Extreme range practice session with Black Sunshine(338 Allen Mag)..

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Fiftydriver, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Had a good couple days in the shop so I decided since it was actually pretty comfortable out, in the high 70 degree range, I would pack old Black Sunshine up and head up to the range to do some practice shooting.

    Last time I had her out when Richard Graves was down last week she was having some sticky case extraction. That was later proven to simply be a result of the very high heat and very long barrel combining for excessive pressure. Shot one of the old loads over the chrono and she tripped it at 3555 fps and should have been just over 3400 fps instead. I guess VV powder is not terribly resistant to temp changes.

    Anyway, I wanted to redo my load since I got my dies in from Hornady so I could do some serious load development and decided to start with Hodgdons new US869.

    140.0 gr produced 3425 fps and 138.0 gr clocked 3385 fps with extreme spreads in the very low teens so I just used this for my current hot temperature load and loaded up the 60 rounds of formed brass I had with the 300 gr SMK.

    This load is VERY mild, bolt flops open and case will pretty much fall out, just want I wanted for a long range load in Black Sunshine. I could easily load up to near 3500 fps but there is really no need.

    I decided I would only take one box of ammo(20rounds) and I filled two gallon milk and when I got up to my shooting area I set them in a location which is about as far as I can shoot in this location.

    Drove back to my shooting spot and set up the rifle and Wild range finder. The RF read 2225 meter which I ran the numbers in and converted to 2433 yards. I figured this would be a challange to say the least.

    The conditions were pretty good but my kestrel handheld weather instrument was reporting an 8 to 9 mph breeze directly from my 3:00 position.

    I dialed everything into the Exbal program and dialed in for the first shot which took most of my vertical adjustment in the IOR 9-36x 56mm. I was starting cold with this shot. I was zeroed around 400-500 yards so I figured I would take the first shot and see where it got me and work from there.

    At the first shot the 300 gr SMK landed only about 2 feet low but about 15 yards to the left of the right jug which I had decided to target first.

    Made a correction for the windage and shot again. This shot was again about 2 feet low but only a couple feet to the left this time. I had forgotten to comp for the low hit. I gave her another moa in elevation held for the windage using the reticles reference points.

    Shot #3 was a VERY close miss. Dead center horizontally but just over the jug, in fact the dust cloud origin was pretty much hidden by the milk jug.

    Shot #4 got caught up in a bit of breeze and again was carried a couple feet to the left.

    I decided to let the barrel cool at this point and was also hoping the breeze would settle down. As I waited the sun went behind a sizable cloud and after a couple minutes the mirage pretty much disappeared. It was still a bit breezy but better.

    I lined Black Sunshine up again and let shot number five go. Dead center horizontal but about a foot low.

    Lined up for shot #6 and watched the big SMK land just off the right side of the jug, inches away if that.

    Lined up for shot #7 and took the same hold. I recovered from the recoil in plenty of time to see the water filled jug simply explode. I flipped off my muffs and waited for the "POP" to carry back to me and sure enough it did loud and clear.

    I was a bit suprise at how violently the jug had burst. The farthest jug I had hit to this point was about 1500 yards with my 338 Kahn and it was not very dramatic, what a difference 500 fps makes!!!

    I let her cool some more and while I was waiting the cloud moved on and the mirage came back. I shot 8 more shots at the other milk jug but did not score a hit. four of those shots were so close it almost hurt though.

    At that range, simply a matter of luck to some degree. I am plenty happy to hold moa at that range and a 24" circle will leave alot of air around a milk jug.

    I did notice some vertical fliers when shooting at the second jug. I suspect sorting my SMKs will greatly reduce this variation. The wind was constant and horizontal variation was well under 18" for those 8 shots but vertical was in the 4 foot range at the extremes.

    I took several pics and will post them asap but huntingpictures.com is not accepting my uploads right now. Will try later.

    I was very happy with the results. I shot 15 shots and of those, I would say 50% landed in a 3/4 moa diameter ring around the jugs. There were a few fliers. The worst of them was a hangfire!! Not sure if this was due to the load or bumping the shoulder back a bit to far on one of the cases when I was figuring out the Hornady dies. I suspect the latter but I may up the powder charge to 140.0 gr just to make sure, still would be an extremely mild load.

    To be honest, I just wanted to see if I could hit another small target at extreme range after that chuck hit. Most people will say the first hit is about 100% luck, everyone after that reduces the preceived luck factor significantly.

    I freely admit there is still a huge amount of luck involved but getting EXTEMELY close at that range is not as hard as I use to think it would be before Black Sunshine.

    Will post pics when I can.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     

  2. Black Diamond 408

    Black Diamond 408 Well-Known Member

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    Kirby,
    Sounds like you had a fun day! I am leaving for western Wyo on sunday, I'm taking Silver Heat(338 snipe-tac) with me for some long range desert shooting. I'm hoping for some mile shots. I have three different loads to try, 141grns of US869 shoots very well in my gun also(3400fps).
    The WC872 keeps lower pressures. I have also noticed the pressure spikes with US869 in hot weather. I was shooting 143gns @ 70deg temps, then at 90deg temps the bolt was firm to open and ejector marks on the cases.

    I talked to Shaner 2121 yesterday, he shot his snipe-tac for the first time last weekend, he said "i can't belive how fast the 300gn bullet gets on target" "Its a WMD for sure"

    These big 338's are fun stuff!
    [image][​IMG][/image]

    Dave
     

  3. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    BD408,

    I was using VV 20N29 when the pressures climbed as cause sticky bolt lift and extraction.

    Have you shot your 338 at 1 mile yet? keep us posted as to how it does.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  4. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    Kirby, Kirby, Kirby

    You getting to play with this big boy is just freaking killin me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Your results are just plain amazing and I think I may have my first ulcer getting excited about this big ol hog leg!!! I do have to admit i am pissed you are in the high 70's and I am melting in temps pushing 110!!!!!!!!!!!

    glad to hear you got the dies finally, you should have heard BJ on the phone sometimes to the die people about your stuff, little suckers got some spice in him!!!! The main guy at hornady is a fun guy to talk to though and he got a kick out of our endevours.

    You have a whole chunk of people in OK looking forward to our big rig showing up. Plus your pic of the 2370 kill on our huntin wall has sure drawn some comments, a couple of debat's, and a hell of a lot of praise!! Most of the people who see the pic say we should just send you to Iraq with a few thousand rounds and the prob would be solved!!

    Congrats again

    Wishing and waiting in Oklahoma
    Steve
     
  5. Black Diamond 408

    Black Diamond 408 Well-Known Member

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    Kirby

    Nah... i haven't hardly shot the darn thing, 500yds has been the top so far. Maybe 60 rounds through her. I havent tried the VV powder in mine, dont know if my bbl is long enough to burn it. I have enough test powder layin around the way it is. It has been just to darn hot to do anything outside.

    Later

    Dave
     
  6. bailey1474

    bailey1474 <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    How am I supposed to sleep now?????
     
  7. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Lerch,

    We have been in the 100s for quite a while also, not like you guys but to this Montana boy, high 70 and low 80 degree temps feel pretty damn good!!

    I know the waiting sucks!!! For some reason the BATs are talking longer then expected. So are the McMillans. The McMillans are running 5 months out pretty consistantly, going to put a serious bind on some of my customers rifles waiting on stocks. August and September will be interesting to say the least.

    Ya, everytime I post a pic about a long range hit I sit and think about it first. There have been more then one instance that a pic I posted was cut and pasted somewhere else where it was basically used as a reason against LRH. I wish we could find a way to prevent our posted pics from being pirated and used for someone elses purpose.

    That is a very small portion of people though but that is why I only post on LRH unless someone pulls me into a fight somewhere else.

    You will be throwing lead hopefully soon, at least as soon as I get the parts to show up!!! I just have to figure out what I am going to use to ship the monster down to you in!!!

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    [ QUOTE ]

    ....Most of the people who see the pic say we should just send you to Iraq with a few thousand rounds and the prob would be solved!!
    Steve


    [/ QUOTE ]

    No way, big mistake. Kirby is an amazing shot to be sure, but their are plenty of talented snipers. Besides, he needs to work on my guns. Kirby is far more valuable building long range hammers. I'd love to donate to a few that could be used in IRAQ.

    Here's a pic of the milk Jug I plan to take out at 2,000 yards.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

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    Re: Extreme range practice session with Black Sunshine(338 Allen Mag).

    Kirby:

    Knowing the gun and the shooter, your results don’t surprise me. To maintain approximately ¾ moa at over 2400 yards is impressive to say the least. The average shooter nowadays can’t even do that consistently at 100 yards, let alone anything farther out. I had no doubts that you could repeat the results achieved earlier on the chuck shot if conditions were favorable.

    When I read your post I tried to remember something that I don’t normally do and that’s what it was like when, like most of those here on this forum, 100 yards was considered a normal sight in range and 300 yards was hold over range and something that people didn’t really talk about much because it was more or less an unknown subject. Those of you reading about this field test, try to remember back when you first started and where you are now. Then you can even better appreciate something like this.

    I can remember when one of my “long range” guns was made by a fella named Biesen from up in the corner of our state, walnut stock and low power scope included. That was a long time ago and many, many guns, jugs of powder and who knows how many bullets gone by. Look at what the “long range” equipment is now days. Impressive to say the least, as are the current day shooters.

    I guess my point is, after all of this babbling, we tend to take this long range stuff for granted because we typically understand it and what it takes, even though most of us haven’t approached your distances. Not many people have any idea what a target the size of a milk jug looks like at 500, 1000 or 1500 yards let alone 2433 yards. If you were to show the normal, short range shooter/hunter a jug at even 500 yards and ask him to hit it, the first thing he’d probably say was “what jug”. They’d have trouble even finding and seeing it let alone even coming close to it. To do this at 2433 yards is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

    Don’t even give a second thought to the people elsewhere who don’t understand something like this, and because of their ignorance, will put it down. That’s what they do about everything they don’t understand and will never even come close to doing themselves.

    The only person you have to answer to is you and the only person that you have to keep happy is you. I’m pretty sure “Kirby” is feeling pretty good with what “he’s” done and I’d say that’s all it takes. If some of the rest of us congratulate you then take that as something extra by those that understand what it really takes, from inception of an idea such as “Black Sunshine” to the end results you are getting.

    For those interested, try setting a jug up at a true, measured distance from 1000 yards out to 2433 yards and then see what you think. If you’ve never done this at these distances you will be amazed. I kinda feel sorry for the guys back east etc. that are limited to distances of about 300-500 yards and less. That sure would be a bummer after living out here where you can sometimes shoot into the next county.

    But then, this is Long Range Hunting isn’t it. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Don't look back, but I think the "flatlanders" from down south in the heat/dust bowl are coming hot on your heels so just make sure their gun isn't quite as perfect as yours and then you'll be safe. Just kidding!!!!!!

    Oh yeah, by the way, Congratulations Again on a fantastic gun and some super shooting. Keep it up and keep us posted. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  10. Dan B

    Dan B Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Had a good couple days in the shop

    [/ QUOTE ]

    This had me excited before I ever read the remainder of the post! I know that my gun is one that is getting CLOSE to done...yyyiiippeeeeeee!!

    Anyhoo...that is amazing shooting Mr. Allen. I can't think of a place in PA that I could launch a bullet at that kind of range.
     
  11. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    Re: Extreme range practice session with Black Sunshine(338 Allen Mag).

    Sounds like a great break from the grind.

    Man I send ya a progress report, and there ya go, just got to go out and reset the bar again. Now I gotta start savin milk jugs. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    70 degrees, shoot it barely breaks into the high 70's here over night. I did however notice what you were talking about with the clouds last Sunday. The only problem was they just wouldn't sit still for very long.

    For now though I will just have to practice up at 1K, and see if I can figure out how to shrink my groups. Till the cotton gets cut, it blocks out our longer marked ranges.

    Keep up the good work,
     
  12. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Bill,

    How did ya sleep?? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    If it was up to me you guys would have had your rifle a month ago!!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  13. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    B1G_BORE,

    I do not think you would have a problem hitting that "jug"!!

    I agree with you, there are much better marksman already over in the sandbox. I am working on some rifle ideas that may well make their job easier but we will have to see how they work out.

    The right men are over there, thats for sure!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  14. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    If you don't mind me asking, what chamber pressure is this rifle designed for? I am guessing that you are in the 60ksi range, but just a guess.

    edge.