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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I shot 80 rounds today, testing some H335 (well, WC844 surplus powder) loads under 147gr FMJ bullets. It shot better with the lighter loads (40-41gr), getting pretty consistent 1.5-2" groups. They opened up to 3"+ with 44gr, though I did also shoot a 1.5" group with the 43gr bullets. I am going to skip the 44gr ones next time and try again with some 40, 41, and 42" loads. The recoil pad definitely helps in the longer sessions!

I also shot a few <2MOA groups with the cheap-o "Monarch" ammo from Academy. I have a pic showing one 1.5" group and one 1.75" group, for three shots each. I only shot 10 rounds of that and I think the rest were at the gongs.

I still have a lot of improvement to do as a shooter, but I can tell I'm getting better. My wobble is down to about 1.5MOA probably as opposed to 2MOA, and I'm slowly working out my flinch. I honestly think the gun could do 1MOA with a better shooter or a better rest. But me on just a bipod is definitely not the most stable setup.

I also really need a better scope. The adjustments on my $30 Tasco are extremely inconsistent. Early in the session I was trying to actually "zero" the scope with some degree of accuracy. It started off like 4" high at 100 yards. I lowered it 12 clicks, which should have been 3" down, and then I remembered I wanted it 2" high at 100 yards, so I raised it back up 4 clicks. My next several groups ended up averaging like 1" below POA at 100 yards (which should have taken ~20 total clicks rather than 8 ), haha. After some fiddling I got it to stick around 2" high. Still, shooting the 12" gong at 200 yards was cake, and the 6" gong at 200 yards was pretty easy also. But, I'll probably be picking up a Bushnell sometime soon.

Last time I took it out, I was only able to shoot 3 shots before a squib (case lube error on my part--first time loading rifle cartridges) caused a stuck bullet and a truncated range session. I finally got to test the forend work I did today (opened up the front of the channel and put a washer under the lug), and it seemed to have done quite well compared to the first time out.

Accuracy didn't seem to change much with barrel heating or fouling. The barrel started getting hotter toward the end of the session because another shooter came so I started having to shoot multiple groups at once (plus some shots on the gongs), rather than going to check between every group or two. I shot a few of the 1.5MOA groups at the end of the session, actually.

I'll post pics of the groups of you're interested.

*edit*

Oh and these were rounds ~80 through 180 I believe. And if you were wondering, yes the barrel was chopped short (search terms: shortened , hacksaw , hacksawed ) using a cutoff wheel on an angle grinder. After filing it level, it is now about 16.4". So, I'm pleased to find accuracy has so far not been negatively affected (at least to the degree I could notice). Also, just as a side note, I was able to get one of the Monarch loads chronographed and it ran 2636fps, vs what I assume would be 2800-2850 out of a 24" barrel.
 

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I don't think I could hold sub 1.5 moa with a bi pod. As much as I like short looking guns that cute little bugger needs a name like dragon breath, It must singe the grass for a foot from the muzzle.... ::) . Sounds like the project is going along as planned, I bet off sandbags you would notice a difference. When shooting for measured groups in load developement I like a solid rest, Keep us posted. thejanitor
 

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If you get the chance, try 44 grains of Varget with a 165 grain bullet. This load has done well with more .308 rifles than I can start to remember. Not the fastest but it sure has worked well for me and a whole lot of other guys I know that shoot .308 W's
 

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I have had good luck with 46.C of Varget behind a 168gr match bullet from a few different 308 heres a target at 100 with three three shot groups using Nosler ( high left ), PRVI Partisan (high right ) And Hornady A-max ( just right of X ring )
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd like to eventually get into longer range, accurate target shooting with some nice powders like Varget. But at least while I'm poor ( :p ), pulled 147gr FMJBT (M80 military ball) bullets and 8lbs of the cheapest surplus powder I could find will have to do :p .

I am 95% sure the butt-pad is one of the "Winchester" (re-badged Limbsaver) ones from Walmart, size small.

The muzzle blast is surprisingly mild, compared to what I thought it would be. I never shot it with the full-length barrel, but I don't notice any particularly significant blast or flame. Then again, I've only shot it on sunny days. I only noticed the flame from my Raging Bull on cloudy days, so maybe one day I'll get a nice surprise :p . However, Monarchs and my Handloads use a relatively fast powder (less powder for more peak pressure and with lower velocities than powders like Varget). I tried a box of some Federal loads and I remember those having no space in the case (couldn't hear the powder when shaking the case, unlike with my reloads and the Monarchs). Those were louder / had more recoil / or both (I just remember the shots feeling more intense). But still, I've hoped to stay on the lighter end of the charge range, and liked the idea of getting a slightly faster powder, specifically to keep muzzle blast to a minimum with the short barrel.

On some of the later groups I realized if I aimed at the drawn spot, the groups would be off the paper. I added indicators to show where I was aiming for a couple of the groups. These are not all the groups I shot. I also stopped marking anything that wasn't under 2MOA, though the right-most group in the 4th pic was about 2MOA also.

The pictures are in the relative order I shot them, but they were not consecutive. For example, I shot the 44gr loads right after the 40gr loads, but didn't take pics before of the poor groups (~3" or so), and I also shot the gongs a bit between some of the later groups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was taking my new girl out the other day to shoot my .308 for the first time and I decided I wanted to load up some light (Unique) loads for her so the recoil doesn't bother her. So, I took 30 of my handloads rounds to the range, 147gr FMJBT bullets on top of 40gr of WC844 (Hodgdon H335), both so I could empty the cases for reloading and also so I could This is a bit under the starting loads for a 150gr bullet (depending on the specific bullet and such, starting loads are like 40.4 to 41gr).
I wasn't shooting for groups, and actually was shooting pretty quickly, but I can tell I'm making big strides in my stability as a shooter from a supported position (bipod). Shooting from the bipod, I can tell my wobble has definitely decreased and any inkling of a developing flinch is all but gone. I shot all 30 rounds in probably 7 or 8 minutes, during which time I made a couple adjustments to the scope to get it closer to zero. The adjustments are absolute crap--not a surprise on a $30 tasco :p--of which I'm now sure since it took 3 clicks to move it several inches at 200 yards (should have been 1.5" based on the claimed click values :p ). But, long story short, my last 5 shots were all hits on the 6" gong at 200 yards, on the 3x zoom setting (for the extra challenge), which was really pleasing! Hitting it on the 9x zoom was very easy.
Oh and yeah in the fading light, even with these relatively light loads (probably about 40-42k PSI) do put out a pretty nice flash and muzzle blast :) . It was still maybe two hours before sundown, but there was about a 2' long by 1' wide visible flame after the barrel, heh. But, I doubt its much different than a stouter load in a more standard-length barrel.
Next time I'm out, if I end up there by myself, I might try to set up some coke cans on the berm at 200 yards to see if I can't hit those.

I'm still enjoying this rifle more and more everytime I take it out!
 

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With age comes wisdom.....Have been collecting singles for 55years.....have shot..Hi-walls , Low-walls , 44's , 44 1/2 , rolling blocks , Sharps ,Rugers . SSi's , Martini's Nef/h&r's and a slue of others.the one thing I learned was that with modern cartridges..(not rim fires) accuracy suffers when you throw many round down range at one sitting. My 06 No.1 goes to the range the day before rifle season..I fire one shot..it hits between 1-2"s high at 100...It has done this since 1968. I sold my friend a short barreled NEF 243..he called it junk...couldn't get 3 shots under 4"...he would shoot 40 rounds at a sitting ,constanly adjusting the scope.....I brought it back , cleaned it and proceeded to shoot a 3 shot under an inch...only shot three shots. My advice to you is to slow down.....buy a 22rf and shoot that 100 times a session..it will improve your shooting skills at a lot less cost...and after 20 rounds of 22..shoot one 308.....talk about group improvement. good luck...with the 22 your new girl friend won't be your old girl friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Trust me, I understand all that :) . This is my first firearm chambered in an actual rifle cartridge, but I've had a good amount of trigger time with my other guns. Until I got this rifle, I never worried much about precision shooting with my long guns, as I always gravitated toward more "active" shooting regimens (especially since I focus primarily on handguns). Anyways, my point was only to say that despite shooting a relatively high amount of rounds in a short amount of time, POI did not seem to change any. I only had a couple hours to shoot and then reload them since I was going to see her after work, and only used the first ~5 rounds for actual scope adjustments. The rest were just to empty the cases and for my personal enjoyment, heh. But, since POI shift after even only a few rounds seems to be a regular complaint with Handi shooters, I was pleased to see it doesn't seem to be a problem anymore for mine.
And she actually enjoyed shooting it with full-powered loads (she is a bit of a country girl so she isn't unfaimilar with firearms--we actually shot on her property, and then fed her horses :p ). The first half dozen shots were of varying Unique loads, though she ended up shooting and getting a thrill out of the .308-level loads. We both have .22 rifles for higher volumes, though :) . However, I'll be upgrading the scope soon so I can put the Tasco back on my .22. That way she can get some decent practice shooting a scoped rifle, as she'd never shot through a scope before (she just thought it looked cool when I first showed it to her a few weeks before and she wanted to try it, heh).
 
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