Search for the best process to develop a higher bc projectile


  • BC at least in the mid .6 – .7 range
  • No ATF involvement.  At all!
  • Weight in the range of 130 -160 grains
  • Accurate
  • Exceptional terminal performance
  • Price range for the upper bracket of shooters
  • Fill the gap between current 150 grain offerings and 175 grain offerings
  • Tough enough to stand up to the riggers of 3600 FPS MV  out of 3 groove, 8 twist barrel.
  • Component parts must be always available.  Which means, wills and wiles of men, companies, countries and even demand will have no impact on availability.  I’m darn sick and tired of reloading component unavailability!

This list may not be all inclusive but seem quite a chunk to chew for a below entry level fella.

The initial idea was to take an exceptionally performing already existing offering and fit it to my requirements.  Research and with Corbin suggested that better ideas had failed and worse ideas had succeeded.  Thus I ordered the die to resize a bullet down to my .277 goal.

The idea was to swage a 7mm Berger to .277 diameter.  0.007 inches sure didn’t seem to be all that much to me.  Corbin said 1 or 2 thou was ok.  Anymore than that was iffy and had never heard of any thing greater than 6 thou even come close to working.  Well let me tell ya.  Those folks weren’t Mr. Roy.  I can pull some crap out of the hat every so often.

Reloading press upgrade seem apparent for this size reduction task.  The 1966 vintage RCBS JR was upgraded to the Supreme model.  This press would also make reloading the Allen Mag a more pleasant experience.  It did!

All components arrived at the Los Alamos NM apartment before the [Jim, this is were we talked- thanks for the call!] wife arrived.  Every thing was set up around the kitchen nook.  Pretty sweet.

After much learning and payments to a local “Nuclear” class machine shop it was determined to be a fun non-tuition free experience.

More research revealed that most everyone was using the same source for swaging dies and most probably the same design.  Success of the swaging process seemed to centered around the ability of the die designer to put the necessary physics, mechanical, structural and other sciences together, plus a darn good stroke of luck.  I lacked all of these talents but seem to be graced with some bone hard determination with a touch of dumbness.  Oh, and never too busy to have too much time on my hands.

Time for discharge from the institution of higher medicine.  Wife is here.  Think we’ll go now.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


An unending source of 277 high bc bullets – The Start


  • One heck of a shooting extreme magnum in 277 caliber;
  • 170 class offerings making very frequent pleasing hits on rocks at distances out to 1700 yards (range finder ranged the rock multiple times one morning.   Never to range anything shootable again.  Another story);
  • Complete unavailablity high bc 277 offerings that “will” hold together out of my rifle.
  • Rifle was purchased with the intend of yote harvesting beyond 600 yds.
  • Unwillingness to ‘settle for’ any bullet that would perform on yotes to deer to 1500 yds.

Square one:

  • A two car garage with only one car
  • Some power outlets
  • An ancient almost unusable Chinese mill that was traded from a farmer
  • A head full of “wonder how this would work” ideas
  • No machinist capability/ability/experience (If it rotate around my place it was a vehicle wheel or a mower blade)

I’m revealing personal deficiencies here so please by kind.  Not too smart but lots of drive.

First lets settle for this attempt:  Testing had shown that Hornady SPBTs, and any Nosler offering shot lights out from the rifle.  I liked the looks of the 140 and 150 Nosler offerings better.  Nosler 150gr Ballistic Tips were tried first.  140s had been recommended by the rifle build as they were Accubonds.  I’ve harvested many mule deer with the the 140 Ballistic Tip, thus ballistic tips it.  Even with the same bc as the 140 offering 150 offering must somehow be better.  When reaching way out there as much deliverable energy as possible the way I think.

For 30 decades or so prior to long range shooting by one and only rifle was a ’66 vintage DIY custom 270 Winchester.  Yep!  I’m one of those hopelessly addicted 270 shooters.  And why not?  Its a better bore size for lighter higher bc bullets than 7mm/280 and a better bore size for heavier high bc bullets than the 6.5.  So why do there bounding calibers get all the attention?  Its just the way things are.  So buck up or innovate!

Load development with the lesser bullets + other learning experiences.

Here’s where I learned about loading cartridges which are more overbore that typical overbore.

The 270 Allen Magnum is designed for use of the more bore friendly ball powder.  Why more bore friendly?  I don’t know that it is though it is reported by believers that little round balls rolling down the bore is better than short sticks bouncing.  Who knows?  Not me.

Guarding my 8 pound container of US-869, due to its variation from lot to lot, in my experience, and me being to tight to purchase 16 pounds, different powders would be an option.  Bad idea, really.

Initial attempts with such stuff a RL-25, Retumbo and H-100 started pretty well.  That is, I didn’t blow anything up when applying algorithms developed between my ears over the years when determining starting loads for an unlisted cartridge from one that is pretty close to it.  The fly in the ointment raised its ugly head when I got beyond the point of delay ignition occurred and powder bridging took place.  It took place quickly and only a couple of times.  It occurred only a couple of times because for once I was smart enough to stop shooting those suckers.  I had no idea of what was going on and couldn’t justify it from anything I was doing and emailed the cartridge designer.  His quick an informative description of powder bridging exactly described my experience.

Another challenge to be over come, darn.  In as much as I seem to have to do things now and not next week, trips to the city to purchase several pounds of various offering of ball powders with a bit faster burning rate wasn’t acceptable.  Plus there is bound to be something among the powders on the selves in the loading room that would fit the bill

I put my brain to work on the project.  The shooting record book for the rifle revealed the bulky/larger stick powder bridged a few more times than did it counter parts.  Hmmmm, me thinks,  smaller is better.  A quick look at powder burn rate charts, a couple of runs of my between the ears quick-load program (I otta purchase that thing.  I would but I have a Mac!) and I suddenly have a starting load for the 150 NBT ahead of 7828ssc.

Calculations were close enough that delayed ignition didn’t occur giving a bit of confidence that bridging may not happen.  Being careful, using safety glasses and face shield I chrono’d till I got close to desired velocity.  With no incidents!

How desired muzzle velocity is determined around my place.

When I started this project I had acquired literately a Pgh Steeler game bucket full of primer loosened cases.  I knew how much pressure to set as max by typical extraction feel.  5 loadings is the limit now, after the impact hammer extractor ignition incident.

With the safety glass and face shield gone a cheek weld was possible for group and velocity shooting started.  My upper limit of velocity is determined by thoughts such as, there is no way that Jack O’Connor ever thought a 270 Win should shoot a 130gr offering over 3200 FPS MV.  So, back in the day, I stopped at 3200.  And I stopped at 3200 for the 140 grain offerings also out of the Winny.

In the Allen Magnum I felt I could determine the pressure limit with confidence.  What velocity would be good enough and not significantly reduce barrel life from the rifles already short projected barrel life?

Some JBM runs said that somewhere around 3600 would be adequate.  An arbitrary value at best but a decent sounding number.

Got to 3600 well before any pressure indications.  Thought about it a bit, caved, and with to 3650 FPS @ 15 feet .  3650 is so much better sounding than a measly 3600.  Like a yote or woof is gonna know?

Loads were very pleasing accurate.  Zeroing groups (3 shots) under 0.6 MOA @ 200 yds.

Some JBM runs, a couple of trips to confirm drops to 1200 and I went to the hills to practice.

When to my favorite elk ambush spot, a which by the way I’ve seen plenty of elk but never harvested – tag and gender problems.  I set up for a pleasant morning of shooting.  Rolled out the shooting mat (DIY) with its sun shading attachment, spotting scope & tripod, binos, weather measurement device (there is no way I’m calling anything handheld a station), rifle with bipod (DIY), log book, camera drop charts for that particular elevation and environmental conditions (no hand held ballistic gizmo).

A beautiful day it was.  Did range finding before the sun came over the mountain I was on.  Developed a range chart by marking ranges on printed images that I had taken earlier.  Just a nice relaxing morning.  All I could get out of the Leica 1200 scanner was 1417 yards on a very alluring well under MOA rock on a very nice loose shale bare slide.  In that particular spot when the sun is high the 1200 won’t come close to 1000.  (I’m working on that.)

Shooting went wonderfully.  Drop chart was spot on.  There was no wind.  A shot every 20 minutes or so.  Load was shooting well enough that if the rock didn’t break apart the second shot either busted it or left a mark close enough to the first impact that if I’d had cell service I would have called someone.  Not that all shots went that way.  I’m not yet sufficiently consistent with my shooting form.  If I stay in position a series of shots goes well.  If I get up and walk around its not quite the same.

It has been a great morning.  The 1417 yard little rock sure looks inviting.  No shots over 950 or so have been taken.  Hmmmm. . . Check drop chart. Click elevation turret.  Check dope. Click windage turret. Get behind the rifle.  Settle in.  Chamber a round.  Release the safety.  Get breathing synchronized.  Ready – set – send …choke!  Laugh at self.  No pressure, eh?  I repeat this at least twice.  Finally . . . the trigger breaks.  Very observable POI.  Darn! If I’m judging sizes correctly (Zeiss plex reticle), dope is spot on, POI maybe 1/2 MOA low.

That little rock is now gonna die!  But how is one to adjust elevation when you only think the hit was 1/2 MOA low.  Target size is unknown.  Well its pretty simple.  Dump the click idea and hold the difference between target dead center and first POI.  Oh, and do all of this thinking while never changing anything regarding shooting position except for motion necessary to extract empty and rechamber the next load.  Stress, I’d say.

Anyway, bang flop, little rock done gone!  Longest shot to date.

Good enough?  Nope, with any wind at all that rock was safe all day?  0.496 bc is unacceptable for distance shooting.  Thus the quest.

Note to reader:  I’m in room 6334 University of Utah Hospital, had a kick butt procedure this afternoon with a truly great knock out drug and its 0200.  Oh, nothing but saline solution, jello and broth for 4 days.  So what if I ramble a bit.  :^)  Get over it!  LMAO





Leave a comment

Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


Didn’t know so much time has passed. Life if flying by

Sat down yesterday and sorted all of the sales slips for 2011.  That was a bit of an eye opener.  Ate out way too much!  Also learned that expenditures for the bullet pointing project totaled well over $600.00.  This does not include meplate trimmer and seating dies which were over $250.00.  As the saying goes there are no free lunches.

I’ve studied the efforts of those like Edison and Bell and ask myself why I simply don’t quit.  Some of us must be simply bone headed.

I continually become more aware of those who are seeking higher performance bullets.  This is especially apparent with the 277 cal where there only a few bullet offerings are adequate for magnum performance and none for extreme magnum performance.

During the last several months I have experienced what all bullet makers have experienced.  These experiences evidenced themselves through challenges of one sort or another.

The earliest requirement was to not require an FFL for bullet manufacture.  That is a large hurtle, very large.  Meeting this requirement leads one to think that if proper tools at a reasonable cost at a reasonable, bullets could be assembled by themselves.  I’ve been unable to find any reason an FFL is required for an individual to trim the meplat of a bullet and insert  tip.  This process seems no different than meplat trimming then using a repointer to close the point.  Armed with this information I proceeded with confidence, only to learn that there are very good reasons why mass bullet manufacturers do this.

Experience with metal points swaged into the bullet as part of manufacture.

First experience was with Lost River 135gr (if I recall correctly) J-36 offerings.  I visited the Lost River facility in Arco to see how things were done.  The reception wasn’t overly friendly with little information gleaned.  I did get to see a long bed nifty looking machine that turned out the bullets.

The J-36 was a fine bullet in the 270 Winchester.  The $2.00 each price tag limited my initial purchase to two boxes, 40 bullets.  Pretty steep, it seemed to me.  In my tight bore Lilja 10 twist they were consistently good shooters.  Not great but good enough.  Between 1/2 and 3/4 MOA could be anticipated.  I shot nothing but coyotes with them.  Performance was great.   From 60 yards to around 300+ yards, chest shots resulted in quarter (25 cent piece) exit wounds.  Plenty of stories circulated around the local small town gun store about their proven performance out of the 270 Win on elk out to 400+ yards.  No confirmation of any story could be obtained.

A down side to the Lost Rivers seems is that they wouldn’t shoot decently in anything other than a tight bore.  Lilja barrels for example.  I sent a box of J-36s to a PA LR shooter who couldn’t get better than 4 MOA out of a Winchester Coyote.

Another memory of the J-36s was that when using an impact bullet puller, the bronze point extracted prior to the bullet being removed.

Years later after getting into long range shooting and hunting I received some 338 aluminum tipped offerings.  These were big and impressive offerings.  These custom made offerings shot fairly well out of my 338 RUM but could not be made to match consistency of SMK and Berger 300s.  Terminal performance was atrocious.  Penetration in media was not straight.  Tips were shed early upon entering media. Horse shoe shapes frequently resulted.  Penetration was to extended depths, compared to other bullets, when these bullets tumbled without opening.  Performance of these was unacceptable.

Deciding what the final result of this project [Break here for a 4-day stay at the University of Utah hospital.  Turns out to be a great place to be if one needs its services.  Can’t say enough good about the Huntsman Cancer Center either.  One they they certainly make sure of is that you don’t have cancer.  I think they questioned my toe nail fungus.  :^)  but quickly linked it to liver problems.  Funny!

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


Custom Rifle Learning Curve

Following Dan Lilja’s break in process, from his web site, break in was quite brief.  I used the Corn Meal process to fire form.  Didn’t have any Cream of Wheat.  I followed Kirby’s direction for the entire fire forming process.

I mounted a SuperSniper 16X and got ready to shoot.

I then loaded moderate loads, again from Kirby’s posted information for barrel break-in and site-in.  I was impressed with the way this rifle shot.  I could shoot inside of what I used to do with my 40X 222 Rem light gun and five shots with 3 break-in shots out of this one.  She’s a shooter.  I used Nosler 150s for break-in as I didn’t want to use up any of the 100 Wildcats.

I used more of the 169.5 WCs than I should have doing load tuning.  It took awhile to learn how to use the custom dies that came with the rifle.  Also my learning curve regarding seating with respect to the rifling was a bit steep. I settled on a load of 99 grains of US-869 and FED-125 primers.  Velocity was right at 3400 FPS.  A bc of 0.74 for this bullet, works very well for me at 4488 feet elevation, on my range and for all the better I can shoot.  Extreme Spread was too high for my liking.  High teens.

Switching to 169.5 Wildcats drop chart development went without many hitches.  It was long and laborious work though.  Zero @ 200.  Take target holder to 400 yds across fences around ponds return to shooting bench.  Shoot two shoots, which turned out to be enough.  As I said this gun shoots pretty well.  The process was repeated for 500, 600, 730 (only place the target holder would fit) and 850 yards.

Though exhausting and taking all day, drop chart development went well.  In spite of what I feel is high ES, the two shots taken at all distances revealed very little vertical dispersion.  In several cases, none!  Later when I mustered the courage to shoot at 1200 yards, no spot at 1k for a target holder,  the shots were spot on with no vertical dispersion and 5 inches horizontal dispersion.

The only anomaly was that the spread sheet curve fit revealed the drop at this 730 yards didn’t fit.  When the 730 yard data was thrown out, the curve fit was perfect for the muzzle velocity and 0.74 bc.

By now I’m down to maybe 20 WC 169s left.  Did I mention I went rock bustin’ several times….. Confirming and reconfirming the drop chart.  Plus I really like to shoot this rifle.

About that time I received 200 195 grain WCs from a shooter in Texas.  This would be the elk load.  Whoo Hoooo!

Worked up the load of 93 grains of US-869 with Fed-215s, same overall length as 169s with a muzzle velocity of 3200 FPS.

I could never get bullet to shoot.  My big problem, being one to not give up, kind of like a fly against a window, was trying too hard for too long.

These bullets shot banana shaped groups.  Lay a 2″ banana with the point on a 200 yard target, and the stem at 2 o’clock and that’s whatcha got for a group.  Some time smaller some times larger.  I’d try this.  Then I’d try that.  As I had an important elk hunt lined up that fall, I really wanted these 195s to be working well.

I got them working well enough to take them on the hunt except that extreme long range shots would be out of the question.  But anything under 600 yards would be meat on the table.  Then for one last confidence builder I went to the range to shoot a 300 yds, 500 yds and 630 yds.  That day will live in my memory through the eternities.

Set up on the 300 yard newly painted gone.  Set the turrets for distance and wind.  Bang, boing!  Hit right where it should.  All smiles.  OK then, one more at 300 before moving to 500.  I expected POI to be well within 3 inches of the first shot.  Bang. . . . . . . . . .niente (NOTHING), no boing, no dust, no nothing.  I look at my spotter buddy for confirmation.  The look in his face was a dumb as the look on mine.

I shot again with impact 3 inches of the initial shot.  Now we are confused.  Set up for the 500 yard gong.  Bang niente (NOTHING), no boing, no dust, no nothing.  What! in the world is going on.  Very disconcerting.

Moved back on the 300 yard gong.   Bang……..nothing, again!!!  Oops, forgot to dial for 300 yds from the previous 500 yds shot.  But, hey that shouldn’t have made “that” much difference.  The berms behind these gongs are 8 feet high!  Set the turrets properly.   Bang.. . . . . .  .NOTHING!.  Went home and started emailing.

Summation of findings:  about 50 percent of 270 AM Lilja barrels at 400 rounds start dusting 195 gr Wildcats.  Now doesn’t that just frost ya!   Note these are the original Richard Graves bullets.  The problem is the 8 twist – 3 groove bore if one looks at it one way or jackets are weak if looked at another way.  Its just to tough on jackets!

Now I’m in a pickle.  Hunt coming up and I have less than 20 bullets to load site in and go hunting.  As a result I when on the hunt with 6 loaded and ready to go cartridges ready and able to take a 1k shot if the perfect opportunity presented itself.   I’m quite irritated with myself for purchasing only 100 of the 169s.  So much for being a cheap-skate……..

Next post will be about the quest for a bullet.


Posted by on April 10, 2011 in Uncategorized


My next step – ordering the rifle.

Being a young fellow when pop bottles were glass and worth 2 cents each I had a hard time with ordering a rifle remotely.  After many years of bedding and shooting rifles I knew my limitations and was hesitant regarding exchange of dollars from my pocket to someone else.

If I recall correctly, its been a bunch of years, I emailed Kirby Allen and said I wanted a 270 Allen Magnum and that I had a Remington 721 action as a donor action.  The original rifle was my dad’s.  I shot my first and only white tail buck with this one.  A nice nine point.  I was 16 years old.


Dad had restocked the rig with a piece of the backyard walnut tree that had been sent off to Fajen.  He ruined the original stock, which had been reshaped a bit and checkered with a black tip added, when he removed the flush mount cups for the new stock.  It wasn’t the same rifle after that and never shot well.

I emailed Kirby that the action was on the way and that I desired a 270 Allen Magnum.  I had plans to do my own stock work and suggested that he ‘put something on it’ that was inexpensive (cheap).  Its tough to let go of those life long spend thrift habits…….

Old time thinking continued as I ordered a Super Sniper scope for it.  While a being a good maybe even better than good it let me down in the mountains where it reduced the range of the 270 AM, at a certain shooting spot to a high noon use rig.  Both sides of high noon I couldn’t see a thing and opted to use the Rem 700 sporter in 338 RUM with a 4.5-14×44 Weaver tactical (Old style).

When the local FFL notified me that “my package” arrived, I beat feet to town.  The grand opening of the package was nearly as good as witnessing the birth of my seven children.  The barrel finish was exacting.  The Defensive Edge brake was striking.  The action still showed spots of release agent from dad’s bedding efforts.  It’s still there (memory marks)

The bargain basement $125.00 special deal Bell and Carlson sporter stock even looked good.  Dies were there also.

Another bit of dumbness was that I ordered only 100 Wildcat 169.5 grain bullets from Richard Graves.  This piece of short sightedness proved to have long lasting effects.  Even at this time I still feel the effects.  However, the jist of this blog would be non-existent with out this bit of inconvenience.

I had purchased what I thought would be the best brass available (I succumbed to advertizing, again).  This purchase wasn’t a good one for me in that with less than high pressure loads the primer pockets lasted only one shot.  Limited sorting of Remington 7mm RUM and 300 RUM cases have proven sufficient for the task.

After using the Corn Meal method of fire forming I had some loads to put together.  If I recall correctly the fire forming load was 20 grains of Unique, Corn Meal to the base of the neck and a TP wad.  I was careful to ensure no cooked Corn Meal build up in the throat and to space shots to keep barrel temp down.  The brake is removed for this operation.  I’d recommend doing this operation immediately after eating as the aroma begs for honey butter, syrup and a very cold glass of milk.

Resizing factory 7mm and 300 RUM cases consisted of running through the resizing die that came with the rifle with a spacer on the ram of a size to leave a sufficient ‘bump’ ahead of the shoulder for head spacing.  It too a couple of tries to get this right and after having learned how to do it has become second nature.

Kirby had posted a range of 270 AM loads which made starting load selection straight forward.  One of each of those loads was developed for comparison and initial sight in.

Next post will discuss initial experience shooting this rig which by the way was a real eye-opener for me.

My learning curve was steep on reloading for this rifle as even in my BR shooting days I hadn’t used such highly complicated seating dies.  They had been similar but didn’t have the nifty micrometer head.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 19, 2011 in Uncategorized


Quest for a truley long range rig

I signed up with some time in 2004 and had much searching and reading under my belt.  I had done tons of reading and had some of my own ideas as to what would be necessary to get the job done.

I developed an agricultural business which involved use of GPS and spatial data including georeferenced aerial images of entire counties.  The GPS used was a high-end Satloc unit with submeter accuracy which usually ran a 12″ value.  Images were government accurate to one meter.

As I relived many of my yote and chuck kills I learned that my estimated shot distances were more than way off.  For example a favorite chuck shooting spot to which I had affixed an impressive range turned out to be less than 200 yards.  I was starting to waken to reality real quick.  However, several of my ranges were spot on including my maximum effective range of 420 yards.  I was shoot chucks and yotes with the 270 Win, 90 gr Sierra, with 4895 pushing it at 3400 fps.  Up to 420 yards I was deadly.  One yard beyond that every thing I shot at may have got dirt on it but was pretty safe from harm.

An experience years earlier left quite an impression on my.  My hunting/shooting friend Ken and I went to Bancroft Idaho in search of some long-range chuck shooting.  Ken was shooting a 7mm Rem Mag in a 700 Sporter pushing 120 at some unheard of velocity.  He also had one of those high-tech, for the day, range finders that relied on focus to guestimate ranges.  I tried to run the thing but Ken was at least consistent with it.  As usual I was deadly out to the 400 yard make.  At 450 I couldn’t touch a thing.  Once Ken got lined up a memorable string of 6 out of 10 chucks from what we called with this fancy ranged finder 490 to 515 yards.  We were shooting from the borrow pit using sand bags on a milk crate.  Those were the days!

With my new-found GPS capability and more recent yote hunting experience where, being so heavily hunted, yotes were hanging up way out there when most, including me, couldn’t get them.  I surveyed all of the experiences of hanging yotes I could recall recording ranges for each.  The average range turned out to be 620 yards with closest ranges well beyond the 500 mark.  Thus the first specification of this new long-range rig was yote capable beyond 620 yards.

By this time my experience was gaining and I came across this young upstart rifle smith by the name of Kirby Allen.   There were certain characteristics conveyed in his posts and experience that seemed to ring true to me.  Me being somewhat of a fella that doesn’t take the path most trod, and Kirby in the beginnings of development of the 22 Allen Magnum, I was strongly drawn in that direction.

Communicating with Kirby regarding this cartridge with its pluses and minuses it was suggested another route.  At that time bugs were being worked out of his 270 Allen Magnum offering. posts regarding this cartridge by a BJ and lerch from OK sounded quite interesting.  Thus the 270 Allen Magnum was chosen to be the cartridge of choice.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Uncategorized


What one fella will do to get what he really wants!!

For a long time I’ve been thinking about how to reveal to others some innovative ideas regarding long range shooting including specific aspects of shooting the 277 caliber.  In 1966 I desired an all around rifle for hunting any game animal that could be taken in Idaho.  I was in the Navy at the time.  My first day in Idaho, resulted in the purchase of a surplus 1908 Brazilian Mauser in 7X57.

As would be expected, when the grease was removed from bore, the resulting appearance was that of a dried lake bed.

I located to Pocatello, Idaho and promptly found the Pocatello Gun Shop which was operated by a seasoned hunter, shooter and all around good guy, Cecil Dodge.  After some discussion and Rockwell testing at the Union Pacific Rail Road shop a Doublas Premium, 24″ barrel in 270 Winchester was installed.  It was interesting that the reamer used had one broken flute.  Cecil said it had been doing a good job and went ahead with the chambering.  This experience lead me to trust the smith’s suggestions and recommendation which still sticks with me 45 years later.

Installation of a Timney trigger, Redfield solid mount and rings, Leupold VX-II 3-9 scope and a Fajen thumb hole stock.  I used a slow rust brown metal finish which has been the best all around finish I’ve experienced on a rifle.  The only thing that bugged me was that the scope couldn’t be finished in that color.

The rifle consistently grouped an average of 0.75″ @100 yds over several hundred groups.  Note that back in those days 5 shot groups were my standard.  With my newly purchased Oehler paper screen chrono and N-205 a steady dose of 3190 fps 130 gr Sierra boat tails took chucks, coyotes, mule deer and one moose at distances I thought were really shorter than I thought.  Years later with the advent of GPS I learned that my shots were much shorter than I figured.  I have not to this day been able to overcome the conditioning of my youth while hunting in Pennsylvania.  There is just way too much space in Idaho.

Long range shooting rejuvenated my interest in hunting in 2007.  I broke out the old Winny and went to shooting.  It was difficult to keep shots on a paper plate at 300 yards.  A bore inspection revealed more than an inch of throat with no rifling.  I was amazed as the last muley I took was a spot on hit at a decent distance.  I tried to not take any shots on mule deer at less than 250 yards to hold meat damage to a minimum.

I was hanging around at the time and heard about a fella by the name of Dan Lilja.  A call to Dan resulted in a 270 cal barrel being shipped to a recommended gunsmith in Longmont CO.  The barrel arrived well before I called the smith who was wondering why he had this barrel.  The was fitted to the old Mauser action which was trued with the bolt being refaced in a fine manner.  The rifle shot very well.  The second, 3 shot group, went right at 0.11″.

An upgrade to a 6-20 scope made the rifle a solid 700 yard one gallon milk jug hitter on a regular basis.  Before I could push it any further I noticed that the reticle was very wavy.  A call to Cabela’s resulted in a new scope on its way.  In the mean time for some unknown reason I put the rifle up to my left eye, which is very hard to do with the right handed thumb hole stock.  Wonder of wonders, cross hairs were perfectly straight?  An analysis at SLC VA hospital revealed macular degeneration.  This was devastating to one of my blond daughters who thought I had muscular degeneration.

Rather than restock a great shooting rifle I presented it to my son saying “Don’t say I’ve never given you anything.”  It was nearly a tearful exchange.

Thus started a quest for a truly long range rifle.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Uncategorized