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Paul B.
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Posted: October 28 2017 at 12:14pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

Will miracles ever cease to exist. Back in April of 2016, my wife had a
stroke so I haven't had much of a chance to get out to the range until
yesterday. The range was busy so I couldn't take the time to set up the
chronograph without angering a bunch of mall ninjas so hd to do the
shoot without benefit of chrony.


Powder was H4350, Remington brass, CCI 200 primer and the 160 gr.
Speer Grand Slam bullet. Charges started at 44.0 grains and went up a
half grain at a time to 46.5 grains which is a half grain over the
maximum in the Speer Manual #14.

Rifle is a custom job based on an FN Mauser action,23" Douglas barrel
and a custom stock shaped similarly to the Winchester M70
Featherweight. This rifle is an enigma as it shows pressure signs even
with the downloaded factory ammo so trying to determine what may or
may not be a top level load is going to be difficult.

Now to the shooting which left more questions than answers. Shots
were in three shot groups.

44.0 gr. very mild recoil. 1.50" group with one flyer. Without the flyer
groups would have been about .75". Velocity 2252 FPS according to
manual. Primers nice and round, one slightly cratered. Bolt opened
easily

44.5 gr. no change in felt recoil. Group 1.50 wide and .50" deep.
Probably my fault. There was wind from left to right as well. Primers still
nice and round, one slightly cratered. Bolt opened easily.

45.0 gr. Recoil a bit more noticable. Another horizontal group,
2.75"x.75". Still some wind but I'm more incline to think it was me.
Primers nice and round but all three cratered. Bolt very slightly stiff.

45.5 gr. Recoil about normal as found with the weaker factory loads.
Bolt opened slightly stiffer. Primers still nice and round but cratered.
Group 1.0"x.75", best one so far. This load is the Maximum in the
Speer manual. Estimated velocity 2502 FPS based on the manual.

46.0 gr. This load one half grain over book max. Recoil felt like where it
should for a load of that lever. Estimated velocity 2550 to 2600 FPS.
Primers still have nice round edges and two of the three were cratered.
Bolt was stiff but not hard to open. Group was, are you sitting down?
.28"x.60". I wish I'd had three more rounds to try that one again.

We all know when a round is fired the cartridge case usually has one
side showing a bulge of sort as the top of the case has nothing to keep
it from expanding while the bottom of the case is more or less
supported by the chamber. Anyway, one side is always larger than the
other.
The brass from this rifle shows so little expansion in that area that it's
almost nonexistent. In fact the lightest of the loads show none at all. I
haven't had time to measure them for case head expansion and case
rig expansion but if nothing else, this rifle has one of the tightest, if not
the tightest chamber I've ever seen.

Cratered primers. Even the milder loads had primers that cratered.
Pressure? I don't think so. I'm of the thought that the hole in the face of
the bolt might be a bit too large or the firing pin may stick out a bit too
far. Then again it could be a weak firing pin spring.

It was surprising how much change a .5 gr. in powder charge changed
the point of impact. I still haven't figured out the stiff bolt thing even on
the milder loads. I had two sets made up, the ones with the Remington
brass and the exact same loads but in Winchester brass. I didn't have
time to do the second set but will first chance the weather decides to
cooperate. I prefer calm to very light winds when I do a load work up
test. Just one less thing to have to mess with. I got to the range late
and the wind was quite light until about 4 PM when it picked up to
about 10 to 15 MPH. Funny thing is I got the best group of the day
during that wind.

I'm happy at how it all worked out. I shot a lot better than I thought I
would considering I haven't fired an aimed shot at something since
before 4/2/16 when my wife had her stroke.

Paul B.

Edited by Paul B. on October 29 2017 at 2:39pm
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LAH
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Posted: October 28 2017 at 5:45pm | IP Logged Quote LAH

I'm glad you're able to be back at the range & hope your
wife is doing better. I didn't read the cartridge you are
using?

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M700
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Posted: October 28 2017 at 7:39pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Glad you got out to the range Paul!

You're going to make us guess the cartridge based on the load info aren't you?

And I'm guessing 2016...

Dang. Picky, picky aren't I?

Glad you got to the range Paul, that's great!

Guy

Edited by M700 on October 28 2017 at 7:41pm
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joed
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Posted: October 28 2017 at 8:55pm | IP Logged Quote joed

My guess is 7mm Mauser.

Good to hear you got out shooting.

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Buffalogun
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Posted: October 29 2017 at 6:50am | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

Paul, I hope your wife is improving and you enjoyed being back on the range.

My Speer #12 shows about the same data for the 7x57, so I think Joe is right.

Even though this rifle is a custom piece it is still possible the chamber is not quite concentric. Or the chamber could be a little rough. That could account for the harder than usual bolt lift.

Sometimes primer cups are a little softer than normal and that can explain some cratered primers.

Winchester cases may have a little more internal volume and may help reduce the over pressure signs.


Mike

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Rex
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Posted: October 29 2017 at 7:23am | IP Logged Quote Rex

My youngest Son's 30-06 that we built on an Eddystone action always shows cratered primers to a degree. I believe the firing pin hole in the bolt is a bit oversized. My model 94 Mauser bolt has a stiff bolt lift except after a shot at a deer at which point I don't notice it at all.
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Buffalogun
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Posted: October 29 2017 at 7:37am | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

Rex wrote:
My model 94 Mauser bolt has a stiff bolt lift except after a shot at a deer at which point I don't notice it at all.


Funny, I never notice hard bolt lift in my rifles under those same conditions either!


Mike

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: October 29 2017 at 9:19am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Buffalogun wrote:
Rex wrote:
My model 94 Mauser bolt has a stiff bolt lift except after a shot at a deer at which point I don't notice it at all.


Funny, I never notice hard bolt lift in my rifles under those same conditions either!


Mike


That reminds me of a story that is supposedly true. May be just a story, but is a bit funny and certainly possible.

A young hunter was hunting with his buddy and they jumped up a deer and both started to shoot at the running deer at the same time. The buddy shot and the younger inexperienced guy thought that his rifle went off so he ejected a live round and aimed again. The other buddy shot again and the young hunter ejected another live round. Anyway, the young guy emptied his rifle without firing a shot.

I don't remember if the deer was hit or not. Most likely not with this crew.

Edited by Ham Gunner on October 29 2017 at 9:20am


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RT58
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Posted: October 29 2017 at 9:34am | IP Logged Quote RT58

Did you ask for a "benchrest" chamber when you ordered your barrel from Douglas?
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Old Ranger
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Posted: October 29 2017 at 2:29pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Meanwhile, I can relate to the stroke. Even the "mild one" I had a couple years back really slowed me down to a crawl. They are brutal when "mild" and devastating when full on. My very best to your wife and a profound hope her recovery continues at an accelerated pace!

Wade

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Paul B.
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Posted: October 29 2017 at 2:32pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

joed wrote:
My guess is 7mm Mauser.

Good to hear you got out shooting.


You win the kewpie doll.
Paul B.
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Paul B.
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Posted: October 29 2017 at 2:39pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

RT58 wrote:
Did you ask for a "benchrest" chamber when you
ordered your barrel from Douglas?


Actually no. I didn't know you could do that. Not sure if my gunsmith
ordered it that way or did the full chamber job himself. I do know it's
snug. usually brass bulges slightly on one side when fired and the
brass from this rifle even with the load a half grain over Speer's max
shows only the very slightest of bulge.
I did the loads with CCI primers but am thinking of doing another
session with the same brass and Winchester WLR primers and see if
there is still cratering.
I prefer to load my 7x57's to duplicate 7-08 Rem. velocities as my rifles
are all on modern actions.
Paul B.
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Paul B.
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Posted: October 29 2017 at 2:45pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

Old Ranger wrote:
Meanwhile, I can relate to the stroke. Even the
"mild one" I had a couple years back really slowed me down to a
crawl. They are brutal when "mild" and devastating when full on. My
very best to your wife and a profound hope her recovery continues at
an accelerated pace!

Wade


Thanks Wade. I think she's improved about as far as she can go. She
was already borderline dementia and the stroke made the situation
worse. Makes me afraid to leave her alone for any great length of time
like a full day at the range. She's 81 years old and I'm 79 so neither
one of us are spring chickens anymore. I can only pray I can stay
healthy enough to care for her until that sad time when I lose her. After
all.next July 3 will be out 50th anniversary. Sometimes I wonder if we'll
make it.
Paul B.
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joed
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Posted: October 29 2017 at 4:07pm | IP Logged Quote joed

Yes, you can order a benchrest chamber.   When I ordered the
Krieger for my 700 I was asked what barrel I wanted and how I
wanted the chamber. I told them I didn't want to be turning case
necks so chamber it short of that.   I did tell them I wanted the
highest quality barrel I could get for it though.

Funny that you mention the case bulge because this rifle did that
when bought new.   After I got it back it no longer did that.



Edited by joed on October 29 2017 at 4:10pm


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