Re: APS Big Boy!
Well my friends, today was the day. By good shooting conditions standards it was pretty bad but compared to what we have delt with for the last several weeks, pretty darn calm, only 10-15 mph winds!!! Only problem was it was 18 degrees when I got up but I decided I had to suck it up and test some rifles and a big handgun before I had customers giving up on me.
For Ernies XP used a load of 103.0 gr Retumbo under the 250 gr Accubond which proved to be a good comfortable load.
I set up at 670 yards on a lightly snow covered side hill to get the XP close to point of aim. The snow DRAMATICALLY helped me see where the XP hit at as the recoil was enough to jump it off target shooting off 12x but there was a very clear and well defined impact crater left in the fresh snow.
Took three shots to get it close and then I put a pair of shots literally on top of each other at this range. Figured it was time for some longer range. Because it was cold and I wanted to just test her at long range to see if it met standards and then let the real shooter deal with the details, I set up at 1375 yards. There was a 3/4 moa target rock that was laying in the middle of a bare snow covered bowl which was bare dirt under the snow. Impacts would be clearly seen even if I missed the actual impact. That did not turn out to be a problem though as I was able to recover from recoil at this range and see every shot land.
Took a couple shots to see where I needed to hold on the TMR reticle to get close to the target rock. Again, I was not overly concerned about hitting the rock, just wanted to get close and the actual impact in the snow would give me a much better idea of group size then actually hitting the rock.
First shot landed roughly a foot low of the target rock, dead center horizontal. I was dealing with some variable winds from right to left but at my location it was very hard to read them. Second shot was easily within 3" of the first. Third shot landed just above the first two but so close that it still left only a single crater in the snow. I put five rounds total through the XP and when all was said and done, the total impact crater was smaller then the target rock which again was roughly 3/4 moa measured off the TMR reticle. Now figuring that the actual center to center impacts were much smaller then the actual visable crater, I was very satisfied with the results. Especially considering this is a pre break in barrel and the first load I put through it.
I also wanted to test the barrel when it was warm just to make sure that bolting directly to the barrel shank would not cause any accuracy issues when the barrel warmed up. I found another target rock just to the side of the first one and shot another three shot string while the barrel was still warm. First and third again were so close it looked like same crater impact. Second shot landed about 8" to the left but I totally believe that was blown by the wind as I my right cheek felt the wind pick up just as the trigger broke. Still height wise, it was perfect. All 8 shots had no more then 5" vertical spread on them.
Put her away and am fully confident that she will perform pretty darn well in much more capable hands. These load were with the freshly fireformed brass and it appears that muzzle velocity was very consistant, if it was not, it made no difference on grouping at nearly 1400 yards.
I did not test the 300 gr SMK simply because I was under the impression Ernie wanted to use the Accubond for hunting but after reading his post here it seems he may want to go with the SMK. I have no doubt that it will perform at least as well as the Accubond in accuracy, especially when dealing with crosswinds. I have never seen an example where the 300 gr SMK would not shoot extremely well in a sound firearm and this one certainly seems to be that.
All in all, I am very happy with the end results. The XP was quite controlable on the bench. First shot she hit the brim of my hat pretty solidly but once I turned my hat around, it never came close shooting with full field of view on 12x through the Leupold 4.5-14x50mm Mark 4 LRT scope. I am sure 14x would have been just as easy. There was no hand discomfort of any kind but I did start to get a bit twitchy simply because I have not maintained practice with the big handguns and its a simple issue of hand grip control more then anything. The muzzle did not jump much at all.
My opinion was that most of the movement in the XP was caused by torquing of the handgun, something we simply can not eliminate completely with this class of chambering in this weight of XP. In all honesty, its a pretty light handgun for this class of chambering.
Anyway, she is proven to me. Will be heading to her new home in Wyoming here in the next day or so and I am sure you will hear much more about her from Ernie. Seems the double recoil lug design has worked as planned.
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
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Web Page: www.apsrifles.com