The only caliber I reloaded this month was .223. I reloaded 418 rounds.

It was slow going with a lot of case prep on the used brass. I also loaded up a few test rounds of some new bullets. These were Berger 75 and 80 grain VLDs, and the Berger 82 grain Long Range BT. With my target AR I get good results with factory ammo with 77 grain Sierra Match Kings but the Berger’s have higher ballistic coefficients and if I get as good as accuracy from them as the factory ammo and the expected velocities then I will have more wind resistant ammo than the factory loadings. The problem with the two heavier bullets is they take up so much space that if you load them to max over all length you can’t get as much powder in the case as you can if you load them to significantly over the max overall length. But if you load them over length then you have to feed them into the chamber one at a time by hand because they won’t fit in the magazine.

I decided to load my test round to spec with reduced charges and see what I end up with. I’m expecting it will be disappointing. I’m more excited about the 75 grain VLDs. They have a G1 BC of .421 compared to the 77 grain Sierra Match King’s .362. That’s significant. And with a slightly lighter bullet I might be able to get a little higher velocity as well.

I haven’t fired any of them yet. I’m going to wait until I go to Idaho again so I can do some accuracy testing at the same time as the chronograph tests at about 200 yards.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223: 3,138 rounds.

30.06: 756 rounds.

300 WIN: 1,591 rounds.

40 S&W: 80,258 rounds.

45 ACP: 2,007 rounds.

9 mm: 21,641 rounds.

**Total: 109,391 rounds.**

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Is much many more interesting. RE: 75 grainer Bergers (BC .412) vs 77 grain Sierra (BC .362) – I’ve long favored the 77 Sierras because in a moderate twist (1:9) they, while producing somewhat enlarged 200 meter groups that are not “a pattern,” they’re pretty much guaranteed to tumble upon impact, producing, shall we say, “more acceptable terminal ballistic results.” (A 200M zero with them produces a – roughly – 325 yard PBR, which for 5.56, ain’t too bad; it’s not 7.62X51 by any means, but….).

The higher BC of the Bergers is enticing because it portends higher velocity out well beyond 200M and, as such, extends the PBR. Might you have any data on measured velocities beyond 200M out to, say, 300M, and terminal ballistic performance?

What is your muzzle velocity, sight height above the bore, and PB target size?

Using my actual MV, 2812 fps, for the 77 grain SMK, a 200 meter zero, and a sight height of 2.625″ I get a PB target size of 4.26″ and a PB range of 230 meters.

Using my expected MV, 2850 fps, for the Berger 75 grain VLD, 200 meter zero, and a sight height of 2.625″ I get a PB target size of 3.87″ and a PB range of 230 meters.

Assuming the same PB target size, 4.26″, for the Berger bullet I get a zero of 220 meters and a PB range of 237 meters.

With my 77s, MV is 2920, sight height above bore is 2.85″, and I use 8.5X11.0 copy paper to determine max PBR (if I can keep all the holes somewhere on 8.5X11.0 out to 300M it’s doing what I want done; beyond that, it’s time for 7.62X51 or 7.62X63).

With a PB size of 11″ and your data for the 77s Modern Ballistics gives me a PB range of 331 meters and a zero of 284 meters. The windage, for a 10 MPH wind, at the PB range is 13.2″.

Swapping in the 75 grain VLDs and a MV of 2958 MB gives me a PB range of 344 meters and a zero of 294 meters. The windage at the PB range is 11.7″.

Assuming a 200 meter zero instead of a 11″ PB size MB gives me a PB size of 3.57 inches, and a 229 meter PB range with the 77s. The windage at the PB range is 5.9″.

With the 75 grain VLDs and the same PB size MB gives me a 204 zero and a 234 meter PB range. The windage at the PB range is 5.1″.

What

I’mmostly interested in is detonation of targets at Boomershoot. The 77s in my gun should give me a reliable detonation range of about 500 yards and the 75s of just past 600 yards.