Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunday Reading - On Saint Martins Day





Been a busy week end so far to say the least. Took a trip to the range on Friday trying to get a handle on my .357 handi rifle. I am having some weird results and keep going back to the drawing board on it. At first I was blaming the scope but now I am thinking perhaps I am attempting to do something that ballistics just won't allow.

Since I am absolutely no good at reading ballistic charts and such anyone want to take a guess at what kind of accuracy you could expect with a 158 grain semi-wadcutter slug and 3.2 grain powder charge of old Bullseye in a .38 caliber round at 100 yards? Ya I am not thinking much either. 

To make a long story short I laser sighted the rifle in as usual on the side of my barn at about 25 yards. At 100 yards my shots were falling about 10" low but remained in a nice vertical band less than 2" across. I adjusted the scope up 10 clicks and only gained about an inch up the target but stayed in my vertical band. I adjusted another 10 clicks up and saw no appreciable difference but remained inside the vertical band once again. I adjusted another 10 clicks up and couldn't hit the hillside behind the target. It was that bad.

My guess? a low charge .38 wadcutter round was just never designed to reach out with any accuracy to 100 yards.

I know several of you are slapping your foreheads saying "Well DUH" to me right now but damnit I had to try. I am also thinking that perhaps after the initial 15 to 20 rounds I may have gotten some leading in the barrel that caused even more accuracy problems to develop, especially out at 100 yards.

So the verdict isn't entirely in yet on my .357 deep survival rifle research. My testing was cut short because of a misfire and a bullet actually hung in the barrel. Keep in mind I am currently shooting .38 wadcutters that were hand loaded back in 1992. I have shot some 400 or so of these rounds through one firearm or another in the past year and this was the first misfire I have had. The primer popped but the powder charge didn't. Luckily the bullet did not travel far into the grooves and I was able to easily remove it using a rod with a small ballbearing on the end so as not to scratch the rifling.

All part of my testing actually which is why I am using such old ammunition. I want to know what to expect with decades old hand loaded rounds and this rifle. More research to continue when it warms up once again.

Saturday I had to brush off the gun rally at the state capital. Yes I know but before I even heard about the rally I had promised to take the family to St. Louis Saturday and there was no way I was going to get out of it.

I have some observations from the trip I will be posting tomorrow that are very telling about the current situation. In previous years I spent a large amount of time in St. Louis and am very familiar with at least all the major traffic routes and remember quite vividly what the place was like a decade ago. In the last ten years however I have only been there maybe twice the last time in "08" and things are very different now. I doubt I would really have noticed as much if I hadn't been so familiar with the city in the late 90's and early 00's but from my perspective things have really declined.

More about that later along with an interesting ammo observation at Cabellas in STL and my trip to Grafs reloading store today.

Let me just say right now if you can find primers or any type buy em NOW.

Temps are back down into the 20's today and forecasting single digits tonight. Looks like more snuggle inside time is coming my way once again.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


14 comments:

  1. Bubba, .357, as you are now aware, just wasn't developed for one hundred yard shots..it can be done but I'd try another caliber or hand load few more rounds with an increased powder charge within limits, of course.
    My friend Duke has tried for weeks to find small rifle primers to no avail. I haven't as yet told him of my stash. I won't to watch him sweat for a while longer.

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    1. Excuse me - read, 'want' to watch him sweat...

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    2. LOL you are so mean to Duke. I managed to find a partial case and picked up another 800 small rifle today. There were no small pistol primers to be found at all and only a few boxes of large rifle.

      I figured the round would drop off fast especially since I am really using a .38 out of it but I at least thought it would hit a target at 100 yards fairly accurately.

      Gonna work up a real .357 load for it next and see.

      Delete
  2. Concur with Stephen's assessment.

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    Replies
    1. RP - Actually I would be happy with a 50 yard effective rifle to be honest. Using the wadcutters anyway. This is for long term deep sufficiency as I figure I can keep the .38 and .357 brass going and producing bullets and even powder long after the 5.56 stuff is used up.

      Delete
  3. Ha Ha.. "St. Martins Day".. I like that. We went to our gun show yesterday, the tables were near empty.

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    1. JuGM - Well honestly nothign against the man himself but from the Multi-Cult leftist religion he is their saint.

      Delete
  4. Yes it's in the chilly 60s here :)

    I like St. Martin. Not a perfect person, but he backed up his talk which is more than most people can say.

    From snopping around the interwebs, most people put a carbine .357 range somewhere between 75 yards and 125 yards using normal ammunition. So if the wadcutters max out somewhere less than that. Obviously carbine round pistols/carbine combinations work better with the long barrel weapon, but I can only imagine how tough they are to handle.

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    Replies
    1. Russ - Well I am unsure he was the man they paint him out to be today. As for his own holiday well anyway.

      What the religious left makes him out to be is Saint Martin in my opinion. Others have differing opinions I am sure.

      Delete
  5. I haven't found any small rifle or pistol primers in over a month. I did find some 209 shot shell primers and picked up 500.

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    1. SD -Grafs had some small rifle magnum primers that I am unsure what they would work with so I didn't get them. I found a partial box of 800 at another store but they were all out of HP-38 my preferred pistol powder and all small pistol primers.

      I was hoping to store up about 10K of each primer type.

      Delete
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