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Trouble getting my Savage Long Range Hunter 6.5-284 to shoot vld bullets

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  • Trouble getting my Savage Long Range Hunter 6.5-284 to shoot vld bullets

    I am new to this forum so I hope I'm doing this right. I have a savage LRH 6.5-284 that I can not get to jump 140 grn hunting vld bullets with accuracy. If I load them .01" into the lands they will shoot into one hole at 100 yards. But when I load them that long there is not enough bullet in the case to maintain good concentricity under hunting conditions. I have loaded them all the way back to .1" jump with poor results. With the bullet jammed I was getting 3150 fps but since I could not maintain the accuracy due to the bullet getting knocked out of line under hunting conditions and not being able to get the bullet to jump, while seating it deep enough to stay centered, I am settling for a much slower load of another bullet at 2750 fps that is shooting 1/4 Moa. Do you have any suggestions that may help me get the bergers to shoot?? I am using weight sorted lapua brass with federal 210m primers and H4831sc. Redding dies. I have also tried retumbo with no luck. Thanks for your time.

  • #2
    You will need to continue your bullet jump testing. It is not unusual to have to jump a VLD bullet further than .1" off of the lands to find a good seating depth for consistency of accuracy. In fact, we have talked with folks who have gone as far as .220" off of the lands to find the accuracy they were looking for, and to be able to put the rounds into the magazine. The following information will assist you, and others with this process. This is an article that has been written by our Master Bulletsmith, Eric Stecker, that should help you with concluding your bullet jump test.


    Getting the Best Precision and Accuracy from VLD bullets in Your Rifle


    Background

    VLD bullets are designed with a secant ogive. This ogive shape allows bullets to be more efficient in flight (retain more velocity = less drop and wind deflection). While this result is desirable for many rifle shooters the secant ogive on the VLD bullets produces another result in many rifle. It can be difficult to get the VLD to group well (poor accuracy).

    For years we encouraged shooters to use a base of cartridge to end of bearing surface OAL (I will use the term COAL to represent this dimension) which allows the VLD to touch the rifling or to be jammed in the rifling. This provided excellent results for many shooters but there were others who did not achieve top performance with the VLD jammed in their rifling. These shooters were left with the belief that the VLD bullets just won’t shoot in their rifle.

    Other groups of shooters were discouraged by our recommendation to touch the rifling. Some of these shooters knew that at some point during a target competition they will be asked to remove a live round. With the bullet jammed in the rifling there was a good chance the bullet will stick in the barrel which could result in an action full of powder. This is hard on a shooter during a match.

    Yet another group of shooters who were discouraged by our recommendation to touch the rifling are those who feed through magazines or have long throats. Magazine length rounds loaded with VLDs could not touch the lands in most rifles (this is the specific reason that for years we said VLD bullets do not work well in a magazine). When a rifle could be single fed but was chambered with a long throat a loaded round that was as long as possible still would not touch the rifling.

    Until recently, shooters who suffered from these realities were believed to be unable to achieve success with VLD bullets. Admittedly, we would receive the occasional report that a rifle shot very well when jumping the VLD bullets but we discounted these reports as anomalies. It was not until the VLD became very popular as a game hunting bullet that we were then able to learn the truth about getting the VLD bullets to shoot well in a large majority of rifles.
    After we proved that the Berger VLD bullets are consistently and exceptionally capable of putting game down quickly we started promoting the VLD to hunters. We were nervous at first as we believe the VLD needed to be in the rifling to shoot well and we also knew that most hunters use a magazine and SAMMI chambers. Our ears were wide open as the feedback was received. It was surprising to hear that most shooters described precision results by saying “this is the best my rifle has ever shot.”

    We scratched our heads about this for awhile until we started getting feedback from hunters who were competition shooters as well. Many were the same guys who were telling us for years that the VLDs shoot great when jumped. Since a much larger number of shooters were using the VLD bullets with a jump we started comparing all the feedback and have discovered the common characteristics in successful reports which gave us the information needed to get VLD working in your rifle. We were able to relay these characteristics to several shooters who were struggling with VLD bullets. Each shooter reported success after applying our recommendation.

    Getting the Best Precision and Accuracy from VLD bullets in Your Rifle

    Solution

    The following has been verified by numerous shooters in many rifles using bullets of different calibers and weights. It is consistent for all VLD bullets. What has been discovered is that VLD bullets shoot best when loaded to a COAL that puts the bullet in a “sweet spot”. This sweet spot is a band .030 to .040 wide and is located anywhere between jamming the bullets into the lands and .150 jump off the lands.

    Note: When discussing jam and jump I am referring to the distance from the area of the bearing surface that engages the rifling and the rifling itself. There are many products that allow you to measure these critical dimensions. Some are better than others. I won’t be going into the methods of measuring jam and jump. If you are not familiar with this aspect of reloading it is critically important that you understand this concept before you attempt this test.

    Many reloaders feel (and I tend to agree) that meaningful COAL adjustments are .002 to .005. Every once in a while I might adjust the COAL by .010 but this seems like I am moving the bullet the length of a football field. The only way a shooter will be able to benefit from this situation is to let go of this opinion that more than .010 change is too much (me included).

    Trying to find the COAL that puts you in the sweet spot by moving .002 to .010 will take so long the barrel may be worn out by the time you sort it out if you don’t give up first. Since the sweet spot is .030 to .040 wide we recommend that you conduct the following test to find your rifles VLD sweet spot.
    Load 24 rounds at the following COAL if you are a target competition shooter who does not worry about jamming a bullet:
    1. .010 into (touching) the lands (jam) 6 rounds
    2. .040 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
    3. .080 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
    4. .120 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds

    Load 24 rounds at the following COAL if you are a hunter (pulling a bullet out of the case with your rifling while in the field can be a hunt ending event which must be avoided) or a competition shooter who worries about pulling a bullet during a match:
    1. .010 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
    2. .050 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
    3. .090 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
    4. .130 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds

    Shoot 2 (separate) 3 shot groups in fair conditions to see how they group. The remarkable reality of this test is that one of these 4 COALs will outperform the other three by a considerable margin. Once you know which one of these 4 COAL shoots best then you can tweak the COAL +/- .002 or .005. Taking the time to set this test up will pay off when you find that your rifle is capable of shooting the VLD bullets very well (even at 100 yards).

    Regards,
    Eric Stecker
    Master Bulletsmith

    We hope that this information will assist you in getting your rifle to shoot accurately with our Match Hunting VLD bullets.

    Bob Blaine
    Last edited by Bob Blaine; 08-06-2014, 01:54 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      I did try this once. I can't remember what the longest jump was that I tried but I will try some more. Thanks for the help. Jared

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Jared,

        You are most welcome. Please let us know how the additional testing works out for you.

        Bob Blaine

        Comment


        • #5
          Bob I gave this another try and did not have any better luck. I am really baffled with trying to get this gun to shoot these bullets. I reload for several guns with great success so I really don't think it is my technique. For season this year I have a 140 grain nosler load worked up that I shot again this past weekend just to check drops real quick At 500 yards I decided to shoot 3 to see the group. 1.5" at 500. And .266 at 100. So I know it is not a gun problem. I have thought about having someone else try to load work the bergers in it because I really want tho shoot them. The drop at 800 is twice as much with the nosler. I'm open to suggestions if you have any more. Jared

          Comment


          • #6

            Hi Jared,

            Do you remember how far off of the lands that you tested with? Also, it can work out that having someone else helping can really help, especially when it is with someone that you trust their judgment, and technique. I look forward to hearing back from you.

            Cordially,
            Bob Blaine

            Comment


            • #7
              Bob I did just like the sheet said. .010" jump then every .040" out to .2". I'm still not giving up. I just won't be shooting the bergers for this upcoming season. Even if I did get them grouping well in the next two weeks, I wouldn't have time to get out and check my drops. The best I could do is chrono them and run them through my ballistics program. I always like to field verify before shooting at game though. I will keep you updated as I do more testing. I'm sure they will shoot in this gun. I just haven't found how it likes them yet. Jared

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Jared,

                Thank you for getting back with all of us. We look forward to hearing how everything will be progressing with your load testing. It is hearing from folks like you, that very might help the next forum member with their issues! As always, we will be here to assist you as we are able. Best of luck on the hunt!

                Cordially,
                Bob Blaine

                Comment


                • #9
                  Bob, I heard from another guy struggling with his gun like mine and the bergers. Identical copy of my rifle. He just recently got his to group great at .005" jump. That is a depth that I have not tried for a very long time so I decided to go about it another way. I loaded a ladder test at .005" jump, two shots per load grain. With 56.5 grains of Retumbo being the hottest charge. (I know my gun is safe to 57.5 grains from previous testing). The groups progressively tightened up with 56.5 grains grouping at 1/4". (100 yards). So I will load a 3 shot group at 56.5 grains and 56.7 grains and see what happens with those at 250 yards. I have not tried .005" jump with the Retumbo until now. Only H4831SC. I know these were only two shot groups but the way they progressively tightened up, it appears I did not have any fliers. I will post more after I test the at groups. Jared

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Jared,

                    Thank you for sharing your information! We look forward to the final results from your ladder testing.

                    Cordially,
                    Bob Blaine

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Loaded a few 3 shot groups according to what appeared to be grouping well with the last test. Same results Ive been getting in the past. 2 shots cutting hole with the 3rd ( no particular order for the flyer as far as rounds fired) 1" or more away. I am just totally baffled. I want to shoot the bergers in this gun because of the superior long range ballistics and this gun does NOT want to shoot them. I did zero the gun with the Nosler load since season is in 2 weeks and they shot one ragged hole at 100 yards. Definitely not a gun or shooter problem. I guess she just don't like the vld ogive. To bad their isn't a hybrid hunting for the 6.5. I bet those would shoot great.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have had pretty good luck with the 140 Hybrid! You should give it a try. I have a thread on the other site you are on. I am exclusively shooting the hybrids. Best luck to you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Jared,

                          Thank you for letting us know how thinks worked out with your rifle. There will be some situations that no matter what is tried, a barrel simply will not shoot a specific design well. We do have some designs that we do want to offer down the road, and hopefully they will work out well for you when we do get these worked up for all of you that are using the 6.5mm caliber. Best of luck on your upcoming hunt, and please stay in contact with us.

                          Cordially,
                          Bob Blaine

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by C.O. Shooter View Post
                            I have had pretty good luck with the 140 Hybrid! You should give it a try. I have a thread on the other site you are on. I am exclusively shooting the hybrids. Best luck to you.
                            I did a search for the thread on the other site. I found several and read through them but found no real experiences of how the 6.5 hybrid does on game. I hate to be the One to try them. I will just stick with hunting bullets for now. Hopefully a hybrid hunter will be out soon. I'll be all over them. If you have a link to where some hybrid results on game are, please share. Thanks.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm taking them to Wyoming this year! I'll have a full report after November 5, 2014!

                              Comment

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