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Old July 5, 1999, 06:13 PM   #1
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Hello everyone, This is my first post here on the firing line. My question has to do with my old 03-A3 that i have just shot in my first 100 yard reduced match. My scores were very poor, But i am looking for a big improvement at my next match. I have been firing military surplus ammo, and have noticed the recoil is quite stiff. After the first 20 rounds, I found myself pulling off target because of the sharp kick i knew that would hit me the next time i dropped the hammer. I have many spent rounds and some "pulled" 173g surplus bullets. I also have some "matchking" 167g bullets and some IMR 4895 powder laying around here. Since i am only shooting 100 yards with this rifle, Does anyone know of a very soft recoiling load for this rifle?
It would be nice to be able to focus on the target, And not have to worry about the monster bruse on my shoulder the next day.

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Old July 5, 1999, 08:57 PM   #2
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If you use 42.0 grs of IMR4895 with a 168 grain bullet, you should be getting around 2400 FPS MV. This would be at the lower end of the spectrum for this bullet and should reduce recoil quite a bit. If this load still produces too much recoil for you I would drop down to 40.0 grs, but that's about as low as I would go with this powder/bullet combo. As always check this info in a reliable reloading book.

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Old July 5, 1999, 09:00 PM   #3
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IMR makes a powder for reduced loads. I will check when I get home and get the number. Another alternative is a shoulder pad. I bought one through Midway, I believe it is a Past. I use it in the summer when I am just wearing a T shirt. In the cooler weather I have enough padding to shoot without it. The bolt action rifles definetly kick harder than the M1 Garand

[This message has been edited by Paul Morceau (edited July 05, 1999).]
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Old July 5, 1999, 10:41 PM   #4
Art Eatman
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It may be outside your Match rules, and I can't guarantee pin-point accuracy, but a no-recoil load for plinking is 20 grains of 2400 behind a 169-gr lead gas-check bullet. The muzzle velocity is around 1,700 or so in a 24" barrel...

Best luck, Art
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Old July 6, 1999, 09:49 AM   #5
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CRASH36: Try some lighter bullets. I used to shoot a cheap bulk R-P 125gr PSP in my M-1A. Bought them from Midway whenever they ran a sale on them for $65/1000. At 100yds, they would hold the 10-ring on the MR-31 target when loaded to about 2750fps in the 308. Speer's #12 manual shows 47grs. of 4895 with their 125gr. TNT HP to give 2700fps, while the Sierra manual shows 47.3grs. to give 2800fps with their 125gr.PSP. Either one should give good accuracy with a lot less recoil.

[This message has been edited by flatlander (edited July 06, 1999).]
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Old July 6, 1999, 11:53 AM   #6
Paul B.
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Crash. I believe the powder Paul M. was talking about is IMR 4759. The new Speer reloading manual #13 has reduced loads that may work for you. Also, the old Springfield stock is a bit short for most people. Try a slip on recoil pad, and see if that helps. A lace on cheekpiece could also help some by reducing some of the stocks drop. Hope this helps.
_Paul B.
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Old July 6, 1999, 04:52 PM   #7
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SR 4759 is the propellant of choice. It was developed specifically for reduced loads in the 30-06. The following page should give you safe maximum data:

Loads may safely be reduced as needed when this powder is used; but if you go really low, say below 600 fps, remember that if you drop a short charge you may lodge a bullet in the barrel.

Personally, I have had a great deal of success in using a "sissy" bag or shoulder pad as circumstances warrant.
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Old July 6, 1999, 09:53 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the info guys, I suppose what i was looking for is if someone knew of a very soft load, IE: A load that would push a 150g bullet around 2000fps, But with a very slow (or maybe fast) burning powder to make the recoil much less abusive. This is my first dealings with smokless rifle loading, Though i have been working with "duplex" loads and sometimes very soft recoiling loads on my 45-90 BPCR by adding a shot of Cream of Wheat as a buffer. The Cream of Wheat takes up the extra space inside the 45-90 case so you dont have to fill it up with black powder to make it fire correctly. Is there such a thing as this for smokeless loads? Crash.
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Old July 6, 1999, 10:46 PM   #9
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Thats a roger. Its IMR 4759. I played around with it a couple of years ago. I used data in my old speer manual. I remember reading about using kapok as a filler in this round. Have to dig out the old manual to check it out

[This message has been edited by Paul Morceau (edited July 06, 1999).]
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Old July 7, 1999, 04:40 AM   #10
Fred S
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Maybe you should switch to a M-1 Garand. It still recoils but not as much as a bolt action.

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Old July 7, 1999, 05:36 PM   #11
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I have had good success with Sierra's 110 grainer backed by 44.0 grains of IMR 4895.
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Old July 7, 1999, 06:59 PM   #12
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Crash, First and foremost let me say how much I respect you for taking and old war horse to the matches! If you are shooting service rifle match you won't be able to use recoil pads etc. Due to the Springfield's weight and stock, it has been known as a bit of a kicker especially when firing prone. My only concern with using some of the above loads is having to file on your sights to get your load working at 100.
Are you using a good shooting jacket with at least one sweatshirt under it? This will help some in the recoil dept. and none in the summer heat dept.
Good Luck and Great Shooting Crash!
Hold em hard, Hank
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Old July 11, 1999, 01:34 AM   #13
Unkel Gilbey
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Hey there Crash,
As a on again, off again member of a Marine Rifle Team, I've seen a bit of stuff when it comes to shooting the High power matches. Whereas I can't offer you any reduced loads for your aught six, I can maybe offer some pointers. The rifle is going to kick, that is a given. Here's how I counter that. Keep in mind that I've shot my personal M1 Garand, the issue M14, and a M700 Bolt gun chambered in 300 Win Mag. in High power and Long range matches. The latter kicks like you wouldn't believe! The shooting Jacket does help, and if you don't have one - get one! But the Jacket really isn't there to protect you from recoil - it's there to insulate the rifle from YOU! We would wear two sweatshirts under our shooting Jackets for the added insulation. You don't want your pulse to make your sights move when you're in a good, tight sitting or prone position. But the extra padding does help when the rifle recoils.

In the offhand position, an old coach of mine would recommend that I pull the buttstock into my shoulder with my right hand VERY firmly (I'm assuming that you're righthanded.) This not only steadied the sights, but it also firmly connected the rifle to me, and I'd 'roll' with the recoil - instead of having the rifle move back in my hands and 'Whap' me on the shoulder. A firm grip is what they'd tell me when I asked how hard to pull back. Obviously, if you have a 'white-knuckle' death grip on the wrist of the stock, it won't work for you. You'll shake like a leaf after the third shot. You'll have to practice with this position. There is a point where pulling back and a firm grip on the wrist really start to work for you - it just takes time to find that point.

Finally, if I complained that the rifle was kicking the s**t out of me, I would be 'gently' reminded to concentrate more on the front sights, and less on what the rifle was doing. You'd be amazed at how you seem to block everything else out when your whole world is nothing but a clear front sight, every detail of it in sharp focus, with a hazy, greyish blob out there sitting on top of it. There were times that I would pull the rifle out and wonder if I HAD fired, only to look down range and see the target coming out of the butts with a loose X in about the right place. We call that being in "The zone" and that is where you want to be - once again, you need to practice.

Recoil is something that we all have to learn to deal with, and I believe that a positive mental attitude, and proper technique will go a long way toward curing you of a 'hard kickin 03A3' Good luck! Unkel Gilbey
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