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Author Topic: Beginner questions.  (Read 16000 times)
GRiNGo
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« on: October 09, 2011, 04:44:47 AM »

Hello, I guess I'll start by giving some background before I ask questions. My name is Chad and I live in northern Saskatchewan. I have been reloading for some years now and drive my hunting rifles to what some say is just picky accuracy, and after trying a little silhouette shooting found my passion lies with the bench. I spend allot of time on gunnutz and have struck out in the first step of benchrest shooting. I purchased a used stock, I believe it is either a Lee six or Kelbley club which I believe are the same company now. I bedded a new Remington action in it with a Lilja LV barrel. The barrel had around 100 rounds down it when I purchased, I believe it was intended to be a 6ppc barrel but is chambered as 6br with a slow twist. It has a polished factory trigger at just over 1lb. (This is soon to be replaced with a Jewel.) For optics it wears a Bausch and Lomb 4000 6-24 with standard weaver bases and rings. I have tried Berger and V-max bullets. I found my best groups with 75gr v-max and 8208xbr. I can consistently achieve .3-.4 inch 5 shot groups at 100 meters but want .1-.2 inch groups. Oh I have Lapua brass and it is chambered for Lapua no turn neck. I also have a Redding bushing 3 die set. And I shoot from sand bags. Our range is a 200 meter range in the bush and I am almost always the only one there, so cease fire only comes when a bear is wandering buy!

So here comes the questions. Obviously I don't have a Bat, Stoll or Panda action but would like to squeeze this gun for all its worth while I learn to shoot BR. I would like to know that the gun is more accurate than I am, and if not then what to upgrade.
1. Big question is how to improve? First I assume is to change the trigger, then...scope? Barrel(6ppc)? Action? Front rest?
2. What's with the square on the target above the bull?
3. Where can I get the heat deflector plastic thing for my barrel and is it legal for BR?

Ultimately my goal is to perhaps someday shoot with you guys and gals and try out for team level events.

Thanks in advance.

Chad
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rpollock
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2011, 08:07:52 AM »

Hi Chad, welcome to the forum. Sounds like you are on the right track. This is a slippery slope!

I have a few questions that will help determine where to go next in terms of getting the group size down.

Are you shooting off a firm bench?
Are you using flags?
Are you shooting free recoil?

Lastly where in SK are you?

Rick
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John VM
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2011, 09:00:19 AM »

A remington will work fine for accuracy work as long as their is no flaws in the action that put a bind in the firing system that causes inconsistent ignition and the action is relatively straight in all the key points.
 A 2 oz trigger will definitely improve your ability to be able to shoot "free recoil".
 Try custom bullets made on quality jackets by a knowledgeable bullet maker.
 The heat shield can be as simple as a piece of target paper taped to the barrel or a piece of venetian blind, keep it simple and light as it is used on weigh in. It s only purpose is to deflect mirage from a warm barrel from interfering with your view of the target through the scope.
 The square on the target was sometimes used when the mirage was so heavy that the rings on the target disappear for large amounts of time.As long as you start your group using the square for aiming on these days, you can finish your group when the circles disappear for 2 minutes. This is not a regular thing but I have seen it happen.
 The 6br is a very accurate cartridge and I would suggest trying the 65 or 68 grain bullets. Maybe Dan O or Jefferson can help you with getting some.
 You have to shoot over flags to know which way the wind (breeze) is blowing as it does move bullets no matter how fast they are going. Even strips of surveyors tape will tell you lots.
John
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cyanchycki
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2011, 10:34:34 AM »

Hi Chad.  Where about in Northern SK?  Anywhere close to Ted Gaillard?  If so I say you are in luck.  Close to Ted is James Garchinski who is a new shooter and turning out to be a mighty fine shooter.  Both are good shooters.  Ted has been away from it for a while but showed us he still has what it takes.  He might not say that.  He is just to DAMN FUSSY.

Anyways as Rick said it is a slippery slope and we are looking for more and more people all the time.

As was mentioned,

1)  How sturdy is the bench?  You must pay attention if the seat is part of the bench that you DO NOT move when getting ready to pull the trigger.

2)  You are using just sand bags?  There are a lot of GOOD cost effective rests out there.  So of the top shooters use the basic Sinclair rest with a rear bag that they can squeeze and shoot free recoil.

3)  Trigger will definately make a difference.  If and when you can get one a Jewel would be the way to go.

4)  Wind flags most definately.  Even just surveyors tape tied to a stake at 20, 40, 60, & 80.  Key is to not shoot unless the tape is doing the same thing from shot to shot.  You have no time limit when you are by yourself.  Take that time.  If you want flags there are so many out there and they are even quite easy to make yourself if you are handy.

5)  Using good quality bullets may help as well.

6)  If you can swing it, a trip to the Benchrest 101 school taht Rick will be putting on in May sometime will help a TON.

Keep asking questions.  That is the way to learn.  I am sure we would be more than happy to talk on the phone as well.

Good luck and remember NO question is a stupid question.

Calvin
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GRiNGo
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 02:31:05 PM »

Hi, thanks for the replies. I'm in Meadow Lake so not near Ted. Is there a recomended bullet to try? About free recoil, I have seen some you tube videos of shooters as there is no one else here, do you guys keep your palm entirely off the gun and do you apply any pressure with your shoulder against the butt plate? My understanding is that the biggest thing seperating winners is reading mirrage and wind. First order for me is too make sure I maximize the rifle I have on windless days, then as you guys said put up some flags and learn to shoot wind. I take it as with most things you get what you pay for, is the Caldwell rock BR front rest substandard? The reason i ask is I have access to one of these, but can order somthing better if recommended. Oh just in case you wanted more back ground I am 36 and have 3 boys, 12, 9 and 7. And my wife likes it when I shoot and doesn't care if I buy more "gun crap". Grin Our range is in the bush and has a six solid benches under a shelter on concrete floor. And when i say i shoot alone I mean in my last 30 trips I think there was one hunter there sighting in his rifle. What about powders should I try to find Vihtavuori like 133 or?
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Joe Mendham
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2011, 08:43:17 PM »

  Well since your wife doesn't care what you spend this opens up everything. 

 Chad
As for the front rest, if you can borrow one even a Caldwell , use that for now until you can see what's available out there.  There are quite a few different styles and types and a trip to a match or Rick's BR clinic in the spring will let you see them or try one.

 Your shooting style will depend on what works for you. Some people shoot free recoil and don't touch the rifle except for the trigger. Others lightly touch the stock or rest their thumb on it. I can't think of anyone who pulls it into their shoulder ,not with a BR or PPC anyhow.

Bullets  ,  Give Dan Opel a shout he's not that far away from  you in Alberta. He's on this site ...  DanO

And even on windless days the wind is still there, you just can't feel it . So use some kind of wind flag even a pole with some surveyors tape on the top of it. You should try and use more than one too ,at least three out to 100 yds

Joe
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GRiNGo
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2011, 11:57:58 PM »

I've got lots of stainless pipe so I'll put up flag poles every 25 yards. I assume you want them the height of the path of the bullet? Next time out to the range I'll take some pictures and post them in the Photo section.

Thanks again guys!

Chad Grigo
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cyanchycki
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 05:33:31 AM »

Chad the height of the flags at a shoot are this.

From the front edge of the table top a straight line to the bottom of the target.  When I say bottom of the target I mean the paper itself.  Not the target frame.

Everyone has a preference of how to set flags but I feel a setup like this will never have your neighbor PO'd at you.  If you are a right handed shooter, the furthest flag would be be set at the right edge of your target(the vertical edge).  The closest flag would be set out in a straight line looking from the left front corner(standing behind the bench) to the furthest flag set..  The next flags just fall in between the furthest and closest.

Another method is in a straight from the center of the target to the center of your rifle.  Basically if you could you would see all the flags in your scope.  The difference being the tallest flag is the furest away and you have to keep lowering them so they do not cover one another.

Hope this makes sense.

Calvin
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bcshoemaker
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2011, 05:53:38 AM »

In all honesty it sounds like you have got all you are going to get out of your currant equipment. Ihave shot a 6BR and it is a good cartridge , but if you want to shoot small groups consistently 6ppc is the only way to go at this time . There are a number of used quality rifles for sale at all times would be a good way to go or a new build if fiancees allow. A good front rest and rear bag setup is very important , quality reloading tools are very important . A quality optic is also a good investment. The best hand saged benchrest bullets you can get is also important. But learning to read conditions is the key to shooting small groups and aggs. And as someone said to me onetime if you do not have the best equipment available to you how do you know how good you are capable of shooting.
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Bill Gammon
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2011, 09:50:17 AM »

How often have you been out to the range and heard, just as I touch off the 4th flag flip over and threw me out a 1/2"

#1 what the hell are you doing with 5 flags out there, now I am talking a 100yds only. By the time your brain is telling you the flag has flipped you have lost your condition anyway. You spend so much time watching those 5 flags, and I defy anyone to tell where those flags were pointing when you touched off. 3 flags are all you need 1 at 25, 50, 75. If you have an opening somewhere along the range, make sure that 1 of those flags are in front of the opening. Another thing, while I am on this rant. If you are watching flags directly ahead of you, by the time you think about touching off the condition has gone. Next time you are out practicing, take a middle bench and put your flags, (3) in front of the bench to your left and (3) in front of the bench to your right. If the wind is coming from the left, which ones do you watch? and if you have a reverse which set of flags will tell you first, the ones on the left? I don't think so. Enough, I am having a bad day.
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GRiNGo
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 04:16:03 PM »

I will try different bullets and put up some flags. Practice for a while and then upgrade, but I am going to buy a new jewel and a font rest. Oh and I put up pictures of our range in the photo section.

-Chad
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cyanchycki
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2011, 09:34:19 AM »

Chad, what Brian and Bill said is very true.  It may seem very blunt but in reality it is true.  Another suggestion is when you order your Jewell trigger I would just order the strait up 2 oz without the safety.  This way when you upgrade your rifle you have it allready.  If you order one with a safety you are going to be ordering another one for your Bench Rest rifle if and when you get one.  Now if you want to hunt with that rifle then you have no choice but to go with a trigger with a safety.  I believe the HVR is what it is called.

The flags, 2 ways to go, with daisy wheels or with balls.  Some shooters like daisy's as they say the daisy helps judge speed, others are happy with just balls.  If you know what you would like, Just order a set of 6 from Rick Graham and you are set.  The only thing you have to know is what kind of stands you will use.  The cost effective stands are from Vistek in Calgary.  Then you would just need Rick to supply flag adapters for the standard camera tripod thread.

What twist are you running?  14?  If so get some bullets from Opel.  Readily available.  Another is BIll Mitchel from Ontario?

What rest are you thinking of getting?  Cruise around BR Central and you will find pretty much every major rest that is used today.

Calvin
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GRiNGo
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2011, 07:04:52 PM »

Thanks for the replies. Calvin I believe it's a 1in14 as measured by me and a cleaning rod. I ordered a jewel 1-3oz br with no safety, hope thats the one you spoke of. As for flags i will put up some home made ones for now and I plan on shooting at home till I wear out the barrel, then I will either upgated the whole gun or rebarrel to 6ppc. I tried some 68gr Berger bullets with no luck, I will give the Opels a try. 64.5 or 66gr?

Here is my gun.

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Dwayne Cyr
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« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2011, 04:10:24 AM »

There might be some clues in this article.

Dwayne
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Dwayne Cyr
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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2011, 04:11:15 AM »

Sorry I forgot the link.

http://www.precisionshooting.com/psm_2006_10_frame.html

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Blairguy
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« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2011, 06:39:48 AM »

Gringo,
Been using Dan Opel's 64.5 gr. in my 6BR with either H322 or N135. Lapua brass and chambered with JGS no turn reamer (No. 1262).
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GRiNGo
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« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2011, 05:51:32 PM »

Gringo,
Been using Dan Opel's 64.5 gr. in my 6BR with either H322 or N135. Lapua brass and chambered with JGS no turn reamer (No. 1262).

Got some Opel bullets, where should I start loading for length as far as jump or jam is concerned. Also these are the powders I have on hand RL-10x, IMR8208XBR, Varget and H4895.

Thanks.
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Bill Gammon
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« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2011, 05:29:27 AM »

64.5 bullets are too light for H4895, you need a faster powder for that weight of bullet, along the line of H322. If you insist on shooting H4895, I did until 1997, you have to use a 68gr bullet measuring about .2433 with a .2436 pressure ring and jammed into the lands about .020 or .030. Powder, as much as you can get into the case with a 6 foot drop tube, a little bit of exaggeration there but you get the point, minimum barrel length 22" but better at 24" A 70gr bullet does not seem to work. The H4895 will agg repeatedly below average, small groups!! well!!! Just as a matter of interest H4895 has almost the same burning as V-133, in fact a lot of my testing between the two have produced identical velocities with the same load. But the 133 is a lot easier to meter and you do not have to go into the jam. 8208 that powder is really finicky lot by lot, some people use it but when they get a lot that is right, they buy a ton, another exaggeration, but you hopefully get the point.
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Blairguy
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« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2011, 05:58:28 PM »

On the jam question, it is difficult to give you a measurement on where to start but this is what I do. With a case fired at least once so it has some carbon inside the neck, sized as you intend to do it but with no primer or powder, seat your bullet of choice long enough so that the bolt doesn't close. Set the bullet back .005'' at a time until the bolt closes with little effort. The idea is that you do not want to have to wrestle the bolt closed and upset the rifle in the bags on every shot. Take a second unprimed case and fresh bullet seated with the same setting that previously gave easy bolt closing and chamber again. Remove the round and check for marks from the lands. If all the lands are marking evenly around the bullet then I would say that that is your maximum jammin'. You can refine the process or setting but it is important that the round chambers easily and that the bullets don't stick in the lands if you unchamber a live round.  
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 06:02:35 PM by Blairguy » Logged
Blairguy
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« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2011, 04:03:11 AM »

Regarding the Caldwell Rock BR front rest, it does not sound like you have a lot of potential for borrowing one to try so here are some comments that might help. The Caldwell top has a serious design flaw in the windage adjustment that quickly becomes a limitation to your shooting. Many have started with a Rock BR and traded up rather quickly. Look for a used Caldwell if you want one to start. Add a Shadetree joystick top (375$) is a worthwhile upgrade that works well with the Caldwell base. If money is not an issue then skip the Caldwell completely and shop the other front rests on the market. With free recoil the front rest is what you use to aim the rifle and you will be amazed at how important it is to have one you like.
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