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 Favorite Loads for the Barnes Varmint Grenade
eagle59  [Member]
4/22/2008 3:31:40 AM EST
Anybody out there have a pet load for the Barnes 36gr Grenade in 223? I just picked up a box and I’m wondering how others have fared. Please don’t just go to your manuals and list a load, I can do that. What actual results have you had?

I loaded 25.2 gr of Benchmark as a first try and got some rather disappointing results. The 10 shot group strung out horizontally about 2 ½ inches at 100 yards, about 3500 fps. This rifle has turned in great groups with several hand loads. I’ve not had this rifle do a horizontal string before, that’s a new one! I know it will do better with a different load combo. It’s a 20” medium/heavy 1-8 twist in a free-floated flattop upper.

I’ve worked up some other test loads using AA2230 and IMR4895. Thought I'd try some relatively slower powders. I have not put them down range yet. Anybody out there have any good experiences with the varmint grenade?

I posted this same question on another board, no response there so I thought I'd try here too. I hope to try the other loads tomorrow, after work. I'll post those results here when I get them.

What's the cause of a horizontal string? The winds were nil, the front end had a Harris bipod and the rear was resting on a shot bag. Anybody know of specific causes for that?
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dws1057  [Member]
4/22/2008 8:54:46 AM EST
11" 1 1n 12 AR pistol. 26.9 Benchmark and 28.0 H335 both 1/2" Very similar groups to results obtained with same load and 40 gr v-max. You might also consdider the 50 gr version of the VG. 1 in 8 seems a bit fast for the 36 gr.
Banzai  [Member]
4/22/2008 12:27:32 PM EST
Don't just pick loads, develop them. Trying to pick the correct combination is about as successful as pissing up a rope in a windstorm and trying to stay dry.

Click here

eagle59  [Member]
4/23/2008 4:29:59 AM EST
I thought I was developing the load. Nobody expects the hit the right recipe on the fist try. This is the first try for me with this particular bullet. I’ve got more work to do but that’s the fun of reloading, well part of it anyway. The OCW link is an interesting read. Barrel vibrations and harmonics certainly are the likely cause of the horizontal stringing of the one load I’ve tried. I’ve just never seen it with this rifle before.

I agree that the twist rate is not optimal for this lighter bullet. It may not shoot at all with the 36gr bullet. What I find interesting is that the overall bullet length for this 36gr pill is about the same as a 55gr BT. The BCs are also similar. This is no doubt due to the tin-copper construction of the Varmint Grenade; there’s no lead in it.

This new Barnes bullet, and the 50gr version, are a newer development. I’m curious to see how they’ll shoot. Having similar overall lengths and BCs but very different weights adds a new dimension to load developing. I am curious what others are experiencing with these newer bullets. It’s raining today here so I’ll have to wait to try the other loads but I’ll try to post the results when I do.
eagle59  [Member]
5/8/2008 4:21:08 AM EST
I was able to put some loads downrange yesterday. I thought I'd share the results here.

These were only 5 round strings but it's enough to get a rough idea of what to do next.

26gr, AA2230
Avg vel 3393
SD 53.76
Total group size came out to .93". 4 rounds made one ragged hole about .53" as near as these aged eyes could tell. The one flyer may have been me. I'll have to do more work on this load. OCW? maybe.

25.5 gr IMR4895
Avg Vel 3121
SD 84.36
This group was about 1 3/8".

Not real scientific but interesting none the less. Only three powders tried here but it sure looks like this rilfe prefers AA2230 with this bullet. I've had great results with Benchmark and 50gr Hornady V-Max but that powder won't shoot the 36gr Varmint Gernade. The 36gr load shoots about 1 1/2" higher that the 50gr loads with no windage adjustments. Interesting results I wanted to pass along.
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