Benton City, WA – Rattlesnake Rifle Range
I turned in my 6SLR caliber to my gunsmith at the end of last year and he re-barreled it in a 6.5 Creedmoor. Why? Well a bit of a long story really. To make it short and not get in to my personal life too much, I had to walk away from the loading equipment I was using. But another reason is that I wanted to shoot a caliber I could get off of the shelf if needed. You may know by now that my precision rifle build is made up of an H&H Precision action (By Ken Hagan), Orias Chassis (By Killer Innovations and MEGA Arms) a Benchmark Barrel and a Leupold Mk6 Horus optic. Rainier Arms is now selling this build available out of the box in 308, 6.5CM and .243. (Sorry this does not include the optic) I want to see if I can be competitive with factory ammunition. 6.5CM is a great round and a competitive one. I am testing the Nosler 6.5CM HBPT 140gr Match ammunition. I have put the first few rounds through the rifle and performed a chronograph test with my MagnetoSpeed. The MV is an average of 2658 fps. The part that concerned me was that the SD was really wide at 24.1. But my groups were great. The real test is going to be out at the match. We will be shooting out to 700 yards at a match tomorrow in eastern Wa. I have entered all of the information I have so far in my Ballistics AE program. We will see how accurately the estimates are for the distances and hopefully I can make any Truing necessary on the range.
Day two – Post Match Update
I was a bit nervous it was going to be too cold and/or raining for the match but the weather was pretty mild. It was cold but we did not have the normal winds that Rattlesnake can get so that saved us from being too miserable. We had 7 stages to shoot out of the pistol bays on the lower part of the range facility. Steel targets were spread out up on the hill side. John Hauptmann the match director colored the targets for each stage so we could easily pick them out. We had one stage with targets out to about 800 yards. Most were set anywhere from 250 to 600 yards. Carl Taylor of In Motion Targets brought one of his movers for a stage and we had one stage with a KYL (Know Your Limits) rack. If you are unfamiliar with the KYL it is a sequence of steel targets from large to tiny sizes. You can choose to keep shooting the targets as they get smaller or choose to quit while ahead. If you keep shooting and miss once you will lose all of the points you just made in that stage. The smallest target was a tiny 2″ plate. The distance was around 400 yards. In this case you had to hit each target twice before moving on to the next smaller one. Since this match was more of a practice for me and was not an “important” match I went for it. Annnnnd I did not Know My Limits. But that is half the fun. You might as well go for it. You came to shoot and it also is a good way to know your rifle is shooting well. But my main goal for this match was to see how my factory ammo shoots and to true the MV at longer distances.
I zeroed my rifle at 100 yards as I had mentioned. (For those of you that already shoot this game this info is most likely boring to you. But hey this is my diary so bare with me) I entered all of the information in my Ballistics program and the morning of the match I opened the cell service to it to get the local weather information. The program made adjustments to the range card. I have the range card set for every 25 yards. I wanted to see at what distance the bullet drop changed from the information the program gave me. I found out quickly on the long range stage that right at 600 yards and beyond I was hitting below the target. I was exactly .4 MIL off what the program gave me. So since then I have input that new information and put the drop difference at 700 yards for instance and that changed the entire range card MV. If not I can true it again in Vegas after a long range stage if needed. The Sin City match will be another test for me if I choose to continue with factory ammo or get my components from Nosler and load my own. Looks like I may need to invest in all new loading equipment!
See you in Vegas!