March 29, 2008:

Range report - Parma, ID

Totally changed load for the 168SMK, starting over Reloader 15. Today was good and I think it will work well for me. I'm working up the Optimum Charge Weight. I started with 4 shots in each charge weight to narrow it down.

I was using my new/used chrono a Pact Model 1 with the M5 skyscreens. It's not the newest but I like the fact that the skyscreen are separate from the control unit. It was really handy to the the control unit on the bench. The screens are wide enough that I was able to shoot all 5 targets on the bench without moving the rifle or screens.

All shots at 200 meters.

1st String - The target says it all, one of these was also my coldbore shot, unclean barrel. Group 2.2" I had dialed in 1/2 MOA of windage, which I took out for the next 4 Strings.


2nd String - Don't know what happened here, but suffice to say this is one charge weight to stay away from, the other 2 were not even on the paper on the target next to it, 1" away????


3rd String - Without the flyer this was a decent group.



4th String - Now we are getting somwhere, 2 holes in one on the bottom and the overall group size was good too.



5th String - This may have been a good group as well, except for the flyer.


Overall I think I've found the charge weight band to work in with my rifle for this load. Somewhere between 42.0 and 42.8 I should find the magic zone. I was surprised at the velocity's, primer and brass didn't look bad, they are higher than indicated in the book. by almost 100fps. Hmm....

Once I find the charge weight I'll start playing with primers and seating depth. I have both CCI Lg Rifle and Bench Primers, currently the bullet is sitting .020" off the lands. I should be close there.

I am convinced the rifle will shoot better than me, the 2 flyers tell me that much, but overall, this are Sub MOA groups at 200 meters and should work well out to 800 yards or so.

Summary
 ShotString 1
String 2
 String 3
String 4  String 5
Powder Charge
41.4gr
41.7gr
42.0gr
42.4gr
42.8gr
 1 263026872681 2719 2709 
 2 2650 2666 22642 2684 2745
 3 2648 2684 2681 2689 2734
 4 2640 2674 2677 2714 2744
 Average2642
2678 2670 2701 2733
 Extreme Spread20.121.5 39 35.5 36.3
 Standard Deviation9.29.7 19 17.6 16.7
 Average Deviation
7.0
7.9
 14.2 15.0 12.0
Group Size
2.211
1.968"??
1.206"
3.024"
w/Flyer
1.271"
1.212"
3.020"
w/Flyer


March 8, 2008:

Range report - Bend, OR

 ShotString 1
String 2
 1 25832599 
 2 2619 2645
 3 2604 2588
 4 2578 2594
 5 2583 2629
 Spread41
57 
 Standard Deviation
1724
 Average 2593 2611
I had 30 rounds loaded and tested 10 rounds through the chrono that I had borrowed for the day.

Test groups were at 100yards, but I forgot to go get the target when I was done. DOH! Groups in the scope were around 1" on the square grid.

I now need to research what these numbers mean and how I can improve them. AND I need to start looking at the groups. 

I was happy to see that my target velocity of 2600 fps was what I was getting with the 168gr SMK. I was using Federal once shot GM brass. Now that I am in the ballpark I will change over to the Lapua Brass and start working with some CCI benchrest primers.

After Chrono'ing the loads I input the current MET and vel data into my ballistic software. I am happy to report that the data cards that I generated at the range were dead on, at least out to 500 yards. I thought they were off at 500 yards by 2 MOA, but I noticed that I was working in meters instead of yards. Once I changed to yard, the tables were dead on.

It was a great day at the range, and I now have some great data to work off of and develop this load.