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O/T - question for the handgunners

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by AveragEd, Jan 16, 2009.

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  1. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Last fall, I bought a like-new and unaltered XP-100R-KS in .223 Remington. I've not tried a lot of handloads through it but one using the 50-grain Hornady V-Max and W748 powder yields five-shot 100-yard groups of just under an inch at an average velocity right around 3,000 fps. Do you think I can do better or would trying to milk better accuracy from a 14.5" handgun be an exercise in frustration?

    I've always thought that one-inch 100-yard groups from any handgun was the ultimate goal and use that benchmark with my Contender barrels but I've heard from several sources that XP-100s will eclipse the accuracy of a Contender. If so, is the difference worth the effort?

    Ed
     
  2. Old Texas Marine

    Old Texas Marine Member

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    Ed,

    Really, with the performance you are getting now, the answer can only come from you. Do you need sub MOA accuracy for the task you intend the XP for? Hunting rifles that will group within 1.5 MOA usually provide sufficient accuracy for the job at hand. That said, I work like hell to get them to shoot MOA or better at 200 yards just because I enjoy the reloading and experimenting. It also gives me more confidence in the gun. I know I can't shoot better than probably 1.5 to 2 MOA in most field shooting situations.

    If you enjoy the load work-up and shooting required to wring out the last bit of accuracy from the XP, more power to you. If you find handloading is a chore, then that may lead to a different decision.

    Sometimes I have to remind myself that shooting, reloading, and hunting is a hobby. My goal-oriented nature tends to take over and I lose sight of why I fooling with this in the first place.

    Sorry, too much rambling. Enjoy your XP.

    HBT
     
  3. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    223's have the ability to perform well with many different powders. You have to pursue a direction.

    If you want to get the best out of 748 you will need to play with seating depth, different primers, and charge weight to a degree.

    If you want to get the best out of the gun itself you will very likely wear it out with all the powders and bullet combinations available. At this point if I were you I would visit some other forums just in case you might get suggestions that work.

    Example: I got a new 22-250 rifle last year, and a friend said he would give me his 22-250 stuff since he didn't have a gun any more.

    I had already found some pretty good loads, and was happy. I fired the half box of reloads he gave me, and was shocked out of my boots.

    One freakin hole. I mean in the 2's. The rub was it was in a powder I had never or would never probably use, and waaaaaaaay slower than I normally go in such endeavours.

    So have fun wearing out your pistol.

    (incidentally I use 2015 or reloader 7 in 223, with 40 grain Vmax for PD shooting since I can't get any more AA2200).

    HM
     
  4. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    4895 and 4198 are two great powders to try in your 223. HMB
     
  5. WesleyB

    WesleyB Well-Known Member

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  6. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I enjoy working up and testing loads as much as the next guy but the time for doing that is harder to come by these days. I spent all of 2007 working with a .25-06 until I got a 75-grain load and a 100-grain load that both shot into 3/4" at 100 yards. As a bonus, the groups are within 1/2" of each other. But I knew all along that the rifle could do better than it was - I'm not so sure how much better I can do with an XP-100. Even with a low bipod up front and a bag at the rear, it's hard to hold this thing rifle-steady on the bench.

    My primary use for this firearm will be varmint hunting - woodchucks at up to a maximum range of 300 yards.

    Ed
     
  7. KENENT1

    KENENT1 Active Member

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    slower loads will always groupe better.



    tony
     
  8. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Isn't IMR4895 a little slow for a 14.5" barrel? I haven't found any data for that powder for .223 loads with bullets lighter than 55 grains in Contenders or XP-100s.

    I'm using CCI Benchrest primers and I've tried substituting a small rifle magnum primer but there was no improvement in grouping or velocity. I'm at 28.0 of W748 with the 50-grain V-Max and groups are ~.950." If I go down to 27.0 of W748, they open to 1.4" and the velocity drops almost 100 fps. Right now, I seem to have good velocity with acceptable accuracy and don't want to beat a dead horse unless the potential for improvement is there.

    Ed
     
  9. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    The fun is in the fooling around. I have a great load for one rifle, but I always seem to have 2 or 3 different things to try eavery trip to the range.

    If you have enough twist try 62 grain bullets for better accuracy at distance.

    I would love to play with your gun, PD's out the winfow in SD.

    HM
     
  10. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I have a box of Sierra 68-grain .224" match bullets I could try but I thought they might be too slow from a 14.5" barrel.

    Ed
     
  11. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Alas, Sierra does not publish data for that bullet in Contenders and XP-100s. I did email them for anything they may have on file, however. Their data manuals have it clocking about 500 fps slower than the 50-grain bullets I'm using now, and their numbers were generated in a 24" barrel, so it would likely clock around 2,200 or so from 10 inches less barrel.

    Ed
     
  12. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Your barrels twist rate should determine the maximum weight bullet you can use. As far as powder burn rate goes a short barrel is not a problem with a slow powder. You will get a very consistant powder burn. The unburnt powder will form a pile on the ground under the end of the barrel.

    I used to load 25 grains of 4895 with a 52 or 53 grain match bullet. HMB
     
  13. les morgan

    les morgan TS Member

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    I once had an XP in 223 that was very accurate. I remember it liked Sierra 53gr flat base hp and H335. Can't remember how good of a group it was but it was no problem hitting cans of pop at 200yd. The true target bullets like SMK, and hornady 53 gr fbhp might be a little more accurate than v-max. I find a-max a little more accurate than v-max. Benchmark and VV N133 are very accurate with the 53gr bullets in my 16" barrels. The W748 you tried is good and BLC(2) works good for the 52's and 53's. Good Luck, LesM
     
  14. Dednlost

    Dednlost Member

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    "Even with a low bipod up front and a bag at the rear, it's hard to hold this thing rifle-steady on the bench."

    No disrespect but this may be the problem, going from 1 moa to 1\2 moa is not twice as hard it's more like a 100 times more difficult. You might remove the bipod and try a quality front rest and bag. I would also get a 12 oz or so trigger and a high power target scope with fine crosshairs. The idea is to take as much of the human element out as possible. Your loads may be there but your set up won't allow you to prove it.
     
  15. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget to squeeze the trigger. Good things happen when you squeeze the trigger. HMB
     
  16. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the bag theory and I did try using a bag but the gun lacks sufficient weight to compress a bag enough for a steady hold - it just sort of "sits" there on bags filled with sand or rice. The bipod is more stable for me because there is less "wiggle" in the sight picture.

    XP-100R-KS guns were only built in 1998 and were assembled in Remington's Custom Shop. With the exception of the stock, the materials used were no different from other rear-grip XP-100s but the assembly was a little more "hands-on." The stock is free-floated and the trigger is very crisp and breaks right around 2.5 pounds; I wouldn't want it much lighter for hunting. The scope is a Burris 3-12x handgun glass with an adjustable objective in a one-piece Leupold base and rings with a fine duplex reticle, so I don't think much improvement could be made there.

    I've come to believe that I've probably run up against my own abilities, which are compromised a little by my eye problem and some meds I take. But I did just shoot .418" and .356" 100-yard groups with a centerfire rifle (off a bipod and a rear bag, in fact), so if the gun has enough weight, I can still hold it steady enough.

    Thanks for all the replies. It's great to be able to swap ideas openly as we do so often on here. This Internet gizmo might just work out!

    Ed
     
  17. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    Ed, I like to suggest you try some hand made bullets like Euber 52gr. There is a difference in shooting the so called match bullets (Sierra, Hornady, Nosler) and hand made bullets. Its possible to shrink your groups a 1/4 inch by switching. You also might try loading the bullet closer the to the lands so you cut down on the bullet jump. When you experiment keep track of what you do with OAL's If you decide to use Euber bullets (this guy has many world records) his number is 802-948-2621 he lives in Conn. The bullets are not any more expensive then the name brands, and he will answer any questions you may have.
     
  18. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    John, especially in a varmint rifle, I like lighter triggers, too, and have nice aftermarket triggers in a lot of my Model 700s. But none are lighter than 1.5 pounds and I'm able to shoot good groups with them. I like to follow some advice I received as a youngster from a Pennsylvania State Police gunsmith and shooting champion - never allowed yourself to become spoiled to ultra-light triggers. So far, anyway, it's worked.

    Ed
     
  19. ccw1911

    ccw1911 Member

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    Ed, when shooting off the bench trigger pull is directly related to the weight of the gun especially with a short gun. As an extreme example a 2lb trigger on a 15lb gun will be easier to shoot than a 1lb trigger on a 4lb gun. A front rest is much better than bags and both are better than a bipod if we a trying to test that last little percent of performance out of our ammo. Also make sure you are in a comfortable posistion when shooting, if your neck or back is in just a little strain you'll unconsciously pick your head up as you shoot.

    I agree that you may have "hit the wall" with your set up. The bipod will be fine when you're hunting but you are testing ammo now so your set up needs to be as perfect as can be to give the gun a chance to prove the ammo.
     
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