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Old 08-14-2018, 11:26 AM
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VQ & Dakota 10: Any Day At The Range Is A Good Day...Right?



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As many of you well know, work and other obligations often preclude our enjoying the objects of our passion, but I managed to get out Saturday for some much-deserved bench time with two rather neglected rifles: my Volquartsen .17 WSM and a still-in-process Dakota Model 10 in .218 Bee…although the experience could have been much better. When I took this pic, I was reminded of how similar these two cartridges are, not just the general shape and appearance, but also the trajectories:


So, when I got to the range, there was not a soul there…for very good reason: lightning was popping and thunder clapping nearby, causing most to leave the range. When I left the house, there was nary a puff of wind, but all Hillary broke loose on the way there. Perhaps foolishly, I risked the weather and got set up, waiting for the storms to pass…and waiting:


When a brief window in the rain opened, I shot a few groups with the Bee on a couple of existing targets, not willing to yet risk a trip downrange to post my own…Momma didn’t raise no dang fool! I remember the last time I unlimbered this Bee, a gorgeous rifle that started life as a .35 Whelen, I experienced the same phenomenon: 5 rounds in two distinct groups. Now, the groups are not bad, probably close to or under an inch, so I’m not complaining, but I feel they could be better if I could somehow get those two groups to come together. I was also struck this time that the groups are so similar: four touching in a horizontal line and one lower flyer:



I feel comfortable the problem is not with my hold on the light rifle, nor its position riding the bags. I suspect the culprit is either the full-contact fore-stock bedding, or the scope bases: one mounted on the barrel and the other on the receiver, neither of which I really want to address for aesthetic reasons. The wood-to-metal fit is just too good to mess with, and I actually like the looks of this earlier scope base set up over the cantilever style used on the current Dakota 10. The rains started again, so I only shot a few groups. I will try some different loads and hope for the best.

As many know, aesthetics is a huge issue for me, and I realize beauty is often in the eye of the beholder, but as someone who has analyzed the lines of thousands of rifles, and who now immediately recognizes true beauty in the lines of a rifle (though I usually cannot create it), I must say it is hard to imagine any more graceful lines than those this Dakota 10 exhibits. Just ignore, for the moment, the effective but unattractive Mueller scope I use for load development and feast your eyes on the shape of the wrist and the elegant lines of the action flowing into the wrist. Add to that the India Ink-in-honey streaks in the English walnut stocks, and it represents a true work of art to my eyes. I really do need to get the barrel polished and the metal reblued :





Now, on to the Volquartsen. I had to swap this 36X Leupold from another rifle at the last minute, using these too tall see-thru rings, the only ones I could locate quickly, necessitating another sight in. This I was able to accomplish even in the rain, but the rain never allowed me to shoot many groups. Still, I managed to shoot a couple 5-shot groups than spanned about ˝” at 100 yards when the heavens parted and made further shooting problematic. Functioning was also perfect except for my failing to fully seat the magazine again, resulting in a failure to feed. The cases, though soot covered, show no sign of doming or splitting:




As a true parting shot, though, I noticed clinging to the neighboring target a probably deceased insect. Knowing exactly the point of impact, I centered the .17 WSM’s crosshairs on its abdomen and let a shot fly:


Fun stuff, notwithstanding the limited shooting time.

TBR

Last edited by TEDDY BEAR RAT; 10-29-2019 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by TEDDY BEAR RAT View Post
As many of you well know, work and other obligations often preclude our enjoying the objects of our passion, but I managed to get out Saturday for some much-deserved bench time with two rather neglected rifles: my Volquartsen .17 WSM and a still-in-process Dakota Model 10 in .218 Bee…although the experience could have been much better. When I took this pic, I was reminded of how similar these two cartridges are, not just the general shape and appearance, but also the trajectories:


So, when I got to the range, there was not a soul there…for very good reason: lightning was popping and thunder clapping nearby, causing most to leave the range. When I left the house, there was nary a puff of wind, but all Hillary broke loose on the way there. Perhaps foolishly, I risked the weather and got set up, waiting for the storms to pass…and waiting:


When a brief window in the rain opened, I shot a few groups with the Bee on a couple of existing targets, not willing to yet risk a trip downrange to post my own…Momma didn’t raise no dang fool! I remember the last time I unlimbered this Bee, a gorgeous rifle that started life as a .35 Whelen, I experienced the same phenomenon: 5 rounds in two distinct groups. Now, the groups are not bad, probably close to or under an inch, so I’m not complaining, but I feel they could be better if I could somehow get those two groups to come together. I was also struck this time that the groups are so similar: four touching in a horizontal line and one lower flyer:



I feel comfortable the problem is not with my hold on the light rifle, nor its position riding the bags. I suspect the culprit is either the full-contact fore-stock bedding, or the scope bases: one mounted on the barrel and the other on the receiver, neither of which I really want to address for aesthetic reasons. The wood-to-metal fit is just too good to mess with, and I actually like the looks of this earlier scope base set up over the cantilever style used on the current Dakota 10. The rains started again, so I only shot a few groups. I will try some different loads and hope for the best.

As many know, aesthetics is a huge issue for me, and I realize beauty is often in the eye of the beholder, but as someone who has analyzed the lines of thousands of rifles, and who now immediately recognizes true beauty in the lines of a rifle (though I usually cannot create it), I must say it is hard to imagine any more graceful lines than those this Dakota 10 exhibits. Just ignore, for the moment, the effective but unattractive Mueller scope I use for load development and feast your eyes on the shape of the wrist and the elegant lines of the action flowing into the wrist. Add to that the India Ink-in-honey streaks in the English walnut stocks, and it represents a true work of art to my eyes. I really do need to get the barrel polished and the metal reblued :





Now, on to the Volquartsen. I had to swap this 36X Leupold from another rifle at the last minute, using these too tall see-thru rings, the only ones I could locate quickly, necessitating another sight in. This I was able to accomplish even in the rain, but the rain never allowed me to shoot many groups. Still, I managed to shoot a couple 5-shot groups than spanned about ˝” at 100 yards when the heavens parted and made further shooting problematic. Functioning was also perfect except for my failing to fully seat the magazine again, resulting in a failure to feed. The cases, though soot covered, show no sign of doming or splitting:




As a true parting shot, though, I noticed clinging to the neighboring target a probably deceased insect. Knowing exactly the point of impact, I centered the .17 WSM’s crosshairs on its abdomen and let a shot fly:


Fun stuff, notwithstanding the limited shooting time.

TBR
Just my humble opinion... it looks more like 2 or 3 possible issues... one is maybe not timing shots with heartbeat(horizontal spread) the diagonal is not being lined up where you breathing is moving you straight up and down and then the vertical you had good body alignment but maybe not letting the shot go at same point in breathing

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Old 08-14-2018, 03:13 PM
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Great range and its surely dead now report TBR. Nice .218 minerals.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:49 PM
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That walnut stock is a work of art.

The insect is a cicada larva exoskeleton. It crawled up out of the ground and hooked on to the target frame so it could shed its skin and fly away for its brief, buzzing, adult life.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:23 PM
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Well, that would explain why he didn't explode...but it was still a good shot .

On the topic of heart beats and rifle movement, having experienced a myocardial infarction (heart attack) 10 years ago, I am very, as in hyper, sensitive to my own pulse. Also, due to the same MI, I have exercised every day for the past 10 years, and my resulting heart rate is about 48 bpm at rest, so plenty of time to slip a shot in there if I need to.

Having said that, over the years, I have observed that the crosshair movement due to my heart beat is barely 1/8" at 100 yards, if that, and I have found trying to slip a shot in between beats leads to poorer shot execution and bigger flyers than ignoring the less than 1/8" movement from my heart. After all, it's not like I'm shooting a biathlon, out of breath and slobbering like a moose when I'm shooting.

Besides, I have a number of rifles that I can easily hold to 1/4" groups at 100 yards. Granted, some are not as light and slender as the Dakota, but one or two are, and I hold those just fine. I will admit, one of the shots on that first group went off unexpectedly when the crosshairs were about 1/4" to the right, so I'll concede one of the horizontal holes was due to my hold, but, like I mentioned, I'm pretty confident the problem of the two distinct groups is not my hold. Also, there seems to be no pattern on the order; any of the shots seem to be prone to the flyer, irrespective of order.

BTW, that Dakota trigger is absolutely superb, and one reason that single round got away from me was I'd forgotten how nicely the trigger breaks.

Anyway, could be the load, could be the bedding, and could be the barrel/receiver ring scope bases. In any event, I shall continue to endeavor to persevere.

TBR
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEDDY BEAR RAT View Post
Well, that would explain why he didn't explode...but it was still a good shot .

On the topic of heart beats and rifle movement, having experienced a myocardial infarction (heart attack) 10 years ago, I am very, as in hyper, sensitive to my own pulse. Also, due to the same MI, I have exercised every day for the past 10 years, and my resulting heart rate is about 48 bpm at rest, so plenty of time to slip a shot in there if I need to.

Having said that, over the years, I have observed that the crosshair movement due to my heart beat is barely 1/8" at 100 yards, if that, and I have found trying to slip a shot in between beats leads to poorer shot execution and bigger flyers than ignoring the less than 1/8" movement from my heart. After all, it's not like I'm shooting a biathlon, out of breath and slobbering like a moose when I'm shooting.

Besides, I have a number of rifles that I can easily hold to 1/4" groups at 100 yards. Granted, some are not as light and slender as the Dakota, but one or two are, and I hold those just fine. I will admit, one of the shots on that first group went off unexpectedly when the crosshairs were about 1/4" to the right, so I'll concede one of the horizontal holes was due to my hold, but, like I mentioned, I'm pretty confident the problem of the two distinct groups is not my hold. Also, there seems to be no pattern on the order; any of the shots seem to be prone to the flyer, irrespective of order.

BTW, that Dakota trigger is absolutely superb, and one reason that single round got away from me was I'd forgotten how nicely the trigger breaks.

Anyway, could be the load, could be the bedding, and could be the barrel/receiver ring scope bases. In any event, I shall continue to endeavor to persevere.

TBR
TBR I own two Model 10s. One is in 22Lr and the other in 264 WinMag. One thing I learned is that the stock design does require careful attention to avoid canting. It is easy to inject a slight cant due to the slimness of the front stock. I believe that your dispersion is due to that the flier I don't know. For some reason I can shoot the 264 with a higher degree of consistency than the 22Lr maybe the difference in the weight is making a difference.
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