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Queen of Hearts – 6mmARC load Dev with W748

6ARC Load Development, AmmoSmith - Reloading Tips and Examples, Range Days 2021-03-22

I was 4 or 5. Hauling down the old country roads with mom and dad in back in ’80 in old Val (the white station wagon my mom traded her green 68 firebird on). The radio starts playing my favorite song (basically the only one I know) – Queen of Hearts by Juice Newton. “Playing with the queen of hearts, knowing it ain’t really smart, the Joker is the only Fooo-oohh-ooolll that will do anything with you!” then I’d start making the guitar sounds.

Well today, I went to the local range with a small pile of Berger 105 BTTs over W748 (I had already done a ladder load to determine/confirm pressures/velocities) using the 103 grain data (Hodgon has recently added W748 to their 6mmARC online recopies). I had a feeling this would be a decent powder for the ARC(based on the burn rate chart) and landed a couple bottles a few weeks ago.

I have decided to settle, that is for an easy/cheap round that I can pump out on the 650 for short range targets (< 500yds). I created a new profile in the ATN Scope for this ammo at 2500fps. I used to bring 2 sticks to the range and staple pizza boxes between them, but alas I have shot up all my sticks, and only had this “good half” to go in my target stand at 200 yds. So I did this. I stapled the plate to the stand along the left edge, then stapled the playing cards to the right side of the plate. Theory being that if you are good (enough) you won’t shoot the stick.

I had to boresight and re-zero a couple times, but got on at 200. Benched and bagged, I started letting them fly. about every second. with a bag on the fore-end and a bag on the buttstock toe, it was very stable and easy to hold position and pump them in one after another. I tried to take a video, but mashed the button to take picture instead, so all my humorous narration was a waste.

But all is not lost. I got some meh groups on the fast fire, then moved to more slowly timed focused shots on the playing cards. I was zoomed to 20x for these shots, there are a couple that are pairs. I moved to the lower target, “The Queen of Hearts”. After only a few shots it was cold range and shadows growing so I retrieved target and laughed immediately and started singing the song once again…

618 total views, 2 today

CZ ZomBull Shadow SAO and SP-01 Racegun Function testing

Range Days, TriggerSnob - Gun Smithing 2021-03-22

Cursed by my own advise that was not taken. After hours of fitting the bull shadow slide to my recent SAO build I took it to the rifle range to test at the end of the day last week. It was my secret highlight of the day, casually downplayed as “Yeah I got a couple pistols to run after we get chrono data” and similar.

Only 2 weeks earlier, I had posted somewhere, something to the effect of ” duh, that’s why you plunk your rounds”, in response to some problem with a new gun/reloads. Well, I was a little shy of the reverse capture guide rod system as I had never used one. I procrastinated and didn’t plunk rounds and figured the normal 1.125″ COAL round I had worked up using RMR 125 HPs would be fine. they ran in eveything else. Well, I got one shot and JAM and problems. I bagged it, went home, removed squib, checked COAL for this new barrel (it is tight). Worked up my loads and took some previously long ammo and seated it deeper until MAX COAL was determined for this bullet/chamber. Then I added ~0.015″ and got my new safe COAL. ITs about 1/8″ shorter than the previous round I was kind of amazed. They Shot great. After getting used to the gun on paper plate, I started doing double taps with that sweet SAO trigger at some clay pieces on the berm at 50yds.

I think my next on this bun will be reducing the load to make minor with the longer barrel, and then springing it lighter. It seemed like the stronger spring made the nose dip more that it should for follow ups. Something I’ve never played a lot with or timed just right, but I’m starting to get it.

This ZomBull Shadow SAO also fits in my shoulder holster – had to check!

As far as the 01 Racegun goes the big dot is just awesome! shot at pieces of clays on the berm, no problem. Did have a couple of minor issues with ammo feeding, but these were not plunked rounds so that should be resolved. I found this old 3D printed gripwell and put it on. the palmwells on it feel so nice!

Next up for this gun is a brass/alu magwell, remove front sight and put on old 75B slide, 8/12MOA diode, and slide racker. And tooling to work the comp up right with set screws and get back to major.

637 total views, 2 today

CZ 75 ZomBull Shadow SAO Build

TriggerSnob - Gun Smithing 2021-03-14


My first CZ now has new live as a Zombie build. When I first got this pistol, it was poor condition with no rear sight. I built it up in phases – here is a link to that. Later I built an SP-01 into an Open Major racegun, and swapped all the guts between the two. I decided to build a Limited gun and went with the Bull Shadow upper from CZ Custom. This build required some fitting of the slide (basically clearancing on the inside of the dust cover).

I started by dropping in all the cajun guts, the green SAO trigger going in first. I was able to do most of it by memory, getting confirmation hints on the trigger return spring and sear spring. It went fast than I had envisioned. I televised the build on Twitch, although nobody watched. Once I got the frame mods done, I turned to fitting the slide.

I just used files and sandpaper, around the sharpie and a Crayola marker. breaking the bevel on the dustcover allowed the slide to start going on, so I basically kept going. I left idiot racing stripes down the side of the slide but whatevs, going back I would have put thin tape on the slide and fit it that way. I was unsure if it was the dustcover or the slide rails. Started with the dust cover and eventually it started going back onto the frame more and more.

Testing commences today. Next ups are a magwell and S2 mag catch. With the long heavy barrel and awesome sights, this gun just points naturally.

703 total views, 2 today

6mmARC Chrono Results Berger 105 VLDT/BTTT /LeverLoution

6ARC Load Development, AmmoSmith - Reloading Tips and Examples 2021-03-10

Chrono Results from the Strategic Edge Range 3/7/2021

These bullets are very similar, the VLDT is more pointy(spensive) and the BTT is more traditional(cheaper). The original load with Hybrid Target have been hard to find, hence using these bullets.

Chrono results are below. It looks like the lower charge weights are the most accurate, so its a toss up. I guess close range use the lower velocity with smaller groups, but on the longer range, may be better off with the higher charge weights that give less drop/drift but also smaller groups at range due to vertical stringing that comes from ES and SD.

Berger 105 VLD Target – 3 round groups to conserver components

Second Grouping…

Berger 105 BT Target

105 BTT and W748 coming up next! Maybe throw in some CFE 223 as well.

741 total views, 2 today

6ARC, ATN scope, CZ racegun testing

6ARC Load Development, Range Days 2021-03-08

Chrono Results are listed HERE!

Where the radio runs out, in the hills of TN, there is a cove tucked in the woods that lets you shoot up to 1250 with live large Screen Impact monitors. It’s the safest rage I’ve been to, and its worth packing all the guns I can into my tiny red convertible and working the gearbox just one more time.

A surprise to me! A fellow shooter wit a new 6mmARC in the wild! He was shooting the first shots down the bore cool build!

First up the 6mmARC Load Dev and ATN4k 5-20 NightVision Scope. This gun shot small silhouette groups at 750 last visit to this range (with the Nikon Buckmaster2) so the bar was set. I started at the short range with a confirmation zero at 100/ then quickly went to 2/300 with little issues. Shooting my Cultured round of LeverLoution and Berger 105 HTs. Then the cold Range Buzzer goes off. I setup the chrono using the BOG and a wood attachment and then run the dev batches to get velocities. In interest of saving components, I loaded 3 round groups at paper(groups A&B), mainly checking for velocity with these new profile bullets (comparing to the previous 105HT that shot great). I used the aluminum angle and carbon arrow (pointy stick) to change strings and it worked great.

The Pirate’s Booty Chest is FULL of rare 6mmARC rounds!! AYE! Mate!

With those chrono results done I moved over to the long range and back to the Berger HT load. With the rifle zeroed at 100 and target yardage set to 100 yds in the ammos BCsetup (for previous chrono testing/groups). I then changed the zero to 300 and then took a shot at the 300 yd target. I was way low – thought that’s weird, went back to 100, boresighted it again, confirmed zero at 100 again, then back to 300 and same thing. This time I realized what was happening (I think). So Here is the deal, I was thinking that the changing your target yardage setting in the ammo BC setup would automatically adjust your zero, but it doesn’t. BUT If you use the Ballistic Calculator option in the scope, you Can have it ZEROed at 100 yds and show the POA for 600yds (for example). Basically I thought this calculation (elevation at least) carried over when you adjust your zero from 100 to 300, but it doesn’t.

Alum Angle iron and carbon arrow shaft makes a great mode selector during hot range. Big fan of the BOG/ bought itself again today.

Not a huge deal, but you need to be expecting it and here is why. I was planning on just getting it zeroed on the 100yd sighting plate, then moving straight to 600/650/1k. I think the proper way to do this would be to have it zeroed at 100, find/estimate your drop for 600, rezero the rifle with that hold over, then set the target distance to 600 and take a shot to rezero rifle. IF you do not make those adjustments and try going straight from 100 to 600 changing ONLY the target distance, you would be seeing 600 in the scope display (zoomed in most likely around 12x) and your bullet’s elevation would be stuck at 100 yds. Once I figured out what was going on with that I figured OK, trying to spot little holes at 600 yds, by myself with a 5x scope – ehhhh….Not a great plan for conserving ammo. So I decided to play with/use the onboard Ballistic Calculator to show where to aim for 600 yd hits.

A fellow Long Range shooter put this device out at the 1k target area. They put up a 52″ target as well and said that it worked out to 1700yds, worked great, and calculated group size and all. They also have a cheaper 300yd version. The versions are not upgradeable. Looked DAF, Stuff you just don’t see at the local public range…I would NEVAR set that up at the other Redneck range I shoot at for obvious reasons.

The Ballistic Calculator icon/dot – Here is my opinion so far and what to look for an how to use it. Things that I noticed that can be confusing, but aren’t mentioned in the manual. You just have to play around with it to “discover the hardships”.

  • Dot doesn’t show up unless you are in the specific reticle type
  • Dot is hard to see in full sun on display (not using eyecup)
  • Dot is hard to see/hidden by the vertical bottom reticle – If you are only dropping a couple inches and no wind left/right, the dot can be hidden by the lower reticle

Using the BC I took a shot at the 600 yd plate, but I couldn’t confirm a hit so the 600-1k ARC dream will have to sail another day. I think my plan for next time is walk it up from 1/2/3/500 using that sighting/zero method. Another plan of attack is to have 2 separate profiles for each ammo type. I need to try exporting what is in the BC to computer, then duplicate it and rename for LR (long range). Then I can have a 200 yd zero for short range, use the different reticles for holdovers or whatever out to 500. Then when shooting 600+ switch to the LR profile and have it zeroed @ 600 but use the BC for out to 1k maybe.

With some good and bad resutlsin on the new scope setup, I decided to break out the old 6.5 and make sure it is back on target and sighted in.

This rifle was my “pinky toe in the water” of LR. About as cheap as they get really, RAP, 20MOA base, Nikon Buckmaster II (4-12) BDC. It has shot 1k before but it has been years. Having recently remounted the scope to the rifle, shooting 1k was the defining goal of the day. Shooting 143ELDX plinkers at 12x zoom, I boresighted it at 100, then confirmed yardage. the VERY first thing I noticed about this scope after shooting the ATN is the clarity of glass v.s video screen[Edit:after thinking about it more I never adjusted the parallax bell on the ATN and left it tat 200yds from last range visit so clatity comparison will be done another sunny day]. The first thought that popped in my head was “ohh this is going to be cackewalk, OK..” and this is for a $150 scope range. I made a couple dialing errors in elevation getting to 600, but once I was dialed for wind/elevation the hits were dropping in. I held third circle for 750yd and hit/hit/hit/miss/hit. I could see the hits on the impact monitors. The ones for 600 were not up that day.

Time to try for 1k. Now in order to do this but keep the 600 yd zero, I just zoom out to 8x and hold post. First shot was 1’oclock hit on the big plate about 24″ high. Adjusted 6 clicks down and ended up with about 10″ group al around the center plate. Move to some of the smaller swingers with my last 3 shots and missed. The old bearded dude next to me and helping spot me a bit reminded me of Jesse Duke. He then shot his PRC at the center plate and kept a .3moa – amazing.. yep, that target is still in calibration!

pretty smooth setup – LOVE the trashy holster!

On to the CZs – With the rifles done for I decided to pack them up and work on pistols now. I unpacked the SP-01 open racegun and the old ZombieB build for testing. Started off with some 9mm pulls for practice. These are pulled bullets that have been repurposed due to, well duh, the ammopocalypse. I had a jam with a couple, but was to be expected. Both guns ran fine generally but seemed to shoot low. I noticed I had to hold to the top of the plates to hit. I thought about adjusting sights, but this visit was mostly for functionality, so in the interest of growing shadows, I skipped it and just held high. I did notice that on the 75B that resting the dot on top fo the back blade (as opposed to IN it) got great results. Getting the plop plop of the plate rack was fun again. The racegun still needs grip attention as the mags were having issues dropping and I’m sure it is due to my custom grips/long screws. I took the Cajun spring pack to potentially adjust the rate, but skipped that too in the interest of fun. The $60 Ace/Race holster did work great! I’m sure once my grips and draw are down it will be a cheapo smoothie.

This gun shot great today. Except the Front site rod fell out. It’s my fault/design so I LOLed. I could actually get a ghost sight picture with the rod gone. No biggie, this gun will soon be dramatically *enhanced.

Lastly, I went back to pick up brass. I might not be doing that much more for the raceguns. More on that later. But for now, as for today, it was wrapped up with a cool drive down the country backroads weighted down ~20,000 grains less, smiles all around.

682 total views, 1 today

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