Monday, October 28, 2002

While it has been raining, I've been filling cases and making new .30 Herrett brass.

One thing though... Last week I had an interesting experience.

I've got a .35 Rem barrel for my Contender. A factory 21", I got it when I got my first frame. Data from the late Mel Sorg helped me get it up and running. I do mean running. While I won't repeat the data here, it would push a 180 at 2400+, 200 at 2300+, and 220 at 2100+. Still, case expansion did not exceed safe limits. I thought all was well and fired over 100 rounds of this ammo through the barrel. Even took it hunting. Last week, while waiting for my ISP to come back on line, I managed to get to the range with this barrel to check relative zeroes with the various loads. First up, the 220s. First round in the bull at 25. Right where it should be at this range. Second round, side by side with the first, but... the case stuck AND it bent the extractor. This is a sure sign of excessive pressure in the Contender.

Well I couldn't unload it and so right back in the case it went and right back home I went. Very simple to do, I removed the extractor and soon discovered it wasn't repairable and so I ordered 2 more (+ 2 more of the springs for rimless extractors and 2 more hammer springs, just in case). Now I've broken down all the 220 grain bulleted ammo and will take the barrel out (with a rod to knock out cases) and see just how it does with the 200s and 180s.

Why is this interesting? Because in 5 years of storage the ammo went from OK to over the top. I may have to drop a full 2 grains (about .5%) of the charge. Velocities should drop to 2200, 2100 & 1900 fps respectively. Acceptable, but not the barn burners I thought I had. However, they will be safer and not just for me but for those who take my guns (and ammo) once I've moved on to the "other side"!

No comments: