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Drew_Forge

Just another reason I love reloading...

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I've been toying with handloads for my "walking around rife" - a Manliccher-stocked Sako L-46 Riihimaki in .222 Remington, with an Leupold M8 fixed 4x scope. I scooped up a bunch of factory Remington 50-grain ammo at a local shop that had it marked CHEAP - but as the factory fodder gets shot up, I'm having fun finding a new replacement load.

 

Having loaded for .223 and .22-250 before, I've got a pretty good stash of 55-69 grain bullets. But I read the Sako has a slower rate of twist, (1:12 or 1:14) as the .222 generally used 45-50 grain bullets. So I've been playing around with different loads and different lighter bullets, but I've been secretly hoping I could find a load that played nice with 55-grain bullets, since I have a bunch of them. 

 

So I found through trial and error a powder/load combination that the rifle liked - 19.5 grains of IMR-4198, CCI BR-4 primer, and a Sierra 53-grain MK. It will shoot the prettiest little 1-inch 5-shot groups at 100 yards, even with just a 4x scope. With a good starting point, I loaded up the same powder/primer combo under bullets from 45 to 55 grains. 

 

The results made me chuckle...the 45, 50, and 53 grain bullets all shot almost identical 1" groups, just with different points of impact. However, once I crossed the threshold of 53 grains and got to 55 grain bullets, the 100-yard targets showed  3-4 inch groups, with evidence that they bullets were starting to keyhole - a sure sign that the rate of twist wasn't fast enough to stabilize the bullet. 

 

Little nuances like this are what keep me interested in reloading. Yeah, I could find a load that works well and make a ton of it and probably never have to worry again - I do that with my SHTF guns - but for my hunting and target guns, I love playing with them like this, as time and component supply will allow. 

 

I'll probably load a few rounds up with a Hornady 50-grain softpoint varmint bullet for winter snowshoeing duty, but I'll definitely dive in again come spring.

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Drew_Forge  Eewww high siding us with a fancy cool rifle LOL  I figured you for a IMR 4227 powder guy but hey 4198 is an oldie but a goody.

 

I load or can load everything I have,  making up some hard shot for 12 ga at the moment gas seals instead of piston wads more pellets and roll crimp I do not care for fold crimp.

 

my favorite powder now is Varget because of its temp stability and great accuracy if I cannot have 5 touching its back to the drawing board.

 

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