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Getting double groupings in my 5 shot groups? HELP!

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  • Getting double groupings in my 5 shot groups? HELP!

    OK, I just loaded up my first loads. I'll start off by letting you all know what my load work up is. This is the first time I tried loading my own with the help of a knowledgable friend. I did everything that I was supposed to. All of the stuff I read from the loading books and Benchrest books. Only thing I did not do is turn the necks.

    Sierra 175 MKs
    Lapua 308 Brass (New)
    CCI BR2

    I loaded up a few charges and went to the range for some initial load development. Here is what I loaded with the above componants. I started at 43.5, then loaded 44.0, 44.5, and ended at 45.0. I loaded ten of each charge to be able to test two five shot groups of each. All brass is new and never fired. All case prep was done, debure/chamfer, all primers were seated by hand. All loads were seated to an OAL of 2.810 on a reccomendation from Robert at Sierra because when I measured my chamber I found out it was extremely long and there was no way for me to load anywhere near the lands. All loads were loaded on a Rockchucker supreme press and seated with Forester Ultra seating die. the necks were sized with the Forester neck sizer only.

    This is what happened when I shot my 5 shot groups, the day was fairly clear, good sunlight. Light wind, not much to worry about. Maybe 3-5 at the most. If that at times. Temp was 60-65 degrees. Alt is 1200, all shot at 100 yards off a rest. No mirage.

    I started with the first 5 shot group of the lowest charge of Varget at 43.5, the first 1 was dead center, the next about 3/4 inch to the right at 2 o clock, and so was the third. Then the fourth went back into the first hole dead center then the last into the other group to the right.

    It seamed like most of the day I was getting these 2 shot in one hole and three shots in another hole groups all day long. It happened almsot with every load. I thought it was me so I watched myself to see if I was flinching or anticipating the shot and I was not. I checked my breathing and everything ele to make sure it was not me causing this pattern. I even shot 2 5 shot groups with Fed Gm and got one ragged hole like I usually do if I do my part. So I am fairly sure it was not me causing the 2 shot plus three shot 2 hole groups. I tried the rest 0of the loads up to 45 and they all seemed to grou[ like this except for one of the 5 shot groups from the 45 charge group and one from the 44.5 charge group which both went into one ragged hole about 1/2 inch wide. I kept thinking it was the wind and I was missing the signs but when I shot the federal gold medal stuff I shot fine like normal. So I have no idea what was causing this 2 and 3 sot double groupings. I think it is something to do with the load since I pretty much ruled everything else out.

    I also had loaded up some 168 MKs with IMR 4064 using the same Lapua with BR2s. Out of all the 4 different charges I loaded with the 4064 there were two of those that showed a similar characteristic of the double groupings, but not as pronounced, so I can not say that they did the same for sure. It could have been me.

    Does anyone have any idea what this could be or what could have caused this? Is there something that I did or did not do that caused this to happen? Is something normal that happens sometimes with loads?

    Is it possable that I got a inconsistant pound of Varget? I have heard of others getting problems with inconsistant results with recent batches of Varget? Did I just get a bad batch or is this something that I did or can fix?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
    Formerly known as Lefty-LongShot

  • #2
    I am not a reloader, but from how you are explaining things and shooting at only 100 meters, I think its most likely something you are doing and not the rds.

    First, you don't say, but if you are using a scope, make sure you are getting the same sight pic. A common problem is with your eye relief and a shadow effect in the scope. If you are getting a slight low left handed shadow effect, your rds will strike to the right.

    Just a thought...hope it helps.
    Life's Tough, but it's a lot tougher if you are stupid.
    John Wayne


    • #3
      It's nothing to worry about. A lot of factory rifles are finicky about reloads and a lot of experimentation has gone into the Federal GM over the years to develop a loading that will usually work well in just about any rifle. It's tough to beat but it can be done. You'll learn a lot in the process and knowledge is a good thing.

      You may want to try different primers first. Federal, Winchester, Remington, take your pick. If none of those work for you then your rifle just doesn't like Varget. That is not really unusual either, I've tried it in a few rifles and never really had good results with it.

      So if your rifle doesn't like Varget then there are about twenty other powders that are suitable. I would say Reloader 15 would be a good one, or Vihta-Vouri N540 or N150. Reloader has always been a favorite of mine in medium capacity cases.
      ?Laws are like a spider web, in that it snares the poor and weak while the rich and powerful break them.
      Solon, ancient Greece


      • #4

        Check the following, and get back to me:

        Remove the bolt and see if both lugs are bearing evenly. The best way to do this is to degrease the rear faces of the lugs, and mark them with a Sharpie marker.

        Then chamber an empty case, and remove the bolt and see if the ink on both rear faces of the bolt is evenly scored. If you see that one lug shows contact, and the other doesn't, there is your likely problem.

        The lower pressure loads may not slam the short lug like higher pressure loads, which could explain why some loads are working and some aren't.

        Optimal Charge Weight Load Development...


        • #5

          I would suggest that you fire the first 2 rounds then get up and walk away from the rifle and let it cool back down then try firing 2 more shots and see if the group spreds out. This will test 2 things......your focus and the temp. affect on the rifle. If the shots are in the same hole then I would suspect the temp. or you focus is the issue. If the group is the same then I would use the previous suggestions about the bolt and maybe contact Celt for his opinion. Just my 2 cents worth.



          • #6

            I have the same problem w/ Fed GMM - super tight groups, in two seperate places. Let someone else shoot the rifle, you will likely find the problem. Make sure you control any flinch, and what that sight picture. Also check the scope for parallax. I could be the ammo, but eliminate the easy variables 1st. Have a bench rester test the rifle if you can.
            My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher.

            -Socrates (470-399 B.C.


            • #7
              I think you started loading on the fast side.There is a posibility that your rifle likes a milder load?
              Also I dont know the Temp there but if is as hot as here in FL you canot start as high as the guys up north..
              IMHO, i could be wrong..
              Η ΤΑΝ Η Ε*Ι ΤΑΣ


              • #8
                I don't know if its your powder, but if that is what you want to experiment with, try IMR 4895.


                • #9
                  By the way, that powder is more for lighter bullets (e.g., 168 gr.)so take it real easy and start low with the charge.


                  • #10
                    I dont think it is me or the rifle. All other loads shoot fine. All factory loads shoot fine. Everything has shot pretty well in this rifle. This is the first I have seen of this double grouping thing.

                    When I shot the 2 five shot groups I shot them at seperate times throughout the day. I shot one in the morning and one later in the day. I started lower with the charges, at 43.5 and worked up to the 45.0

                    No pressure sifgns at all and at the higher charge loads the rifle shot a little better. I did get 2 5 shot groups under 1/2 inch with the varget. But the rest were the double groupings. I also show regular factory stuff that day and it all shot fine. I ruled out pretty mucxh everything besides the ammo. That is why I was asking if it could be the load. I tested all the other veriables during the day.

                    Green, I will try that test and let ya know what happens.

                    Could seating dpeth have a factor in this? I am seating pretty far off the lands becuase my chamber is so long and I cant even seat them deap enough to come close to the lands, so I just loaded them all at the reccommended length that Robert at Sierra gave me.
                    Formerly known as Lefty-LongShot


                    • #11
                      OK, I just got off the phone with Paul one of the bullet techs at Sierra and he is thinking that it sounds like a seating depth problem possably. He suggested I play with the depth and bring em out a bit and try those. So I'll try loading those tonight and shooting them tomorrow.
                      Formerly known as Lefty-LongShot


                      • #12

                        That does sound like it could be an issue. I hadn't noticed that you were going with 2.810". That's pretty short, and is likely crushing the 45 grain charge of Varget, altering the burn characteristics.

                        Load out to around 2.865 to 2.875 inches and you may see a marked improvment.

                        Keep us posted.

                        Optimal Charge Weight Load Development...


                        • #13
                          I just loaded up another batch of 44.5, 45.0, 45.5, and 46.0 of Varget with the 175s in the last of my unfired new lapua brass and seated them all to 2.875 before I even saw your post. I hope this helps. I will see tomorrow if it does not rain. I'll post the results.

                          I noticed the 45 and 46gr loads were pretty close to the top of the case. I did not notice that last time for some reason. At least with my extra long throat I wont be as nervous about causing higher pressures being close to the lands, since I couldt touch the lands if I wanted to lol
                          Formerly known as Lefty-LongShot


                          • #14
                            It wasn't mentioned, or I missed it, but what type of rifle/stock are we talking about? If it's a factory Remington with a HS Precision stock I'd say it was a bedding problem. I had the same problem with my 300WM 700P until I had Celt bed it and then there were no problems. Just a thought if everything else is tight.



                            • #15

                              If seating the bullet out further doesn't solve your problem, then follow Rob's advice.

                              I had a similar issue with a Remington Sendero chambered in 300RUM sitting in the HS Precision Varmint-style stock. One group dead on and one group low right, but always the same type of groups. A little bedding compound and a couple hours work = problem solved.

                              Be careful with your reloads loaded out to 2.875...even with a long throat, you may still encounter some pressure issues at that lengths. Just watch for signs of excessive pressure when shooting in terms of difficult extraction, damaged brass, etc.

                              ORD out...
                              Better pointed bullets than pointed speeches. - Otto von Bismark (1815-1898