222 L46 bullet choice

Discussion in 'Hand loading your Sako' started by August, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. August

    August Member

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    Howzit Guys
    August here from SA.
    I've got a L46 222 which according to myself has got a 1/16 twist. I load myself. I've got a nice combo with Sierra 50gr Varmints that gives nice tight groupings. I also thought I had a nice load for a 35gr GS custom bullet, but it is very inconsistent. One day it groups nice, then again not. The 35gr GSC is a monolith HP and is also molycoated, which I am not a huge fan of. The bullet however performs brilliantly in small antelope, I have retrieved one that had a 99% weight retention and a perfect mushroom. I am looking for something similar when it comes to the performance as a hunting bullet, but don't want the molicoat and looking for a bit more consistency. Seems like its a hard task to get a nice hunting point for a 222 1/16 twist. Any advice would be much appreciated.

     

  2. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    If you can find them in SA, try the Winchester 45 gr. softpoint that they use in their 22 Hornet factory ammo. It acts more like a controlled expansion bullet than the varmint types available. Shoots nicely in my L46. You also might try changing your seating depth with that 35 grainer. Getting closer to the lands may lessen the bullet jump of the shorter bullet & create more consistency.
     
  3. David Henzler

    David Henzler Well-Known Member

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    I bought some Nosler 40gr Varmageddon's recently in hopes they would shoot well. Great price. I think under 15 cents a pop delivered. I hope they shoot well because I bought 700 of them. I normally shoot Sierra 52gr HPBT and all the guys in the club I belonged to in CA shot them. Consensus was it was THE BEST .22 cal bullet for 223, and 22-250. Now I bought a couple Vixens and just bought a '58 vintage model L46. I'm all jazzed about seeing how it shoots. Like the older stuff. This one is pretty for a standard model. http://67.76.137.137/sako for a few photos.

    I generally shoot BLC2 in the 223, and 22-250, but will try 4198 in the duce. Any loading data you wish to contribute will be reviewed with great interest.

    Regards

    Dave
     
  4. bloorooster

    bloorooster Sako-addicted

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    My handloads work very well between my L46 and my L461...same load shoots dime sized groups if I do my part right. I've been using H 335 behind 55g Sierra Spitzers.

    David
    Your set up came together well, with that glass you should be shooting clover patches in no time! Looking forward to a range report. ~Bloorooster
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  5. David Henzler

    David Henzler Well-Known Member

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    I'd think the 55 a little heavy for the 1:14 or 1:16 twist. I'm generally trying for cloverleaf or better groupings. I've had rifles that would shoot .6" groups with just about any load. When tuned for the particular rifle, went down to .25 and better.

    Have you shot any 40 or 45gr bullets?
     
  6. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    The weight of the bullet is not so much an issue as the length of the bullet when it comes to twist. A fairly short-for-weight conventional lead core 55 grain bullet might shoot fine in a 1-16" barrel. And even fairly long 55 grain bullets like a Ballistic Tip or a hollow point stabilize fine in a 1-14" barrel. So will a 63 grain semi-point Sierra. It's when you get into the very long monometal (all copper) bullets that conventional twist rates aren't sufficient.

    There are two kinds of 40 grain .224" Varmageddons -- one with a hollow point and the other with a polymer tip. The polymer tipped bullet is pretty much identical to the Ballistic Tip of the same weight except for having a square base instead of the slight boattail of the B.Tip. I've had excellent accuracy with the polymer-tipped V-geddons, and passable accuracy from the HP ones. Either works well in a .22 Hornet with a 1-16 twist -- as well as in larger centerfire .22's with faster twists.
     
  7. bloorooster

    bloorooster Sako-addicted

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    It is on the heavy side I agree, I use it as a hunting round that will cover whitetail deer if needed. I felt the 55 grainers would give me more energy. I have yet to shoot any 40s or 45s...I have tried some 35g Berger hp's that shoot good too...If I shoot anything that measures under .500, I have had a really good day! ~Bloo
     
  8. David Henzler

    David Henzler Well-Known Member

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    Good news... I bought the polymer tipped ones... I tried some of the "Green Tip" 63gr 5.56 Surplus ammo in my Armalite m-15a2 and it didn't shoot worth a darn. It's a 1:10 twist. I can only imagine 63's in a 1:14 being like a shotgun. Of course the military bullet is steel core.

    Well I'm a fan of the 52gr Sierra HPBT and will likely continue to stock 500 to 1000 at a time. I have several rifles that love em. I bought the Varmeddon's cuz they were on sale, and relatively inexpensive. Thought about Hornady's but the price was considerably higher. Not that I'm driven by cost alone, but it is a factor.

    Below is one of my favorite loads. Not the best group, but a great load.
    Remington 788 .223 Rem.jpg
     
  9. kj60

    kj60 Well-Known Member

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    GS Custom 40g may work better IF its a 14 twist, tho if you don't like the moly, then Barnes also informed me that their 45g TSX was made specifically for the 222 [probably assuming a 14 twist]. Also have found in my rifles that the Sierra 53g Match [flat base] is a tad more accurate than the 52g. I use H4895 [AR2206H] with Lapua brass and Fed match primers to bring out the best accuracy. I use the 222 as a small game rifle and 40g V-Max and Nos BT's with various charges/ velocities gives me everything I need. Both produce better accuracy than I am capable of using in the field.
     
  10. David Henzler

    David Henzler Well-Known Member

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    I loaded 33 rounds of 222 RP cases with 20.5 gr of IMR 4198, and the 40 gr Varmageddon (flat base). It appears that many people have settled on the powder charge as about optimum. Tomorrow will tell. Seating depth is my issue at the moment. Have never had luck with seating bullets out very far. in fact I read an article in Field & Stream years ago about seating 222 bullets deep giving the best results. 20150410_233439_resized_1.jpg 20150410_234007-1_resized.jpg
    You can see they're out a little. Base of bullet is about halfway down the neck. I'll play with seating depth at the bench with a small hand press to see what works. Hopefully I'll get a result within the 33 rounds. Rifle will be SAKO L46 (58 vintage) with a 6.5-20x Leupold
     
  11. David Henzler

    David Henzler Well-Known Member

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    The bullets are seated out 0.035" too long for the maximum OAL. I seated 13 of them back to 2.130. They're not touching the lands now. But when I seat the cartridge in the L46 it still has to be gently pushed the last 3/8ths or so. Wondering if the chamber is a little snug, and where. I may find a candle and blacken the case and seee what rubbs off. Not having any experience with older Sako's makes me wonder.

    Dave 252 648-0231
     
  12. L-46

    L-46 Well-Known Member

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    Dave, the gentle push can be the extractor jumping over the case rim, common in the L46. If the case is tight to the chamber wall, it will be tightest when he bolt drops.
    Chamber a round, close the bolt, open the bolt and pull it back a bit and then close again, the case will remain on the extractor while doing this. You will have a better feel of the case being tight. Really you should remove the firing pin assembly before doing any of this.
    To set up your FLS die correctly you must remove the firing assemble so you can feel the amount of bump or resize achieved.

    Top Gear produced a great write up on the L46 bolts some time back, it may be of some help.

    As far as seating depth goes, start from your max length that will fit into the mag, and go back in .003" increments till you find two in succession that give a nice clover leaf.
    If you are real serious about accuracy, load 0.3gns up and down from your chosen load, when you test your seating depth. this will keep the gun in tune while testing. I have seen many a failed seating depth test as the gun goes out of tune before testing is complete.
    Good huntin'
    L-46
     
  13. David Henzler

    David Henzler Well-Known Member

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    If you are real serious about accuracy, load 0.3gns up and down from your chosen load, when you test your seating depth. this will keep the gun in tune while testing. I have seen many a failed seating depth test as the gun goes out of tune before testing is complete.

    I'm not following you on the Tune thing. Years ago I had a Remington 788 in 223, and it was frustrating because every load I tried shot .6" groups. I finally tried playing with seating depth and found .3 back from touching was optimum... .35 groups became routine. Then tweaked the powder charge and got down to .25. Stopped shooting it cause I was afraid of wearing it out. Bought another one a couple years ago, and it shoots the same load super well. Shot a .4 group at 220 yards. using a 45 bullet hole for a target.

    Love getting the results, hate the testing. Love the varmint hunting...
     
  14. David Henzler

    David Henzler Well-Known Member

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    Thanks L46... you were right on about the slight pressure when chambering the rounds. Once the bolt is over the cartridge head, it chambers without any additional pressure. I was worried about a tight neck.

    I seated the bullets to 2.130 OAL and that is a good .025 back of the lands. It may be close to optimum. I see many shooters who say they see no difference in seating depth. Will try some longer by .010, and shorter by .020. The old Field & Stream article said they liked to be seated DEEP. Time will tell.

    I may shoot some today... nice and sunny. My last day before spine surgery. It may be the last time I shoot until I get healed up and back in the pink.
     
  15. David Henzler

    David Henzler Well-Known Member

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    20150412_165500.jpg Dissappoinging results... Screws tight, scope not moving... random cases, but all Rem. Increasing charge to 21gr. new OAL 2.125... maybe next time... if I survive surgery tomorrow. Sako L46 4-12-15 group.jpg
     
  16. asf

    asf Member

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    I've found similar bullet issues with the L46, with our modern long poly tipped bullets in 50gr not doing so well and frustrating to reload in the slow twist early Sako. My favorite load for the past 7-8 years has been 40 Sierra BlitzKing with 21.0 gr IMR 4198 seated to fit the clip. I found this load to average 3558 FPS in 85F temps, but a little slower velocity in weather below freezing.

    Hope your surgery went well and you are back at the range soon!
     
  17. David Henzler

    David Henzler Well-Known Member

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    I am still a bit perplexed about the Varmageddon's not doing well. I guess the plastic tip must go deep in, and thus displaces lead, leading to a longer projectile.

    I don't have any other 40 gr, but I do have some Sierra 50 gr spitzers. Will load the cases with some of those and give it a go. As well the 52gr HPBT has always been a super performer in the other 22's I have. Even in a Vixen I sold. I'm going to check the twist in these to see if they're all the same.

    Thanks to all of you who have experience with these L46's
     
  18. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Varmageddon's are not the same with regard to bullet to bullet consistency & quality as Nosler's Ballistic Tip which is why they are a cheaper alternative for volume colony varmint shooting. Most guys can get a MOA load (or on rare occasion better) with some load experimentation with them, which is "good enough" for many high volume PD or GS shooting situations. Don't expect to get "bughole" groups with them. Don't expect to use bullet weights & powder charges from other rifles & assume like results in yours. Stability, even from a 16 twist, shouldn't be an issue with bullets up to 52/53 grains at normal 222 Rem velocities. When developing loads don't change more than one thing at a time, like powder charge & oal. If you get better or worse results how do you know which change caused it? Stick with 2.13 OAL, cause that's what fits in the magazine, until your groups start to tighten up & show promise, then tweak the OAL, if you want. H4198, IMR 8208, & Benchmark are powders I've had good results with. 37 gr Calhoon, 40 Nosler BT, & 50 Hornady SP are the bullets I use. Remember also that a 50+ year old bore in a sporter contour is probably not going to shoot as well as a new custom match grade varmint weight barrel. If you get MOA groups that may be all she's got. Just my two cents. Good Luck!
     
  19. cmjr

    cmjr Well-Known Member

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    My results are similar to yours out of my L46 222's that's why I use nothing
    but high quality 40-50gr HP's, nothing with a plastic tip. I also agree with Paulson's opinion of the "bargain" boolits. I use either Sierra MK's or Berger's in my 222's and enjoy sub 1" round clusters with ammo loaded to feed from the magazine. My powder of choice is either VV133 or H322 and I've even gotten to throwing them instead of weighing or trickling as my results at the range tells me I don't have to get anal with my loading for this case.
     
  20. David Henzler

    David Henzler Well-Known Member

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    I used IMR 4198 bought last week. The NEW stuff is reported as not suffering from temp sensitivity. As well it was used in competition for years. I figure it's worth a try. H322 is the other I'll try as it's the current benchrest favorite.

    I use an RCBS Uniflow with the small cylinder. Powder measured consistently for all that I spot checked. Since these cases had not been fired in this chamber I decided not to bother weighing each as the difference woule have been measured in RCH's.

    I believe looking at my primers that the load was light. Edges were round and even the firing pin mark was rounded. I have few loads that are like this that shoot well. Exception being some 7x57's

    I'm going to increase to 21 and 21.5 and will load 15 of each. That should be sufficient to tell. Now having been fired in this chamber they should produce nice tight groups if the load is right.

    As far as the Varmageddon goes, I don't believe they're bad bullets. And another fellow on this forum warned against the HP version. If they fail to produce I'll return the remainder to Nosler and ask for an exchange or refund. But only after making sure that the rifle CAN shoot well. I have some Sierra 50gr to try, and these should be good. They're from the 70's.
     
  21. David Henzler

    David Henzler Well-Known Member

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    Ok, MidwayUSA & Brownells are both advertising Hornady bullet deals. Midway kicks ass when it comes to price. I ordered 1000 Hornady 2266's (cantelure) 55gr .224 spire point for $97 shipped. Compared to $130 from Brownells. That order is going to be cancelled tomorrow.

    A few blogs said the cantelure didn't affect performance and that the 2265, and 2266's shot the same. So I'm happy. Hope they shoot well in the L46, and in my two L461's And in my L579 22-250 Rem788's Will have some fun doing testing.

    Any of you have any pet loads for this one?
     

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