Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bullets and Paper in living color

This is really for my benefit, but if you find the following post entertaining, interesting, or if by reading it, it passes time, then more power to you. All the targets were at a 100 yard distance.

The first target was with Winchester 130 grain powerpoint. All the A's represent the 3 shot group. I know I flubbed the first shot; I flinched. But the more I shot with my lead-loaded rifle, the less I noticed the recoil, and the more I was able to put the reticules on target and my finger on the trigger without jerking the gun away. The only explanation I can think of for why the bullets were so high is that I have no idea. A dirty barrel, a hot barrel, wind, and fatigue all seem like pretty good reasons, but poor excuses, as to why my shots went far and wild. But, the Winchester ammo just doesn't seem right for the gun. I sighted in at 25 yards and I consistenly got a flyer on the second or third shot. According to the grumpy gun guru David E. Petzal, this is caused by ammo that's designed for a gun with a longer or shorter barrel than the one you're firing it from. This results in the bullet leaving the gun at a speed that's above or below the optimal speed for the barrel, so the barrel vibrates inconsistently. So, Winchester with it's stringed group of 5.5" is out.

The H1 and H2 are Hornady 130 grain SST and I called the 2nd shot as being low. I was right, but I was astounded that it was only 1 inch away from the first shot. My gun might like this ammo.

The second target is when I used Remington's reduced recoil loads with 115grain bullet. The first group was ok since it was 1 MOA. The other groups were not ok and were incredibly inconsistent. I haven't had good luck with this brand. The reduced recoil is great, but since I added weight to my rifle, I wasn't able to notice the recoil nearly as much firing 130 grain bullets. And since my bad luck with deer and these lighter, slower bullets, and the group I got with them, I'll probably discontinue buying these.

And finally the last target is the one I shot with the Remington 150 Express. The group is not bad, but it is off the mark by about 2 inches to the right. The overall group size is about 2.5". If I bragged about this group size that I was able to get while sitting, people would probably pat me on the head and say, "Not bad, but you need more practice." It's not perfect, but it would get me a deer. And while I look at it, I realize that this group was produced while the barrel was relatively clean, cool, and comfortable to hold.

While I go over these targets, I realize that I tried to sight in my rifle in possibly the worst way possible. I attempted to shoot a target from a sitting position instead of from sandbags, I didn't clean my barrel after every group or so, which would result in the point of impact varying because of the bullets pushing copper fouling and burnt powder out of the barrel, my barrel got beyond being cool when I fired groups which explains the wild shots and the good first group, and on top of that there seemed to be a breeze downrange that pushed my shots to the right which I confirmed by shooting a group at 25 yards after attempting to sight in my rifle at 100 yards. The 25 yard group was an inch to the left of the mark instead of the right.

I'm going back out again (ugh) on Monday to get the true zero on this finicky rifle set with good ammunition, sandbags, a cleaning kit with brush, and lots of patience for the barrel to cool in between groups.
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