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DAVIDWHITE

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Reply with quote  #1 
Well guys, as promised, here are the tests that I did on my CVA Apex in 357 Maximum...

The scope used in testing is a Nikon 6X-24X-50mm. Magnification used during these tests was between 18X-24X...

Most days were heavy overcast with temperatures averaging 50-60 degrees...

Here is my set-up for most days -






I used a 100 yd/meter surveyers tape to measure out the range so each distance was exact and not guessed at...



Before I forget, all loading was done with a set of Lee Carbide pistol dies and I deburred the flash holes in all my brass. This in fact gave me an average velocity increase of 30 fps. and dropped my standard diviation of all loads tested down to the single didgits - with very few exceptions....



DAVID

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David and Brenda White 

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DAVIDWHITE

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GUN PICTURES -

Gun Tested was a CVA Apex that I built the barrel for by "barrel stubbing"...

Barrel is 1.062" in diameter / 24 1/2" long / 26" overall with brake...

I chose a 1-20" twist rate for this barrel because I normally shoot bullets 160 gr. and lighter in the 357 Maximum. Other barrels I build are normally with a 1-14" twist rate for those that like to bullets up to 200 gr. in weight. This twist will also stabilize bullets down to 125 gr. if you were so inclined to go that light...

Muzzle brake is screwed onto the barrel after threading and crowning...

Trigger pull is a very crisp 2 3/4 lbs...

Forend is pillar bedded as well as full length epoxy bedded...






























DAVID


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David and Brenda White 

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DAVIDWHITE

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Reply with quote  #3 
COMPONENTS USED IN TESTING -










































This is Remingtons "bulk bullet" - 158 gr. Jacket Soft Point -



Where there are two rounds shown, one is crimped in the cannelure and the second is seated out to touch the rifling - to create more powder space....

DAVID

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David and Brenda White 

By HIS stripes, we are healed...

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e-mail me at: precisionriflesmith@gmail.com

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DAVIDWHITE

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Reply with quote  #4 

Velocity figures:

Maximum velocity 110 gr. bullets was just over 3,000 fps...

Maximum velocity for all 125 gr. bullets tested was 2,700 to 2,800 fps...

With the Hornady 140 gr. FTX bullet, I safely got 2,700 fps...

Exact load data is not listed because all guns are different, and gun used had a 1-20" twist rate barrel. Standard twist rates vary from 1-14" to 1-16" to 1-18", with a few odd ball twist rates in between...

I chose the 1-20" twist rate for maximum velocity potential with the 357 Maximum, using a somewhat longer and heavier than standard barrel. My reasoning? VELOCITY and ACCURACY...

One final comment on my chosen twist rate - The heaviest bullet weight that will shoot ACCURATELY from this particular barrel was 160 gr.. Heavier bullets would not stabilize and most of them would start to keyhole as close as 30 yds.. Other barrels with a 1-20" twist may shoot 180 gr. bullets but, this barrel would not, which I found kind of disappointing...

DAVID


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David and Brenda White 

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e-mail me at: precisionriflesmith@gmail.com

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DAVIDWHITE

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Reply with quote  #5 

TARGETS -

ALL targets were shot @ 100 yds. and ALL groups are 3-shots...

Groups were measured outside to outside, minus bullet diameter...










































These were just some of the "good groups". There were lot's of groups like the ones below that were a "NO-GO" and were scrapped for a much more promising load...









DAVID


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David and Brenda White 

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DAVIDWHITE

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Reply with quote  #6 

TARGETS -

Groups were shot at 200 and 250 yds. - as marked on each individual target...


















These are some of the better groups shot past 100 yds.. Several 200 yd. groups were 2 1/2" to 3" but to me, that does not qualify for what I expect out of my rifles....

DAVID

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David and Brenda White 

By HIS stripes, we are healed...

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DAVIDWHITE

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Reply with quote  #7 
EXPANSION TESTS -

These bullets were NOT shot at reduced velocity but were full power loads shot at 100 yds....

The Remington bullet shown first measured exactly 5/8" across!

Bullets shown are frontal view and then side or bottom view...




































I will also mention that there were three bullets fired for each bullet tested and all three were very near mirror image of each other....

DAVID

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David and Brenda White 

By HIS stripes, we are healed...

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e-mail me at: precisionriflesmith@gmail.com

Shop phone: (918) 576-3217
DAVIDWHITE

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Reply with quote  #8 

EXPANSION TEST -

ALL bullets were shot at a measured 250 yds.. Why that distance and not 200 yds.? Simply because that seems to be the maximum distance most everyone is comfortable with...




































DAVID

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David and Brenda White 

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DAVIDWHITE

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Reply with quote  #9 
Last but not least - my coyote load...

YES, the velocity reading is correct as I checked it over 2 completely different chronographs...






Yes, that is 3-bullet holes! I took an extra picture without the dime so you can see that I'm not covering up a bullet hole...















The purpose of the #1 size steel shot in the hollow point is to prevent the bullet from exploding at and above the 3,000 fps. level as it exits the muzzle and down range....


ADDENDUM:

These last two are Remington's bulk bullets from Midway USA...






Five of each bullets shown were shot into a 150 lb. block of ballistics jelatin that was designed to duplicate both the hide and rib cage of a deer...
Bullets shown were the ones that offered the most expansion for each bullet tested...

180 gr. bullets were fired at 2,200 to 2,300 fps. from a 21" barrel with a 1-14" twist...

200 gr. bullets were fired at 2,100 to 2,200 fps. from a 21" barrel with a 1-14" twist...





























Last but not least is the Hornady 180 gr. XTP. This deer was shot at 60 yds. by my best friend Phil, with an H&R 357 Max that I had built for him. Muzzle velocity was just over 1,800 fps....





Both of these deer were shot with the Hornady 180 gr. XTP. The buck was shot at 120 yds. and the doe was shot at 40 yds.. Entrance wounds were golf ball in size and exit wounds were as big as tennis balls...







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David and Brenda White 

By HIS stripes, we are healed...

God Bless  <")))><

e-mail me at: precisionriflesmith@gmail.com

Shop phone: (918) 576-3217
DDartman

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Reply with quote  #10 
David,

I just wanted to share some expansion "testing" results from this past December.  Using Hornady 180
XTP's pushed to 2180fps out of a 20" Shilen 1:18 twist barrel.  Before using this bullet, I spoke with Hornady tech support and they recommended a maximum velocity around 1800 fps.  They went on to say that above that, it should still work but, they believed the jacket might separate.

The target was a large doe at 30 yards, angled slightly towards me.  Wanting to truly test the ability of XTP, I placed the shot into the lower shoulder blade/bone (hardest part of the bone).  Immediately upon firing I could visually see the entrance hole open open up on the deer and the hair around the entrance "stood up" (picture a dark circle 10" circle around the entrance for a split second).  The deer went about 30 yards and dropped.  The bullet was recovered 2-3" behind the right shoulder blade, just under the hide on the far side.  It had completely shattered the left shoulder, took off the top of the heart, broke a rib on the far side.   

20141211_103747_resized.jpg 

The serrations you see in the bullet was caused by bone fragments embedded into it.  I picked the pieces of bone out of it and washed it before weighing the bullet (141.6 gr).  Here's another view of the same bullet....

20141211_103541_resized.jpg 

Needless to say, I'm VERY impressed with the 180 XTP's performance!  I took another deer earlier that same day (about 100 yards out) but, the bullet was never recovered....thus why I decided to try a shoulder hit on the 2nd deer.  I apologize for not having accuracy data for this load but, it was worked up by a buddy of mine on short notice, while I was working in China for several weeks just before deer season.  I'll try to do more accuracy testing once it warms up here in Ohio.

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Reply with quote  #11 
I recently had 357 max loaded in Hornady 180gr xtp , 23 gr of h110 and small mag rifle primers . I am shooting a Pro Hunter with a 20in MGM barrel from Mike Bellm. I have not had a chance to hunt with it yet what would you think the maximum range on this set up would be for hunting deer? I am in southern michigan so it is all flat land .                                               Thank You                                                                                                             Gary Reynolds


DAVIDWHITE

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Reply with quote  #12 
Gary,

maximum range would depend on the accuracy of your load and your scope settings, ie., sight-in, point blank range, etc...

Shoot your load at various ranges, make a drop table and test your gun and load in normal hunting situations. If you sight your gun in at 75 yds. and a deer worth shooting walks out at 240 yds., what do you do? I know what mine does, every inch of the way, from 30 feet out to 250 yds. and there is absolutely no guess work involved. I see a deer, I range it, dial my scope on, put the cross hairs exactly where I want the bullet to go, and very gently squeeze the trigger. That plain and that simple! Meat in the freezer!


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David and Brenda White 

By HIS stripes, we are healed...

God Bless  <")))><

e-mail me at: precisionriflesmith@gmail.com

Shop phone: (918) 576-3217
markharry1524

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Reply with quote  #13 

I just had my 357 Magnum Contender out yesterday. (not the Maximum) At 50 yards, it cuts groups well under 1/4" with 125 grain XTP Hornady factory loads. Centerpunching a 1" stick-on dot is a cinch. They clock about 2250'/sec out of the 24" MGM stainless barrel. Believe the twist rate is 1:14"(? they recommended the fast twist to be flexible?) Scope is a 2-7x Redfield- nice all around optic.

Crows were leaving their "chalk bombs" in the driveway, so I decided to pop one in front of the "herd". Usually, all it takes is to do one in, and the rest make themselves scarce the rest of the year. They are so numerous around here, they ought to be classed as a nuisance or a pest. Several hundred-S- to a flock is not unusual.

At 65 yards, a large crow came apart as if it swallowed a cherry bomb, I kid you not. A loud "smack" could be heard as well. It almost appears to me, the bullet is exploding when it hits anything??? Could the fast twist cause that? Snow too deep to take a look right now for fragments. For sure, it makes for one heck of a short range varmint gun. Can't wait for a coyote opportunity. The magnum has its advantage that it doesn't upset the neighbors who don't show the same enthusiasm about shooting, etc. I imagine the MAX would be a significant step louder, huh?! Often thought that these straight wall cases and single shots was nirvana- the ideal combination. Perhaps some day, I'll get a Max barrel- a 24" bull in stainless.....[thumb]

Nice article, Dave

markharry1524

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Reply with quote  #14 

Oh yeah, that shot was made left handed- and I'm a rightie!

Mark

DAVIDWHITE

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Reply with quote  #15 
Mark,

I would think that those "exploding bullets" would be more from the velocity that you were pushing them, or a combination of both, velocity AND twist.

Nice shooting on the crow - one of my favorite and most preferred targets.

You say you shot it left handed!?!? I won't hold that against you, since I am a total lefty... [smile]

Thank you Mark.


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David and Brenda White 

By HIS stripes, we are healed...

God Bless  <")))><

e-mail me at: precisionriflesmith@gmail.com

Shop phone: (918) 576-3217
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