Hand-Loaded Nosler AccuBond LR 142 grain in Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor

The G1 ballistic coefficient for this bullet is .719. The fact that it exceeds 0.7 is world class long range capable of delivering game killing energy at over 600 yards for the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Tech Talk – It has been said that the bullet has a secant o-give and needs more room away from the lands when chambered than your normal bullet but having said that, it does not take from accuracy on bullet jump.

A few days ago, I loaded up some Nosler AccuBond LR’s in 142 grain with IMR 4350 and W760 Powder specified by Nosler in my almost new Ruger American. I used 41.5 grains IMR 4350 and 40.5 grains of W760 powder, max loads. I selected the powder because they were among the fastest at the muzzle and geared for delivering lots of energy at longer ranges.

The cases were Nosler Custom and the primers were CCI BR2’s. Cartridge overall length followed the Nosler Manual of 2.805 and they fit the Ruger magazine perfectly and fed perfectly.

First IMR 4350 cold shot with the Ruger American was 1 inch higher than subsequent  4 shots. Accordingly, I eliminated the cold barrel shot from the group. If I included it the spread was 1 1/8 inch and if I eliminated it the spread was 7/8 inch.

Estimated velocity out of the 22 inch barrel was around 2670 fps after subtracting 60 fps and the 2 more inches in the Nosler manual using a 24 inch barrel compared to the 22 inches of the Ruger.

The W760 Powder shot 1 3/16  five shot group with an estimated velocity of 2610 fps accounting for the shorter 22 inch barrel.

Examination of the primers looked normal and extraction was easy. These loads were terrific.

The results indicate that this grouping for IMR 4350 is terrific for shots in a 6 inch circle at 600 yards. Further that the energy for deer suggests 650 yards where 1000 ft-lbs was calculated and the velocity was 1802 fps. Windage at 90º moved the bullet 28 inches at 10 mph crosswind. That is a lot! Quartering crosswind of 14 inches. The shooter would have to adjust for the crosswind or get closer to the game, a much better scenario.   At half that distance 325 yds the shooter would only be off by 6 inches in a 90º wind and have elk killing energy of 1500 ft-lbs.

Below is the Ruger American Predator. A great affordable rifle for anyone!

The Scope was a Leupold VX-3. See them at https://www.leupold.com/search?q=vx3

 

In a perfect world, early morning and just before dark usually offer little wind for those longer shots.

Killing game cleanly is the name of the game!

Good Hunting!

© 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Subsonic or Low Noise 22LR Ammo

Over the years the neighbors moved in from the city, right? And If they hear even a supersonic 22 LR go off with a cracking sound then your neighbors are complaining. As a kid I had a bolt 22 that would take 22 short, long or long rifle. I need another one!

My backyard garden had chipmunks and red squirrels chewing on my plants and my house. What to do? I have had it! My bb gun is a pain-in-the-backside to pump and shoot every time.

I bought some subsonic ammo that wont make that cracking sound of breaking the sound barrier. This ammo speed is less than the speed of sound which at sea level is around 1120 to 1130 fps in the 60 to 70 degree F range. As temp goes up so does the speed needed to break the sound barrier. Ammo in the 1000 fps range is adequate. The problem then becomes one of diet in your particular rifle or pistol. Semi-Autos can be finicky and not eject and feed the next round so you need to experiment or shoot just one at a time, which is fine with me. The key is accuracy! At 25 yards I can hit the head of a chipmunk with a steady rest with Aguila SuperExtra subsonic 40 g heads.

But I really want to know what is out there so I tried CCI Quiet but my Marlin 22LR semi won’t even shoot them. There are video’s that say they work fine but you got to have a rifle that shoots them. Pistols are by their nature much louder so you may need hearing protection there for sure.

Next is 22LR Low Noise Ammo – This ammo is sold by many manufacturers like CCI Quiet, Remington and Winchester among many in the low-noise 770 fps or less

Here is a video series below on YouTube. The Ruger 10/22 seems to shoot well with many or bolt or lever action.

 

 

Experimentation is best but accuracy is key!

 

 

 

Most Read Article: The .270 Winchester vs. the 6.5 Creedmoor by Ed Hale

My rifle article has the shooting world by the tail and read by tens of thousands around the world from New England to Alaska, and in South Africa. They just can’t get enough of it!!.

So here it is again below. Enjoy!!

The .270 Winchester vs the 6.5 Creedmoor- by Ed Hale

To Shoot a Charging Bear with a S&W Model 69 in 44 Magnum?

Have you practiced hitting  a 3 inch ball (the size of a bears brain) coming at you, undulating up and down at 20 miles an hour? I took some shots yesterday with the Smith & Wesson Model 69 Combat 44 magnum at just a  stationary target and I could only get one bullet, the first shot, in the kill zone out of 5 shots. See Video below.

But that was just initial practice. Serious practice with a moving target over time would be best. And you or I might reach the conclusion that we are not up for that task.

I saw a video where someone used a 1911 pistol in 45 ACP place more than one bullet in the brain kill zone however the 45 ACP is not Brown Bear medicine and would not likely penetrate the skull before the bear reached your body.

Brown bear experts suggest that a 12 gauge shotgun with slugs and 00 buckshot are best in brown bear country.

But on black bear here in New England the S&W Model 69 for general use on deer in regular gun season or bear is just fine say for an archery bear hunt where the bear is climbing the tree you are in and you want more protection than spray repellent.

So where does that leave us in our testing with the SW Model 69 Combat Magnum? I like the confidence I feel with a pistol in 44 Magnum on my hip and will share more on my carry of it in the deer woods this fall.

Note: during deer Muzzleloader or Bow season, you must have “license to carry permit with you” in addition to your muzzleloader/archery license or leave your pistol home.

Open Carry it during “regular”gun season if you like but if concealed under a jacket you need a “conceal carry permit”. When in doubt call NH F&G to get any questions answered before hitting the woods. Unless you have a conceal carry permit, you must unload your pistol while in a vehicle just like your rifle or shotgun. Bone up on pistol laws.

I have a conceal carry permit and you should too, see your local police department.

https://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/nhsp/ssb/permitslicensing/documents/dssp85.pdf

A concealed gun on you without a conceal carry permit is against NH Law so be aware.

Be Safe! Good Shooting!

 

Nosler AccuBond 130 grain; 6.5 Creedmoor vs .270 Winchester

Just for fun and comparison purposes I decided to do some ballistic comparisons using the Nosler AccuBond™ in this article as I am such a believer of Nosler bonded (welded) lead to the copper jacket for big game hunting. The 130 grain bullet was used and made so famous in the .270 Winchester by Jack O’connor.

Below you can see the significant differences in the cartridge size.

 

It is simple amazing that the smaller than .308 cartridge size of the 6.5 Creedmoor verses the 30-06 size of the .270 parent Cartridge can launch Nosler AccuBond bullets that at 400 to 500 yards are essentially equals.

Max Point Blank Range for 130 grain .270 is 301 yards w muzzle velocity of 3100 fps

Max Point Blank Range of 130 grain 6.5 Creedmoor is 286 yards with muzzle velocity of 2900 fps

MPBR Difference: 15 yards. Not much!

At 500 yards the .270 has around 50 ft-lbs more energy than the 6.5 Creedmoor. Not much difference.

At 575 yards both max out deer killing energy at 1000 ft lbs according to JBM Ballistics comparisons.

At 325 yards the 6.5 will deliver elk killing energy of 1500 ft-lbs where the .270 delivers the same energy at 50 more yards of 375 ft-lbs. Again not much difference

The recoil of a .270 Rifle is around 19 ft-lbs and the 6.5 Creedmoor is around  4 ft-lbs less  at around 14.5 to 15 ft-lbs. 4 pound less is a big difference that is near 30% in favor of the Creedmoor.

The .270 Winchester is not as inherently accurate as the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Last but not least, my  Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor costs under $400 dollars. Wow! and shoots 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards.

Nosler introduced the AccuBond Long Range bullet  few years back. I just purchased the 142 g version with a G1 BC of .719. The 142 grain being heavier shoots around 2700 fps at the muzzle but the BC is so high that it cuts the air like a razor delivering over 1000 ft-lbs at nearly 700 yards for deer.

© 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

New 6.5 Creedmoor Bullet designs Edging Out .270 Winchester Performance?

Need a long range bullet that operates at all ranges? Both Nosler’s 142g Long Range AccuBond™ and Hornady’s Precision Hunter™ 143g ELD-X™ in 6.5 Creedmoor have come up with bullet Long Range designs that edge out the .270 Winchester bullets even though the .270 spitzer bullet is a bit faster at the muzzle. No we aren’t talking leaps here just that the 6.5 is better at delivered energy, bullet drop and wind deflection and yes sectional density, the key to penetration. For a given diameter science has added 10 grains to the oft touted .270 in 130 grain bullet for better sectional density at 140 grains. Does it matter much? Not hugely but it is a numbers game and it is about bullet construction and usefulness whether near or far and call it “all range hunting”. The ELD-X is said to hold its weight at close range by some folks and it is an interlock design. See the excellent article below from American Rifleman.org.

https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2015/12/21/tested-hornady-eld-x-bullet/ 

I am a big believer in the accuracy of the Hornady ELD-Xpanding however the Nosler AccuBond LR is bonded meaning the lead and copper are welded not just interlocked. I am a believer in Bonded bullets for game or all gilding copper as my Moose and Buffalo and deer attest, Particularly the Nosler AccuBond. Where this may matter is that Nosler’s LR AccuBond in close quarters, say 100 yards or less will perhaps hold on to more lead than the Hornady leaving less lead in your game at shorter ranges. Long range penetration by both bullets is controlled leaving most all of the bullets intact. Below is a You-Tube from a hunter that discusses penetration and how the AccuBond really holds tenaciously onto the lead.

It is like splitting hairs for some folks! Both Bullets are the very best in Long Range choices! For shorter ranges inside 100 yards, I am a Nosler AccuBond fan and I like the new gilding copper. See next article on Copper Bullets.

Get ready to hunt! Good Shooting!

 

 

F-Open Match Results 17-Jun-2017 with 6.5 Creedmoor by Jason Hale

I’m back to provide an update on the most recent 3×600 yard F-Open Match at Nashua Fish and Game.  This year I am doing a significant amount of testing, which doesn’t allow for getting truly comfortable with my set up, never the less, it was exciting.

To preface the discussion on results, I need to explain the challenges with the F-Open conversion to the Creedmoor barrel.  In preparation for the match and some practice time,  I changed out the barrel in my Savage 10 action to the Shilen 28″ stainless match 6.5 Creedmoor bull barrel.

Following the barrel swap, I installed the barreled action to my aluminum JPRifles AMCS chassis.  I was going to shooting in F-Class, Open, with the Nosler 140 gr 6.5mm/.264 Reduced Drag Factor ™ (RDF) bullets and due to the F-Class, open rules I could have a much heavier gun (22 lbs max).   That’s why I decided to move back to the heavier aluminum chassis.  The only downside was that when the rifle was mounted in the rest, I couldn’t use a rear bag that was a standard height.  I had to rig up a rear bag that was tall enough to be able to level the gun.  The PRS stock toe, is not as low as a true F-Open competition stock, but this isn’t a “built for competition” rig.  This is fun on a budget while learning to read the wind 🙂

I tuned my 6.5 loads easily with the Nosler RDF’s we are testing, getting 1/4 to 1/2″ groups while humming along comfortably at 2800 fps with 41.7gr of H4350.

RDF Bullet Banner

Very impressive, those RDF’s.  From my first experience with new gear, I was prepared with what to expect this time.  I was stayed focused and was pleasantly surprised, as the day went on I got better and better, despite the make shift gear.

As the day was not hot, I was able to keep the Leupold Gold Ring 7-42X55mm scope we are testing (seen above) dialed all the way to 42x and it was awesome to see the bull much more clearly and to use the target rings to aim for wind calls.

Here are my scores below for my first time in F-Open with new gear.

Match 1: 185-4

Match 2: 192-6

Match 3: 196-8

Final total: 573-18

The gun and Nosler 140 RDF’s were clearly shooting better than I in the beginning, but as I got the hang of the “free recoil” game, it all started to fall into place.  Free recoil is allowing the rifle to track rearward under recoil with some space in between you and the buttstock, very much like regular benchrest shooting.  I like F-Open, but for now, it’s just fun for me and a way to continue to learn the ways of the wind.  I think the only way to become more competitive in this class, you need first get better at wind reading and perhaps get a purpose built rifle/stock combination that was meant to be used in a rest.  I am more than happy with how this turned out.  I am super pleased with how the Nosler RDF’s were surprisingly easy to tune and shoot accurately!  I will be shooting this combination again July 8/9.

See you at the range!

© 2017

New Nosler RDF Bullet Initial Testing Begins by Jason Hale

In my previous article, I explained my intent with regards to load testing I wanted to complete in my current economy match rig, which is a Savage 10 repeater action, re-barreled with a Criterion 28” Stainless Select Match bull barrel chambered in .308 Winchester

Nosler supplied us with some brand spanking new .308 caliber 175 grain RDF bullets to review. Nosler intends to make this bullet a premier Competition bullet.

Quote from Nosler website

RDF Bullet – ( Reduced Drag Factor )

Flattest Shooting Match Bullet On The Market

For those wanting to squeeze the most performance from their competition rifle, Nosler’s new RDF (Reduced Drag Factor) match bullet line is the ideal choice. 

Nosler’s RDF line was designed from the ground up to provide exceptionally high BCs, which create the flattest trajectory and least wind drift possible. The keys to the RDF’s outstanding performance are Nosler’s meticulously optimized compound ogive and long, drag reducing boattail, which make handloading a snap and create an incredibly sleek form factor.  RDF bullets also have the smallest, most consistent meplats of any hollow point match bullet line, so there is no need to point or trim tips. 

Highest B.C.’s, smallest meplat, tighter groups – Nosler RDF.

Unquote

 

I was excited to see if the bullet would fit seamlessly into my current loading diet of Varget powder.  The accuracy results were pretty good, but at velocities that were a bit on the slow side unsurprisingly; great bullet, but as the data demonstrates, the bullet/powder combination choice may not be as accurate in my barrel.  I’m pretty sure that if I continue to experiment with powders that I would find one that would be extremely accurate with the Nosler RDF with my barrel.

175 Nosler RDF with Hodgdon’s Varget

Charge Weight Group Size Velocity
40.0 0.784” 2445
41.0 0.435” 2491
41.5 0.756” 2546
42.0 0.943” 2591
42.5 0.851” 2629

Bullet distance to rifling: 0.015”

Following this first test I decided to back off further from the rifling and at 0.045” off and way off loaded at mag length, and repeat some of the testing.

There was no discernible increase in accuracy. But what was missing here was speed! I needed a faster bullet to buck the wind. I an searching for a combination in my rifle to deliver a faster bullet too.

Testing with other powders is needed to fine tune the bullet and barrel combination and that is getting under way. Case in point, I had a bullet from another top manufacturer and was having a tough time getting sub-moa or better groups when I tried a certain powder it was like magic and the bullets grouped extremely well.

 

More to Come!

Selection and Testing of .308 Match Grade Bullets for F-TR Competition By Jason Hale

F-TR Rifle Competition is F-Class Competition where the TR is Target Rifle in .223 or .308 Winchester. At many matches, F-TR competitors are restricted to bi-pod, ruck or sandbags, though at the Nationals a front rest was allowed.

For me and what I’ve studied, its high mass high Ballistic Coefficient (BC) bullets that are most go-to projectiles (bullets).  You still have some folks shooting the 1:12 twist .308 Barrels that shoot between 155 gr and 175 gr projectiles, but mostly the heavy stuff.  Now at this point only one thing matters;

How does it perform with your chosen bullets IN YOUR GUN?  

My recently purchased 28” SS Criterion match barrel doesn’t seem to prefer the heavy 185 gr Berger’s, but I’ve only tried them with Varget, IMR 4064 is another option to try.  I like sticking with Varget since it works so well AND is more forgiving in variable temperatures.

If you’re just getting into competition shooting, you can’t go wrong with the 175 gr Sierra Match Kings.  You can load it to mag length. My factory barrel would shoot ¼” groups all day long.  The only downside is that when the wind is involved, it can get blown around quite a bit more than some of the other more recent slick BC offerings.  I am currently using the Sierra TMK’s and their shooting ½” at 100 yards and have a superior BC to the SMK.  So far I like them, but because the bullet profile is more secant, seating depth may be a hassle during tuning, but it didn’t take too long for me to find a depth that worked well and didn’t compress powder too much.

One item to point out, there is good reason that as a rule of thumb you don’t just try a new projectile which may be the same weight because if you seated them to the same length the depth into the case may change how compressed your charge is.  In addition, there are many other factors that are coming into play.  Spontaneous disassembly (BOOM) of your rifle and perhaps YOU is NOT GOOD.  It is wise to back off by 10% and then work back up while watching for signs of pressure.

Now for the true purpose behind this article, testing your loads.  Finding recommended loads out of a reputable loading manual is your job.  Here I will explain what I see in the data I’ve put together here.

 

The chart below represents testing and data gathered of bullets tested and corresponding results you may find of use.

Bullet Ballistic Coefficient Bullet OAL Base to Ogive COAL Seated to Lands Depth  Seated Into Case Previous Data/Comments
Berger 185 Juggernaut .283 G7 (Litz Verified) 1.342 0.698 2.923 0.424 Tried 1MOA best with Varget IMR 4064 an option
Sierra 175 Match King 0.495 G1 (averaged Sierra BC)

0.475 G1(Litz Verified)

0.243 G7 (Litz Verified)

1.230 0.661 2.838 0.397 2.800 (~0.040” off Lands)
Berger 168 Hybrid Target .264 G7

0.266 G7 (Litz Verified)

1.279 0.583 2.956 0.328 In Testing
Nosler 175 RDF .270 G7 1.330 0.651 2.950 0.385 In Testing
Sierra 175 TMK 0.523 G1

(Sierra BC)

0.522 G1 (Litz Verified)

0.267 G7

1.353 0.658 2.940 0.418 Current COAL 2.920 (0.020” off Lands)

Good groups 0.5 gr less than SMK due to pressure

 

Nosler 175 Comments/My Approach:

Looking at the Nosler 175 RDF’s you can clearly see that the tip is almost completely closed, which is awesome.  With Nosler’s claimed G7 BC of .270 which beats all of the other 175 gr projectiles, I can’t wait to try this in my current match rig.

Examining previous loads for the 175’s:

My current load for the 175 TMK is 43.0 gr of Varget (0.5 grains less than the SMK) which gets me to approximately 2600 fps.  Surface bearing length differences between the two may be the reasons which pressure signs are reached earlier in the TMK as it has a longer surface bearing length which ads friction.

Comments/Observations the Nosler’s 175 RDF:

One item that catches my attention is the length of the nose profile; it’s very long, which makes sense for a high bc bullet.  This makes it a great option for F-TR type shooters who single load and aren’t bothered by long rounds.  On the flip side, It also makes it difficult to load for magazine length without sacrificing case volume.  I may end up gaining some case volume over some of the other projectiles when loaded to the same length.  If pressures are marginal, I could eek out some addition velocity if accuracy wasn’t sacrificed.  One item examined for overall consistency is measurement of a 10 sample group for Base to Ogive length which can be associated with BC consistency.

 

Noslers numbers were right with the competition, including Berger.  Overall great observations for noslers new RDF.  I will likely start with Varget 8-10% below 43.0 gr and work up from there.  Since my rig is wired up for pressure readings, I’ll have some pressure trends to talk about soon.  I’ll be able to compare them to previous loads that I use as reference (Federal 175 gr Gold Medal Match and Black Hills 175 gr Match).

Comments on the Berger 168 Hybrid Target

There isn’t much to say about Berger other than two words consistency and expensive, or should I perhaps say expensive consistency.  Looking at the data compiled I may be able to drive this bullet to a higher velocity than the heavier 175’s without having to sacrifice anything.  The long nose profile may leave me some extra case capacity and the short bearing length may end up reducing friction from less contact with the bore.  In the end it all comes down to testing; if it doesn’t group, it doesn’t group.  Doing a lot of testing can sometimes be frustrating; but if you enjoy it, don’t give up.  Just don’t waste too much in components trying to get something to shoot.  You’ll know it when you’ve found a forgiving bullet.  This is why the Sierra Match King is still heavily used.  It’s just that easy to tune.  Alas, I am a tinkerer at heart and love a good challenge. I have access to Nosler 175’s for testing so we shall see if my rifle likes them. More later…

Good Shooting!

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor Reduced Drag Factor (RDF) Match Grade 140 grain from a Ruger American Predator Hunting Rifle – Initial Test by Ed Hale

First let me say that the bullets reload very easily as do most boat tail bullets. The left bullet is the 6.5 Creedmoor. See my previous article on the same subject.

I pulled up the Nosler 140 grain bullet table at https://load-data.nosler.com/load-data/65-creedmoor/ and found that 36 grains of RL-15 powder shot really well at 100 yards despite a right to left crosswind of up to 10-12 mph. I tried some IMR 4895 and grouped at 1.5 inches. Good group for Deer hunting not Competition!

I tried to shoot in wind lulls as much as I could. Below are 6 shots using RL-15 in a row about  2 minutes apart per shot with no concern for barrel heating/cooling.

 

The right group above was my aiming point where 4 rounds squeezed into a half inch and the left 2 shots were likely the result of wind drift to the left but similar height. Bullet speed was likely just shy of 2600 fps out a 22 inch barrel. The load data chart was based on a 24 inch barrel with a muzzle speed predicted at 2635 fps. I was using a Leupold VX-3 variable at max of 8 power. The Ruger AccuTrigger is set at 3 pounds and is very crisp. I would have like a bit more powerful scope but the results are very impressive from a $400 hunting rifle that shoots hunting bullets very well too. I have another 2 rifles in 6.5 Creedmoor coming. One for hunting and the other for Competition. But you will have to wait for them to arrive, I can’t say just yet. We will use Nosler RDF bullets exclusively in the competition rifle.

Good Shooting!

© 2017