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Ammo Matters

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Picher, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Picher

    Picher Member

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    I wanted to go shooting at the Club last week, but didn't have enough reloads, so bit the bullet and bought some "Field and Stream" 55 grain factory ammo at Dicks's Sporting Goods (on the way to the range).

    Got to the range and it was rented out to the State Police, despite it being listed as available on the Club's Webpage. "Ship" happens.

    I went home and the road down back to my little range was too muddy to use, so put my range gear away, but had the bright idea to check out some of the factory rounds and seat some good Sierra 55 grain semi-pointed bullets. Checking the powder charges showed only a 1/10 grain variation in 20 rounds! That's outstanding for inexpensive factory ammo!

    Yesterday, I went out back to try the ammo, even though it was a bit breezy from 10:00+/_. I experienced a FTF with one of the factory rounds, even trying it twice. The firing pin strike was light, indicating short-sizing IMHO. I fired about 15 more factory rounds and averaged about 0.8" groups and some smaller groups of 3 in each group. Not bad, considering cheap factory ammo.

    Then, I tried a 5-shot group of my 55 Grain handloads, using the 55 Grain Sierra Spitzer and 25 grains of Varget in Hornady cases. Those, as shown on the attached target, grouped 3/10" for 4 shots!!! WOW! Not bad for a factory, Picher-tweaked/bedded/floated Rem 700 ADL!!!.

    (The only thing that spoiled the day was when I was back in the house, sitting in my easy-chair and a tick came waltzing out of my tee shirt...onto my shoulder area!!! It didn't bite, so I brushed it off, onto the floor and stomped it.)

    Now, I think that rifle deserves a nice after-market stock. What do you think?

    JP IMG_3915 (4).JPG
     
  2. Picher

    Picher Member

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    I should have brought my spotting scope down to my range, but it was a "minimal" effort and sometimes like to be surprised at the (100 yd.) groups...good or bad!
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  3. lightman

    lightman Member

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    Your rifle shows potential! I would say go for the stock. I have not bought any factory ammo in years. Well, except for rimfire. I hear that its getting better and better.
     
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  4. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I think you shouldn't support the enemies of 2A by buying anything at Dick's. Other than that nice shooting!
     
  5. Picher

    Picher Member

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    It was a "spur of the moment" purchase, since Dicks is on the way to the range and I didn't think I had enough handloads. Hadn't bought factory .223 ammo since getting a huge plastic ammo carrier at a gun show. Some of those Remington cases are still around in their yellow boxes.

    The factory stock has been modified by pillar-bedding and free-floating, but it doesn't like sitting on the range bags. Still, I didn't expect it to shoot as well as it did yesterday. Got to check out the Stocky's offerings again!
     
  6. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Are we talking .223 Remington here JP? Just wondering whether this brand uses harder/thicker than normal primers in an attempt to avoid slamfires in some autoloaders.

    I recently loaded up a batch of .300 AAC handloads with CFE Black, and following a handload recommendation from Hodgdon used small magnum rifle primers (CCI 450). With my CZ527, about every other round required two strikes to detonate the primer, and each showed a shallow dent on the first strike. Switching back to Federal Match primers gave 100% ignition, confirming that the rifle wasn't the problem.

    Ticks literally suck! Right now we're fighting a major infestation of fleas at our place:
    FleaBitus.jpg
     
  7. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I used to buy AE 50gr Varmint tipped in 223rem and they shoot just as good as hand loads. I wish they still made that ammo but they discontinued it. Nice shooting Picher.
     
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  8. Picher

    Picher Member

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    I think the cause of the light firing pin strikes is that the rounds were sized a bit too short, to work well in semi-autos, because after firing, factory rounds' primers were sticking-out a bit, while the Sierra hollow-point bullets that replaced the factory ones were seated for my rifle chamber and have just a bit rounder nose shape that contacts the lands enough to improve ignition. The rounds that were fired with the Sierra bullets I seated showed primers that were flush with the case heads. Small changes sometimes make big improvements!

    This situation brought back memories of loading ammo for my Savage .30-06 on a friend's press, which was adjusted for his tighter-chambered Winchester 70. I had numerous problems with misfires, protruding or pierced primers when loading on his press. Being 16 yrs. old I didn't have the knowledge of reloading, but didn't have problems with factory ammo. A couple of years later, when I got my own press, all the problems disappeared!!!
     
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  9. Picher

    Picher Member

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    Just checked with Stocky's and a stock to fit my rifle isn't available for 6-10 weeks, so I'll manage with what I have. It's just my backup-to-my backup .223, so I'm in no hurry to get a new stock. It's also a good stock to carry, should I want to do so. The rifle also spends some time in the closet near the door, should I want to take out a "stupid" coyote out back, which I've done on a few occasions.
     
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  10. DerMerchant

    DerMerchant Member

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    Nice shooting.
     
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  11. murf

    murf Member

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    get a harris bipod while you are waiting. might help on the coyotes, too.

    murf
     
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  12. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    Picher, I think you’ve got that Remington stock squared away right where you want it! My vote, don’t change anything but the grease on the lugs every 100 rounds. Great shooting.
     
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  13. joseywales76

    joseywales76 Member

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    Rifle has potential.
     
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  14. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    For what do you expect to use this rifle? It is grouping under 1 MOA so for groundhogs and prairie dogs you are there. For benchrest, not so much.

    Kevin
     
  15. Picher

    Picher Member

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    With my good reloaded ammo, it's consistently under .5 MOA and sometimes even better, as evidenced by the 0.3" group shown in a previous entry above.

    This is a fun rifle that I like to use for walking about on my son's huge property that has a mile of several fairly straight sections leading to fields that are up to 400 yards long where we see lots of crows, coyotes, turkeys and other critters. We can't shoot turkeys with rifles in this state, unless they're damaging his commercial blueberry crop. I've shot a few (with permission of the warden) and left the carcasses out for coyotes, crows, and eagles. The eagles stick around and scream, scaring turkeys away, so that's great!

    This rifle is my "third best .223 Rem" and has been used it as a "lend" rifle for friends and family when we go to the range. The plastic stock works, accuracy-wise, but it's rounded forend makes it kind of "tippy" for bench shooting. It's comfortable for offhand shooting and I've shot lots of varmints that way in the past, so it's great as a walk-about rifle, when I might get a quick "sitting shot" out to 200 yards off the access road or old sitting bench at the field down back. I don't have a bipod, but it would be good to have one for this rifle.
     
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  16. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Try nexguard for dogs and use hotshot on carpet and furniture. They will disappear.

    Now to get back on topic.
    I wouldn't change anything on the rifle. It shoots very well. Even with factory ammo, it wasn't bad. The hand loads bring it to life.
     
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  17. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Sounds like your good to go for your intended use.

    A bipod will change balance, harmonics and point of impact. If you get one, run through all of your tests before hunting with it.

    Have fun!

    Kevin
     
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  18. mrmike7189

    mrmike7189 Member

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    I tried some field &stream pistol ammo once because it was insanely cheap on sale. It was the dirtiest ammo I've ever used. I had a hell of a time cleaning out all the nooks& crannies of my gun. I think there was sawdust loaded in with the gunpowder! LoL
    I would not buy it again. .......plus like someone already said, Dicks owns Field &stream and Dicks is no friend of the shooting community.
    Avoid!
     
  19. Dr T

    Dr T Member

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    Doesn't sound like the rifle is broke to me. I would be reluctant to fix it. Unless you really just wanted a new stock...
     
  20. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    Your pic looks more like chiggers to me. Down here ticks are bad....but up where the op liver they tend to carry other things as well....lyme.
     
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