Shooting Report

My second shoot with the space gun went well.

Late afternoon on Friday I went to the range, the traffic was pretty bad so I arrived late but that didn’t matter. The first period was spent setting up the new foresight post, which required a period of nudging the post back and forth and test shots, but fairly soon I had it pretty close and could carry on with practice.

Initially I was shooting ammunition I was given to me. It was loaded with 77gr Sierras seated to a depth that would allow being loaded into a magazine. I was also given some ammunition loaded with 80gr bullets seated to approximately 30 thou off the lands.

Once I had settled in things went well. I had a sequence of 10-12 shots that didn’t leave the X ring before I made an error and pulled a shot left into the nine. The bad shots (excluding that one) were 9s but only just out of the 10 ring. My best shots were grouped under a minute.

All this served to prove that this rifle is capable of great accuracy, which is good. It also reminded me of how much I enjoy this sport. It has been a while since I had that moment of confidence and focus when I knew the shots were good and where they were going. On Friday I had it and it felt great. I look forward to many more.

An average of my scores came out at 97.3% which would qualify me as High Master in the NRA High Power classification system (assuming I could repeat the performance over three qualifying matches).

I will be going out again this week so I hope to repeat the result.

 

 

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end…..

…. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

First shoot with my new spacegun

First shoot with my new spacegun.

This is a picture of me having just finished my first shoot with my new rifle. Pretty isn’t it!

I have never had a brand new rifle before and so this is the first time I have had to shoot in a barrel, and although I was told that the accuracy doesn’t really peak until a couple of hundred rounds have gone down the barrel, it was doing pretty well with with only a few dozen. My best score was 194/200 which must come close to or beat my best score to date at 300m. You can see the target on the wall behind me in the picture to get an idea what I was shooting at.

As I reported previously, my rifle was not complete as ordered. George (my mentor in this new escapade) has loaned me the parts I needed to get it running, which was most of them it seemed. The lower receiver, stock, and both front and rear sights. I have some of the parts I need, but will wait until I have tried things out before I make decisions on parts like the trigger and stock.

Now is the time to get practicing. Put some rounds down and get to know the rifle so that I can put in a good showing when the winter league kicks in.

Everyone is doing it..

After finding out that I had ordered a new rifle, my friend Niall reported to me that he had invested in a new rifle also.

He has for a long time used a Carl Gustav that was originally built for biathlon (when biathlon was shot with a full-bore rifle), and which, though lovely, has a limited ability beyond 600yds. Below are photos of his new rifle.

It’s a Musgrave in .308Win with a Border 1:13 stainless barrel which is 300 rounds old. The sights are Fulton’s 18mm ladder foresight and an AJ Parker T.Z. rearsight.

 

Niall's new Musgrave

Niall’s new Musgrave

 

Niall's new Musgrave 2

Niall’s new Musgrave 2

 

Below is Niall’s account of his first long range shoot with the Musgrave.

 

"Interesting day. Good shooting conditions with an irritating variable 
wind from 1 o'clockish.

Got help from an F class shooter (big telescope on gun) to set zero at 
900yds. 9 shots later he hadn't seen the fall of shot once and I'd 
tried everything -, over the bullet catcher, into the mantlet, still no 
joy. Stopped and waited ages 'til Mike was free. Mike saw 
the first shot and brought the elevation up in stages to 50.5mins from 
34.5. Got on target and had 18 shots, a bit hurried, only 4 in the 
inner so fairly happy with that. Better than I could do with the Charlie G.

Back to 1000yds and the plot is attached. For the first time I had 
shot at that distance not too bad an effort. I got caught by a wind 
change on shot 6&7, fairly stupid shot on 16 cause unknown and 19 and 20 
were from a different batch of ammunition. (Learning point - always 
ensure one has more than enough rounds from the same batch). 
Elevation now at 55.5 and seems reasonably reliable.

Now need to think about the sights; also need to scribe a new line on 
the foresight as there is a mismatch from the fixed to variable sides.

Rifle performed well. A fairly tight chamber I think with one instance 
of a bit of effort needed to close the bolt. Will need to watch 
re-sizing of cases as there is not as much slack as with the Charlie 
G. Trigger is still a bit stiff after the light Timney in the CG."

Niall’s 1000yd scorecard

Thanks for the update, and congrats on the new rifle Niall.

A Rifle for 300m: Culmination

I have for a while been looking to acquire a new rifle for use at 300m, more specifically for the 300m international competition which requires 60 shots + sighters in 90 minutes; an “uncomfortable” task with a (my) .308. I have experimented with different loads for my .308 but if you have read some of my previous posts you will know how that went.

Originally I was looking for a new rifle in 6mmBR, a currently very popular cartridge for this competition. However it is not widely used and as such the costs associated with it are somewhat higher than more conventional cartridges.

In a previous post, Taking an AR15 match rifle for a spinI described how I had the opportunity to try a friends AR15 match rifle and how it was an unexpectedly pleasant experience. In fact it made such an impression on me that not very long after I published that post I went ahead and ordered one for myself.

Now, when I say I ordered one, I mean I ordered part of one. The part I ordered was the complete upper receiver, which consists of the barrel, gas parts, upper receiver frame, bolt, and charging handle. I ordered from White Oak Armaments who produce match grade products to order. Below is a photo from their website of the “upper” I ordered.

White Oak Armaments Match Upper

White Oak Armaments Match Upper

I ordered it in March and it has just arrived. I even ordered it in that colour.

The barrel is 26 inches, is chambered in .223 Wilde, and has a profile that allows a match sight to be attached at the front for a full length sight base.

Unfortunately since this is only a part of the rifle (a very important part ) I will need more bits to make it work as intended. The next major part to get is the lower receiver. This has been ordered and has arrived at a dealer, but since it is the part with the serial number on it I will have to go and fill in some federal paper work to get my hands on it. It should look like this:

Lower receiver (left)

Lower receiver (left)

Lower Receiver (right)

Lower Receiver (right)

*photos taken from www.joeboboutfitters.com*

(I find it funny that this piece of metal requires background checks and paperwork, while the barrel and the rest of it can be sent to me in the post)

I will be picking this part up soon. It won’t however be getting attached to the upper just yet, as it will have no trigger or any of the other important moving parts installed. I am being lent a lower complete with trigger etc, as well as a stock and a front sight. I have a spare rear sight that I hope to use, and the other parts I will pick up when I am ready.

As an added benefit of this caliber, when I hand load for it I can use the same Vihtavouri N-140 powder that I already use for .308 and have a supply of.

Exciting times.

 

 

Shoot a lot, learn a bit more…

In response to a previous post Shoot a lot, learn a little, I received an email from the Oracle (Charles Young) via Niall. The post was about an attempt by me to find a new load for .308 at 300m using a lighter powder charge.

His response went as follows:

“He enjoys his suffering!

“I am going to try 42.5gr VV N140 behind a 155gr SMK seated to 2.850 inches. There is a shoot this weekend (and I have been reading about the wind), so we shall see what we shall see.”


In my opinion . . . that isn’t nearly enough N-140 powder to get it to burn efficiently, and the outcome may be erratic groups.  N-140 works better the harder it goes. “

So perhaps my attempt to find a practical (read comfortable) .308 load for 300m International competition is unrealistic with N-140. And since I was going for an easy work around until I could get a new rifle in a more appropriate caliber, then I think this experiment will have to be written off.

And anyway, new developments soon to be revealed have rendered the purpose of this experiment defunct…