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Old October 25, 2020, 02:54 PM   #26
stagpanther
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Very kind of you! I've PM'd you. : )
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Old October 26, 2020, 11:54 AM   #27
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I was visiting a LGS today and they just so happened to have a DNZ gamereaper for the axis--one of my favorite integral 1 piece mounts--so I bought one and popped it on. I've noticed on another thread that people are big on redfields--I bought 2 of them last year when EA Brown had them on sale for $129 as I recall, so I popped one of those on too. Now all I need is the brass and dies which for all I know are circling the earth on the international space station.



I've arrived at that crux moment "yeah, it looks Purdy, but can it shoot?"
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Old October 26, 2020, 01:48 PM   #28
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Well, every now and then I get lucky, I ordered a pair of back-up dies from Midway on Friday--regular ground shipping--and they were delivered today!! My Redding dies are MIA from Midsouth. I don't have any 30-06 brass, but necking down 35 whelen doesn't seem to cause any issues with growing the brass length or impeding a good bullet seating. Impatience being what it is, I'll make a few cartridges and see how she shoots.

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Old October 26, 2020, 04:40 PM   #29
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so far so good

These are the very first 4 shots down the barrel at 234 yds. I didn't bother working the brass to trim or equalize them--they were a mix from different manufacturers anyway. I just wanted to see if the gun would go bang OK. I chose a random mid-range load of 210 gr sciroccos driven by 52 grs. of A2520. The upper flyer was the first shot--but the next three grouped just over .5" CTC, so things are looking promising.



Did I mention I really like .338 projectiles?
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Old October 26, 2020, 09:45 PM   #30
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Impatience being what it is, I'll make a few cartridges and see how she shoots.
Still waiting for my .338 Federal dies and brass.

Build had been going for about 4 years now.

I wanted ammo to shoot as soon as my barrel nut came in (which it did today).

So, I took some commercial .308 cases, deprimed and “sized” it in my ‘06 dies, dumped some powder in, and seated some 225’s with my .358 Win seating die, expanding the case mouth while seating the bullet. Not what I’d want to do all the time, and I can’t load these cases again without at least a neck sizer, but, they pass the plunk test in my rifle, cycled fine by hand, and give me at least a few rounds (27) to shoot while I wait for dies and brass.
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Old October 27, 2020, 02:52 AM   #31
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Still waiting for my .338 Federal dies and brass.

Build had been going for about 4 years now.

I wanted ammo to shoot as soon as my barrel nut came in (which it did today).

So, I took some commercial .308 cases, deprimed and “sized” it in my ‘06 dies, dumped some powder in, and seated some 225’s with my .358 Win seating die, expanding the case mouth while seating the bullet. Not what I’d want to do all the time, and I can’t load these cases again without at least a neck sizer, but, they pass the plunk test in my rifle, cycled fine by hand, and give me at least a few rounds (27) to shoot while I wait for dies and brass.
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I'm having trouble following the connection to 358 dies for seating 338 fed bullets. I find 210 gr and under seems to get the best performance out of my 338 fed.
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Old October 27, 2020, 07:19 AM   #32
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I'm having trouble following the connection to 358 dies for seating 338 fed bullets. I find 210 gr and under seems to get the best performance out of my 338 fed.
.358 dies were shorter than my ‘06 and .270 dies, wanted the seating stem adjusted as short as possible with the extra force required to seat the bullets in the unexpanded cases.

I plan on running 200-210’s, but was given a box of 225’s my brother had for his .338 Win Mag. They are what I had on hand, so I’ll use them ‘till they are gone.
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Old October 27, 2020, 08:15 AM   #33
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.358 dies were shorter than my ‘06 and .270 dies, wanted the seating stem adjusted as short as possible with the extra force required to seat the bullets in the unexpanded cases.
Why the case mouth expanding with a 358 die, that's the part I don't get? Or do you mean it inadvertently widen the mouth when you didn't want it to? I'm obtuse sometimes and just don't read things right.
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Old October 27, 2020, 01:04 PM   #34
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Case mouth was expanded by the base of the 225 gr. Boat Tail as I seated it, not by a die. I should have worded that a little clearer.
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Old October 28, 2020, 08:18 AM   #35
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Ah--I get it, : )
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Old October 28, 2020, 08:22 AM   #36
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Got a cheap hand-engraver and after practicing on a couple of tools, held my breath and cut into the barrel. The barrel metal was soft as butter compared to the hand-tools, took all of about 30 seconds to engrave the caliber into the barrel. I swabbed the cut with sign epoxy in the hopes of slowing down rust.

It looks a little messy, but I'm an artist and I kinda of like the one-off signature look, like I might sign a painting.

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Old October 28, 2020, 04:09 PM   #37
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One of the most bizarre shooting days I've ever had. Conditions were overcast right above freezing with light rain and sleet. Distance to target was 209 yds.



Loaded up a ladder of 210 sciroccos driven by AA2520 since my test load looked pretty good. The only difference being I used lapua 30-06 brass necked up instead of 35 whelen necked down. My first group--which was loaded to the same specs as the test group--grouped about 8" and had a standard deviation of around 200 fps! The next 4 charges (increasing in powder charge weight) did more or less the same thing. What was even stranger is that the velocities actually decreased slightly with the increased charge weights. Only the last two maximum charges came together reasonably--in fact very well, but still had an SD of 20 fps or more. I'm mostly perplexed trying to come up with an explanation for the wild results, the only thing I can think of is somehow the cases necked down from 35 whelen were sealing to the chamber better than the ones necked up from 30-06. How that would affect the ignition and pressures I'm not exactly sure. All cartridges fired chambered and extracted easily with no signs of pressure--other than the neck/shoulders fire-forming.



This group was quite good, but since the deviations were significant I can't say the shot on the left was pulled or not--would have been a stellar group had it stayed in with the other 3 shots (which were under .2 MOA). I think I'm going to pull the 3 x 9 redfield and put a better scope on eventually; the crosshairs cover the target dot entirely.

Our deer season opens this weekend--for the past two weeks all I've been doing is working on tuning heavy-hitting magnum rifles and my personal lever gun in 45-70. My shoulder has finally had enough and it's time to take a break.
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Old October 29, 2020, 02:13 PM   #38
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May I ask what software you're using to dimension/annotate your groups?
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Old October 29, 2020, 04:29 PM   #39
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May I ask what software you're using to dimension/annotate your groups?
OnTarget. I'm not sure if it's still available.
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