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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Leon talked in another thread about Berger flavor bullets and while the St Marie load is based on Berger, I have had outstanding results from 175 Nosler and 175 Sierra Match Kings . I cut 1/10 of a grain off St Marie load for RL17 to shoot Hornady 178 gr BTHP and had mirror results in accuracy to performance of 175 Noslers & Sierra SMK.

I have never tried Lapua nor Norma or Berger bullets for the St Marie Load & K31 rifle. Outstanding bullets w/o qualification. I don't use them due to cost and I creep my Nosler and Sierra bullet performance up to the near Berger/Lapua/Norma accuracy by weighing each box of bullets and culling them by weight. All rounds in my boxes have bullets of same weight and by doing so, I get sub MOA all the time and .7 MOA or better mind you when I say sub MOA.

Leon is a purist so he'll buy a box of Lapua or Berger bullets and squeeze a year of gratification out of it. I am a wretched peasant and shoot far far more and okay with sub MOA "near Lapua / Berger" accuracy and not paying out the nose for bullets.

That said, Berger and Lapua people, I see them (at best) every 4 to 6 weeks on the firing line at our club. I shoot every week....Hornady, Sierra, Nosler bullets in my handloads more that satisfy me in results but mind you, I shoot production grade bullets not the finest bullets on the planet. You want Gucci & BMW bullets...buy and shoot Gucci & BMW priced bullets. Me, I shoot Ford and Chevy and cross the finish line with a smile.
 

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The only Lapua bullets I use are the D166 for the Finn M39 and the D46 for the Finn M28/76. I found the Scenars to be underwhelming. For my Swedish Mausers Nosler 140 gr CC's are my pick. They cost less than the much vaunted Sierra MK's and have finer meplats and more consistent weights. By and large, Nosler is my go-to bullet maker. Now, when it comes to the sacred Swiss straight pulls, two things are set in stone: St. Marie powder preference - Rel 17 - and the Berger 175 gr VLD Target bullet. I tried the Scenars in my straight pulls one time and that was the end of that dalliance.

For me, Noslers are perfectly satisfactory and economical. The money I save with the Noslers for my Swedes lets me indulge in the boutique Berger VLD Target bullet for my Swiss straight pulls.
 

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Leon talked in another thread about Berger flavor bullets and while the St Marie load is based on Berger, I have had outstanding results from 175 Nosler and 175 Sierra Match Kings . I cut 1/10 of a grain off St Marie load for RL17 to shoot Hornady 178 gr BTHP and had mirror results in accuracy to performance of 175 Noslers & Sierra SMK.

I have never tried Lapua nor Norma or Berger bullets for the St Marie Load & K31 rifle. Outstanding bullets w/o qualification. I don't use them due to cost and I creep my Nosler and Sierra bullet performance up to the near Berger/Lapua/Norma accuracy by weighing each box of bullets and culling them by weight. All rounds in my boxes have bullets of same weight and by doing so, I get sub MOA all the time and .7 MOA or better mind you when I say sub MOA.

Leon is a purist so he'll buy a box of Lapua or Berger bullets and squeeze a year of gratification out of it. I am a wretched peasant and shoot far far more and okay with sub MOA "near Lapua / Berger" accuracy and not paying out the nose for bullets.

That said, Berger and Lapua people, I see them (at best) every 4 to 6 weeks on the firing line at our club. I shoot every week....Hornady, Sierra, Nosler bullets in my handloads more that satisfy me in results but mind you, I shoot production grade bullets not the finest bullets on the planet. You want Gucci & BMW bullets...buy and shoot Gucci & BMW priced bullets. Me, I shoot Ford and Chevy and cross the finish line with a smile.
What's the St.Marie load? I use 175 Sierra Match King in my 96/11. Sub MOA at 100 yards when I do my part.
 

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What's the St.Marie load? I use 175 Sierra Match King in my 96/11. Sub MOA at 100 yards when I do my part.
 

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Got it, thanks, Leon. My go-to load is 45 gr of 4350 with 175 gr SMK. Been using it for years. Out of 6 shots I get 2-3 going through the same hole. That's using some kind of rest, of course. Folding camping table usually. Free standing I am lucky to get a 8-10 inch group.... A little off topic here, I stopped at a local Pawn Shop today and they had m41 Swedish ammo in a green battle pack. They wanted a dollar per shot for that stuff. WTF? That's crazy, who in the right mind would pay that? My reloads easily beat the Swedish surplus.
 

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The link I provided shows that there a number of possible bullet and powder combinations that will work. ("Work" in our understanding is MOA or better.) That of course is a boon, compared to reloading the Finn M39, for which there is only one bullet of the correct diameter: Lapua D166.
Anyhow, it was 12(?) years ago when Pierre St. Marie announced that Rel 17 was THE powder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That of course is a boon, compared to reloading the Finn M39, for which there is only one bullet of the correct diameter: Lapua D166.

Well, if one is doing history then Yes. If one is shooting and reloading then the Hornady or Sierra 174 bthp .31 bullet will do the job perfectly. Perfectly...far better accuracy than Leon or I will ever shoot a M39 with any bullet.

Now we're missing Leon tell us there is only one powder for M39 loads and broken record again...NO....lots of US mfg powders can and do the job as good or better than Finn Vhit powder.

I don't want to rain on Leon's parade but Swede M96 does not shoot more accurate than a K31. I own both. Out to 6oo yards with proper handloads, both are neck & neck . I have not tested M96 at 1000 yds
as mine is not scoped (and won't be) and my K31 is scoped for that distance. Someone here will have to fill in the void of which is better at 1000 yds for accuracy. My beer bet is damned close but the ballistics of 6.5 will no doubt have an edge.
 

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I'm actually a big fan of Hornady bullets. Their match bullets have come a long ways in the last 10 or so years. Our club has some F-class shooters :rolleyes: that are pretty serious who show up in the winter for practice as we have a 300m range with a heated shoot house and E-targets. The field is still dominated by green or yellow boxes, but a surprising number are shooting red now, including last year's state champion. Several of the service rifle shooters have listened to me and given the ELD-M a try and now shoot those heavily for service rifle/EIC. It is a hell of a 600 yard bullet for 5.56.

I've been quietly shooting the 75 ELD-M, 75HPBT, the 140 HPBT, and the 155 and 168HPBT. A clean target is a clean target. I've tried fancy bullets and they haven't gotten any cleaner. Other than the 4.5x scope on my service rifle, none of these are optic equipped rifles. Iron sights will only get you so close. Maybe if I shot BR with a 40x scope I could tell a difference. I still shoot the Nosler 155 in my Swiss guns, but will likely work with the Hornady option when my supply is depleted. My K-31 eats club GP-11 now, and I shoot either the G-11 or 96-11 for CMP matches, so re-finding the COL is no longer an issue.

I'd like to try the 178 ELD and see how close I can get it to GP-11 trajectory, but tipped bullets are verboten on our E-targets and I don't care for extra recoil!

I'm also pushing all of the above with good American powder from Canada. Oh the horror!
 

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That of course is a boon, compared to reloading the Finn M39, for which there is only one bullet of the correct diameter: Lapua D166.

Well, if one is doing history then Yes. If one is shooting and reloading then the Hornady or Sierra 174 bthp .31 bullet will do the job perfectly. Perfectly...far better accuracy than Leon or I will ever shoot a M39 with any bullet.
You mean this?: HORNADY 303/7.7MM(.3105) 174g BULLET FMJBT 100/BX - Graf & Sons
I never got any useful results, i.e. good groups using this bullet for either M39 or No 4 Mk 1 loads.

Regarding the Sierra bullet: this one?: SIERRA 303(.311)174g HPBT BULLET MATCHKING 100/bx - Graf & Sons
The box is labeled .311 but the actual diameter is .3115". (And before Milprileb gets a chance, I used a micrometer, not a caliper, to measure the diameter.) The Lapua D166 mikes to .3095". If you know of any other bullet of comparable diameter and weight available in the USA, please identify it.


Now we're missing Leon tell us there is only one powder for M39 loads and broken record again...NO....lots of US mfg powders can and do the job as good or better than Finn Vhit powder.
Who said anything about only one powder; I said one bullet. Plenty of powder choices. I happen to like Vihta Vuori N140 because it meters with gratifying consistency. I weigh every charge, and a powder that requires little or no trickling is a time saver.

I don't want to rain on Leon's parade but Swede M96 does not shoot more accurate than a K31. I own both. Out to 6oo yards with proper handloads, both are neck & neck . I have not tested M96 at 1000 yds
as mine is not scoped (and won't be) and my K31 is scoped for that distance. Someone here will have to fill in the void of which is better at 1000 yds for accuracy. My beer bet is damned close but the ballistics of 6.5 will no doubt have an edge.
The Swedish M96 Mauser made by Husqvarna has iron sights calibrated to 800 meters, while the original Oberndorf and Carl Gustaf M96 has a sight calibrated to 600 meters. The sight flips vertical to use the long range volley sights, but by WWII these were no longer used. The Swedish tactical doctrine, i.e. the intended way to use the rifle, was direct aimed fire to a maximum of 600 meters. Beyond that range you called in mortar or artillery fire, or if there was an M41 sniper handy, he could engage a target to 800 meters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Frankly if you are shooting out to a mere 300 yds, any brand bullet loaded in a box of credible hand loads will hold 1 inch or less at 100 yds & will keep you in the 10/10x ring in a CMP match. Keep in mind that statement is out of a K31, not a Carcano.


Well, the point is about any handload will shoot credible out of a great barrel at such anemic distance. Use an expensive Berger or Lapua bullet for this is waste of effort. If you shoot an AR...put your money into a really great barrel and same holds for precision long range rifles as well. K31 have outstanding barrels thats why so much love for Swiss weapons...great barrels shoot best.

That all goes out the window if you are prone to playing the violin about shooting Boutique ammunition. Then its not the money or the results, its the illusion you can shoot better at 200/300 yds. If you think that, empty your wallet and enjoy the ride. Form vs substance...pick one.

I shoot peasant grade Hornady, Sierra & Nosler bullets and they fly really well .
 

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Gee, I guess I better give up shooting and get rid of my rifles. My club range "only" goes to 300 yds, and according to Mr. Milprileb that is a "mere" distance to shoot and unworthy of any serious effort at choosing reloading components. The Authority has proclaimed dogma, and I must of course genuflect to the revelation.
 

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I stopped in at the local gunshop yesterday and picked up some Nosler bullets and BL-C (2) powder. I will be trying both in the Swiss and very picky M-14.
Thanks Leon for the heads up on switching to Nosler bullets.

Ken
 
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