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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this report on another muzzleloader site I belong to. I thought a few people here might find it interesting as well.

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I took two quick trips to the range both last night, and this morning. I have a lot a new stuff, (and some old) that I have been trying to work the wrinkles out of.

As many of you know I just got my HB about a month and a half. This weekend was my second trip to the range with it. Unfortunately the temperatures have been 85-95 degrees every time I have made it out.

I have been shooting reloader 7, with mmp short black sabots, and 300gr XTP's. My hope was to simply get this setup to shoot reasonably consistent 2-3 in groups before trying to mix things up too much.

The reason I am shooting the reloader 7 is that it was the only decent powder I could get my hands on locally the first day I went out. Others have shot good groups with the above combination and I thought it would be a reasonable place to start.

I have had decent success on my previous trip achieving 2-3 in groups. However, they were not consistent with occasional 4-6 in groups thrown in.

The past trip I was using a Lee dipper. I quickly realized that was a road to mediocrity, at best. I decided to get a Hornady Pacific M beam balance for a reasonable price to take of my powder measuring needs.



I was hopeful that alone would help bring some more consistency to my groups.

Another area I felt could use some help was my rests. I have previously been using a Tite-group Brute rest for most of my shooting.
http://www.titegroup.com/

using the Tite-group


These rests really excel at absorbing recoil and aiding in sighting in new scopes etc. Unfortunately, they do not provide the accuracy necessary for really shrinking group size. I had been looking for new set of rests for a while. After consulting a few friends, (Chuck included), I decided on “The Rock” up front and a Protektor bag in bag. Of course it quickly became obvious I could spend an additional 35$ and take a huge step up in functionality and get the Rock BR, so this is the path I went.



Admittedly, I had a lot of new elements being thrown into the mix this weekend, and I was in a bit of a rush both days. However it seems the consistency of my accuracy went out the window. I would have an occasional series of great shots, only to be followed up by somewhat random groups. After assessing the situation I came to the realization that barrel heating was part of it. After slowing down to allow the barrel more cooling time the groups did tighten up. However when the day was done, I really felt I had done my job, (shooting wise), yet the consistency just wasn’t there. Here is a perfect example of my weekend….Below is the last 3 shot group of the weekend. You can guess which shots are 1 and 2. Then you can imagine how I felt after seeing 3.



Now I know the first thing that came to my mind. I was thinking I just couldn’t shoot. So at the end of the first night I took out my Savage 210 shotgun to check my accuracy with a factory load. I quickly shot 3 reasonably good shots, and then admittedly a bad fourth shot. The important part being, I knew the moment I made the bad shot. It was easy to call. Below is the group. (The 5th shot is from Jcchartgirl).



So….at the end of today when I was getting frustrated I decided to try the 210 again. I shot three shots, and again an almost identical repeat of last night. When I say identical…I mean identical….as in I realized that the group I shot the previous night was likely a reasonably tight group that had strung due to a heat barrel. And the same thing had just happened. On each day I shot a three shot group that was evenly strung apart. Both taped almost exactly 3 in in length, and moved apart at almost exactly the same angle. My point here being, I am fairly confident I was shooting much better than the results from 10ml were indicating.

Savage 210 day 2



Obviously I will start investigating some new load/bullet combinations. I would just be interested in hearing any comments/suggestion on my experiences this weekend.

Thanks in advance JEFF


A Few More Pics…..







 

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Jeff nice report and super pictures!! It's really tough to get accurate load data with this heat. I was shooting today and temperatures were between 80-85. You would be there all day if you waited for a cool barrel so I gave up trying. I let the barrel sit for 3-5 minutes loaded and fired right away. Not wanting the sabot to sit in the warm barrel for too long. I only got to try a few loads as I've been really concentrating on centerfire stuff. But here's my results and targets were shot @ 100 yards..








SPEND THE $20.00 HAZARDOUS FEE AND ORDER SOME DIFFERENT POWDERS FROM D&R!!!!!!!




PS In the words of Rifleman "Savage ML-II Solution for Pyrodex Pollution" :p:p:p:p
 

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That looks like the state range at Flatbrook in your pics. My advice to you is to spend the money and join Cherry Ridge Range in Highland Lakes or some other private range. Here are some reasons:

1> The benches on the state ranges don't provide any support for the elbow of your trigger hand. The Cherry Ridge benches or any decent benches do. That will improve your shot groups.

2> The benches at Cherry Ridge are independent of each other. Flatbrook & Clinton have the long benches so just when you are about to squeeze off a round someone moves and disrupts your point of aim.

3> Cherry Ridge is safe. Some of the safety protocols there might be a pain in the butt, however you don't have to worry about some ying-yang poping off a round when you are down range.

4> When I am at a state range, it's crowded and I am alone I take my gun downrange to check targets. I have seen some nefarious characters especially at Clinton. At Cherry Ridge I have no such concern.

5> Flatbrook is about 75yds max. Clinton now goes out to 100 yards. Hoop-de-do. Cherry Ridge had 50-100 and 200-300. You can shoot a muzzleloader at distances less than 50 yards on the pistol range. The downside is that you cannot shoot a shotgun with slugs or a modern rifle closer that 50yd. Cherry Ridge also has a range for clay targets; small bore silhouettes and an archery range. The archery range is poorly maintained however.

6> An additional downside to Cherry Ridge is cost. I think I pay $120 per year. For new members there is also an initiation fee. It used to be reasonably priced to bring a guest. I think it was $10 and you could bring back the guest a second time with a card they give the guest. The $10 was also deducted from the membership fee if the guest joined. They changed that recently. Now it's $20, no second visit, no deducting it from the membership fee.
 

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did know benchs where every where you hunt.... I mean I don't shoot off of a bench anymore, because I do hunt from a bench.. Benches are for holding my other stuff. I shoot freehand, a branch, the side of a tree, setting down on the ground, I set on the seat of the benches and hold freehand. I like to shoot the way I hunt. I find it better for me in the long run.
 

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MG = when testing new ammo or reloads - you want to make sure every load is consistent.

Bench rest is the best way you can determine whether you have reloaded accurately.

Not speaking for others, but in my experience, after load is determined accurate/consistant, I'll work on off-hand, prone, limited rest, etc...

Many fire-arm hunters make the mistake of not using the bench-rest before sighting in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
MG = when testing new ammo or reloads - you want to make sure every load is consistent.
Exactly...



As far as Cherry Hill, I believe I can attend as a guest with a few friends when need be. However I don't see the need to pay 250 a year, (myself and Jcchartgirl), to use a range, when I can already use one for free. Especially when guests cost 20$.

Don't get me wrong, I would join in a heartbeat if I lived closer, I just wouldn't get to use it often enough to justify that price.

As far carrying your gun down range at the Wma's because you are fearful...Lets just say I don't live my life that way....
 

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MG = when testing new ammo or reloads - you want to make sure every load is consistent.

Bench rest is the best way you can determine whether you have reloaded accurately.

Not speaking for others, but in my experience, after load is determined accurate/consistant, I'll work on off-hand, prone, limited rest, etc...

Many fire-arm hunters make the mistake of not using the bench-rest before sighting in.
Dude I know that, I'm not that dumb.... well ok sometimes maybe.... I used to do my own reloads. Now it's just muzzleloader, Black Powder, Cap, and Ball & Patch.
 

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As far as Cherry Hill, I believe I can attend as a guest with a few friends when need be. However I don't see the need to pay 250 a year, (myself and Jcchartgirl), to use a range, when I can already use one for free. Especially when guests cost 20$.
A very small price to pay for an organization that is synonymous with the N.R.A. on a STATE level. A quality organization with top rate facilities. [up]

The money is no issue in that manner. You are right, those things pay for themselves in the long run.
You should apply the same principal as to where you enjoy your firearms FREEDOM!!!


The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Inc. is the official NRA State Association in New Jersey. Our mission is to implement all of the programs and activities at the state level that the NRA does at the national level. This mission includes the following:

To support and defend the constitutional rights of the people to keep and bear arms.
To take immediate action against any legislation at the local, state and federal level that would infringe upon these rights.
To coordinate the interests of all rifle, pistol and/or shooting clubs in New Jersey.
To promote and sponsor local and state championship competitions as well as sectional and regional championships in all recognized shooting disciplines.
To support and promote all other firearms activities such as hunting, collecting and bench rest shooting.
To promote, organize and conduct firearms training.
To encourage interest in participation in firearms activities by all, and especially minorities, women and juniors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Venison,

I agree with your general point. However there is no "free" whatsoever in the freedom provided from the club. I don't mind paying to become a member if I would get a reasonable amount of use out of the facility.
My bigger issue is the idea of a guest fee. I think that is in direct opposition of the following goal...

To encourage interest in participation in firearms activities by all, and especially minorities, women and juniors.
I would not expect limited guest access. I do think that either the fee should be much more nominal, or limited to to fixed amount of visits per guest. It is hard enough to get new individuals involved in the shooting sports without telling them it is going to cost 20$ just to come watch.

I do not think this discussion should be a divisive point among shooters. As such this will be my last comment on the matter..[cool]
 

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did know benchs where every where you hunt.... I mean I don't shoot off of a bench anymore, because I do hunt from a bench.. Benches are for holding my other stuff. I shoot freehand, a branch, the side of a tree, setting down on the ground, I set on the seat of the benches and hold freehand. I like to shoot the way I hunt. I find it better for me in the long run.
Of course you must also practice shooting under hunting conditions. However you will never know if your weapon is sighted in properly unless you shoot from a bench; you will never know which loads shoot best from your weapon unless you shoot from a bench.
 

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If you are having trouble with your groups try this. After the first shot or 2 run a spit patch down the barrel between each shot with your ram rod. It will clean the heavy crap out of the barrel and keep the groups consistant. I was having the same trouble as with my groups and this made a big difference.....Good luck
 

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By a spit patch I mean use your ram road with the br [no swearing please] barrel swab and a patch wet with your spit. Sounds gross but it works great!
 
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