Graybeard Outdoors banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, I can't answer that, but after shooting 2 different Handi's for 2 1/2 years, and 3 others alternately in that time I do have an answer for what I expect......I expect the rifle to shoot as well as I can hold on a bench. Now that may sound kinda obvious even simplistic, but to get to that point I had to reach the place where I could say a bullet out of the group was in fact a flier.

On average I can say that my 357 Max will shoot my pipsqueak plinking load (7.3 grains of milsurp #107 or Blue Dot, Lee 357-158-RF cast bullet, Winchester small pistol primer) into 1.5" Occasionally it will outdo itself and shoot that into 1", it is not unusual to see the load shoot 2". It will generally put 7 or 8 of 10 into an inch. It will always stay on a tin can. It will always have a well defined center, but the fliers are random enough both in order of fire and point of strike that to say "That was a flier" is not always possible.

I changed my loading practice today for 2, 10 shot groups. I didn't neck size the cases. Instead I simply decapped, reprimed, belled in the expanding die, charged and seated a bullet with enough crimp to straighten the belling. I was rewarded with 2 groups, one 7 of 10 into 5/8" w/ 3 fliers making 1.5", the second 7 of 10 shots into 5/8" w/ 3 fliers making 1". I shot this load enough (over 3000 rounds) to know that this, twice in a row is different. A better different. I'm going to shoot using this loading method again tomorrow, see how it continues to perform. May still be a 1.5" load, but if it has reduced the size of the group center, it is a better load all around.

All this lead me to my accuracy desire, I want the rifle/load to shoot as well as I can see. The light was beginning to fail on the second group, so I could not see the group forming, all I could do was concentrate on the point of aim. It was not till I got down to the target that I saw a 1" group staring at me. And at that moment it struck me. I want my rifle to shoot as well as I can see, and the group I was looking at fit that description.

May sound simplistic, may sound silly, but it is what I look for in every gun I shoot and with every load I use. I don't think it an unreasonable expectation, what is the point of a gun/load that won't shoot where it is pointed? Hitting is the point of shooting. The Handi is not a target rifle, and expecting one to perform at that level is unreasonable. I find that accepting mediorce accuracy to be unreasonable as well. Depending on the rifle and it's mechanical ability, 1" could be awful, and 3" unattainable. But I have never been dissatisfied with a gun that could shoot as well as I could see. This is why I was never happy with a pistol that would only shoot 4" at 20 yards yeat a rifle that shot 2" at 100 with iron sights was great. And this is why I have continued to seek a higher level of accurcay from my Handi.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,571 Posts
Well put and I have to agree. I sold a Marlin 35 Rem cause it would not keep 3 rounds in 3" at 100yds. This with a 4X scope. Not good enough for me. Others might be very happy, but I like you expect more and will not keep one that does not produce.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
I guess I have about the same expectations. If I point the rifle at a squirrel's head I expect the bullet to hit him in the head not mid body. When I am shooting paper all the holes don't have to be one but I do want them in the X ring of a 25yd NRA slow fire pistol target at the range I am choosing to shoot. I don't expect a 22 to do this at 200yards because I don't feel that is reasonable either. Now My .223 I do expect it of and Many times with different loads I can achieve it. My .308 is not there yet but I am working on the load for it and it continues to improve. These rifles are not used as target rifles but do get fired at a lot of targets until I get pleased with their and my performance. I also have an old H&R .58 cal muzzle loader with the smooth breech plug that takes a load of 75 gr of 2F and a Minie ball and is a great meat maker in the wooded areas I prefer to hunt, it also took a coyote at 96yds after he spooked the old doe I had been after for 2 years. BTW I got her later in the same area.

Yes I like handi's
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
JPH45 ...

I agree with handirifle that you said it very well. My expectations are very similar. We all have different expectations and different uses for our firearms. If I was a hunter only, a 1" to 1.5" consistent groups would suffice from any of my hunting rifles unless I was doing a long range shooting hunt like for pronghorn where a shot might be 200 to 300 yards.

When I bought my first Handi in .223 this year, I set my original expectation at a consistent 1" 5 shot groups with two different bullets. When I started exceeding that with the first of my reloads, I changed it to consistent .750" 5 shot groups. Though I still shoot some three shot groups, 5 shot groups tell me much more about my rifle and my reloads. After finding a consistent load, I can easily tell what days I am not shooting as well as the rifle is capable of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,878 Posts
I fully expect every rifle I own to shoot sub-moa..and this includes my Handi's...if they don't and I know that I have taken all the necessary steps in my shooting form...barrel preperation...ammo selection or handloading techniques...it's time for that rifle to go away.

Every Handi I have ever owned or currently own save 1 can shoot as good a most bolt actions sold on the market today.To me..having the expectation of a bench rest Handi..is real...not all bench guns shoot sub 1/4" groups..most will..but not all...and getting a Handi to shoot there is possible...not always probable...but possible....and that possability...is one of the main reasons I like these little rifles...that and the look on the faces of those your shooting with when you walk down that 100 yards to the targets and compare them.I have a real expectation of shooting sub-moa groups everytime I go to the range...and like others have said...if I don't then it's usually not the rifles fault..

I applaud your unwillingness to settle for medocore groups...it is something that I have never done...settle for anything less than the best I can do...because that make me very dissatisfied with myself...because I know I could have done better.Too many folks are way to willing to give up on these rifles...and I do know there are quite a few of them that have problems...but those that don't have problems...are still capable of shooting good groups...provided the effort was put into everthing else.

What urks me is when someone will say..".All I need is minute of deer to kill it"...while that may be true under ideal circumstances..as to killing the deer...it speaks volumes of that paticular individuals perception...one of not wanting to or willing enough...or caring enough to do better....

Kepp up the good work JPH45...sounds to me your doing just fine...

Mac
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
51,030 Posts
Wow! Right on!!!! You all have pretty much said it all, I can't add anything to your line of thinking so I'll just offer my thanks for what you've said!!!

Thanks!!

Tim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
925 Posts
Rifle accuracy

It is my practice to maintain the standard of MOA or less with my rifles. I think that every rifle that is not a plinker (ie mini-14) should be able to shoot MOA. Like said before, if I have done everything on my part and it still does not get MOA, it's time for that rifle to go away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Mac11700 said:
I applaud your unwillingness to settle for medocore groups...it is something that I have never done...settle for anything less than the best I can do...because that make me very dissatisfied with myself...because I know I could have done better.Too many folks are way to willing to give up on these rifles...and I do know there are quite a few of them that have problems...but those that don't have problems...are still capable of shooting good groups...provided the effort was put into everthing else.

What urks me is when someone will say..".All I need is minute of deer to kill it"...while that may be true under ideal circumstances..as to killing the deer...it speaks volumes of that paticular individuals perception...one of not wanting to or willing enough...or caring enough to do better....Mac
Exactly. Good enough is never good enough for me either. I will always strive to achieve perfection even when that goal is clearly impossible.[/color]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
All of this sounds fine, except I think it is unrealistic for some Handis. Unless you're shooting at pistol ranges.

I shoot mostly at 100 yards and rarely at 50 yards, because that's all the range I have set up. I have found that a 1" group with a standard .357 mag is actually quite good at 100 yards! The same can be said for the 45-70. To expect more seems to me to be unrealistic, especially with wide shallow groove, narrow land barrels using hard cast bullets.

I believe, based on a little playing with cast bullets in .357 mag, the real hard cast bullets aren't engraving enough for good stabilization. The faster the bullet with less engraving, the wider and more erratic the groups, until you start getting keyholes. It may be possible to slow real hard cast down to where it engraves better, but I don't have the abilities to check that out.

The reason I say this is also based on some .309" Lyman 311291s that I have been shooting in the 30-30 barrel I got from JPH ( :grin: ). With 27.0 gr IMR 3031 in neck sized brass, I got this group with air cooled bullets.



The shot low and to the left was the first shot, the rest are 1" at 100 yards.

Today, I shot the same load, except I used a water quenched 311291 instead of the air cooled ones I used last. I didn't cast them, but I believe they were cast at the same time, with the same alloy.



Now, it's quite possible this is all my bad shooting, but I don't tend to think it has fallen that low. I believe there's a bullet problem that getting rid of the barrel won't solve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Paul, the difference in your groups is interesting, my 357 is just the opposite, hard bulelts shoot better than do softer ones. My 44 is just he opposite, like your 30-30 barrel it seems to have an affection for a softer bullet. A 357 shooting an inch at 100 is better than good.

The more I shoot the more that I find that each rifle is a rule unto itself, and that is another part of this whole equation.

Edit, added this:

Forgot to add, that flier in your first group is exactly the thing I want to know the why of, or if it is part of a normal pattern. I make notes on my targets about which shot is which for shots 1,2,3 or what number a flier is. I shoot 10 shot groups looking to find consistancy, or inconsistancy as the case is. Don't know what exactly it tells me, but over time I see differences between loads really quick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
JPH,

I was actually fishing for you to volunteer to cast a few bullets in the same alloy and vary the bullets only by water quenching. :wink: Since I don't have any casting equipment set up, it's hard for me to be able to check this "theory" out. The next time you cast some, just drop a few in some water every so often, so the only variable is hardness.

If it's too much of a hassle, don't worry about doing it. I'll just figure some other way to "test" this theory. Maybe even get the casting stuff rounded up to see if I still remember how. :eek:

I don't know what caused that flier. It may have been a cold barrel, because I don't wait between shots. I wouldn't wait if I was hunting, so I don't wait at the range either. I do believe it had the same fouling as what I was shooting at the time, but can't say for sure. Usually I shoot a couple of fouling shots if I change components.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Which bullet are we talking about casting up? The only 30 caliber mold I have is that Lee 180, and it drops a bullet 310 on the shank and 300 on the nose. I had sent a few of thsoe, did they shoot well? I never did get them to shoot any better than those in the bottom picture, even at 1600 fps.

Hard and soft bullets will shoot different no doubt. Quite a few say that the microgroove barrels shoot an oversize, soft bullet better than a hard one
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
JPH,

Actually it doesn't matter. Maybe for your 44 and/or 357? My interest isn't just for my barrel, I was hoping for something that would hold true in general for micro groove barrels.

All I was hoping for is bullets that are identical except for hardness and that's not going to happen unless some caster does it as a "research" project. That was the only reason I suggested, "The next time you cast some".

I'm loading another set of bullets of both hardness to try again. I think I may have used the wrong seating die on the last ones I shot and seated them too deep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Well, I have goofed big time. :oops: Here's the account and solution I posted on another thread,
Well, my only excuse is that I must have mush for brains! :oops:

The last target I shot is meaningless, so I apologize for posting bogus information. I forgot that I had set up an RCBS seating die for this project and then I used a Lee seating die on that group with much less OAL. I thought something didn't look right and sure enough it wasn't!

So, here's the plan. I have loaded 4 rounds each of 27.0 gr IMR IMR 3031, Win LR, new R-P brass (I only had 8 new pieces) and the two different .309" 311291 Lyman bullets. Knowing I needed some fouling shots, I loaded 2 more of the air cooled bullets in older brass, which is the only change.

I'll probably get a chance to shoot them tomorrow afternoon and report tomorrow night.
After I get this worked out, I'll compare identical loads using IMR IMR 3031 and DuPont IMR 3031, even though I don't expect any difference other than variation that comes from changing lot numbers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
aggregate groups on separate days.

I've sometimes considered taking a particular rifle, load, and position and shooting a single round on separate but consecutive days ( I suppose waiting a couple of hours might amount to essentially the same thing) and see how consistant the combination was over five to ten rounds at 100 yds. I think I may do it with my BC-revised when the opportunity arises. Has anyone ever considered this endeavor or done it? I'd think the information might be useful.
:wink:
stuffit
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,878 Posts
All of this sounds fine, except I think it is unrealistic for some Handis. Unless you're shooting at pistol ranges.

I shoot mostly at 100 yards and rarely at 50 yards, because that's all the range I have set up. I have found that a 1" group with a standard .357 mag is actually quite good at 100 yards! The same can be said for the 45-70. To expect more seems to me to be unrealistic, especially with wide shallow groove, narrow land barrels using hard cast bullets.
2 things Paul...first...I usually don't even bother at the 50 yard range...I get it bore sited at 25 and fire 3 shots to center the group...and then move to 100 yards..

Secondly...I use only 2 bullets for my 45-70's...the 300 grain Nosler Partition...and the Cast Performance 405 grain WLNGC...both of these loads are Level 2 + loads...and are my primary .458 hunting loads...both are extreamly accurate...

I also agree with you ...a 1" group with a 357 Handi at 100 yards is a good group...and if you can consistantly get that...you too are doing something most others can't achieve...

I cannot say 1 way or another as to any other cast load for any other Handi...since 99.9% of my loads are jacketed bullets...and I don't have any of the pistol caliber barrels since this isn't my primary interest.So...in all fairness you may be correct in your statements...but...I would be willing to bet that you could find a jacketed load that would give you consistant M.O.A. or close to it accuracy with all of the pistol caliber barrels you have.....If I did own and shot those type calibers...I would be primaraly using jacketed bullets...or being extreamly weight concious for variations in any cast bullet...just as I am with the jacketed bullets I shoot.It's just part of my routine I use for any reloading I do.....and I did that when shooting my different pistols...and never had wide variations on my shot strings...

My expectations are just that....mine....are they unrealalistic...to me...no...to someone else...most likely yes...most folks wouldn't spend half the time I do on preperations...I place no expectations on anyone else...except to be safe....to themselves and those around them when reloading and shooting..and to be ethical...while hunting...for the animals we do hunt deserve it...

Mac
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Mac,

You do realize I wasn't trying to be critical of anyone?

My comments were more of a clarification that the "standards" may be different depending on caliber and bullet selection. I don't expect my 45-70 to shoot as good as a .22 Hornet. I'm happy when it will group close to 1" at 100 yards and may not be as happy when the Hornet makes the same size group. My expectations are just different and I think most of us are that way.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
131 Posts
For the moment i've only a mdle258 30-30 20gage combo. I won't speak of clustering with 20gage :) , but the 30-30 is my only big bore and i try to push it to it's limit, accuracy speaking not speed.

I've just change my set-up from an harris's bipod and accushot to a more classical benchrest equipement, i only pratice at the range no hunting nor varminting and only 50yards :( .

My first choice of bullets is a home cast LEE C309-180-R, carefully loaded on a light load of powder for a subsonic speed.

I have my front rest to test and no bullet ready, i grab some from my reject bucket (really poor cast, greased mold or alloy temperature) and reload carefully (yes, even with those crappy bullets) a few cases.
I went to the range with only 12 cartridges, just to see how i'll feel with a benchrest style shooting. As result on the targets i expected nothing and possibly keyholing or split bullet. Surprise was mine, the first group show a nice cluster and the last is astounding.

My new set up.

And the targets : 4 3shots group at 50yards


And why i was surprised, my usual cast look like + weight segregation:


what i have used: (those came from the bucket also !)



30-30 i really easy with cast bullets.
50Yards is pretty close, to close maybe to discriminate ammo and rifle.
The results maybe differents at 200 or 100 yards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,878 Posts
Sorry Paul...I thought part of what you said was directed my way...and your absolutly correct...everyone has different expectations...I don't normally use cast bullets...and for those that do...I admire them...especially when they go to all the trouble of casting them.Soon...I hope to get into swaging my own jacketed bullets...and I have a-lot to learn before undertaking that...it may or may not work out...but going that way I can do it without all the mess of casting...

pascalp...nice shooting with those wrinkled bullets..:D

Mac
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
pascalp, how old is that combo? If it is pre-NEF, it is not at all comparable with the barrels they are miking today. The older barrels have a different twist rate, 1:12 as compared with the 1:10 of present barrels, and I'm willing to bet that the rifling itself is different too.

My bigest question about accuracy is not what kind of groups I get with it once in a while, but what will the rifle do everytime I pull the trigger. That is why I do not discount fliers. Fliers are telling something about the load/barrel/shooter relationship.

Stuffit, I have done many tests just as you describe, in fact every time I go back to the range the next day I learn all about how the rifle shoots its first shot froma cold barrel. I shoot practically everyday, so I can say that almost always (95% of the time) the first shot is within one inch of itself in all three rifles. But there is 5% that makes ya go Hmmmmmmmm......

Paul, I believe my last post answered the question you are asking. My 357 shows a decided preference for a harder bullet, my 44 prefers a sofer bullet, I've not shot my 38-55 over enough time with soft and harder bullets to be able so say one way or another. So far, I can't tell it matters.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top