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  #1  
Old 03-19-2013, 6:57 AM
fastpowerstroker fastpowerstroker is offline
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Default Lead free loading?

Hey guys. Recently I loaded some Barnes ttsx 130 gr for my 308 tikka. I was not impressed with my 1"-2" groups from these rounds I loaded with 47.5 to 49 grains of varget. 52 gr. is max but I thought it seemed a bit high and Ill admit, was to scared to load.

My tikka has a 1-11" twist and I have had successful .5" groups with 165 lead noslers and 168 speers. Should I try a 150 Barnes? Hornady gmx? Lead free R&D is very expensive! Any help would be appreciated

Last edited by fastpowerstroker; 03-19-2013 at 7:06 AM..
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Old 03-19-2013, 7:11 AM
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waho waho is offline
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By lead free loading do you mean totally lead free or just lead free bullets? I presume you are not using lead free primers. If you don't have any overpressure signs (hard to lift bolt handle or bulging primers) I would carefully work my up to see if accuracy improves.
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Old 03-19-2013, 7:13 AM
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Since this is an expensive game:
http://www.gsgroup.co.za/orderhpusa.html

I assume you are testing out hunting ammo lead free?

If match/competitive shooting any reasons why you want to do lead-free?
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Old 03-19-2013, 8:00 AM
fastpowerstroker fastpowerstroker is offline
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Sorry for the confusion. I'm trying to work up a lead free bullet that performs well for hunting and target. Never shot lead free ammo before so I'm not sure how it should perform compared to my other successful loads.

Barnes max for this bullet is 52 gr but with a compressed density of 106%! No pressure signs yet in the middle at 49 gr. Never had to go close to a max load before but I do know to watch primers and sticky bolt. Guess I will try it as I have 30 more bullets left.

I already have great target rounds made up, but I need a round for hunting and would prefer a round that does both. I only have one centerfire rifle and would like to keep scope settings the same for target/hunting rounds.
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Old 03-19-2013, 8:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waho View Post
By lead free loading do you mean totally lead free or just lead free bullets? I presume you are not using lead free primers. If you don't have any overpressure signs (hard to lift bolt handle or bulging primers) I would carefully work my up to see if accuracy improves.
Yes just bullets for hunting. Using federal LRP.
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Old 03-19-2013, 8:07 AM
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With lead free always drop down one bullet weight. You wont get the same accuracy with lead free compared to jacketed bullets. Lead free bullets are relatively new and are constantly being revamped. From what i can tell barnes has redone there bullets atleast 3x since they started. Good luck i hope i helped you out some.
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Old 03-19-2013, 8:09 AM
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Oh i forgot to mention. If you can find them get the tipped barnes bullets they are a bit more accurate due to less drag
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Old 03-19-2013, 8:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solus View Post
With lead free always drop down one bullet weight.
That is, if you're using a reloading book that doesn't specifically list Barnes bullets, right? Barnes has plenty of reloading data on their site, those those who want to remove the guesswork.
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Old 03-19-2013, 8:22 AM
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No no as a general rule with loaded ammo. If you normally shoot 180gr factory ammo drop down to 165gr lead free factory ammo. Your accuracy should stay pretty close to what your gun shoots.
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Old 03-19-2013, 8:30 AM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is offline
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For the latest gen Barnes (TSX and TTSX), you can use the same load data as their lead jacketed cousins in a given weight class, so nothing special is required load data wise.

Loading them is different as a 150gr TTSX is substantially longer than a 150gr lead jacketed. Running out of case space can be a problem when loading to magazine lengths.

On your quest to have a single bullet for both hunting and target, I think you can do that as long as your target expectations are not particularily demanding. I have never gotten Barnes bullets to group like a quality lead jacketed bullet. In my experience even bulk style Hornaday 150gr FMJ/BT's will out shoot them on paper. For the 150gr Barnes TTSX's (tipped), I can get .7 MOA. The bulk 150gr FMJ/BT's will deliver .5 MOA in the same barrel and match quality bullets will deliver as low as .2 MOA when I am not having a wobbly day behind the trigger. Enormous difference, at least from paper punching perspective.

All my hunting loads use Barnes TTSX's now and I am fine with .7 MOA.

I would not be afraid of working toward max to find a good node, as you surmised you will likely run out of room in the case before you get to a sticky bolt, but work upo as you would in any other load development.

You might try a PM to Divernhunter, he has a lot of Barnes loading experience.

Good luck, have fun.

PS - In my experience lead free gets worse as you move away from Barnes. I gave up on Nosler E-Tips, 1.5 MOA was a really good target with those duds.
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Last edited by Bill Steele; 03-19-2013 at 8:37 AM..
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Old 03-19-2013, 8:37 AM
fastpowerstroker fastpowerstroker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solus View Post
No no as a general rule with loaded ammo. If you normally shoot 180gr factory ammo drop down to 165gr lead free factory ammo. Your accuracy should stay pretty close to what your gun shoots.
Yes I have heard this also. Maybe I dropped to much weight? Went from a 165 nosler to the 130 ttsx.

Last edited by fastpowerstroker; 03-19-2013 at 8:39 AM..
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Old 03-19-2013, 9:02 AM
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Yup probably dropped too much weight try something closer like around the 150-160gr weight. Try the 155gr match burner or the 150gr ttsx. Im not sure if the match burner is lead free but seems to be there new match grade bullet

http://www.barnesbullets.com/product...match-burners/
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:43 AM
Whiterabbit Whiterabbit is offline
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You're already getting advice for what a max load IS (since 150 is not 150 when its all copper...)

But I'll say the solid coppers are long for weight. So they typically need to be driven close to max for best performance. Which is where you want to be for a good hunting bullet anyways.

I'd also not sweat not being able to cover the holes with a dime. Muh hunting is done <300 yards anyways, so if you have a 2" gun, you can still hit a 6" boiler at 300 yards.....

I suspect you'll have no problems tightening the gun up to an inch as you reach the max load.
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Old 03-19-2013, 8:43 PM
stevec223 stevec223 is offline
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Default e-tip

i have had excellent luck with the 150 gr. nosler e-tip bullet in my 308.... win 748 powder and win large rifle mag primer...tipped bullet and a few bucks cheaper than barnes... no game down with it yet for me-- but customer reviews on game at midway are good....i use barnes 168 gr. ttsx in 30-06 and 300 mag and have excellent results on paper...( i only hunt pigs in condor zone with big bores--no luck so far ) still shooting lead on deer in c-zone....but the nannys in this state will take it all to non-lead.... be prepared !!... cheers..
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:52 PM
Wrangler John Wrangler John is offline
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Watch your seating depth on Barnes (or any monolithic copper) bullet. My experience with all the various calibers is that they have a very narrow seating depth off the lands where they shoot most accurately. One example is the Barnes .257" 80 grain TTSX bullet, it shot mediocre until I seated it exactly 0.50" off the lands, not .040" or .060", but spot on .050", the groups dropped to .5". Same with the Varmint Grenades, most shot best at factory OAL with a long jump. All my new barrels are faster twists to accommodate copper bullets, and so far have proven to shoot lead core bullets fantastically.
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