Reloading the 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Silvertip in 223 Rem

Today, I achieved some pleasing results with my test loads of the 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Silvertip in my Weatherby Vanguard HSP 223 Rem.  I was using the ADI powder BM2 (Benchmark in the USA) and started with ADI’s recommended minimum charge.

The 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Silvertip seems to be exactly the same dimensions as the standard 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, so far as I can tell.  The polymer point is a different colour, and the projectile is a charcoal-grey colour due to the Winchester Lubalox® coating.

Lubalox® is the trade name Winchester uses to describe their thin black oxide bullet coating, said to be similar to the bluing on a steel firearm.  To quote the Nosler website;

The primary benefit of Lubalox is reduced barrel fouling. The process creates a surface on the bullet jacket, which increases the number of shots possible between cleanings. Unlike moly-coated bullets, Lubalox-coated bullets leave the barrel residue-free and do not require barrel “seasoning”.

Interestingly, these Silvertips demonstrated a slightly different accuracy trend compared to the standard Nosler Ballistic Tip, grouping better at a higher powder load.  All cartridges were loaded to the SAAMI spec of 2.260 inches.  At the next range session, I will hold the 24.5 grain loading of BM2 and test variation in the OCL.

While I was at the range, I had a phone call from one of my farmer contacts.  He told me that, overnight, a pack of wild dogs had come up to his house and tore the family pet dog to bits.  I was planning on a trying for a wild dog tomorrow morning, but that will now feature a change of venue.  I had loaded a few extra rounds of the 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Silvertip and am hoping to Christen my Weatherby HSP Vanguard on some wild dogs.  It is deadly accurate, and today I tweaked the sighting a smidge.

My testing today also included the Sauer 101 XT in 243 Win.  However, I did not shoot any of the rounds I had prepared yesterday.  Inadvertently, I had turned my seating die 10 thou the wrong way.  That meant the loaded rounds are all 10 thou into, rather than off, the rifling.  I never shoot hunting rounds that chamber into the lands.  I will correct the die and run them through again for the next range session.

I also took the opportunity to run a few rounds through my Weatherby Vanguard in 257 Weatherby Magnum.  I was pleased to find no change in the sighting of that rifle; it launches the 110 grain Nosler Accubond at 3310 fps and produces sub-MOA three-shot groups an inch and a half above the 100 yard point of aim.