Sunday, March 9, 2008

Range Day

Last Saturday Jeffersonian and I went up to the range to send some no-serialized bullets downrange, make a lot of noise and have a hell of a time, all in the interest of science, of course.

First up were the Mosins. Two M44's and one M91/30. We each shot ten rounds of his handloads through each of the rifles and compared the results. Besides proving (again) that he's a lot better shot than me (2MOA vs MONAZI), we also learned that the M91/30 shoots a lot better than the M44's we had with us. The M91/30 shot consistently high and right(1 - 2 o'clock) about 4 inches with both of us shooting. With Jeffersonian shooting, it turned in a respectable 2MOA with both of our handloads. Not bad for a 70 year old military surplus Russian rifle with rudimentary sights and a crappy trigger. Now that I know it'll do it, I think I'm going to spend some more money on this rifle and get it some decent sights or a scope, and an after market trigger.

Here's the results from 100 yards with my handloads and Jeffersonian shooting. That tool is exactly 4 inches long.

Compared to mine. Yes, there's five shots. There's a flier in the upper right quadrant. I was shooting some of Jeffersonians handloads. Notice the POI is basically the same.

Here I am touching of one of my handloads.

From there we moved on over to the Garand. It is my intention to shoot in the May Garand match at the range, so Jeffersonian let me touch off a few rounds. Once I got used to the sight picture I managed to send my last six shots into the black from 100 yards. Yes, there's seven holes, but one of those (9 ring, 4 o'clock) is left over from the Mosin experiment.

Here's some bonus footage of Jeffersonian shooting his Garand.

From there we headed up to the top range and tried to get my SKS sighted in. With his help, we were able to establish that it was grouping at least (4 - 5 MOA), but some sighting issues may be contributing to the problems I have been having. A) the scope is mounted high. There may be no getting around that because of the way I've had to mount it. B) the scope is canted slightly, increasing the parallax error. I'm going to correct those as best I can and try again with more factory ammo. Speaking of which, I think the surplus ammo I had may have been contributing to the inaccuracy too, because with Winchester FMJ's the rifle was grouping.

Here's a target shot at 25 yards. The trend continued out to 50 yards, ending up high and right, but we ran out of ammo and time so I'll have to come back once I get the scope adjusted and try again.

Finally, here's some more video of Jeffersonian shooting the SKS. I'd have some of me, but he was busy trying out a rifle of his own while I was taking my turn. Next time, I promise!

Well, we both learned a lot from our day at the range. Now I can't wait to get back up there and get in some more trigger time. Lord knows I need it! *grin*

UPDATE: I accidentally left out the load information for the 7.62x54R loads we used. Mine was prvi-partizan brass and 150gn (.311) FMJBT bullets over 43.9gn IMR 3031 with a Winchester WLR primer. Loaded to a 2.9" COAL. Sierra manual lists a 2,500fps MV but I didn't have a chronograph. Jeffersonians was 125gr (.311) Sierra Pro Hunter #2305 flat-base Spitzer soft-point bullets, S&B case, 50.5gn H380 and Winchester WLR primer. Loaded to 2.85" COAL. He has clocked this load doing an average of 2,534fps through the chronograph. Both loads were run through the Lee Factory Crimp Die.

UPDATE II: I just discovered that the scope rings on my SKS are loose enough that I can rotate the red dot with firm hand pressure. Unacceptable. I will be locking them down with some locktite ASAP. This would explain the reason the scope was canted to the left.