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Thread: Ranch Dogs in my .308

  1. #1
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    Default Ranch Dogs in my .308

    I finally got around to shooting my first tests in my Rem788 of the Ranch Dog 180grFNGC hunting bullet. My 4895 test ladder started with a much reduced charge as per the reduction formula for extruded powders, working up to the jacketed START load in five one-grain increments. I got a chance to shoot two 5shot groups of loads #1 & #2 off a sandbag @ 100yds. Load #1 gave me a 5" wide by 1" high spread and a nice tight 2.5" group. Load #2 gave me a 4shot of 4" and a 5shot 7" pattern. Maybe there is an accuracy node 1gr below my starting load. I will speculate further when I have shot loads #3-5 and see how they do. I hope for an accuracy node at a higher velocity, but it's up to the rifle, not me. We'll see. Other powders to test, too. That one group tells me the bullet has potential.

    I have three other good .30cal hunting bullets too, but I wanted to try these .30Ranch Dogs first as I have been so pleased with the 190gr .35cal version in .357mag and .35rem Contenders. So far a .300Sav and several different .30-30's love them, they're proven deer and moose killers.

    I've been wanting to try them in my .308, but first I had to shoot up 300rds of tests with target bullets already loaded, to free up the brass to try the RD's. I have a box of 50 empties I'll fill with 3031/RD tests, and after I shoot up the rest of these 4895's some 4064/RD's too. That will tell me if the rifle likes the bullet. If it does, I have four more powders to ask its opinion of with the same bullet to see just how accurate it can be. I'm really just looking for an accurate (2.5-3" 5shots @ 100yds) deer hunting load for the rifle. If I can get an accuracy node above 1700fps with one of the first few powders I try that would be nice too. I'd settle for 1400-1500 if I could get consistent groups under 3" with a load, but I'd choose one faster, 1800-2000 in a perfect world, or even 17-1800 that still stayed under 2MOA for a bit flatter trajectory if I could find an amenable powder.

    I'd kinda like to find a cast hunting load as accurate as the rifle is capable, .5MOA with 150 & 165 Sierra GK's, though I might find the rifle chooses instead the 120gr soupcans, or the 150gr custom FNGC's, or the old standby 180gr 311041's, or the RCBS 180FNGC that my K31 loves. But its always nice to find a rifle's favorite bullet on the first or second try.

    I tend to forget thirty years back when I spent two years of testing dozens of different 125-165gr jacketed hunting bullets after I first got this rifle and found out how accurate it is and found its favorite loads. Then I loaded up a couple thousand of them in brand new cases, (both 150 & 165 SGK bullet loads have a common POI between 100-150yds), some 165's but mostly 150's and a full box of nickel plated cases to carry while hunting.

    But gathering dust in the corner I have a 20mm ammo can full of 50rd boxes of as-yet unfired tests loads of one kind of jacketed hunting bullet or another for the rifle, every time I finish another box of 50 I can reload them with more cast hunting bullets. Still haven't fired three 50rd 180gr JSP & JRNSP tests, loaded them twenty years ago, perhaps I should pull them, still have the partial boxes I loaded them with in the bullet stash. There are a bunch of other half remembered jacketed bullet tests in there too, just incompleted notes in the loading logs of the time and they don't make many of the bullets anymore. 1000rds or so I should pull that my collet puller would pull easily. I could better use the brass and have more fun with it, no need to neck size if I load cast in them, just need to expand the necks a tad. I guess I just thought myself up a lot more work.
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

  2. #2
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    No shooting today, maybe tomorrow or Sunday.
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

  3. #3
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    Well, it looks like the RD/4895 combo is a bust, but I still want to further reduce the charge and see if there is an accuracy node down there as groups have been opening up as I increased the charge all the way to shotgun patterns at the upper end. No leading in the barrel at all, that upper load has to be close to 1900fps, but it looks like it will stabilize at 14-1500. That's just an estimate - I won't dig out the chrono until I get acceptable and consistent groups, and I haven't with this bullet yet. One 2.5" group, but the second was 5" at that charge. It was the starting load on the test ladder I chose, but I could have started lower had I not been primarily interested in getting as much practicable velocity that I can with this hunting bullet. Seeing the test results it appears that reducing the charge ought to keep tightening the groups, if the start I chose isn't the itself the node, which would not be encouraging. I will reduce in two more increments to further test and load up more of the original starting loads to shoot enough groups for a decent average in a couple of weeks.

    But next week I have ready to shoot a box of fifty test loads with some 3031.

    I love shooting this rifle with these cast bullets. With jacketed bullets I do not want to shoot more than three rounds of 150's without a recoil shield. Just the pad on the rifle is enough for thirty to fifty rounds of cast loads with no discomfort despite having the vertebrae in my neck seriously violated by licensed torturers with heavy equipment in March. It recoils about like a .243/.260/6.5swede, not like a .308 with 180gr bullets. How can you not like that? It's a light bolt action with a peep sight, no optics, I'm thinking it weighs around six pounds, maybe six and a half at the very most with sling and a full 3round mag and one up the pipe. I last shot jacketed 180's in it in my 20's when I bought it, shortly before I put the recoil pad on it.

    The rifle doesn't get very hot with these cast loads either. Five rounds of jacketed and it won't pass the johnson test. Too hot. It has to cool off for a while before I can shoot a second 5shot group. After twenty of cast the barrel is warm, but it is not hot enough cause any discomfort if you were to lay a hand on the barrel over the chamber and muzzle-ward. It easily passes the johnson test. After thirty shots in ten minutes it finally gets hot enough to fail the test and I have to let it cool off for however long before resuming. It will be even nicer when I get some decent groups, too. Patience will be rewarded eventually. If not with this bullet then with one of the others.

    I have some test loads of these RD's for the K31 to try out, too. It shoots everything well, including three cast bullets I've tried so far, but even though it shoots them MOA loaded singly, it will not feed some of the blunter cast designs. It won't feed soupcans or those custom 150's the leverguns love. But it will feed dummies with seated and crimped RD's, so they're up next for testing in it. But that will be in another thread.
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

  4. #4
    NRA Distinguished Life Kirbydoc's Avatar
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    Hey Versifier did you post a pic of the K31 at one time? If not could you?

  5. #5
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    Custom K31, Leupold 3x Scout scope

    Name:  K31 Custom (2).jpg
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    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

  6. #6
    Frenchie of the South SkyKid's Avatar
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    Vers
    I saw an ad for a scope mount on a k31
    It attaches via the action screws
    Don't remember where I saw it
    Last edited by SkyKid; 10-21-2014 at 08:38 PM.
    Camper at RLB Fest 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010 and 2012
    Hosted 2011 in New Hampsha ya I did
    Proud owner of a 264RLB #4

  7. #7
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    That one attaches to the rear sight base, like a Mauser scout setup. It's low and very stable. I got it from someone on the Swiss Rifles forum, but that got taken over by Yuku recently and I deleted my membership there. It's very like the BSquare Mauser and other milsurp mounts that replace the rear ladder sight, but it has a bunch more setscrews for added stability. I really like it. I would put a red dot on it to hunt with, but that 3x scope is fine for all the 100yd testing and offhand target shooting that I use it for. The mil sniper version had the scope mounted off center on the left of the action and I didn't like that idea at all. It has a detachable mag, but it is numbered to the action and you never find surplus mags available for them ever, so I don't generally remove it. From what I have read, the Swiss didn't either. They generally loaded them with stripper clips through the top of the action, but I do it singly like any internal mag bolt gun as no one is shooting at me.
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

  8. #8
    Frenchie of the South SkyKid's Avatar
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    Vers
    I found were I saw it
    It was in American Rifleman
    Made in the States company called
    Swiss Products and available at Grafs.com
    http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/...roductId/25106
    It's a little steep in cost
    Camper at RLB Fest 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010 and 2012
    Hosted 2011 in New Hampsha ya I did
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  9. #9
    Bah Humbug! Hellrazor's Avatar
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    Its an expensive and ugly looking one too.
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    NRA Endowment Life Member

  10. #10
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    That mount from Graf's won't fit K31's, just the older ones S/R 1911's. And like HR said, it's expensive AND ugly.

    My mount cost around $75, six or seven years ago. I'm sure someone on the Swiss Rifles forum can tell you where to get one, but I won't post on a Yuku forum.

    None of those setups pictured in Graf's or Brownell's are worth installing for my money. The clamp-on's are for rimfire scopes - like they would work under recoil. The d&t mount goes over the receiver like a standard mount. It would be fine for a long distance target rifle though.

    Many of the mounts on the market require the scope be mounted offset to the left or the right instead of over the bore. (Swiss sniper rifles had them offset to the left, but they aren't really K31's - there were other modifications.) They're on drugs if they think anyone is going to make those work at varying ranges. I do like the peep-style target sights they make for them, but I am more than happy with my current setup.

    Check out this site: http://www.swissrifles.com/
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

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