Originally Posted by drenge
That is an interesting theory. I'd be very curious to see what your results are tomorrow at longer range. Let me know what happens. I'm shooting in a higher altitude (which usually changes the station pressure) so I wonder if the lighter bullets will be easier to work with. I'm using H4831sc in a 7mm RM with the 168 vlds. I have been unable to shoot because my rifle is with my smith getting some work done.
Usually I'm at 6,000 ft plus when I shoot. If the 4831 doesn't work well maybe I'll go to the H1000 or Retumbo to see if the slower burning powder helps at all...and of course play with my seating depth. I think it's correct to assume that if you can get your bullet to stabalize at a shorter distance you're going to have better accuracy.
I would try the lighter ones before I canned the barrel.
The gun we are using has been tested and proven to be very accurate (using 300 smk bullets) on my private range that is fairly well shielded from the wind on all four sides. Guns are/were tested both at 100 and 900 yards with the same loads and the performance was almost a perfect cone of dispersion. And, we deployed wind flags to enable us to detect wind conditions. Oh, and we only shoot until about 9:00 a.m. to eliminate any affects due to ground mirage. Not as good as the Houston warehouse, but for longer distances, it is hard to beat. Almost forgot, we shoot at a target board that is 8 foot tall and has white stripes to use as an aiming point when shooting the drop charts. Normally, with the gun(s) zeroed at 400, the shots will fall on the target board within an inch of the vertical centerline.
Anyway, I think the theory points to the fact that if you can't tune the gun in conditions that have the absolute minimum of variables to allow the shooter squeeze out all that can be had, that the gun really isn't finely tuned at all unless by dumb luck or happenstance.
Years ago when they were shooting indoors at the "Houston Warehouse" it was like area 51. Accoriding to articles and reports on the shooting sessions, strange things occurred there and they shot with aritificial lighting at night and the skylights in the daytime. The owner of the warehouse (Virgil) could tune guns like a piano tuner and (according to written accounts and witnesses) he routinely shot in the .020-.050" range. The reason he could do this was that all the variables that one sees on the range were eliminated. Only the errors in load construction, components, guns/barrels and shooter ability could not be eliminated and they put on quite a show. Gunsmiths and shooters from all over the country would come to Houston and test their theories, loading techniques as well as case prep techniques to find out what worked and what did not work. If he took the gun outside and shot, it would obviously not perform as it had indoors, but it was tuned as good as it could be. BTW, some of the "secrets" he had about getting the consistent tiny groups were never revealed. He was a fanatic not just about neck thickness, but about neck tension. He would only shoot groups with cases that had the same number of firings to ensure the work hardening and the hardening due to shooting were as close as he could get them. He also found that different barrel lengths has different harmonic affects and that at a certain length provided the most consistent performance on target. He would take a barrel that started out long and systematically cut say .250 off and then recrown and shoot it until it satisfied him. I am sure that if he took the information he gleened from shooting in his shooters paradise and applied to to long range shooting, that he would really turn some heads and put on quite an impressive show.
Shooting inside is an priviledge that I do not have, but I learned long ago that by eliminating as many variables as possible usually results in better shot groupings. I have never seen a situation where removing variables resulted in worst perfomance on target.
Remember, the wind blows individual shots both into and out of groups.
Hopefully you will get your shooting stick back quickly so you can have some fun.