Continuing a quest for Precision
This will be my first post here, so hoping you all find it informative. A bit of background first though. I have been shooting for 40 years, Reloading for 20 years, Precision shooting/Benchrest shooting for about 4 years. I still don’t know a dadgum thing. Every time I think I have had an AH HAH! moment, it leads me to another question, down another road. I have shot at 1000 yards at small targets, shot in groundhog shoots, UBR matches and 300 and 500 yard egg shoots. All have thought me several things.
Number 1 – You can not be consistent enough reloading. Neck tension, seating depth, bullet sorting and how you measure your powder charge separates the guy who misses or the guy that hits, the fellow that is in the top five or the bottom fifty.
Despite my experience,I remain non-OCD about my bench. Controlled chaos. Remember Einstein’s desk!
Number 2 – Gun Handling. I noticed this during the last 20 years of running the 100 yard Kids egg shoot during Hunting/Fishing Day at my gun club. Girls shoot better – Why?
This young lady whipped my butt at my club’s UBR match with a 6ppc. Look at her eyes – ” I got you, boy. ” Fierce to say the least.
They listen to instruction, they have no macho preconceived notions, no bad habits. This results in better gun handling skills i.e trigger control, stock placement and repeatability. My first quest was to unlearn what I had learned, then go at it from a newbie point of view. Easier said than done.
Number 3 – refer to number one for random flyers, refer to number two if you find yourself blaming equipment for your sorry groups.
I wish I could give a definitive guide for quantifying the effects of mirage, sunlight and shade on your hits but that is a whole (maybe a series) of posts that I won’t get into here.
Among several customs I have had put together over the years this is my latest –
6BR 272 neck, Use Krieger Barrel, chopped to 25″ and rechambered
Stockey’s stock, PTG Oberndorf bottom metal, Jewell trigger
Bedded, painted by me with Duracoat.
Having another 6 BR and previous experience with this cartridge gave me a bit of advantage in finding the sweet spot fast but will describe my methods with the hope you can adapt this to what rifle cartridge you are loading.
My choice of bullet was the 105 Berger HVLD. Choice of powder was Varget. Started by measuring my new chamber. There are several methods but my preference is to use a shot case, unsized and slightly run it up into my Redding bushing die to give a bit of tension. Seat a bullet that has been coated black with a sharpie marker by hand. Insert into the chamber and close the bolt. The mark you are looking for is like a squared off U. Somewhat like I-I.
Now you have base to ogive where it is touching the lands. I take this measurement with a Hornady comparator gauge and calipers.
I started with a .003 jam into the lands and three different powder charges, separated by .01 grain. My first groups showed promise but had some random flyers. Settled on the best charge by group size and loaded some more ( now fire formed ) with the bullet just kissing the lands. Much better results.
Having a bit of trouble with pictures here but suffice it to say two of the five shot groups measured .280 and .286. Room for improvement but not a bad start.
My next step will be to take this to 300 yards and tweak the load this way or that. Hopefully will have some good results to show you all. I will also show my set up for Bench/ Long Range shooting provided I figure out the picture thing.
Edit – Figured out the pictures. Thanks LoB!
Precision, Accuracy and Reloading are my passions. Love to hunt, fly fish and read sign.