Varget OCW

KeeblerArmy

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Aug 26, 2005
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Wanted to get some opinions on the results I got from today's range trip. I just invested in a large container of Varget and am trying to find what makes my rifle happy.

175 Gr SMK's
Federal Brass
Federal Match Primers
2.800(ish) COL

Here are the charges I tried out:
43.5
43.8
44.1
44.3
44.5
44.6
44.8
44.9
45.0

The reason why I walked up so carefully to 45.0 is a lot of people were reporting pressure signs at that charge weight. (I had found a 50 something page thread on .308 loads here and I recorded every load that had 175SMK's and varget to see what was working for people.) I didn't notice any pressure signs in the 45.0 range.

Now for the money shots:
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It looks like there is a round missing from 44.9 and I have NO FREAKING CLUE what happened to it
confused.gif


Here is what the bare cardboard looked like, if that looks any cleaner:

1204011501a.jpg

1204011501b.jpg


From what I see, the rifle really likes 43.5 & 43.8. Makes me think I should try 43.6 to see how that goes.

45.0 looks like it has potential too and I think I might reshoot that one.

So I kind of get the concept of OCW but still am not quite sure how to interpret the targets. Can anyone give some assistance here?

Thanks
 

MitchAlsup

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Feb 19, 2007
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Re: Varget OCW

43.8 looks somewhat promising, 44.3 is definately a scatter node.

I suggest that you work you way up to 45.5-6-7 range, lookiing for pressure signs, and that you might find the long range* 'node' in the mid 45s.

(*) the long range node is the accuracy node closest to the point where pressure signs raise their ugly head. This has the best velocity that is still maximally accurate, and thus longest range potential.
 

KeeblerArmy

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Re: Varget OCW

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: MitchAlsup</div><div class="ubbcode-body">43.8 looks somewhat promising, 44.3 is definately a scatter node.

I suggest that you work you way up to 45.5-6-7 range, lookiing for pressure signs, and that you might find the long range* 'node' in the mid 45s.

(*) the long range node is the accuracy node closest to the point where pressure signs raise their ugly head. This has the best velocity that is still maximally accurate, and thus longest range potential.</div></div>

Whoa really? My manual says 45.0 is the max charge and is also a compressed load. So since I haven't noticed any pressure signs, is it still safe to push it past the manual's max?

And if that is the case, how does ambient temperature factor into pressure? Because the weather I was shooting in today was WAY colder than I typically shoot in. ETA: I don't want to work up a load that goes off the chart during the winter and have it become unsafe during the summer.
 

doc76251

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Dec 5, 2003
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Virginia Beach, VA
Re: Varget OCW

FWIW your data is inconclusive.

Unless you have a very short or very long barrel you should find one ragged holes between 43.4 and 44.8 gr of powder. I dare say that the "double groups" that you are showing indicate that you need more time behind the trigger.

The other thing you NEED to realize is that OCW has NOTHING to do with "groups". OCW is about LOCATION. Even from your groups you can see that your group is beginning to wander up and right the faster you go. The trick is to find the spot where the group remains at the same POI for several charge weights. Once you do that then you can choose the powder charge based on the temp's shot in vs what you hunt/shoot in. This will give you a wide band to drive the boolet in regardless of the temp (within reason).

Looking for the best group at this stage is simply folly.

Cheers,

Doc
 

DernHumpus

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Oct 3, 2008
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Re: Varget OCW

What is the gun? I think all of those loads should be more accurate. Is it something like my SPS Tactical that has the hogue stock it may need upgrading before you see much better groups.

FWIW, I shoot 45.0 gr for that load, but seat them a little longer. 2.820s fit in my R700 SPS Tactical. I have not seen pressure signs.
 

turbo54

Mr. 7mm
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Dec 10, 2010
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Re: Varget OCW

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: KeeblerArmy</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: MitchAlsup</div><div class="ubbcode-body">43.8 looks somewhat promising, 44.3 is definately a scatter node.

I suggest that you work you way up to 45.5-6-7 range, lookiing for pressure signs, and that you might find the long range* 'node' in the mid 45s.

(*) the long range node is the accuracy node closest to the point where pressure signs raise their ugly head. This has the best velocity that is still maximally accurate, and thus longest range potential.</div></div>

Whoa really? My manual says 45.0 is the max charge and is also a compressed load. So since I haven't noticed any pressure signs, is it still safe to push it past the manual's max?

And if that is the case, how does ambient temperature factor into pressure? Because the weather I was shooting in today was WAY colder than I typically shoot in. ETA: I don't want to work up a load that goes off the chart during the winter and have it become unsafe during the summer. </div></div>

Really. I run 45.5gr Varget with a 175smk. I have tested these extensively, including letting my ammo bake in the sun on a 100° day before firing. No pressure. 46 however starts to leave a bit of ejector mark.

The manual's max is set where it is to essentially guarantee no rilfle will blow up. Some rifles are different than others. Some (a lot) can take over book max loads just fine.

My rifle does well at 45gr. It does GREAT at 45.5.

Today I stacked 7 rounds through one hole at 200 yards...I didn't think my rifle could do that.
 

KeeblerArmy

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Aug 26, 2005
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Re: Varget OCW

doc: Thanks for chiming in. I still have under 1000 rounds behind this rifle and haven't had any formal training. More dry firing and some time with a quality instructor would definitely be beneficial. Do you at least concur that something around the 43.8 range and possibly 45+ are loads worth pursuing?

Dern: It is a Remington 700 VS. No upgrades or anything. Badger mounts and a SWFA scope. I've never been able to get good 100 yard groups out of it, but I reckon the problem is the shooter. I would love to put the thing in a vice or have someone else drive it and see how it does.

turbo: I guess that is two votes for going over the manual. Will try it .1 grains at a time and see how it goes.