Kansas 2019 RRT
15-25 MPH E
Goals: 5.56(14.5) DOPE building
Environment: Cool, windy, very overcast.
Equipment: 5.56(14.5) B1.5-8x CQ MIL FM(R) 77gr ... Zeiss 10x45 LRF Binos Alaska Guide pouch ... RRS Tripod ... 4-wheeler ... COMTAC3 headset ... I/O Recon Goggles
Activity: This carbine is my least used ... but becuse it is the closest thing I have to a M4 I guess I keep it for sentimental reasons. The 10 inch carbines do carbine better and the 18+ inch rifles do rifle better.
But today, was the day for the 5.56(14.5) and on it :)
First, to zero at 100yds.
I setup at 100yds, firing off the RRS. The wind was about 15 MPH dead ahead. I was shooting in to the wind.
First 3 rd group.
Barely on paper. In the past, I've most shot 62gr Lake City out of this carbine. And zeroed at 25yds with double zero 385yds. But with the 77gr and the optic I have on there, I was going to try 100yd zero.
I clicked left 0.5 mils, and wanted to click down 1.5 mils but the scope was already at the zero stop. So I had to head in to the house and change the zero stop.
Back from there and now down 1.8 mils.
The wind was moving me back and forth and mostly throwing off the left to right aspect.
I won't bore you with every group ... but the wind picked up ... 20 mph for several groups and then 25 mph for the last few ... the wind mill feathers itself at 25 mph .. and I use that as an indicator as well as I'm used to the sounds the wind mill makes at the various wind speeds. Of course the wind mill lives 60 feet up in the air, which is different from down on the ground.
The final two groups are on the dot to the lower right. The sixth group is the 3 rds N/NW of the dot and the final group 1 rd to the left and two rds to the right, slightly high.
These last groups were at 25 mph and I was getting buffetted back and forth, left to right quite a bit. I had parked the 4-wheeler right behind me and I backed up and lean back onto the front guard rails of the 4-wheeler to steady me and that helped a little.
So, based on how many rounds I had and what I wanted to do, I decided to head on out to the pasture.
About half way out to the firing point ... looking east at the main pond, now frozen over. The cattle still have the creek and a running spring we developed.
The basic idea of the next sequence was to try to develop DOPE at 200, 300 and 400yds. Due to the config of this carbine I can't get the MSv3 on it. I don't have the MS rail mount. I will get one. But it still might not work on some of my carbines as they have their ir-lasers forward on the 3 o'clock and the MS rail mount might not latch. But I will get one. It will help in some cases.
So I forgot to take pics at 200yds, but here I am at 300yds looking at the targets.
These are IPSC (2/3) 6x6 inch face and 12 x 18 inch body. At 200yds I had aimed dead center and was left 4 and down 4 inches ... throwing snow up in the air and determined the wind was almost directly behind me ... which was a surprise as that is SSE ... Not the Due East I had a half mile away. But this is a different valley and has different wind.
At 300yds I aimed right side center of the face and the hits were centered down 12 inches.
So, plugging that data into AB on my phone ... That gave me an approximate MV of 2600. And that told me to hold 2.6 mils (36 inches) at 400yds. That worked. I was a little low, but on the steel. I was wiming up over the top of the head and left about lined up with the chain about 4 inches of wind hold.
So to find the positions, I drove the 4-wheeler around and used the Zeiss binos to lase the range. The binos worked fine. The only two issues were, I had a little trouble reading the distances off the display. Need to find the brightness adjustment. And had trouble finding the "fire" button with my gloved hand without looking. This just needs more practice.
The position I used was to turn the 4 wheeler broadside to the targets, sit on a running board and size the tripod to support that position. I've used that position before and it is a decent compromise.
I'd had slapped CLP on the lube points before I went out and run a dry brore snake. No problems with the gun or ammo. The Freedom munitions 77gr Remanufactured rounds were 52 cents per round. Their MV is lower than the Black Hills or others, but I've never had a problem with one round. Of course FM is long gone now, so I'm shooting up the last 1,000rds of this stuff now. I've switched to IMI 77gr for my carbine 5.56 ammo.
Logistics is one of the seven high level bullet points in my training plan. And I spend a lot of time on logistics. This is basically making sure I have the right crap at the right time, to meet the requirements.
This includes ammo. Since moving out to the ranch in 2012, I've gone from knowing very little, to knowing a little more. One thing I've learned is that for me, Ammo is not "Oh yeah, I need something to shoot out of my gun" ... it is closer to ... "I need to select the right ammo and then, oh btw I need some guns to shoot it" :D
So for my centerfire rifles and carbines (in joe speak a carbine is an SBR in ATF speak) ... I really divide the ammo into several groups ...
(a) Carbine, the accuracy requirements are reduced ... cost and reliability are king.
(b) Rifle, accuracy and reliability are king and within that, we want low cost.
Also steady supply is critical. For me to shoot a given bullet, I'd like it to be available in at least two different factory loads, from at least two different distributors.
Believe it or not, to meet all these requirements has taken, and I expect will continue to take, a lot of study and testing.
So rifle ammo, needs to have good performance out of the guns in terms of groups and windage. I think I recently tested six different loads of the 77gr SMK for my 5.56(18) rifle. I had been using the Black Hills 77gr for the past 4 years .. I was hoping to find something "better" ... at least in some dimension, like cost at least. But alas, it did not happen ... either the MVs were very low or the SD was very high ... so, ring around the rosey, I am now back to the BH 77gr TMK. But at least I challenged the market and tried alternatives ... and doing those sorts of exercises falls exactly within the realm of "Logistics" !!!
Another example is carbine ammo. For the last 3 years, I've been shooting "Freedom Munitions 77gr REMAN" ... for 52 cents per round. And I have still NEVER had a mis-fire with that ammo, even shooting it out of three different guns (I have 3 "carbines"). So, yes, the MV was lower and the SD higher, but I'm going for "minute of man" with this ammo, or at least "minute of coon/opossum" on the lower edge of smallness. Out to 300yds for the two 10 inch barrels and 450yds at the outside with the 14.5 barrel. So Freedom Munitions is belly up. So I've looked around and went with IMI 77gr, of which there are several sub-flavors and I've been able to get 1,000 rds of the "non mod-1" flavor for 52 cents ... the mod-1 flavor is now 69 cents. And no issues with this ammo either. I have two carbines shooting the new IMI and the other one still finishing up the FM.
Another issue with the carbine ammo is the 62gr Lake City. I got 4 batches of 2,400 total rounds. But one batch, and I'm not sure which, is "bad". In that I've gotten multiple "fail to fire" with it. Heavily dimpled primer, but no bang. I need to weed this out. I'll probably sell all of this because I really have no use for it and I don't want to shoot it at my steel. I got it 5-6 years ago, before I understood what I needed.
Another example on the rifle side is the 130gr Berger's FGMM load. I wanted this to be my "go to" ammo for the 6.5G(18), but alas, the MV is 2252 for me and the resulting performance does not make this the preferred cartridge. The Hornady 123 ELD-M wins on cost and droppage and on SD ... only on windage (BC) does the 130gr cartridge slightly win out. By 6 inches at 900yds. Is that worth reloading for ? I thought hard about it, but it doesn't seem worth it for me at this time. So back to the ELD-M as the primary.
But continuous looking at suppliers and cartridges and bullets is all part of this activity, and that is the provisioning of the "best" ammo for my range of guns and activities .. which all rolls up under "logistics".
Here are the current ballistics charts for current conditions.
And here are the current cartridges and suppliers
Here is first pic of the new Tikka T1x. I was able to pick it up yesterday.
I need to get a scope base for it, so looking at options.
I ordered this back in April, it finally reached the local gunsmith this week! :D
I got the Athlon Argos 6-24x scope for it long ago and that has been sitting on my "hunting" .22lr ... but now it will move to the Tikka and the "hunting" .22lr will revert to an old ATN ODIN 1x scope for night work.
I will primarily use the Tikka for dot drills, specifically working on consistency of cheek/stock weld and timing of breathing/trigger break. The Tikka has a threaded barrel, but I do not plan to put a suppressor on it.
I will use it for occasional day critter control as a secondary purpose.
I order a case of center-x and I will bake that off against the eley 4gr hp I normally shoot.
I will get 2 more magazines.
The action is a little stiff. I put some grease on it last night and started dry firing. The grease actually made a 50% improvement, though it is still stiffer than I would like.
The trigger is said to be 2 lbs ... and that feels about right ... some people are replacing the spring to take it down to 1 pd. I will not do that. Most of my bolt gun triggers are around 2 lbs ... and I'd like to keep it that way.
The barrel is 20 inches.
The weight is 7 lbs 12.7 oz ... which is heavier than you might expect. But that is not a bad thing.
The barrel is not free floated, though perhaps that is normal on .22LR target rifles ?
Looks like some sort of "plastic wedging" for the "bedding" ??
I will have to start out with a harris bipod on this one. But given the lack of recoil, the harris might work ok. I've had problems with the harris "tensioning" screws coming loose and have switched to atlas for all my other bolt guns.
Well, hope to get it up and running by the end of next week. Until then, I'll keep dry firing to work on the action!
specifically working on consistency of cheek/stock weld
I think you mean chin weld... because with a stock like that, there's no way you're going to be able to get cheek weld unless you take drastic action on the comb of that stock.
I suspect you are right. Yes, "chin" weld in this case.
bigfoot last edited by irish
I use these that attach to the front sling stud to provide a rail for attaching a bipod like an Atlas or similar. They used to come with a rubber gasket to keep it from marking up your stock but the last one I got didn't have it so I had to improvise. I have a couple that UTG makes but they only have one slot and don't work with most bipods that require two or more. I got to handle one of those Tikka's yesterday at a gun shop outside of Houston. He already had sold two but didn't have any feedback so far.
Ok, moved all the scopes around ... from top to bottom
.300WM(24) now with L&S 6.5-20x TMR ... even with T3 reticle I have to dial after about 1,000yds (depending on the gun/ammo), so setting this one up on the .300WM(24) and will try to get to 1,050yds on my land with A191 ammo (190gr). Weight as shown 16 lbs 9 oz ... that G5 stock is pretty heavy. I only have 3 x 30 cal suppressors, so will have to move the suppressor around today.
7.62(22) has the NF 7-35x T3 ... and will be shooting the 155gr TMK Colt/Doubletap load. I'm still working on acquiring the next 155gr ammo to test, but this rifle will be the rest rifle for the 155gr, since it has the longest barrel. Weight as shown is 16 lbs 2 oz
7.62(20) has the L&S mk6 3-18x T3 and will be shooting the FGMM 175gr. Weight as shown is 14 lbs 15 oz
6.5G(18) has the xtr2 3-15x scr-mil and will be shooting the FGMM 130gr Bergers. Weight as shown is 12 lbs 4 oz. Interesting that the stoner is the lightest :) Even with the "rails on rails".
Hope to zero/reconfirm zero with all these today and will be magneto speeding the 190s in the .300WM and the 130gr in the 6.5G
Following up today with the 5.56(14.5) (per above)
8 hits out of ten with the 5.56(14.5) at 500yds ...
First round low right.
That meant DOPE still not correct in the ballistics calculator ... I had held 3.3 up and half a mil left. So switched to 5 mils up and 1 mil left. Got 4 "no feedbacks" and then a miss highish left ... switched to 4.5 mils up and .75 mils left and rest were no feedbacks. This 3/8 inch steel is too heavy for 5.56 rds ... the target doesn't move ... and in most conditions I hear nothing either. These targets work for 6.5 up to .300WM ... but not for 5.56 ...
So, I will have to adjust my MV down.
Main pond still frozen hard ... but creek running ... forecast says another mild day tomorrow (20s-30s) then cooling of for a couple of days ... (1s to 20s) so what we have now on the ground won't melt much more for awhile ...
All the guns are mine except the 6.5CM(24) which is a buddies.
The 6.5CM can’t quite reach the performance of the .300WM(24) … but the 155gr can’t quite reach the 6.5CM either … but note I’m using 20 and 22 inch barrels and the 6.55CM is a 24 inch.
Comparing the 175gr to the 155gr:
The 175gr seems to win on price ($1.00 per round) availability (I can get FGMM 7.62 175gr from multiple sources anytime I want) and energy (about 13% more than the 155gr at 900yds.
The 155gr seems to win on droppage, windage and velocity. It is almost capable of supporting the statement “The 155gr bullet turns a .308WIN into a 6.5CM ” 😀
But price and availability are not small issues for me !!! The 13% energy difference is not significant for me.
I see a hornady “mil spec” load of the 155gr for $1.20 per round, but had to search hard to get any …
I see another hornady load of an “AMAX – Palma” 155gr … for $1.25 but have not been able to get any of those get.
I tried a “double tap” load of the 155gr TMK .. the bullet has the higher BC .. but alas the load SD was HIGH.
Black Hills has a load for the 155gr TMK, but the shown price for those is $2.00 per round, which rules them out.
I have two bolt guns and the question before me is whether I should switch one of them to a 155gr bullet.
I do not reload (time a.k.a. priorities) … but I seem to keep finding situations that might make me do it … and maybe this one will … I finally found a buddy who I think can walk me through the process .. if I decide I have to do it.
Right now my use case for all my RIFLEs (center fire weapons with barrel lengths 16 and above) is
dots and groups - 80% of live fires
wind practice (500yds, 750yds and 1,050yds on my land) - 15% of live fires
hunting/critter control - 5% of live fires
10 MPH W
Goals: Tikka T1x .22LR zero and dots at 25yds.
7.62(20) zero and dotsNgroups at 100yds.
Environment: Snowed again last night, and it is sunny today, so bright, bright, bright out there. Moon still visible as well.
Top: the 7.62(20) ... a REM700 SPS TAC AAC-SD on a bravo chassis, with xtr2 3-15x scr-mil, FGMM 7.62, 175gr
Bottom: Tikka T1x, Athlon Argos 6-24x scope, center-x
All shots were off the RRS with anvil 30 and vyce.
Activity: Shooting into the sun in the morning. I had my googles with 80% lenses and they batted down on the sun ... but I haven't shot with them in a while and that takes some getting used to.
I fired 20 rds of center-x with the T1x and hit 15 dots. That's not saying much at 25yds, since these are 3/4 inch dots :D ... it took 5 rds to "zero". And I was consistently left on hitting the dots. But if I crank another 0.1 mil right, that will be 0.18 inches ! My plan is to shoot 1.8 inch dots at 25yds. I want to shoot at 25yds, because that is also a useful distance to be zeroed at for day vermin (tree rats mostly) control. The double zero is 70 yrds and 1 inch up at 50yds ... so I think I might wind up having to hold right just a tiny bit.
The main problem was the scope was too far back. I mounted it in the center of the base, so I will move it forward a notch.
The next problem was shooting with the googles made it hard to get a consistent chin/stock weld. But without the goggles, I could not see the target.
Moving on to the 7.62(20). I tried to setup in a shadow area of the green house, but alas the sun was still peeking around the side of the green house right in my face, so had to wear the googles. Shot 20 rds and got 8 hits on the dots and fired 5 groups, 3, 4, 9, 18, 20 (I measure groups in 16ths) .. with the googles on there, I was still having trouble seeing the dots. Some groups were real tight, 2 groups had 1 flier each.
Summary: I've shot with googles many times, but not this year, and not much last year. Your first tendency is to "rip them off" :D ... but the reason I got them was for shooting into the wind in sub zero temps. I think it was Feb 2013, I was shooting into 25 MPH wind at -11F and my eyes were tearing up so much I could not see the target. I got goggles, forced myself to use them and got to where I could over come strong head winds in cold temps. But today, I needed them for the sun as the wind was behind me. Like everything else, it takes practice to get used to them. These are I/O "Recon" goggles and have swappable lenses ... I have 0% (clear) 20% (orange) and 80% (green) and I've never used the green before today. But today, I used the green and on balance, they helped.
10 MPH ENE
Goal: Wind practice
Environment: Cooling off, overcast. Sun not visible. We had snow earlier, but not much. Wind from the ENE full value from right to left across the bullet path.
Equipment: 7.62(22), NF 7-35x T3, RRS tripod, M118LR 175gr. Kestrel, Zeiss 10x45 LRF binos.
Activity: Rolled over to alfalfa patch and deployed a bag of range cubes so the cattle wouldn't come into my LOF. Predicted low is 8F and it was 42F 2 days ago, so they are acting more desperate even though they have bales deployed to eat. We have -6F predicted for the weekend (and we are usually about 5 degrees cooler than the prediction for our nominal town which is 7 miles South of us).
Setup at the 500yds FP. I had memorized my holds, so was able to fire quickly.
For those who forgot my scoring system:
0 points for a hit. Penalty points for misses. Goal is to score 0. Lowest score wins.
250yds = 8
500yds = 4
500yds face = 2
750yds = 3
1,050yds = 2
Tossed two clumps of dead weed tops up and verified the wind direction. Held up kestrel for 2 min and took the wind, per above. Using T3 reticle, so held for 6 mph wind for first two shots and 0.5 mils up. The two 250yds steels are 8 inches and those are too large ... but that's one reason the penalty is so large. I do recall missing once in the past year :D ...
On to 500yd full target, hit, but low and right. I had heard the wind rise and held 8 MPH, which was a little too much.
Next was the 500yds face (6x6 steel) first round was a hit, but I couldn't see the smudge on the target, so I fired a second. Also a hit. I thought I saw a dirty smudge.
Rolled down to target. One of the face shots was low, a miss, the other was a hit. Since I don't know which, I have to call one miss. I require a hit in order to advance to the next target, so the second hit was a required shot.
So the score was a "2" which is passing, but I've gotten zeros several times recently and zero is definitely the goal.
Expended 100rds yesterday, 80 of M118LR and 20 of FGMM. All 175gr 7.62x51, with the two bolt guns. Went back and forth between them. Fired 20 M118LR from Bravo, then same from McRee, then same from Bravo, then same from McRee, the finally 20 FGMM from Bravo.
Group averages were 0.65 inches for the bravo with 14 groups and 0.69 for the mcree with 10 groups.
The mcree scope base came loose. I need to loctite it, but too busy shooting it.
The bravo had 2 fail to fire with the m118lr .. dimpled primers, but not bang. With this case, that's 8 so far, that had dimpled primers but did not fire. I'm glad I'm shooting up the m118lr and not saving it ! The FGMM has had zero issues so far.
The magazines have had some fail to feed issues, but I got thru 90 rds today without any issues, then had 2 fail to feeds back to back. I might need to adjust the magazines.
I realize as I shift between prone and tripod (today was all prone) that the eye relief situation changes and I need to move either the butt stock or the scope. And with neither of these chassis can the butt stock be moved without tools. So, that makes me cogitate on needing chassis with tooless adjustments for both cheek piece of butt stock. The mcRee has no tooless adjustments. The bravo cheek piece is tooless but not the butt stock.
10 MPH NW
Goal: dots with Tikka T1a
Environment: Warm, muddy, but sunny and drying out a little prior to 4 days of rain forecast over the next week. Wind blowing 315 off the bullet path.
Equipment: Tikka T1a with Athlon Argos 6-24x. Lapua Center-X
Activity: This was the first bunch of the 1/4 dots at 25yds I've tried. Why am I at 25yds? Because I am also using this for day vermin rifle, specifically tree rats and want to be doubled zeroed at 25yds and around 70yds (haven't worked it out exactly, but it has been between 64yds and 71yds for the other .22lr with about 1 inch up at 50yds). The stoner .22lr(16) has the ODIN on it now and is repurposed as the night ratter.
I fired 3 mags of 10 rounds each from top to bottom, left to right. As you can see, I struggled with the top dot of each string. That must be a position issue. I see similar with my center fire dots. Struggle at the top of the target. Well I see this when prone, as I was today. Don't see that problem when shooting off tripod.
So 4 total misses (one of them is a "bare" tag, but I don't feel comfortable counting is as a tag, Then six tags and 20 center hits.
Well, that's not a "pass" .. need minimum of 27 center hits and it can be done. I was "straining" in some way for the tags, so by focusing on removing strain think I can get 27+ and that would be a pass. The goal is 30 center hits and I think that can be done as well.
Again, this was the first attempt on these 1/4 dots with the t1a, and the rifle and ammo did fine. And the scope can get the job done.
5 MPH West
Goal: check .22LR at 25, 50 and 75
Environment: It was 19F this morning, didn't expect that, but warmed up fast. Light breeze from the West, directly behind me. The sun was directly in my face over the target. About a foot to the right over the target :D I thru my wet suit top over my head and the rear of the scope to keep the sun out of my eyes.
Equipment: .22LR(20) (i.e. Tikka T1x), center-x, Athlon Argos 6-24x. RRS tripod. Zeiss 10x45 LRF binos.
Activity: Setup at 25yds. First group(G1 on the pic) was left and a tiny bit low. I cranked 3 right and 1 up.
First shot of second group (G2) was a bad miss way to the left. I fired three more rounds and all went in the same hole. I counted it as 2 groups. One with the wild miss (g2) and one without (G3). I cranked 1 left.
Group 4 (G4) was a tad to the left so I cranked 1 right. I realized I was chasing my tail. :)
Group 5 (g5) was a not as good as g3 or g4 even though all 3 rounds hit the little grey box but it was a 4 16ths inch group. To convert to IPHY multiply by 4 ... and it would be a 16/16 group at 100yds. Technically sub-moa, but my goal is sub 0.75 inches (not moa). So at 25yds I need to average 3/16ths not there today.
Then I moved to 50yds.I was aiming at the black dot lef the left side. This is group six (g6) it was half inch group (an inch at 100) and was 9/16 low (center of group). This was a surprise ! My usual .22LR(16) stoner shooting eley HP in an inch high at 50yds with a 25yd zero ! Here I'm a long half inch low. I just checked and neither of them have the nominal MV printed on them. You have to go on line with the lot number.
Group seven (G7) was at the top black dot. This was a 6/16 group (12 at 100) and center of group was 11 / 16 low.
Then went to 75yds. With the other .22lr my double zero is 25/64 to 25/71 depending on conditions with the eley hp. But I see tree rats between about 35yds and over 100yds ... so what would I need to aim with this setup at 75yds ?
Group eight had a bad miss high (1st rd) .. but counting that .. was a 27/16 group and was 3 and 9/16 low. I was aiming at the purple cross in the center of the right side black dot. I added a pink dot for the last group to make sure all the rounds were on paper. So G9 was aiming at the orange cross in the center of the pink dot. This was a 6/16 group (8/18 at 100yds) and center of group was 3 9/16 low.
So, using critter as the reticle at 75yds I would have to hold 3.5 inches high ... that would be a full critter height high above the center of the critter (if the critter is a tree rat). Not impossible. But defintely more hold that I've been using for the other .22lr ...
two rds were bad mmisses ... I think these were breathing/timing. I don't think I was having parallax issues today with this rifle. The tripod was nice and stable. Getting the right height is critical. Too high or too low and you will be straining ... and straining means missing :)
I am happy with everything except the surprising drop of these rounds. I need to dig into that.
10 MPH WNW
Goals: Check .308 at 100yds
Environment: Sunny warm breeze from behind. Still muddy, so still on the tripod.
Equipment: 7.62(22) in AX chassis on RRS tripod, LC m118LR, NF 7-35x T3.
Activity: Set up at 100yds, set up target.
2 sighters did not provide useful info.
G1 - one rd (way to the right) was a breathing/trigger timing issue 13/16ths
G2 - Tagged the dot, but bad group 15/16ths
G3 - First good group, upper hole has 2 rounds 5/15ths
Based on G3 decided to crank 3 clicks right.
G4 - 2 rds had breathing/trigger timing problem the third did not and hit the dot 14/16ths
G5 - not a great group but 2 hits on the dot 11/16ths.
G6 - 2 rds had breathing/trigger problem the third did not and hit the dot 22/16ths
Summary/Results: The goal from tripod last year was 1.5 MOA ... the acquisition of the RRS was a game changer compared to the well used Manfrottos. I finished the year at 0.87 MOA off the RRS in Q4.
So far, this year on 38 groups off the RRS with center fire rifles at 100yds I'm 0.67 inches avg. Today was 0.83. The goal for this year started at 1.0 inches (at or under 1 inch groups off the RRS) ... but the new informal goal is 0.75 inches ... and that seems do-able.
So, this is the first batch of groups with the new AX chassis. I've had this barreled action (REM700 action with criterion 22 inch REMAGE) barrel, in McRee G-10 chassis for the past year. The reason I wanted to move to the AX was to get tooless LOP. Not that LOP matters, but eyerelief does and the LOP adjustment happens to also adjust the eyerelief without having to move the scope. Tooless cheek peice is nice but not required. The AX also has left-right adjustment for the cheekpiece though I haven't played with that yet.
The big issue today was the breathing/trigger timing. This means the trigger broke at a non-optimal moment in the breathing cycle. I think this is happening because the three .308s I'm shoot, oe has a #3.5 trigger, one has a #2.5 and one has a #2.0 ... and my brain is struggling to adjust between these.
Also, I could detect straining and extra wobble compared to the earlier session with the .22LR. I adjusted the tripod height twice. But I think the cheek piece is too high. I think the LOP is good, but I found myself leaning my head over to the right and that is a clue the cheek piece is too high.
The forearm came loose, but I don't think that affected the groups, it wasn't loose enough to touch the barrel. Last weekend when I was zeroing the scope base came loose so I loctited it. Looks like I need to loctite the forearm screws as well. The action screws did not come loose.
To mitigate the trigger poundage issue in the short run, I will dry fire 20 times before starting the sessions with the .308s ... hopefully my brain can learn from that :D
In the long run, I will move them all to #2 ...
First groups with redone "light" bolt gun today
REM700 SPS TAC AAC-SD barreled action (20 inch)
Bravo chassis with no add ons or mods
PRI one piece scope base/nv rail
Spuhr ISMS mount
NF NXS 2.5-10s MIL-R
12 lbs 5.3 oz as shown
21 rds, 7 x 3 rd groups. 100yds off RRS tripod.
First shot 4 inches low. First two groups around 2 inches as I was dialing in.
Last five groups avg 1.25 inches.
I was shooting into the sun and my aiming eye was tearing, so that caused some strain.
The LOP/eyerelief is too long causing me to strain forward to remove shadow.
And for me, straining = missing.
Also about a 20 mph wind was pushing me fro side to side, since I was standing up.
So, I will remove one of the 3 spacers and see how that works. The scope is already as far back as I can get it without the mount hanging off the rail. And removing a spacer might remove about an oz of weight. So we will try that first.
15 MPH S
Goal: dots and groups
Environment: Warm, windy, sunny
Equipment: From top to bottom
5.56(18) xtr2 1.5-8x CQ-MIL FM (r) 77gr
REM700 7.62(20) Bravo NF 2.5-10x MIL-R FGMM 175gr
5.56(18) xtr2 1.5-8x CQ-MIL FM (r) 77gr
GAP 7.62(20) NF 4-16x T3 M118LR 175gr
Activity: Set up three targets with 7 x 3/4 inch dots each. First center dot is for the "sighters". Then six dots in the outer ring "for the record". In theory, if I am shooting a box of 20 rds. I shoot 2 sighters at the center and then 3 rds each at the outer ring dots.
First up to bat was the 7.62(20) bolt gun with 2 mags each of 9 rds.
The first "sighter" group was the best and I fired 3 rds so I will count it. I was only shooting 18 rds. The first round was high, the second left and the third low. That didn't really tell me anything, except there was something wrong with me :D
Second group was the 9 o'clock, first two rounds were high and the third low.
Third group was the 7 o'clock, first to rounds left, third round right.
Fourth group was the 4 o'clock first rd centered right, second rd low, third rd high.
Fifth group 3 o'clock, first two rds high, third rd low.
Sixth group first rd wide right and high, second and third rds high and centered.
That winds up being 1.144 MOA which is the worst prone group set I recall in 6 months. More on the analysis later.
Second up to bat was the 5.56(18) stoner with 1 mag of 18 rds.
First group all rds high.
Second group all rds high (9 o'clock and then counter clockwise for all other groups)
Third group, tight but high again. I decided to crank down 2 clicks (.2 mils)
Fourth group wild but "centered" on the dot
Fifth group marginal, and a bit right
Sixth group also marginal and a bit right.
That wound up being 0.895 MOA, not good, more on the analysis later.
And last but not least was the 7.62(20) stoner a new gun, though I did some pre-zeroing yesterday.
Here I was shooting 20 rds, so the first two were the real sighters and they didn't count. Then other groups are starting at 8-9 o'clock and going counter-clockwise.
After I fired the 2 sighters, I clicked left 4 and down 3.
These groups were almost decent, especially for the first attempt and I made no further adjustments.
Average was 0.776 MOA.
Results/Summary: So with the bolt gun and the 5.56 this was the first attempt to shoot dots n groups for the record with scopes with less than 15x magnification. So for those guns, can I play the "not enough magnification card" ?? I think not. With the xtr2 1.5-8x CQ-MIL scope especially the center dot is REAL TINY. So small, I have mentally complained about it in the past. But I've decided to try real hard to make it work. Because I think I might be able to get the patrol to work with it as a clipon. So with this really tiny dot, if the reticle dot is on the target dot, which is larger than the reticle dot, I cannot see the target dot, so I know it is somewhere on the target dot. And for each shot, the dots were matched up. So, I don't think the not enough magnification card works for the 1.5-8x.
With the 2.5-10x MIL-R I felt fine. I don't think I could "quarter" the dots like I can with the higher powered scopes. But I'm sure the center of the reticle was on the dot, though I can't swear it was on the center of the dot. But these wild swings in POI have to be something other than magnification. I think it is that I had a light jacket over my head trying to shield my eyes from the sun shinning directly into them. Without the jacket, I could barely see the target at all due to the various glare effects. And I couldn't really tell if I was properly behind the scope. That is I couldn't tell whether I had shadows or not with the jacket up there because it was obscuring my view of the scope from the rear. So, I will play the "trying to use jacket to block sun" card for both of those guns results. I've used the jacket before and gotten decent results, but not from prone. I've only used it off the tripod previously.
With the GAP the sun was higher in the sky and I went without the jacket and I think that partly explains the better results. Otherwise, I think I was high with the dots on the top of the target due to position. I am often high on the high dots. So that is me and position.
The gun I feel best about in terms of being zeroed well enough for other purposes is the GAP. The bolt gun is next best and the 5.56(18) third. I try to shoot dots and groups as many days of the week and possible. And the regimen will continue with these three guns as they have sufficient ammo for the purpose.
20 MPH SSW
Goal: Wind practice
Environment: Warm, windy, mostly clear.
Equipment: 7.62(20) Bravo NF 2.5-10x MIL-R FGMM 175gr Kestrel Zeiss LRF Binos with 3x Pack with water and first aid and 2 rear bags (also carried the binos and commanche bag)
Activity: Rolled out to 500yd FP and setup. Threw two tufts of dead grass in the air and wind direction was 225 off the bullet path. Measured wind speed for 3m got:
Listening and watching decided to hold for 15 MPH which AB said was 1.2 MIL left. AB also said 3.3 MILs up so I dialed that. The first time, I've dialed in the field since I can remember, well over 18 months. But one reason I got this scope was so I would have 2 active scopes that are dialing scopes, versus my other 4 active scopes which are holding scopes (T3). I don't want to completely loose the dialing skill.
So the first round was 4 inch left but level with the aiming spot. So 15 MPH was too much. Next shot I held half a mil less, 0.75 mils left and got a hit. I couldn't hear it (wind rustling trees nearby too much) but I could see the steel wiggle. Then rolled over to the Zeiss used the left barrel with the 3x multiplier (net 30x) my "spotter" and there was a good bit of mirage, but I could see the splotch and it looked centered vertically but a little left.
I then aimed at the next target to the right 0.75 for wind and got a hit. Again I could see the steel move, but not hear the hit.
I then shifted fire to the two targets at 250yds ... dialed for 0.9 mils up and at 270 wind 15 MPH AB said 0.7 left and I held 0.75 left. Hit both targets.
Here is the first target, which I hit with the second shot. That's about 2 inches due left of the aiming point, well maybe 1.5 inches.
And here is the second target. This hit might be 2 inches low and 4 inches right.
Summary/Results: Also I moved the taller target to a different spot. In the warmer half the 425-770 yds shooting area is closed due to cattle in the adjacent pasture. But in this new spot, not only will I be shooting downhil per normal, but there is a 20 foot high creekbank about 150yds back in the woods as the backstop. But that's why the berm is not visible on the target 1 pic, since I took the pic after I moved the target. That's 640yds from today's FP and should be a little more interesting than the 500yd target for wind practice.
From prone, I can see about 80-90% of that target.
For those who forgot my scoring system:
0 points for a hit. Penalty points for misses. Goal is to score 0. Lowest score wins.
250yds = 8
500yds = 4
500yds face = 2
750yds = 3
1,050yds = 2
So today was a "4" which is not too good, but not terrible. It is however, the worst I've done since starting this system.
Goal: Wind Practice
Environment: Windy ! Warm, Clear, plenty of mirage.
Equipment: 7.62(20), NF 2.5-10x MIL-R, RAPTAR, FGMM 175gr
Activity: Rolled out to the 500yd FP and setup.
Took 2 min wind read.
Threw 4 tufts of grass up, decided on 315 degrees off the bullet path.
AB said 3.3 up and 1.2 left. Dialed 3.3 up. Held for the wind. Impact 4 inches left of the target, but level with the POA. Changed wind direction to 345 off bullet path (adding 30 degrees). Held 0.6 left. Hit the target.
Shifted to the 239yd and 241yd targets. AB said up 0.7 and right 0.2 ... dialed the elevation held then wind, hit, hit.
Then to the 640yd target. AB said dial 5.1 up, so I did. Est. wind direction as 340 off the bullet path and AB said hold 1.1 left, so I did. Hit (lower right corner).
Summary/Results: In strong head winds like this, getting the wind direction right is the key. And I got different results with my 4 tufts, so I had to split the difference. But the way I did it was to set the gun pointed exactly at the target. Then stand in front of the gun and toss the grass and watching the angle.
I could see the dust of the miss and it was close, 10 inches left from the POA, 0.66 mils roughly, so getting a hit was much easier after this "sighter". And I was able to see the splotch of the hit on the target and that it was left.
The two close targets are easy. For the far target, I guessed 5 degrees difference from the 500yd target and that was too much. If I'd guessed half that, I would've hit 4.5 inches left and been close to dead center. Now why was I low ? The wind was buffeting me around, even though I was prone. And there was some mirage. I don't think I got the elevation wrong. It was barely a hit, but in this game a hit is a hit. I could see the steel swing and the center of the bullet strike is visilble on the target.
Before departing I tried a thru the lens pic of the 640yd target.
10 MPH SE
Goal: Wind Practice
Environment: Wind from almost exact opposite direction today compared to yesterday, and at about 2/3rds the strength of yesterday. Light Rain (big drops but still light rain) overcast. Some mirage.
Equipment: 7.62(20) S (now that I have a 20 inch bolt gun and a 20 inch stoner, I use "B" for the bolt gun and "S" for the stoner) NF 4-16x T3, kestrel, M118LR.
Gun to the front was used today
Activity: Rolled out to 500yd FP and setup. Today I decided not to bother with the 239//241 yard targets until I can get some smaller targets.
So started on the 500yd target. Did 2 min wind read, got:
And based on 4 tosses of the grass I est. direction at 150 deg off the bullet path.
AB said hold up 3.0 and I held right for 3 mph. Hit.
Next for the face, held the sime but aimed for the face. Hit
Then to the 640 target.
AB Said hold up 4.8 and I est. wind direction to be 147 and held for 4 mph.
Miss, and no feedback due to the nature of the terrain there. I increased wind hold to 6 mph. Miss.
I decreased to 2 mph and I saw a tiny puff of white fly up from the target, so I suspected that was a hit. Went down to check targets and take pics and yes it was a hit. The bullet fragmentation scraped some of the paint off the target and I was able to see it.
Source today was 6, 3 points for each of the two misses at 640yds.
I could only see the top half of the target at 640 and the mirage for that target was pretty bad. From my vantage point, the target was always moving, due to wind and mirage, whether I hit it or not and the actual hit did not move it more, nor did I hear anything. In some conditions, even these 3/8 inch targets are too thick for .308 !?
2 MPH ESE
Goal: Ranging and Wind practice
Environment: Partly could, almost no wind, warm, muddy.
Equipment: 7.62(20) Bolt gun, NF NXS 2.5-10x MIL-R, RAPTAR, RRS. Zeiss 10x45 LRF, 7.62(20) stoner, NF 4-16x T3, M118LR 175gr
Activity #1: First took the Bravo bolt gun and RAPTAR up on signal hill to see how far I could range today ... as usual started at features 5,300 yds away and worked my way down. Since I've ranged everything around me at night ... a lot of stuff is known distance ... finally got a hit at 1736 yds (1587 meters).
Ranged it a bunch of times to make sure it was repeatable. It was a corral and bunk feeder setup. Empty. But I kept at it and finally got a return off a galvanized tin shed at 4000yds. Now I'm skeptical of big round numbers when ranging, so I ranged on it some more ... and got a lot of 4001 and 4000 returns, so I finally believed it. But I wouldn't count on that result. With as much sun as I was facing today, I think the 1736 number is more likely.
Activity #2 RTB, swapped out gear, took GAP-10 and Zeiss and a box of M118LR. Also took the cattle some range cubes.
I set up in a slightly differnt spot this time, farther down the hill, in a clump of trees. Ranged and got 620yds with the Zeiss on what I normally call the 640yds target, when I'm shooting it from farther up the hill.
Wind check was 1.4 mph direction undetermined, AB said up 4.6 mils no hold for wind. So I held up and fired and could see the steel dancing around.
Went and checked target.
Hit was pretty much level with aiming point though about 4 inches to the right.
After the cattle finished their range cubes they decided to come visit me ...
That's not unusual, but they stayed a LOT longer this time. About 25m. Usually it is just around 10m. I guess they really wanted some more range cube, but it was not to be.
AB said 2.9 up and the wind was still negligible, so I held 2.9 up and saw the target dance.
About 3 inches low of the aiming point.
During the lull ... I ranged everything I could see with the Zeiss and the Radius. The Zeiss got a metal barn at 1412. The radius got a metal roof at 1045.
7 MPH N
Goal: Range IPSC(2/3) at > 800yds
Environment: Cool ! It was 38F this morning and temps under 45F the rest of the day. Solid overcast. Breeze from the north. VERY muddy. Ground like a sponge, it has been raining for 6 days ... the grass on the other hand is ZOOMING for the sky. The brome is the best I've seen it in six years.
Equipment: Rem700 7.62(20) Bravo, NF 2.5-10x MIL-R, RAPTAR S/ES v2. RRS. Kestrel 2500nv. FGMM 175gr 7.62 load mv2594.
Activity: Rolled out to signal hill and fed the cattle some range cubes to keep them busy. Then headed over to hill 1309 and set up around 800yds. This shot is over the tops of the trees to the North, along a creek that runs from West to East. The top of the creek bank is 1150 and I'm at 1300. The ground rises in my pasture on the other side of the creek and the target is in a tree line over there. I first ranged twice and got 798 both times. Then I turned around walked back six big steps and setup again. Got 804yds this time. Took pics then decided to try a shot. So threw 2 tufts of grass up and got 10 degrees off the bullet path. Then Took out the kestrel and did a 2 min wind read. Got
REAL AB on phone (using g7) said dial 7.7 so I cranked 77 clicks up. AB said no wind hold.
So I aimed and fired ... saw the steel dance and eventually heard CLANG.
Then rolled to the target. I knew I had forgotten to paint the target after the last session, so needed to paint it and take pics.
Compared to prior target pic, we can see today's hit. It looks different from the others anyway.
These must be magic bullets I'm firing I haven't missed one of these wind practice shots in several sessions ! :) The goal is first round hit, of course.
This is pic right after I setup. As you can see, I am up against the East facing fence, this is about as far back as I can get and still see the target. If I move to the left, the lay of the land blocks the target.
Here is thru the lens pic. First look at the top of the scope and you should be able to see the 804yds showing up there on the RAPTAR display.
Then click on the pic and zoom in as much as you can.
This IPSC (2/3) target is hanging from a 2x4. The 2x4 runs from about 0.5 mils on the right side of the center of the cross hair to about 2 mils to the right. And level with the 1 mil hash below the cross hair.
If you can see that 2x4 then below that hangs the grey IPSC target. The top of the target is level with the 1 mil line below the cross hair and goes down to the 2 mil line. The verticle center of the target is under the 1 mil to the right of the cross hair hash mark. Well I can see it anyway :D
Today's hit is to the right side of the target level with the center of the body. It is the one that looks less white than all the others.
And for reference, here is the target pic from back on April 6th, the last time I shot at this target. So you can check which one is today's hit by looking at that target also.
Summary/Results: So the RAPTAR can range an IPSC(2/3) target at 804yds and the FGMM 175gr ammo can get a first round hit on such a target even with me shooting it :)
6 MPH E
Goal: Wind practice 500-640yds
Environment: Cool, solid overcast. very muddy.
Equipment: 7.62(20) S, NF 4-16x T3, M118LR 175gr, RRS, Zeiss 10x bino/LRF +3x magnifier, commanche bag, 4-wheeler, range cubes.
Activity: Rolled out a fed the range cubes. Purposely ended on "grandma" the oldest and slowest moving, to make sure she could get some. Then headed over to the 500yd FP and went prone. I could feel no wind, but I had seen the windmill turning slowly as I headed out. That was 900yds to the West across two hills, and was at 60 feet up, so might have little to do with what I had here in the "central valley". AB said hold 2.9 up so I aimed dead center and fired, target danced.
then aimed at 640yd target, mirage said I had a slight easterly wind, so held for 2 MPH right and fired. target danced.
Packed up and headed down to targets for pics.
The 500yd hit was dead center. That hit is exactly the POA.
Painted 500yd target and rolled to 640yd target
This hit is on the left shoulder as we are looking at the target. And a tad big high. I can only see the top half of the target from the FP due to intervening group (at about 300yds). So I have to aim at the intervening ground, knowing the bullet will fly over it.
Results/Summary: I decided I wanted to try the faces, but I wanted to break up the knowledge I had of the conditions, so did RTB.
6 MPH E
Goal, environment and equipment all the same. Except no range cubes this time.
Activity: Rolled to the clump of trees farther down the hill and setup with the tripod. Also setup the Zeiss and the 3x multipler, that gave me 10x LRF with the right barrel and 30x spotter with the left barrel. Rest the binos on the commanche bag to give a stable platform as trying to use the 30x while holding the binos in my hands is too wobbly.
Rifle on tripod facing targets
I set the spotting station up on the 4-wheeler and kneed on the right side running board to use them. Once I got everything adjusted I could see fine.
Ranged the "500yd" target as 473 and the "640yd" target as 620.
Aimed at the body of the 473yd target. While heading out I noted the wind mill was still turning for 6 MPH East. But looking at the mirage in front of me it was moving West to East. AB said 2.8 up and I held dead center. Fired and saw target dance.
With the binos I could confirm the hit was to the right.
So the wind I was seeing with the mirage was stronger than the "prevailing" wind down in the valley. I felt no wind where I was.
So aimed at the face and held 2.8 up and 2 mph left. Saw target dance.
Aimed at 620yd target, AB said 4.6 up, aimed dead center, fired saw target dance.
Could not see hit with scope or binos. As I would later learn, the hit was below my visible LOS to the target.
Wanted to break up my info on the wind before shooting for the face on the 620yd target.
Rolled to targets and took pics.
The body hit was to the right. The face hit was fairly well centered. But there is some luck here also as I have to flat out guess the wind. I had the kestrel with me but it was mostly registering zero, impeller not turning at the FP.
This hit on the 620yd target was center but slightly low.
Back at the FP, AB still says 4.6 up and the mirage is still drifting to the right, so aimed at little above the center of the face, just below the flat top of the target. I didn't want to hit low. Saw the target dance. Neither scope nor binos could see the hit.
Rolled to target.
The hit was right on the top of the head ... that will teach me to try to outsmart myself (which has been the cause of MANY misses with wind practice).
The way I score this "game" a hit is a hit and a "miss" is a miss.
From 473 yds, the face is a 1.27 IPHY target.
From 620yds, the face is a 0.97 IPHY target.
So these are more challenging than the bodies which are
From 473 yds, the body (using the 12 inch width) is a 2.11 IPHY target
From 620yds, the body is a 1.9 IPHY target
From 500yds, the face is 1.2 IPHY
From 640yds, the face is 0.9375 IPHY
Now, my avg group sizes at 100yds across the five rifles I've shot this year is between 0.64 IPHY and 0.79 lumping both prone and tripod shooting together (I mostly shoot off the tripod) so the sub 1.0 IPHY face targets will be a challenge and I expect to miss some. Further the nature of the 640/620yd target is such that there is no feedback if you miss as the round goes down in the woods into a 20 foot high creek bank about 150yds back into the woods. So when I do miss, I hold 2 mph further in the direction I think I am off, if that hits I'm good, if that misses I reverse and subtract 2 MPH from the first shot. So far this year on that target I've always hit by the 2nd or 3rd round.
05 MPH SE
Goal: Wind Practice
Environment: Light variable breeze est. 170 off bullet path (at 475). Clearing.
Equipment: 7.62(20) B (now that I have a 20 inch bolt gun and a 20 inch stoner, I use "B" for the bolt gun and "S" for the stoner) NF 2.5-10x MIL-R, kestrel, FGMM 175gr. RRS.
Setup at the 475/620yd FP.
Activity: Measured wind ... down in this clump of trees, wind reading is tougher, especially since wind direction is crossing higher nearby ground towards me. But I estimated
At 170 off the bullet path for the 475yd target. AB said 3.0 mils up and 0 for wind.
I aimed and fired at the body and the steel danced.
For the face, I aimed and fired and the steel danced.
Then switched to the 620yd target. AB said 4.7 mils up and 0 for wind. Aimed and fired. Steel danced. Aimed and fired for the face, steel danced.
Went to check targets.
475 body - hit (first rd 2 pts)
475 face - miss low and left (you can see the hit low and left of the face ... it hit a lump of white paint ... I am out of spray so usually a bottle of acrillic)
620 body - hit (first rd 3 pts)
620 - face - hit (first rd 6 pts)
Returned to FP and aimed and fired again at 475yd facem, steel danced.
475yd face - hit (2nd rd 2 pts)
Results/Summary: Score = 2 + 2 + 3 + 6 (13/15)
distance / 1st rd hit / 2nd rd hit
250 1 0
500 2 1
500 Face 4 2
640 3 1.5
640 Face 6 3
750 4 2
1050 6 3
3 MPH W
Goal: Night wind practice
Environment: No moon, some stars, but not all (partly cloudy). Very muddy, we had a week of rain and looking at most of another one on the way. Ground is more than saturated. On the 4-wheeler I felt like I was driving a boat on the low ground.
Equipment: 7.62(20) Stoner, NF 4-16x T3, UTC-x, RRS, M118LR, Kestrel 2500NV, Radius, Phone with Real AB, Helmet with Patrol, PVS-14 and PAS-29. Propane tank, torch and lighter. 4-wheeler.
Activity: For the past couple of months I've been doing wind practice several times a week during the day. Now it is time to try it at night. In current situation, I have steel targets at 500yds and 640yds from normal firing point. These are IPSC(2/3) with 12x18 body and 6x6 face. The scoring is as follows
distance / 1st rd hit / 2nd rd hit
250 1 0
500 2 1
500 Face 4 2
640 3 1.5
640 Face 6 3
750 4 2
1050 6 3
Sometimes, I scoot a little farther down the hill and set up in a clump of trees. And I did that tonight. That makes the targets 475yds and 620yds.
I heat both targets so I can see them with the thermal. I shoot off the RRS tripod.
Here's a pic showing both targets with the 4-16x on 4x. When shooting, I cranked up to 16x.
I could feel or see no wind. I dialed AB temp for the shot from 60F (from last time) to 50F for tonight. AB said 2.9 mils up for 475yds and no wind hold. I aimed center of mass and heard a hit. I could not see the target dance.
Next to aim at the face still 2.9 up. I was high, barely. I repeated and heard a hit.
For the 620yd target even with no wind AB said hold left 0.1 mils and 4.7 mils up. I ignored the 0.1 left. First shot was a miss. I held left for 2 MPH, second shot was a hit, I could hear it.
Then aimed a little higher for the face again holding left for 2 mph and heard a hit.
Packed up and headed down to the targets.
The first hit on the 475yd target was dead center. The face hit was to the right but good on elevation.
At the 620yd target both hits were on the face, which is ok. A hit anywhere on the target counts for the non-face shoot. But the hit must be on the face for a face shot. So the non-face shot was high, but still a hit. But I cannot tell which shot was which.
The score is
475 = 2 + 2
620 = 1.5 + 6
Total = 11.5 / 15 = 76.66
The avg for the day is 83% (from six prior outings since I've been keeping records like this). The avg with tonight's score is 82%. Haven't set the goal yet.
In summer it is tougher to get as much shooting/other practice done due to harvesting requirements. But I have not been completely idle.
For day time, I've somehow become a local shooting trainer :D
I've had 3 sessions with my #1 shooting buddy, 4 sessions with neighbor to the South and 1 session with GF of neighbor to the North's daughter.
With SB#1, in the first two sessions we focused on groups at 100yds. Getting him up to speed on the specific "tricks" I've learned over the past 18 months to overcome various fundamentals issues.
Then we went out back and tried to translate these learnings into results on the steel at 500yds and 640yds ... 12 inch and 6 inch steel.
It was hard to believe, but he was able to hit even 640 face (6 inch steel) after less than 18 hours of training. Replicating what it took me 18 months to get to :D
But, he still doesn't get to practice it multiple times per week like I do. And I was making the wind calls for him. But still he was executing on the fundamentals well enough to get hits.
And this week we tried it at night and he was able to get hits as well on heated steel with thermal clipon.
For neighbor to the South, when we started off in the first session, he was getting 4 inch groups at 100yds.
I doubt he had ever fired groups at 100yds. Most of his targets are set up at 25 yds.
But he wanted to be able to do a better job of getting the yotes he sees on his land. So better precision/accuracy indicated.
Which means work on fundamentals :)
So 4 inch groups was the baseline.
I noted he was shooting 55 grain in a 1/7 barrel. So I gave him 400rds of 77gr of mine.
He decided he wanted a better upper, so I got him a Lewis Machine upper ... still 1/7 ... 16 inch ...
I also gave him a 5x ACOG-ish scope I had that I wasn't using.
And I showed him some "tricks" to help with fundamentals.
In the second session, we didn't have the new upper, but we got him down under 3 inch groups.
Oh and I noted his trigger was very heavy, felt like a 7 pounder, so I showed him out to change out a trigger and we put in a 3 pounder..
In the third session, all the new gear was in place and we got him under two inches.
And then finally in the fourth session, I further adjusted his position and he got mostly sub 1.5 inch groups, with majority under 1 inch.
I was impressed. And he was ectstatic ! But again, he isn't practicing every day or even 3 times a week, so I need to bug him harder.
Learning to shoot is not an "event" it is a "process" and a lot of people don't get that.
Ok, for the neighbor's daughter's GF, she brought a 9mm "high point" I think it was ... basically an
AR-ish sort of weapon that shoots 9mm. That said, it seemed pretty cheaply executed, so I wasn't expecting much.
But what is a 9mm like this good for ?? Minute of man at 100yds maybe ?
Well, she said she was a "terrible" shooter, but wanted to get better. So, that's a good starting point, at least from an attitude perspective!
So, we started at 25yds. Her first groups were 4 inches. I went over about 6 "tricks" I thought would make the most difference ...u don't want to overwhelm people with too much to work on in the first session and TBH six things is too many, but she seemed to be a fast learner so I kept pushing. ... and in her words, with her last group "I hit the bulls eye 3 times" ... This was a 3/4 inch colored dot. And it's true she did. Now that's still a "3 moa group" ... but it was WAY better than the 16 moa groups she started with.
And as always, I said, practice as often as you can and remember those fundamentals.
So I never set out to be the neighborhood shooter instructor ... but somehow, lately, things seemed to have evolved in that direction.
It is gratifying to see people improve so dramatically so quickly. But I cannot "force" them to continue regular practice, so
I cannot hope that the lessons will stick.
Otherwise, I still go out 2-3 times per night for coop checks, but have not seen any threats on the ground (or in the air for that matter) at night this month.
Summer is usually pretty slow in the chicken threat department as the critters seem to be able to find food farther away from "the big smelly place" (our house :D).
I continue to do wind practice and groups but haven't had time to write them up or take pics.
My regular shooting should resume in Sept, if we can get most of the hay in by then.
Started heading towards the dark side ...
My first batch (60rds) of Joe loaded ammo ... 175gr, 43.5gr varget.
MV was 2544 out of 7.62(20) bolt gun ... a little lower than the 2561 from FGMM 175gr, 7.62 load. But SD for the joe loaded rds was 13, down from 18.5 for the FGMM.
Problem is now I can't find varget powder anyway :(
Do I have to use multiple different powders to be able to reload one cartridge ? If, so the idea of consistent ammo is out the window and that was one of the purposes of going down this road. Didn't realize powder acquisition would be the key issue.
I haven't bought any powder down here in Texas in a while but Varget is usually on the shelves when I do. I get an e-mail from one place with their powder inventory every month and they are showing four eight pound containers @ $199.00 each and two one pound @ $29.00 today. Might have to pay the hasmat fee and have it shipped.
orkan last edited by orkan
Do I have to use multiple different powders to be able to reload one cartridge ?
You solve this problem by buying in bulk. You buy no less than a barrel's worth of components of all the same lot number when you purchase.
Buy small quantities to prove basic functionality and suitability... but once you decide on components, you buy enough to burn out a barrel, at minimum.
Aye, well I used varget for those first 60 rounds and wanted to bump up the charge and do another 60 ... or hecque another 100 ... but can't find varget anywhere. So, I guess I will wait. In the mean time I can build my bench (this was done on buddies bench, whose helping me get setup).
And yes, I was planning on buying three 8 pound "jugs" and when I open the second one, ordering two more ... that way, I should always have 2-3 unopened jugs (a.k.a. "safety stock").
Is "varget" a bad choice for basic .308 loading ?? Because its too popular ? Or are people "hoarding" because of politics ? I am familiar with how the ammo market shifts around .. but not the reloading market !!
Eventually I want to reload 4 cartridges (155 and 175 for .308 ... 77gr for 5.56 and either 190 or 220 for .300WM ... still have to decide between 190 and 220) ... and that will probably mean 4 different powders ... but trying to learn as much as I can from doing one cartridge first ... before branching out.
It was way easier and faster than I expected ... BUT ... my "coach" did some setup, calibration and QA steps ... all I did was the "grunt work" ... cleaned the brass, "swedged"(sp?) the brass (the brass I am using is "military brass" so I learned) ... lubed the brass, resized the brass, wiped off the lube, primered the brass (on the press), measured the powder, poured the powder into the cases, punched the bullets into the cases and "crimped" the necks (a separate die). It took about 2 hours, but there was a lot of chatting and Q&A. I think I could do 200rds in 2 hours with the process I used and this was with a T7 press and a Charge Master ... not "high end" gear.
Oh, when he said "barrel" I thought he meant
But upon re-reading I think he meant ...
@kansas Hey, if you want a hand primer I have a Hornady I don't want or need. I tried to sell it and would rather donate it to someone in need than keep moving it around in my shop. Absolutely nothing wrong with it I got a CPS Lite and never use it. I have two other back ups so it's no skin off of my back.
Can you show me a pic please ? I'm still learning the lingo and what to make sure I understand what a "hand" primer is !!! :D
Varget is always scarce for part of the year. They do a run of it, and then everyone stocks up. Some sits around for a bit... but it's a super common backorder item.
Lots of powders out there. Feel free to try any you can find in stock that will work for the bullets you're shooting. H4895, H4350, RL15, RL17, etc. There are lots of powders that "can" and often do work for 308's. If your rifle and component combo works best with varget, then you'll need to look around at online sources and perhaps get a backorder in.
haha ... "selection process" for varget ... in my case ... was something like ...
"some people on the internet said use varget" ... so when I got to the coaches house, he said we could use x, y, z or varget ... and I said "Oh, I've heard of varget, let's try that!" ... so he said "ok" and we did !!
i.e. essentially a random selection.
I want something that will "entry level work" for 175gr for 20-24 inches barrels ... and that is generally available. And if that's varget then I'll wait ... and if its something else I can switch. I did one group of 60 rounds with 43.5 grains of varget and I was gonna step it up to 44gr and maybe that would be enough for my purposes. But it isn't too late to start over. I'm still gettin all my crap setup.
I don't know what kind of press you have but you need either an RCBS shellholder or Hornady. If you don't have one I have an extra one I will put in it. (RCBS)
I had good luck with H4895 loading 150 grain bullets in my .308. I don't shoot heavy stuff I have a 12 twist barrel that came off of a Remington Sendero in that rifle.
Here's the list of stuff I'm working on acquiring right now to get started ...
Redding T7 press
RCBS Charge Master
Readding type S full length bushing die
Lee Factory Crimp die
Redding Neck Sizer Die Bushing (diameter 0.335) titanium nitride
Federal Premium Gold Medal Large Rifle Match Primers #210M (5000)
175gr SMK (500)
Loading Trays (4) 50 rds .308
Redding Competition Seater Die
primer tube ?
And if by "shell holder" you mean "loading trays" ... yes I got four 50rd trays (so I can load up to 200rds in an extended session)
Another quick question. Are you chamfering the inside of the necks after sizing and trimming? I see some marks on the projectiles in you picture of the ammo box that look like the seater plug might be biting into them a bit during seating. Could be a reflection.
I noticed some rings on the bullets. I'll ask about the cause. They are "carved" in ... not an illusion ...
Redding makes them too. Most interchange between presses.
@kansas It could be lots of neck tension or not having the chamfer to help the bullet to enter the neck.
He did figure out all the .308 brass I brought (both Lake City and Federal "FC") are "military brass" ... so harder ... but when I was seating the bullets they were flopping around in the necks while I was lining them up in the die ... so I was using both hands ...
He didn't make the noise "chamfer" when I was there ... so not sure about that. Will ask.
dddoo7 last edited by
I would go with a Forster coax press.
I would not use bushing dies, neck dies, or crimp dies for precision shooting. A good full length die (non bushing) would be better than the ones you have listed.
@kansas Do yourself a favor and buy some lapua brass.
One of the cartridges I plan to load is a 155 palma (for .308). I've been shooting the berger/berger (bullet/load) ... and that load happens to come with Lapua Brass. So I will definitely be using that Lapua brass for the palma cartridge.
But I have thousands of the FC (from the FGMM 7.62 load of the 175gr) and also thousands of the LC (from the M118LR) so want to use those for the 175gr loads.
But I have thousands of the FC (from the FGMM 7.62 load of the 175gr) and also thousands of the LC (from the M118LR) so want to use those for the 175gr loads.
I made that exact same mistake early in my career.
Your choices are yours, and everyone needs to learn their own way, but you may look back on this later and consider this line of thinking to be a critical error.
Milspec brass is not consistently capable of better than 3/4MOA. There are exceptions to this rule, but in my experience it is a rule none the less. You may be able to be in possession of exceptional lots, or do enough work on it to achieve 1/2MOA on the regular. However, I would never expect it.
Though as I say, your time is your own... I'll not stop you from doing as you please.
Well as you know ... knowing the WHY is critical !!!
So, you recommend buying unfired Lapua brass, and going with that exclusively ?
It is certainly not impossible.
But I wonder if "learning the basics" on some of the military brass still might be worth it ? I'm at the training wheels stage right now.
@kansas You can do both, rather than choosing.
You can certainly use milspec brass to learn and practice basic reloading skills. Yet when you are truly looking to identify limitations in your process or equipment, you'll want to be using the best available equipment and components. It's simply a reality that 3/4MOA is not very good in the way of "learning" reloading processes. You can make some pretty serious mistakes at the loading bench and still come away with 3/4MOA ammo. It's the pursuit of a significantly smaller performance which reveals the weaknesses in process and equipment. Pursuing less than 3/4MOA with milspec components will often be a lesson in futility, rather than a lesson in process or equipment refinement.
Properly managed effort and expectations is key to success and happiness.
Moving slow and understanding what and why before you do it is a good mindset to have when reloading. :)
Some background ... on the last phone call I had with Greg, about 2 months ago ? He said, there were only 3 things I needed to change to break thru my 3/4 MOA barrier:
So, reloading is an attempt to change the ammo ... that's the motivation.
The rifles and the optics ... will also happen ... but can't do everything at once !
10 MPH SSW
Goal: Confirm zero and wind practice with 7.62(22) and 155 SMK (#2156) HSM load (FC 11 brass).
Environment: Hot and breezy. Mostly cloudless sky ... last week of summer ?
Equipment: 7.62(22) rifle with NF 7-35x T3, 155 SMK, RRS, Kestrel
Activity: Confirmed zero at 100yds, clicked up 2 clicks.
Rolled out to 500yd FP and setup. Kestrel 2min wind check said
I held for 8 mph.
Fired 1 rd, hit the torso. I was aiming at the torso.
I could definitely hear the wind was up, so I held for 12 mph (each wind dot is 4 mph for my setup). Got a hit, but when I cranked up to 35x it looked like I was a tiny bit low, in terms of aiming for face.
Moved to 730yd FP and setup. 2 min wind read got
Unfortunately, I've started to learn this stage ... and on this stage if the wind is from the SW, a ridge blocks the wind for this shooting position, so I decided to hold for 10 mph based on watching the trees down along the creek, plus I am shooting over the tops of those tree, so I'm touching 45 feet up in the air at the high point.
Held for 10 mph and 4.9 mils up. First round hit.
I smiled inside. The first time I got a first round hit from this stage I jumped and hollered! And then I berated myself about it ... many times ... and still do ... I believe in the "no emotion" rule when shooting. I don't think emotion helps you hit the target. But at least this time it was just "smiling inside".
I cranked up to 35x and could see the hit on the left side of the torso. Since I was holding left, I backed off on the wind hold to 8 mph and fired a second shot. This hit was one of the two near the bottom. The wind was highly variable.
For the 3rd shot, I decided to go for the face, which is rare at this distance. The wind seemed to be picking up so I held for 12 mph and got a hit. I was shooting on 20x but checking the hits at 35x. I standing up on the tripod, but I was leaning back on the 4-wheeler which added a little stability. I could see the hit on the right side on the face. Tried a repeat holding for 12 MPH on the face and hit. Could see it on the left side.
Wind died down and I held for 10 mph on the torso and got a hit, repeated for another hit. The two shots lower down looked like one smudge from up on the hill where I was.
Had one round left and tried for the face holding for 10, but the wind bucked me to the right at the instance I squeezed the trigger and the barrel moved left and the splash of dirt was a few inches left of the target.
Summary/Results: The cartridge I will try to clone is the berger/berge palma. That one is a long COAL with MV 2891, versus the SMK/HSM round I'm shooting today is standard COAL mv 2891 (all out of this rifle, which has evolved into the palma bullet shooting rifle)
But I have about 140 rds of the SMK/HSM left so I will shoot it ! When I clone the berger round I will actually use the SMK 2156 bullet. BL rates the BC of the 2156 as .238 (G7) whereas he rates the BC of the berger 155.5 as .239 ... not enough difference to worry about. So I will go with the SMK hoping it is more highly available. But I will use Lapua brass (the berger round comes in Lapua brass) and load to the same COAL as the berger round. Not sure which powder yet.
But the equipment seemed to work today so the 7.62(22) rifle is reactivated. This lets me tear down the 7.62(20) Bravo rifle and swap its scope over to the 5.56(18) Mk12-ish ... and then put the L&S mk6 3-18x T3 on the Bravo gun, with the NF 2.5-10x mil-r on the 5.56(18) in the Spuhr mount. That will let me use the SIMRAD on the 5.56(18) which is the whole purpose of all the scope swapping :D