I'm testing another bullet in a new 7 Sherman Short build, a Berger 190 LRH. Ladder testing showing promising results so I group tested at 965yds with 5 shot groups for each charge sweeping through the charge range that suggested a node. I used an arbitrary jump that seems to work in the 180/184gr hybrids. Assuming I did nothing stupid behind the trigger (hypothetical here guys ), no condition change, and the loaded cartridge had identical parameters to the others in the same group where would you go from here? I have an idea but many heads are better than one. BTW... .3gr increments in a case with 62.8gr practical powder capacity with H1000.
The first group is the one in question and the second group is the charge weight below the first.
Started loading today for the V2 Finale up at Dead Zero range in East Tennessee next weekend . My father and I punched out about 300 rds this morning. Only 150 to go....woohoo!!! I will need 348rds for record/sighter if I make it to the final the long way around. We will have an open practice on Thursday and I plan on fine tuning the seating depth and run a barrel tuner test. That, and the need for foulers (only 2 convertible sighters per match, explains the ridiculous amount of ammunition needed for a 3 day match. I feel better about my chances going in than I have in a long time. I think I will have the trigger slappin’ monkey tamed a bit They will be live streaming some selected matches and I will post the appropriate link once it is published. It is going to be one fun match.
Day one of the Long Range Alley 1000yd Vortex/Vihtavuori Finale qualifier complete. Typical Shreveport twitchy winds and ‘Holy $hi+ moments. Heavy load of top national shooters practicing for the finale in two weeks in Tennessee and earning points for the 2022 finale (invitational). Finally am knocking on the door with a 190 Atip load in this Schneider barrel. Currently in second place but in this format and range anything can happen. We are shooting pair firing which entails 2 convertible sighters and 15 shots of alternating fire with each shooter getting 45 seconds to get off a shot. This means no waiting for a condition; you have to make a read and send one. Rarely will a condition hold, particularly at this venue, for you to shoot consecutive shots in the same condition. Great educational format.
My gun had over a minute of vertical at 1000 over the 15 shots in match 1, 2 and the first 10 shots f match 3. To win One really needs .5 moa vertical in no mirage, light winds. Fed up, I finally gave my tuner a 3/4 increment adjustment as the non condition related vertical was getting bad. The next 6/7 shots were on a tight waterline with the shooter holding higher than needed for a letoff on the last shot. I think I needed that tuner adjustment from the beginning of the day. Tells me my load ain’t quite there yet. Tomorrow will be a fun day!
Working with a Schneider barrel in 7 Sherman Short/ 190 Atip. After poor match performance with RL-23 I hit the rest button and upped my neck tension and gave N165 a go again. I also arbitrarily reset the seating depth to the jump that was exceptional in my first barrel (0.030” OTL). I loaded 56-61gr single charges at 1gr increments just to get a feel for velocity. Based on results with N165 at under 25rds in the barrel I expected to see low 2600’s to upper 2800’s and figure where I needed to load for a 3 shot per charge 600yd ladder. I was going to shoot them into a stump with a MS V3 attached but went to the range so not to disturb my sister and her friends who were visiting. I figured I might as well set up and shoot out to 300yds and do a ladder. I expected a widely dispersed group. Well, I was off by velocity but almost 200fps as 56gr was running 2770’s and 57gr hit 2850 with a light clicker. Damn? Since I had 90+ rds since last clean I patched the barrel lightly and shot the 58gr charge. Again a clicker with stiff lift and 2850’s. I then shot the 59gr charge and had to hammer the bolt open with my palm. 2902fps....like Roberto Duran, NO MAS. However the target was a very pleasant surprise. This is how my first barrel performed with H1000/N165 but less velo for charge weight. This strongly suggests I have hit a solid seating depth....something which has eluded me in this barrrel.
I loaded a charge test from 55.5gr to 56.5gr in .25gr increments that should get me in the mid 2700's to just over 2800fps. Gordon's Reloading Tools suggest an OBT node at 2780's and a charge of around 56.2gr; that is where my first barrel was a hammer. Going back at daybreak for a 5 shot/group test at 300yds. I'm really hoping for something solid.
I've never weighed and sorted cases nor have I taken the pains to volume sort cases. The former has a very loose correlation to volume and I'm too lazy for the latter being that I would have to fill and weigh several hundred cases for it to work for me.. However, if sorting by volume makes a difference on target, I could get behind this little gadget. Intriguing at a minimum.
In another thread I discovered that my mirage shield was affecting grouping (in a negative way) in my F-class rifle. It is a carbon fiber unit but it was made with a resin rich layup; this makes it look cool but makes it much heavier than it needs to be and actually very flexible. I’ve been meaning to make a proper one myself due to the weight but didn’t think it was causing erratic grouping. I made one with a vacuum bagged low resin layup and devised carbon/resin supports that attach to the stock and keep the shield suspended above/not contacting the barrel. Even with the mounts it weighs in .2oz less than my old shield even though weight is not a big concern since it is not touching the barrel. I added heat rejection film to the underside since carbon fiber resin composites are good heat conductors. I’ll see how it works in the morning.
Background- I have a new barrel set up for shooting 190 A-tips/& Sherman Short mag. I just have not been able to get it to group as consistently well as the first barrel (which was very good). I have switched powder, primers, new seating depth etc and it still had too much vertical and pitching some really crappy groups (1.25-1.5" vertical at 300yds at times) after shooting some .3 and under MOA groups with the same load a week prior. I have a very important match (decides whether I will get an invite to a national championship event this summer....or not...) in another week and this load was not going to get me any points so I looked back at things I differed from with this barrel. One of them glaring out of the pages of my load log was that I decided to try not annealing my brass; one of my fellow competitors who is always near the top of the score sheets shooting a .300 WSM said he does not anneal his brass. Based on Doug's excellent results I though I would go that route arbitrarily without testing. I ran a couple of hundred rounds testing to find a solid load but no joy. After reviewing the log I decided to simply test my current load with and without annealing before sizing. I shot 5 shot groups at 300yds in a blustery overcast R to L wind at about 0400-0500, 5-8mph gust 10. I held same POA and ran each group when I thought the condition was fairly stable; I did not have any flags. I was hesitant to shoot in those conditions but at least my vertical would be honest since there was zero mirage and I am running out of testing time. Hallelujah! It appears that these necks want to be annealed before each sizing. I have a load that should hold an X-ring at 1000yds in the morning calm. All is well in the world now (if I don't turn on the TV news) and I feel really good about the 10hr drive to Georgia.
Some considerations....this would only apply to my cases/load/gun. My current sizing die shrinks the necks 0.011" and I expand them out 0.008" with a mandrel. The necks are not turned so I am moving that thick neck in and out a bit that causes more work hardening than necessary so this is likely a factor. I know of shooters running thin necks with minimal chamber clearance and dies than size a couple of thou under desired loading diameter and they never anneal and don't split necks. I can be an inherently lazy individual and try to eliminate as many prep steps as I can. This time I eliminated one too many .
I was recently asked by one of my F-class compadres ( a former Long Range National Champion and a contender in any match he shoots) if I have spun any of the 190 A-tips on a Bullet Genie. I told him I have not but then I asked if he thinks they provide any reliable information for sorting bullets. He said there were many top 10 shooters in our last National Championship that had a BG and were using them to sort their bullets. A couple of them I know well and they have never brought up the topic or let the cat out of the bag about owning one...hmmmmm. So I asked my gunsmith/friend what he though. He showed me the target face from the 200-22X 600yd National Record he shot with 105gr Bergers back in 2016. He told me a SR BR competitor that did very well tole him he needed to sort his bullets on a Juenke machine. Shawn had check some from the lot that he was currently shooting and the guy told him to use them as foulers; they were not consistent enough for match use. Two weeks later he shot the record. So, I'm sure you bench rest competitors have wondered the same as I and may have direct/reliable indirect information about the true utility of these machines. Let's hear it.
I have been wanting to try a BAT action for a year or so and was about to order one since I could not find a used one in the RB/RP/no ejector magnum bolt configuration I desired. A fellow F-Open competitor happened to post a new one up in the AS classi's a few days ago and it had all the options I wanted save being round instead of multi-flat....not a deal breaker at all. This one had been gone through by Alex Wheeler and timed for a Bixn'Andy BR trigger. I received it at a match this weekend. What a difference the melonite treatment makes! Slicker than owl $hi+! It is a heavy beast being 1.550" instead of 1.350" like my Bordens. I will put it in another X-Ring Robertson pattern F-class stop; this time I won't have to put near a pound of Tungsten in the butt/pistol grip to balance the gun and get it heavier. I'll likely go with another 7 Sherman Short barrel and convert my current open gun to 6.5 Creedmoor for those calm 'Dasher' days at 600yds . I've got a few thousand PB 142gr bullets that I can use in it.
I've been working with this new to me cartridge for F-open 600-1000yd competition and having some good results but a bit variable and not as predictable as I expected. I need to form some more cases for some upcoming important matches and have to shoot fireforming loads in a 1000yd match this weekend. I decided to change powders from H1000 to N165 and drop neck tension another 0.0005". I went back to basics and loaded a 10 charge/ 3-shot group OCW test and shot it at 100yds to see the 'sine wave' trend indicating the barrel 'swing'. This test covered 3.6gr of charge range so I figured I had to find one or two nodes in there somewhere. Here is the result:
Each group impacted in almost the same spot on the target. I expected it to walk up at least a half inch and walk left or right the same. Didn't happen.... I've not run across a load that has done this over such a large charge range. I shot a 6BR years back that was kind of close but not in this ballpark. The dilemma is I have one more morning to decide on a load and get 90 cases ready for Saturday. Fortunately I have MV data and will use it in addition to the target to get an idea of where to test for a finer charge range. It will likely be around 59.9-60.1gr. The temps will be in the mid to upper 90's and I want to torture test the A-tips before using them in championship matches coming up in the next two months. I hope I can get this load to hold under .5 MOA vertically, give a little, over 20+ shot strings. Although this was only 100yds it was the best performance of any load in this gun yet. I think the reduced neck tension helped but perhaps the N165 plays better with the 190 A-tip. I'll know more by Saturday afternoon. The sticker is that I had a great match last month and have an excellent opportunity to secure my High Master at Long Range if I do well this weekend. I can lose 15 points and make it but this range has a reputation for very low winning scores so shooting fireforming loads is not a great idea .
F-Class Points Series and V2 Finale. A new points series has been formed where competitors accumulate points in various qualifying matches throughout the year and qualify for an invitation to the finale which is shot in a series of pair elimination matches. Each category in F-class (F-TR and F-Open) will have 32 invitees and the final, sponsored by Vihtavuori and Vortex and thus the name V2 for the finale, will be shot at Dead Zero shooting complex in Tennessee in June. This will add a new and meaningful dimension to many of our regional and national matches that qualify for FPS approval.
Anyone here have any experience with the 190 A-tips? I know it is a 7mm bullet but though I would ask anyhow. I am about to test them in a 7 SAUM variant (Sherman Short mag) and have no idea on where to start with seating depth. I though I read somewhere where 0.030" off the lands was getting good results but I can't locate where I 'thought' I read it. Anyway, I'll probably start at 0.010" off and go from there unless I am enlightened.... hint, hint.
I have never owned an AR platform rifle. I have always planned on getting one though. When I do I will get an AR-15/5.56 chambering. I am not interested in building one but buying a whole rifle. My first consideration has been to buy a Wilson Combat Ranger. I am leaning toward a WC only because I have one of their 1911's and it is a phenomenal pistol...but very pricey as is their AR platform rifles. I would like to get something that will run well without issues and have good accuracy and am willing to pay for it. However, if I can find a 'pretty damn good reliable and accurate' AR for a bit less dough, which I suspect I probably could, I'll give it high consideration. So, please give me your recommendations and, again, assume I know nothing about AR's since I have only shot one on one occasion.