Saturday, April 23, 2005

Hornady XTPs

I picked up 2 boxes of the Hornady 300 gr. XTP-MAG (45235). These are HPs like the 300 gr. XTP-HP ( 45230) but have a round nose as opposed to the the truncated cone shape and only one cannelure for use at the shorter length. In other words the cannelure is in the same location as the topmost cannelure on the XTP-HP. It should feed a bit better. As to construction and use in the rifle, I expect that performance will be very similar at the 1700 fps starting velocity I seem to be getting in my rifle although the BC is better being .200 vs .180. SD for both bullets is .210. Hornady's bullets can be see on their web site. The velocity range for the HP (45230) is 800-1700 and for the MAG (45235) is 1100-2100. These are both .452" bullets.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Just back from the range with results:

265 gr. Cast Performance WFNGC, 24 gr. H110, CCI350 primer for 1579 fps 1467 fpe 11 fps AD 14 SD

300 gr. Sierra JFP, 22 gr. H110, CCI350 primer for 1407 fps 1319 fpe 10 fps AD 15 SD (Note that this load came closest to shooting point of aim at 100 yards.)

300 gr. Hornady XTP-HP, 22 gr. H110, CCI350 primer for 1431 fps 1364 fpe 22 fps AD 30 SD Note: The bullet has been seated out to the second cannelure. I'm going to try it seated to the first cannelure. It does not feed well seated to the same length overall as the Sierra bullet!

Free recoil energy of these loads is about 17.5-18 fpe.

I had another interesting experience. 4 times I looked through the aperture to see no front sight. I just picked it up off the ground and stuck it back in. You see, the factory heavily greases these AND stakes them. As the base is a tapered wedge, you can reinsert them fairly accurately and if I choose to retain it, only need to stake the one end of the dovetail. It is my OWN fault that I removed the sight earlier and pending the results of my experiments, haven't correctly reinstalled it.

Of course there was a wind from 3 o'clock this afternoon so, combined with the front sight laterally shifting to the right, my groups were somewhat larger than expected.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I got to the range this afternoon AFTER this morning's rain. Got to shoot the following...

300 gr. Hornady XTP, 21 gr. H110, CCI 350 for 1449 fps, 1358 fpe, 4 fps AD, 5 SD
300 gr. Sierra JFP, 21 gr. H110, CCI350 Unchronographed
260 gr. Cast Performance WFNGC, 10 gr. Unique, CCI300 1215 fps, 868 fpe 4 fps AD 7 SD
145 gr. RB, 2.5 gr. Bullseye, CCI300 for 287 fps, 27 fpe 47 fps AD 48 SD

I've not got a photo yet, but some of these were below aiming point at 100 yards, the 265 gr. CP WFNGC was about right on and even the aforementioned 250 gr. Hornady XTP load was a good 6+ inches lower! Who knows what's up with that. Perhaps Ben Rumson is correct about how I handle the recoil. This is with the original factory front sight.

By the way, that front sight didn't move through all that shooting! It is practically a finger press fit and it stuck right through it all. Very interesting.

In any case, I think that I can find a load that will creat significant FPE and penetration and it right on at 100 yards. The current load with the 265 gr. CP WFNGC seems to be a good general purpose load. I think that if I speed up the 300 gr. bullets they will also come up on the target.

I can't say enough about how much I like the gun despite the situation with the sights. If I can find a couple of useful loads I'll be well satisfied.

However, if YOU plan to put a Williams Foolproof, Lyman 66 or other receiver sight on a .45 Colt or .44 Mag M92, mount it as low as it will go on the receiver. You WILL need the adjustment range.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I loaded 4 new loads (and the ramp ups) to test for velocity, accuracy and compatibility with the existing sight system on the EMF 92.

The bullets used in my .45 Colt handloads to date.

300 gr. Hornady XTP, 21 gr. H110, CCI 350
300 gr. Sierra JFP, 21 gr. H110, CCI350
260 gr. Cast Performance WFNGC, 10 gr. Unique, CCI300
145 gr. RB, 2.5 gr. Bullseye, CCI300

These are photos of the cartridges. The longest is 1.684" but still functions through the M92 action.

The longest of these cartridges is the load with the Sierra at 1.684" but the XTP has a second cannelure and can be loaded out to that length. Both will probably take the max load of 22 gr. H110 which should be very similar to that load as I use it with the 300 gr. bullet in the .44 Mag.

I've yet to use H4227 and Lil'Gun, both of which should provide slightly higher velocities if the manual is correct.

Yes, I have received the new .600" (measured from bottom of dovetail) Marbles sourdough front sight but haven't installed it yet. Perhaps my reloading will negate that necessity. That would be good as the sight will require modification, a lot of grinding, to use. I'd just as soon save the sight for another project if I can.
A comparison shot of the the factory front and the Marbles replacement. The Marbles must be extensively modified as most of the sight forward of the dovetail would have to be removed to avoid the barrel band!

This brings up another subject, removing and installing front sights. In this case the base of the original front sight was tapered in thickness to wedge into place in the center. It was heavily greased in the dovetail and can almost be removed and installed by hand but didn't come out after firing many rounds of heavy reloads. This is why one removes left-to-right and installs right-to-left. Not everyone does this sort of thing but enough do that it pays to adhere to this procedure.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

As the saga of my new EMF Hartford 92 .45 Colt continues I've more to report.

Yesterday I went to the range thinking that I might have solved the problem with zeroing the rompin' stompin' .45 Colt loads using H110 and the Hornady 250 gr. XTP. At 1778 fps, these are so fast that the .065" sight change made didn't do the trick. Well, now here's a puzzle, it did do the trick with the much slower 225 gr. Winchester Silvertip factory loads! It may have lowered the POI of the heavy hitters by 2" but brought the Silvertips down the entire, calculated, 11". So, what is up with that? As it is, the gun shoots high with the XTP load even at 150 yards!

In the photos below, you can see what happened on March 31st and what happened yesterday. I know that yesterday's group gave a better impression of the accuracy of the system with the various loads but it did rather raise another problem. One should note that we had a 25-30 mph quartering to cross wind! Had one gust I thought would take the roof off the shooting bench shed!

The question is, what to do? Well, one thing is to go to slower but heavier bullets OR bullets of about the same weight but slower OR lighter and faster bullets. I think that the last option is the least suitable given my intended use. It certainly isn't much good if I can't zero the system with usable ammunition at a reasonable range.

Brownell's does sell a sourdough front with the necessary height (.600") of over ½". That should also work to allow the adjustment necessary. Another thing is that the sourdough allows ½ the bead diameter in additional "height" because of how it is used to bisect the target as opposed to being placed over the target. If that doesn't work...

However, I did want to try heavier bullets and have order the Sierra and Hornady 300 gr. jacketed to try as well as the Cast Performance 260 gr. WFN. I also have the Lee Alox to lube some roundball to load over 2.5 gr. of Bullseye for a close range squirrel/rabbit load.
These are the targets from the two days.