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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been trying different powder combinations with the Hornady 168 grain A-Max bullet, as I have many boxes of them. According to Hornady, they are made using a Match grade jacket, but are an expanding bullet suitable for deer size game. I tried many load combinations using them in my heavy barreled Remington 700, but failed to get any that would consistently group under an inch. That same rifle with just about any powder charge will group all bullets touching, many through the same hole, at 100 yards with Sierra Matchking bullets.
I had a few loads with the A-Max group under an inch in the GSR, so that was encouraging. I recently got 500 rounds of brand new Lake City brass, packaged as Federal American Eagle 7.62 x 51 brass. It seems very consistent, with very little prep work needed. But being military brass and thicker with less case capacity, I had to work up new powder charges a good 2 grains under what I had been using in civilian .308 brass.
I had been getting the 1/2 MOA groups in my bull barrel Remington with Varget powder, but I'm down to less than a pound of it, and never see it on the store shelves around here, and it seems to always be out of stock on line. But IMR-4895 and IMR-4064 I can get tons of. So I was hopeful I could find some good loads with one of the IMR powders.
I loaded up some A -Max bullets with each powder, but thought I'd try to seat them out a bit more, 10 thousandth's over the recommended O.A.L. to 2.810". That's about all I could go over and still get them to feed in the poly magazine. 2.815" will fit but the bullet tips are grazing the front of the magazine.
My lightest load tested with both powders did the best. 3/8th's of an inch and 7/16th's are almost as good as my M700 will do, and it has a lighter Timney trigger, 16x scope, aluminum bedded H-S stock, and bull barrel.
I also had 10 Barnes TTSX copper bullets, and 5 Nosler Accubonds left over from working up a hunting load several years ago, so I thought I'd load and try them, they are the bottom groups on both targets. The Barnes bullet with IMR-4064 did O.K., the others were not that great.
Velocity with both of the best loads was not that great, 2400 fps, out of the 16 inch barrel, but I can live with that considering how the accuracy is. Brass life will be longer as well with the milder load.
My GSR has a faster twist than my Remington, 1-10" compared to 1-12", so maybe a 180 grain A-Max would do well also. I'm now trying the Sierra 155 Palma Match in the slower twist Rem M700, and it is turning in some one hole groups with Varget.
All the groups were shot with my Nikon 2.5-8x scope set on 8x, off of a Caldwell rest and sandbag rear.
P.S. The rifle fore-end would slide off the rest from recoil, as I was holding my off hand around the rear sandbag, and I would have to reposition it for each shot. I noticed after looking at the pics, I do know not to rest the barrel directly on the rest !



 

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Excellent!
 

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WoW, I have been tuning my loads for some Nosler Balistic Tips and Varget for deer season and the GSR (really just an excuse to tinker with my reloading stuff and do something that feels productive at the range when I am on vacation. My version of meditation).

But I have a couple hundred Amax 168's and some 4064 on hand already, so I may need to experiment with some of these loads to see what happens.

Thanks for sharing your results. It is inspiring to see some tinkering pay off.
 

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Nice groups.

I've had really good results with IMR 4064, SMKs and fire-formed NATO cases out of my GSR too.



This rifle quickly becoming my favorite.



Right now, I'm using a 4-12x40 Nikon, but I've got my eye on a Leupold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Muzzle blast is not really noticeable, nothing like my DPMS .308 with Troy muzzle brake. That thing is loud and blasty.
Hungry, many of my load combos would do the same, all clustered together except for one flyer.
I get less flyers with the SMK's, but they go for $40 a hundred, and the A-Max are around $27. I like the SMK's but wanted a less expensive expanding bullet for my general purpose load, so stocked up on the A-Max.
Bob Lewis, I will shoot them at steel and paper at various ranges for practice, but could also use them for deer hunting. For bigger stuff like elk or moose I would use the Barnes TTSX or Nosler Accubond, tougher bullets than the A-Max or SST's.
 
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