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

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

Post by ReadyAimDuck » Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:52 pm

The first picture posted in the link to your write up was the factory round? If so, its amazing how much more accurate your hand loads seem to be at all charges. What do you contribute that to?

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

Post by Ben B. » Thu Dec 24, 2020 8:48 pm

I’ve found it to be pretty common that my loads are more accurate than factory ammo, which is fortunate. Part of that is obviously the result of testing for the loads that work best and loading those, and part of it is that seems to be that a lot of factory ammo is marginal.

I’ve not yet found a factory load that shoots better in my rifles, but I definitely don’t beat the bushes for it either. I mean...why?
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Re: Replicating the Barnes 110 gr. VOR-TX 300 Blackout Factory Load

Post by ReadyAimDuck » Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:24 pm

Ben B. wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 8:48 pm
I’ve found it to be pretty common that my loads are more accurate than factory ammo, which is fortunate. Part of that is obviously the result of testing for the loads that work best and loading those, and part of it is that seems to be that a lot of factory ammo is marginal.

I’ve not yet found a factory load that shoots better in my rifles, but I definitely don’t beat the bushes for it either. I mean...why?
I think the factory ammo being marginal is what I am wondering about. I don't shoot enough of it to know. In fact, I really don't shoot any of it any more. I guess what I was thinking was that if you are shooting the same bullet as the factory load throughout a broad range of velocity and pressure. Eventually, you are going to duplicate what your barrel does with a factory load to produce the same harmonic behavior that contributes to the best accuracy. Now, I may not be understanding that or saying that properly. But, it seems to me that finding the most accurate load has a lot to with a particular velocity for a bullet, where it is being propelled out of the barrel at the most favorable timing with the harmonics of the barrel. Or, some other physics stuff I don't understand. Either way, what I am getting at is that I would imagine you would be duplicating that at some point with the handload and the factory load, as you are working through the velocity ranges with that same bullet. Yet, the hand load is so much more accurate at all stages of the testing. If all of this is correct, and all other physical properties are equal (Such as COAL) there must be other variable at work that makes the hand load more accurate. Could it be quality control of factory ammo?

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

Post by Regaj » Fri Dec 25, 2020 7:44 am

ReadyAimDuck wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:52 pm
The first picture posted in the link to your write up was the factory round? If so, its amazing how much more accurate your hand loads seem to be at all charges. What do you contribute that to?
Loading ammunition, whether it is done at scale in a factory or in the corner of your bedroom on a single-stage press, is about controlling variables. And the huge advantage we handloaders have is the ability to control more of those variables, to a higher degree of precision, than could ever be profitable in a factory.

I actually think most modern factory ammunition is pretty good stuff. Some of it - like Federal's .308 Gold Medal 168gr. Match King load (which shoots exceptionally well in an astonishing variety of rifles), or Speer's line of Gold Dot handgun ammunition, or the Barnes 110gr. load we're talking about here - are all quite excellent.

But, assuming I could get my hands on the bullet itself, I've never encountered a factory load that I couldn't better with handloads. As I said in my original post, that's really not a very tall order.

Loading to the same pressure/velocity range as the factory load is pretty trivial. Even having done that, though, it's not a given that barrel harmonics will be the same. The factory may be using a non-canister powder which produces a different pressure profile from the powder we're using. Regardless, I would expect to achieve better accuracy with my handloads at almost any given level of pressure/velocity. That's simply down to the quality-control-on-steroids that we handloaders are able to bring to bear. And that's just with basic stuff - hand priming each round, individually weighing each charge, attention to case-to-case variation and the like. The more esoteric stuff like measuring concentricity runout and neck tension and measuring the actual capacity of each case and adjusting bullet seating depth relative to the lands and truly customizing a load for a particular rifle will all take us further down Accuracy Road, if that's what we're after.

We handloaders have advantages that the factories can only dream of.

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

Post by Regaj » Fri Dec 25, 2020 7:53 am

20X11 wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:45 pm
Looks to me like your accuracy node is 19.7...which oddly enough has the worse "technical" numbers. Exactly why I scarcely give a crap about ES and SD numbers if I can get a repeatable accuracy node.
Aye, 19.7 bears further investigation. But my sense is that 20.0 is a broader opportunity in which to work.

But, yeah, I couldn't agree more that at the end of the day, it's where the bullets actually go, not the ES and SD numbers, that matter. I find it interesting that I've fired four groups of record of the factory load... and it's grouped perfectly fine on three of those, notwithstanding the poor ES/SD numbers.

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

Post by ReadyAimDuck » Fri Dec 25, 2020 8:04 am

Sounds like you have answered my question quite thoroughly. I appreciate that. I've loaded up the 110 tac tx over H110 from 19.5 - 20.2 in 0.1 grain increments, and I am just waiting to test them out. That bullet and the results it gets in factory ammo is the reason I built this rifle.

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

Post by dellet » Fri Dec 25, 2020 11:31 am

Velocity spreads can tell more than possible group size, and with some powders like 296/H 110 important patterns show up.

As for accuracy a good ballistic calculator is helpful. If you plug in this bullet and a 25 yard zero with both 2350 & 2400 fps at 50 yards the differences in drop is no to measurable, at 100 you can only see it with multiple 1/4 MOA groups because it’s predicted to be .1”. Finally at 200 yards you start getting numbers with meaning, a 50 fps spread starts to show as >1/2”. Finally at 400 yards it’s about 3”.

Image

What’s more interesting to me is the actual velocity. It’s a small sample, but very telling with 296 and more so with Lil’gun. At 19.9-20.1 velocity starts to level out, and can probably be stabilized with seating depth or crimp.

At 20.2 velocity starts moving up again. That’s a big tell with this powder and even more with Lil’gun. A pressure spike is coming.

That’s another reason using smaller steps a load ladder. I load a lot of smaller capacity cartridges and a maximum of 1% charge weight ladder is standard. That % also shows up in a lot of manuals.
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 Dec 25, 2020 6:27 pm

Well thank you for all of that info. I did not know that the ladder should be in 1% increments at smaller case capacities, but that makes a lot of sense. I've heard that H110 can get out of control fast at too low of a charge and too much of a charge, so I really want to err on the side of caution with that. I have a similar barrel I'm loading for, and it will be interesting to see how close their accuracy nodes with this bullet are.

You mentioned crimp. Were you crimping at all for this test, and do you plan on crimping for the load you settle on? I've crimped all of my Tac-TX loads into the Cannelure. I'm also running a gas gun as opposed to a bolt gun which I probably wouldn't crimp unless experimenting with a particular load rendered better results with the crimp.

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

Post by Regaj » Fri Dec 25, 2020 6:56 pm

ReadyAimDuck wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 6:27 pm
Were you crimping at all for this test, and do you plan on crimping for the load you settle on? I've crimped all of my Tac-TX loads into the Cannelure. I'm also running a gas gun as opposed to a bolt gun which I probably wouldn't crimp unless experimenting with a particular load rendered better results with the crimp.
No crimp on any of these. But, like you, I am running a gas gun in addition to the bolt gun - the RARR was originally purchased as a development platform FOR the semi-auto - and will probably be testing crimps shortly. I really don't think they're necessary with this cartridge... you can feel when you seat the bullet if neck tension is inadequate. But "abundance of caution" and all that.

If I end up crimping anything it will be with a Lee Factory Crimp die.

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

Post by ReadyAimDuck » 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.

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