These were all ran right around 2600fps. Banged steel 6″ gong @200yds
I ended up holding -13MOA on the scope and holding the left edge to ring hits. Most fun was doing double and triple taps on the plate.
Brass Used was a mix of New, 1x and 2x fired Starline match prepped: converted 6.5 Grendel, annealed, neck turned, inner neck champhered and honed. Brass looked good, Flat primers, slight ejector mark. Max charge decided on previously, this was just to test functionality. Wolf SRM Primers and LeverEvolution.
I did have a few Failure to feeds on the 108 EHs Loading them in the mag they are very long and may need to seat them a bit deeper. It seems like the tips are hitting the top of the chamber and getting stuck and the bolt just rides over the lip to jam in the shoulder.
Executive Summary – it was windy, I learned a LOT about wind today. So windy in fact many of the more experienced shooters had issues with the wind. There was “supposed” to be an option for 1250 yds, but that was nixed due to wind.
I have shot this gun 6ARC and ammo at 1k on a low wind day. There was a strong headwind of ~11 mph with gusts of 14mph at the bench throughout the day. The streamer flags at the bench were always pointed in your face, and the only real change I noticed was them tailing from left to right. I did NOT pay enough attention to the foliage and the tall flags that were put up down range. This may have been part of my downfall. In the past (when making groups on steel at a k), the wind has always been a steady 4-6mph from left to right or calm. I always thought this range was “easy” to shoot because of the tall trees surrounding most of the range on both sides. There are some fields between berms located at 600/750/1000 but it hasn’t ever been as difficult to judge/shoot as today. “Spoilt” comes to mind immediately. After today, some of the more experienced shooters said that this range is actually more difficult, because of all of the fields and wind variables as compared to say a large flat field where the wind may be stronger but more consistent. I’m still 50/50 on if this sentiment was actually true or just an excuse because of the performance degradation that most of us experienced today. I need to try other ranges for comparison – all in due time.
Learning point #1 – One shooter mentioned that when you saw the wind at the bench die and then pick back up again it was a good sign that the wind is changing direction down-range. I wasn’t able to confirm this because it was after match yip-yap, but it does make sense and I will definitely be paying more attention to this scenario in the future.
Learning point #2 – After getting “learnt” on the LR, I went back to basics on the short range and was “on” 6” steel swinger at 500, after dialing a bit for wind. It was much calmer wind and the 500 yd berm is sheltered by more trees as well. So in the middle of a string I noticed the mirage was calm, and then saw the wind “blow the boil” to the right a bit. I held to the left ~10” and scored a hit. This is the first time that I was able really able to “read the mirage” to my advantage to score a hit.
Another shooter said that the wind today caused a full MOA of elevation difference from what he is used to. He actually thought something was wrong with the barrel until he later confirmed it wasn’t the gun during lighter wind. One of the judges stated there were LOTS of “0”s or blank targets today and there was even a set of 5 targets in a row at one point without a single hit – mine being one of those. The general consensus was that this was one of the windiest days for a match in recent history.
So on to the actual match timeline.
Friday night prep: Packed the 45s and a new batch of ammo to test functionality & the ATN to be zeroed on top of the 6.5 CM along with the 6ARC
5:30AM: picked the match outfit, fairly normal today for most people. I skipped the Full Ricky and went long sleeve fishing shirt and shorts, with white socks and grey shoes and a Glock hat. Normally I sport the Adidas visor, but figured I could use the Glock hat to direct brass to the bench as opposed to the gravel. I WAS going to get a bowling outfit from the thrift store as recently watching the “Big Lebowski”, but the dude abided by support tickets and normal work hours enough to not make that happen the previous week so standard outfit was picked – perhaps this was my downfall after-all.
5:45AM: left the house, with the Miata moderately packed with guns/gear/ammo – ALL HANDLOADS BEBE!
6:07AM: Breakfast – Stopped at Jacks for a breakfast chicken biscuit combo, at it in the parking lot. The hashbrowns were perfect! Popeyes has better chicken, but they weren’t open for breakfast and their hash browns suck anyway. Hardees was an option, but I feel they have fell off the “good” breakfast in the past decade. Mainly because of their paper plate thin bacon and “add water to powder to make egg” mix. Will try for the Biscuit Express next time. They have REAL eggs, but sometimes the bacon is a bit fatty as opposed to crispy.
~7:30AM: arrived at Strategic Edge range to see no less than ~30 cars/trucks packed on the back end of the LR pavilion. Entered the gate code correctly the first time – a good sign..
Paid the $30 entry fee, skipped on the closest to the X pot ($5 buy in) – yes I’m cheap and play the percentages. Attended the match meeting and reviewed the qualifying process.
Qualifying to shoot the 1k match: to keep things safer and faster, there was a qualification process, where 1 hit was required at 600 then 750 then 1k. You had ~5 minutes for each shooter to make these hits and were limited to 9 rounds in this process. There was a Right Qualifying Bench/Spotter and a Left Qualifying Bench/Shooter. Since I was one of the last to register I was near the last of the pack for qualifying. Watching the other shooters qualify was a bit un-nearving, but my previous dope on this range held the nerves in check as I sat on the golf cart bench. Everyone did manage to qualify for 1k. The one that I remember the most was on at 600, had trouble at 750 and then had trouble at 1k also, but did score a 1k hit on the last round. I think he was shooting 6.5 CM. After watching that, the very real possibility of driving 2 hours to be sent to the short range or pistol bays did start to weigh in a bit. So when my time came, I put up my ammo box, then piled the two blue jean sand bags and the Crown Royal Squeeze bag up on the bench. Then put the looser of the sandbags on top of the box and gave it a few good Segall karate chops. The stiffer bag was used as a rear support and kept the stock elevated off the table enough for my elbow not to hit the table. The squeeze bag was double layers of CR purple velvet full of airsoft BBs. I then brought up the Poverty Pony and settled in with a mag of 9 rounds – I went to town. First shot at 600 was a slight miss, the spotter calling it, I made an adjustment for windage hold and second shot was a impact. 750 first shot impact! 1k was slightly off (I was holding a full target to the left), slight adjustment and impact! I qualified. Dropped the mag and gave the Hell Yeah rock on with the right hand as I flagged the rifle with the left hand and announced 6ARC to everyone that wondered what the hell just happened. It was quick, mostly due to the fact that I was the only one shooting a semi, coupled with using the holds on the scope for elevation as opposed to dialing. It was probably less than a minute of actual shooting from 1st shot the 5th. A calm and relief washed over me as I put away the equipment and then headed back to the golf-cart bench.
9:04AM: came back and got my relay/bench assignment. Met and spoke to a guy that was there to observe with s spotting scope on the right side. He was a new member of the range and I got him talking about pistols in addition to LR. The most interesting part of the conversation was that he helped function test a G19 once shooting 1k rounds as fast as possible. He said other classmates were helping load mags and they had to switch shooters a few times because the gun got so hot it was hard to handle. He said that the only malfunction was the guide rod blew out the front due to melting the frame enough to eject it. They kept going til 1k. I was trying to coordinate which target the shooters were on so he could watch for hits, but I don’t think he got to see many hits in live action due to zoom limits, but you could see the hits on steel even at 1k. Spotting paper was a joke though.
9:27AM: My first round I tried for the sighter plate but couldn’t see a splash or hit so I just held the same as qualifying. I got 3 hits on that target in the upper right quadrant. I was glad to just get on paper. This “Poverty Pony” was keeping with the pack of fancy bolt guns. I know there was 1 blank target at least and I suspect at least a few others as well.
10:05AM: Round #2 – Expecting the wind to hold the same, but not really checking it, I didn’t touch any dials and just held 1MOA lower and shot all 5 rounds. Big goose egg. I was crushed.
10:30AM while sipping a Mt. Dew and eating the days first Cliff bar, I noticed my left sock was inside out. Fixed that. As I was doing so, I wondered “could this be the superstitious thing that keeps me from shooting good today”.
10:55AM: Round#3 – I decided to use the sighter plate this time and didn’t see any splash or hit, so I tried the big 4’ x 4’ sighter plate. I spotted one splash in the dirt on the bottom left corner of the big plate and was like “WTH”. With the 5 minute time limit running out, I just held same as qualification and let the 5 fly. Big goose egg again. By this time I was pretty dejected. Most of the other shooters did have some groups or at least some hits on targets, but there was a fair share of zeros.
11:41AM: Round #4 – The last round was much of the same. not reading downrange wind correctly with a strong head wind. I did get a hit on the 1k large sighter plate, made a hold adjustment and shot my paper group. Still big goose egg.
12:15PM: About half of the shooters had left by the time they handed out the envelopes. I stuck around and golf clapped for them and the match directors. I was very impressed by the shooters there that day and will not forget the lessons I learned about the wind that day.
12:37PM: I still had range work to do. I wanted to make confirm dope on the short range to regain some composure/confidence and I still had the 6.5 CM to sight in and test group with new ammo/scope. In addition to that I had (3) 45s that still needed function testing with a recent ammo batch.
First up was the 6.5 CM/ATN 4k/Barnes 140 MBs over H4350 @2677fps(batch#06-08-2021-01). First off it was the first time firing the rifle since getting it back from ATN for screen jump. The rings used to mount it were way too high for my liking, but it did work well enough. I wasn’t expecting a lot, but it did prove itself with the 20 test rounds I had made up. I setup in the center of the short range pavilion to zero in on the center plate. I confirmed bore sight first, then was zeroed in with a few shots. I then put in all the ballistics info and used the BC calc to give an elevation for 200yds. At first I wasn’t able to see the green dot, but I put in 20mph of straight right wind and the dot appeared to the right of the vertical crosshair. I used that as an elevation marker and pinged some steel at 200. I then did the same at 300 and after some adjustment the 500yd steel also got some action. I got some video of shots as well so there is some footage coming. The BC was pretty accurate, but I did have to rezero at 500 with a tad bit more windage. This could be actual wind or me just not getting the 100 yd zero absolutely ON during initial setup. I did notice that after shutting the power off during painting targets that the green dot did not initially show up until I went in the menu and adjusted the target yardage. Also noticed that if you accidentally hit the range finder, it can mess up the yardage and cause the scope to show unreachable (and then default to ~1600yds) until you manually adjust the yardage back down using the dial or buttons. And when zeroing, the WHITE crosshair is the NEW zero, and the black/standard crosshairs are the OLD zero reference.
Next up was the 6ARC again to correct any windage that was dialed in the last round of the match. I switched to plinker ammo 105 Berger BTs over W748 – using up the OLD powder from the early 80s that I was gifted by my reloading mentor. I was on at 200 and 300 pretty easily and the 500 yd lg steel was pretty easy as well. The large round swinger was hit on the left edge so I adjusted windage to score center hits on it and then move down the line leaving only the last 2 targets untouched (the 2” and 4” ers). There were some misses on the 6” that I’m not sure were the wind changing or my ammo not being superb or it could have been me/tired as the day wore on. The most fun in this session however was on the 300yd popper as fast as possible. I didn’t time myself but feel that the splits were under 1 second (probably more around ~.7). There were more than a few shots that were loosed before/while I could hear the ping report/confirmation. I first tried this with double taps, then triple taps then just emptied the rest of the 10 rnd mag as fast as possible while staying on target.
After that I broke out the 45s. Being a bit lazy I didn’t want to pack up all my gear to move to the pistol pit for only ~70 rounds so I setup my box and bags centered with the 100yd steel sighter plate. CZ97 was first, aiming with about 1/3 of the front sight above the horizon of the rear sight, all shots were hits. I couldn’t tell where exactly on the big plate, but this was function testing so who cares. Next up was the SAR K2 45. It ran with only 1 feed hickup, the rest of the 30 rounds were no problem and all hits using similar hold. Lastly the 1911 finished the day with no stoppages and all hits. Packed it up and headed home after that.
Great day – lots of ups and downs – learned a LOT
One last tidbit that added greatly to the day. I was on the way to the clubhouse when, at distance, I saw a guy on the short range shooting a 1917, then on the way back I saw him shooting what I thought was the same rifle but noticed hw wasn’t working the action. Closer inspection looked like a Garand which really got me confused/excited. I yelled out to him “Garand?” and got a big yep, so I went to talk FuddRunner and take a closer look. He DID have a 1917Eddystone, A CMP Special Garand, and a Remington 1903A3! I was soooo proud to see the warsticks! I really like the sighting picture of the 1917s and need to get a full up non bubba-ed version for my collection. The rear aperture and elevation flip up sight looked like it would be fun to use and easier than any of the other fuddsticks I currently have.
I think I could have done better if I had a bit more magnification (32x or 50 x)…
Note from the Match Director:
Well, That was a fun match… I think we can agree this was the most difficult wind that most of us have competed in. I personally took it as a great learning experience, and have a much greater respect for the power of the wind.
I do plan on holding the other scheduled 1000/1250 match later this year. There will be a few tweaks to make it more efficient to qualify (I am very happy that all competitors qualified for the match. Thanks for coming prepared). The wind flag placement will be improved, and the underbrush will be removed allowing a more clear picture of our sighter. Plates.
Keep in mind that we will be using 600yd IBS targets at the 1000yd distance.
Special thanks to our match staff and helpers!!! The match would not work without you all.
Watch the calendar for upcoming matches and other information.
Its been fun riding the hell out of this Poverty Pony to the land beyond 750yds. Now I have dope, ammo, equipment, and experience to shoot the AR-15 platform from 100-1000 yards with no scope dialing.
Started off with zeroing the rifle at 100 with the yellow box of BTTs @2500. These were plinker rounds and nothing special. At 100/200/300 hits were no problem tried a couple shots at 500 but wasn’t 100% on that and it was near the buzzer so not bad for first round.
Shout out to WLS – the We Like Shooting Podcast/Youtube channel. The guys there know their stuff and keep you up on new products in a funny and charismatic way. Check out the latest episodes on You Tube.
Next buzzer round(about 30 mins) I just single fed rounds to Fire Form – shooting them at 2/3/500 pretty easily – These are slow rounds @2400. Taking slow shots on bags with the new glass is where I really settled in. The glass was crisp and the side focus was nice, the dials are nice, the mount seems solid, all in all the glass choice is greenlighted – All the money spent where you want it.
Then started dialing in elevation to get and test the 100-1000 hold theory. So The theory is just dial for 600 yd zero and then use hold under/overs so that there is no dialing. At 100 sighting plate, dialed -6MOA and test fired = 6” higher. This confirmed my dialing so I dialed in a total of -19MOA and took another test shot confirming the elevation on the 100 yd plate.
Then went back with the Slow and Low ammo @2500, and confirmed dope on the short range 1/2/3/500. I was able to hit some of the smaller swingers at 500 even the next to smallest swinger a couple times. One thing I DID notice is that when using the Hold Unders is that the windage is not marked on the upper part of the reticle like it is on the lower part of the reticle. when I was having to hold -2MOA wind and 2MOA elevation, it was a tad trying. Still I think that is a bit of nitpicking overall the new glass made hits easy. I finished the buzzer round and prepped for moving to the long range.
There was a little dialing in zero for 600 and the wind, but once that is settled, the holds worked GREAT! NO DIALING! I was able to make hits at 600 and 750.
I tried for 1k with the slow and low ammo a couple times, at 27MOA I was aiming a bit low I believe but I wasn’t getting confirmed hit so I stopped. I was holding above the “O” in MOA in the reticle. In retrospect, I believe I could make hits holding 25MOA – It appears that Strelock Pro may have lowered the velocity due to temp algorithm a bit and cause more MOA than needed.
There were some other people shooting the plates and the monitors were off, making confirmation of hits a bit more challenging. Again, the glass here made it able to spot shots easier than before. I didn’t even bring my spotting scope.
With the afternoon range day-light starting to run out, I figured this was my shot to try for 1k so broke out the good Fast ammo and and confirmed 600 yd zero. 750 seemed to be a tad less hold than I had estimated and I then tried 1k on the plate and got a hit, thus confirming holds. Next round of the buzzer with a clean paint on 1k I was able to sprinkle ~ 10 out of 15 shots on the large circle plate and even a few shots on the smaller plate as well. I just finished shooting all the ammo I had.
At the end of the day I Annealed 427 brass ready for the good stuff! Goodbye 223! Made some new Laminated Load cards.
I had planned to go Turkey Hunting in the backwoods of Alabama Saturday morning. That got delayed and I ended up riding around with my old friend in the Miata with the top off. Ripping through the gears on the back country roads with new tires on the rear brings grins ear to ear. As 7 yr old kid packed in the back seat of an old blue Ford Escort with my little sister, I had always dreamed of driving a red sports car to Grandmas house – finally happened.
In addition to breaking the 870 down so it would fit in the trunk of the Miata, I also brought the 6mmARC, the Ruger 10″ 22s, and the CZs (ZomBullShadow, SP-01 Racegun, 97B mostly stock). I had planned to also do some target shooting and test some new loads in addition to turkey hunting. – all the gear packed to the gills in the Nimble Ninja (a common occurrence). I decided to stop in just after lunch at Bob Gibson’s Original BBQ house and with Swann Creek WMA range was only 15mins detour on the way back home made it an easy decision.
It was perfect weather, and I was shocked to see the range not even half as full as last time on a Saturday. Parked at the 100 yd pavilion and signed in. I had been suffering a putrid cough and loss of voice – shouldn’t be COVID as I can still smell and taste plenty, but it wasn’t fun – I braved through it and kept my distance.
First up, was the 6mmARC, confirming my “Jam the Lands” load, which worked very well to fire form about 20 cases of converted 6.5 Grendel Basic Brass. Worked great, I thought the single feeding would be an issue but it wasn’t bad at all. A friend happened to be there with his LabRadar, which brings up a question – aren’t all people with Lab Radars considered friends?
We confirmed the velocity of the of my settled load of Leverloution over 105 Bergers to be ~2550fps. I let him shoot a mag and try the rifle and got video using the ATN. Chased down all brass and it looked good. So next is loading a single case until the neck is split (4-8 times will be my guess). Then try same test using the annealer after each firing.
Next up was the 10″ Rugers. First was the Black Grand-Mamba (scoped). I sighted in at 50 yards and made some adjustments to the scope. It shot very well but then I noticed a bit of slop that I thought was coming from the push button release, but it was actually the scope mount coming loose off the receiver ( I don’t think I locktighted them). Next up was my Bond gun – the Stainless MKII 10″ barrel version with stock trigger and gold Vol Bolt.
It shot good but did have some light strikes which the MK4 finished no problem. I started shooting at small items on the 100yd berm. I was Benched and bagged so it wasn’t very difficult to get the berm targets to dance around a bit. Mostly close/about 2″ off, but also some direct hits.
I was holding the front post about 1/8″ high off the rear sight and using CCI SV factory 2nds. I did notice that hits on self healing plastic targets at this distance did not make the target move very much/at all.
Lastly was the CZ pistols, which the 97 ruled the day. I started with the ZomBullShadow, and the 90gn ammo I had just made. It did not have enough power to cycle the gun.
Switched to new Berrys 115 load and they would BARELY cycle the gun and would ONLY cycle with firm grip (great example of limp wristing).
I DID get one of the bullets to jam the action up tight. looks like the offending round did not get sized or plunked. Bagged the pistol and swiched to SP-01. Quickly realized that my dot battery was out so switched to the 97. 50 roudns of the Standard RN loads and it shot great.
9mm 90gn Hornady hollow points with nickel cases. They fired fine, shot like a 22, but didn’t have enough oomph to fully work the slide. This resulted in the case being held in by the extractor and not even hitting the Ejectorm just stayed along for the entire ride, keeping perpendicular to the slide, not picking up the next round and jamming the gun with the brass hitting the breechface just a tad off center. But, the highest load that I used I believe DID work the slide, and I remember checking the brass and it seemed OK, cratered, but not pierced – so need to finish making those (~150 bullets) at highest TESTed powder charge and do accuracy/function testing with the Ruger PC9.
The Berrys 115 gn seemed to run GREAT in the ZomBullShadow – at first. Then I got a round that hadn’t been sized at the base and it jammed the gun. I did get to shoot about 3 mags of them and they ran great. The round that locked the gun probably didn’t get sized properly/all the way(short stroking the press when getting case feed adjustements setup maybe) Either way need to plunk all rounds for the gun. The gun was bagged and dis assembled at home, looks GTG now.
Next up was the SP-01 Racegun! – This gun Would have ran great BUT, I left the Dot ON and the battery was dead. DANG!
The 97 came out and reigned supreme on that day. 4 mags shot GREAT with the stock 45 loads I had made (Berrys 230RN over Alliant Power Pistol). Called that a day and packed up to head home.
Other notes and observances: There was one 9mm round that was right on the edge of performing/running the slide. I remember limp writing one of the dev loads and the gun would jam – firm grip it would run. I went back and forth a few times to confirm. I have had a couple of light development loads exhibit this issue before, but not quite this evident. It was actually kind of cool, to be able to make the gun jam jut by having a slightly softer grip, but I don’t ever want to load action match rounds on that hair line verge of not working, better to powder up!
UPDATE – 2022: I did a new year run 1/9/2022 run of 250 cases that I found from last year.
For the most part the process was the same. I did have about 20 cases that had a fold/crease in the mouth/shoulder area. I think this would be fixed if you could extend the start of the die funnel or somehow put an initial crimp on the case-mouth. Also I noticed that after sizing and such, when mandrel sizing it, some shoulder were collapsed. I used some neck lube and then all GTG. From there they were swabbed/cleaned and champhered/deburred.
This batch also was sized minimally, so I’m hoping that they will be able to fire normally vs having to jam them in the lands and single fire them. I am test loading 20 of them with a mix of Hornady 100gn and 105VLDs for comparison.
Use Pilot 01 for all annealing and RCBS #3 shell holder – the H45 was too tight and the other RCBS was too loose letting cases slip and fall in the annealer to be turned upside down and picked out. RCBS#3 just right.
Analyze to find Annealing Code A:
Took me a sec to get the hang of the Annealer again which menu to get to in order to do the analyze.
Annealing Code ALOGGED: 0116
Anneal all brass using Annealing Code #A – this was very quick ~1 sec each.
Lube – lanolin mix in bag and did find that swabbing the interior casemouth helped quite a bit when the expander ball is coming back through.
Size (single pass) – Shoulder Bump noted – 3.152″ (taken/matched from another previously fired case) with H comparator on shoulder and calipers. BUT keep in mind shoulder is not fully formed yet so that reading is close but not exact. THE heavy duty RCBS press at the range was defiantly a help and it did size smoothly but did take some effort.
Anneal to relive stress after sizing. Discussed with local wildcatter and and decided to do another round of annealing. Analyzed to find Annealing Code BLOGGED: 0149
Anneal all brass using Annealing Code #B
Trim – With normal brass, the trimmer trims down to 1.485” but it was leaving the new brass at 1.495” with is /5 thou too long. So I had to adjust and then thinking about it – most likely due to shoulder variation.
Champher/deburr – used the hand tool
Clean (if needed – blow dry chips away)
Prime – RCBS hand primer
Drop powder – 25.0 Gns of W748 – 6 test rounds
Shot bullets – Failure to Fire – no primer indentations at all.
Local wildcatter advised on seating the bullets long to make sure the casehead was up against the breech so that the firing pin would activate. Seat bullets (jammed) too long to load in mag, need a sled mag. Single Feeding jammed lands worked and rang plate ~ 6″ low @100yds (I didn’t care about accuracy just that it fire formed)
Fire Form Results – WORKED for 6 cases will test more – looks good. Can still see some faint stretch marks on the brass in the shoulder/neck area but seems GTG.
Load repeatedly to see how many firings it will take (> 4 = grins).
After Fire Forming, Analyze to find final Annealing Code C. This code will be used after every firing until brass is toasted.
Next Batch of processed brass will be using a slightly different die setup.
Remove the decapping pin from RCBS SB 6ARC die
size lubed case in single pass
then use Sinclair mandrel 6mm dies to form necks – less stress on the necks
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.
105 BTT and W748 coming up next! Maybe throw in some CFE 223 as well.
New Match Brass Prep video to be posted on Rumble. I tried to get all of the things that I do for match brass reloads. This can also be used as a general guide to brass prep, skipping some of the more finicky steps if needed. I may create a shorter TLDR version of this […]
Took the 6.5 RAP build to make sure it was zeroed properly @750. I loaded about 10 extra rounds for the Pokemon rifle and took it to see if it was still on at 100/1000 with only a Base Dial setting. I took the 600yd gas gun(6ARC) as a backup, sinch the range was a […]