoot like this in hot or cold weather.

You might be able to tighten some of these loads up by adjusting COAL. COALs can make a significant difference. I started with 0.025" increments, then 0.020", and saw noticeable changes. I will be trying 0.015" next time

Hopefully, someone has some types for using a ShootingChrony in the shade. I have a ProChrono that does ok in the shade but I had to make a cardboard shield to prevent low angle sun from shining on the sensors in the morning and the afternoons and causing erroneous readings. I also find that when the batteries start getting weak, it will start missing some readings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,338 Posts
Don't get discouraged, Sam. Load development, especially with a new rifle, is bound to take a while. After all, it is an experiment, with multiple variables and shooter skill involved. My suggestion is to first determine which bullets your rifle does best with, accuracy-wise. Both the Sierra 110 gr and the Barnes 110 gr pills seem to have promise, but you might try some others. Because the 6.8 case is rather small, those bullets which are shorter in length have an advantage. Short bullets means more room for powder and even a little airspace, which holds down pressure.

When testing a particular bullet, always start well below the published maximum charge weights and work up slowly, backing off at the first sign of swipes. By the time primers start leaking from new cases, or flattening/cratering appears, you are well beyond the safety zone. Hot loads inevitably ruin your brass and expose you to risk of injury or damage to your rifle.

Some of the flyers at the lower charge weights may be caused by the way you are holding the rifle. Try shooting from a bipod with a bag under the buttstock. Hold the rifle firmly while loading the bipod legs forward and pull the trigger straight back without any sideways movement. good luck - CW

http://www.6mmbr.com/TacticalFroggyA1.html

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
The other posters have given very good advice, but missed an obvious sign of a past max load. When you add powder and your velocity stays the same or even decreases, you are past max and your powder is no longer burning progressively. It gets even scarier when the next increase in powder give a velocity increase that is significantly larger than the last charge increase like with your RL-10 data.

Unlike some posters, I'm not a fan of breaking in barrels because of past experience with both top end and less expensive barrels. You pay to have top end barrels ready to go. With cheap or factory barrels, I've found that putting 40 rounds down range for familiarization and then giving the rifle a thorough cleaning accomplishes the same thing as shoot one, clean, repeat, etc.

My last step is always playing with COAL. You can turn a decent load to one that's outstanding just by adjusting COAL. Having the bullet closer to the land should make for a more accurate load in theory, but that's not always the case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Reality checks are always welcome. I have been in a hurry with this one. I only get to the range once a month and I have to squeeze a lot of shooting in a short period of time. Things suffer, like... not being able to take my time like I should. i should also mention that this gun is a dedicated deer-hunting project. And I am hearing loud and clear that I'm not being safe. I'm actually a safety-professional in my day-job, so I'm all finished shooting hot loads with visible pressure signs.

More info... I didn't not break in the barrel, just not like I probably should have. I did a few test firings with S&B FMJ's and cleaned between each one of the first 5 shots, then jumped into testing. I've been cleaning with Remington Bore Bright... spray it down the barrel and let it sit while I wipe down the BCG and drop some oil on the moving parts... then 2 in&outs with a bronze bore brush... then patched until mostly clean... then a mop of MPro7... then one patch. The first round after that has always been a single S&B FMJ, then I shoot 25 and clean again. The barrel has about 200rds through it and has been cleaned about 8 times since the initial break-in.

However... is there a way ahead with the barrel? Should I buy some special carbon/copper killer and start over with the barrel?

I also think I should shelve the TSX's for now... maybe save them for a next-summer project. Midway has the 110 Pro Hunters in stock and I've a big fan. I've got plenty of good powders to choose from and I'll get those Pro-Hunters on order. Then I'll find the actual recommended min/max loading for the powders I've got and start over at the bottom like I should have done. At least the wife know's if I'm out in the garage making ammo, I'm not out on the golf course wasting my time.

As for COAL... I've been loading 2.295 because that's the longest that fits in my PRI mags... should I seat them a little deeper in the brass to start?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,253 Posts
I've been cleaning with Remington Bore Bright... spray it down the barrel and let it sit while I wipe down the BCG and drop some oil on the moving parts... then 2 in&outs with a bronze bore brush... then patched until mostly clean... then a mop of MPro7... then one patch. The first round after that has always been a single S&B FMJ, then I shoot 25 and clean again. The barrel has about 200rds through it and has been cleaned about 8 times since the initial break-in.

However... is there a way ahead with the barrel? Should I buy some special carbon/copper killer and start over with the barrel?

As for COAL... I've been loading 2.295 because that's the longest that fits in my PRI mags... should I seat them a little deeper in the brass to start?
Bore Tech Eliminator is arguably the best solvent for removing copper. Its safe for the barrel (unlike Sweets) and can be left in over night if fouling is heavy (plub barrel with saran wrap and clay). I had to soak a buddy's rifle 2 nights to get the copper out. You have to use plastic/Nichol-coated jags and, nylon brushes as brass will react with the solvent and give the same blue residue so you can't tell if the barrel is clean. When the blue stops, the copper fouling has been removed. I would remove copper then proceed a you have cleaning for copper as it warrants. After the barrel is totally clean, shoot ten then clean for copper. If there isn't much copper, go 20 or 30. Once my barrels are broken-in, I can go 60 to 100 rounds with limited copper fouling. I've got about 50 rounds down a new 20" ARP and still getting noticeable copper fouling and clean every 20 or so rounds. I clean at the range in the beginning so I get more rounds on target in the beginning. Its good you are using a single round to foul the barrel before continuing with load development. A clean barrel has a different POI then a fouled barrel.

I would suggest staying at 2.295 until you have found your accuracy node, OCW. If you think the grouping could be tighter try 2.280" and 2.265". Watch for pressure signs as the COAL decreases. Your barrel will do you well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,300 Posts
My ARP at 200 rnds was GTG. I ran into similar issues but was loading ladders like I should. I just couldn't get to grouping. My issue was trigger follow through and front end down pressure.

i would get some foaming bore cleaner and scrub it good. I would not mix solids and jacketed bullet load developments.

Above all, slow down and take your time. You'll get there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,834 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,253 Posts
Not to contribute to thread drift, but KG-12 wins every comparison test I've ever seen, and not by a small margin.
Interesting, bedlamite. I learned some things while checking these links out. There are multiple issues with the reference that were posted.

1. from what I can tell, the testing is probably 7 or more years old. If that old, the tests that included Bore Tech were using their prior product which had ammonia in it. That has been eliminated in their current product. Other products may have updated formulas also.
2. the test is not representative of how barrels are cleaned. The bore of a barrel is not a clean solid copper/zinc metal. Barrel bores are coated with carbon, copper, primer residue, etc. KG-12 cleans copper, Bore Tech Eliminator cleans it all. Also, our barrels are usually not submerged in the solvent. Bore Tech requires oxygen to work efficiently and using a nylon brush promotes oxygenation. Plug and fill the bore with fluid and Bore Tech's cleaning capability is reduced (I won't do that again).
3. I'm not saying KG-12 isn't a powerful copper cleaner. But its not always easy to tell when the bore is clean of copper fouling because KG-12 doesn't always have an apparent color change. When Bore Tech stops turning the patch blue, the barrel is clean.
4. For those that use KG-12, beware. It's formula was band from use in plating shops at least 40 years ago. It contains cyanide. Avoid getting it on your skin.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top