Factory Recommended Bullet

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charlesb
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Factory Recommended Bullet

Postby charlesb » Mon May 14, 2012 6:58 pm

Last year I special ordered a Savage in .243 Winchester, specifying a stainless barreled action, a laminated thumbhole stock and for the barrel to be 24".

Click image to see it full-size

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When the gun arrived, there was a piece of paper in the box that recommended Nosler 70 grain ballistic-tip bullets for the gun.

I didn't pay much attention to that at first, as I intended to shoot 100 grn bullets for deer and pigs. This week though I decided to explore the guns capability for varmint hunting, so I made up the following loads for comparison:

.243 Winchester Custom Savage 24” barrel

All loads use Federal Brass, Winchester WLR primers

70 grn Nosler Ballistic Tip - ( Factory Recommended Bullet )
47 grn H4350
@ 3450 fps

58 grn Hornady V-Max - ( Much like a .22-250 as far as bullet weight and velocity go. )
43 grn VARGET
@ 3700 fps

95 grn Nosler Ballistic Tip - ( My Deer/Pig Load, so far. )
40 grn H4350
@ 2850 fps

At the range, all of the loads shot well - but the 70 grain Noslers were phenomenal. - Returning groups roughly half the size of the other two loads in this particular rifle.

The 24" barrel on this rifle measures at .710" diameter at the muzzle. - Kind of medium weight I guess, as it's a bit heavy for a deer gun, but a bit light for a varmint/bench gun.

It is somewhere in between - like the .243 cartridge itself.

So yes, I definitely have a gun that will do a competent job on deer or varmints - though I couldn't honestly say that it is optimum for either one, due to the compromises inherent in it's dual-use nature.

I feel that the gun is perfectly set up to take best advantage of the .243 Winchester cartridge, though the same setup would fit just as well with the .250 Savage, I would bet.

One thing that really stood out for me, an old big-bore magnum fan, was that the recoil was practically nonexistent with all loads, even the warmer ones. It felt like I was shooting a .223 or something.

Anyway, I thought I would note that if the Savage shop recommends a particular bullet for your rifle, then you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

I am very happy that I followed their advice, as now I have a tack-driver varmint and target load for my dual-use rifle. - I probably never would have tried the 70 grain pills on my own.

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Postby Bullseye » Mon May 14, 2012 10:05 pm

Generally what makes a barrel shoot one weight bullet better than another is the twist rate of the lands.

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blue68f100
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Postby blue68f100 » Tue May 15, 2012 8:43 am

You can probably get the others ones to shoot better but it will take some work to find the sweet spot. Even with the 70 gr you can probably reduce it's moa some more. If I recall the Nosler has a longer bearing surface due to design. Sound like your set. Enjoy your new friend....
David

SS MKIII 6 7/8" Fluted Hunter. Mueller Quick Shot, Bushnell 2x Scope, Hogue Rubber Grips
Custom Built 1911

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charlesb
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Postby charlesb » Wed May 16, 2012 12:21 am

I looked up the twist on the Savage .243, it's one in 9.25" which is fairly fast I guess.

Next time I buy bullets, I think I'll try the Sierra 70 grn hollowpoint and the 100 grn BTSP they make.

I'd like to find cheaper bullets for the varmint/target load, and after several stabs with the 95 grn Noslers with indifferent results, I'm ready to try a different heavy bullet for sure.

I still have plenty of the Hornady 58 grn bullets, which I had the worst luck with. - Next time I'll try a different powder with them. They were shooting into perhaps three inches with the load that I tried.

It's great though to have one known good-shooting load for the gun. My son gained a lot of confidence with the 70 grn Noslers, punching out the center 1" of the target with them. They were accurate enough that for the first time, he started calling his shots. - He knew about his flyers before I spotted them, and where they went etc..

My 30-06 Mauser that I've been working on, adding double-set triggers and a butterknife bolt handle did poorly with both factory and hand-loads. I had noticed before that the last few inches of rifling near the muzzle looked worn, so now I've got to decide on whether I want to fool with shortening the barrel to 18" - or buy a new 24" barrel and maybe consider a different chambering, just for fun.

I also brought along a Mark X Mauser in 7mm Rem mag that I had mounted a scope on, and wanted to sight in. My son watched me shooting it and said that he would stick with the .243. It has a hard plastic butt-plate and a lot of muzzle blast, but it's reasonably accurate with factory loads. I have no dies for this gun as I plan to either sell it, or re-barrel it to .458 Marlin.

If I re-barrel it to .458 Marlin, I bet you it winds up with a kick-pad then!

My theory is that .458 Marlin is going to be popular for Mauser conversions as you don't have to hog out the action like you would for .458 Winchester. - It's just a straightforward barrel-swap.

Loaded at 45-70 levels it should be a good deer gun. Loaded up hot with the Hornady plastic-tipped pointy bullets, it ought to be good for longer shots, and heavier game.

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Postby Bullseye » Wed May 16, 2012 6:47 am

1:9 is a good twist rate for 70-80 grain bullets.

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Postby Hakaman » Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:37 am

I have the Savage 12vlp dbm in .243, 9.25", and it shoots a 70 gr most accurately. Sierra 70gr Match King HPBT #1505 IMR 4064 / 38.5gr 2.625"
Nice shooting rifle, and purty lookn

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charlesb
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Postby charlesb » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:22 am

Hakaman wrote:I have the Savage 12vlp dbm in .243, 9.25", and it shoots a 70 gr most accurately. Sierra 70gr Match King HPBT #1505 IMR 4064 / 38.5gr 2.625"
Nice shooting rifle, and purty lookn


That's the very rifle that my son is saving up for, except he wants his in .223.

It sure is a beauty!

I found that some of the cast furniture on stainless Savages can be refinished to match the barreled action, for a custom touch that gives you a leg up with the guys at the range... - Here's where I refinished the bolt handle, baffle and the big assembly screw on the back of the bolt:

( Click image to see it full-size )

Image

I found that the checkering on the bolt knob was eating up my hand - so I made the checkering a bit less aggressive, less sharp while I was at it.

What I did was to start smoothing up the parts with 220 grit emery cloth, then 320 grit - and then 400 grit wet-or-dry paper, wet for an almost mirror finish. - Then I deliberately scratched up the new mirror-like finish with 3M's ScotchBrite abrasive pads - to give it a brushed-stainless finish that matches the action.

I avoided the checkering with the sandpaper - but hit it pretty hard with the ScotchBrite to smooth it up a tad.

The secret is in paying close attention to the direction of the scratches that you put on there with the Scotchbrite. - They should match the direction of the action's brushed finish, with absolutely no criss-crossing etc.

I've done this on the trigger guard of another stainless Savage here, and it also worked out very well.

One boo-boo that I made on that trigger guard can be easily avoided... I used an old piece of ScotchBrite that had previously been used on regular steel. - This introduced regular steel particles into the stainless steel - which soon after had unsightly rust spots!

Not a big deal to fix ( That's what's great about brushed stainless finish, it's repairable! ) but now I recommend that a new piece of ScotchBrite be sacrificed to the cause, not an old scrap of it that has been laying around the shop, and has who knows what in it.

I have a cross-stitch sampler made by my dear mother when I was a child, framed upon the wall in my shop. It says:

We grow too soon old
und too late shmart.


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