VOLUME 38-----------AUGUST 2005
SHOOTIN', HUNTIN', AND RELOADIN'
WITH THE OL' MISSOURI HILLBILLY
August 1, 2005
Happy Birthday Jennifer!
On July 31st, Jennifer turned 9 years old. The celebrating began on Saturday afternoon July 30th. Rick and Christi brought Jennifer and 3 of her friends up about 3:00 PM. The balance of the day included a scavenger hunt in the woods, water balloon fight, egg race, ping pong, pizza, and ice cream. We were also treated (?) by the 4 young ladies, to an hour of open microphones hooked to my guitar amplifier! (I'd never heard some of those songs sound like that)
At dark we fired up the LCD projector and screened the movie, ICE PRINCESS, on the 'big screen' in the shop. About 11:00PM the crew retired to Jennifer's house for a sleepover, with Dad on breakfast duty next morning.
Sunday evening Jennifer, Rick, Christi, Ann, and I, went to ShoGun restaurant for dinner. This is Jennifer's favorite place for her birthday dinner. It's one of those Japanese places where they cook the food before you on a grill in the center of the table. This is the third year in a row that ShoGun has been Jennifer's choice.
Jennifer at ShoGun - (Blonde Geisha?)
Gift opening and more ice cream followed when we arrived back home. In addition to a trampoline from her parents, (hope they have good insurance) Jennifer's gifts included a certificate for a week of golf lessons from a lady golf pro at a nearby course, from Grandma and me. The rest of the loot is way too numerous to mention!
See What I Mean?
Finally shot a few more of the 160 grain reloads through Ann's 7MM-08 this morning. Only shot two groups of 3 shots each. Two things wrong! The groups were 2½ and 3½ inches, and the extreme spread on velocity was way out there again. The velocities for the 6 shots ranged from 2450 to 2528 fps, for a spread of 78 fps! Now, some rifles with some loads will shoot little bitty groups with wide velocity variations, but in my experience, that's the exception rather than the rule!
Instead of wasting more ammunition, I decided to work on the rifle some more. I adjusted the trigger on this rifle, a year ago, to a nice, crisp, 3½ pounds, so that isn't the problem. I'm shooting off a Bench Master shooting cradle from a solid bench, so I'm confident my hold is better than 3+ MOA. Time to look at the barrel bedding.
A five dollar bill slipped easily between the barrel and barrel channel for about 1 inch, and then stopped cold. As I suspected, that's the location of the famous (or infamous) Remington pressure bump in the barrel channel on this little Model 7.
Most current Remington rifles have this little hump in the barrel channel near the end of the stock, designed to put some upward pressure on the barrel when the action screws are tightened. As many Remington owners will attest, this works fine most of the time. (It must work more often than not, or Remington wouldn't market them that way) There are two more bolt action Remingtons in my gun safe, either of which, without modification, will shoot some loads better than I can hold.
However, I've talked to enough gun people, and read enough material on this to know, that occasionally the little Remington bump can 'screw up the works.' As a matter of note, a medium rattail file will take that little bump out of the barrel channel in 10 minutes or less!
Now the slender little 20 inch tube on the Model 7, is free floated back to the chamber area, to which, the aforementioned five dollar bill will attest!
You're expecting me to tell you how great the rifle now shoots, right?
Sorry, I'm gonna' drop you right here; just like one of those old Saturday morning serials on TV when I was a kid. I didn't have time to finish the project today, so you'll have to 'tune in' next month for the updated shooting report. You might remember me in your prayers, though. This is Little Heifer's rifle I'm messin' with, and if it shoots worse than before, I may be in serious trouble! She's had one shot kills on deer with this rifle the last two years, so it does (did?) shoot 'minute of whitetail.'
Speaking of Little Heifer, she bought herself a new toy this past week. The little Ruger single six in .32 H & R Mag that she bought a few years ago, now has a twin sister!
Ruger Single Six - .32 H & R Magnum
Ruger has redesigned their line of single action handguns, including the Vaqueros and Single Sixes. The new ones, which the dealers don't have yet, will have some convenience features like cylinder timing that aligns the chambers more evenly with the loading gate for loading and unloading. The Vaqueros will have slightly smaller, trimmer frames, and will be shaped more like the Colt SAA as well.
The discontinued models are now being discounted at some stores, if they still have any. This new Single Six bore a price tag nearly $55 less than the first one Ann bought. I watched her shoot both these .32's this afternoon, offhand, both left and right handed. I guarantee, you do NOT want to give her a reason!
If you have a chance to pick up a copy of the August-September 2005 issue of HANDLOADER Magazine, I highly recommend John Barsness' article on Velocity and Pressure. This is one of the most definitive treatments of this subject I've seen in a long time. Working with Texas gun maker, Charlie Sisk, in his custom shop, and utilizing the latest in strain gauge pressure testing technology, John points out the unreliability, of some of the traditional 'pressure signs' we handloaders have used for years.
Case head expansion, flattened primers, loose primers, stiff bolt lift, brass extrusion into ejector holes, and others are examined in the 'broad daylight' of actually knowing what the pressures are. In many instances, when these so called pressure signals show up, you're already way over the line.
A particular awakening for me was John's reporting of data from A-Square, as well as his own testing, that shows changing primers can have substantial impact on pressure while affecting velocity only slightly. Some loads that tested below SAAMI standards for maximum average pressure, went well over maximum with a change in brand of primer.
One test using a .300 Win Mag with 180 grain bullets and H4831 powder showed a 20%+ increase in pressure, with a velocity increase of less than 2½%! It was reported that these loads did not show any of those pressure signals that we have traditionally relied upon.
I'd like to know if the pressure curves plotted by the testing equipment for the hot loads, looked much different than those for the lower pressure loads. Think I'll try to email Mr. Barsness and ask that question.
I've always believed that avoiding the substitution of 'magnum primers' for 'standard primers' was about the only real concern with changing to different primers in reloading. Looks like I may need to change my thinking on this issue.
Since purchasing my first chronograph nearly 20 years ago, I've relied upon velocity readings to help provide early warning before pressures get out of control. For guys like you and me, without state of the art pressure testing equipment, this is still the best indicator we have. But, the correlation between chronographic velocity and chamber pressure, may only apply when using the exact same components as our data source!
This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from a humor posting on my ISP's site that clearly illustrates the old adage that "Circumstances Alter Cases":
A lady walked into a pharmacy and asked the proprietor for some arsenic.
The pharmacist asked, "What do you want with arsenic?"
The lady said, "I want to poison my husband, he's seeing another woman!"
The pharmacist responded, "I can't sell you something to kill your husband, no matter what he is doing."
Whereupon, the lady showed the pharmacist a picture; it was her husband with the pharmacist's wife!
"Oh, I'm sorry," he said, "I didn't realize you had a prescription!"
Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!