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biggjimm

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Reply with quote  #1 
I've been working on load development for this max rifle of my daughter's & I have not been having very good luck so far. I finally got it to group under a inch at 100yds with the hornady 180 SSP & 25.0 gr of W296. I was thinking of trying a different powder in it with that bullet as I knew it would shoot better than that when I remembered I had picked up some ammo from a guy at a gun show a while back (I bought them loaded for like $17.50 per 20. I don't think I could buy new brass for that price, if I could find it) & thought I'd try them out. I cleaned & dried the bore & fired a fouling shot followed by three shots for a group spaced about 5 min apart. It was only about 63 degrees out today with absolutely no wind. I was using a lead sled solo rest with 30 lbs of weight on it & I knew all four shots were good but I could not find them on the target & when I walked to the board I was pleased (and somewhat shocked) to find one hole in the duct tape holding the target on the board. It was about 3" high of the bull but I couldn't see the impact in the tape from the bench. You can just barely make out the outline of the 4 shots. I measured the hole with my calipers & it measured 0.572" & deducting the 0.357" bullet diameter leaves an astonishing 0.215" center to center group! Now for myself that is pretty amazing considering the nerve damage I have & the way I shake but I use the lead sled to minimize my input & to see what the rifle & cartridge are truly capable of & I also use it to sight in the rifle & then shoot off the bi-pod or off hand after that. But even still, I've never shot that tight of a group with my 204, 223's or 22-250 before so I was amazed to do it with the 357 max. Now here's the kicker, I have no idea what this particular load is. I know it's a hornady 180 xtp bullet in a Remington case. I think the primers are CCI small rifle bench rest #BR-4 as they are identical to the ones I have with the tiny capital B on them. I pulled a couple bullets & weighed the charge and they are sitting on 17.5 grains of powder but I don't have a clue as to what powder it is. It's a real fine ball type powder almost like a dust and its real slippery like tiny ball bearings or something. It clearly doesn't even resemble any powder I have on hand. I'm hoping to catch the next Indy 1500 show & buy some more & hopefully he may enlighten me as to what powder he's using in them because they shoot ababsolutely excellent out of this rifle.
biggjimm

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[image]
biggjimm

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Reply with quote  #3 
Here's the other one.

[image]
DAVIDWHITE

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Reply with quote  #4 
Way to go biggjimm - lookin good!


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David and Brenda White 

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you David. I can't believe the way this max rifle shoots. If the rain lets up we'll go to the range sat & see how my daughter does with it. Knowing what this rifle will do, I imagine she will want to shoot some kind of insanely small target so she can take to school & show the boys that she routinely out-shoots at are local .22 matches.

This particular rifle is one of my encores with a SS 20" TC custom shop 357 mag barrel that Mike Bellm cut a max chamber in & re-crowned a few years ago. The frame has had all the appropriate modifications. I changed all the springs & gave it a slick trigger job & Bellm oversize hinge pin & firing pin bushing shims to optimize the headspacing. It's had a lot done to it but after shooting it, it's definitely worth every penny & hour that I've put in it.

She doesn't much like shooting her H&R that you re-chambered & put the brake on but I finally figured out it's because the trigger is so heavy. So here in the near future I'm gonna see about fixing that heavy trigger & then we'll see what that one will do. I'm looking forward to seeing how it shoots compared to this encore. I have a feeling it will be real close cause I shot it off the bi-pod & sand bag & it was printing a pretty small group then. As soon as I get the time I'll get some pics of those rifles you did for me & post them on here also.
DAVIDWHITE

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Reply with quote  #6 
Well puppy poopy! If your daughter does not like the H&R because of the heavy trigger pull, I can fix that problem in short order. Remove the stock and barrel and send me just the receiver. I'll do a trigger job on it with a 1- day turnaround. No charge! Just consider it an early Christmas present. This is a one time offer - not to be repeated....

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David and Brenda White 

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biggjimm

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Reply with quote  #7 
Well David, I think I'll just take you up on that offer. I'll send it to you the first of the week. Can just the receiver be sent thru USPS? I have some of those priority mail flat rate boxes that would be perfect if I can ship it that way. Thanks, Jim.
DAVIDWHITE

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Reply with quote  #8 
Jim,

yes, you can send the receiver USPS, and I will return ship the same....


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David and Brenda White 

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e-mail me at: precisionriflesmith@gmail.com

Shop phone: (918) 576-3217
biggjimm

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Reply with quote  #9 
Ok David that's what I thought. I'll send the receiver to you first thing monday morning. Thank you. Jim.
biggjimm

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Reply with quote  #10 
I haven't had enough time & good weather to get the H&R out yet but as soon as I can ill see what it'll do. I have however got in touch with the guy I bought the ammo from that I was referring to in my original post & unfortunately the powder he uses is not commercially available. It is a military powder I think he called it WC820. He did tell me that 19.8gr of W296 or H110 should yield the exact same results & that he uses CCI small pistol magnum primers exclusively in the particular 180 gr load I using which goes against everything I've read saying to use rifle primers but if that's what he's using ill try them because that particular load shoots so sweet out of this particular rifle.
Happy Holidays all. Jim.
Denny

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Reply with quote  #11 
Congrats on the load I am still working some 158 JHP and 180 looks like 296 powder is winning out with some 4227.  Muzzleloader opens Sunday and this will be my first time using a muzzlelaoder for deer.  I picked up a CVA Optima for 160.00 at a local shop.  50 caliber and a co worker said to use a 300 HP and 3 pellets (50 grain each) seems excessive to me.

I slipped the other day climbing out of my tree stand about halfway down.  My knees are shot and coupled with degentrative disc disease my hunting may soon be over or very limited.  Maybe I will take up knitting. 

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snipesg

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Reply with quote  #12 
I've been shopping around for bulk quantities of military powders and have read the WC820 is the same or extremely similar to AA#9.  Not sure if that's actually the case, but it may help your research.
biggjimm

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Reply with quote  #13 
Denny, it's been my experience that magnum (150gr) loads are in fact excessive & a huge waste of money. I've owned 10 or 12 muzzleloaders over the years & helped several buddies work up loads for theirs & I've yet to find one that would keep a tight group with that much powder. Most seemed to really like right around a 115 gr charge. Some were optimal at 90 gr. But every one I've ever tried a 150 charge in started shooting real sloppy after 120 gr of powder. I always start about 90gr & work up in 5gr increments until I find that sweet spot just like you would with a cartridge load. Some guys swear by the magnum loads but I've not found them to do more than empty my wallet & kick the tar out of me. Most of my ML have been TC's & just about every one I could take out of the box, dump a 100 gr charge in it & seat a 240 gr xtp over that & literally shoot the center out of the bullseye @ 100yds in short order. One of the best things I ever did was to switch to blackhorn 209 powder & CCI 209 M shotshell primers & hornady easy load SST ML 250 gr bullet w/ the red sabot. That BH powder is so easy to clean up, not nearly as corrosive & seems to be a lot more consistent & I've shot up to 24 rds without swabbing the bore & that 24th one loaded easier than the 1st one did on a dry bore. I love it but it only comes in loose form which I don't like the pellets anyways. Good luck working up your load Denny. And sounds like you might be headed to a ground blind only hunting situation like myself. It's not bad. In fact, I rather enjoy it. Good luck.

Snipes, what I've read is there were actually 3 different lots of wc820 manufactured & the first was close to w296 & used that load data, the 2nd lot used AA#9 load data & the 3rd used something else I can't remember but if your interested in reading about that Google "the three faces of wc820" & you should find it easily. I had tried a load of both 19.5 & 20.0 gr of w296 & it produced about a 3" group but I was using a different primer than he uses in that load so I'm not sure if that is the difference or what but I'll load up some more as soon as I can find some 180 gr jhp xtp's.
vernw

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Reply with quote  #14 
Something doesn't sound quite right here......

If the primers are silver colored and have the B stamped on them then they are the CCI BR primers and his load explanation is suspect from that point on IMO.

As someone who has shot a lot of 180 SSP in the Max, I highly recommend the 296 powder. But his powder charges seem pretty low. In my two Max's, 17.5 gr 296 would almost be a squib load, I doubt that bullet is going anywhere close to 2000FPS. I've gone to mid 20's powder charges which yield 2300-2450FPS, depending on seating depths, etc, I like to seat be rounds long (.030-.050 off the lands and use a Lee taper crimp. Groups under one inch at 100 yards is the norm.

It may just be me, but I would NOT trust his load info.....

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biggjimm

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hello Vern,

I guess I should have clarified this earlier but I had some how gotten that part about the primers confused with another load I had... these particular loads do not have the little "B" on them. Not sure why I thought they did when I first posted this.

I've been thinking the same thing about the charge weight Vern. I'm fairly new to reloading but I had loaded some 296 to both 19.5 & 20.0gr & they didn't seem to have near the power the loads in question have. I haven't chrono'd them yet but as soon as the weather breaks I will. I have bought some more of these loads from him & they shoot identical to the first ones I tried.

I guess trying to figure all this stuff out is part of the fun of it but if people give you bad information, especially if it's intentional, that kinda takes the fun out of it & can be dangerous as well. Have fun & be safe. Jim.
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