Weatherby Vanguard HSP 223 Rem

It was not an ideal day for testing handloads at the range.  Typical tablelands’ weather had settled-in.  That was, rapidly changing conditions from bouts of calm sunshine to gusting drizzle.  The winds were highly variable, gusting strongly at times.  It would go from one extreme to another within minutes, as it does up here.

But, anyway, I was keen to continue testing my reloads in the Weatherby Vanguard HSP varmint rifle in 223 Rem and in the Sauer XT 101 in 243 Win.

The 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips continued to remorsely group around the 0.5 MOA mark.  I expected the 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Silvertips would behave similarly, but was a little surprised when that was not so.  The Silvertips seem to be geometrically identical to the Ballistic Tips, other than the dark coating and different coloured poly tip.

I will continue to test the Silvertips, but in the meantime, I have determined a perfectly fine hunting load – the 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip loaded to an OCL of 2.300 inches over 24.5 grains of BM2 (Benchmark in the USA).  I will load up about 30 to that recipe and next range session I will sight the Weatherby Vanguard HSP exactly for that.  I have been using this projectile for decades and am familiar, and happy, with its terminal ballistic performance on game.

Sauer XT 101 in 243 Win

I am not quite as far with the Sauer XT 101, but from today’s results, I will next be testing OCL variation at a loading of 45.7 grains of AR2213SC (H4831SC in the USA).  That sweet spot is obvious from a glance at the graphs.

Another thing worth noting is the levelling out of the velocity curve at the higher propellant loadings.  This is typical behaviour for high-velocity cartridges when using slower powders with medium to heavy projectiles in shorter barreled rifles.  The Sauer XT 101 has a 22 inch barrel.

On a separate note, I am working on some reloading articles for the next edition of the excellent ADI Reloaders’ Guide.  Part of that will be testing the recently released ADI Bench Mark 8208 propellant which offers advanced temperature stability.