I went shooting today. Actually, I mostly did a lot of fetching and carrying and a young man tested some ammunition I’d made up and a new rifle. The weather was beautiful: just above freezing with some sun and very light wind.
We set up in a sand-pit with one target at 100 yards for 22RF and another at 280 yards for 7mm Remington Magnum. The new 22 shot very well getting quite a few bullet-holes touching despite some obvious wind-deflection. To finish off that session he aimed about 8 feet high and had a one-foot group on paper at the longer range. The new rifle is a beauty and so is the scope on it. The 7mm RM is an old rifle with a pretty good scope on it. The young man fired a bunch of groups and held about 3 inches at 280 yards. Not too shabby for an inexpensive hunting rifle and a cheap scope. We decided one batch of propellant I’ve been using for decades is beyond its best-before date and we will dispose it. Another propellant, AA4350, with a moderate load did the job well. He fired many groups until the recoil gave him a headache with 140 grain spitzers at around 2700 ft/s with 55.6 grains of powder. That’s a mild load for that calibre but it’s a lot leaving the barrel rapidly. The maximum loads are around 60 grains of powder. We’ll have to assume a different position to work up to such loads.
I boldly offered to shoot a group. I struggled to get down on the sandy berm and let her rip. On each shot, I could feel a wave of energy travel down my spine and thrash my lower back which has been complaining some lately. My group too was about 3 inches in size but positioned well to the left of his. I quit while I was ahead. I quit while I remained unparalyzed… I wondered what I could have done from a nice solid bench like a gentleman should use with the scope positioned for me and the lenses adjusted for my vision… I felt good. When I was young, that rifle never shot a group that good beyond 150 yards. It wrecked scopes. Now that the Chinese are making decent scopes that rifle has come into its own.