MVP Varmint w/ Berger VLD 70 gr

Discussion in 'Mossberg MVP Rifle General Discussion' started by SouthernCoyote, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. SouthernCoyote New Member

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2017
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    New member & Mossberg MVP Varmint owner, first post. I've had my MVP Varmint for a couple months now, bought it used at a killer price from a local guy who was forced to offload a few guns to do kitchen remodeling in his home. I had been eyeing these for a while, but was a little skeptical because I had never shot anything from Mossberg other than their shotguns. This one had only had 10 rounds down the barrel for sighting in and checking the sight in.

    I took the scope off that he had on it and put a Vortex Crossfire II 6x24x50 on it. Added a bi-pod, tactical bolt knob that bolts over the factory knob, and sling. I was impressed with the accuracy over a broad range of factory ammo that I tried. Tried 40 gr Vmax, 50 gr Vmax, 55 gr Blitzkings, 50 gr Tipped Varmint, and many more. Most of the lighter stuff hung around the 1", and some around the 1.5" group. I didn't think that was too bad for a lower end rifle and cheap factory ammo.

    Well I decided to try out reloading since I had a 6.5 Creedmoor coming in a few months that was being built. I also wanted to reload for my .40 S&W too, so I bit the bullet and bought a decent small set up to start loading up pistol ammo and for the MVP so I could get the hang of it for my precision rifle that was on the way. First I tried the 55 gr Nosler BT and CFE223. They did alright but would have random flyers, ended up weighing every bullet and they were all over the place. So broke em out by weight and they tightened up considerably and consistently. Was getting around .7" groups fairly regular. So that made me happy.

    I was at the gun shop where I had been buying some of my reloading stuff and was talking to another reloader there. He asked what kind of rifle I was reloading the .223 in. Told him it was a MVP Varmint. He asked had I tried the Berger VLD 70 gr for it? I told him I wasn't too sure the twist rate would stabilize that weight of bullet. He suggested I give em a whirl because it does very well in his 1:9 twist Savage. So I bought a box and 1lb of Benchmark. Had some Lapua brass on order that came in the next day.

    So the next night I tumbled the brass to remove the annealing residue off the necks, then resized all of them, measured all of them, and weighed all of them. After separating them out into groups, I started load development. Using CCI BR4 primers, Lapua brass, Benchmark powder, and Berger VLD 70 gr bullets (by the way, I weighed all 100 in the box and every one of them were a perfect 70.0 gr !!!! Blown away by that for sure!). I started out using 21 grains of powder and worked up to 21.8 gr building a 6 round batch of each in .2 gr increments. My reasoning behind 6 of each was to shoot two 3 shot groups each to check and verify quickly what they were doing. I will be testing more in the following weeks with a chronograph to see what they are running velocity wise. They all did pretty decent, but I'm pretty sure I've found my load at 21.2 gr of Benchmark! The first group with that load was .411", the second one was .332"! The rest were around .5"-.7"! Man do those VLD shoot excellent in the MVP Varmint!

    I've attached a pic of the 3 shot group. It was shot at 100 yards from a bi-pod with winds constant at 7-9 mph and gusting up to 13 mph that day. So far, I am blown away now with the accuracy of this rifle for being a low end non custom barrel/chamber/stock/trigger rifle! There was a guy on the next bench beside me who shoots competition regularly with a very nice tricked out .308 Remmy 700 and he was blown away with how accurate it was for being less than 1/3 of what his .308 cost lol. He said there may be one on the horizon for a Coyote gun for him soon. :D

    By the way, my scope was zeroed in for the 55 gr Nosler BT load I had been using, the target is sideways in that pic but those 3 bullet holes were on the topside of the bullseye, not to the right side. So they are actually shooting higher than the 55 gr Nosler BT!


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  2. spamassassin Well-Known Member

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    i used to use the hell out of them. Busting over 3k fps with those made for a fun little load. i routinely got under .75MOA but I found they had some real sensitivity in my gun to seating depth and it just wasn't match grade. The Hornady 75gn HPBT will stabilize too and you can run them surprisingly hard. I load the Hornady 75's to jam hard ahead of a full load of benchmark or bl-c2 with cci 400 and 450's. best brass I've found has been PPU which surprised the hell out of me.

    My best group ever from any gun actually came out of my MVP. .3" at 300m. I was using either the 75's or Berger 70's at the time but don't recall offhand. Pic below.

    The small blob at the bottom is the 3-shot .1MOA group. It's hard to make out but the shiny spot is the top, then there's a black blob at 8 oclock by the ruler between the 3.5 and 4" marks and one at 6 oclock by the 4" mark. The two groups at top if I recall correctly are 3-shot groups from the same recipe, though one might be a 7mag group, don't think so but it could be. Anyway, this was shot at 300m (~330yrds) from a bench. I tell people all the time that get a poo-pooing attitude at matches, these can be silly good shooters with a little handloading love. The little one is in the ones (.1xxxMOA), the other two are in the .3-.4MOA territory. I'm now onto my 2nd barrel and this one is aftermarket 7 twist from Black Hole Weaponry and 26" long. So far it shoots lights out.
    [IMG]

    Compare that with my own hand built custom based on a winchester 70 push-feed action with an aftermarket barrel and all kinds of other work done to it. Same range same day same distance. This plate was about 3ft to the right of the one up there ^^^. This measures about .5MOA
    [IMG]

    Looks for sure like you know what the hell you're doing with a handload. Don't change a thing except, get a chronograph. You'll probably be best served with the Magnetospeed sporter for cost/capability.
  3. SouthernCoyote New Member

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2017
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    Thanks for the kind words, have only been loading on my own for a month now. Its an addictive hobby for sure! I'm pretty set on my load as it, but in my experience when loading with a friend years ago, there is usually a lower charge that works really well with a powder before it starts opening up, then again it will hit a sweet spot slightly higher up in powder charge. So this weekend I will be testing some more loads with small increments. I do have a chronograph, but did not have time to bring it out the other week. Will be using it this weekend for sure for my pistol loads and my MVP. These were seated to mag length at 2.260". One thing I did notice even though the loads with higher charges opened up some, they started shooting higher with the higher charges, but relatively the same grouping. I was surprised that these shot so much higher than the 55 gr BT. So these babies should do good at longer ranges I hope!
  4. spamassassin Well-Known Member

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    I was able to get 1000m with them no problem getting 2850-3050fps among various loads. Biggest problem at super long range (>600m) is the impact is so non-energetic that it's often hard to see a miss or hear or see a hit on steel. By the time they get to my 900m gong they're going about 1200fps so it's just a little more power than a .22lr a the muzzle. With somewhere near the max load of benchmark (max load by the book IIRC) and seated out another 150 thousandths to jam in the lands you should see the next node given the similarity in your groupings and load results to my early results. I've only ever made 1 load that both fed from the mag reliably and had good results with the 70gn Berger pills which was, if I recall correctly, something like half a grain under Hodgdon's book max.

    I get that this may not be anything useful for you, depends on your needs. For me velocity is paramount with the .223 because I compete with it and velocity is my only trick to defeat the wind with these puny bullets. This means I'll just automatically, directly and deliberately overlook anything that's not right at the top end and I almost always end up a little over book max charge and a lot over book max COAL which only gets worse as I chase the throats on my various rifles.

    I'm not surprised the 55's shot lower. The BC on those is so shitty (pardon the language) that they slow down dramatically even to as short a distance as 100yrds compared to the high BC on the bergers, which will also show some amount of aerodynamic jump which only helps them print higher.

    If you haven't ordered them already, get yourself some Hornady ELD-M's in 75gn. They can be pushed about as fast as the Berger 70's but the BC's are much higher and they're about 2/3 the cost. Very high quality bullet. If mag feeding is important to you try the 73gn. They'll seat shorter better.
  5. SouthernCoyote New Member

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    Apr 11, 2017
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    Thanks for all the helpful info! I hadn't really planned to take this one out past 500-600 yards since I have a custom 6.5 Creedmoor that should be ready any week now. But I will def check into those 73gn ELD-M's!
  6. spamassassin Well-Known Member

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    You've really gotta try the ol' .223 from 600-1000yrds. It's not as hard as most would have you think and it's a lot of fun at about 1/2 the reload cost per round. With the old fashioned Hornady 75gn HPBT's I was hitting a 5" plate at 500m with tedious reliability during a fairly recent range trip. I think you'll be able to take on the small gongs at 600 with satisfying results. The heavies really liked to be pushed hard in my stock MVP barrel. Seemed the harder I was on the brass the better the bloody thing shot with 70gn and up bullets.

    If I get my barrel back from Cerakote-ing today I'll be using my MVP in a 200-900yrds match this weekend.
  7. SouthernCoyote New Member

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    Apr 11, 2017
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    I will def try it out to 600 or so. Just don't have many shooting ranges near me that have that distance.
  8. SouthernCoyote New Member

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    image000000.jpg Did some more tests with various loads this weekend.. the load with 21.2 grains of Benchmark is still king. There was a good bit less wind this past weekend so the groups tightened up some. The group shot at 100 yards was less than 1/4" with two shots in the same hole! Shot a second group at 200 yards and it was still under 1/2" group at that distance, so the less than 1/4" group is holding solid at 200 yards. Ran the load through the chronograph and they are hanging around the 2,670 fps range. I know most people say the VLD likes to be ran fast, but the faster I run them, the more they open up. Hopefully next weekend I can test them even farther. My zero is set for 200 yards as you can tell in the 2nd group on the right side of the photo I've posted.
    David Richert and Keith like this.
  9. spamassassin Well-Known Member

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    Accuracy is king. Just like in golf, drive for show, put for dough.
  10. boostless Active Member

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    Looks like a good load and some good shooting.
  11. SouthernCoyote New Member

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2017
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    Thanks for the kind words. It's def a keeper load. Just ordered up 1000 rounds of the VLD and 200 more Lapua brass. Got plenty of benchmark and primers to last a long time. Will be a fun time to come

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