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Old October 19, 2012, 12:10 AM   #30
hermanpj
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Join Date: August 9, 2012
Location: Dallas TX
Posts: 77
2nd trip to the range, updates and more questions

OK, second trip to the range today, 60 more rounds through my M1A Loaded.

First here's what I've done since first trip to the range, and in light of all the great advice I got.

1. I made the 12 ga. rod guide, and got a stainless steel cleaning rod
2. The gas plug came off - this time with very little effort. No reason. Can't explain it. OK. I cleaned it throughly and applied a small amount of anti-seeze to the threads. The gas piston was clean, didn't do anything to it but wipe it on a gun cleaning cloth and put it back in. put the plug back on. I did note that my gas piston lock does not begin to tighten up until AFTER it should be locked at the 12 O'Clock postion - so shims to be ordered, however question on that below under 'Plans'
3. I put the Springfield walnut handguard and leather cheekpiece on. Explatives deleted. This is one fine looking rifle. care taken to ensure there is a gap between handgard and stock all the way around.
4. I put a Harris bipod mount in the stock (had to trim the metal to fit the cut out in the stock and cut down the swivel screw so that there would be no contact with the gas system, then I primer coated all the bare metal on those pieces with high temp paint)
5. Bought a bench rest to assist sighting it in. Went cheap on the bench rest. Regretting it.
6. Tried the card stock bedding - more on that below
7. Applied grease between the stock ferrule and front barrel band as advised

Card Stock Bedding
I was unable to complete this. I cut strips of bedding from manila file folders and glued 2 identical strips together to form bedding strips. I made strips for
- between receiver and stock (to go under the receiver right and left side)
- between receiver and stock at horseshoe / rear of receiver
- between receiver and stock INSDE the stock (vertical pieces to go between the wood of the stock and the metal of the veritcal lug bars)
- between the trigger and stock - where the horizontal flat metal of the trigger assembly meets the bottom of the stock - small "L" shapes in mirror images of each other.

I could not get the trigger guard to close up with the card stock in place. so i started working my way backwards. ultimately it would not close it ANY of the card stock was in place. I will try again to bed it with cards that are only 1 layer thick.

How it Shot Today - all shooting at the Elm Fork Range, Irving, TX, 100 yard range, all shooting from the sitting position:-20 rounds of Remmington 150 Grain CoreLokt PSP: these were the best shooting of the day, which supprised me given they were the cheapies I intended to use to help me tune the sights. All 20 shots with bench rest:
- 10 shots spent sight tuning, including 3 off the paper ( told you i'm not a very good shot)
- 1 group: 3 shots in 7/8" contiguous
- 1 flier apprx 1" separation from above group
- 1 group: 2 shots in 3/4" not contiguous
- 1 group: 4 shots in 3/4" by 3/4" contiguous goup

The remaining 40 shots were with Federal 168 Grain Sierra Matchking BTHP
-Next 31 shots were disappointing. I'd love opinions here, but I was expecting to be KILLING it with these rounds. Maybe they were too hot for the gun? Recoil may have been heavier, and I noticed my self scewing around with the rest quite a bit. Best shooting in these 31 rounds was 3 rounds in a 1 inch by 3/4" non-contiguous group. typical grouping was 4-5 rounds in a 2 inch group.

For the last 9 shots, I abandoned the benchrest and attached bipod. Tightened the rifle sling, wrapped it around left arm, then brought my left hand back until the sling was taut. 3 groups
-3 shots in 3/4" by 1/2" contiguous goup
-2 shots in a 3/4"group
-4 shots in 1 1/2" by 1" group

Any theories why the Federal Premium seemingly shot worse?

Plans
1. To address the gas system lock up, I will install shim(s). However, as an alternative, if I have the $115 bucks laying around, the question is, is it worth it to go ahead and upgrade to the National Match unitized gas cylinder+front barrel band?
2. Going on the theory that I was fortunate to get an M1A loaded with very tight action, I'm going to re-make the card stock bedding, this time 1 layer thick. Long term, I may get it glass bedded, but for now, going to try the card stock again. Did it sound like i was doing it right? would me showing pictures help?
3. Going to get a Sadlak national match Op Rod Spring Guide
4. Considering getting a Sadlak TiN coated National Match Gas Piston

Now you reading this are wondering, heck if you wanted a National Match gun, why didnt' you just buy it that way. :-)
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NRA Member|Texas State Rifle Association Member| Texas Concealed Handgun License holder|Springfield M1A Loaded|Kimber Super Carry Pro .45 ACP|Weatherby SA 459 12 ga|Black Rain+Adams Arms Piston AR15|Beretta 92FS| CZ Dan Wesson ECO 9MM| Ruger 10/22
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