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Old 05-31-2019, 11:07 AM
flangster

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Mediocrity at the Range



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I will be the first to admit that I tend to post targets and discussion of equipment at the range when everything is going well, when I have done something I can brag about, or when I learned something interesting from which I think others will benefit. Well yesterday doesn't fall into any of those categories. Part of the problem is that as I learn more about shooting, I become less satisfied with groups that would have tickled me pink just a few years ago.

I went to the range with some .22's that are all mid-project. By that I mean that I am trying out one thing or another on them to get them to shoot well for me, and haven't quite gotten there either in terms of technique, ammo selection or both.

First up was a Savage BTVS that I had rebarrelled a couple of years ago. DJ cut a "V" breach and chambered a stainless Benchmark bull barrel for me on there. You might say that's lipstick on a pig, at a certain level, but the original stainless barrel had a dead spot about three inches from the muzzle. I cut it down and recrowned it, but never got it shooting where I wanted it. The new barrel helped things, but also left me with a "fifth round feed" problem, where the last round in the magazine would tip up and hit the breech face. Yesterday's experiement with a Savage 10 round magazine solved most of that problem. The issue was the shooter. If only the standard of excellence in this sport was a 4-shot group in the .2's at 50 yards and another shot somewhere else on the target! Well, yesterday I was king of the four-shot group. The rifle sits in a blonde Boyd's ProVarmint stock, but I goobered the installation of the pillars a bit and have a washer sitting under one of the action screws. (On these savages the action screws themselves screw into the receiver. It is an odd design, but maybe it lets them make one stock and vary the screws from model to model). Anyway: mediocrity on the way to excellence? Achieved!

Here's the Savage 50 yard target:



Second up was my CZ 527 MTR. Mine has shot . . . more or less like my other CZ's. Which is to say: groups hover around a half inch. Not the Anschutz-slayer that I was hoping for, I have lightened the trigger spring (yoDave) and recrowned. But I still get 3-touching; 2-touching groups from a variety of ammunition. When CZ-USA gets new firing pins in for this model, I will experiment with grinding down the firing pin tip in the hopes of solving what I think is an ignition problem. FWIW, I have not yet taken the bolt apart and cleaned/lubed it. I also swapped a Lilja bull barrel on there -- just for grins. No difference in on-target performance. That string of fire is actually on the target above. The groups below are all with the CZ OEM barrel. In a perfect world that would mean that the CZ MTR "match" barrel was as good as the Lilja. In reality, I think that some careful re-measuring of the headspace is in order. With the native CZ MTR barrel, Lapua Midas+ did well. Looks like I may have to put on my big-boy pants and spend some money on quality ammunition . . . .



Then I shot some 10/22's. One is home-built with a GM barrel from spare parts with a Kidd trigger. Literally, an assemblage of spare parts. Shot better than I had a right to expect, but commensurate with the work put in. [Edit: top two rows on the target below.] Might have to think about some bolt work as I had fliers in every group. Ammo was CMP Eley bulk. The second was an LVT that I sent off to Randy at CPC. I had high hopes for this rifle as a "sleeper" but it shoots about the way it did before I sent it off. Not bad, but not great either. Funny: the randomly assembled 10/22 in a carbine stock with barrel band and Green Mountain sporter barrel did better (I think) than the higher dollar riles. Here are the 10/22 targets:



And then finally, I shot a Win 52 that I got off Seewin this year here at RFC. I thought the fact that it shoots nice groups meant that I was ready to step up to the "Green Monster". LOL. Man, was that a humbling experience. Let's just say that I need practice in reading the wind. I'm not even posting that target; my ego can't take it (although based on the above, it isn't worse, really, for what it is).

So there you have it. Not all range days are a success. Although this one was fun for what it was. All of the rifles here except the MTR have been neglected of late, so it was good to get some use from them.

The one thing that was consistent among the groups was the rests used: a Caldwall Rock BR front rest and a Protektor rear bag with short bunny ears. The front bag on the Caldwell was, maybe, not the best for all this. Depending on the foreend finish, some rifles will stick a bit . . . not travel so well. I do know that if anything moves in my bench set up (e.g. the rear bag slides a tiny bit during a string of fire), the next shot is going to be out of the group -- virtually guaranteed. The point here is that the targets above don't necessarily just show the difference in performance between rifles and ammo on that particular day, they also show how the whole setup is working together. So much to learn.

Yours in mediocrity,

flangster
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Last edited by flangster; 05-31-2019 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:46 AM
snagglepuss

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I think if we're honest we're all used to the highs and lo's of shooting
I have a lot of shooting buddies...and they all hear about those days where I have a handful of 1moa or smaller targets.
Then there are the days there is a bad wind...or I'm just not in a shooting frame of mind.
I tell 'em I stayed home with my kids and bbq'd
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:53 AM
flangster

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LOL. In terms of highs and lows, I kind felt like I was playing the "limbo" of shooting . . . How Low Can You Go?
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Last edited by flangster; 05-31-2019 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 05-31-2019, 03:59 PM
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I went to the range this morning. I ain't gonna talk about it. If I was having a good day, I'd talk about it.

I generally shoot a lot better on cloudy days, today it was bright and sunny. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 05-31-2019, 07:16 PM
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I am trying to qualify my Marlin XT-22 bolt action in Superstock.

Two outings ago I shot a couple groups like this with Eley Tennex... Woo Hoo - Superstock here I come!!!!! (Click the thumbnails for full size)


But I ran out of ammo before I could get 4 groups on paper.... Oh - I will just bring it out next time and shoot 4 clean groups and the measuring shots... No problem, I have plenty of that ammo because my CZ likes it....

Next time out - I couldn't get that ammo to do any better than 1/2". It just would not do any better. Grumble grumble.

The best I could do was this - with completely different ammo wasn't good enough to make the 1/4" club.... Groan!!!


But that's how things go here in real life isn't it...
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:12 PM
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I won't admit to bad targets as that's not out of the norm for me.

I'll will admit to putting a .38 caliber hole in the roof of an outdoor range some years ago.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:45 PM
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I am SO glad you posted this!
Now I dont feel quite so inadequate to the game.
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:25 AM
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Thanks for posting these. Working with rimfire can be a very humbling experience sometimes (often). While I don't usually post much about experiments or works in progress, we all have those days. Even with rifles that previously were stellar under similar conditions and same ammo, sometimes it just isn't in the cards. The human factor and the reality of rimfire shooting.
Thanks again.
The first paragraph says it all. As we progress with our abilities, our expectations and tolerance for performance change also. Recently was having issues at the range with a new 457 At-One with vertical stringing and printing two separate groups, high and low. A disappointment to me but left me with a challenge and project. But a new shooter on the bench next to mine was so impressed with how my rifle was shooting. A look at his target showing about 3" groups. Helping him with some CCI SV and technique instruction got him to 1" with his new 10-22 and really made his day. Now he sees the potential and the expectation is passed to him. Gotta love rimfire.

Last edited by fwood; 06-01-2019 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:46 AM
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We all hope for this: 1/8"



But we often get this: 5/8"



or this: 1" ++

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Old 06-01-2019, 09:49 AM
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Well I think we all have bad days, doesn't matter if it's rimfire targets or playing well with others. But I've been reading the Benchrest forums lately and I am way more inclined to think that ammo manufacturers are attempting to cause addiction through partial reinforcement techniques. I didn't know for example that two lots of Eley of the same variety can have wildly different shooting outcomes; one will be match ready and the next can't hold moa. So we are constantly having good days followed by bad days and we crave those good days so we buy, buy, buy, more ammo in hopes of getting another good day. If everyday at the range was a great day we'd soon get bored and move on to fishing or golf where our frustrations can soar.
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:56 AM
ammohog
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I really think this will help you out. The first picture tells it all.

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/...-for-accuracy/

Just remember, the position that works for one rifle, may not be the optimum position for another rifle. This photo gives you a combination of 12 different positions. A small price to pay (in ammo alone) than to spend days at the range (or the cleaning bench) trying to figure out what's wrong with your rifle. Yep, worked for me.

Last edited by ammohog; 06-01-2019 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:02 AM
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Pfffft! I can do a lot worse than that Flangster.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Al the Infidel View Post
Pfffft! I can do a lot worse than that Flangster.
I'd just poke a hole in one of the empty bulls with a pencil and cut it out and carry it around in my wallet to whip out when the occasion arose. "Yup, that was 10 shots at 300 yards in a hurricane at night but luckily I did my part!"

An honest man is sometimes hard to find

Frank
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Old 06-01-2019, 02:30 PM
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We all have bad days, for various reasons. All part of the game.
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by flangster View Post
I will be the first to admit that I tend to post targets and discussion of equipment at the range when everything is going well, when I have done something I can brag about, or when I learned something interesting from which I think others will benefit. Well yesterday doesn't fall into any of those categories. Part of the problem is that as I learn more about shooting, I become less satisfied with groups that would have tickled me pink just a few years ago.


Yours in mediocrity,

flangster
My experience tells me these are better than you give yourself credit for in a lot of cases. Thanks for posting, it helps relieve the stigma of posting real results on a forum. It's a shame there is so much cherry-picking on forums.
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