Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Praxis: "Nosler has hit a home run."


Carl F. Worden
September 22, 2009

Happy Autumn and happy hunting season!!

Before I begin with this extremely good news for reloaders, I want you to know I am in no way associated with Nosler and I am not being compensated by Nosler in any way, directly or indirectly, for writing this piece.

Reloading for extreme long range accuracy in an extreme long range-accurate rifle has always been a hassle. Before you even begin to load rounds for your rifle you must size the brass for length, bore out the flash hole, ream the primer pocket, chamfer the mouth of the brass and then go through the laborious task of weighing each brass case into groups so that the powder you are loading fills the case exacly the same. You cannot achieve near-absolute consistency shot-to-shot if you do not take these preparatory steps if you want tight groups beyond 300 yards. Now you must load your cases with match-grade primers with absolute consistency. Only then can you fill each case with the exact weight of powder and crown that sparkling gem with a match-grade bullet set to a depth where the bullet just exactly touches the rifling. Now you are ready to shoot.

Nosler has done all the case prep, including case weight sorting, and is selling that brass for reloading. I recommend you start with 200 cases and keep them separate from any others of the same caliber that you may have in stock.

My 300 Winchester Magnum, bull-barreled rifle has a 28 inch barrel which allows me to load Berger 210 grain bullets that leave the barrel at 2,950 FPS, and the accuracy I achieve is stunning at .33 MOA. Of course, no matter how much case preparation you perform, you cannot achieve that kind of accuracy if you don't have a rifle capable of it, and that requires a match trigger in a solid action mounted in a composite stock with a match-grade barrel. Remington 700 actions have always been favored, but Savage is now producing some really fine, out-of-the-box rifles that shoot .50 MOA with the right ammo, and the bonus is that factory Savage rifles can cost far less than an equivalent Remington custom rig.

Have fun! Carl F. Worden


typeay said...

I've shot a friend's 1996 model, 500 dollar "out of the box" stock Savage F110P in .308 that shot 1/2 MOA all day long with the right ammo. The Savage bolt action guns are still an incredible value.

The Trainer said...

FWIW, there ain't no shortcuts to extreme accuracy...none. Not if you want to be absolutely, positively sure of your round capability.

All things being equal, a long-range shooter is better off doing his own case prep with his own tools rather than relying on a production line. While I'm sure Nosler's done an acceptable job, the shooter'd have to ask himself, "am I willing to bet my life on their attention to detail?" I'm not.

Achieving .333 groups at 200 meters is not that difficult with a properly prepared rifle and hand loaded rounds, either, especially with a .300 Win Mag on a Remington 700 platform. It just takes determination, attention to detail, and time.

Just observations, not condemnations.

Weaver said...

This is great news, maybe others will follow allowing the competition to reduce prices. What are your thoughts on a 180 gr for this cal? The wife's rifle has a built-in brake but I'm not so sure she would be happy with anything heavier. As always, thanks for all you do.


Anonymous said...

The nice folks at Scharch (topbrass) do a good job at producing some affordable new 556 brass.

They also offer once fired mil brass which I have used in .308. This brass is comprised of mixed head stamps but if you do the sorting and weighing I'm willing to be that it will be as affordable if not more affordable then the Nosler option if you really are looking to save some ging.

But the Nosler offering is definitely a welcome addition.

If we could only sort out the primer mess :)


Anonymous said...

What powder are you using? I love the berger 210s but can't get that velocity.
Thanks in advance

Anonymous said...

Most 300s are 1-10 twist. 180's will work fine. If it is a decent brake, it should reduce the recoil.

The heavier SMKs and Bergers are more efficient at longer ranges. While they start out slower, their high ballistic co-efficient allows them to retain more downrange velocity.

It depends on what your intended use of the 300 is.

There are many people using SMKs and Bergers (Berger is making a hunting line of their fantastic bullets) for hunting. I have used 190 SMKs in my 300 with spectacular results.

They offer greater impact velocity, greater retained energy and better accuracy.

Having said that, you won't know until you work out a load which is safe and suits your rifle.

What ever you do, start at least 10% below any advertised data - no matter where you get it - and be sure you can recognize signs of excessive pressure.

Creating the ultimate load for your rifle is very rewarding. Blowing up your gun and risking injury is not.

Keep your tolerances tight, maintain good records and pay attention to each round down range. You will soon find what works and what doesn't.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

So, instead of buying 1,000 brass, weighing them, and keeping the 200 most closely matched cases while reselling the other 800, I can just buy 200 matched cases?

That sounds like a useful product offering to me.

ScottJ said...

I know this is probably heresy to many but .5 MOA can be achieved without quite so much prep.

Go buy a box of Fed Match sometime, pull it all apart and check the variances. You might be surprised.

My formula is to make sure they're all trimmed the same length and all seated the same. Keep the powder within .1 grain.

Work in BIG lots so you're more likely to do everything the same for that given batch.

The key thing is practice, practice, practice. I hate that I have to drive an hour to get a decent range with no (or a tiny) fee.

Anonymous said...

I own a DPMS LR-308. I broke it in as per DPMS instructions. I bought some Lithuanian Surplus FMJ 146. The rifle shoots .47 and better groups at 200 yards with that ammunition and also reloads using the brass with Varget. I've never missed a steel plate at 1000 yards. This is plenty accurate for my purposes and I don't waste a lot of time weighing and sorting brass.

Anonymous said...

So, instead of buying 1,000 brass, weighing them, and keeping the 200 most closely matched cases while reselling the other 800, I can just buy 200 matched cases?

You still haven't matched the cases to your chamber. Only shooting them through your gun will do that.

Go one better. Buy Lapua brass.

Drilled flash holes and tolerances that embarrass FGMM.