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Savage model 12 Varminter

Discussion in 'Long Guns' started by CaddmannQ, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,655
    Well my 16 gauge Lee Loadall arrived last night. Unfortunately I forgot to order wads, so I didn't bother to set it up yet.

    Also, I got a fancy Lee four die carbide set to do Lugers.

    I'm going to have to order the 16 gauge wads because no one in town will have those..
  2. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    2,211
    For those bullets, AR Comp, Reloader 15, And IMR 8208 should be good to work with. And maybe more readily available. Don't skimp on reloading manuals either. They will list the SAAMI spec for maximum chamber pressure of your rounds. Along with plenty of other general information for successful and safe reloading.
  3. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,655
    Yes I haven't found exactly load data for this bullet in my rifle yet.

    I was leaning towards Varget to start, because I heard it was very predictable, regular, if not particularly powerful powder.

    But so far I only have the Speer manual and whatever Hodgdon allows me to download which is actually pretty good.

    I was just reading what components all the hot Target Shooters used last year. If I want to buy Berger bullets and Lapua brass, I could have a lot of fun with their recipes. ;)
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  4. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    2,211
    Varget is good, I load some with it. Even some hunting rounds for my pops AR with a 64 grain Berger. One of my best rounds in .223 is a 55 grain nosler tipped varmegeddon, over good ole, tried and true IMR 3031. I gave them the pet name "Black Lasers". I run AR Comp under 77 grain Nosler Custom Comps. Fortunately for you, running a bolt gun, you can expand into the 80 grain projectile range. Only way to do that in the AR world is to load single rounds, as the length won't allow for magazine loading.
  5. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,655
    I'm not sure how the magazine will take it if I load the COAL as long as possible. I may be single shooting too.

    I think the key will be doing that and ramping the powder up a grain over max advertized.

    But this is based on Bergers in Lapua over Varget. How SSTs will work in used Remington cases with the same charge is unknown.

    This is the curiosity that's driving my reloading efforts. What will happen?
  6. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    2,211
    Start 10% below recommended charge weight. And work up. I've had good luck loading Wolf, and Federal Lake City brass. Don't get overzealous with powder. The fastest loads are rarely the most accurate. And a chronograph is a handy tool as well, when you reach that point.
  7. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

    Messages:
    15,213
    I've been using Ramshot Tac in my 223s. Around 20 gr or so of powder with 55 gr fmjbt's. I don't have my notes in front of me to tell exactly because I don't remember off the top of my head, but that's in the ballpark.

    Nitesite is correct about the length of the bullet.

    But I have seen 1:9 barrels shoot 75 gr Hornady REALLY well too. So, I can say sometimes there are exceptions.

    I had a 24" AR once that was a 1:9 and you couldn't really tell looking at the groups which were which if you didn't write on the target.

    The 1:9 may surprise you.

    And I do think length of barrel does help some compared to a 16 inch barrel. At 1 to 9, that's about 1.75 full rotations in a 16 inch barrel, and 2 1/2 rotations in a 24 inch. A 1:7 twenty four inch would be just a little more than 3 rotations. Not really a huge difference. But I think enough of a difference in a 16 inch is why you see they don't usually do well with the really heavy match stuff.

    My best suggestion, try it and see how they do. You should be able to be a pretty good judge at what they'll do once you send a few downrange.
  8. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,655
    I have access to several other powders including TAC, and Reloader7, but I chose to start with Varget because it is supposed to be very, very consistant. If I get irregular results, I want it to be me, and not my powder.
  9. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    2,211


    I miss spoke on this post. I loaded for myself with H335, and the Bergers. The loads i made for my ole man were 62 grain FBHP Varmegeddons, over Varget.
  10. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,655
    For the .223 I believe I'm going to start out with 23 grains of Varget and load to the maximum COAL.

    I was mistaken about those bullets they are not SSTs. They are called Hornady Match. 75gn FMJ BTHP.
  11. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,655
    We're loaded up and heading to the range soon.

    I have a hundred and sixty rounds for the .223 rifle and may shoot them all if I don't get too cold.

    40 rounds of Federal .223 65gn FMJ
    40 rnds of Remington .223 65gnFMJ

    60 rnds reloads 23gn H332 65gn Sierra matchking BTHP FMJ loaded by my buddy Bobby.

    Plus my reloads: All .223 Hornady Match 75gn BTHP FMJ over Varget.
    5 rounds 22.0 gn
    5 rounds 22.5 gn
    5 rounds 22.8 gn
    5 rounds 23.0 gn

    I have read reports of people going up to 25.5 gn pushing a 77 grain bthp loaded to max COAL in a similar setup.

    I set these up at 2.336" inches, which puts the cartridge with in kissing distance of the lands in my rifle. At 2.343" the lands were engraving visibly on the jacket. It was quite tight and I backed it down, not wanting to accidentally set off a round out of battery. At this length, they just barely feed out of the magazine, if you jiggle the gun just right.

    Unfortunately I was not able to get a new scope for this game yet so I put my cheapo 3-9×50mm Chinese Tasco on for today.

    A $50 scope sitting on $65 worth of rings on a $1,200 rifle :rolleyes:
    20170114_132612.jpg

    I set this up and bore sighted it in my garage, and when I was done the clearance was so tight I had to grind the scope cover slightly so it would fit between the scope and Barrel.
    20170114_123702.jpg

    The bore sighting went very well and I sighted it at 20 feet and then 50 yards, as well as I could without a laser. For 20 yards I just put an orange Target dot inside the garage door and look down the bore. I accomplished the 50 yards by picking a spot on my neighbor's chimney and sighting through the garage window.

    We clocked Bobby's loads of 3100 ft/s and I think those will be almost spot on at 50 yards.
    Rossignol likes this.
  12. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,655
    Well things ran late today and I didn't get to shoot the 150 rounds that I had planned. I shot exactly 45 rounds today, but 2 factory loads FTF'd.

    Range conditions were 1000ft elev, overcast, very little to no wind, moderate barometric pressure, temp about 52°F. I shot off sandbags on a concrete bench.


    First off that Tasco is a real turd. At 200 yards it's almost hopeless trying to get it to focus. I was so happy to hit the paper at all!

    My bore sighting worked out pretty well, because I hit the paper (high) at 25 yards on the first try.

    First group of the day: I shot three Federal's (marked FED) then had two fail to fire! Right away, I wasn't feeling good about this rifle. The group of 3 should be better but I was having trouble because the trigger is so light.

    Second group : The five marked MK are 65 grain Sierra Matchking Spitzers loaded by my buddy Bobby over 23grn H322. Now I had a handle on that trigger. Even at just 25 yards, when I saw that sub-1" group, I felt very good about this rifle.
    20170114_184507.jpg

    50 yards: (the X is not my shot)
    I brought the scope down a bit and shot 5 Remington UMC 55grn Spitzers, way high & grouping very poorly.

    I brought the scope down a little more & shot the group 22.5v, which were 5 of my loads, 75grain Hornaday Match slugs over 22.5 grains of Varget.

    I adjusted the scope right too much and shot group 23v, with same 75gn over 23 grains of Varget. I screwed up and shot my bullets out of order. I wanted to shoot the 22grn loads first. :(
    Still I was very pleased with group 23v.

    20170114_181301.jpg

    100 yards:
    5 shots 75grain Match over 22 grn Varget. A 1.75 inch group and it looks like maybe these were starting to Tumble.
    20170114_181836.jpg

    200 yards:
    Five 75 grain Hornady Match BTHP FMJ over 22.8 grains of Varget.

    I have a tough time shooting at 200 yards with a crappy 9 Power Scope which didn't want to focus at that range. Lots of you guys could do it but my eyes suck so bad...

    But my last shot of the day nicked the X-Ring at 200 yards, and I was happy as a clam. :)
    20170114_180152.jpg
    These bullets did not seem to Tumble even at 200 yards. That 0.8 grns of extra powder made the difference.

    All the handloads felt very consistent, and every one fired solidly on the first strike. It was cold and gloomy and we only had a short range session, but this was the happiest day of my whole week.

    If you had added this up and realized I hadn't accounted for the last five rounds, it's because I shot 5 Federals (of the same batch which failed to fire) at the 25-yard Target and did not photograph it. I only scored about a 2 inch pattern with them, but I was still figuring out the trigger.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
    Rossignol likes this.
  13. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,655
    I got back out to the range for a couple of hours today. Encouraged by yesterday's shooting, I had loaded 30 more rounds last night and I was aching to shoot them. :rolleyes:

    I decided that with the current scope it was a waste of time to try shooting at 200 yards, so I stuck to 50 and 100 for today.

    Conditions were almost identical to yesterday with virtually no wind.

    Round 1:
    50 yards 75grain Hornady Match over 23 grains of Varget.

    5 shots ~1.75" not too good...
    20170115_192250.jpg

    Round two, same as above / 23.5 grains of Varget. 5 shots. Not on the bullseye, but a pretty nice pattern.
    20170115_185245.jpg

    Round 3, 50 yards, Same as above over 24 grains of Varget. 5 shots. Not bad. 20170115_185441.jpg

    Round 4, 100 yards. Same 75grain bthp over 24.5 grains of Varget. 5 shots. Sub 1" group.
    20170115_185909.jpg

    Round 5: 100 yards, same as above over 25 grains of Varget. This group had mismatched cases. Not as consistent.

    20170115_190648.jpg

    Round 6: 100 yards, same 75grain over same 25 grains of Varget. 5 shots.

    I was just shooting for patterns today but I finally made a scope adjustment, because I was shooting about 6 inches high at a hundred yards with these. I actually bought it down about an inch too much. The last shot was rushed and I ruined the pattern. I'm still very happy with it though.
    20170115_190958.jpg

    this is about the best shooting I've ever done in my life, and I definitely blame it on the rifle.

    I think with a better scope it will improve even more.
    Rossignol likes this.
  14. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,655
    I should have posted something in the range reports but I guess I started this here and it's going to stay here.

    I guess it's sort of a special gun, and so it deserves its own thread. :)
    stigmata likes this.
  15. stigmata

    stigmata 20g

    Messages:
    972
    You got one sweet savage caddman.
    I have the 11VT with the bull barrel minis the fluting and totally love the trigger. So effortless and crisp break.
    Only had her out a few times at the range. It came bundled with a scope but to me is not the best but does the job.
    CaddmannQ likes this.
  16. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,655
    She's a pretty nice shooter, and I'm hoping I will do better on the next outing.

    I'm taking more care this time with the cases, as last time I had some mixed brass. Some brands have less internal volume, and I believe they were shooting a little bit higher.

    This time I will know for certain.

    Also I bought a new scope. This is the Steiner GS3, 4-20x50. It was only half the cost of the Leupold I was looking for originally.

    The reticle is tuned for 22-250, so it won't have exactly the same performance as what I'm shooting, but with my custom loads, nothing else would either.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  17. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,655
    The Steiner has German glass but made in Colorado.
    30mm tube means I need some new rings now.
    IMG_20170127_093620_hdr_kindlephoto-300358747.jpg
    stigmata and Rossignol like this.
  18. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,655
    Wow that's a crappy photo!
    On the smartphone it looked passable. On the 27" screen it's a big blur. :rolleyes:

    I got some Leupold rings today, and I will be bore sighting tonight. I'll post good outdoor pics from the range tomorrow if the weather holds out.
    stigmata and Rossignol like this.
  19. stigmata

    stigmata 20g

    Messages:
    972
    I need to get me a better scope and rings. Think mine are 30mm but have to make sure. I know I have a set of 1" rings that I got for my AR but never used them cause I bought the Burris PEPR mount and used that to mount my ar scope instead.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  20. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,655
    20170128_114001.jpg
    Today the weather was beautiful, but I didn't get to go on the 300-yard Range as this was the day of the annual Rifle Club swap meet.
    20170128_113922.jpg

    I just shot the Savage12 at 50 and 100 yds, at the public range, and my bore sighting was good enough that I was on the paper at 50 in 2 shots with the factory Remington ammo. I took a third in the x ring.

    Then I adjusted the scope & switchd to the handloads of 75gn Hornady Match over 25 grain varget. I had matched the cases, and they shot a nice pattern of 5, high on the 10.
    20170128_172232.jpg

    I switched to 100 yds and shot this with the handloads.
    20170128_171713.jpg

    I shot this with my buddy's loads. 55gn Siera Matchking, over 23gn H322.

    20170128_185915.jpg

    I shot a few more patterns with Factory loads but none of them were very good. I made one more minor scope adjustment and then I shot this. This was the best pattern of the day, 75gn handloads again. 5 shots.

    20170128_192116.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
    Rossignol likes this.

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