I think I'm closing in on getting all I can out of my shiny new VTR (in .308). It was always intended to be a deer rifle, not a tack driver. I've put about 100 rounds through it. 40 of which I wasted (that's another story found elsewhere on the forum).
Today was play with powders day. It was misting rain during the 1 hour drive to the range but when I got there it was dry. The humidity was high, temps were in the 60's, and the wind was out of the right rear quadrant at about 10 mph. The space down to 200 is about 1/3 blocked by trees and berms at the end and from 200 - 300 it's all blocked. I'm not sure how much affect the wind had but it did push the rounds to the left. That much was apparent. I'm hoping for no wind tomorrow so I can double check windage zero.
After I don't know how many years I finally ordered a bench rest. It's not here yet so I shot off of bags again.
I loaded 3 powders. H335, RE15, and TAC. I picked the charge for each powder that Sierra says would give me 2,700 fps because the voice in my head said to
or it was in the middle off the velocities listed in the manual. I strongly doubt that I got 2,700 fps from the stubby little rifle Remington calls a VTR. One of these days when I'm not rushing around trying to get a new rifle ready to hunt with I'll drag my Shooting Chrony out and verify that.
I had to re-zero at 200. I found out why "they" say not to use a tactical scope for hunting (f "they" by the way). The damned thing was off from yesterday by 4 clicks in windage and elevation. I guess it got bumped when I was cleaning it. I have no idea... but I set the turrets at zero this time so it will be easier to notice and reset. On the upside I just looked at how far off it was, twisted both knobs, and bingo... back on.
Once zero'd, which also doubled as fouling shots, I sent 3 from each powder, waiting between powder groups for the barrel to cool (by walking down to the target and marking the shots). It was pretty clear that RE-15 was going to win this test. I moved to 300. I did not measure the groups however the only powder that put 2 in the circle was the RE-15. Obviously shooter error is a possibility however the 300 yard data, though a small sample, seems to support that RE-15 is the better choice for the bullet / velocity / rifle combination.
Once set up on 300 I repeated the above test but only used 2 shots. This time I measured each shot and used the zero finder in LoadBase 3.0 to calculate group size. I held 1 MOA over center (still hit low) and center windage (ignoring the effect of the wind) and fired two shots, waiting between powders, as before, by walking down to the target.
2 shot 300 yard group sizes:
1.35" for RE-15
1.99 for TAC
3.6 for H335
I think I have a brain disease. When I first saw 1.35" for RE-15 I was bummed that it wasn't under an inch
I am over it now
Tomorrow we get to play with varying the charge of RE-15 for the same bullet / rifle combo and see if we can get a tighter group. One can always hope.
I'm a long way from where I started. My first impression was that the rifle was destined to be re-barreled and the triangle used for teaching my as yet unborn grandson about geometry and marketing, heavy on the marketing. I do have one minor bitch about Remington's genius idea about whacking off metal and selling it as a good idea. While it's true that the barrel cools quickly, it's also true, in my opinion, that when it heats up it wobbles around like crazy. Thankfully I have never had the need to shoot 5 plus rounds quickly. The barrel seems to be stable at about 4 fairly quick shots but after that it goes all over the place. It's especially noticeable at 300 and 200. I think that round barrels will always win but it's a conversation piece and it seems to shoot sub-moa if one puts some work into it.