Hit The 1000
Article by Michael Gaizauskas for www.ltsf.lt
This is the third time I have shot a possible Smallest IBS 1000 yd group record has been submitted . In 2012 I shot a group measured at 3.042 which remeasured came back 3.046 missed it by .002. See: http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2013/04/wild-offset-heavy-gun-sets-three-ibs-1000-yard-records-in-2012/ In 2014 at the IBS Nationals I shot another small group 2.871 and it came back 3.088, See: http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2014/09/match-report-ibs-1000-yard-nationals-in-west-virginia/ , so I not holding my breath. Both of the first two groups were shot with an Identical gun chambered in a 300 WSM, Norma brass, Kreiger 30 inch 1:10 barrel, Berger 210 VLD, H4350 powder, CCI-BR-2 primers, Leupold 8-25 Scope first group, changed to a Nightforce NSX for the second Group. and Mark King was my gunsmith. This time it was with a 6.5×47 Lapua , Krieger 30 in. 1-8 Barrel ,Lapua 139 grain Scenars, H4350, CCI-BR-4 primers, Nightforce 8-42 NSX scope. All with Jewell triggers and Mark King as my gunsmith. I made the stocks.
All of the Chambering , Scope Base, and Brake work was beautifully done by Mark King using a Nesika Model L Round action mated with a 30” 1:8” twist Krieger barrel chambered to a .293 neck and finished off with a muzzle brake of Mark’s design. I designed the bedding Block and asked Andy Carpenter to make it to my specifications, I am using a non-safety Jewell 2 oz benchrest trigger and Brownells’ Trigger guard. The Nightforce 8.5-42x56mm NSX Long Range Target scope is held in place by Burris tactical rings on top of a custom Picatinny-style base that Mark machined from scratch to provide the necessary scope clearance above the massive barrel block. The stock also incorporates stainless steel rails, which were fashioned by my friend Steve Reimers. I started with a custom stock blank from Richards Micro fit Stocks cut to my specifications. The stock have Cocobolo forearm end and grip caps with Maple spacers and many coats of Tru-oil as a finish. The finished Heavy Gun weighs 42 lbs. I did all my bedding with Brownells Steel Bed, and blending of wood and metal finish on this stock , The Stock is 6 in wide asymmetrical with an offset barrel set to the right. The basic shaping is done with a Die grinder with a carbide cutting cylinder.. I think the offset stock design definitely assist in settling the gun while shooting. I have built three of these stocks and all have been winners.
During the 2007 Nationals held at the Virginia 1000-Yard Club, I just happened to sit next to Dave Tooley for a day. Mike and Dave discussed at length Dave’s experiences and conclusions regarding offset stocks. Dave explained that an asymmetrical or offset forearm is designed to counter the longitudinal torque that occurs when the gun is fired. You can find these concepts featured a few years back in the 6mmBR.com Blog. I liked the concept and used it in my stock design. I have both Heavy and Light guns with offset stocls.
My shooting Buddy Scott Frock was the IBS Rookie of the Year in 2015, his first full season last year with an Identical offset Heavy gun shooting 300 WSM, again Mark King was the gunsmith and I made both of his offset stocks. I have been building custom stocks on a small scale since the early 1980’s for close friends from my small business Stoney Run Outfitters.
I close the tip to almost shut.
Power-Assisted Hoover Meplat Trimmer
My bullet of choice with my Heavy Gun for the the 2016 season consisted exclusively of Lapua 139 Senar weight sorted and meplat trimmed using the tooling from John Hoover. I used a homemade power unit for the Hoover trimmer made the task a lot easier to accomplish. Lots better than the drill. I prefer the power unit to operate at a speed of 200 RPM. I pointed the bullets with a John Hoover Pointing die.
Before we proceed further, one needs to be cautioned that the following load was developed specifically for my guns, and is very likely to be unsuitable and even very dangerous in another rifle. WARNING: You assume all risk if you attempt to use this load. Extreme caution must be exercised and load development should only be performed by someone knowledgeable and experienced in hand loading whenever developing loads for a particular rifle. With that disclaimer I put forth, the load that found favor in my gun was 38.5 Grains of Hodgdon H4350 inside fully prepped 6.5/47 Lapua brass capped of by CCI BR-4 Primers. The necks are turned down using K&M Neck turning tools. Redding Competition resizing dies, and a Forster Ultra seater Die were used to set a jump of .012” from the lands. This load produced an average reading of 2,780 fps with a standard deviation of 4 fps over an Oehler-35P chronograph. Interestingly enough, testing of this load only yielded 1/2” groups at 300 yards. I would be testing at longer ranges, but 300 yards is all I as access to. I performed a normal 30 shot barrel brake-in similar to that promoted by many barrel makers of cleaning after every shot for the first 10 rounds and then cleaning after five shots for another 20 rounds. For his cleaning regimen, I swear by Montana Extreme Copper Killer on cotton flannel patches with a tight fitting jag, plastic coated rods and then Kroll with Nylon Brushes. I’ve have tried just about every, and I mean every cleaning solution out there in combination with a bore scope check afterwards to see the results.
I start off .2 gr. off my target load using RCBS Charge Master and trickle to exact finished load.
I start off my process using a ladder test at 300 yds. As that is the only distance I have close access to, which is the Carlisle Fish and Game Club. I sight in at 300 with the lowest load in my test batch. Then load .5 grain increments until I get well past a max load. As I shoot I watch for pressure signs as I shoot and stop when I see pressure. I fire all shots over my Ohler chronograph and record all velocities As I go for later study to find best harmonic. I have found if I don’t find a node (as shown at the top Picture in Ladder test picture below) the bullet powder will not shoot in that barrel. I then develop around the node looking for groups and Velocity/SD. The next step is seating depth in .003 increments from in the lands to .030 off. And then I try it at 1000 Yds. Yea or back to the test range. I do not always get the best load on the first try, however this was not the case with this current bullet/load /barrel combination.
Ladder test at 300 Yds. .5 gr. increments (note node on top, 2 gr. of powder wide and 60 FPS spread with less than ½ in. vertical) This ia a Winning node.
Load testing at 300 yds. .5 gr. Increments
SD of 3., but all single digits.
Seating depth test 4 shots at 300 Yd. .002 increments
I think this will do!
1000 yd. Bench rest shooting is not easy. I started shooting bb guns at 5, 22’s form the age of 6. Hunting with my Dad from age 10. Qualified as a German Jager at age of 15 in 1963 living in Germany. My Dad was a Air Force pilot. I Qualified as Marksman 60 out of 60 in Basic training in the US Air Force 1968. Shot on an Base Rifle team cross course in the California in 1968 only. Was always an avid hunter. Back then I loaded with a hammer, powder scoop and Lee hand loader. Started building varmint guns and stocks in 1984. That is where I started shooting at distance. Went out west 6 times shooting. Shot on my first IBS 1000 yd match in Va.1000 yd, club in 2000. I did not win my first relay until my 25 match and finally won a match on my 35 match. That is 4 years of shooting and not winning anything. You just have to find a mentor, hang in, listen, and learn, BUT don’t stop trying.
My shooting success was is part due hard work and focus, and to the great people at the Harry Jones Range and the members of the Harry Jones 1000 Yard Club and the Virginia 1000-Yard Club members. They are a great bunch of guys and also great shooters.