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gitano 04-20-2013 01:42 PM

Range Rpt - 8x57 Rem Classic with ANVBs
I'm getting ready to hunt bears in Prince William Sound (first week of May, God willin' and the creek don't rise), and I've decided to take the Remington M700 Classic in 8x57 and use the ANVB (Ain't No Varmint Bullet). Hey, if I'm gonna make 'em, I oughtta use 'em.

I also took the relatively new (unfired) Savage .223 bolt gun with some "factory" 55-grain FMJ ammo, and some handloads.

I REALLY have to get the 8x57 1) sighted in, and 2) a reasonable load worked up for the ANVB.

I wanted to use W748 powder, as that gave good velocity and pressure values with a timing node, but when I went to "the cupboard" the cupboard was bare of W748. Of course no one has ANY powder these days because of all of the stupid panic buying. So, I had to use I3031. It actually gave better "paper" numbers than W748, but I have yet to have the ACTUAL performance of I3031 come even CLOSE to what QL says it will do. Nonetheless, I HAVE I3031. I DON'T have w748.

The timing node with a 24" barrel is achieved with something around 50.0 grains of I3031. That yields a paper-whipped MV of 3204 f/s at a max pressure of 49,000 PSI for the 125-grain ANVB. I loaded up 3 rounds of 50.9, 3 with 51.0 and 4 with 51.1 grains. "Normally" I would have used 0.3-grain increments, but I had some faith that this was going to be "close", because I had very precise measurements of the rifle and cases.

Keeping the story short, I decided to go the public range that I have come to seriously dislike. The reasons for going there were that it is approaching "breakup" here, and even those few places on public land that I might consider setting up, there is no chance of that at this time of year. Second, I was kinda in a hurry, and didn't want to fiddle around trying to find a "make do" place to shoot. Third, I needed this session to "work" for getting the rifle sighted in properly and finding a load for the ANVB. I didn't want to 'half-donkey' it and not get conclusive data. So, I ended up at the public range.

Of course it started off on the 'wrong foot', as it always does nowadays at this range. There was something 'going on' with the local cops, and they had most of the range occupied. The good news was, it was nearly 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and they were wrapping up. Secondly, the only range available to me was one in which the minimum range to set a target was 50 yd. If you could see the place you'd see how STUPID that is. Nonetheless, that was 'reality'.

I had not wanted to waste ANVBs in sighting in the scope, so I had loaded up 10 rounds with Hornady 125-grian HPs. I would use those for "getting on paper", then fine tune with ANVBs. Normally, I would start that process at 25 to 35 yd, depending on where the "paper-whipping" said the bullet path crossed the line of sight. Of course, I couldn't set the target short of 50 yd, so that's where I started.

Here is a picture of the target. (I used the same target for all the 8x57 shooting.) In this picture, you can see a tight group, one high hole, and two near the bulls-eye.

You'll see numbers 1 through 6 in the picture. 1,2, and 3 are the first shots after bore-sighting. Number 4 - up at the top left in the number "3" - is the fourth shot BECAUSE I MOVED THE BLASTED SCOPE IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. :angry: Number 5 is moving it back, and number 6, down in the red bull, is the last shot at 50 yd.

This group is the next three shots - 7,8, and 9 - at 100 yd, still with the Hornady 125s. Certainly not 'awe inspiring', and a little unexpected based on the 4-shot group at 50 yd seen in the previous picture.

The size of the 50-yd group was 1.607 minutes of an angle. The size of the 100-yd group was 2.943 minutes of an angle. That is ALMOST twice the MOA size. Sumpin' funny going on there. I think they might be "waking up" :MOGRIN: (as opposed to the "going to sleep" that some people propose bullets do).

Maybe I should make something clear lest someone unfamiliar with what "minute of an angle" really means.

Using the term "minute of an angle" (MOA) standardizes a group's size independent of range. So, the actual size of the group at 50 yd was 0.767 inches. That is 1.607 minutes of an angle. The size is "normalized" with respect to range. Comparing groups sizes in minutes of an angle allows one to disregard the range at which the group was shot. Therefore, if one shoots a 1.607 MOA group at 50 yd, one would expect the same firearm to shoot the same bullet from the same rifle using the same load into the same MOA-SIZED group regardless of the range.

To complete the explanation: NOT compensating for range in this specific example means that the 50-yd group size of 0.767 INCHES "should" have produced a group size IN INCHES, at 100 yd, of approximately 2 times 0.767", or 1.607". You'll note that this is the same number IN MOAs that I reported for the 50-yd group. That's because 1 MOA at 100 yd equals approximately 1 inch - actually 1.047 inches. Therefore, the 100-yd group size in MOA units, is 1.83 (almost twice) as big as the it "should" have been if "something" wasn't "amiss".

So I started shooting the ANVBs hoping 'things' might get better. They didn't.

By the way... the ANVB cartridges were loaded to place the bullet's caliber-diameter-ogive 0.050" off of the lands. Unfortunately, that meant a seating depth of only 0.191". That is only 59% of a caliber. I prefer not to have less than 67% of a caliber of the bullet in the neck of the case. Therefore, I crimped - using Lee's "Factory Crimp" - all of the ANVB cartridges. The Hornady 125 HPs were seated 0.300" deep, which meant that they were approximately 0.110 inches off of the lands. I'll come back to that in my conclusions.

Here is the first group of three of the ANVBs. The charge is 50.9 grains of I3031.

As you can see, it ain't 'pretty'. Group size is 3.102 MOA.

Here is the next 3-shot group. Charge is 51.0 grains of I3031. Group size is 2.133 MOA.

Here's the last 3-shot group of ANVBs. Charge is 51.1 grains of I3031. Group size is 3.656 MOAs.

By the way, the line drawn around the bullet holes includes one of the Hornady 125s, and excludes one of the ANVBs. The hole in the RED bull is the Hornady, the hole slightly lower and left is the ANVB.


As you can imagine, I'm not too happy with this. There are some interesting "things" to note:
1) The ANVB and the Hornady shot similarly-sized groups even though;
-a) They had radically different seating depths, 0.050 and 0.110 off the lands.
-b) They had different charges, 50.0 for the Hornady and 50.9 to 51.1 for the ANVB.

2) The groups I shot several weeks ago at 50 yd at my house using the ANVB from the 8mm SLT were comparable to the 50 yd group of the Hornady yesterday.

3) The Hornady 100yd groups were TWICE as big as they "should" have been based on the 50-yd groups.

Obviously, the "jump" caused by being far off of the lands, isn't having much of an effect on group size. The 8mm Steyr LONG THROAT meant a big "jump", and the 50-yd groups were essentially the same size as these 50-yd groups. Even the difference of about 60 thousandths in the ones shot from the Remington using different bullets produced very similar group sizes at 100 yd.

Here's what I think I am going to do:

1) I'm going to load the ANVBs to 2/3rd of a caliber (0.216") seating depth. This MAY make a difference.
2) I'm going to continue to crimp. I THINK this will make ignition more uniform.
3) I'm going to weigh the jackets before selecting a core weight, and thereby do my best to make the between-bullet-weights as uniform as I can. I DON'T THINK this matters, but I don't like the current variability in weights.
4) Use a different powder than I3031. I've never been able to get that powder to produce small groups. I wouldn't change this if I didn't THINK it WOULD matter.
5) I MAY shoot at 50, 75, 100, and 150 to see if I can figure out what's happening between 50 and 100 yd, AND to see if it is getting worse as the range increases.
6) I will continue to load Hornady 125s just to have a "standard" bullet to compare so that I don't incorrectly think a problem is unique to the ANVB.

I took my chronograph to the range, but I so hate having to "deal with" all the hoohah at the range, I decided not to fiddle with it. I can get chrono data "out behind my garage".


By the way... The fact that the factory Hornady bullets "opened up" at 100 yd, AND that the 50-yd group with the ANVB out of the 8mm SST is essentially the same size, gives me confidence that the "issue" isn't my hand-made procedures or bullets. Gotta be something else.


drinksgin (deceased) 04-20-2013 02:01 PM

Re: Range Rpt - 8x57 Rem Classic with ANVBs
Into the best laid plans!

gitano 04-20-2013 02:09 PM

Re: Range Rpt - 8x57 Rem Classic with ANVBs
All things considered - new HAND-MADE jacketed bullets, new rifle, new load - I'm not dis-heartened. I am disappointed in the results, but I THINK/HOPE I can get it shooting smaller groups.

One of the primary reasons I chose the 8x57 is because I don't have the 8mm SST (Steyr SHORT Throat) completed yet, and the throat on the 8mm SLT (Steyr LONG Throat) is LONG and much longer than on the Remington 8x57.

However, 3" groups are not because of "jumping" the throat. There's something else amiss. I'm hoping that "tightening" everything else up INCLUDING changing the powder, will shrink the group sizes substantially. If it does, I can then tweak the seating depth to fine tune the load.


j0e_bl0ggs 04-21-2013 01:28 PM

Re: Range Rpt - 8x57 Rem Classic with ANVBs
A possible loose scope?

Hope that a powder change will give a better result!

gitano 04-21-2013 04:54 PM

Re: Range Rpt - 8x57 Rem Classic with ANVBs
No loose scope. Had enough of those in recent years to check that early on.

I too hope powder change will make a significant difference.

I spent a few hours making 23 more bullets as close to exactly 125 grains as I could. Considering the printed tip, that's a pain in the rear. The best I can do is a bit better than plus or minus half a grain.

The variability in the jacket weight is a bigger problem than I anticipated. It's easy to get the cores to essentially identical weights. But "shaving" off the jacket to reach a specific weight turns out to be impractical. If I wasn't using the printed tips, I could seat the core, then drill the core until the exact weight was achieved, then form the tip. Having to seat the tip complicates the process such that, as I said, within half a grain is the best I can do.

All of that said, I am quite certain that half a grain variation in weight is completely insignificant. What I believe is definitely significant is the exact same dimensions on the bullets. That effects seating depth, which in turn effects pressure and timing. These freshly made bullets will all have exactly the same "form factor".

As soon as I get the rest of the bullets completed, I'll load some more. I have to select a new powder.


recoil junky 04-21-2013 10:14 PM

Re: Range Rpt - 8x57 Rem Classic with ANVBs
My "gut" is telling me that's too much powder. Try 48.5-49 grains of I3031. 50 grains should be getting close to being compressed?

Do you have any Benchmark or H335 or I4064 or even (gag me with a fork) Varget

I've never had any luck with I4064 or W748.


j0e_bl0ggs 04-21-2013 11:52 PM

Re: Range Rpt - 8x57 Rem Classic with ANVBs
Guessed that you would have checked but thought it worth a mention!
Had a little problem with a Meopta scope recently which was not allowing any better grouping from a rimfire, turned out it was a problem with the elevation and windage adjusters on the internal tube. Apparently the adjusters had at some point been screwed to the limit and caused some burring...

Looks like you will just have to sit down and grade those jackets!

gitano 04-22-2013 02:08 PM

Re: Range Rpt - 8x57 Rem Classic with ANVBs
RJ - You are correct, it is a compressed charge. However, I don't comprehend "too much powder". I regularly load cases with "too much powder" and get excellent results.

I do have Benchmark, I4064, and Varget. (Why don't you like Varget? I neither "like" it or dislike it. Just curious why you don't.) While I know many others have, I've never had any luck getting small groups from I4064. I am tempted to use Accurate 4064 though. I haven't used W-748 before, and I don't have any H335. I'd like to get some of that. Another powder I would like to get is A-2520. It looks good 'on paper' (QuickLoad).

Here is a list of powders I have in hand:
Accurate 2495
Accurate 4064
Accurate 5744
Alliant BlueDot
Alliant Bullseye
Alliant Herco
Alliant Power Pistol
Alliant Reloder-10x
Alliant Reloder-15
Alliant Reloder-17
Alliant Reloder-19
Alliant Reloder-22
Alliant Unique
Hodgdon 110
Hodgdon 414
Hodgdon 4227
Hodgdon 4350
Hodgdon 4831
Hodgdon Benchmark
Hodgdon BL-C2
Hodgdon Li'lGun
Hodgdon Pyrodex RS
Hodgdon Varget
IMR 3031
IMR 4064
IMR 4227
IMR 4320
IMR 4350
IMR 4759
IMR 7828
IMR TrailBoss
Ramshot Hunter
Winchester 296
Winchester 760

Here is a list of powders I am considering, based on QL's output. Merging the two lists, those in yellow are on both.
Accurate 2495
Accurate 2520
Accurate 4064
Accurate 4350
Alliant Reloder-10x
Alliant Reloder-15
Alliant Reloder-17
Hodgdon BL-C2

Hodgdon H322
Hodgdon H380
Hodgdon H414
Hodgdon H4895
IMR 3031
IMR 4320

IMR 4831
IMR 4895
Ramshot BigGame
Ramshot Hunter
Ramshot TAC
Vihtavuori N135
Winchester 748
Winchester 760

A reader might ask, "What criteria puts a powder on the list for consideration?"

"That powder can provide a charge that is near the top of the list in muzzle velocity while still being below the max chamber pressure and have a load density (% of case capacity) that is between 85% and 105%."

For the above powders in consideration whether I have them in hand or not, the following charts are the output of QL when I analyze the cartridge using the barrel length and chamber dimensions of the specific Rem 700, the ANVB, and the specific seating depth. The first table is the data sorted by "Load Density" (the percentage of the capacity of the case filled by the powder charge - WITH THE BULLET SEATED). I have fixed the MV at 3200 f/s (I'll explain that later), and allowed the other variables to 'float' where they may. The highlighted ones are the ones I have on hand.

The load densities in the first column after the powder name.

In this next table I have allowed all variables to 'float' within the following constraints: Max pressure can't exceed 52,500 PSI, (the action could HANDLE much more, but I don't care to beat my rifle up), and the load density must fall between 65 and 105%. The table is sorted by MV from highest to lowest.

Again, and from here on out, the yellow ones are the ones I have on hand. Note the MVs. Those near 3200 f/s are why I chose that figure in the last analysis. It's probably as high as I can expect from this rifle/cartridge system. I don't intend to consider any powder that doesn't yield a MV of at least 3000 f/s.

The following tables are the same data as above, but sorted for a different variable in order to illustrate the significance of that variable. The next one is sorted by Load Density:

The following data is sorted on the percentage of powder burnt in the barrel before the bullet exits. I prefer that figure be 100%. That said, one of the most precise rifles I own has a "burnt in barrel" percentage of only about 90%.

This last table is the data sorted on "Timing"- the time it takes the bullet to exit the muzzle. This figure is compared to values calculated from the equations of Optimal Barrel Timing Theory. For a 24" barrel, a timing node occurs at 1.022 ms. Experience has shown me that, based on group size, the REAL timing node occurs at somewhere between 0 and 3% "down" in "typical", "hunting" bolt-action rifles with wooden stocks. Highlighted in the following table are timing figures that are in the range I would consider.

After all of this analysis (which took WAY more time to present than to do), it looks to me like Alliant 10x is the next powder I will try. It has a "good" load density of 97%; the MV is acceptable at 3150 f/s; it burns 100% of the powder in the barrel; the pressure is higher than I would like at teh 52,500 PSI ceiling, but it is acceptable; and the timing is right on the theoretical timing node, meaning that I can move up or down with ease to fine-tune the charge and seating depth IF it turns out that this powder gets me "close" to 1.5 MOAs.

j0e_bl0ggs - I don't think the scope is the problem. I think variability in the ANVB is ONE problem. Of course if that were the ONLY problem, the 125 Hornadys would have shot better at 100 too. I have spent a lot of time making 20+ more bullets. There was a lot of trouble associated with getting "things" right if using the printed tips.

You may recall that when I did the terminal performance tests using the 8mm SLT, it was clear that the tips were coming loose from the bullet while it was still in the barrel. I am convinced that is caused by the "jump" across a "long" throat. Again, if this was the ONLY problem, the Hornady bullets wouldn't have performed badly at 100 because they don't have tips to come off.

Nonetheless, I am eliminating the tips for this preliminary load workup in which I am trying to find a powder that I like. Once I have a powder selected, I will go back to fine tuning the swaging process to see if I can get the printed tips to "behave".

For the time being, I am focused on getting the finished weights of the bullets as uniform as I can. Without the tips, I am getting them within plus or minus 0.1 grains. I HOPE that, and seating them to at least 2/3rd of a caliber (0.216"), will get the groups to tighten up. As I said, I intend to continue crimping.


drinksgin (deceased) 04-22-2013 03:38 PM

Re: Range Rpt - 8x57 Rem Classic with ANVBs
Several look good,7 10x, 4895, benchmark stand out.
In several things, blc2 looks good, but the timing is off a bit.
Let's see how it works out.

gitano 04-22-2013 10:52 PM

Re: Range Rpt - 8x57 Rem Classic with ANVBs
I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate chronographs. I have wasted more bullets trying to get chronographs to work than I think I have shot at animals. At the moment, it's all I can do to be civil. I am VERY close to buying one of those new "proximity" type chronos for $275 and driving my truck repeatedly over the CED one that I have. $%^&*# I AM #$%^&*#& off!

So... I was readying for another bout with the #@$%^&* chronograph and I decided to check the 'scope rigidity again. #$%&! It took a pretty good torque to move it, but when I checked the tightening bolts, they were definitely loose enough to move with recoil. I suppose that's good news really. At least I have a VERY likely cause for the "mystery" of 1.6 MOA at 50 and 3 MOA at 100.

I did learn something else. I can't leave the tips off and have the meplat be the same diameter as it would be if they were on. They won't feed. The edge of the meplat catches the leading edge of the feed ramp. It isn't even a close call where I could use a finger to 'coax' it along. The meplat will have to close up or I will have to install a point.

About the only thing I did do was see that the 10x was a "pleasant" shoot. Tomorrow I will try again to get some chrono data. If I am frustrated tomorrow, I'm going to buy one of these:

Y'know what? I am so ticked off, I just bought one right now. I went to the site so I could copy the URL, and just decided that I have wasted too much of my life and blood pressure to put up with the **** that ALL of the other chronographs need. $291.25 delivered to my P.O. Box.

I'll report on it as soon as I get it. If they mail it tomorrow, I could have it by Friday.


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