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I did get a chance to spend the afternoon yesterday at the range. Spring has sprung. It was 40+ degrees. I had the place mostly to myself while I was there, except for the father and son who were there for about an hour, wrestling with a Remington rifle in .223. He was having lots of trouble getting his ammo to chamber and extract. I thought perhaps it was a dirty chamber issue. It wasn’t until I was on my way home that the thought occurred to me that I think it was a .223 vs 5.issue. Some of his ammo I looked at was head stamped Lake City. If it was a tight chamber and he was trying to use 5.56, that could have been the culprit, right?

So on to the range report. I had two 6.5X55 loads and three 41 Mag loads I wanted to run over the chrony. I have been trying Varget in a couple of different calibers. Meters well, easy to work with, good versatility. I have noticed that it hasn’t given me great statistics, but some of the accuracy results have been encouraging.

’96 Oberndurf Mauser – I had to put the chrony out to 17 feat due to shade from the roof of the range. Velocities are not corrected to muzzle.
140 grain Hornady SP, 33 grain Varget, Winchester primers, Privi brass.
Average = 2155, ES = 58, SD = 19.9
Not great numbers but decent accuracy.

When I bumped it up to 34 grains it really improved accuracy, though the numbers got much worse.
Average = 2255, ES = 120, SD = 43.4
Nothing to write home about in numbers, except that it gave me great accuracy. Here is the best group of the day at 50 yards:




In 41, the first load is the Trailboss loading gleamed from the favorite handloads thread on another board. Chrony is now at 12 feet from muzzle.
215 grain TVB SWC, 6.5 grains of Trailboss, CCI standard primer, Mixed brass.
Ruger Blackhawk 4 5/8 barrel
Average = 819.8, ES = 52, SD 14.8
Accuracy was acceptable at just over 2 inches at 10 yards. Very light recoiling round. A cream puff in the Ruger.

The next two loads are using some “off brand” lead bullets I found real cheap. I am saving the rest of my TVB’s for the good stuff. The one’s I have are of the 410549 mold variety. They are top heavy, or “cab forward” as I like to call them. There is less inside the case than the TVB design. Load data for these next two loads were found in the Lyman 47 manual.
220 grain LSWC, 10.0 grains Unique, PMC brass, CCI standard primers
Average = 1158, ES = 34, SD = 15.5
Good accuracy. Very stiff recoil. Definitely not like the Trailboss load. I like this load but I only have another 100 of these bullets and don’t plan on going looking for more. I will load the rest of them with this load.

Lastly is the 2400 load. Very stiff recoil and accuracy was not as good as the Unique load.
220 grain LSWC, 18 grains 2400, Midway brass, CCI standard primer.
Average = 1235.8, ES = 129, SD = 45.2
This load might tighten up with magnum primers but it is pretty heavy to begin with. I am not going to put any more effort in to this load. I need to start with the good TV bullets I have on hand.

It was fun to play with the Ruger, shooting at 100 yards with the Unique load. Using a shot up milk jug, I was able to push it around the backstop a bit. Not every shot but it was encouraging to see I could hit it. I am really going to have fun with this gun.
 

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Interesting..

I was a little surprised to see how much Unique you use in the 41 mag, as I'm only using 8 grains with a 210 gr SWC . So, I pulled my (new to me) Ken Waters Pet Loads book out to see what it says.

In that book, it lists for 222 grain bullets, 3 different levels of Unique: 8, 9 and 10 grain. Out of those three, it lists the 8 grain as being the second most accurate lead bullet load.

The most accurate lead bullet load is 8.0 grains Unique with a 210 lead SWC.

The notes listed for the 10 grain Unique, 222 gr lead load only says that it's the highest velocity lead bullet load.

Just food for thought.. I'm not trying to pick on your loads!
 

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Your points are well taken, Carl. I would like to further explain those last two loads. Below is a pic of the bullet used. The 215 grain TVB SWC is on the right. The bullet used for the above loads is on the left. 220 grains but with less bullet in the case.



Here is the picture of the load data for this bullet type, pulled from Lyman #47. Notice the max Unique and 2400 loads.

 
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10 Grains of Unique puts the load where I would want to have my Bisley .41 Mag available. Stout hunting load, indeed. Good stuff and plenty powerful for shooting gongs out to 200 yards.... :)

Shaun, just imagine a Bisley Hunter Model in .41 Mag with those wonderful front sights that interchange....7.5" Barrel and those higher horsepower loads... ~ Just Giz making suggestions about how to go broke buying .41 Mags :p

giz
 

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Forester,
Again, I'm not picking on your loads at all.. The reason I load my 41 mag down a bit is because I'm shooting out of a 4" Model 57.

If I go much above 9 grains Unique, the shooting experience is greatly diminished.

Also, something I should probably point out is that the Pet Loads book is just that.. pet loads. It's not exactly the same as looking in a reloading manual. It doesn't give the max or min loads. It's more a notebook of loads that Ken Waters has tried and thought enough about to keep. The nice thing about this book is that it takes a lot of the guess work out of things.. You already know where the 'sweet spot' is.

By the way, my Lyman 48th shows a starting point using Unique of 7.8 gr, with a 215 LSWC. Just one edition later, and it's dropped .3 grains for a starting load. Go figure!
 

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Carl, In no way did I take your comments as negative. I posted the pics so that people could see the type of bullet used because I know that the Unique load, especially, is hotter than average for the other types of bullets where more of the base is inside the case.

Carl, I would want you, or anyone for that matter, to call something to my attention if they thought it was dangerously outside the norm. I value your thoughts, really.
 

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Oh, I didn't think your load was dangerous. Far from it.. I was just talking.. sharing what I do with 41 mag.

I think you're doing it right, and doing a great job of it!

And, it shows you're thinking it through. For instance, comparing the two bullets and how far they will go into the case is a good example.

That's one particular area I have seen that gives me doubts on a starting load. How to compensate for the seating depth. All I see are OAL stats; not seating depth.

By the way, that bullet on the left looks like a pretty good one. Should be accurate. Did you say you can't get more?
 

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By the way, that bullet on the left looks like a pretty good one. Should be accurate. Did you say you can't get more?
I suppose I could if I searched around. They came as part of a trade I made with a member of another board. I had some 40 caliber bullets I couldn't use and I traded them off, along with some cash, for a bunch of 41 caliber bullets. Most were jacketed but he had two bags (200) of these lead bullets. They were made by an outfit called Bullets Unlimited. Not sure if they are still in business.

I likely will stick to Jessie's (Bulletman) TVB semi wadcutters for most of my future cast loads, although I always keep an eye out for good deals.
 
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If there was no sign of difficult extraction or the primers flattening back, then the load is not something to worry about ~ in that Ruger of yours. It might be too stout for a steady diet in a S&W and would get your attention in a shorter barreled 57 or 58 :shock:

But my guess is it was a bit of a hotter load and you prolly had a big grin on shooting it :mrgreen: The tale is in the Chrono and it is a good and stout load....I always look at the Chrono data to tell me if the companies are changing formulations. The powders that they produced 20 years ago are not always the same as todays productions. Sometimes they are reducing the loads for more then just lawyer reasons...

giz
 

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Gizamo said:
If there was no sign of difficult extraction or the primers flattening back, then the load is not something to worry about ~ in that Ruger of yours. It might be too stout for a steady diet in a S&W and would get your attention in a shorter barreled 57 or 58 :shock:

But my guess is it was a bit of a hotter load and you prolly had a big grin on shooting it :mrgreen: The tale is in the Chrono and it is a good and stout load....I always look at the Chrono data to tell me if the companies are changing formulations. The powders that they produced 20 years ago are not always the same as todays productions. Sometimes they are reducing the loads for more then just lawyer reasons...

giz
Giz some times I get so channeled in my thoughts that I don't see the obvious. :) I never thought about formulation change.
 

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Forester , I have run Varget through my Carl Gustov '96 {built in 1904}from 33 to 34.5 grains with a Honady 140 grain SST and results have been so-so {about an inch best}. what OAL are you using to compensate for the long throat in the military chambers?
 

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Azmick,

I got the load data from Hodgdon's data site. 34.5 was as high as I went and I noticed groups opening back up. Max 36 grains using the 140 grain soft point. They list a 3.03" Case Overall Length. I set the bullets to that depth. I made no adjustments for the long throat in the chamber. Although, I note that the Privi factory load and the Sierra Spitzer load I just put together are both under 3 inches. My Oberndorf was built in 1900, FWIW. It was sporterized before I got it and I was using a 12 power scope at 50 yards. So the results are skewed a bit. What OAL are you using with your Gustov?

Back to the Privi load, I have to tell you I bought it at first because it was much cheaper than the Remington load that the local shop had when I first picked up the rifle. It is a great load in my gun, easily giving me less than an inch at 50 yards. The brass is pretty decent as well and has held up for several loadings.

azmick said:
Forester , I have run Varget through my Carl Gustov '96 {built in 1904}from 33 to 34.5 grains with a Honady 140 grain SST and results have been so-so {about an inch best}. what OAL are you using to compensate for the long throat in the military chambers?
 

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The SST bullet is polymer tipped and seated so that the bearing surface uses all the neck, OAL is 3.137.
If I load that bullet just.015 off the lands/grooves, the neck is only supporting about .20 of the bullet. I have always used the 'caliber diameter/neck depth' rule on reloading and it has served me well.
 

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azmick said:
I have always used the 'caliber diameter/neck depth' rule on reloading and it has served me well.
By this, do you mean that, in this instance, you keep at least .264 inches inside the case?
 

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Forester said:
By the way, that bullet on the left looks like a pretty good one. Should be accurate. Did you say you can't get more?

I always keep an eye out for good deals.
How about $30 for 500 210 grain lead SWCs? Is that a good enough deal for ya? ;) PM me if you're interested, and I'll give you the guy's contact info that casts them.
 

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By this, do you mean that, in this instance, you keep at least .264 inches inside the case?
Yes, exactly
or .308 for 30 cal and .284 for 7MM
 

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Forester said:
Shaun,

The slug on the left appears to be a pretty typical "Keith"-type SWC. It has been said that Mr. Elmer designed these to be front heavy ('cab-forward') for best performance on game and long range shooting ... I've always has good luck with this pattern of bullet accuracy wise in many calibers ranging from .357 to .45 Colt.

That having been said, I've used slugs such as supplied by Jesse at TVB with satisfaction as well....

As you know from the history of the round, the .41 Magnum while initially intended for LOE use, was also targeted to sportsman. As such, it was loaded to two different powerlevels and using differing types of slugs, one for each application.

8.0 Unique with a Lead SWC Slug used to be the "Factory Duplication Load" for the .41 Magnum "Police Load" and 10.0 Unique with a Jacketed Hollow Point was the same for the "Hunting Load".

I shoot each, but a far greater quantity of the 8.0 Grain Load which I enjoy it so much more ....

Drew
 
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