Berger 140 vldh in CA Ridgeline 6.5cm August 14, 2019, 10:03:40 AM Actually during the first break in shots out of this rifle with a light load of 39gr RE16 and some midway blue box 129 grainers I had some good groups and actually had 3 shots in 1/4" on one grouping. I only put about 20 rounds through as I was shooting cleaning etc. With that in mind I was pretty hopeful when I switched to the Berger 140 VLDH bullets and began development is earnest. I am using H4350 with the Berger's. I am normally and OCW method guy, but used the Saterlee method once previous and came away with pretty decent results so I thought I would give it a shot with the new rifle. I started at 40.4 gr and went to 42.4 gr. at .2 grain increments. I found what I believed would be 2 good nodes. 41.0 269341.2 2694and41.4 271541.6 2718I liked the velocity a little better of the 41.4 and 41.6 loads so I loaded 11 rounds of 41.5 at different seating depths. I loaded 2 rounds with a LLTO of 2.189" which is .025 off my lands. At 100 yds I shot these 2 rounds from a cold barrel and they touched and I thought is going to be easy. Next I shot three 3 shot groups of 41.5gr with seating depths off the lands by .010", .050", .090" along the lines Berger suggests for finding the seating depth sweet spot for the VLD. Group one at .010" was no good at all. Group two was half the size of group one and was close to MOA with a seating depth of .050" off lands. Group 3 at .090" off saw first 2 shots in same hole, but third shot(and I do not think I pulled) spread the group to .798". Not terrible but not what I was looking for. The ES for group 3 was 13 and SD was 7.2, not bad but not great for a 3 shot sample. When shooting this test it was very hot, but I waited 2 minutes between shots with giving the gun 5 minutes between groups. First thought was to reload another 3 at .090" off and shoot at 200 or 300 yds to verify my shooting as even the one that was outside the first 2 shots was on same vertical plane, but 3/4" to the right. With the 3 shot ES and SD being what they were I thought I would go straight to the 41.1 grain load and duplicate the above test while adding another 3 at .130" off as the previous best group was the farthest off the lands. Again the first group at .010" off the lands was better at 41.1 than at 41.5, but was worst of the 4 loads. This time the .050" off had first 2 shots touching but third shot was low and right expanding the group. As in the first test the best group was the .090" grouping with first 2 shots in same hole. I was pretty confident in my shooting, but low and behold third shot was on same vertical plane but was 3/4" off but this time to the left. This charge weight and seating depth showed a good ES of 6 and an SD of 3. The final group at .130" off lands was a tad over an inch but showed signs of beginning to spread.I am not a competition shooter and have never had problems putting a third or even fifth shot tight in a group if the load is a good one. I really don't believe I pulled the shots. I only have 52 shots total down this new barrel, but copper and carbon clean very easily out of it already. My question is should I pick the .050" off seating depth and the 41.1 charge weight(due to the good ES and SD) and try to zone in by making .005 seating depth changes on both sides to try and shrink the group? For velocity I don't want to go any lower on the charge weights. I don't want to really go over 2800 fps on velocity either and the 42.2 and 42.4 shots on the initial Saterlee test was still showing rapidly climbing velocity and were into the 2820 velocity range. I would have to go 42.6 and above to find another potential node and that is getting closer to I want regarding max powder loading.In summary, perhaps the barrel still needs a few more rounds to settle in. I will recheck the torque on the action screws and make sure scope is solid. If I find no issues there I see the best only option is tweaking the seating depts. as I mentioned above. Perhaps I am expecting too much from this rifle. Thanks for reading this long post and look forward to hearing others thoughts.