Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sighting drills with the AR180b and Eotech 512

Range time today!

Mission: Practice sighting with the AR180b and the Eotech 512 holographic sight. Acquiring the target as fast as I can and shooting a hole in it.

Standing offhand, I had an 8" target setup at 25 yards. My goal was simple.... Shoulder the rifle and hit the target in under one second.

Seated at the bench, I had a different plan. At the fifty yard line I had hung five 4"x6" index cards, and I tried to sight on each in turn, one after the other, as fast as I could. In the video it looks like I am blasting away, but actually I am changing targets with every shot. They were placed at odd spots and different levels on the backstop.

video video

The results are pleasing to me.... I hit the cards, as quick as I could, and that was all I asked for. I burned off 160 rounds practicing this... and it went way too fast.
On the other hand, I drove home with a smile on my face.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cobbled together 8x57mm does the job.

In this post I wrote about putting together some 8x57mm match ammunition from components on hand.

Today I shot the match using the ancient Turk Mauser and the ammunition I built.

Not bad folks... not bad. I shot a 365, which is pretty good for me and only about 25 points off my best ever.

$100 rifle, about $15 in components, and ended up with a great day shooting.

I'm a happy camper!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cleaning cases with plastic pellets as tumbler media

I've always experimented with tumbler media for cleaning cases. The normal ground corn cob and crushed walnut, with all the usual compounds have been tried.

Also.... some others.

White rice, both whole and cracked. Whole wheat grains, and cracked wheat. Popcorn grains also (crazy idea). All of the above were tried dry, with rouge, with car wax, and with solvent.

This week I tried something new to me. Plastic pellets made for lapidary tumbling. Sold by Jesco in 1, 5, and 25 pound containers, these things are quite effective. I suspect they can be had at any lapidary supply store, or shops that sell rock tumbling supplies.

The pellets are actually more expensive than high grade crushed walnut, but I think there might still be some magic here. My thinking is, if they are nothing but solid plastic, then why can't I simply wash them when they get too dirty to use?
Rather than buy 20lbs of walnut a year, I can buy a bucket of these pellets and use them... well.... forever.

Follow me here..... once they get grunged, I dump them in a pot with hot soapy water and swish them around till fairly clean. Drain in a colander, rinse in clean water, and lay them out to dry.

Is there any reason I can't reuse them till they wear out?

As for effectiveness at cleaning, the photos tell the tale. This
batch of pellets has a spritz of
Ballistol solvent and lubricant.
It served to break up the carbon and nastiness, and as the photos show it was more than up to the job. Since it's not a petroleum based solvent, and I used such a tiny amount, residue on the case is not an issue.

This time I did a batch of .38 cases I'll be reloading for my best friend. Both nickel and brass, but I saved a few out of the batch as comparison. Here they are photographed and labeled for your enjoyment and judgment. They were tumbled in the vibratory polisher for almost exactly one hour to get this level of polish. Only one hour, where the walnut would have taken twice as much time.

I'll report back as the experiment continues, but I think this might be a pretty trick setup for polishing brass with larger case mouths (9mm and up).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

8x57mm Match ammo..... sort of

Two hours later... 110 rounds of match ammunition loaded and ready for next weekends military rifle shoot.

Lets see now.....
  • 1938 Turkish Mauser.... Check
  • 1940's Military cases.... Check
  • 1950's Yugoslavian pulled bullets and powder.... Check
  • Hours of painstaking effort.... Check
I guess if the weather is decent Sunday, I'm good to go!

Sometimes one must 'make do'. Missing the neck sizing die? Do partial full length sizing instead. Out of IMR 4350? Use salvaged plate powder from 1950's Yugoslavian surplus ammo. Out of Sierra Match King bullets? Use the same salvaged Yugoslavian stuff, just tumble them clean first.

I used a powder charge exactly in the middle of the variations from the surplus ammo... 45 grains. But, where the old military stuff varied up to a grain from median, I vary less than a tenth of that in charge weight.

The bullets are seated out farther to get them right to the start of the rifling, and each case is collet crimped to ensure even ignition and charge burn.

I switched from my usual BR-2 bench rest primer to a large rifle magnum primer to make sure ignition is consistent.

Bet my scores don't show one whit of difference for using the substitute components.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thats a dirty Colt!

Amongst the chores today, clean and repair a few pistols. The Colt .45 was due for cleaning, somehow having been missed the last few range visits (I'm lazy). Field stripping it..... I am now amazed that it functioned normally! It had about 500 rounds between cleanings, and it was grungy. Disgustingly so.

Half a roll of paper towels, maybe 140 Q-tips, a quarter cup of Ballistol, and some elbow grease later.....

It's now clean again, and ready for the next run of grunge at the range.

Next project on this pistol... break and reshape the edges on that Bo-Mar target sight so it doesn't draw blood every time I carry it for CCW....

Sunday, October 5, 2008

8x57mm case stretch... amazing

Today I decapped and polished 110 cases for my 8x57mm Turkish Mauser. This is the rifle I shoot in the high power match, and these are my match cases.

This is not virgin brass..... far from it.
It's so far from virgin that I'd have to wash my mouth with soap just describing their level of 'experience'. They are headstamped MM 7.92 42, and that makes them of Canadian manufacture from 1942. Yes... I said 1942. I shoot 66 year old cases in my match rifle. Get over it. I'm cheap.

The thing is... on examining the cases as they came from the polisher, one had a blemish going around the circumference of the case. That is one possible sign of an incipient case head rupture, and has to be taken very seriously.

I sacrificed one of the cases to the diamond saw, and sectioned it for examination of the case walls. I was shocked to find the brass shows absolutely no sign of stretching at all. This after being fired from the original military loading and another six or seven of my match loads which involved a case overstuffed with IMR 4350.

I attribute this to neck sizing almost every time, with one full length thrown in at the start.

On another note, for polisher media I tried something new. Solid plastic pellets made for rock tumbling and polishing. Maybe a sixteenth of an inch around, with a seam that's slightly rough.
I gave them a spritz of Ballistol before the polish session, and the cases were mirror clean in an hour or so.

What makes the plastic pellets so special as a media..... when it gets dirty I'll be able to rinse them in hot soapy water, dry them in the sun, and keep right on using them with no end in sight.
That makes them cheap....

Remember.... carteach0 is cheap. (g)