Shooting A 223 To A Mile Accurately
I posted my findings and of course was met by disbelief. PROOF, PROOF was the common theme. Well, it so happened that in mid April, I was going to put on a extreme range fun shoot and one of the shooters is a professional photographer.
We decided to see if we could get my shooting on video using digiscoping. This means mounting a camcorder or camera onto a spotting scope eyepiece and taking pics/video. An easy way of getting a mondo telephoto lens.
On the Sat, the winds weren't very nice with gust all over the mountain. However, we were able to get a short three shot string at a mile which show up at 1:13, 1:45, and 2:03 of the attached YouTube video. I was shooting between the target rock and flag to try and kick up dust.
The first and third shot are very close to each other with the second blown off just by the wind flag about 1 foot away. Not a bad start and certainly proof that the bullets are making the journey.
On Sunday, the morning was nice and calm from the base to the 1500yd flags. Only the last few hundred yards showed some turbulence.
We quickly set up and sent rds downrange. In the next set, you can hear me call the first hit just as the title fades. Hard to see on the video. I hit off the top center of the rock.
You can easily see me land short next. Windage was good but caught a bit of headwind.
Some have said at that distance, you could catch the bullet with your hands. Given the dust kicked up and marks left on the target rocks, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near that bullet. Estimated impact velocity is 800 to 900fps so the impact energy is similar to a 22 magnum. Quite lethal if you got in the way.
Then I got my doping dialed in and placed 5 consecutive hits on that rock. Time 2:32, 2:47, 3:02, 3:18 and 3:32. All shots are mid rock to right of center.
The rock is 12" wide and 8" high as we see it! (I did measure the rock beforehand)
6 out of 7 rds well inside a sub MOA rock at "1 mile". I'll take that....
Here is a pic of me getting the bullets on target.
Lionel is to my right manning the camera.
The icing on the cake was having the camera guy (Lionel) and another shooter (Claude) who was helping me with spotting also put bullets on that mile rock.
They were shooting the 75gr Amax load and actually had a better hit ratio then I did - figures.
Then Claude got out his Savage with 75gr Amax and sent shots downrange. His loads and scope weren't as dialed in as mine but he still put bullets in and around that mile rock. I bet with a better zero (had to holdover the rock) and more load tuning, that Savage would do very well.
This little project has proven to me, and others (30 shooters at the fun Shoot), that extreme range shooting is not just for the super big oomers. Small cals can make the trip and do so with a high degree of accuracy.
The unknown is whether the bullet will make the trip. Only one way to find out.....
Of course, bigger, faster, higher BC bullets make condition doping SO MUCH EASIER, but they also cost a mint to shoot and wear barrels quickly.
If you have the desire to really reach out and have a fast twist 223, consider loading up some 75 or 80gr Amax and send them way out there. It might surprise you at just how well you do.
My powder is Varget(loads within SAAMI specs as listed on the Hodgdon site/reloading manuals), lit by CCI 450 in Lee collet neck sized Winchester brass. Tried Lapua and was quite surprised that it wasn't all that great. Redding body die handles the shoulder bumping
and seating is handled by a RCBS 221 Fireball die. Runout is very low as measured on a Sinclair runout guage and import dial indicator.
The 80gr Amax are running 2825ish fps. The 75gr Amax 2950ish fps. You don't need high speeds. It's all going subsonic no matter how fast you leave the pipe.
Under calm conditions, hitting a PD at a mile with this setup would be possible and lethal.
PS, that weekend, I also sent some 139gr Lapua Scenars out of my 6.5 Mystic (260improved variant) to 2400yds. But that is another story....
Jerry shoots regularly out to one mile and also competes in F class. His current cartridges are 223, 6.5 Mystic, 7 Mystic, 308, 300RUM and 338 Mystic. He enjoys experimenting with gear and wildcatting in order to increase accuracy performance and to debunk accuracy myths.
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