Replicating the Barnes 110 gr. VOR-TX 300 Blackout Factory Load

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dellet
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Re: Replicating the Barnes 110 gr. VOR-TX 300 Blackout Factory Load

Post by dellet » Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:00 pm

ReadyAimDuck wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 11:24 pm
For me, this is the first gas gun I've really reloaded heavily for and I'm still at the point where I have a hard time trusting that the bullets will stay seated where they belong with only the neck tension. Part of that distrust is the amount of time it has taken me to understand what the OAL should be based on feeding. And feeding with different magazines, different weighted BCGs, Buffers, Gas Block settings, etc. In the journey to find fully functioning subsonic loads in the sub 165 grain range, I've run into everything under the sun that can go wrong and lead to bullets stuck in the chamber, squibs, etc. In fact, I've gotten into the habit of popping the rear take down pin, sliding the bolt carrier out, and looking down the barrel from the rear after each shot to make sure there is no obstruction anywhere, until I am completely confident in the load. A lot of this testing has been done from just outside the door at a huge hill without a target on it. This is because these loadings were intended to find loads in the light bullet weights that cycle the action, and not necessaryily to find good groupings, but to find those that remain subsonic. That, and theres just a whole heck of a lot of snow on the ground that I don't feel like trudging through to set the target up on. So, basically for now I'm just aiming at the giant hill and taking note of the sound, the cycling of the action, etc.

These are published loads and C.O.A.Ls that I am using, so it might sound like paranoia, but I've had more than my share of failure to feeds with the bullet being pushed way back into the case, or even stuck in the chamber when having to really pull hard on the charging handle after a FTF (in this case I pushed it in all the way with the forward assist, then thought better of that idea). Its taken a bit of trial and error and borrowing from other's who have posted their trial and error, to learn about the measurement of the ogive to base, and COAL, in a gas gun for this round. And along the way I've seen where that measurement can be slightly off and the rounds end up being pushed back into the case enough to make me nervous. So, I've been religious about crimping as a result, with the mindset that it could prevent a round from chambering that could be pushed back into the case too far and compressing the powder unsafely. Whether or not this makes a ton of sense, I cannot say for sure. I am not extremely well-versed in loading for gas guns. Most of my loading experience is with revolver cartridges and bolt guns.
If you measure base to ogive and know where the bullet hits the rifling, you set the die up based on that length with some clearance and you’re done. You want some jump, but as long as never exceed the known jam length, it’s no problem.

Part of the problem is what you are trying to do, light subs, under 150 grains, in a gas gun. It’s just not practical. The powders that will cycle lighter bullets burn so poorly that after a few shots the action is so clogged with carbon and unburned powder, you have problems feeding and chambering.

Moving between longer and shorter seated depth of the bullet or changing bullets complicates that also because the garbage builds up in front of the bullet rapidly. So a longer bullet needs to try and seat in chamber full of crap. Once it’s forced in and even more so if you have to use the forward assist, it’s not coming back out.

The lighter the bullet the less crimp you need, it’s the speed of chambering, and the sudden stop that moves the bullet forward. The heavier the bullet the more likely it is to slip. A bit more or less crimp changes starting pressure, which effects powder burn rate and accuracy and can be used to fine tune a load. With that said, I never crimp.
300 Blackout, not just for sub-sonics.

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Re: Replicating the Barnes 110 gr. VOR-TX 300 Blackout Factory Load

Post by ReadyAimDuck » Sat Dec 26, 2020 7:58 pm

Those were just about my exact findings. Only, it took a quite a bit of trial and error. Especially the part about the ogive being the important measurement for feeding. I struggled for a while getting the flat point bullets to feed until I discovered exactly where to seat them based on the ogive rather than the OAL. The 135s are dirty, but not so much so where I get stoppages after 30 rounds. But you are right, the lightweight stuff is very dirty. I have a rifle thats speciffically built for shooting only those loads, so I don't mind as much as if it were my hunting gun, home defense gun, or some other build.

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Re: Replicating the Barnes 110 gr. VOR-TX 300 Blackout Factory Load

Post by ReadyAimDuck » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:09 pm

What are your thoughts on this powder charge for a 110 grain bullet of a different shape, and how close the accuracy node is? What I am wondering is if you took the most accurately powder load that you foun for the TAC-TC bullet, how likely is it that the same charge would also be the most accurate under another 110 gr. bullet like the Hornady VMax or similar? Is the accuracy node dependent upon bullet weight exclusively or is there bullet shape and other variables at play? And if so, to what extent are those other variables in play vs. bullet weight?

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Re: Replicating the Barnes 110 gr. VOR-TX 300 Blackout Factory Load

Post by Ben B. » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:44 am

Same powder charge of 20.0 gr H110 yielded comparable groups for me with 110 VMAX vs 110 Nosler Varmageddon.
Last edited by Ben B. on Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Replicating the Barnes 110 gr. VOR-TX 300 Blackout Factory Load

Post by Regaj » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:12 am

ReadyAimDuck wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:09 pm
What are your thoughts on this powder charge for a 110 grain bullet of a different shape, and how close the accuracy node is? What I am wondering is if you took the most accurately powder load that you foun for the TAC-TC bullet, how likely is it that the same charge would also be the most accurate under another 110 gr. bullet like the Hornady VMax or similar? Is the accuracy node dependent upon bullet weight exclusively or is there bullet shape and other variables at play? And if so, to what extent are those other variables in play vs. bullet weight?
I think having established an accurate load for one bullet gives you a data point... it's suggestive of where you might want to look closely. But there are so many variables involved that I don't think it's a consistent or reliable indicator.

In the case of the Barnes bullet, other than the polymer tip it's an all-copper design and it's typically going to be longer in length than a traditionally-constructed lead core design. That affects both seating depth and the bearing surface of the bullet. The pressure profile will be similar, but it won't be the same.

And a given rifle will change over time. Each shot down the bore changes it.

As the saying goes... it's complicated.

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Re: Replicating the Barnes 110 gr. VOR-TX 300 Blackout Factory Load

Post by dellet » Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:46 am

ReadyAimDuck wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:09 pm
What are your thoughts on this powder charge for a 110 grain bullet of a different shape, and how close the accuracy node is? What I am wondering is if you took the most accurately powder load that you foun for the TAC-TC bullet, how likely is it that the same charge would also be the most accurate under another 110 gr. bullet like the Hornady VMax or similar? Is the accuracy node dependent upon bullet weight exclusively or is there bullet shape and other variables at play? And if so, to what extent are those other variables in play vs. bullet weight?
You’ve got 3-5 different things and questions there that are completely related to nothing at all :mrgreen:

There are “accuracy nodes” related to velocity, charge weight, jump and probably a couple other things I’m not thinking about of right now. A node, to me is loosely defined as a window with the most room for error. That may not be anyone else’s definition.

Optimum charge weight, will give you a group that doesn’t open up within say a .3 grain window.

Optimum barrel timing, will give you a place in barrel harmonics that reduce/eliminate vertical stringing within a small change in velocity.

Optimum jump will give a COL that will tolerate inconsistencies there. Another accuracy node.

Seating depth has nothing to do with jump, but does change it. Seating depth changes starting pressure, that changes burn rate, that can change velocity and or recoil. So there can be a powder density node for powders.

All that said, I have found that H110/296 is probably the easiest powder to load with in this cartridge with bullets under 150 grains.

For a 16” barrel. Velocity will be in 125-150fps windows. I don’t care what weight, maxed at about 2400, unless you have an abnormally light bullet, under 100 grains.

Case fill density will be 100% +/-2%

I prefer bullets that are jump friendly, a more round nose. Less playing with jump.

As example with a 110 grain bullet I drop 20 & 20.5 grains in a case find the COL for both charge weights, and check velocity. If you check people’s pet loads you will find an abnormally high number within that range. And the velocity will be around 2400.

For 125 grain bullets it will be 18-18.5 around 2250 fps.

Just some observations
300 Blackout, not just for sub-sonics.

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Re: Replicating the Barnes 110 gr. VOR-TX 300 Blackout Factory Load

Post by ReadyAimDuck » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:36 pm

Sorry if the question was poorly worded. I think that is a result of my lack of understanding of these concepts in general. I think my questions have been more or less answered. I was basically wondering if your best powder charge for accuracy with that 110 grain TAC-TX would be also the most accurate for other 110 grain bullets, like the VMAX. It sounds like there are many more variables at play.

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Re: Replicating the Barnes 110 gr. VOR-TX 300 Blackout Factory Load

Post by Ben B. » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:52 pm

I
ReadyAimDuck wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:36 pm
...wondering if your best powder charge for accuracy with that 110 grain TAC-TX would be also the most accurate for other 110 grain bullets, like the VMAX. It sounds like there are many more variables at play.
IME, with this powder and these 3 different 110 gr pills in BLK, it’s either the same charge or pretty damn close. One can make it as complicated as desired, in the hobby of reloading.
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Re: Replicating the Barnes 110 gr. VOR-TX 300 Blackout Factory Load

Post by md66948 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:15 am

It seems everyone has been shooting with a 16" barrel. Has anyone tested the Barnes 110 VT with an 8.5" barrel?

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Re: Replicating the Barnes 110 gr. VOR-TX 300 Blackout Factory Load

Post by Regaj » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:57 pm

md66948 wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:15 am
It seems everyone has been shooting with a 16" barrel. Has anyone tested the Barnes 110 VT with an 8.5" barrel?
I've put a fair number of rounds down a 7" barrel. I've got chrono numbers. And rough, non-definitive accuracy results. But my PDW wears a red dot rather than a magnified optic and so I haven't spent much time trying to assess accuracy in any kind of rigorous way.

What I can say is that velocity drop-off from a 16" barrel to a 7" (or your 8.5") platform is significant... but pretty much exactly what you'd expect. Barnes specs their factory VOR-TX load at 2350 fps. I consistently see just over 2300 fps from a 16" platform, and just over 2000 fps out of my 7" PDW.

Accuracy of the factory load is more than good enough for self-defense, or hunting. Crafting handloads that better Barnes factory effort in either accuracy or velocity is not difficult.

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