New Loads

I started the next part of eliminating possible causes of the horrible shot placement with removing the muzzle break. This was a little bit of an adventure. The shop down the street from my home was unable to remove the break due to having broken the tool they normally would use for a break like the one I currently am using.

This left me to take care of it myself, and when I am left to my own devices things can become expensive.

With this in mind I grab a pair of channel locks,  (it is strange that a single tool can be referred to as a pair), and twisted on the break until it broke loose. With this work done I remounted the SWFA 10x, and proceed to make some new loads using a different bullet.

I decided to try the 168 grain Hornady hollow point boat tail match, this is a round that I have had a lot of successes with, and the fact that it is the only other .308 bullet that I currently have in inventory also played a major role in this decision.

20161214_134630

With the break removed the 175 grain Nosler load still did not perform. The first two rounds were used to adjust the scope, with the third round landing two inches below the bullseye I left the adjustment alone for the next two shots in an effort to create a decent group.

That turned out to be a failure.

Load number 42, and 43 both were made with IMR 4350, wear as load number 44 used Reloader 22. All three have shown great potential, and will  be continued to be tested.

First was load 44, that produced a sub 1 inch group with a flier about two inches above the est of the group. I will take the blame for this as I was already becoming a little twitchy because of the recoil.

Load 42, after a scope adjustment, had two shots touching, with shot three, and four producing a one hole group, then a low left flyer.

For the final five shots, four rounds produced two separate two round groups, that were slightly larger than an inch, with the fifth round also producing a low left flyer.

By the end of this round of testing I was done for the day, and went to the handgun range, to enjoy a revolver I don’t spend enough time shooting.

Conclusions.

The 175 grain Nosler Custom Competition seem not to work well for me,  lucky I only have about 3,200 left.

A muzzle break will be needed no matter what. I will most likely go with a model that ports the gasses to the sides allowing the rifle to move in a more level straight line.

I need to work with my Model 27 a little bit more.

01/12/2017

 

 

 

 

Rollis Throws A Hissy Fit.

One the challenges in developing a rifle system is finding an accurate load that is precise. This can be a little annoying, if not completely frustrating.

lgtlq

The RUM, only having 100 rounds through it, is proving to have a lot of precision problems, though the accuracy is showing potential in so far as the rounds are landing near the center of the target. The group size is rather large, or lacking precision. With an end goal of striking targets at over a mile (1,760 yards), groups that are measured in sizes of multiple inches at only 100 yards will not cut it.

After voting I headed to the range with most of my firearms to enjoy them for maybe the last time. I started with the RUM using load number 41, the same that I had been working with for the last several outings. This load has shown some potential, and needing to have as much consistency as possible I decided to stick with it.

The first shot struck one inch left, and one inch low of the point of aim, this would be known as the cold shot with a dirty bore, also commonly known as a cold, dirty. This has been a common occurrence with this rifle. I allowed the rifle to cool  for 10 minutes. The next shot was at least two inches high, and left. Needless to say I was disappointed with the results.

So disappointed in fact that I fired off the remaining 18 rounds. Then I removed the scope, and bagged the rifle up in it’s case then placed it in the bed of the truck where the bad guns have to ride.

The most likely causes for this complete failure will most likely be one of the following.

  1. Scope
  2. Ammunition
  3. Muzzle Break
  4. Barrel

The first thing I did was remove the scope, and test it on the .308 Win. After only a couple sight in shots the rifle was smacking bullseye with it.

The scope, load, and rifle combination has been used on other occasions, and have proved to be both accurate, and precise.

This leaves me confident that the scope is still working fine.

The next item will be to remove the muzzle break,  and then fire 5 more rounds of load number 41 which I expect to perform poorly. Unless it is a simple case of the muzzle break not being compatible with this rifle, which as I have stated before would be a shame. But as with anything firearm related, even though on paper it should work well there is a good amount of voodoo involved in building an accurate rifle.

I will also be trying different brands, and weights of bullets. Sometimes something as simple as a change in bullet weight, or the slight change of the profile of the bullet can produce vastly different results.

The most worrisome possibility would be the need to replace the barrel.

Rifle barrels should be thought of in the same manner as a car tire, there is only so many miles a tire can travel until it is no longer capable of holding the road, and a barrel will only survive a certain number of rounds until the chamber, and rifling is worn beyond its useful life. Some competitors will have to change a barrel out after only 1,200-1,500 rounds in the faster calibers. My hope is to be able to run this barrel at least 3,000 rounds before having to replace it. 

 Having a new barrel mounted would not be very difficult, but the price of even a lower end custom barrel, and the gun smithing it involves would almost be the same as the cost of the rifle itself. and even though at some point in time it will happen I really don’t want it to be in the first year with only 120 rounds down the tube.

 More later. 12/04/2016 Orange Park, Florida. 

Muzzle Break.

After finishing the channel enlargement I immediately threaded on the muzzle break.  I did expect a change of impact from the established 100 yard zero, but I was surprised that it was a 1 mil adjustment to the right with only a slight horizontal adjustment being needed.

p1050827

With that said the mental anguish was only getting started.

The first shots fired with the new break were larger than expected, also I was testing two different loads at the same time, which complicated the process even more.

 

I decided to start my next season at the bench with a clean barrel, and a load that already shown potential to be accurate, and I also made 10 more rounds of a new charge weight that is pretty close to the maximum charge.

The cleaning, and loading were done during hurricane Mathew. Susan, and I rode out the storm at our apartment in Jacksonville. We live far enough away from the where the worst winds were going to hit land. We did have a full tank of gas, and extra just in case we needed to bug out at the last minute. This wasn’t necessary, and I was able to get all these things finished, and ready to go as soon as the storm, and it’s effects had passed.

The first shots with the clean barrel, and muzzle break were fantastic, if you consider patterns that look like they were fired by a blind, drunken monkey good.

Needless to say I was a little disappointed, and contemplated removing the break in fear of the break causing odd harmonics of the barrel. This would be sad because of the great amount of reduction in felt recoil.

The first ten rounds were fired in two groups both of which were open, and inconsistent.

The next range season started out poorly also, then the last two rounds landed almost on top of each other in the same spot of the fourth round fired in this group of six. These three rounds were about a half inch of the second round fired. With two rounds that were about an inch from the bullseye, one to the left, one to the right, this six round group became a four inch group.

20161029_115921

 Then the last five rounds just opened up back into a horrible group. 

 I suspected that my shooting form was bad. My suspicion was that by placing the bench rest too far back on the stock that was causing the rifle to pivot during the shot in part because of muzzle break pull off caused by the air column in front of the bullet traveling through the muzzle break before the bullet itself travels through the break. Depending on the design of the break this effect can be very hard to control, and predict.

 Even though this may be a factor, it is not the root cause. 

More on this later. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Afternoon.

This afternoon I was able to get the barrel channel of the stock sanded, opening it up quite a bit. I used a D cell battery and some 80 grit sandpaper. The project took about 2 hours, and has come out well. 

p1050806

p1050811

20160930_1633431

20160930_1633221

Some people may think it is opened to much, but I like the ideal of plenty of air getting all around the barrel. Also at some point this barrel will burn out and when this happens the next barrel will have a no taper profile. This will mean it is at about two inches in diameter. Basicly a truck axle. 

The look seems to be pretty clean, and even. I did not have anything to refinish the laminate wood so it will be left in the raw. This should not be a problem. 

p1050816

After completing the job I assembled the rifle with the Wyatt’s floor plate again with the same results so I went back to the internal box magazine once again. 

p1050815

What is the definition of insanity again? 

09/30/2016, Orange Park, Florida. 

Changing Stocks

In 2014 I started a project with a Remington 700 SPS in 7mm Remington Magnum. This was a pawn shop find that was going to be a long range rig. The SPS models are the base level guns produced by Remington with the lowest quality stocks available.

I have had these stocks become hot enough to become very soft, to the point that it feels tacky as if it is going to melt.

The first thing I did was buy a Bobby Hart laminated stock, and a Wyatt’s magazine system. Then I spent Fourth Of July 2014 watching River Monster marathon, and fitting the bottom metal for the magazine system into the new stock.

At the end of 2014 I sold a large portion of my collection to clean up some debt. The 7mm was part of that sell off, but the stock and magazine system stayed.

Fast forward to this project. The first thing I did when I walked in the door with the .300 was to set the box down, and take the dogs for a walk, then start cooking dinner. But after all that was done I stripped the factory stock off and tried the Bobby Hart out for size, and it work just fine. Though I did decide to leave the Bell & Carlson on it for the time being.

I also mounted the magazine system.

After a couple of month of use the magazine system was not working out. The magazine would drop down a fraction of an inch and cause feeding problems, most often the round would nose dive into the receiver just below the chamber.

As I have been writing this I also have been studying Wyatt’s website and have found this is a common occurrence if the front pillar is too long, which would just need to be sanded, or ground slightly to fit properly.

Unfortunately both the B&C, and the Bobby Hart stocks have a full aluminum bedding blocks, which will require some serious work to bring them into the needed tolerances to work with the magazine system, which means that it is back to the factory installed magazine, and floorplate.

p1050677

With this decision I also reinstalled the the Bobby Hart stock, and did the dollar bill test, and it failed.

The dollar bill test is a simple way to see if the barrel touches the stock at any point, and even though the bill did slide the whole length of the barrel it was dragging the entire time. This is easily fixed buy some judicious sanding of the stocks barrel channel. 

I will have this completed the next time I am home. 

For some reason this post has taken quite some time to create even though it was pretty straight forward. Maybe too much going on, and not being especially creative was working against me this time.

09/26/2016 The Corbin Ky Love’s Truck Stop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Results

I made it out to the range a couple of weeks ago, and overall the results were mixed.

 First thing I did was fired the last 5 rounds of factory Norma ammunition. This was to to rezero the scope after having the new lower rings mounted.  The processes went very fast which was very surprising because I expected the horizontal impact to be off. I expected it to be high because the original mount was about twice as high. Fortunately it was dead on as far as horizontal impact was concerned.

 The vertical position was about 2 full mills to the right. Or about 18-20 inches. I made the necessary adjustments, then took my next shot. that one was also still off the red stickie bullseye but only buy a couple of inches the third and fourth rounds were in the red.

 I suspect the scope being that far off to the right had something to do with the fact that I did drop it on the windage knob not once but twice when I was mounting it.

 On to the first load.

P1050527

 This is load number 38, and as you can see I was making a nice group but shot number 3 was pulled from me flenching because of the recoil, I was still able to finish the last two shots with a group at slightly larger than an inch. I went ahead and made 10 more rounds of this load for further experimentation.

P1050545

 Load number 39 did not fare too well. If I was a gun magazine writer I would explain how this is a perfect group for the intended use. If my intended use was to miss the target I guess I could be happy with this group also. The group was shot number 11-15 for the day and I was starting to become a little twitchy, so the poor showing of this load may be due to my sissiness.

On this day I did not try load number 40, it would of been a waste of money. 

 At the end of this session I was at shot number 50 for the rifle. My plan will be to run it until shot number 100 then clean the bore of all the copper fouling. This will allow me to start building my fouling chart to learn where the fouling equilibrium is. More on this in a dedicated post.

  The next trip to the range will also include the much anticipated muzzle break. If it works as planned I will be sending some heavy metal down range soon.

  Too be continued. 

PS another development.

P1050679

The New Dies.

In my last post I mentioned that the dies for this project have been acquired. They are manufactured by Redding, and consist of a full length resizing die, a neck sizing die, and an adjustable setting die. 

P1050584P1050585P1050586

The first thing I needed to do was disassemble each die, then clean them. The manufacturer recommends a gun cleaning solvent, but I used a slightly different method, which consisted of hot water and Dawn dish detergent. After cleaning them I rinsed them with boiling water. The boiling water will rinse all the detergent. oil, and crud from the die. The temperature of the water will heat the steel high enough to evaporate the water preventing it from rusting.

 

Then it is necessary to apply a light coating of lube on the inner surface of the die to prevent rusting, and to make the sizing operation smooth. This lube should be the same as what will be used for the normal sizing operation.

Next the setup of the press.

P1050583

 The press I use for this project is a Lyman Crusher, which used to be called the Orange Crusher because it was painted Orange, but apparently some marketing genius decided that black would be a better choice. It probably saved them 2 cents a unit. 

 The neck sizing die was installed, and adjusted. This die, as the name implies, will only size the neck of the case. This allows a case to be as close to the dimensions of the chamber while still being able to be loaded and extracted from the chamber. Though this ”custom” size of brass will possibly not fit in some chambers.

 My rifle being a standard production model with the regular barrel will have a chamber cut to the larger side of the standard maximum/minimum size for the 300 RUM.

300 Remington Ultra Magnum Cartridge SAAMI Schematic

 Most all the factory ammunition produced will fit into almost all the guns made to the SAAMI designated dimensions.  The different size chambers from one barrel to the next, though very minor is a factor in accuracy of a given rifle. With the case being almost the same size as the chamber the bullet will be more aligned with the bore of the barrel, this adds to the potential accuracy of a firearm.

 When a person has a custom-made barrel installed one of the common practices is to have the barrel reamed to the minimum size of a given cartridge, and sometimes even to the point that only a certain bullet shape, and length will be usable. The rifle of this blog does not have a chamber cut in such a manner. Just about any factory round should feed, and function in it.

 The brass has already been fired in this rifle, by only neck sizing the case it will have a tighter fit, and aline the center of the bullet to the center of the bore more closely. After the neck sizing the case was primed, then charged with a powder load of 78.0 grains of IMR 4350. The next step was to seat a 175 grain Nosler Custom Competition bullet, using the bullet setting die that has a setting adjustment micrometer which allows the bullet to be set at a precis depth in the case neck.

 I chose to seat my bullet at a depth that allowed me to have an overall length of 3.555 inches. This is 0.045 of an inch from the maxinum length. It will allow the use of the magazine ether the original, or the aftermarket on that is currently being used.

  1. .300 Rum
  2. Case Norma once fired
  3. Primer Fedarel Large Rifle Magnum No. 215
  4. Powder IMR 4350 78.0 grains
  5. C.O.A.L 3.555 inchs
P1050628
.300 RUM loaded with Nosler Custom Compatition 175 grin match bullet.

 

Sorry for the slightly disjointed post, on to the results.