Spike Camp

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - dubyam

Pages: [1] 2 3
Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / 300Blackout
« on: January 23, 2016, 06:53:11 AM »
I've been considering an AR platform rifle for a while, and had a thought yesterday about combining it with the need for getting a rifle which will fit my 9yr old daughter. I can get a good deal on a fully built 300Blackout (under $500 complete and ready to one of my spare scopes). Brass is relatively inexpensive (less than $30 per hundred for Lake City) and dies are readily available. I know it's an odd round, and I know it's not likely to do more than my 30-30, but loaded with a 125gr Ballistic Tip (which I have on my shelf) it would easily be effective on deer out to 100+. And I could add additional uppers as I wanted, using the lower assembly as my basic platform.

Now, with that said, I'm wondering if it's worth buying a 300Blackout despite it being a fairly DOA round in terms of market acceptance? I'm also wondering if the stock trigger on an AR platform is going to be pure junk or if it's passable with some work? I know zip about these rifles but this seemed like an opportunity to own one and help my daughter get ready for next season all at the same time. What do y'all think?

Whitetail Deer / First deer of the 2015-16 season
« on: January 03, 2016, 10:42:53 AM »
It's been a fun hunting season so far, and I've camped out a few weekends, hunted some, and enjoyed come good camaraderie.  But up to yesterday, no deer.  The landowner did some work on our lease last year the week before the season and it messed up the deer patterns.  They haven't fully recovered from it, even this year, as old haunts are barren and it's getting tougher to find the deer.  Most of the bucks have been nocturnal since August, and the does are pretty scarce during daylight hours since the beginning of the season.  But we hunt hard all year for January, and it's worth it.  Rut kicks off in another week or so, and the bucks are rubbing and scraping like crazy this past week.  Weather's been warm but Friday it cooled off and froze overnight, so a buddy and I camped out this weekend.  Hunted hard Friday afternoon, saw nothing.  Hunted hard Saturday morning, but didn't see anything.  When I got down, I took the long way out (planned to before I got in my stand) and figured I might catch some midday lunch grabbers along the field edges.  I'd glassed the first three fields around the top of the mountain, and stopped to take off my top layer and my fleece headgear and such.  Temps were up to about 40deg now, from the 28 when I climbed the ladder before dawn.  Got my pack repacked and turned to leave, and saw a brown spot through the treeline in the next cleared area, adjacent to an old barn that's been caved in for longer than I know.  Glassed it, sure enough, buck grazing some lunch right at the edge of the clearing.  He lifted his head and I saw outside the ears main beams, so I quit counting and dropped down to avoid being seen.  Got my pack and gear off, set up my standing height shooting sticks, and guessed the distance to be around 200yds.  Easily within the range of the 30-06 I was carrying.  I found a hole in the treeline to shoot through and got set up.  A few deep breaths later, he fell on the first shot.  Unfortunately, that bullet struck a twig going through the treeline, and it went a little high.  Still, a buck with a broken back is pretty well down, just needs a mercy shot to end it quickly.  So I got on him again, and hit another twig on the way through, but got lung and liver and he was down for the count.  He's pretty thickly massed for what amounts to "almost a 7pt."  And based on his fat level (kidneys were encased, heart about 50%) and body size (Rough guess is 170lbs live weight) we're guessing he'll go about 3.5yrs.  The good news is, he'll taste fantastic and it's great to have venison coming to the freezer again.  We've been out for a couple of months.

My buddy and I believe this guy has some piebald in him, based on the lack of grey in his coat and the white stripes up the backs of his legs being so prevalent.  I'm going to have his skull euro-mounted.

Oscar says we need a recipe thread.  Here goes with my favorite way to prepare venison backstrap.  I'm sure this would work for other kinds of backstrap, as well.  Here's what I do:

Start with the backstrap whole, with the sinew trimmed completely away.  I rinse the strap, pat it dry, and prepare it in approximately 12-14" lengths.  Those go in a gallon freezer bag with some marinade.  You can make your own (I make Soy-Ginger, Jerk, and Sesame Teriyaki) or if you're not into making your own, or are in a hurry, you can use one of several off-the-shelf versions.  I especially like Lawry's Mesquite Lime marinade for venison, if I'm not making my own.  So, dump the marinade and backstrap into a gallon ziplock, close it tight, and be sure the marinade gets all around the venison.  Put that in the fridge for at least 2hrs, but not more than 6-8.  After sufficient time, pull the backstrap and wrap with cheap bacon (cheaper has more fat, which is all you really want for this).  I lay the strips long-ways and tie with baker's twine.  It looks like this when it's ready to go on the grill:

Now, preheat your grill to 500deg.  If your grill will go above that, that's fine, but you want a searing heat to start.  I have a gas grill with multiple burners, and once it's hot, I turn the middle burner down to low, leaving the outer burners up high.  Place the backstrap crossways on the grill, in the middle, and sear the bottom for 1min.  Flip, and sear the other side, but leave it grilling for 12-14min.  Watch for flare-ups from the bacon grease, but your grill temps should drop to ~375-425 with the middle burner on low, and the strap will slowly cook.  If you want to add some smoke flavor, a chip box over one of the outside burners will do nicely.  I've used hickory, mesquite, apple, cherry, and pear wood.  I like the mesquite, but that's easy to overdo.  Don't put but a small batch of chips in the box if using mesquite.  If you use hickory or one of the sweet woods, you can put however much you like.  Now, somewhere around 12min or so, flip the straps again.  Let them ride another 7-10min or so, and check them with a meat thermometer.  Once you break 145-150deg, they're good, but some folks like them more done, and will take them to 160.  I've found my venison to be more flavorful at 145, though, and that's my target.  160deg seems to dry it out too much for my taste.  Check each strap in two places, and once the thermometer is above your target temp, pull the strap and place in a cool glass cooking pan.  Cover it with foil, and put it in your warming drawer or oven, set at about 150-170deg.  Let the meat "tent" for a minimum of 10min.  I generally serve this with mashed potatoes or rice, and a salad or perhaps green beans or broccoli.

To serve, cut the meat into medallions about 3/4 inch thick.  Don't cut it until you're ready to serve and eat, though, as it will dry more quickly once it's cut.  Here's what the straps look like when they come off the grill:

If you want to make a sauce for them, there are a lot of good recipes.  I like to make a red wine reduction for mine, based on a recipe for pork loin I use at Christmas.  It's simple.  Caramelize about half a small sweet onion in a saucepan.  This will take a lot longer than the 5min all these "quick recipes" say it will.  It's best to caramelize your onions before you put the meat on the grill.  They can sit while you grill.  Then add a 14oz can of beef broth, a cup of red wine, and stir while boiling for about 10-12min.  Lower heat to simmer.  Mix a teaspoon of cornstarch with 4oz water (just put it in a ziplock sandwich bag and seal the bag, then mix by pressing it between your fingers), and add to the sauce.  Keep stirring and in 2min, remove from heat, cut the backstrap, and serve immediately.

If you've never liked venison, I suspect you will after this recipe.

Thought I'd share a pic from this morning:

Of course, since I work from home, my commute up the stairs and down the hall is not iced up, and I still have to work.  My wife and kids are having a ball, though!

Whitetail Deer / Season redemption
« on: January 11, 2015, 10:16:46 PM »
It's been a tough season for me this year.  The landowner came through and bush hogged all the fields about two weeks before the season, cutting what had been waist to chest high grass down to ankle height.  Of course, this totally wrecked the deer patterns and pushed them off the mountain top and down into the draws and hollers off the bluffs.  I've managed to see a couple of deer, and even one quality buck, but never was able to get a shot.  In years prior, I've bagged a couple of deer by this point in the season and I'm hunting a mature buck to finish things out.  Well, this year, I'm skunked.  I even spent a whole day in the field with fog coming and going, and twice when I was fogged in to 10yds visibility, I could hear does bleating within 25-30yds of me, but not see them.  My hunting time has been strained with a new job and my wife overbooking my free time despite my clear instruction not to do so.  I've put a stop to that, but it cost me several quality days afield.  Very frustrating, indeed.

Well, I got back from a crazy busy trip to my corporate office very late Friday night, and decided to sleep in Saturday, rather than try to hunt on just three or four hours sleep.  I headed out around lunchtime, and was surprised to find my lease empty of any other hunters.  I stalked around a bit, and decided as the wind shifted to hike down into a creekbed and settle into a position in the rocks which gave me view of a multi-intersection of six game trails coming down this draw and crossing the creek, back and forth.  About 330p, I'm sitting against a rock and I hear the unmistakable sound of a deer walking through the dry leaves behind me.  Then I hear a grunt, and it's close.  Every hair on my body was standing up, and it must have taken 15-20sec to turn my head enough to see a buck at about 15yds, coming down a steep incline from my right to left, behind me, picking his way through the rocks.  I watched him and tried to figure out how I'd get my gun around, and noticed he was following a doe, about 15' ahead of him going down the side of the ridge.  She got to a point where she turned directly away from me, and I could see the backs of both her ears.  He was still trailing her, still grunting literally with every step he took, and he went behind a pair of trees, giving me the opportunity to get my gun around in his direction.  (Unfortunately, not a Weatherby on this hunt.)  From my position, I watched him step out and turn, hard quartering away, and I held on his last rib, on his right side.  A breath in and about half out, and I squeezed a round off.  He buckled, and bounded down the steep incline.  I lost sight of him behind a rock ledge, and saw the doe out of the corner of my eye bound down and stop on a small flat below the incline.  I never took my eyes off where I thought the buck had gone, however, and the doe eventually turned and trotted off.  I waited a few minutes just in case, and then eased myself down the slope amongst the rocks to try to find him.  He was piled up about 20yds from where I shot him.  He's the biggest buck I've ever taken, and even these pics don't do him justice.  He has four points on the right, and five on the left, but also has four 2" or longer brow tines on the left side, and a half-inch sticker on the right brow tine.  His G4 on the left is broken off, but I don't care.  The processor said he was about 155lbs dressed, and he was confident the buck went 200-210lbs live weight, if not a little more.  That's a big deer for northern Alabama.  I'm guessing right now he's 5.5yrs old, but my taxidermist will save the jawbones for me so we can age them and know for sure.  Can't wait to find out.

Not sure if anyone saw his comments, but apparently Governor Mike Huckabee is a Weatherby man.  He was commenting regarding the ignorant comments made by Colin Cowherd regarding southern culture, in relation to the tragic death of race driver Kevin Ward, Jr.  Maybe some of you knew Governor Huckabee was a Weatherby man, but it came as a pleasant surprise to me.  His comments were posted to his Facebook page, and are copied below in quote form:

Last weekend, a tragedy on a Sprint car racetrack in NY resulted in the tragic death of Kevin Ward, Jr. who had gotten out of his car and was hit and killed by Tony Stewart. The investigation continues, but it did not stop at least one sports commentator from one of the most idiotic accusations this side of accusing George Bush being responsible for 911. Hereís the comment from ESPNís Colin Cowherd: ďItís really, really part of the South, and itís an eye-for-an-eye culture.Ē

Really? So this guy thinks the death of Kevin Ward is because of a southern culture? Since Ward is a native of New York and Stewart is from Indiana, I guess Iím not getting the geographical connection, but as a proud Southerner, I take offense at some guy whose name rhymes with cow turd trying to blame southerners for a testosterone fueled feud between two Yankee drivers. Cowherd reveals his ignorance of southern culture by invoking an eye for an eye as being Southern. Maybe he should get out more.

If you have a flat tire on a country road in Mississippi, you wonít be there long before someone in a pickup truck stops to help you change it. People in Arkansas still pull over to the side of the road so a funeral procession can go by; A fellow who kills a deer in Georgia will probably give you some of the meat for your family; catching a messóyes, we call it a mess of fish means the neighbors will get some too; total strangers in Tennessee will say hello, and when people say they will pray for you in South Carolina, they really will. I donít know where the goon from ESPN is from, but it ainít from the south. If he wants to make a complete fool of himself, he should come see us and try to show us how to cook grits, make redeye gravy, run a trotline in Louisiana, set a hook on a largemouth bass, field dress a deer, or clean a Weatherby 300 mag rifle. He can explain to us the difference between King james version and the NIV, sing Amazing Grace in 4 octaves, and play fiddle in a country band. He can give us his recipe for a barbecue rub, coach Little League football, tree a coon with a hound dog, and show us how he calls ducks. If he canít do that, he ought to stick with what he knows which clearly is not Southern culture and shut his pie hole. Bless his heart!/quote]

Old Derrill surprised me recently with a couple of nice cartridge holders handmade in leather.  They're very well put together, and my son already claimed one.  I'm going to have the other in my coat pocket when I go afield this rifle season.  I marked them on the inside, "Handmade by Derrill Fox" and put "PurpleFox" underneath it so I'd always be reminded of his kind gesture.  Here are a couple of pics of them, on my handloading benchtop:

If you need some leatherwork done, give Derrill a shout.  These are terrific!

Well, my son Hampton took the Rifle Merit Badge at Scout Camp this summer, and did well.  In fact, he was the first Scout to qualify during his camp week.  He qualified as soon as they let the boys attempt, which was on day 3, and qualified on his first attempt.  Anyway, he put 5 groups of 5 on the paper, and "qualifying" was each group could be covered by a quarter.  Most of his could be covered by a dime.  So he comes home all excited and starts talking about getting out the rifle I got him a couple of years ago, scoping it up, and heading to the range.  Not one to waste opportunity (especially after several years of disinterest on his part) we started in immediately.  Mounted the scope one night, loaded ammo another night, and headed to the range Saturday afternoon after helping another Scout with his Eagle Project.

To give some background, Hampton is left-eye dominant, and shoots left-handed because of it.  I ran up on a Browning A-Bolt II Micro Hunter in a southpaw configuration, chambered in 270WSM, a few years back and bought it.  I picked up a Bushnell Elite 3200 3-9x40 for $135 from Midway on closeout when those were discontinued, as well.  So we set all that up for him.  Then we proceeded to load up some H4895 reduced loads, putting 40gr powder under a 110gr Hornady BTHP.  I have some Accubonds for hunting rounds, but these cheap Hornadys are great for the range.

Here he is at the range:

I forgot my front rest, so we were using a bag I keep in the shooting box, and it was a little low.  He made do, however.  In fact, his first group at 50yds was the bottom group on this target:

I have to brag a bit, as he's never shot anything other than a 22lr (though a lot of that) and nothing but iron sights before this range trip.  His first three shots with a centerfire rifle, through a scope, and he gets a group right over 1.5MOA for the distance.  The upper group on that target are shots 4-6, with the target moved to 100, and the scope adjusted.  He's feeling pretty good at this point, as we were aiming for 2MOA or better.  I am chronoing the loads and they're a about 100fps slower than I expected, hitting 2400fps instead of 2500.  But they're consistent, and he's not at all bothered by the recoil.  He plinks some with his 22lr bolt gun while the barrel on the Browning is cooling (it was not a cool day at the range, being 87deg here in Alabama in July), and I work through some 243Win, 30-30WCF, 300Wby, and 270Wby work I need to get done.  He alternates shooting the rimfire and his Browning rifle, shooting several groups in the 1-1.5MOA range.  I'm pretty impressed.  And I'm frustrated about my 270Wby, but that's another story.  May have a bad scope.  If so, Minox is on my crap list.  One more range trip should prove or disprove the value of that brand to me.  But it's a good day, as the IMR7828 loads I worked up for the 300'bee (since I can't get H1000 right now) are making nice triangles, albeit about 1.5MOA, but perfect triangles, telling me I can tighten them with some COL tweaking.  And velocities are humming.  Like, I stopped at the mid-load of my workup, because I was getting 3300fps with 180gr E-Tips.  No pressure signs, but I figured the next step up might very well give sign, and I'll wait until a cool morning at the range to try them out.  I can't imagine anything in the world except the Big 5, and the big bears, which would not be handled mightily with a 180gr E-Tip leaving my barrel at 3300fps.

So, it's close to the end of the day, we've shot a bunch, and we're tired.  My son says he wants to shoot one more group with his Browning, and he knocks out a 3MOA mess.  He's ticked off.  I tell him he's tired, and he's already shot maybe 25rds, and his shoulder may be feeling it a bit.  He says, "I can't leave on that group.  Three more rounds?"  I oblige him, of course.  He gets settled in, takes a couple of breaths, and proceeds to go through his three shots.  I'm spotting, and just telling him, "Looks good.  Send another one."  Not trying to sway him either way, but keep him confident.  After shot number three I'm about to pop, because he pounded out this for his swan song:

So, all in all a very good day at the range.  He's already on me to go back.  I'm working on figuring out when we can schedule that.

A fellow I know over on the Nosler forum (handle: Sako7STW) recently registered here.  He's been unable to post or start any threads.  Can the mods in charge offer some guidance?  I'm not much in the way of familiar with his issues or what he's tried up to now.  Off the cuff, my immediate thoughts are:

Try a different browser
Empty your cache/temporary internet files/etc.
Try from a different computer on a different network

Can't really think of anything else.  Any suggestions, guys?

Reloading / 180gr E-Tip at 3200fps MV in white-tail at ~200yds
« on: February 05, 2013, 10:36:35 PM »
I shot a buck at 60yds and a doe at ~200yds on the last day of the season (31 Jan).  The buck was straight through the boiler room, ribs-lungs-ribs.  The doe was a quartering shot, through the shoulder blade (barely) and the ribcage, taking out one whole lung, but then because the doe had her body twisted a bit at the midpoint, instead of exiting her opposite side at the back of the ribcage, it traveled full axis, through the rear hip, and was found just under the skin right about where the brown and white hair meets at her rump.  One quick cut from my knife, and it popped right out.

These are supposed to be 180gr, but my batch were all 179.6-179.8gr when new.  At least, of the 100 I bought, when I weighed about 15 of them, that's the range.  This recovered bullet, after cleaning (it was covered with fat) weighs in at 177.2gr, for a weight retention percentage of 98.6%.  I suspect the plastic tip is about a grain of weight, which means this bullet managed to shed only about .4% of it's gilding metal monolithic body.

Both deer I shot with this bullet yesterday dropped in their tracks.  I was really expecting a less shocking impact from these, due to their monolithic construction, but they behaved as ballistic tips for me, both times.  I'm pretty high on using the E-Tips in magnum rifles at this point, having taken three deer in three years using them (and two others using Ballistic Tips) with excellent results in both penetration and expansion.

Whitetail Deer / Last day of the season was 31 January
« on: February 01, 2013, 06:14:30 AM »
After a fun but frustrating season where I saw a ton of deer, a bobcat at 10', and got a pretty, blonde coyote, I took yesterday off for the last day of deer season here in Alabama.  I bumped a doe and a buck off their beds stalking in to my stand, and dropped this guy at about 640a yesterday morning:

That's my Stainless Synthetic in 300Wby in the picture, and I was using 180gr Nosler E-Tip handloads (over H1000) that should have been running 3200-ish in the 30deg weather yesterday morning.  Shot was about 60yds on a moving deer, and suffice it to say that a 180gr E-Tip will take out 4 ribs going in, 5 more going out, and liquify everything in between.  The tracking job was to walk up to where he was standing when I shot, and smile, because he was laying right there.  An old friend of mine who is also in our club, helped me drag him out to the road, and I got him to the cutter.  Came back and sat on a field yesterday afternoon, and at 5min before the end of legal shooting hours (and the end of the season) a lone doe walked out.  She also took a 180gr E-Tip, though this one went in the shoulder, took out one lung, and then traveled on through to her opposite hip.  I found the bullet lodged under the skin on her hind quarter.  She also never took a step.

Overall it was a great way to end a fun season.  Now I'm just counting the days until October 15 when Bow Season opens again...

Predator / Helping out my deer herd
« on: January 13, 2013, 03:32:27 PM »
It's just about a week prior to the peak of the rut here in north Alabama, so I decided to sneak away for a quick hunt before church this morning. As I'm getting dressed, my wife lets me know she and my youngest haven't slept well as they've both been feeling a little puny, so no church, and I should just hunt as long as I want.

Got out early, and donned my rain gear. Walked in and set up looking across a draw over a steep creek bed. Saw a doe early, but no shot between the fog and brush. Woods are super quiet from four days of solid rain. Put the sneak on her, but either she zigged when I zagged or I pushed her. Well, I head down to the creek bed and figure to walk out, when along comes this little blonde fellow:

Well, you can see that the 350RemMag 673 works just fine with open sights through about 60yds of woods, offhand. I was pretty pleased with the shot, and I think the hide may still be salvageable for a rug for my wall. Now to figure out how to get it skinned out without freaking out the wife and neighbors!

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Coyotes running in packs?
« on: November 24, 2012, 09:23:57 AM »
I posted this on another forum, but wanted to hear what The Nation thinks, as well:

Had an interesting experience yesterday evening.  Took my new hunting buddy out for her second trip to the lease, and sat the same field.  Had a doe come in right at the end of legal shooting hours, and was lining up my shot when she stood up, startled, and turned and ran out of the field like a freight train.  Had no idea what spooked her, but then six coyotes came trotting into the patch.  They milled around for a minute, sniffing and circling.  I've not seen these stupid dogs in a pack before, so it concerns me.  Of course, the pack is one fewer this morning than last night, as I took out the biggest one on which I could get a clean shot.

Anybody else seeing this sort of pack behavior from coyotes?  It concerns me because I'm pretty sure it is a major deer density impact for our lease.  After the season we're going on a coyote killing spree, for sure.


Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Got a new hunting buddy!
« on: November 19, 2012, 10:21:24 AM »
It appears I have a new hunting buddy as of yesterday afternoon.  My youngest, Hannah, age 6, has been after me since the spring to take her hunting with me.  I was going to take her on a dove hunt this year, but it didn't pan out.  So she's been waiting patiently for rifle season to open.  Well, This was the weekend, and Sunday afternoon I got the opportunity to take her out for a couple of hours.

We headed out to the lease and discovered we had the place to ourselves.  So I drove up to the top of the lease and parked close to where we were going to hunt.  We loaded up our packs to "hike" about 1000yds and set up our ground blind on a field that has been fairly good for afternoon hunts.  Got all set and she was just as excited as could be when I pulled out an extra pair of binos in 8x26 for her to use.  She immediately started glassing the field and treelines for me.

I had intentionally made this a short hunt, to keep her interest.  We were in the blind at about 330p, giving us just under 2hrs of hunt time.  About 45min into the hunt, she turned to me and smiled...

and told me, "I don't know how, but even the waiting is fun, Daddy!"

So I'm really conflicted at this point, as I'd like her to see some deer but I'm not sure she'll be okay with a dead deer and me cleaning it.  But she's happy regardless up to this point.  And I've briefed her about what will happen and she seems okay with it.  So we sit until after sundown.  She's bummed we haven't seen anything, but still enjoying herself.  So we start stuffing the various stuff back into our packs, and I look up and a doe has entered the field.  I get her on it with her binos, and she says she can see it eating and walking.  I'm pretty pumped - more pumped about showing her this deer in the dusky light than I thought I'd be.  I get my rifle situated but I'm so excited about her seeing this that I can't get steady for a shot.  I sit back, take a breath, and reposition my shooting sticks.  Then I'm ready, but now the doe is facing us, and I know better than to end to end that doe with my 300Wby in front of Hannah, as it will smell terrible and she'll throw up.  Light is fading fast, and the doe just keeps feeding facing us.  Hannah is asking, "Are you gonna shoot her, Daddy?" in an urgent whisper, over and over.  Light is fading fast, and I look at my watch and realize it's now after legal shooting hours.  So I tell Hannah we can't shoot now, that it's too dark, and she asks a few questions.  I get to turn it into a teachable moment, at least, and help her understand that we only take shots we are confident we can make, and in the dark, I can't get a good sight picture and that means I can't be confident.  She smiles and says, "Can we watch her some more?"  Of course, we do, and can barely make her out under the crescent moon.  Soon enough, there are 5 black spots feeding around the field, and we watch a bit and then grab our packs and head back to the truck.  The whole time, Hannah is beaming and talking about how great this was.  I believe I've got a new hunting buddy for life...and of course, I'm calling her my lucky charm because whenever she hunts with me, I see deer!

Well, I finally got a couple hours to run to the range and check zero on a handful of rifles.  The story is sad, to say the least, but I've been so busy for the past year that I've been shooting all of once since the end of last hunting season.  I had load work to do on two rifles, and had changed the scope on a third.  So I needed a range trip before the rifle opener.  Being that opener is Saturday, 17 November, and only two days away, it was pretty well now or never.  So I loaded up a handful of rifles and got the following results:

  • 270Wby - Got this one sighted in with the 130gr E-Tip load after swapping over to the Minox scope.  I may still add a slip on recoil pad as this scope has a ton of eye relief, but three shots in under an inch is fine for now!
  • 243Win - This is a Browning BAR I inherited from my dad.  No handloads, just Federal 100gr factory ammo.  Three shots into 1.25" like always for this rifle.  Adjusted it a tad right and a tad up, but it was still well within the vitals either way.
  • 30-30WCF - This was just a zero check.  It's all good.
  • 30-06 - Zero check on this one scared me.  First group of three went all over the place (4+ inches).  This is a standard load that routinely puts three in a cloverleaf.  So I set it aside, and noticed that one foot on the rest had slipped off the bench top in between a couple of boards.  Re-situated the rest and got three in about half an inch.  Happy again.
  • 300Wby - This was one of two rifles for which I was still looking at load workups.  Had a batch of IMR7828 and H1000 loads to shoot, plus the last group (max charge) of RL22 loads.  All were 180gr Nosler E-Tips.  Shot the RL22, got a three shot group all inside the 1" square just above the bullseye, centered a half inch left.  One of the best groups with this rifle, ever.  Very happy.  Then I shot the 7828 loads.  Two close, one out, at every charge weight.  Then I started in on the H1000 loads.  These were in Weatherby brass, as opposed to the RL22 loads in Remington brass.  H1000 was not workable in the Remmy brass due to severe compression at the start and mid charges.  Well, the Weatherby brass made all the difference.  I got three shot triangles for groups, with the middle load being the largest, at about 2", with a called flier on shot #2.  The max charge group turned in a 3-shot triangle with roughly .8" spacing, so I think I've found the load.  That one has been an on-again, off-again project over the past couple of years, but I'm glad to be settled now.  After the performance of the RL22 loads and the consistency of the H1k loads across the workup, I'm pretty confident.  I'm going to try to head back out for a quick verification one day next week, but if I don't get around to it, it's huntable with this load.  In fact, it very well may go to the woods with me Saturday for the opener.
  • 350RemMag - Second rifle for load workup.  This one is a Remington 673 with the vent rib and shark fin open sights.  I figured I could use it for a heavy cover gun for white-tails, elk, or whatever else I choose here on this continent.  I had tried a short load workup previously with this rifle but ran into trouble with the open sights being too short and shots all hitting low.  I revamped what I was loading, and took two sets with me today.  First, some Speer 220gr Flat Point Hot Cors over BL( C )-2, and second, some Sierra 225gr GameKings over Accurate 2230.  The Speers got tighter as I got heavier in charge, and they were hitting right on in terms of elevation at 100yds, and about half an inch to the right.  The Sierras were all over the place, and were about 8-9" high.  Huge groups.  So the 220gr Speer and BL( C )-2 is the winner.  The max charge was the best group, and came in at 1.5" at 100yds.  That will certainly do for an open-sighted woods stalking rifle, which is my intended use.  I plan to hunt some post-rainstorm days during the week when nobody else is on the lease, and stalk the draws looking for deer.  Should be fun.  Glad I got the load worked out on that one.

I forgot my tripod so no chronograph readings, but based on what I know about these rifles, I only have questions about the velocity for the 350Rem.  I'm guessing something like 2600fps or so, which should still give me an easy 100yd range in the thick.  For the 300Wby, I'm guessing, based on other load workups, those 180gr E-Tips are running along at about 3150fps or so.  Plenty fast enough to do whatever I will ask of them.

All in all a good day at the range.  I was in a hurry when I left and forgot to grab my targets from the next bench over where I had laid them, so no pics of the groups.  Bummed, but not driving back over there just for that - plus I suspect they were gone by the time I realized it as I was unloading the truck.

Happy to be ready for gun season!

Pages: [1] 2 3