.222 Seating Depth Test - when it works, it works - RimfireCentral.com Forums

Go Back   RimfireCentral.com Forums > > >

Notices

Join Team RFC to remove these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-17-2018, 04:51 PM
flangster

Join Date: 
Feb 2013
Posts: 
4,071
TPC Rating: 
100% (33)
.222 Seating Depth Test - when it works, it works



Log in to see fewer ads
About a year ago, I purchased a used Savage target rifle in .223. It is, oddly, a long action (odd, because .223 is a short action cartridge), but the price was right, and the aftermarket laminate stock had an adjustable cheek piece. I replaced the factory barrel with a Shilen .222 Remington barrel (1:12 twist) -- the set up is heavy enough that the mild recoil from a .222 cartridge lets me stay on target even at 32x. The .222 Remington and the .223 have the same size case head, so the same bolt works for both rounds.

I am still testing powders and bullets with this set up. I am limited to a 100-yard range these days so I don't expect to load a heavier bullet than a 55 grain flat-base bullet. However one combo that has shown some promise at 100 yards is a Sierra 40 grain Blitzking bullet over Benchmark powder. A couple of weeks ago, I posted what I call a "fallen ladder test" that suggested a node around 24.2 grains of Benchmark over CCI-400 primers with my set up. Time to start testing seating depth.

I loaded nine groups of five rounds each seated slightly closer to the barrel's lands. Here are the groups. The number under each group is the distance measured from the bullet's base to its ogive using a Hornady comparator and a digital caliper.



As you can see the five shot groups get tighter and tighter the further out the bullets are seated in the case. At 1.860 inches to the ogive, I had a four-shot group go into a .360 (.136 center to center) before I pulled the fifth shot making the group of 5 just under half an inch. The group at 1.872 inches was just a little larger (.597, or .373 center to center), but had more vertical. Bullets were seated in neck-sized Lapua cases with a Wilson seating die and an arbor press. Measured runout on these rounds is less than 1mm, so those Wilson dies are really working for me. The bullets themselves were not weight or length sorted. I was able to shoot fifteen shots before the heavy Shilen barrel got warmer than bath-temperature hot. At that point, I'd put the Savage down and shoot another rifle on a different target until the Shilen barrel cooled down.

It should go without saying that the numbers above and the load data is specific to my rifle only and I am not making any recommendations for what might work in _your_ rifle. What does seem worth mentioning is the method, which lets me see pretty clearly the incremental improvements as the bullets get seated further out in the case. Truthfully, a .136 four shot group would equal the best I have done with .22LR at 50 yards . . . I think I pulled that last shot on the target above because I couldn't believe what I was seeing on target. Also, I was surprised by this, but there is no standard, apparently, for how comparators are made. Therefore, if you use one from Sinclair, or some other company, the "distance" to the bullet's ogive could be different than what I measured. I guess the practice point is that you just need to be internally consistent with your own measurement tools and techniques. I threw these charges with a Harrell's powder measure and confirmed charge weight on an RCBS Chargemaster. I also use an RCBS 1010 scale to double check as I do get some drift of my zero on the Chargemaster in cold weather (static electricity?? dunno). All's I know is that I could get very used to 100 yard groups as small as this set up is producing.

Next step? Why, back to the drawing board with 52 grain bullets and a different powder of course. Maybe 4198 . . .so many combinations, so little time.

[Edit: range gear: Caldwell Rock BR front rest, Protektor leather rear bag. Benches at my club are not quite level, but the target was stabled to the frame with a torpedo level on the horizontal line. So the target is level and the scope is leveled to the target, if that makes any sense. Scope is the lowly Mueller 8.5-32x44, 30mm Buirris Signature Zee rings with "O" inserts.]
__________________
============
n00by is now flangster on RFC -- still a newbie though

Last edited by flangster; 04-17-2018 at 05:13 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-17-2018, 07:20 PM
jaia
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Apr 2014
Posts: 
5,827
TPC Rating: 
100% (2)
Messing about with powder, primers and different weight bullets
is half the entertainment of shooting centerfire, flangster.
I'm currently playing with 53 grain ballistic tips to determine
if I can find the MV that spins them into dust before they reach the target.
Without showing overpressure on the primers.
I'm so easily entertained.

Last edited by jaia; 04-17-2018 at 07:23 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-17-2018, 09:28 PM
flangster

Join Date: 
Feb 2013
Posts: 
4,071
TPC Rating: 
100% (33)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaia View Post
Messing about with powder, primers and different weight bullets
is half the entertainment of shooting centerfire, flangster.
Ain't that the truth!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaia View Post
I'm currently playing with 53 grain ballistic tips to determine
if I can find the MV that spins them into dust before they reach the target.
Without showing overpressure on the primers.
I'm so easily entertained.
Hmmm. Bet ya a digital beer the answer is "no". I have had some 50 grainers down the barrel of a 1:7 Savage .223 Model 12 F/TR . . .the holes on the target seem just as round as 75 grainers. Still, you have surprised me many times before. Glad someone is asking the deep questions. . . .
__________________
============
n00by is now flangster on RFC -- still a newbie though
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 04-19-2018, 11:44 AM
10ring1 is online now
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Mar 2007
Location: 
Appalachia
Posts: 
3,077
TPC Rating: 
97% (58)
Great shooting buddy. I don't know but I would be pretty content with what I was seeing. I would retest the longer ones you have on your seeing test as they do show great promise.
I have been a-bolt 222 that I bought with hopes to shoot 50 or 55 grain bullets. I tried numerous bullets and combinations thinking that I would find the one that was shoot well. After several hundred rounds I realized I was not going to happen and I went down to the 39 grain Sierra bk. Instantly into a one whole group. I believe, without having my reloading information in front of me, it is Benchmark as well. I have shot numerous ragged hole groups at a hundred yards. I was hoping to go with a heavier Bullet for My twist rate apparently which is not allow it. I've learned to live with it. I'm stick with the 223 for the heavier stuff.
You're right, the later bullet and have your gun allows you to stay on target throughout the shot.
One other things, when I could not find the Sierras I tried the 40 GR ballistic tip and it shot just as well.

PS. You gotta love those Savages

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-23-2019, 05:34 PM
Donnie Powell is online now
US Navy Veteran Fire Fighter NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Feb 2007
Location: 
Ozarks
Posts: 
696
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
.222 is just a fun caliber. I like shooting mine more than other rifles I have and that is a bunch.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-23-2019, 07:05 PM
56S is online now

Join Date: 
May 2012
Posts: 
1,040
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
I've had my 222 REM for 14 years now. One thing I've learned. It's easier to find a load it likes than find one it doesn't. I go back over my targets and load data and 3031, 4198, BLC2, and 2015 all shine. Primers? Heck, shove a cannon fuse in the hole and light it. It will still shine. One load did stand out as being bad. Remington 55gr FMJ. Slightly over 1" at 100 yds for 5 shots. 50gr SP Sierra or Hornady do very well.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-23-2019, 08:12 PM
IHMSA80x80's Avatar
IHMSA80x80
US Air Force Veteran NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Oct 2004
Location: 
Kentucky
Posts: 
8,828
TPC Rating: 
100% (1)
It is well worth the effort to try varying the bullet seating depth off the lands.
__________________
No man is an island. Some men are peninsulas.

≡✪≡

Last edited by IHMSA80x80; 01-24-2019 at 01:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-23-2019, 08:32 PM
Gizzy's Avatar
Gizzy
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Aug 2006
Location: 
Ohio
Posts: 
18,021
TPC Rating: 
100% (149)
You have a few there to choose from. I see 4 good ones that need to be tested again, but shoot a few groups of each. Then out of those, pick the top one.

#4, 5, 7 and #8 are my picks to start with. Good shooting, and glad to see someone else adjusting seating depth to squeeze out that last little bit of accuracy.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-24-2019, 08:51 AM
dotchief
Law Enforcement Officer NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
May 2011
Location: 
Indiana
Posts: 
692
TPC Rating: 
100% (2)
Here's

what I would do. I've been reloading for my Deuce many years. That Number 7 is THE load combination to "tweak" I would alter the powder charge(s) and leave the seating depth as is. Different powder, maybe? However, that group, even with the flyer clearly indicates that barrel likes that seating depth AND the bullet.

When I work up a load, I take all my gear to the range. Powder measure, scales, Wilson dies, etc. I have spent seven to nine hours "tweaking" a load that indicated promise. It's all set up to be portable.

Another thing to try is to weigh that Lapua brass and use all the ones that are the same weight. This permits the powder to fill the case evenly in all the brass. The more consistent the load, the more accurate it is.

You're on the right mark, I would really concentrate on the #7 group.

And remember, SQUEEZE the trigger. Good luck!!!

Pat G
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-26-2019, 12:40 PM
damonkeydobad's Avatar
damonkeydobad
US Navy Veteran Law Enforcement Officer NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Feb 2013
Location: 
62.9 klicks N. of Murder City
Posts: 
838
TPC Rating: 
100% (34)
love of 222

Nice work why is it with all the BR cartridges we keep playing with the beloved 222 with the 52gr imr 4198 works but I am having a little better luck with H322 in m 12 twist Bartlein.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-26-2019, 12:51 PM
flangster

Join Date: 
Feb 2013
Posts: 
4,071
TPC Rating: 
100% (33)
For me, at least, the .222 is a really great cartridge. My club range is limited to 100 yards, so I don't get more points from bigger bullets. I think a heavy .223 bullet (e.g. 77 grains) might do better in the wind, but really the .222 in 40-52 grains seems to be a sweet spot at these distances. The recoil is so mild that I can see the bullet hit in my scope. .223, on the other hand, has just a little more kick. I always have to reacquire the target as a result.

The .222 has even done well for me at 200 yards (one of the loads in the "fallen ladder" test above), although to be fair there was no wind when I shot my last target with it.

Since I am reloading, I would say that each completed round of .222 comes in at about $0.25 per round, discounting for time and the set up costs (dies, shell holders etc.). Nothin' wrong with that .. .
__________________
============
n00by is now flangster on RFC -- still a newbie though

Last edited by flangster; 01-26-2019 at 12:53 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-22-2019, 07:01 PM
Steve Newman

Join Date: 
Oct 2011
Posts: 
339
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
Flangster, I believe you own a Savage Model 112 BT (Benchrest/Target) with the factory laminated wood stock and adjustable check piece. It is a single shot rifle, correct? I own basically the same rifle, with a factory Choate tupperware stock, without the adjustable cheekpiece and with a blind, 5 shot internal magazine; Model 110FP. The FP was one of the first rifles Savage produced to try to get into the beginning of the "tactical" era and geared towards police marksmen/snipers. Both our rifles have identical actions and were made sometime back in either the very late 1980's or early 1990's, long before the Accutrigger ever existed; at that point in time they didn't produce a dedicated short action and used the long action 110 based receiver for everything, though they had offered a shorter action, once previously. They used a baffle with the bolt head and a spacer in the magazine on repeaters to overcome feeding and ejecting issues. with shorter length cartridges. Like yours was originally, mine is in .223 Rem., though they offered both our models in .308 and .300 Win. Mag. I have also seen another 110FP in .30-06. A very popular powder used to set many BR records with the .222 in it's heyday that is still viable today is Win. 748. With any high quality 50, 52, or 53 grain flat base match bullet, you should have stellar accuracy using it, especially neck sizing only. A previous poster suggested weight sorting your fully prepped brass...a very good idea on a small powder capacity cartridge like the .222. Just 1 grain difference in the empty brass will alter the internal volume available inside the case. Have fun with the accurate .222!

Last edited by Steve Newman; 04-22-2019 at 07:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-23-2019, 07:13 PM
dgeesaman is online now

Join Date: 
Nov 2014
Posts: 
599
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
I worked a load for a friends Sako 222 (member dbuffington, fwiw) and as we went up in powder and seating length we got better results. I recall using Lapua brass out of the box, Sierra Matchkings, Federal GM205 primers, and LT-32 powder.

I'd like to say I fully optimized it but with our ability and optics I think we got as close as we were going to get. I enjoyed the simplicity of tuning 222; it spoke clearly and consistently about what it liked or did not like.

David
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-23-2019, 08:59 PM
South_Pender's Avatar
South_Pender

Join Date: 
Jan 2015
Location: 
Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 
1,749
TPC Rating: 
100% (2)
Maybe I missed it, but how far off the lands are these various seating depths? Have you tried touching the lands? Into the lands by, say, .01, etc.? My best groups with many cartridges are with the bullet either just kissing the lands or jammed into the lands a little.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-23-2019, 09:35 PM
flangster

Join Date: 
Feb 2013
Posts: 
4,071
TPC Rating: 
100% (33)
Actually, the ogive is off the lands by .002. I should try a slight jam next time I load a batch. . .
__________________
============
n00by is now flangster on RFC -- still a newbie though
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:28 PM.

Privacy Policy

DMCA Notice

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2000-2018 RimfireCentral.com
x