Tuesday, 26 August 2014

22 Satan Long Range Accuracy

The .20 Satan continues to amaze me with its long range accuracy and lethality on crows despite the inevitable throat erosion due to the high intensity loading.


The .20 Satan continues to amaze me with its long range accuracy and lethality on crows despite the inevitable throat erosion due to the high intensity loading.

So the next step was to slow things down a little and achieve the same or better down range ballistics but achieve it with higher and heavier BC bullets, not sheer speed. This would hopefully mean less barrel wear and so I upgraded .20 Satan route by expanding the case to accept .224 bullets.

Originally I went the fast twist heaviest bullets possible such as Sierras and Berger`s 90 grainers but having used the .22 Satan over the years I have also found great results with lighter bullets for small deer use.

Case spec

I originally used the 6x47 Swiss Match (SM) brass for the .20 Satan and now the .22 Satan but Lapua later produced their new 6.5x47 case which is not the same dimensionally as the SM, the Lapua has a shorter neck but longer body. However the Lapua does have a small rifle primer pocket whereas the SM brass has a large primer pocket. Wishing to utilise both brass types for testing I had Steve Bowers make me a forming die that would form either brass type straight down to .22x47 Satan dimensions, this only really involved a neck swage for the SM cases but a shoulder bump and neck reduction for the Lapua brass. Having run through the form die I trimmed to 1.8435 length which was 25 thou shorter than the chamber dimensions of 1.8460 inch, a little short but safe. Water capacity is then 46.5 grains for the SM case and 46.12 grains for the Lapua brass, the Lapua brass is heavier and has slightly thicker walls. After deburring inside and out with a Wilson deburrer the SM brass was ready to take bullet heads, the Lapua still needed a slight neck reduction to provide adequate neck tension. This was utilised with a custom Wilson die that Steve made with the chamber reamer and utilising differing neck bushes. To resize, the SM cases using a 0.250 neck bush and the Lapua a 0.252 bush to give adequate neck tension and clearance with the neck chamber dimensions of 0.254 inches.

To fire form the brass. I used a load of 34 grains RL19 under a 69 gr Hornady Match bullet that I had plenty spare of all ignited with a Federal 210 large or 205 small rifle primer dependent on case used. 

Gun spec

My test rifle, an RPA Quadlite has a switch barrel system utilising a Ken Farrell barrel vise from Sinclair’s and an RPA rear entry action wrench. This system made changing barrels and thus testing new wildcat calibres a chinch. 
I wanted as long as practical barrel length so settled on a Pac-Nor stainless match grade 28 inch tube overall with a 5/8 inch thread cut and 11 degree crown. Rifling twist was a little more difficult, to stabilise 75 – 80 grain projectiles a 1 in 8 twist would be fine but bullets with the 90 grain weight are long bullets and 1 in 7 or 1 in 6.5 are better. I stuck to 1 in 8 inch as I did not want pressure issues and crossed my fingers.

I designed the case/reamer on QuickLOAD ballistics program and Dave Kiff from Pacific Tool and Gauge made the reamer to have a short throat for a 75 grain grain A-Max bullet but when the heavier 90 grain Sierras and Berger`s are loaded they would not encroach too much into the powder case capacity and as the throat wore I could chase it up the barrel!!! 

Load up

Powder choice of RL 17, 19 and H4831SC would seem logical and Quick Load confirmed this also. 
I started with the H4831SC and RL19 powders and when a bullet choice with these powders was established I would look see with a few alternative loads with the faster RL17 for tasters.

Powder Weight
H4831SC 35.0 80gr A-Max 2783 1376

2908 1502

2945 1541

3003 1602

3142 1754


3190 1808

3327 1967


3340 1902

H4831SC 36.0 90 gr Sierra Match king 2870 1647

2924 1709

2957 1748

3037 1844

3055 1866

Finer Tickle up  

Powder Powder Weight Case Bullet Weight
Energy ft/lbs
H4831SC 40.5 Swiss Match (SM) 80gr Sierra Match King 3370 2018 0.35

3369 2017 0.55

RL19 38.0 SM 80 gr Sierra M.King 3346 1989 0.5

39.25 SM
3414 2071 0.45

Mild load
3040 1642 0.35

RL19 35.5 SM 90gr Sierra Match King 3040 1847 0.25

H4831SC 36.5 SM 90gr Berger VLD 3046 1855 0.25-0.35

Lighter Deer legal bullets

Powder Powder weight Bullet Case Velocity Energy ft/lbs Accuracy
H4831SC 43.5gr
Nosler Partition
SM 3618 1744 0.30

75 gr Swift
SM 3336 1853 0.45

42.0gr Barnes 70gr TSX Lapua 3467 1868 0.55
RL19 42.0gr
75 gr Swift
SM 3493 2032 0.40

65gr Game King
SM 3631 1903 0.35
RL17 42.0gr
60gr V-Max
Lapua 3785 1908 0.55

Field Results

The 80-grain A-Maxes and a load of 40 grain H4831SC with a Federal 210 primer with a SM case and an OAL of 2.5635 which shot consistent 0.35 100 yard groups at a velocity of 3190fps. Switching to the 80 grain Sierra Match Kings these preferred an OAL of 2.6045 with a 40.5 grain H4831SC powder charge and yielded cloverleaf 0.35 or less groups. 
I had two choices of 90 grain bullets, the VLD Berger`s and the venerable Sierra Match kings. Both these bullets exhibit high BC values, the Berger`s at 0.517 and the Sierras at 0.504. 

Using a load 36.5 grains of H4831SC, SM cases, Federal 210 Primers and an overall length of 2.6240, 90gr Berger the accuracy was good at 0.25-0.35 inches at 100 yards. 
Because the Sierras are easily available I switched to the RL19 powder, with a load of 35.5 grain RL19 SM cases and an OAL of 2.5850 I achieved really consistent 10 –12 fps variation in velocities at the 3040 fps level. Accuracy was great 0.35-inch groups were the norm with the occasional bug hole, no need to mess around with that load.

Out of interest as stated earlier, I wanted to see the difference in using SM cases and reformed Lapua brass and their differing primer sizes. The reality was there was little detectable difference.

Likewise if you want to make your life really easy and avoid a few forming steps as with the Satan brass dimensions then Dave Kiff has reamers for the .22-47 Lapua version (Satan Mk2) which will only need a neck reduction and all the data from the .22 Satan will be relevant. I have reamers for both but elected to stay with the original Mark 1 Satan version.

If speed was your aim then the 75-grain A-Maxes would not disappoint with velocities reaching over 3400 fps and for those of you who want a game bullet then the 60-grain Partitions were a real surprise. 

Those little Partitions shot out of that 28 inch tube at over 3618fps and generated 1744ft/lbs energy, but best of all the accuracy from those flat base bullets consistently shot one hole groups, superb.

Equally the 75 grain Swift Scirocco bullets with either H4831SC or RL19 powder gave great velocities and solid accuracy for deer sized game.

The Sierra 65 gr Game King I have used a lot in .222 and .223 for deer legal Scottish Roe or Muntjac and in the .22 Satan it shot very well, best powder was RL19 again a good powder with 3631 fps for 1903 ft/lbs with 42.5 grs of this powder. Hornadie`s light weight zipper of a 60gr V-Max and shot best with the fastest RL17 powder a charge of 42.0gr gave 3785 fps , a nice fox load this one.


With a zero of 0.5 inch high at 100 yards the high BC 90 grain Sierras at 3045 fps only dropped –2.1 at 200 yds, -9.4 at 300 yards, -22.2 at 400 yards, -40.1 at 500 yards and –67.8 at 600 yards. At 500 yards you only have 16.1 inches wind drift in a 10-mph wind, which is all very usable and why the heavier .22 bullets were chosen, correcting for elevation is straight forward, it’s the wind that gets you all the time. Stretching things a bit further and at 1000 yards you have a 26.3 MOA adjustment and only 77 inch wind drift in a 10 mph wind. Those Swift Sirocco 75 grainers shot very well and I would zero at 200 yards so at 100 yds you are +0.7 inch up and only -4.5 inch down at 300 yards and -13.7 inches low at 400 yards. Which matches up nicely with my older Swarovski TDS reticule scope.


I am pleased with the .22 Satan round, the 90-gr bullet travelling at 3050 fps has good trajectory characteristics and hopefully good barrel life. The real surprise were those 60 gr Nosler Partition bullets that shot the tight groups and for deer use, where legal, the Swift Scirocco 75 grain bullets makes the .22 Satan a dual role vermin and deer calibre where legal.

Whether the .22 Satan is any better than a fast twist .22-250 is academic really, it is just nice some times to own something a little different. Dave Kiff has all the reamers for the Satan range and the newer versions on the slightly longer 6.5x47 Lapua case, so if you want a very efficient no nonsense long ranger varmint or small species deer round then give him a call.


Tel JMS Arms 01444 400126 / 07771 962121

Quickload and QuickTARGET

Friday, 1 August 2014

.17 HMR cartridge profile and field tests

Since its introduction some four years ago no other cartridge has courted such admirers and detractors alike. Originally designed as a flat shooting varmint round to compensate for the .22 rimfires failings in terms of rainbow trajectory and ricochet problems. The .17 HMR never was really intended for quarry species up to fox size yet after all the dust has settled and now there is a greater choice of bullet types...

The New MAE Compact sound moderators

MAE are the New Zealand firm of suppressor manufacturers that have dominated the British market place for nearly 15 years now. Why? British shooters demand a well built, long lasting and above all “silent “silencer!

MAE are distributed by JMS Arms headed by Julian Savory and as Julian is a serious shooter himself he knows what the real hunter wants from a suppressor.

The new MAE 38mm Compact T series sound moderator is a combination of years of development to provide an “over barrel” design but with the shortest length and hence weight saving yet still deliver excellent noise reduction qualities.

The new 38mm Compact is just that, compact. The standard 38mm diameter is maintained for a slim line look and importantly every part is made of stainless steel. This makes the MAE one of the best longest lasting moderators available today. Overall length has been shaved to just over 200mm and adding just over 100mm to the length of your rifle. Which results in an overall weight of only 490grams.

The new Compacts are a Bushless system, this means the rear section that sleeves over the muzzle has no rear synthetic bush. This now allows accumulated heat of the barrel from shooting to escape and alignment is maintained from a strengthened and lengthened inner thread section.

The rear of the moderator has been designed to not reflect light from a lamp if used.

Noise reduction recommendations are for up to .308 Win calibre as a proportion of the hot expanding gases on firing are diverted rearward into the sleeved section whilst the remainder is directed down the forward section. This incorporates a substantial blast baffle and then a series of stainless steel baffles to further cool the hot powder combustion gases. This retardation of movement in and around the MAE Compacts efficient baffle design gives a very good noise reduction overall.

The new MAE Compact sound moderator is for those hunters who want good sound reduction in a small compact design whilst still maintaining a short overall length for a better handling rifle in the field.

Thread sizes available are ½x20unf, M14x1, M18x1 and 5/8x18

Price is £280.00 for the brushed stainless steel finish, please add £10 for the blacked finish. 


Tel JMS Arms 01444 400126 / 07771 962121
Quickload and QuickTARGET