Varget has been almost impossible to find in my area but SWPR is pretty easy to get here. This particular powder has been taunted as being a direct replacement for Varget. My testing today showed they are extremely close in the accuracy department with the Shooters World powder giving me the tightest groups of the day. I used 69gr SMK and 75gr Hornady Match BTHP for my bullets with Federal brass and primers. The scope is a fixed 10x SWFA. Loads were:
69gr SMK 24gr Varget
69gr SMK 24gr SWPR
69gr SMK 24.2gr SWPR
75gr Hornady Match 24gr SWPR
75gr Hornady Match 24.5gr SWPR
The dots are 1” and as you can see, the groups were pretty decent with the 69gr SMK even using a 10x scope. I could probably shrink those groups a little with a higher power scope. NO MATTER what I do, I have never been able to get the Hornady 75gr bullets to shoot well. I also shot each 5 shot group twice in order to be able to compare them later on. 24gr and 24.2gr of SWPR gave some pretty nice groups and whipped Vargets butt today. I’m going to get a few pounds of it to use until I can get Varget.
It's interesting that the Hornady 75s don't match the SMK 69s in accuracy. With the one exception of my less-than-stellar LWRC upper, all my barrels of at least 1:8 twist have shot factory Hornady 75 equal or better than factory SMK 69 ammo. This is at all distances -- from 100 to 800-ish yards. For both ARs and bolt actions, barrel lengths from 14.5" to 24".
I don't know what powders are used in Federal's MM 69 or Hornady's 75 HPBT loads.
I have a 1:8 Shilen barrel AR I put together that will drop a 68 grain Hornady BTHP into a 5 shot cloverleaf that spans 0.28 inch at 100 yards and the powder used for this combination was Varget in Lake City brass. Same bullet with CFE223 will come in at 0.44 inch. You may want to give the 68 grain bullet a try.
In an odd flip the Nosler 75 grain Ballistic tip does not do at all well with Varget, groups run to 1.7 inches. However the same bullet loaded with CFE223 will shoot under 1/2 inch and when chronographed both powders are within 35 fps.
I've stopped counting.
|quarter MOA visionary|
What barrel are you using?
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