Groups from my third time to the range with shooting 150 Gr. Accubond Long Range bullets. So far I'm not finding any combination that will shoot these bullets with MagPro powder.
Top Groups are from my Winchester Model 1885. Bottom groups are from my Browning X-Bolt Stainless Stalker.
Aug. 14, 2013
So far not so good. I've been to the range three times testing handloads in both my X-Bolt and Model 1885 that are chambered in 270 WSM. I am beginning to think that my favorite powder (MagPro) may not work with this bullet. I am getting 3+ inch groups in both rifles.
This last time out I shot three, 3 shot groups that are each 3.25 inches or greater and a fourth group of 2.5 inches. Not very good for 100 yard groups at all.
The only other bullets I have had this much trouble with were Hornady Interbonds. I tried two varieties of Interbonds with five different powders and I could never get any groups under 2.5 inches with Interbonds.
Thinking this long tangent ogive bullet would need to be seated as near the lands as possible, I have been working with loads that have long cartridge overall lengths at and near the max I can get the X-Bolt to reliably feed in the magazine. For my next attempt I am going to try a couple different powders that I have a little of and see what happens. If another powder works the trick will be finding any of it in stock at a retailer right now...
If another powder doesn't work I will probably have to bag using this bullet for my hunts this fall and fall back to the 140 Accubond the shoots pretty darn well from both of my 270 WSM rifles. But then I might also try the 150 Berger VLD's. Hmm...
For my fourth trip to the range I abandon MagPro (my favorite powder) and tried Winchester 760, IMR 4350, Hodgdon 4831, and Hodgdon Retumbo.
My groups are looking much better. Still need some work but it now looks like the bullet is trying to shoot.
The first and third shot in this three shot group using IMR 4350 are nearly in the exact same hole. The group measures 1 1/16".
IMR 4350 will be what I work on tweaking the load with more.
Aug. 22, 2013
Ok, the fourth day out trying loads went much better. I just had to give up my MagPro. :( Once I gave up my favorite powder the groups got much smaller. IMR 4350 will probably be the powder I work on tweaking the load with.
In between trying to archery elk hunt myself and work I am trying to get this bullet shooting so that Dallen can use it to hunt elk in September with his Utah General Youth tag. The IMR 4350 looked promising as did the Hodgdon 4831sc my old 25-06 Rem. favorites.
Something else I found with the 150 Accubond LR is that I can't use compressed loads. The ogive gets a ring crushed into it from my Hornady seating die. The hollow cavity in the nose of the bullet must make the bullet a little "soft" in the ogive area. 66 grains of Retumbo was the limit I could get in new brass without noticeably crushing the ogive. You know it's crushed once you have seated the bullet then lift the press arm and the cartridge is stuck in the die.
With the ogive being this easy to crush I'm a little concerned of this bullet fragmenting very rapidly at close range. I will make sure Dallen and I avoid direct shoulder shots on elk under 200 yards until we get a better feel for it's performance. It should be just deadly with very rapid kills for any shots through the ribs and into the lungs much like a Berger VLD.
Crushing into the ogive also happens when there's resistance from the bullet not seating straight into the cartridge neck. I find it best to slowly seat the bullet a little then lift the press arm and rotate the shell a little and seat the bullet a little more and do this about three times to get the bullet fully seated.
Notice the ring that has crushed into the ogive from just a little pressure from the seating die when seating a lightly compressed load. These bullets are really soft.
The average velocity of the load I tried today with IMR 4350 was 3030 FPS from my X-Bolt. Pressures were just fine so I may try bumping up the powder a little. We'll see...
I would really like the bullet to be going 3100 FPS however accuracy is much more important. My 140 Gr. Accubond loads are going 3320 from my X-Bolt.
Three groups each with IMR 4350 and Hodgdon 4831 from my X-Bolt.
This IMR 4350 load will be what I load up for my X-Bolt for Dallen's hunts this year.
In the middle of shooting today I realized the parallax was a small issue and that the cross hair was floating around a little on the target. This is where I have to set my Vortex Viper 4-16x50 HS LR scope to get the field of view and cross hairs on the same focal plane for a 100 yard shot.
Aug. 28, 2013
After a thorough barrel cleaning I was back at the range with my X-Bolt. This trip out I had three loads with H4831sc and three loads with IMR4350 powder. As always after each group of three shots I cool the barrel off with a shop vac pulling air around and through the barrel.
Both powders produced a group under an inch. The IMR 4350 had a 0.59 inch group and the H4831sc produced a 0.89 inch group. Both of those groups may have been a little tighter had I recognized that the parallax adjustment for a 100 yard shot does not match up with the indicator marks on the scope.
I shot all of the H4831sc groups with the parallax not removed. After firing the first shot of IMR 4350 I noticed the cross hairs not being completely stationary on the target. Oops, I forgot to set the parallax for 100 yards. The next two shots were through the same hole. If I had the scope set properly for the first shot maybe, just maybe this could have been a little better group.
As I have almost used up a box of bullets and I need the rifle ready for Dallen's elk hunt in two weeks the IMR 4350 load is going to be my load that I load up for my X-Bolt. Before mid October I will need to see how it shoots in my Model 1885 270 WSM. Hopefully it also shoots well in this rifle so we both can use the same load for our Utah rifle mule deer hunt.
View the load data for this 270 WSM, 150 Gr. Accubond LR load on my 270 WSM Handloads and Ballistics page.
Even in a rain storm this load shot well in my Winchester Model 1885.
This group 3/4 inch group at 100 yards is with the same IMR 4350 150 Gr. Accubond LR load that shoots well in my X-Bolt.
September 7, 2013
I loaded up a few more of my IMR 4350 loads and tried them in my 270 WSM Model 1885. It was raining when I shot but it still shot a great group. As you can see from the photo the same load that I worked up in my Browning X-Bolt Stainless Stalker also shot well in my Winchester Model 1885. This is great! I can use the same load in both of my 270 WSM rifles. Perfect!
Due to the rain I was unable to chronograph the load in this rifle but it is probably around 100 FPS faster with the extra five inches of barrel length this rifle has over my X-Bolt.
With the Vortex HS LR 4-16x50 scopes I have on both of these rifles, the velocity and the ballistic coefficient of this bullet I can dial in shots well in access of 1000 yards. My X-Bolt setup has a 20 MOA EGW rail 20 MOA Picatinny Rail which gives me some extra MOA that I can dial in for an extra long shot.
Now comes seeing how well these bullets perform on game. First up is Dallen's elk hunt come mid September.
The 29 grains remaining from the recovered 150 Gr. Accubond Long Range bullet from Dallen's 2013 Utah bull elk. Isn't the lead supposed to be bonded to the copper?
For more on the 150 Gr. Accubond LR see:
- 270 WSM Handloads and Ballistics
- My New Go To Bullet? The 270 Caliber 150 Gr. Accubond Long Range Bullet
- See how the bullet performs or should I say disintegrates when Dallen takes a six point bull elk with the 150 Gr. Accubond Long Range in 2013
- Dallen takes a nice mule deer with the 150 Gr. Accubond LR in 2013
300 Yard Ladder Test of 150 Gr. Accubond LR and Berger VLD Bullets
Shooting with a fair amount of wind the VLDs on the left stacked in shots 1 through 4 in 7/8" in vertical distance.
The 150 Gr. Accubond Long Range bullets on a perfectly calm morning shot all over the place with the H1000.
July 5, 2014
After having such great success in getting a really accurate 150 Gr. Berger VLD load I thought I would revisit the 150 Gr. Accubond Long Range. I tried a new powder, Hodgdon H1000 to develop my 150 Gr. VLD load and it also worked great in getting a very accurate 105 Gr. A-Max load for one of my 243 WSSM rifles. Both the 105 A-Max and 150 VLD took just a few rounds to come up with really accurate loads using a ladder test of incremental powder charges and then shooting them at 300 yards.
With such an awesome ballistic coefficient I really want to get the Accubond LR to be a tack driver. It would appear based on all the powders I have tried that a little faster burning powder than I would think should be used in these heavy for caliber bullets is needed to get accuracy. My best load was with IMR 4350 which is the fastest burning powder I tried.
I guess I will try a ladder test of IMR 4350 with the Accubond LR to see if I can get my load fine tuned any more.
2015 I have abandoned the Accubond Long Range. I like the preformance on game, the accuracy and price of the 150 Gr Hornady SST In My 270 WSM X-Bolt.