6mm Remington Hammer Load Advice

ImBillT

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Hey Bill. Shoot some Hammers. Just for the Hell of it. mtmuley
Ship me 100 in .30cal, suitable for a 12” twist, and perhaps another 100 for a 14” twist, and perhaps in January or February I will shoot them just for fun, and I’ll be happy to report back. I’m too busy to do much just for kicks at the moment, and I’m not spending any money that could be spent on hunting gas, crane loads, or applications just to shoot some bullets for someone else’s interests.


For hunting, I’m currently happy with what I’m using and disinterested in going down any other rabbit holes. If I were to go down the mono path, I’d probably give Hammers a try right off the bat.

Edit: My 6mm Remington is an 8” twist, and won’t shoot light weight cup and core bullets without vaporizing them in midair. It needs some tweaking before I’d say its worth accuracy testing anything at all, BUT once it’s there, a mono might be worth trying in it. Something in the 85-95gr range perhaps.
 
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JLS

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Back to the OP, in all honesty I think i might be inclined to try a different powder. I’ve done a fair bit of loading with hammers for different rifles. IME, Steve’s load development process works well.

I don’t like how your load disperses out as it gets hotter. I have found with the right powder and primer it will really tighten up on the upper 2/3 of your charge ladder and should be sub MOA.

I’d either try standard primers or go to a different powder.
 

ImBillT

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Back to the OP, in all honesty I think i might be inclined to try a different powder. I’ve done a fair bit of loading with hammers for different rifles. IME, Steve’s load development process works well.

I don’t like how your load disperses out as it gets hotter. I have found with the right powder and primer it will really tighten up on the upper 2/3 of your charge ladder and should be sub MOA.

I’d either try standard primers or go to a different powder.
Assuming that his rifle is fairly accurate, he handled it well, and his loading techniques are solid, there’s nothing wrong with how his load appears to disperse as it gets hotter. If no other factors were contributing to the target, then it simply looks like he started near the lower end of an accuracy node, passed through a scatter node, and began to get back onto a second accuracy node. None of that has anything to do with the powder. It’s entirely possible that a different powder could allow him to get more comfortably into that upper node, the middle of which is likely in the 3300-3325fps range, but there’s not really anything wrong with the powder he’s using, IF he is happy with 3075-3100fps. Again, if nothing else is influencing his ladder, then no other powder will look any better when shooting velocities spanning 3125-3240fps.(extremely low ES will shoot low vertical regardless of your node)

Keep in mind that it is quite likely his Magneto Speed substantially influence the ladder, and his node likely occurs elsewhere. I’ve never used a Magneto Speed, but the primary influencers of where nodes occurs are barrel length and profile. I would imagine that dangling a Magneto Speed from you barrel would change where your nodes occur.

From 3024 to 3127 he had essentially a little less than .5” of vertical at 200yds. That’s quite good. At 3182, POI shifted dramatically. That’s normal for coming off a node. After that it shifts back toward the group. The next two shots are only a few FPS apart, likely just random velocity spread, and the same can be said for the approximate .5” in vertical there. Seriously 1/4MOA would be a good group, I wouldn’t read anything into the dispersion between those two shots EXCEPT that they are between 3182(off the node) and the original POI. That just means you’re headed back toward the group. Last shot, 3281, essentially back in the group. It’s a hair high, but that could just about anything. I’d assume that 3281 is the edge of the next node up. Confirmation would require a different powder or lighter bullet, but is only necessary if the OP is unhappy with 3075fps.

The only thing I see that concerns me is some pretty substantial variation is how much velocity is gained by each .5gr increase in powder charge, as well as some big variation in all his shots at 43gr. If that doesn’t clean up with some five shot groups at the same charge, I would look into a different primer or weight sorting brass. If those didn’t help, a change of powders might, but he’s shooting a powder that tends to yield low SDs in a variety of cartridges, and isn’t terribly finicky.
 
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ImBillT

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Not going to argue with you Bill. I stand by my advice.
I agree with you in as much as I would not develop loads using those powder charges with that powder. My stance is simply that(assuming the ladder test was good) I would not bother with any loads using any powder that yielded MV’s ranging from ROUGHLY 3125fps to 3280fps. The target showed that he was definitely off the node at 3180fps, and PROBABLY on the next node 3280fps. The lower node may continue beyond 3125fps, and the upper node may start lower than 3280fps, BUT it’s not good to be too close to the edges anyway. A different powder might let him shoot the upper node without the sticky bolt lift, but it wouldn’t really be because the different powder behaved better at high pressure.

Basically we kind of agree, but kind of disagree.
 

Redside

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Thanks again everyone for all the advice. There are certainly many ways to go about this and different avenues to explore so it is good to see all the different ways to find a good shooting round.

I finally was able to load up a couple different charges last night and hit the range after church this morning.

I loaded up 5 rounds at 44gr and 45.5gr. Not sure why I went with 5 rounds as after 3 it was very apparent what was working. Could have tried 3 loads instead. Anyway, I went with 44gr because of the advice for the least vertical spread. I went with 45.5gr because of the find pressure and back off 1gr for hammers thought process.

I shot at 100yrd as the longer range was pretty busy. 44gr was a very big group, about 3" and 45.5 was .872" (picture below) I did not use the magneto speed. I know that is one of the drawbacks is potentially changing group ect. Just getting into this seemed like the best compromise when buying a "cheaper" chrono. Definitely will be testing what it does to groups in the future.

I'm pretty happy with that group overall especially for hunting. Maybe I could tighten that up some. Seating depth is my weakest link in all of this. I don't have the Hornady gauge/comparator so I used a couple different methods to determine that. Seems like I could clean that up. Although, I'm almost at mag length so only one way to go!

The reason for using imr4350 is that's what I could find at the time haha. I have also picked up IMR 4831 since. I have been watching for other powders. Also, I plan to load for 25-06 and 300win mag in the future and 4350 was a powder that was used in all of those when I was looking. Just starting out seemed like a good one to go with.

Any suggestions for different powder to try?

Also, I did download the Hornaday reloading app originally and bought the 6mm loads. I didn't really pay attention to it as once I got in there as they didn't show a load for 4350 in the 80gr GMX. However, looking back they did use a 22" barrel and the fastest loads achieved were 3200 fps with HV100 and Superformance, the majority maxed at 3100fps. I could probably squeeze some more fps with more experience but I think this should work.

Next I'll try to get out and shoot at longer ranges to see how it does! May mess around with seating depth as well.

Thanks again!



IMG_0713.JPEG
 

JLS

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Set your depth at 0.025” off the lands. I do it by jamming a bullet in the case. Or, if mag length is shorter simply use that.

I’d try the current powder with standard magnum rifle primers first and then you could try IMR 4831 too. Sorry, I thought you were using 250 primers. How is your load density with the IMR 4350?
 
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ImBillT

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Thanks again everyone for all the advice. There are certainly many ways to go about this and different avenues to explore so it is good to see all the different ways to find a good shooting round.

I finally was able to load up a couple different charges last night and hit the range after church this morning.

I loaded up 5 rounds at 44gr and 45.5gr. Not sure why I went with 5 rounds as after 3 it was very apparent what was working. Could have tried 3 loads instead. Anyway, I went with 44gr because of the advice for the least vertical spread. I went with 45.5gr because of the find pressure and back off 1gr for hammers thought process.

I shot at 100yrd as the longer range was pretty busy. 44gr was a very big group, about 3" and 45.5 was .872" (picture below) I did not use the magneto speed. I know that is one of the drawbacks is potentially changing group ect. Just getting into this seemed like the best compromise when buying a "cheaper" chrono. Definitely will be testing what it does to groups in the future.

I'm pretty happy with that group overall especially for hunting. Maybe I could tighten that up some. Seating depth is my weakest link in all of this. I don't have the Hornady gauge/comparator so I used a couple different methods to determine that. Seems like I could clean that up. Although, I'm almost at mag length so only one way to go!

The reason for using imr4350 is that's what I could find at the time haha. I have also picked up IMR 4831 since. I have been watching for other powders. Also, I plan to load for 25-06 and 300win mag in the future and 4350 was a powder that was used in all of those when I was looking. Just starting out seemed like a good one to go with.

Any suggestions for different powder to try?

Also, I did download the Hornaday reloading app originally and bought the 6mm loads. I didn't really pay attention to it as once I got in there as they didn't show a load for 4350 in the 80gr GMX. However, looking back they did use a 22" barrel and the fastest loads achieved were 3200 fps with HV100 and Superformance, the majority maxed at 3100fps. I could probably squeeze some more fps with more experience but I think this should work.

Next I'll try to get out and shoot at longer ranges to see how it does! May mess around with seating depth as well.

Thanks again!



View attachment 200205
Nothing wrong with IMR-4350. In fact, with an 80gr bullet, I don’t think you’re going to do much better than IMR-4350 other than perhaps H-4350. When you have a cartridge/bullet combo that works well with 4350 or 4831 it’s just hard not to use them.

The most likely reason that the load which looked good in your ladder was not actually good, is that your nodes without the Magneto Speed attached are at different velocities than with it attached. If you ever do a ladder again, don’t do it with the Magneto Speed attached. Do it without the Magneto Speed, then load a few rounds at powder charges that looked good and check the velocity with the Magneto Speed.

Keep in mind, that my comment saying you weren’t looking for the least amount of vertical was related to ladder testing. You’re looking for different powder charges that all give similar vertical POI, then you should see them move away, then move back. Again, don’t do that with he Magneto Speed attached if you’re looking for nodes.

I’d love to see you shoot a 5-shot group at 44ish grains with the Magneto Speed on. Just to see if it shrinks when you attach the Magneto Speed. However, I don’t blame you for not doing it, as it isn’t really relevant to what you’re after.
 
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ImBillT

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Nothing at all. HOWEVER, the guy who makes these bullets will tell you flat out, if your charge ladder is not MOA or better you should probably keep looking for a different powder.

Those of us who have actually used these bullets can speak to the validity of this approach.
A) How much vertical is in a ladder has little to do with powder. It’s primarily barrel length and profile.

B) His ladder is a little over 2” at 215yds. That’s close enough to 1 MOA.
 
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ImBillT

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My point is that Hammer bullets are quite insensitive to charge weight and other factors that people traditionally manipulate chasing a node. For example, I will often shoot a 10 shot pressure test ladder spanning 4-5 grains and several thousand fps of velocity and end up with a sub 1” group on the paper at 100 yards. If I then back off pressure signs and shoot a 1/2” group with single digit velocity spread then I’m done. If I don’t get the results I want then I will start manipulating variables.

It’s worth shooting a group to see if it’s shooting well before starting some elaborate load development process. Why send $50 worth of Hammers down range in 3 shot groups at 0.1gr increments if it’s already shooting at or above what I assume is the accuracy potential of the gun? A 1/2” group at 100 with low velocity spread will group well at long range every time.

I have done the abbreviated load development method that I described with Hammers in at least a dozen rifles. A couple didn’t give the velocity I wanted so I changed powders. I’ve never had to manipulate seating depth or fine tune charge weight to find accuracy. The worst shooting of these is a $350 Rem 700 straight from Walmart that shoots under 3/4 MOA.
ALL bullets are EQUALLY sensitive to velocity nodes.

When the cartridge ignites it causes the barrel to vibrate(primarily up and down). When bullets exit the barrel while the barrel is on the upward swing, bullets at higher velocity come out while the barrel is lower in the swing, and bullets at lower velocity come out while the barrel is high in its swing. The result is that where the barrel was actually pointed when the bullet exits compensates for variation in velocity resulting in similar impact vertically despite varied validity. On the opposite end of the spectrum, when bullets exit while the barrel is on the downswing, bullet at high velocity exit while the muzzle is high, snd bullets at lower velocity exit while the muzzle is low. The result is that variation in velocity yields even more vertical deviation than expected on the target. No magic bullet escapes these effects.

How far the muzzle swings, snd the frequencies that it vibrates at are primarily a function of barrel length and profile. Clamping on abject onto your barrel will obviously have a major impact. Guys shooting tuners are barely even moving the things and totally changing the shapes and POIs of their groups. I’ve never gone down the tuner rabbit hole.

Powder, seating depth, bullet ogive, bullet material etc. all have very little impact on where your node occur or how much vertical they can induce.

No matter how far off a node you are(directly between two, ie. a scatter node) if you shoot five shots with identical velocity, the node cannot hurt you. Low ES/SD is always beneficial.
 

BuzzH

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Thanks again everyone for all the advice. There are certainly many ways to go about this and different avenues to explore so it is good to see all the different ways to find a good shooting round.

I finally was able to load up a couple different charges last night and hit the range after church this morning.

I loaded up 5 rounds at 44gr and 45.5gr. Not sure why I went with 5 rounds as after 3 it was very apparent what was working. Could have tried 3 loads instead. Anyway, I went with 44gr because of the advice for the least vertical spread. I went with 45.5gr because of the find pressure and back off 1gr for hammers thought process.

I shot at 100yrd as the longer range was pretty busy. 44gr was a very big group, about 3" and 45.5 was .872" (picture below) I did not use the magneto speed. I know that is one of the drawbacks is potentially changing group ect. Just getting into this seemed like the best compromise when buying a "cheaper" chrono. Definitely will be testing what it does to groups in the future.

I'm pretty happy with that group overall especially for hunting. Maybe I could tighten that up some. Seating depth is my weakest link in all of this. I don't have the Hornady gauge/comparator so I used a couple different methods to determine that. Seems like I could clean that up. Although, I'm almost at mag length so only one way to go!

The reason for using imr4350 is that's what I could find at the time haha. I have also picked up IMR 4831 since. I have been watching for other powders. Also, I plan to load for 25-06 and 300win mag in the future and 4350 was a powder that was used in all of those when I was looking. Just starting out seemed like a good one to go with.

Any suggestions for different powder to try?

Also, I did download the Hornaday reloading app originally and bought the 6mm loads. I didn't really pay attention to it as once I got in there as they didn't show a load for 4350 in the 80gr GMX. However, looking back they did use a 22" barrel and the fastest loads achieved were 3200 fps with HV100 and Superformance, the majority maxed at 3100fps. I could probably squeeze some more fps with more experience but I think this should work.

Next I'll try to get out and shoot at longer ranges to see how it does! May mess around with seating depth as well.

Thanks again!



View attachment 200205
Powder this, ladder that, velocity node...blah blah blah.

Whatever load you have that shot the group on the right target...yeah, I'd take and fill an ark with that.

Unless you're head shooting turkey's at 300 yards, what's wrong with that for hunting?

I will add that I'm following this because I have a 6mm and I'm really contemplating the hammers...probably don't dare try them as I'll probably like them too much. I have a thousand or two accubonds, BT's, and solid base already. Just what I need, more bullets.
 

ImBillT

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Powder this, ladder that, velocity node...blah blah blah.

Whatever load you have that shot the group on the right target...yeah, I'd take and fill an ark with that.

Unless you're head shooting turkey's at 300 yards, what's wrong with that for hunting?

I will add that I'm following this because I have a 6mm and I'm really contemplating the hammers...probably don't dare try them as I'll probably like them too much. I have a thousand or two accubonds, BT's, and solid base already. Just what I need, more bullets.
I’ll have no complaints about his group on the right. He can likely tighten it up a little(I only say that because his 215yd ladder looked pretty good) and how much depends on a lot of factors, BUT in barrel burners like a 6mm Remington it’s best to keep your tuning as minimal as possible, and when you’re good enough, just call it a win. You can burn a barrel up tuning if you chase too many rabbits. Pick a powder, shoot a ladder, pick a charge, possibly do some rough seating depth tuning. It looks like he’s already there. When your groups are round, not skewed, and not mostly vertical, then you’re usually doing a lot of things right.

I mostly agree with BuzzH. Nothing wrong with the small group. Nothing wrong with leaving everything just like that and hunting as is.

I’m considering trying a mono for the first time in quite a few years only because this thread is for a 6mm Remington. Since mine is a tight twist built for shooting 115s, most light weight bullets blow-up mid air if I load them to normal 6mm Remington velocities. That’s fine, I planned on shooting heavier bullets. HOWEVER, in my inexperienced opinion, monos are best at high velocity, and a mono is probably the only thing that I can shoot at high velocity in my 6mm Remington, so I may well give them a try just for kicks.
 

BuzzH

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I’ll have no complaints about his group on the right. He can likely tighten it up a little(I only say that because his 215yd ladder looked pretty good) and how much depends on a lot of factors, BUT in barrel burners like a 6mm Remington it’s best to keep your tuning as minimal as possible, and when you’re good enough, just call it a win. You can burn a barrel up tuning if you chase too many rabbits. Pick a powder, shoot a ladder, pick a charge, possibly do some rough seating depth tuning. It looks like he’s already there. When your groups are round, not skewed, and not mostly vertical, then you’re usually doing a lot of things right.

I mostly agree with BuzzH. Nothing wrong with the small group. Nothing wrong with leaving everything just like that and hunting as is.

I’m considering trying a mono for the first time in quite a few years only because this thread is for a 6mm Remington. Since mine is a tight twist built for shooting 115s, most light weight bullets blow-up mid air if I load them to normal 6mm Remington velocities. That’s fine, I planned on shooting heavier bullets. HOWEVER, in my inexperienced opinion, monos are best at high velocity, and a mono is probably the only thing that I can shoot at high velocity in my 6mm Remington, so I may well give them a try just for kicks.
Yeah, the factory barrel on my 6mm only held up to about 5-6K rounds...and I was not easy on that thing pounding away at p-dogs when I was a kid. There were times you could have damn near lit a cigar off the barrel.

Was still shooting 1.5 inches when I replaced it.
 

mtmuley

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Nothing at all. HOWEVER, the guy who makes these bullets will tell you flat out, if your charge ladder is not MOA or better you should probably keep looking for a different powder.

Those of us who have actually used these bullets can speak to the validity of this approach.
Some people are smarter than the guy that makes the bullets and has sent thousands of them down range in many cartridges. Steve knows his shit. mtmuley
 

ImBillT

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This is the first I’ve heard of it.

I’m not convinced that’s applicable to an action that isn’t built like a Savage.

I can see how having an action in a somewhat loosely fitted stock, or in V blocks, and fooling with torque settings, could change harmonics(the frequencies it’s all vibrating at) which would change what velocities your accuracy nodes were on. Since I’m going to shoot from a very safe powder charge up to pressure signs regardless, I might as well do it on one target and call it a ladder, therefore “action tuning” would not save me any shooting, it would just be extra. Therefore it would have to offer some other benefit beyond putting me on a velocity node. It’s possible that it does. Tuners(a finely adjustable weight attached to your barrel) do some pretty wild things, so who knows?

If I owned a Savage I would definitely experiment with it.
 
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