Fri 7 Nov
Frankly, I was not expecting much. I was told not to expect great accuracy out of a $200 break open rifle. But I put a good scope on it anyway. Bushnell Elite 3200 10x40 Mil-Dot on Leupold rings.
I had the range to myself this afternoon at lunchtime.
Just to get it on paper I used Walmart value pack 55 gr FMJ at 35 yards. Not trying too hard. Ok, got it in the black. So, I set up targets at 100 yards. Dead calm. Set up on sandbags at the hinge and at the heel. Elevation adjusted by squeezing the bag. Very little contact with the rifle, just a light touch with my cheek. Pulled the trigger by pinching the trigger to the trigger guard with first finger and thumb. Concentration. Patience. Shot the group. Walked out to check the target. (Forgot my spotting scope.) First 3-shot group, measured by calipers edge to edge, was 0.82". Got kinda excited. Maybe just lucky. Walked back to the bench. Calmed down. Really concentrated on consistant sight picture and repeated it - 0.78".
Ran a brush and patch through the bore.
Switched to my handloads. Hornady 53 gr match HPs on top of 25.8 and 26.0 grains of H335 in Winchester cases and Winchester SR primers.
Using the first charge I got a 0.35" slightly cloverleaf hole with 3 shots and stopped right there. Ripped the target off the holder and ran over to the other range and showed a complete stranger my targets and babbled a bit.
I am very, very happy.
Sat 8 Nov
I went out again this morning but didn't stay too long. The wind was pretty strong, coming straight down the range into our faces. (For my logbook I'm going to put it down as an estimated 15 mph. I'm going to buy an anemometer.) Damn cold too. I went back and forth between my bench and helping an old guy with arthritis put the caps on his percussion rifle.) It opened my groups up a bit, but you can see there was little, if any, crosswind component. This is a 5-shot group at 100 yards. Yesterday, when it was calm, the cluster was slightly above the number 10.