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KinleyWater
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Posted: May 06 2017 at 12:17pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

I just got back from my first day in a long time at a rifle range. The shooting party consisted of my best half, my brother, and myself. The drive to the range was just about 2 hours for us and a little under an hour for my brother.

It was my first chance to try out my newly acquired Rem 700 Classic in 35 Whelen. Well, It was an absolute hoot to shoot it. I tried Federal Fusion 200 grain factory and Hornady Superformance 200 grain factory loads. I also had a few hand loads that I had put together just to try out my dies and work the process out for myself. I also wanted to see how the rifle felt with various bullet weights and loads. For those, I had 200 gr Hornady FTX, 225 gr Sierra Gameking, and 250 gr Speer HotCor.

Recoil in this platform was stout, but mostly manageable. I don't have enough long gun experience to compare it to anything, so I can't really describe it better than that. The 200 gr Fusion factory loads were the most mild and not unpleasant to shoot. I'm glad I started off with them. By the end of my run, I had developed a consequential flinch, so I need more time with the gun, shooting fewer rounds per session.

Accuracy was good for the factory loads and I had little trouble engaging my brand new gong at 150 yards... Not really a challenge, I know, but it was what I had to work with. The best hand load was the Hornady 200 gr FTX over 55.9 grains of RL-15. Hornady 9th Ed manual says that load should be at 2400 fps from my Rem. I don't have a worst load because I know my flinch was enough to really impact my accuracy. Next time, I will pick a couple or three loads and just work with those.

My wife also shot her brand new rifle. Okay, like my Rem, new to us. Just yesterday, she settled on a second hand Ruger Gunsite Scout in .308 win. It was the 16 inch version with the coated barrel and laminate stock. She said it fit her better than any other rifle she had shouldered - and believe me, she shouldered quite a few. This one was missing the flash hider, so I talked the clerk into knocking another $50 off the top. In the end it was just under $650 out the door.

I was a bit concerned that she would dislike the recoil, leading her to abandon the rifle. I was extremely pleased that she put 30 rounds through it without any issue; engaging paper at 50 yards with iron sights. I am confident that with time and use, she will be out ringing the gong along with me.

As for my brother... He insisted on bringing his, um, modified, Mosin Nagant. Really, it's not that bad; just really heavy. He has placed a see through forward mount on it, topped with a 2x fixed LER scope. A sort of scout rifle for people who enjoy toting extremely heavy rifles around. Still, it had no issues ringing the gong, and it put quite a smile on your face when you did.

On the whole, a very good day at the range.


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Rex
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Posted: May 06 2017 at 3:57pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

Sounds like a lot of fun. I need to get my rifles out and work with them a bit.
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M700
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Posted: May 06 2017 at 6:11pm | IP Logged Quote M700

That does seem like a very nice day at the range.

Glad you got out to enjoy!

Guy
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KinleyWater
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Posted: May 06 2017 at 6:39pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

I learned quite a bit. First and foremost I learned that if I'm going to drive 2 hours each way to shoot, I need to put more time into planning. For example, when I got there, I found that I had forgotten my chrono - so much for checking my hand loads. I have also come to the conclusion that I don't need to max out the loads for the Whelen to get enough killing power. It is quite the cartridge.

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safari100
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Posted: May 06 2017 at 7:49pm | IP Logged Quote safari100

Kinley, I am suprised you found a scout rifle used on the market so soon after release. Good for you. I will start to look on the used market myself.


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KinleyWater
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Posted: May 08 2017 at 5:23pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Well, we saw one at a shop and by the time we decided to get it and went back two days later, it was gone. So, when we found this one, we struck.

I would say, know what a good price is, know what your willing to pay, so as soon as you see it, you can put money down.


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hoghunter
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Posted: May 09 2017 at 5:32pm | IP Logged Quote hoghunter

The 35 Whelen is a thumper. A friend of mine has one and it
knocks the **** out of him. After five rounds off the bench
in free recoil he's flinching all over the place.

I suggested that he hold the forearm as he would shoot the
rifle in a field situation, i.e. avoiding free recoil. It
worked, he was able to control the rifle much better.
also had him elevate the rest so the butt of the rifle was
parrallal to his shoulder thus the recoil was absorbed
parallal to his shoulder. This produces less felt recoil.

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KinleyWater
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Posted: May 09 2017 at 5:40pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Hog, thanks. I was up around 40 rounds by the end of the session and it was just too much for me. That was interspersed with .308 and 7.62x54r.

What I think I will do next time, is to take a load I am working - say 12 or 15 rounds - and limit myself to that. I think if I do that a few times, I'll get more used to it and the longer sessions won't be so bad.

No matter what, I still don't think I'll need to hyper-load something like the 250 grain pills. Of course, I still want to get my hands on some 310 grain Woodleigh bullets. I just find the idea of a 300+ grain bullet to be interesting.

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hoghunter
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Posted: May 12 2017 at 5:06pm | IP Logged Quote hoghunter

KinleyWater wrote:
Hog, thanks. I was up around 40
rounds by the end of the session and it was just too much
for me. That was interspersed with .308 and 7.62x54r.

What I think I will do next time, is to take a load I am
working - say 12 or 15 rounds - and limit myself to that.
I think if I do that a few times, I'll get more used to
it and the longer sessions won't be so bad.

No matter what, I still don't think I'll need to hyper-
load something like the 250 grain pills. Of course, I
still want to get my hands on some 310 grain Woodleigh
bullets. I just find the idea of a 300+ grain bullet to
be interesting.


I realize that some guys have to travel quite a bit to
get to a range thus they need to do a lot of shooting to
justify the trip.

I'm forturnate enough to have a range five miles from my
house. After 40+ years of shooting I've learn that
shooting more than 20 rounds of heavy center fire rifle
in one range sesssion is counter productive at least for
me. I began to loose focus, get sloppy on the
fundamentals and start to flinch.

You may want to combine shooting heavy centerfire with
light centerfire or rimfire. Perhaps warming up with the
lighter calibers before moving to the heavy centerfire
and limiting the number of heavy centerfire rounds per
session.

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KinleyWater
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Posted: May 12 2017 at 5:18pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Agree on all of the above, Hog. That's why I'm planning on only doing 12-15 rounds for my next range session. I figure that should be enough for me to work up a load. In the event that is insufficient, I'll probably go get a lunch somewhere local and then do the rest in the afternoon.

I like the rimfire idea too. I have a sweet Marlin 795 that I haven't given a workout lately. Don;t know what it is about that rifle, but it is far more accurate than I am.

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: May 12 2017 at 6:25pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

About 25 years ago my FIL moved down just 15 miles from me, to retire. He had ten acres and a perfect place to set up a 25, 50, and 100 yard shooting range. Together we built ourselves a great shooting range. He enjoyed it almost as much as me, but I really loved it. I could take all morning or afternoon to do my shooting and load development to include letting barrels cool off after each string and was not rushed by someone tapping their foot behind me wanting to use the bench.

Wow, that was nice. I could set up my chronograph and just shoot a bit, check targets, clean bores, and then shoot some more with no worry in the world about having to be in a hurry. I never got tired or had any problems with developing a flinch due to cramming too many rounds into a short shooting period.

But, a new neighbor moved in to the adjacent property. Although there were not any houses for at least a mile away, the guy liked to bow hunt and my all day shooting sessions bugged him as he thought I was scarring his deer off. So to pacify his neighbor my FIL thought it best not to shoot so much. Now I just go to the public shooting range and hope for the best.

But I do still have the family farm with 240 acres that I can shoot as I please if I need to work up a special load or something, but it is 45 miles away.

Edited by Ham Gunner on May 12 2017 at 6:31pm


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KinleyWater
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Posted: May 12 2017 at 6:41pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

So what is it like living in America? All I can do right now is visit on the weekends.

I was looking at a property around... Bonne Terre, I think - this was a little while ago - that was 220 acres. What I wouldn't give to have a place like that.

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langenc
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Posted: June 04 2017 at 7:37pm | IP Logged Quote langenc

KinleyWater wrote:
Hog, thanks. I was up around 40 rounds by the end of the session and it was just too much for me. That was interspersed with .308 and 7.62x54r.

What I think I will do next time, is to take a load I am working - say 12 or 15 rounds - and limit myself to that. I think if I do that a few times, I'll get more used to it and the longer sessions won't be so bad.

No matter what, I still don't think I'll need to hyper-load something like the 250 grain pills. Of course, I still want to get my hands on some 310 grain Woodleigh bullets. I just find the idea of a 300+ grain bullet to be interesting.


35 Whelan-free recoil--WOW is all I can say.

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KinleyWater
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Posted: June 05 2017 at 1:25pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

langenc wrote:
KinleyWater wrote:
Hog, thanks. I was up around 40 rounds by the end of the session and it was just too much for me. That was interspersed with .308 and 7.62x54r.

What I think I will do next time, is to take a load I am working - say 12 or 15 rounds - and limit myself to that. I think if I do that a few times, I'll get more used to it and the longer sessions won't be so bad.

No matter what, I still don't think I'll need to hyper-load something like the 250 grain pills. Of course, I still want to get my hands on some 310 grain Woodleigh bullets. I just find the idea of a 300+ grain bullet to be interesting.


35 Whelan-free recoil--WOW is all I can say.


It's fun No, really, I mean it

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