Friday, October 07, 2005

Range and Bench Report

Apologies to all of my few readers, been busy lately. Don't imagine it's gonna get better soon.

I do have an interesting range report. I took the Son-in-law to the range with the new .30-06. This being a range with a real set of concrete benches we set the rifle up on a Harris Bipod and rear bag. I suspect he would have done better in a regular sitting position, he is simply not used to the recoil of full charge .30-06 rounds. Fortunately I had fifty of Hodgdon's 'youth' loads' along.

Handloaders should know about Hodgdon's 'youth' loads, they are an interesting concept. The idea is to take any big game cartridge for which H4895 powder is used. Take the maximum charge of H4895 and multiply said charge by 60%. Then, as your 'youth' grows and gets adjusted to the recoil, add a grain or two of powder until we reach the full charge. By careful bullet selection we can hunt deer out to about two hundred yards or so with the very beginning of these. At any rate I had a supply of Hornaday's 130 grain Single Shot Pistol Bullets handy and loaded a batch of these in front of 40.0 grains of H4895. The velocity should be right around 2500 fps, almost what a .308 gives in those fancy one shot pistols. As Dean and Stephanie get used to the kick I can increase the charge.

The interesting thing, of course, is how these critters shoot? I did not shoot any, on purpose. I don't much want the kids trying to compare themselves with me. Dean, though, had several groups in the inch and a half to two inch range. Given the two hundred yard nature of the ammo, plenty good enough. My next step is to load up a half box, fifty round boxes, of 42 grains and 44 grains each. If I can get him to about 2800 fps or so by opening day, with that light bullet, he'll be good as far as he'll be able to see the critters on this particular ranch.

I don't know of any powder but H4895, except maybe IMR 4895 and Accurate's 2495 that has a range of pressure with good ignition wide enough for these 'youth' loads. They may be out there, I just haven't tried. These loads are much like the 'midrange' loads that were popular when I was a kid except with a hunting bullet instead of a target pill.

I've loaded a few of those all-brass shotshells, the Magtech 12 gauge that I asked about in my last post. Thank you, Tres Equis, that was exactly the information I was looking for. I'm loading one box of 25 with the old original type of wads from Circle Fly and one box of 25 with one on Winchester's shotcup wads on top of a regular overpowder wad., just to see how that works. The shotcup type wad will, if it works out okay, be just what I need to go hunting. I'll try these sometime soon. I'm using 80 grains of FFG Black Powder, GOEX if that matters. I've some room to grow the charge. On the standard 'old fashioned' wad column I shooting an ounce of shot, on the 'shotcup' wads 480 grains since that what it takes to fill them.

Not much else to talk about, boring doctor visits and therapy, messing with this puppy that eats anything. The creepy dog ate my eyeglasses, I had to get new ones. I would've killed the mutt if it weren't for the fact that I've been putting off new glasses for over a year. ARRRGH! Had to get a puppy.

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