fritz, looks like that barrel is shooting well. Heard some reports those carbon wrapped barrels are hit or miss.
Maybe leave those mags loaded for awhile, might relax the springs?
I hear you. If my range is completely white from snow cover, logistics make shooting a no go. The worst target identification for me is when I have patches of snow and bare ground. Neither white nor black steel works -- I must paint them orange.
When my gunsmith worked at Mile High Shooting, the 'smiths as a collective evidently installed quite a few Proof barrels. He stated the solid steel ones were good. He said the carbon wrapped bolt action barrels were good. The challenge was with the carbon wrapped AR barrels. Evidently the 'smiths had some that were really accurate, and others that they couldn't make shoot well -- regardless of how much they futzed with the system.
When I won the Proof cert, I asked my 'smith if I should go with an AR15 barrel, as I had one that was getting long in the tooth. He said to stick with the bolt action Proof, and I'm glad I did.
It's interesting that Bartlein now offers carbon-wrapped barrels. I haven't heard any direct feedback on them, but I haven't search the web for feedback either.
Kudoos to Berger for chasing better bullets, Hornady should pay attention!
BlackJack came out with their 131gr 25 cal ACE a few years ago. Sierra makes that bullet.
The 25 cal 135 in a 25x47 simple necked down from a Lapua 6.5x47.... I shot through 6.5x47's some years back. Berger 130VLD at 2880 from a 24" barrel was an easy load on things. Guessing with the 25x47 Berger 135 2900 would be reasonable for a 24". 1000yds- drop 6.5 mils, 10mph 1.2 mils, 1900 fps, 1100lbs of energy with be nothing to sneeze at! Drop to mach 1.2 at 1700yds. Through my experience of shooting all my calibers further then I should! That mach 1.2 is about where things still hold together consistently. Shot out 4 6x47's, just a smidge less inherently accurate then the 6.5x47's. Guessing a 25x47 would be right in there.
Bumping this back to the top because I keep coming back to it. So much great information in this thread! Thank you to everyone who has contributed.
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all. -Mencken
It's crazy for me to think about this thread being started in 2013 and what a big part this forum has had on the hundreds of rifles and barrels I've put through the shop since then. In the beginning I thought it would be fun for me personally to experiment with many different calibers, stocks, optics, and the list goes on. I've simplified a lot over the last few years and it's made me a better shooter. A few things I've learned over time:
- Don't caliber hop
Find a caliber that works for you and stick with it. You save so much time and energy just by knowing a caliber inside out. The reality is the next new whiz bang 6mm cartridge is probably going to be no better in the long run than the 6mm you are currently using, and may be worse. Exceptions obviously exist but in general I see this.
- Pick a cartridge that has Lapua brass available.
It just saves so many potential headaches
- If you are new to loading don't pick cartridges that require fire forming or neck turning.
You're just setting yourself up for disappointment. It takes care, time, and knowledge to do it properly over the brass life and most of the time would be better off spent shooting more instead. Picking Dasher or straight BR is an example. Again this is in general and not for people that know what they're getting into.
The two cartridges I currently shoot are 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5x47. Both Lapua small primer brass. I've been through numerous barrels and know them well. They work for my LR and hunting needs very well. I couldn't be happier and don't see myself changing for a while. These simply fits my needs.
A few cartridges that are my favorites:
6mm -- 6BR, 6 Creedmoor
6.5mm -- 6.5x47
7mm -- 7 SAUM
30 -- 308
Ya, it is crazy to think about this thread being started in 2013. 18 of those hundreds of barrels you chambered were mine, all lasers. Thanks!
Right there with you with your favorite cartridges. 6BR, 6.5x47, 7SAUM. 6 Creedmoor.... too short of barrel life for my annual round count! I have two 6BRA barrels with about 2000rds left of barrel life on each. When I shoot those out will go back to the silly easy button 6BR. I just plan on shooting Colorado and New Mexico matches with a max of 1000yds moving forward, the 6BR has plenty of gas to get me there.
Still have this target above my reloading bench. 1st 6BR, new barrel. Don't remember how many shots I took to zero the scope well enough, 3-4?, the next 5 shots. Lapua 6BR brass out the box, zero prep, load and shoot.... OK, I get the 6BR magic!
I like to hunt with my 6MMs is the main reason I shoot the caliber and put up with the barrel life. The Berger 105 vldh at 3200 is just wicked on deer and hogs. If not for hunting it’d definitely be 6BR. Just so easy and stable.
I got a bit more trigger time with the Defiance/Proof 223 bolt action. Virtually every shooter is guilty of cherry picking shots for refrigerator trophy groups. Here's all the cherries, bananas, kumquats, and tomatoes for the day -- a little short of 100 rounds. All 5 round groups, unless stated otherwise.
- At my shooting location maybe 1-4 mph, varying frequently from my 11 to 1 o'clock.
- Up to the 410 yard targets, maybe 1-5 mph, varying frequently from my 10 to 2 o'clock.
- Closer to the 612 yard plate, 1-7 mph, varying constantly from 10 to 2 o'clock.
First up, Federal TRU 69 SMK, 410 yards. The right 12" diamond plate, 2-1/8" vertical. Then 3-7/8" vertical in the left diamond. Maybe I wasn't warmed up, but I was a bit disappointed in the results.
I switched to Federal GMM 69 SMK, a new batch, and I'm uncertain what the manufacturing lot numbers are. 410 yards. 2-5/8" vertical on the left 12" square, then 2-3/8" vertical on the right square plate. OK, this is more like it.
On to the 612 yard full-sized IPSC, using FGMM 69. Top group vertical of 2-5/8" and bottom group vertical of 2-3/8" vertical. Only four impacts on the bottom group, as I misjudged the wind and one shot missed the plate to the left. Yep, this is how FGMM should perform.
Back at 410 yards. Winchester 69 SMK. 2-1/2" vertical on the right diamond, then 1-3/4" vertical on the left diamond. Then on to 612 yards.
Federal GMM 73 Berger. 2-1/8" vertical on the right square, then 1-3/8" vertical on the left square. Woohoo. Then on to 621 yards
612 yards. Upper group with Winchester 69 SMK, vertical of 4-1/4". I felt that I pulled that high shot, which was #5 of the group. The reticle didn't stay on POA, due to sheep-dip technique. Dagnabbital.
Lower group with Federal 73 Berger. 6 rounds with 2-1/8" vertical. This barrel likes 73 Berger.
Session 3, back at 410 yards.
Hornady 73 ELDM. 2-3/8" vertical on the right diamond, then 3-3/4" vertical on the left diamond. Then on to 612 yards. Hmmm. Uncertain if this barrel is lukewarm on 73 ELD, or that it's the usual transition to-and-fro ELD bullets that's causing the inconsistency.
Hornady 75 HPBT Black, using a 2020 lot that has performed middle-of-the-road in my AR15s. Right square 5-1/4" vertical, ugh. Then left square, 2" vertical -- maybe back to normal from 73 ELD.
612 yards. Top group Hornady 73 ELD, 3-1/8" total vertical. The first shot was the high impact near the hanger. Then I put 6 more rounds in a lower impacts, with only 1-1/4" of vertical. Serious woohoo. Hornady 73 ELD loads just needs some time to settle down, after transitioning from other ammo.
Hornady 75 Black. I misread the wind, and shot #1 missed the target to the left. Shot #2 was the high round to the left. Shots #3-10 were tightly grouped at the bottom of the plate, with 2-3/4" vertical. Took a few rounds for accuracy to settle down after 73 ELD.
After running a chainsaw for over 3 hours in the morning, I wasn't certain if my trigger pulling would be up to the task in the afternoon. But this rifle just shoots. I have options across multiple types of factory match-grade ammo, which is comforting in these challenging times for ammo availability.
I expect to shoot this rifle frequently down the road. It feels great, recoil is minimal, accuracy is exceptional. It's just really, really fun to shoot.
I figured it was time to bring out the 308. The goals were to get some time with a higher-recoiling round, to test some the new boxes of Hornady Black 308 Amax, and to evaluate an on-rifle dope card system.
I wasn't use to the 308's recoil. Definitely more challenging to keep the crosshairs on POA throughout the recoil cycle. Definitely saw some reticle jump on a few shots.
I'm slowly consuming my older inventory of FGMM 168 and Corbon 155. I won't replace them when they're gone. I expect to carry only FGMM 175 and Hornady 168 Amax (maybe ELD-M?) down the road. I recently found some new Hornady Black 168 Amax at a reasonable price and bought a few boxes. I had only 1 box of the original 168 Amax in stock -- from a batch made in 2013. Winds weren't optimal for shooting the pudgy 308 bullets at distance. 10-20mph, generally from 5 o'clock, but sometimes from 4 o'clock. I set steel at 414, 529, 587, 660, and 706 yards. After confirming zero and dope, I cycled near-to-far.
This is the full-sized IPSC at 706 yards. 3 rounds of the 168 Amax from 2013 and 3 rounds from the 2021 batch. Shot in four different cycles. 2.5" vertical dispersion, which I'm pleased with. The best I could do with FGMM 168 was 4" vertical, with others at 5" and 6". At this distance the plate is 2.7 MOA wide, and I was holding off to the right 7-8 MOA.
Here's the Hawk Hill dope card, set up for Amax 168 at 7,000' DA.
Yep, that dope is in Museum Of Art, not MILey cyrus. Full value wind at 660 yards is 5 MOA, so I was holding off a bit on such a generous target. Winds probably weren't helping with the vertical dispersion, especially with FGMM 168.
I returned the next day to compare performance of the on-rifle dope card to that of my traditional wrist dope card. Winds were in the 15-20mph ballpark, from 3-4 o'clock. I used FGMM 168 for the dope system evaluation. I wanted to cycle from near to far, 1 shot per target, starting with mag in & bolt back, sorta-ish behind the rifle. The 414 yard target was down the center of my range's shallow gully. #2 was quite a ways to the right, then 3 through 5 were progressively up and left of #2. Target #5 was almost straight back from #1. It was pretty easy to move from #2 through #5, but the move from #1 to #2 could be a challenge. I had the scope at about 15x for targets #1 & #2. I increased the magnification to around 20x for #3 through #5, and re-adjusted the parallax for #3.
I started with the gun dope card, and didn't really hurry my shots. I dialed elevation for each target, and briefly evaluated the wind holds, as I wanted to hit all targets -- it took 72 seconds. Second time through was with the wrist card. I was surprised that it took 70 seconds.
Next up was to speed up the process, as if I'm at a match and running out of time. I still dialed all elevations and evaluated wind holds. 49 seconds for the on-rifle card and 58 seconds for the wrist card. The rifle card felt easier, as I never lost targets during movement -- especially from the 414 yard to the 529 yard target. I need more practice, but I think I'm heading towards rifle-mounted dope for relatively straight-forward stages, with no more than 6 targets. I RO'd a guy at last year's Steel Safari who used this method. He brushed up against the time deadline on almost every stage, but got all his shots on all 8 stages, and had a very respectable score for that course.
Next time I do this testing, I plan to dial elevation for only one target's distance, then hold under/over for the other targets.
After the dope testing, I pulled a box of FGMM 175. Partly for grins, but also to confirm this long-in-the-tooth barrel still shoots 175. Still good to go. 2.25" vertical at 660 yards.
I was holding off 8-10 MOA here. One nice feature of this NF ATACR scope is it's optical quality when looking other than the center of the reticle. Holding off 10 MOA to the right, the target is still clear, CA is minimal -- as in I don't see it at all. Hold overs/unders are the same.
As always, thanks for taking time to analyze and discuss all that.
“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
fritz, for the hold vs dial timed test suggest doing it with different size targets. Compare shooting at the body of the IPSC as well as the head or smaller targets.
A few years ago I shot a handful of matches with a S&B Tremor 3. Held on meatball targets, dialed on smaller targets. Did quite a few timed drills prior to the matches as well as see how precise I could be holding sub MOA to 1 MOA.... I believe you'll find yourself faster dialing for small targets and have a higher hit percentage? Definetly faster on the meatball targets to hold. Put a couple thousand rounds through the Tremor 3 on the 22LR as well, holding/dialing...
Prefer a dope card holder like the HawkHill, for me absolutely faster. Often don't have to break cheek position for next target and see/dial dope. Check ourselves right before a shot, did I dial the right dope check with out breaking position. Not that we don't dial or dial the wrong dope!! The negative to the HawkHill can't put a complete range card on it like the wrist coach style.
I gave up on the Tremor 3, thought it cover up waaaay to much. I would sometimes not see my misses/hits. Like the wind dot concept, wish I could take more then half the stuff off it.
Yeah, dialing is definitely more precise for the smaller targets. A bunch of fast shots that miss produce lower scores than a few slow hits. I've just haven't timed myself on the hold/dial options, then compared hit percentages.
For the above 308 session I had 12" plates for the first three targets and IPSCs for the last two. Given the caliber and the wind, 12" plates would have been a challenge at 660 and 706 yards. You know the wind is blowing when 3/8" thick 12" steel is swaying in the wind.
Speaking of holds.... interesting concept.
Back at it with the 3-oh-hate, futzing with dope cards and FGMM 168. I added a 6th target at 765 yards.
12" round at 414 yards.
12" diamonds at 529 and 587 yards.
full size IPSCs at 660, 706, and 765 yards.
At my prone shooting position, winds were roughly 0-8 mph, switching from 5-7 o'clock. Same at 419 yards. Center-of-target holds here.
Winds of roughly 0-10 mph from 5-7 o'clock as I walked to the 529 and 587 yard plates. Holds varied from left edge to right edge.
Winds of maybe 2-15 mph as I walked to the long targets, but generally from my 7 o'clock. Holds varied from center of target to a full plate left of left edge. My largest wind holds were around 4 MOA. Reading wind changes was quite challenging. Mirage was minimal. Grass was flattened to the ground, due to two feet of snow from a couple weeks earlier. The Lane Bryant 308 bullets, with their Plus Size BCs, didn't help. I definitely missed some wind calls.
I alternated between two dope cards -- one for dialing all elevations, and one for dialing the 587 yard target and holding over/under for the others. I set parallax for the 587 target and didn't touch it for the other targets. I used only one card at a time, but this picture presents them side by side.
I started in prone position, behind the rifle, bolt back, mag in. Start the timer, then go.
Dialing elevations resulted in a narrow time band of 53-57 seconds for the six shots. I'm a right-handed shooter -- dialing elevation with my right hand tended to be about 2 seconds faster than dialing with my left hand. I normally dial with the left hand when I have my dope card on my left arm. I found the transitions between targets to be slightly easier when I dialed with my right hand. I suspect this is due to keeping my left hand on the rear bag.
My first holdover run took 45 seconds. Subsequent runs were in the 36-38 second range. Definitely easier to transition between targets without having to look up and reach up to dial elevation. Accuracy -- both vertical and horizontal -- was similar for both methods. If I had to deal with larger wind holds, I suspect my hold method accuracy would suffer.
This is the final 765 yard target of the day. Six different runs, six impacts -- 3 from holdover, 3 from dialing elevation. Vertical variation of 4.75", with load that's not optimal for this distance.
I wanted to test the holdover method for a few stages that often occur at an NRL match at Craig, CO. The match's second day rewards rapid and accurate shooting. 105 seconds per stage, 3 or 4 targets per stage, 9 to 12 shots per stage, often 2 or 3 shooting positions.
Scope at zero or did you dial the 3rd, 4th, 5th.... target? Hold under/over?
Remember the Craig stage 300-1000yds, every 100yds, all 10" plates? If I remember correctly, I dialed for 600 or 700yds, held below that distance, dialed above.... That was a fast stage!
Gave my tripod a thorough cleaning. Good idea to occasionally scrub all the crud out! Clean it a few times a year or after shooting in very dusty places. I've used the lube shown the last few times on the threads. Does a nice job. Use it on flashlight body threads as well, what Malkoff flashlights recommends. Tape a wash cloth to a cleaning rod for the inside of the legs.
Some good info on cleaning. Applies to other brands. Good tip cleaning the carbon legs with silicone, makes them look snazzy and race ready!
OK, I wasn't all that clear. With the dialed version, I dialed all elevations. 8.5 MOA, 12 MOA, 14.5 MOA, etc.
With the hold version, I dialed 14.5 MOA -- the elevation for the third target, at 587 yards. Then I held 6 Museums of Art under for 414 yards, 2 MOA under for 529 yards, and held zero for 587 yards. The farthest 3 targets were all holdovers -- 3, 5, and 8 MOA.
Yeah, I've more or less sucked on that stage, three times in a row. I struggle seeing the targets, regardless of target paint or lighting. I usually get lost on the transition to the third of fourth target. I like your idea holding under for the closer targets, although I might consider starting with the elevation dialed for either the 300 or 400 yard target.
Hopefully 4th time will be a charm -- this summer. I can feel it. Sorta, kinda, ish...
fritz, stages like that you really have to drive yourself to get the first and second shot off fast!! Buys you time for the further targets. I've practice on similar targets sizes and distances, start standing with a goal of just over 10 seconds. Think about every little movement that effects that time, bag placement, rifle alignment.... At that distance it doesn't have to be a perfect shot. I'm putting whatever wind value'ish on the edge of the plate. First two targets not watching my impacts, not gonna miss at those distances.
Good drill for pushing yourself. Shot timer, 100yds, 1" dot, start standing. Start in the 15-20 second range, drive yourself to 10'ish seconds. Only hits count! Once again focus on every little movement, don't get sloppy with your trigger pull. You get down to 10'ish and go back up to 15'ish, it'll seem like you have all day. I'm gonna take a bite out my sandwich before pulling the trigger!
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