I was going to head out to my range yesterday but the weather was not good for testing, very windy so I decided I better work a little, I am sure many of you will be glad to read that [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]!!
Anyway, got up this morning and it was snowing!!! Not for long though as the clouds broke at about 7:00 AM and I was packing up to test the big 338 AM at long range for the first time.
My goal was to test at a range between a mile and 2000 yards so I headed out to my REAL long range shooting place but found they were spreading fertilizer on the fields to that was out. Decided to go to my other range which does not allow as far a shot but still, plenty of range for this initial range test.
WHen I got there the conditions were simply amazing, hardly any wind and just a thin cloud cover. By the time I got the steel plate set up and drove back to my shooting location, the clouds had cleared and the mirage was picking up. Not bad though and the lack of any real wind was a huge bonus as it generally howls at this range.
I set up the video camera to shoot over my shoulder and then set the rifle up in the bags. Took several range readings with the Swari RF which reported a range of 1471, 1472 and 1470.
I plugged in all the numbers in the Exbal program and it told me to give her 28 moa up and 1 moa for the slight breeze.
I sqaured the rifle and loaded the first round and touched the trigger on the big 338. She rolled lazily back into my shoulder and I recovered just in time to see dust boil up about a foot or so high and to the right of the plate. This was out of an oily barrel so I loaded another round in her to make sure the barrel was free of all oil.
This shot looked to land very close to the first, within 5" it looked like at that range.
I took 1 moa out of the vertical and took anther round. This one landed just to the right of the plate but the vertical looked right. The breeze was obviously pushing me a bit shooting across the big coulee so I game the NXS another 1/2 moa into the wind.
I let the barrel cool a bit and then was going to shoot three for real and see if I could get them on steel.
I settled in for the first shot and at the recoil of the rifle I recovered and did not see much but heard a metalic twanggg!! One on steel.
On the second shot I took the same hold and this time when the trigger broke I slipped my muff off my left ear to welcome the impact as it floated back to me. I fired another and was greeted with the same response.
It sounds so damn neat I just had to give her another for a four shot group and again I heard the ring come back across the coulee.
I figured that was enough, I had 4 shots obviously on steel at nearly 1500 yards and on video as well. I replayed the video and sure enough you could here the impacts on the tape!
I packed everything up and drove back to the plate. When I walked up to it I was very happy to see the results.
Had I cut off the scrap off the right side of this plate which I was going to do and still plan on doing, I would have missed the plate totally! Still all four shots contacted steel.
In this pic you can see the four impacts. There are two basically on top of each other at the top of the plate on and then one down and to the left and another down and to the right. The group measured right at 7.5" ctc which is basically right on 1/2 moa which for 1500 yards I will take every time I go out.
The load I used was as follows:
300 gr SMK
149.0 gr WC872
Average velocity 3490 fps
From this test it is pretty clear to me that a 10" BAT receiver will easily handle the strain of hanging 40" of 1.750" diameter straight cylinder barrel off it and totally floating the barrel. The group was a nice triangle pattern so what more could I ask for.
So for the first long range test, I am very happy with the results. I was not overly concerned about fine tweaking the scope as it will not be on there long as the new IOR 9-36x 56mm will be here Wednesday and she will be riding on the big 338. Then I will tweak her in good!!
For this test I was only using a 3.5-15x 50mm NXS nightforce. Anyone that says a scope of this power range is not useful at 1500 yards is flat wrong. Not the target picture is not huge but its plenty large enough obviously to place four shots within 7.5" at 1500 yards.
Also puts to rest any worries about the 300 gr SMK loaded to 3500 fps in a 1-10 twist barrel. Seems to be doing fine so far.
The 300 gr ULD RBBT Wildcats will be getting the go here as soon as the barrel is totally broke in. I just have a very limited supply so do not want to waste them doing minor testing just to have to resight in the rifle with the new scope.
More to come soon I hope. Maybe this weekend we will set up at 2000 yards and see if we can hold 10" groups!!!
Will let you know.