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Thread: 18" AR15 with Hornady 60VMax

  1. #1
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    18" AR15 with Hornady 60VMax

    Nothing Earth Shattering In Here.

    Rifle Description:
    This rifle started out as a stock Ruger AR556 from Fred Meyer. :-)
    It used to have quad rail, streamlight and AimPoint Pro on it. It was a home defense gun. Those items got moved over to another rifle. This rifle sorta got turned into a "budget" range toy. I put an 18" KAK ValueLine barrel on it. It is a medium contour 5.56 1/7 Nitride. A free-float handguard and 1-6 ACSS scope I got on sale. It has the Ruger Elite 4.5lb 2 stage trigger in it. My wife got me that as a gift last Christmas. It's nothing great but nothing bad. I got bored one early morning in the winter and spray painted it with some paint I had on hand. This is not some super serious high end ultra precision rifle. I am also still working on my personal skills at being able to shoot tight groups....

    Anyway, I decided to work up some handloads with 60VMax bullets to see what happened. I started out with CFE223 and Varget. I used the Hornady load data. I found it WAY too conservative. Velocities were too low and I didn't get great groups. In fact I gave up on CFE223 all together. It was 2-4 MOA groups all day from that at all charges.

    I went to Hodgdon's website and found they listed a max charge of Varget/60 VMax at 27.0. I snooped through a Lyman manual at Cabelas and found they listed a max charge of 27.4. I worked up from just above Hornady max to .5 grains under Hodgdons max. This left me with 25.3 to 26.5 in .2 grain increments. I loaded 10 of each. Shot two 5 shot groups of each. MagnetoSpeed Sporter was the chrono.

    All casings are PMC once fired. Full length resized to the point in which they JUST stick a JUST a little when you eject them manually. Trimmed to 1.747. CCI 450 primers. Bullets seated to 2.25 and checked for consistency with the Hornady measure from the ogee tool thing. The seating/crimp die is set to just kiss the case mouth with the crimp.

    20180510_122027.jpg

    I did some shooting and came up with the following data. Groups rounded to the nearest 1/4". Measured for extreme spread, not mean distance.
    z99.jpg

    The 25.3 to 26.1 casings. The charge starts at 25.3 in the back and moves up by .2 at you go each row to the front.
    20180510_122755.jpg

    The 26.3-26.5 casings.
    20180510_124504_001.jpg


    So far I think 26.3 is a good load. It puts it up near the smaller sized groups and the velocity seems to level out a bit between loads.

    I just thought I would share. I might add on to this as I go and test different bullets and loads. What suggestions do you guys have for another bullet to try?
    I see there is a sticky thread on loading for precision. I think I will go spend some time reading that.
    Last edited by TomPenguin5145; 05-12-18 at 14:04.

  2. #2
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    60 grain bullets have always killed me. Pappabear will buy them from time to time, and they're nice.... but they always seem to POI high compared to everything else we shoot. They don't seem to jive with our zeros for 62s and 77s.

    You almost have to commit a gun to the bullets... which isn't a bad thing... just is what it is.

    Also... I've gone to trimming to 1.755". Our rifle smith talked me into trimming a little long, and I'm happy with it. The theory is you have more neck/bullet contact which would increase tension consistency. But the real upside is when you're trimming really long (xm193, etc) brass. It cuts a lot of time and effort off the trim job when you're not going really short.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    60 grain bullets have always killed me. Pappabear will buy them from time to time, and they're nice.... but they always seem to POI high compared to everything else we shoot. They don't seem to jive with our zeros for 62s and 77s.

    You almost have to commit a gun to the bullets... which isn't a bad thing... just is what it is. I have found both the 60 V-Maxes and the 60 Sierra HP to be very accurate bullets, but I differ in powder choices as I have found IMR 8208 XBR or Benchmark to be far superior as to accuracy and velocity. Of course YMMV

    Also... I've gone to trimming to 1.755". This is what and why I do the same

    Our rifle smith talked me into trimming a little long, and I'm happy with it. The theory is you have more neck/bullet contact which would increase tension consistency. But the real upside is when you're trimming really long (xm193, etc) brass. It cuts a lot of time and effort off the trim job when you're not going really short.
    Unless you are shooting a custom barrel I have yet to find an AR barrel that pinches the mouth of the neck at a case length of 1.765"...
    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. Mark Twain
    Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/mark_twain_386139

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 308sako View Post
    Unless you are shooting a custom barrel I have yet to find an AR barrel that pinches the mouth of the neck at a case length of 1.765"...
    And I remember BH reman ammo in 55 gr.... years back when I gauged it, it was crazy long. But at that time people were shooting tons of the stuff with no issue.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

  5. #5
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    I was just reading through the manual for my P.A. 1-6 ACSS and I noted that it gives you ammunition choices to help set zero. To align with the subtension (I think that is what they are called), a 60Vmax needs to be moving at 3050-3150fps. So I am about 150-200fps shy of that right now. I don't really want to keep pushing velocity, in fact I am not sure I can get there in my rifle. I only have about a .5 grain until I hit the Hodgdon max of 27 grains. CFE223 gives me the velocity, but my groupings were really bad. 28.0 of CFE223 gave me 3132 fps.

    They also list 69 SMK moving at 2900 fps, 75 Hornady at 2700, and 77 SMK at 2700. So I guess those are the ones I am gonna try to load up next....
    Last edited by TomPenguin5145; 05-12-18 at 00:53.

  6. #6
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    Was the accuracy test done with mag chro on the barrel ? If so maybe that widened groups . What size group does this barrel do with other loads ?

    Sent from my Moto G Play using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    I picked up some 69 SMKs and a Lee Die Set. I loaded the 69 SMK up with the powders I had on hand (H335 and Varget). I found the Lee seater die WAY better then my Hornady American I have had for 2 years. It was easier to adjust and didn't mark up the bullets as much on the compressed loads. While I had the H335 out I loaded up some 60 VMax with it as I had not tried it. I ensured all rounds were within .002" overall length using a comparator. The 10 rounds of 60 VMax @ 26.3 Varget are sort of the control load to see if the group sizes remain the same as they did on 5-10-18. Today is "Monday" for me (5-13-18), so I will try and get to the range on Thursday (5-17-18) and report back what I found.

    Attachment 51949

    I guess my end game is to develop a good load (~1MOA) that matches the sub-tensions on my scope. I can then use them when I sign up for this course in a year or so.
    http://www.alaskatactical.com/urbanp...oncarbine.html
    Last edited by TomPenguin5145; 05-13-18 at 03:42.

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