PROJECT Black Spider
PROJECT Black Spider
Project “Black Spider” is the road to a very precise hand load for an SPR/ DMR setup chambered in the .223 Wylde. This means that if you have a 5.56NATO or .223REM, you too will be able to enjoy this wonderful cartridge. But if the pressures are that of a 5.56NATO chamber, then you must have the respective 5.56NATO or .223 Wylde chamber.
I am in the beginning phases of this project, so I figured I would write a blog about it so that readers like yourself may follow this journey with me. I’ve had great success achieving sub-moa at 100 yards out of the SAR-15 with other hand loads. These hand loads consisted of Sierra Match-Kings 77 grain, Hornady 75 grain BTHP, Berger 77 grain OTM, and Nosler Custom Competition 77 grain. So you’re probably asking yourself, why look for something else if I am already getting sub-moa? By the way, I am shooting these loads out a 1-7 and 1-8 RH Twist SS Barrel that I get custom made for my Rifle Company. Anyways, back to the point at hand, why look for something else?
As some of you may know, Hornady created a new bullet called the ELD-M. The 73 grain caught my attention, especially for the simple fact that it has a higher B.C. than the 77 grain bullets. That alone motivated me to hand load a new recipe. These bullets have upgraded polymer tips that do not deform during flight. The older model, the A-MAX, would deform in flight once the bullet would reach such high velocities. Therefore, reducing its overall performance and accuracy. And that is no bueno my friend. So this new polymer tip that is found in the ELD-M can withstand the friction of the atmosphere while in flight. Not only can it keep its shape, but because of this special tip, hand loaders can get more consistent bullet seating depths. The BTHP’s, OTM’s, and HPBT’s are not consistent because it is impossible to make every single hollow point identically the same length. These tips can be off by as much as 0.007”. This is enough to make a precision hand loader cringe. Bottom line is, it can be frustrating to have to readjust the die just to keep bullets seated at the same depth consistently. The 73 grain ELD-M makes it possible, however.
With a higher B.C. and great powders, all a hand loader needs to do is get some great brass and primer. My plan is to load some IMR 8208 XBR and fire 4 different loads. Each load will consist of 6 rounds. I will shoot 3 rounds per load, then repeat the process in order to identify any human errors. I am not starting with the lower half of the charge weight spectrum. So I started from the middle and worked my way up to the max charge. The brass I’ll be using is Lake City, unprimed and never fired brass. The primer is Federal AR match. I really liked the way the primers felt during the primer seating process. I’ve loaded many primers before, but I had never loaded this particular brand. I liked the sudden “pop” I felt as the primer fitted itself into the primer pocket. And it felt like this across the board. Usually, with other primers, and brass in some cases, only a few will feel like they slip in the same way. I am documenting everything for this project in order to track everything for future projects. I really want to achieve great results with this bullet. After shooting these loads, I will conduct the same test with Varget and Ramshot TAC.
If you would like to continue to follow this project, please feel free to follow me at:
Facebook: Search > Superior Rifle Systems LLC and like my page.
Facebook: Join my Group, which is tailored to SPR DMR setups. Search > AR-15 Designated Marksman and Precision.
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I will eventually make a video of this entire journey. But the journey will go as far as gathering data, or as we Snipers like to call, gathering DOPE (Data On Previous Engagement). Once I get the perfect recipe for the 73gr ELD-M (at least I hope it works out, fingers crossed) I will load about 100 rounds and shoot it from 100 yards to 800 yards and write down all of the scope settings and dials. And of course, I will be using a Magneto Speed Chronograph in order to measure the fps of these loads to help me hone in on data out of a ballistic calculator. I will also have a Kestrel to help me read wind and other atmospheric conditions. This project will help me develop a tactical type cartridge that even a Sniper can enjoy. And I hope you can enjoy it as well.
More to follow…
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