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Thread: Ranch Dogs in my .308

  1. #11
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    Ok, I got some range time yesterday and got to shoot the first three ladder increments with the RD's/3031.

    Not impressed so far, but I may yet be onto something. Every test teaches me something, often gives both answers and more questions. Load #1 with 3031 was shotgun patterns of 10-12", #2 tightened up to 8-10", and then #3 gave me two actual 6" groups. Next week with loads #4 & #5 will tell me if they continue to shrink as the charge levels increase and I might have a usable load at the accuracy node (if there is one). Patience is the key. This is one of the most accurate rifles I own, so I KNOW what it can do. Just a matter of finding the right load, right bullet so it can do it with cast too.

    Here is the interesting thing I learned from this session: I am noticing that with 3031, unlike 4895, the 100yd POI is getting much closer to POA. (The rifle is sighted in for its favorite 150&165gr jacketed loads - I never move the sights unless I have to in a rifle that is all set up for a specific load, and this one has been so set for more than 30 years. If I find the tack driving cast load I'm looking for, I will move the sights to accommodate it, but I will not until or unless I do find it.) POI with last 3031 load was printing 3" low and left as opposed to about 16" low and 12" left with all of the 4895 loads, if they grouped or not. 3031 results are much different: Load #1 groups were 12" low and 3-4" left, #2 were 4-6" low and 4" left, and #3 were 3" low and left, so the POI is coming closer to POA as the groups tighten up. Odd, but I'm not complaining at all. If it shoots a 4" group or better on the paper (so I don't have to move the sights and can carry short and long range loads in different mags) with one of the next two tests I'll be good-to-go, but I'm not taking any bets at this point, just thinking positive. There is an equal chance they will open up instead of tightening up. I shot ten rounds then walked out to check POI. The rifle was barely warm so I resumed shooting. After then shooting four more 5shot groups is less than ten minutes the rifle still passed the johnson test, warm, but not too hot to continue shooting if I'd had enough light to do so.

    Still too early to be sure about these .30RD's, but I don't think that 2.5" group with the 4895 a few weeks ago was a fluke. Some more testing with both powders will determine if there is a lower velocity accuracy node with the 4895 as well as if there is a higher velocity one with the 3031.

    I do miss the easy access I had to the old club before I moved here when I could shoot four or five days a week if I wanted to and had the time. Back then I could test one bullet per rifle per week, not just one powder/bullet combination every two weeks. Testing has been a lot slower since, but I much prefer the private range on my buddy's farm even if it's just once or occasionally twice a week. There is no way I am going to have a cast deer load for this my favorite deer rifle this season unless a miracle happens in next week's test firings, but it's not like I have any shortage of choices of cast hunting loads in other rifles, I'd just prefer to carry my favorite old friend. I have a 16" .35rem Contender Carbine with peep sights that will do just fine with a 180gr .35RD bullet, and a 24" .30/223 barrel with a soupcan load. I think I'll put the .35rem barrel on it when I get a minute and shoot some rounds through it next week too just in case.

    I saw a large deer crossing the road in front of me on the way home in the dark, couldn't see if it had antlers, but from what I saw of its south end it was over 150 easy.
    Last edited by versifier; 10-29-2014 at 07:47 PM.
    "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. #12
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    This is becoming the working notes for another damned article. It will take months to get all the data together for it though but it will be worth the effort I think, maybe saleable but I doubt it. No one profits from cast bullets except hunters and shooters and that doesn't sell magazines. Me mother wanted me to be a doctor; I wouldn't listen. My daughter did that instead. There's no money in poetry either.
    "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. #13
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    Tomorrow we will have a good long afternoon session and not be fighting sunset. Maybe we will get some answers about the RD's.

    Article draft is nine pages. Even if I cut a bunch out (and I will) it's way too long for an article already and only half way done. When I got started I realized that I don't want to write a short magazine-style article about firing showcased loads of a few different bullets. I want to write about the actual process of working up searching for and working up the cast load for my trusty deer rifle, and all the steps and the months it actually takes to do the job as thoroughly and as completely as I can with the hunting bullet moulds I have on hand to explore the rifle's abilities with. Looks like it may have to be a chapter in a longer work, or several chapters as it progresses. Oh well, the idea wouldn't have sold to a magazine anyway even if I could have kept it to 1500 words and the unlimited longer format will give me the freedom to do it in the detail I have in mind to. I suppose I can put it and a dozen short articles and some longer pieces on casting, loading, shooting and related topics all together in a collection of 300-400pages. That might work and it might even be marketable. I have plenty of material. But I still have to do quite a bit more shooting before I can finish this part of it. And then we'll see how much motivation I still have to put it all together when I get through writing it all up.
    Last edited by versifier; 11-04-2014 at 07:15 PM.
    "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. #14
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    So, I have some answers, but not necessarily the ones I was looking for.

    I finished the 3031 tests, hoping for some decent groups and almost found them. Load #4 gave me a 3.5" 5shot and a 3" 4shot (I got a hot .223 case from my buddy's AR down the back of my shirt as I was squeezing the last shot off). At #5 the groups opened up to 10" and 12". So the accuracy node is somewhere around the #3-#4 charge levels and I have found tight enough groups so I'll get to go to stage two testing with 3031 & RD's. Weird, but the POI moved back down and to the left for the last two loads, right around where the 4895 groups were hitting. Go figure.
    "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

  5. #15
    Great Master Mike in tx's Avatar
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    V at least you got some range time. We got 5.5 inches of something that others call rain. Two of the 3 ranges I go to are under water; actually you can not get to one. So, I thought I would drop some boolits for the 7.65. NOOOOOO rain blowing into the portion of the garage that I use to cast in. So I did what old men do and took a nap.

  6. #16
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    I got the 4895 and 3031 RD retests all loaded up for the .308 today, and some more RD's in 7.5Swiss with 4895. It will be another week before I get a chance to shoot them, but they're all ready. I'm way behind on casting, so dog alone knows when I'll have some time for that, maybe next week.
    "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

  7. #17
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    I am off to the range at last tomorrow for a round of tests! We have been getting my buddy's new AR all sighted in and squared away for him and the .308 testing has taken a back seat for a month or so, but I am going to shoot it with the remaining RD tests tomorrow. Anything might happen.....

    I will test the Soupcans in it next.
    "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. #18
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    Oh well. Win some loses some.

    I got a 4shot 2" group with the minimum 4895 charge, jerked the trigger on #5 and got a 4" group altogether. It's a workable load if I had to use it, but it's barely 1600fps (estimated).

    Retests with 3031 got me one 4" group and the rest 7-10", opening up as the charge increased.

    I am not going to bother trying 4064. Clearly the rifle just doesn't like this bullet.

    Soupcans next!
    "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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