Range day COL testing


Jan 24, 2012
Well I was able to hit the range yesterday with the "new" 243 and the 1949 .270 that I restocked last year and glass bedded the entire action and barrel.

I loaded up the 90 AB's with IMR3031 as I have 1/2 pound left and really nothing that really "likes it". As I was in the loading room ( or Daddy's office as the girls call it), I heard a voice.. " Daddy can I help?". It was my oldest ( 5). I said "sure". Well after I told her that what I was making was for her deer rifle her eyes lit up and she got really excited. I explained that I was putting powder in the case and then we needed to put the bullet on top. As I measured each charge, she seated each bullet and did a wonderful job. She asked a ton of questions while we were reloading and it brought a huge smile to my face.

243 really didn't perform as I would have liked. I mounted a Burris 2x8x32 signature that used to reside on my original 270. I tried 4 different charges and 90 gr AB's about .065 off the lands. Best was 34 grains at just over an inch. I really wasn't expecting much as I still believe the rifle was unfired so I was cleaning after every shot for a while. What a sweet heart to shoot. With dang near un noticed recoil even with the plastic plate on it. I am gonna try IMR4064, and IMR 4350 next.

270 was a different story. This past summer I inletted and glass bedded the entire action and was really looking forward to shooting it. I mounted a Burris 4x fixed scope that I had on my slug gun before I sold it. Here she is in the middle with the 243 to the left before scope.

I ran 130 AB's that this gun did not like before. I had loaded originally to the same COL that my classic stainless liked. Groups were terrible back then. Even with the lyman peep sight she ran right around 4 inches at 100, while a Partition would be around 2 inches. I was really excited to see what would happen when I added a scope.

I loaded a known accurate charge of 49.5 of IMR 4064 and loaded 8 different COL's. Starting with 3.360 and going down in .005 increments to 3.325.

I started with a few foulers with some partitions at 50 yards to verify bore sight with new scope. I was really excited when the first three shots were cloverleafed 3 inches left and 3 inches low. I came up and over with the Burris 4x and moved to 100 to start the test.

First group was 3.360 and they strung horizontally in about a 1.5 inch group. I let her cool and loaded 3 at 3.355. Those 3 shots came in with a 3 shot group of .795

Here are the two groups together. The bullseye is .90 inches.

I let the barrel cool and then loaded 3.350. Then after cooling, another 3 shot string at 3.345. Even with only a 4x scope, I could tell 3.350 was good. This one came in at .578 for a 3 shot group :grin: . The 3.345 opened up and you can see that group below.

I then cooled and loaded the 3.340. Groups looked identical to 3.345, as did the 3.335. At that point I think I was headed backwards so I stopped. I am going to pull the remaining rounds and reseat to 3.350 and 3.355 and re-verify the expiriment.

I had planned on messing with the powder charge once I found a COL the rifle liked... but I'm not sure I wanna mess any further. Sub 3/4 MOA with a 4x scope is pretty good in my book.

When I got home, a certain young lady asked me how "her" deer rifle shot..... :grin:

All in all a great day on the range and leading up to it.


Nice! Looking forward to verification and to the pics this fall of your daughter with her deer rifle.


Dec 24, 2011
That is awesome.

You do know in the future it will be the other way around with YOU helping her reload. LOL


Dec 24, 2006
Very cool Pat! Great shooting buddy!

That young lady has it down pat! No pun in intended!


Jun 27, 2009
You really should try Hy brid 100 with the 90 gr Ab in the 243 win. You won't be disappointed leave the 3031 for yote pills like Bt's or vmaxes under 75 grs.


Nov 8, 2006
Very telling test. The picture of your daughter reminds me of time spent with my daughters fishing (they weren't into shooting).


Jan 21, 2006
Well done story with great pics for Max effect....I love reading these kinds of posts.

sask boy

Ammo Smith
Nov 4, 2007
That is great shooting Pat, look forward to the fall to see how they react in the field.