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.