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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Are you nuts? A 94 Winchester at 330 Yards?

I like to shoot guns. I also like to talk about them, which gets me into silly little exercises on occasion. The inspiration for this exercise was a discussion I had with "Joe,"regarding the sight steps on my pre-64 Winchester Model 94. I have been working toward determining if the steps correlated to 100 yard increments.


After some experimentation I settled on a fine .300 bead for the front. I then set the elevator on the lowest notch, and filed the top of the rear sight until in was on the middle of a 7" paper picnic bowl at 100 yards. Last time I shot it, I put three shots through such a bowl at 100 yards; then moved back to 200 yards (actually about 210) and raised the elevator a notch and proceeded to put two more through the same bowl with one just off the edge. This was beginning to show some promise, so I decided to plink a little at 300.


Okay, it was 335 per Earth Google.






I was using the original iron rear sight and my reload of 34.0 grains of H4895 and a Sierra 150 grain flatpoint. After some experimentation I settled on a fine .300 bead for the front. I then set the elevator on the lowest notch, and filed the top of the rear sight until in was on the middle of a 7" paper picnic bowl at 100 yards. Last time I shot it, I put three shots through such a bowl at 100 yards; then moved back to 200 yards (actually about 210) and raised the elevator to the second notch and proceeded to put two more through the same bowl with one just off the edge. Given the combination of old eyes, old rifle etc. I am pretty dern happy with that.


This time, the 'target' was a 12" picnic plate taped to the front of two, 2 1/2 gallon detergent jugs filled with water and backed by an old Brownells catalog. Behind that, I stood a 16" by 48" piece of waferboard to record the location of 'strays'. From the old folding table I shoot from, the view looked like this. The waferboard is visible under the red dot.



I have a hard time seeing that too, so how 'bout some zoom? I left the dot there for reference and you can just see the picnic plate at the bottom of the waferboard.



Oddly enough, I had a little trouble hitting the plate. In eight shots I only hit the plate once, and the jugs twice. I did hit the waferboard seven times. You see, that old "It's too far!" gremlin got in my ear and I started this session on the 4th notch. Mistake; wasted some shots that went high. I was also shooting just far enough to the right, that my two hits on the jugs were both on the right edge. The first hit on them was high and left the jugs 3/4 full; the second was lower and emptied them out. Neither grazing hit 'exploded' the jugs at this distance. Since I never centered them, I'm discounting today's terminal ballistics result.


The Handloads.com ‘ballistic calculator’ indicates that bullet is still running about 1250 fps at 330 yards; roughly equal to a .357 mag from a 3-4 inch barrel. Both the hits showed signs of minor expansion and both had started to yaw before they hit the waferboard, 6 feet behind. I've got a set wheel ramps, suitable for a semi, made of of 3/16 rolled plate. I stood one of them behind the waferboard. I didn't think I'd shoot through them at this distance, particularly using softpoints, but the ol' 30-30 raised a good dent in them all the same. Pieces of bullet jacket are in the pic next to a nickel, for reference






Here's the waferboard backer, which I forgot to pick up; it got soaked for a day before this photo. That makes the bulletholes hard to see in the photo, so I highlighted them. The blue dots are hits, some sideways from passing through the edge of the jugs. The big white X represents the aiming point, where the plate was. Total group was 16 1/2 inches, but that also includes one sight adjustment.






Closing thoughts…

I'm going to tap that Winchester's rear sight over to the left a frog-hair and try to get in at least one more session before the range closes for hay season, etc. 

May be a few days. At least I now have the elevation all sorted out, so there will be no sight adjustments to muddle the group. My goal is to get five in a row on the plate. Once there however...
 
1. I'm sure I could make a killing shot at this distance, with the windage corrected and the sight on the 3rd step.

2. The 30-30 retains ample killing power at 335 yards.

3. There are better tools for blowing things up at this distance.


4. This was a lot of fun!

1 Comments:

Anonymous Fred h said...

Sarge - don't know if I can agree on the killing power of the 30-30 at 1250 due to the bullet construction. I don't think the 357 comparison is necessarily what you want due to the difference in construction.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 12:56:00 AM  

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