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Speer projectiles?

25 Jul 2020
@ 02:27 pm (GMT)

Simon Crowther

I've used the same load for around seven years and they shoot really well. Trouble is the projectiles I normally use: Sierra Pro Hunter 1910 7mm have suddenly doubled in price and so I picked up some Speer 145 grain Hot Cors on the cheap and decided to give them a try.

I very carefully measured the seating depth and made up a blank cartridge to check it, only to find that the cartridge wouldn't fit in the magazine, indeed it was over the recommended overall maximum length for 7mm-08.

By the time I'd adjusted the overall length so that the cartridge would fit the magazine, the projectile was half a yard short of the rifling lands.

I just got back from the range and sure enough, they just don't shoot, they were all on paper at 200 yards but with my normal Sierra 1910s or Hornady SSTs I can usually shoot an easy one inch group at 200 yards with my Remington 700.

I suppose it did take me a long time to perfect my normal loads and perhaps it's a case of: 'if it 'aint broke don't fix it.' And all just to save a few bucks, I'll spend much more than that on petrol driving to the range to try and get these projectiles to work.

I'm thinking of filing the lead tips off the projectiles to shorten them: any thoughts anyone?

Anyone else had this problem?


03 Aug 2020
@ 04:42 pm (GMT)

Simon Crowther

Re: Speer projectiles?
Oh well, I suppose we can get rid of this topic now. After much messing about, I've finally got these Speer projectiles to shoot pretty well.

It's been interesting to learn just how important head spacing is, I used to be fairly relaxed about it but not anymore, an important lesson.
03 Aug 2020
@ 04:48 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Speer projectiles?
Where did you encounter your sweet spot, Simon? I have a batch of 180 gr. BTSPs that I've yet to fire through my 30-06 and am curious what you learned in finding an accurate load.
03 Aug 2020
@ 07:39 pm (GMT)

Simon Crowther

Re: Speer projectiles?
Just the normal 20 thou or half a millimeter of the lands. My reloading equipment is rudimentary and I had difficulty measuring correctly, also the projectile needs to be seated at the maximum overall length, at least in my rifle in 7mm-08.

These Speer Hot Cors have a different ogive that than my normal projectiles and I found them hard to measure.

I usually make up a blank cartridge seated on the long side, measure the bolt face and then put the cartridge in and measure that. Don't do this, put a projectile in the barrel and use a rod to keep it hard against the lands and measure it this way, it works better. Of course, if I buy myself a decent micrometer instead of the cheap plastic one that I use, life would probably get much easier still.

These projectiles seem to really benefit from correct seating, they do pretty well then.
10 Aug 2020
@ 03:39 pm (GMT)

Simon Crowther

Re: Speer projectiles?
I finally found out why I've been having problems with these projectiles and all along it wasn't the projectiles.

I couldn't work out why sometimes these projectiles would shoot really well, and the next moment would be all over the place. Then I had four hang fires in a row, followed by two burst primers.

I'd been using a dodgy batch of primers from a very well known manufacturer that will remain nameless.

When I checked back on the ammo that was shooting really well, all of these rounds had CCI primers. The dodgy primers, if they didn't fail to fire or burst, were causing a very uneven combustion.

Primers used to be just primers to me, another important lesson learned, without decent primers you have no chance of having decent consistent ammo.

I must go I have a few bullets to pull.
12 Aug 2020
@ 08:15 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Speer projectiles?
Occassionally a gun will have a weak main spring (firing pin). Another possibility is carbon in the firing pin hole following previous hot loads (primer leakage). During the summer months, a muffler can produce quite severe pressure spikes resulting in such conditions.

As you have already learned, it is possible to mis-judge factors of reloading such as the max COAL. the Speer is not a tremendously long bullet and can be loaded to the recommended factory OAL. The normal half mil you speak of is not normal for the .260, 7mm-08 or .308. Normal for these is a jump of 2.5mm. You can try seating a bit closer to the lands in a long magazine rifle but in doing so, there is a risk of seating too far out into the case neck (see reloading book and also youtube livestream 1). The same attention to detail must be given to ignition. If you are having problems with for example the tough Federal primer, do not be quick to blame the primer. Instead, look to such factors as the main spring (may need to be replaced), cartridge head spacing and lug set back from hot loads, carbon caking, primer seating depth, case sizing (cases FL undersized versus generous head space). Primer storage (damp vs dry conditions) should also be studied, both how the primers are kept at the gun store where you make your purchase and how they are kept following the purchase.
13 Aug 2020
@ 09:48 pm (GMT)

Simon Crowther

Re: Speer projectiles?
Thanks for that Nathan. Actually I've posted this thread in the wrong place, I'm not after long range precision ammo, just decent hunting ammo. I am very fussy though, I can't stand the thought of maiming an animal.

My normal ammo with either Sierra Pro-Hunters or Hornady SSTs is shooting great. I suppose I've always been very lucky with reloading and so far have always managed to load very accurate ammo, this is the first challenge that I've had. I'll have a rest from reloading while I have a think and get back to it.



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