Saturday, August 29, 2015

Another Contender...

Picked up the $310 Contender. Got the Weaver 92A base, Z-rings, Weaver 1.5-4X scope and mounted same after removing Aimpoint Mark III and base. I don't know why the previous owner felt the need on a .22 LR barrel, but he drilled and tapped it for the forward screws on the base even though he had the rear 4 on the Contender barrel. Anyway, I put in some filler screws. Shot some Aguila Colibri in it. Quiet enough that the wife and dog didn't pay any attention to it 20 feet away from them on the other side of the closed basement door. I now have an understudy barrel for the BR/Varmint pistol AND another frame for Contender carbines.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Range day...

Color me green, with envy.

Today I drove out to the range for the Thursday follies and stopped along the way, about 3 miles from the range, at a friend/co-workers house to drop off some bullets he'd been looking for but couldn't find. I pulled up and he stuck his head out of his "shop" to welcome me.

Now "shop" to describe this place of nirvana is totally inadequate but I am sure it meets the need of maintaining operational security. It is a typical old (about 1940-1950 vintage) outbuilding/garage measuring about 14x18 feet. It now has a period built standard 36" door. Stepping inside is a trip to a shooter's man cave dream world. Just inside to the right is a small wood stove. Behind that is a flat screen TV. Directly in front of the door facing the TV is a nice comfortable looking green easy chair. To the left is some shelving with the first of various shooting paraphernalia. Between the rafters, pasted to the bottom of the "attic" floor are targets and between some of the rafters shelves have been placed on which boxes of bullets have been carefully stacked. A HUGE Ft Knox gun safe takes pride of place along the left wall while on the right is a work bench with a neat little drill press, vices, tool boxes and so forth. Along the back wall is the loading bench with a double hung window just above it. To the right between the work bench and the loading bench are shelves filled with powder, loaded ammo and dies, on the left wall between the safe and loading bench are hung hunting clothes, and other stuff we all seem to accumulate.

I've always wanted such a place and have a very poor facsimile in my basement. My friend doesn't think he's rich but it seems to me that he is very well off indeed.

Time at the range was pretty good. There were already 2 others there shooting varmint rifles. I shot my M1 rifle at 100 yards. I was principally interested in the different points of impact for various loads out of various sorted cases. A clip of ball ammo drifted across the middle of the target roughly centered on the point of aim. The 8-rounds 155 gr. Sierra HPBT Match bullet over 46 gr. of H4895 cut a ragged just left of the point of aim with a group of about 1½-inches total. The rest of the ammo, loaded in Lake City, RP and Winchester brass using the Sierra 150 gr. HPBT Match over 47 gr. of H4895 made a pattern of about 5-inches total diameter centered about 4-inches above point of aim. Since the goal is to use the same point of aim for both factory ball and my reloads I think I'll be reducing the powder charge to 46 gr. of 4895 for my test. However, I've been really going through the H4895 and have about 9 lbs of IMR-4895 to use so may also switch to that. I have lots of brass to load and will likely need at least one more .30-cal ammo can in which to put up clipped reloads.

Shooting the 10" .223 Contender is improving. The load is 20 gr. H4198 under the 52 gr. Hornady HPFB Match (2250). This flat base bullet has been discontinued but it seems to be a good one. I have improved to the point that I can consistently shoot 5-shot groups of about 3" with some half that. I find it difficult to use the long eye relief scope and am still learning how to hold the gun on the bags for maximum steadiness.

I did make a Gunbroker purchase of a used Contender with a 10" .22 LR barrel and intend to use the rimfire barrel to practice more but I haven't received the barrel yet despite having delivered the MO and FFL last Thursday. THAT is a bit of a bummer.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Range day...

Had a good afternoon at the range. Met Frank P________ there and we shot on and off (while waiting for barrels to cool) and sat out a short lived downpour.

I tried some loads through the M1 Rifle and they did ok at 100 but I feel that they are bit too much and so will back off for the next test. I also shot a comparison between the Hornady 53 gr. HPBT and the 53 gr. HP Match bullet both loaded over 20.0 gr. of H4198 in the .223 Contender. It was a bit difficult to see much difference but I think that the flat base match bullet shoots a bit higher than the boat tail bullet. I am getting better with the gun though and think I've finally hit on a comfortable and repeatable benchrest grip for the gun. I did manage to put 5 of the BT bullets into a group about the size of a quarter albeit this out of 20 shots which would have fit on a playing card. Just getting more consistent with the gun and that takes practice. Next week I should be getting a 10" .22 LR barrel which should make practice with this gun and trigger a bit less expensive.

Frank was shooting a 6.5x55 Swedish M94 that had been sporterized with a Fajen stock, Williams FP receiver sight and Williams shorty ramp with gold faced post sight. The trigger doesn't feel like a military trigger but I haven't gotten to look at it to see what might have been done to it. It shot pretty well today and Frank thinks it is good enough to take a deer. It should do that. It is a neat gun and Frank was good enough to buy it before I did.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Range day...

A couple of weeks back I shot in a benchrest pistol/varmint pistol match. In the week prior I traded for a 10" .223 Rem barrel for the Contender, bought a 3-12X scope sight, mounted the sight and set up the pistol, bought some Federal factory ammo to shoot in the match and ordered brass and bullets for further ammo. However, I didn't have time to zero the gun or load any ammo. During the match my scope mount shot loose (the base screws weren't torqued tight enough) and I couldn't get zero with the amount of ammo I had to use. I STILL wasn't the lowest scoring shooter. Since then I've been working diligently to remedy that for next year's matches.

First thing though is to get the thing zeroed. I must be a dang poor shot. It has taken forever to get it right. Today, with help from Frank P________, I was able to get it zeroed. I do believe that as it is now I could be much more competitive than I was at the last shoot.

Also, while waiting for the Contender's barrel to cool, I shot the Webley MKIV a couple of cylinders full. It proved to be much less accurate from the bench than I expected. However I did empty some cases of those 146 gr. bullets.

The weather was absolutely beautiful. Calm to light breeze,75°F,and you couldn't have asked for better.