Chronicles - III
Friday, the 4th of April, was a most mellow day to practice at Long-range distances. Light winds were about when we started on the 1,000-yd line at about 8:45 AM. Arnie Moos and I were shooting PP'ed bullets with the rest of the crew shooting greasers. From the 900-yd line, later in the morning, the winds were up; in the 8 to 16 mph range. At the end of the shooting session from the 800-yd line we were treated to a fairly consistent breeze in the 4 to 8 mph range. Temps during the day ranged from about 60 F when we started to about 75 F at the end of the practice. What a way to spend the day.
The 16-twist, 45-90 Browning with traditional
Sharps PP match chamber was shot at all yard lines; about 20 to 22 rounds
per yard-line. The left-over ammo from the American Creedmoor Cup was
shooting very well. Arnie was shooting his
One interesting test Arnie ran from the 800-yd line, while I pulled his target, was to shoot his current match load with dry and dip-lubed patches. For those of you that have been following the Paper-patch Chronicles, you will remember that for the 18-twist, 45-90 shot at the 07 Raton LR match, dip-lubed PP bullets shot best and were used in the match. But, out of the 16-twist 45-90 chambered with the same Sharps PP reamer, dry patched bullets have so far shot the best. However, Arnie's rifle shoots best with dip-lubed patches. Go figure. As far as I'm concerned, not having to dip-lube the patches is fine with me, one less step to do in the reloading process. Arnie's load was shooting very well with the 0.4460" diameter shank of his Paul Jones PP Money Bullet. His rifle's chamber is of my standard design: no freebore with 3 degrees-per-side leade angle. Steve Rhoades did the chambering and barrel fitting.
At the end of the day, while taking down the targets and policing the area I found one of my or Arnie's PP bullets. We were shooting the same bullet, so I can't tell whose it is. I had a few short shots while getting sight settings due to the fact that I started with my AZ sight settings. Arnie had a few dirt shots while shooting the dry-wrapped bullets. Anyway, lots of good information from observing the recovered bullet.
First, 3 of the land engravings were in good shape. They were symmetric with no signs of bullet slippage. And, the length of the engraving was exactly as long as the patch. Hey, wait a minute, that was my bullet as Arnie's patches are longer. All three engravings had sharp, clear ends at the front and all were the same distance from the bullet base. The area of the base that was not distorted by impact had a sharp edge. Even a finger nail dragged across the base from the center to the edge did not hang-up at the edge. That means that the base is well protected and not distorting to the extent that accuracy will suffer. It is my current thinking that we want our perfectly cast bullets to enter the bore with minimum distortion. The more a bullet must bump-up, the more the bullet will distort. IMHO, chambers and bullets should be designed to achieve that goal: minimum bullet distortion from cartridge to muzzle exit whether GG, GG'less or PP.
Here are two pictures of the recovered bullet that show what I'm talking about.
In the above picture you can see that at about 7:30 on the bullet base, the edge is sharp with no overhang. I believe bullet bases that have little-to-no "finning" or overhand have the potential to produce the finest accuracy
The last picture shows excellent engraving. Notice that the engraving is not "washed-out" but has sharp sides. This shows the 16-1 alloy bullet did not "slip" before starting its trip down the barrel. And there is no distortion where the bullet was seated out of the case. If this type of loading did not work we would expect to see bullet distortion about 1/8" from the base as that is how far the bullet was seated into the case. Also, notice the front-end of the engraving. The engraving is as long as the patch, which is about 0.1250" short of the forward end of the 0.4460" diameter cylindrical shank.
Dan Theodore - April 7, 2008