In my quest to improve my end of the bargain when it comes to target shooting, I'm interested in presenting a more consistent force which opposes the rifle's recoil, in other words, shouldering the rifle better. At this time I'm strictly a casual benchrest target shooter.
It seems to me this opposing force runs the gamut from allowing free-recoil or zero opposing force, to a rifle rest with infinite opposing force. I do have some rifles that actually shoot pretty darn good in free-recoil but setting up for the next shot can be a bit messy. I'm not really interested in putting my rifle in a vise as that won't teach me anything about marksmanship (I don't think).
I've experimented with pre-loading the bi-pod which feels like it works pretty good but it's highly dependent on the bench surface; with spikes and a rubber mat it's easy, with concrete or wood and rubber feet, not so much. I've also played with pulling the rifle into my shoulder with my trigger hand which appears to yield pretty good results but at the expense sometimes of trigger control, perhaps owing to the muscle tension involved in holding the rifle in.
So, I figured I'd ask the experts here for their thoughts on the matter
For those who use the stainless steel Sinclair bump gauge inserts, which one do you use for 6.5 CM? I received a 30A from Brownells which seems to seat further up on the shoulder than my Hornady insert. Just want to make sure I have the right thing before I start using it.
AMP discovered their Aztec sort mode does not function the way they imagined so they are dropping the price of Aztec to $195 and refunding early adopters the difference. Nice to see a company step up and take care of customers when things don't go quite as planned.
As a continuation of our experimenting, late last week we developed and released an enhanced version of Sort mode which enables "live" analysis of each case. This gives much better information on what is actually being measured. The video released on 27 April demonstrates the process. Since we shot that video, we have now found that all variations revealed in Sort mode are dimensional. We can now find no evidence that it detects mass changes between cases. It is completely at odds with what we believed at Shot Show, but there is no denying the evidence.
Sort mode can work well in detecting dimensional profile differences between cases. It can be, we believe a valuable tool to check uniformity of a batch after case prep. It just won’t detect differences in mass.
Because of that, we are repricing the AZTEC software upgrade to US$195.00.
I'm about to run Final Finish through my X-Bolt but I'm not sure if the barrel falls into the category where I'd shoot the first two steps or not. The instructions say the first two steps should not be applied to hand-lapped or good shooting factory barrels. I don't think Browning barrels are hand-lapped as I've read Browning's comparison of their barrels to custom hand-lapped barrels, I think they would have mentioned it there if in fact their barrels were hand-lapped.
As far as it being good shooting or not, I shot 9 5-shot groups yesterday with no group exceeding 0.95" MOA at 100 yards, 2 were under 1/2" MOA, average of all 9 groups was 0.65" MOA. The results don't seem too bad for a factory barrel to me, especially considering the guy pulling the trigger
I'm inclined to believe the rifle is in the good shooting factory barrel category so I'd not shoot the first two steps of the Final Finish process, what say the experts?
X-bolt, 6.5 Creedmoor 28", H4350 41.9 gr, BR-2, 140 Hornady BTHP. I worked up a couple of seating depth ladders today, one with several times reloaded Starline brass, and one with new Starline brass.
The reloaded brass was de-capped, wet tumbled, dried, annealed, body sized, collet neck sized, there was no need to trim. Also, it had been neck reamed after the first firing.
The new brass was collect neck sized, no need to trim.
Measured neck tension with the reloaded brass was between 0.001 and 0002, let's call it 0.0015. The new brass measured 0.001 more so let's call it 00025. I know 1 thou isn't much but I can easily feel the difference when seating as I use a very short handle on the Co-Ax..
Moving closer to the lands from .020 to .005 in .005 increments, the new brass showed pressure signs as at .010 OTLs in the way of slightly heavier bolt lift which persisted all the way through the .005 OTL rounds. I could also feel it in the recoil, a bit more pressure I assume.
Bottom line is the reloaded rounds felt fine, no pressure sign, all the way to 0.005 OTLs. The new brass ammo felt like it was pushing the limits of charge. Would it make sense to load new brass at say, 41.7 gr H4350 and leave the 41.9 gr charge for the reloaded brass? The rifle seems to like the range 41.7-41.9 gr so it's not as if the new brass will shoot poorly.
I don't know any way right now to make the reloads have more neck tension, nor the new brass have less. I guess Lee does offer a .001 less mandrel so maybe I could tighten up the reloads.
Or maybe there's something else going on I don't have the experience to know about yet.
I'm starting to work with seating depth and have a question for the experts. I'm using a Forstner micrometer seating die.
Let's say I seat 0.005 OTL based on ogive to start with. I seat 5 rounds and they all, more or less, measure the same with the Hornady tool.
Now I want to seat the next few at 0.010 OTL. I turn the micrometer in by 0.005 and measure. Well, let's say that particular combination of case and bullet isn't 0.005 deeperr than the first five rounds, what do I believe? Is the die off or is that just an oddball bullet? Is the Hornady tool simply not sensitive enough in the 1/1000 area?
I guess the question is do I trust Forstner more than Hornady fo seating depth testing?
Based on my last velocity ladder a few of the experts recommended shooting 5-shot groups in 0.2 gr increments, that's what I did today.
Browning X-Bolt target 28" Hornady 140 gr BTHP H4350 Starline LRP brass CCI BR-2
Brass wet-tumbled and dried Annealed Redding body die Lee collet neck size die Forstner micrometer seating die
All rounds seated .050 off the lands as measured from the ogive
Weather was foul, raining fairly hard, a bit breezy, around 45 degrees ambient.
I merged all the suggestions together and decided to load 41.1, 41.3, 41.5, 41.7 and 41.9. Since there were no pressure signs I should probably have followed 6.5savageguy's suggestion to go higher up, I'm still kinda chicken about overpressure
I left the Magnetspeed in the trunk.
Here's the target, I cut it in two and pasted it together so all the targets are in the same plane. I'm thinking I should explore going higher up, what do you all think?
After plodding away at a bathroom remodel I finally got to the range today. I had to start over since I switched to Starline brass from Hornady brass. Rifle is an X-Bolt target 28" barrel, H4350, CCI-BR2 primers.
I shot 4 rounds at the lowest charge to foul and warm up, the rest were 3-shot groups. Magnetospeed. Target shot starting with foul/warm up in middle, then left to right, bottom to top. The velocity graph is so linear I don't see a flat spot, the target is what it is, warts and all, 100 yards.
Having heard how much better plants grow when listening to classical music I decided to see if my rifle would shoot better as well. Using duct tape I strapped a pair of ear buds to the mid point of the barrel and tuned my phone to a classic music station. You won't believe the results; according to my Magliarspeed chrony I picked up 55 fps, my ES and SD fell to zero, and the barrel no longer gets hot! That's right, every shot is a cold bore shot!
From what I've learned here so far, it doesn't seem as if there's much we can do to new brass other than size the neck. It's not until we've fire-formed it that we can start doing all the cool stuff to make it great, bumping, turning, reaming, annealing etc.
It almost seems as if loading and firing new brass is a profuntionary step needed to start making great brass. But, it costs money to load it and time to go shoot it.
Does it make sense to use the minimum amount of powder, the cheapest primers and bullets money can buy, then pay my nephew $5 to go shoot it for me while I relax at home with a cold one?
Or keep it premium and make this ammo like I'm taking it on a once-in-a-lifetime sheep hunt in Alaska?