Dumb newbie question

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by copasj, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. copasj

    copasj Member

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    I am just trying to get started at shooting extended distances. So please offer any advise that you can. My equipment is as follows.

    Rifle: Remington 700P
    Scope: Nikon Buckmaster 6x18x40 SF BDC
    Mount: Leupold 1 piece 0 MOA
    Rings: Leupold twist in place

    My current load is as follows.

    Brass: Winchester
    Primer: CCI-200
    Powder: IMR-4064@44.0 grains
    Bullet: Hornady 168 A-Max
    Velocity: 2713 (2716 discounting highest and lowest for reloader error)
    SD: 16 (9 discounting highest and lowest for reloader error)
    ES: 54 (29 discounting highest and lowest for reloader error)
    Ambient Temp: 55 degrees + or -

    Firstly, does this load look safe to you more experienced folks? I am seeing some primer flow, but even factory rounds show primer flow in this rifle. Reloads start showing primer flow at about 2575-2600. I am guessing the firing pin hole my be over-sized. Is there anything else I should be looking for as far as pressure is concerned? I normally try and keep my reloads away from top velocities, but this rifle seems to like the top end of the load data. Although it is about 1 grain less than the average max charge weight from 5 different sources, it seems to be right at the top of the average max velocities from the sources.

    Secondly while groups looked about as good as I can do at 100 at just under an inch, they were about 1" right with 1" vertical dispersion and 2.5" horizontal at 200. At 300 there was about 2.5" vertical and 4" horizontal dispersion and about 3" right. I was making no corrections for wind, which was gusty but mild left to right at about 90 degrees. Does this sound like wind pushing the groups right and causing the horizontal stringing to you also?

    I would like to use this load and rifle for coyote, and next year for deer and black bear. At this point I doubt I will feel comfortable past 300 yards unless I can get the stringing under control. But I would like to push it farther than that if I can.
     
  2. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    what cal is this, 308?
     
  3. copasj

    copasj Member

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    Doh, and there I was trying to be thorough. And I left out the caliber. But yes .308 Win, COAL 2.825
     
  4. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    does this rifle still wear the factory bbl?
     
  5. copasj

    copasj Member

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    Yes, it still has the factory barrel, 26" with 1-12" twist. In the interests of full disclosure the rifle started life as a 700 SPS Varmint. I replaced the stock with a H.S. Precision PST008, but did not bed it. I torqued the action screws down as per installation instructions. From what I understand, that is the only difference between the 2 models.
     
  6. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    Everyone has their own expectations on what a factory rifle will do. I lost most hope with factory rifles about 10 years ago in terms of accuracy beyond 350 yards with respect to repeatability. i.e., if I got a great load at 400 yards in a rifle, that accuracy was not consistent from day to day or month to month. And most of my rifles are Remingtons.

    Everything changed when I got handlapped barrels and actions blueprinted.

    So, your remmy factory bbl may be better than any of mine, I don't know. The 308 is a very accurate caliber, so keep working with it. It will do substantially better than what you have reported. Don't beat the barrel up with lots of cleaning either but still take care of it.

    If the rifle will do it, you should easily cluster 4-5 shots inside of 4" at 400 yards with the right load. You may be able to do better, but the rifle will tell you that.

    JMO, but consider 3 things if your rifle leaves you wanting: handlapped barrel, trued action, proper bedding with either marine tex gray or probed 2000, the latter being the best in my opinion.
     
  7. copasj

    copasj Member

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    As it is, I figure the rifle can out-shoot me. I will spring for a new barrel and action printing and such if I ever get to the point that I feel the rifle is holding me back. But I figure that money is better spent on bullets currently =p.
     
  8. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    Ok, make sure you do repeatable case prep and keep them as consistent as you can. I weigh each charge, first thrown from a Redding BR30, then trickle the rest. Keep testing seating depths and make sure you check runout.
     
  9. copasj

    copasj Member

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    Currently I am using a RCBS chargemaster. I recalibrate it at the beginning of each set of loads. Case prep is definately something I need to work on. Of the 10 rounds I shot over the chrony for a sample, if I cherry pick the best 6 I end up with a SD of 4 and ES of 8. Thats telling me I need to work on my brass prep. I have also thought of setting the chargemaster to .1 grains under weight, and then trickling until it just hit's the target weight. That would significantly slow down the process. At this point I am not sure if the additional work and time would be worth the gain, as I am not convienced I can really capitalize on it yet.
     
  10. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you if most shots to be taken will be in the 400 yard range and under as an example. Beyond 4-500, extra methodology is prudent for eash step of the reloading process.

    Just like shooting to roughly 300 yards: in most instances a flat based bullet is more accurate over a boat tail. Beyond that, is where the boat tails shine. Inside of 300, you really can't tell in a hunting situation. Well, maybe some hunters can, but I never could.
     
  11. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to LRH first of all, Lots of good information here and on other threads on this site. Some of the articles are great info for beginskis too.

    I wouldn't worry about a little primer cratering, but if they are flattening out and filling the small gap between the primer and edge of the pocket.....they are gettin hot. If you see flattened primers and sticky ejection/extraction, then back er down. Measuring case head expansion with a micrometer is also a useful tool sometimes to estimate pressure (use the measurements from once fired factory ammo vs once fired reloads to benchmark from........before and after for each).

    Q..........was your group shooting done from a solid bench or otherwise dead solid control? Assuming it was, then yes; your horizontal stringing could have very likely been caused by wind and maybe even a combination of spin drift and wind. I don't usually get to shoot in dead calm conditons, so I am unsure how much spindrift there is at 300 yds. Even if I do shoot in calm cond's, my sight in is generally 300 yds anyway, so the effects are masked to begin with.

    When you say winds were light but gusty........in my neck o the woods, that means 3 to 12 mph.?? That being said, wind gusts could quite easily account for a couple inches of horizontal at 300 yds plus the normal horizontal of your group with no wind at all.:)

    There is also a slight possibility of canting or scope adjustments being off the advertised amounts, but these are a totaly different subject really.

    IMO, you are on your way to shooting beyond 300 yds quicker than you think:D

    Coyotes vitals are smaller than they look, by a long shot. There is about 3 inches of fur and 6 inches of vitals (vertically speaking). Line up 4 beer cans standing right next to each other (or soda cans if you prefer) if you can knock one of them over (at whatever distance) then you are shooting coyote vitals (broadside shots anyway, head on shots will give you more vertical but alot less horizontal to play with).

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  12. copasj

    copasj Member

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    I would guestimate wind from 0-5 mph. It was gusting up faster, but I was holding my shots when it was getting fast. I was shooting from a bench, although I did fire the last group from prone off a bi-pod. According to the ballistics program I just installed on my Droid, it says a 5 mile an hour wind from 9 o'clock should cause 4.2" of drift and .5" with no wind. That seems to be matching up with my results. I think at this point I need to pay more attention to the wind. Handy little program this is. Thanks for the info!
     
  13. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Ya hit the nail on the head there buddy! I've been priveledged to live and shoot/hunt in Wyoming where the wind hardly ever quits. Shooting 22 centerfires (.2 BC's) out to around 700 yds really teaches a person how critical the wind is and how bad it can make a person miss!

    On my range here at home, I've got wind flags set up any time I shoot groups or test ammo. They aren't the best (only a strap of surveyors' ribbon) attached to steel fence posts but they help tell the story when the shot went off.

    A semi gusty 8 to 12 or 15 mph wind will move myself and the portable shooting bench enough (easily plus/minus 1/2 moa) that I'll try and shield myself with a cutbank or even the pickup if possible.......Good for steady hold but bad for calling the wind because I can't "feel it". The worlds best shooters will read the wind via mirage, but at 10 mph or above, mirage is laying pretty flat and kinda useless.

    Shooting prone and bipod lessens the effect of the wind blowing myself off target, but at the sacrifice of a less consistent hold............I need practice on that.

    Another suggestion........when trying to read the wind, if you can hear the change you're better off. Often, I can hear the wind change speeds before I see it on the flags (downside to wearing hearing protection) the Electornic Muffs or Walkers game ears still allow hearing without damaging noise.

    You're welcome, and once again; Good Luck!:)