Initial testing observations
I have begun testing on my new wildcat for the AR-15 the 7mm Valkyrie AR or 7 VAR for short.
The first gun chambered is a savage Axis just because it is faster and easier to chamber and make a bolt action barrel. I have 3 ar test barrels in route they will be 24” heavy barrel for me and a 20” and 16.5 Inch for Rick. They are due in next week.
Sunday was the first test day for the Valkyrie. I just did velocity ladders checking for pressure signs on the cases and breaking in the barrel. I sighted in with 130 speer bt with CFE223 starting with 36 grains and I worked up to 38.3 didn’t hit max and velocity numbers were coming around. Started out at 2600 and ended at 2747 fps.
Next up was the 139 hornady sp bt with cfe223 you can look at the pic and that is 10 rounds ranging from 34.1 to 36.8 grains no where near max. Velocity started at 2434 fps and ended at 2593 fps with no pressure signs. I will estimate max at around 38.5-39 grains.
Next up was the 168 berger Classic with Leverevolution. I must say here that I really think lever is going to be “the” powder for 130 and up bullets as far as velocity goes. I also think accuracy is going to be good with it. The bergers started at 31.5 grains at 2326 fps and I loaded to 34.2 grains at 2506 fps and again I am a ways from max I will guess max will be around 35.5 grains and we should get close to 2600 with them in a 24” barrel.
I should note here that the savage test barrel is 26” bull. It is going to be a bench gun for me so I wanted the length it also gives us another dimension in testing. We will have 16.5,20,22,24 and 26” test barrels so it will give us a good idea what each length will give us for accuracy and velocity.
Now I moved to the 120 Vmax with H335. With this combo I started at 33.3 with a velocity of 2691 fps to 36 grains at 2834 fps not at max with this one either. 37-37.5 will probably be max with this combo needs more testing as with the rest.
139 sst was next up on the plate with lever here you can compare the sst to the 139 btsp with cfe and see the big difference in velocity but pressure signs are not much more with lever. I ran the same charges here as I did with the cfe and btsp 34.1 of lever got us 2579 fps and the 36.8 grain top charge hit 2760fps not max charge yet 38-38.5 will probably be max charge with this combo also and 2850 fps I am hoping. Accuracy is also looking good.
The last and final test of the day was the 140 nosler ballistic tip with imr 8208,30 was the start charge at 2396 fps last charge was 32.7 at 2623 fps. velocity is lower than expected but I was not near max, I retested last night with an accuracy ladder up to 34.2 and I was approaching max I didn’t take velocity readings will do that when I narrow the final load down. In the pics you can see the accuracy test. I wasn’t shooting the best and had to dial the scope a couple times but when I was doing my job it is showing great promise.
I also ran the 140 nosler ballistic tip with lever last night for velocity and I was impressed. The picture shows 8 shots that range from 35.7 to 38 grains at 100 yards and you can just about cover with a quarter. I also hit 2832 fps at 38 with a little room left at this temp it was 37 deg. It might be max in the summer heat.
Overall I am very happy with what I am seeing. It is hitting some of the goals already with a lot of testing to go. All the parts are here for the ar build. Just waiting on the barrel.