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gitano 07-02-2008 08:54 PM

.50 Alaskan Range Report
 
1 Attachment(s)
The stars aligned today, and I was able to get to the range to do some "getting to know you" shooting with the .50 Alaskan and the .338 MAI. It was a 'good day at the range'. :)

I have worked out loads for the .50 that I figured would allow me to not have to aim "off hair" if I was forced to take a 300-yd shot at a buffalo. Paper whipping said I should be 6" high at 100 and ~32" low at 300. The hundred yard figure was about right, but I wanted to check it out at 300. Plus I just wanted to do some shooting, so I could get the 'feel' of the rifle should it be necessary to apply some "Kentucky windage".

I'm likin' this rifle. :D

Attached is a 3-shot group at 100 yds. I didn't take my camera to the range, so I didn't get pictures of the 300 yd target. It was a 36" diameter steel plate 1.5" thick so I couldn't bring it home. ;) I shot at it 5 times, and hit it five times. In fact, you could cover 3 of the 5 shots with the palm of your hand, :D and all five with a 7" pie-plate. It was an absolute hoot to shoot the 'gong'. The first time I shot at it, I heard the report; then the echo of the report; then, some considerable time later, the "thunk" of the bullet hitting. It was very cool. It would be just too too if I got to experience that with a big bull buffalo.

The load is:
500-grain Northwest Custom Projectile bullet seated 1 caliber deep over 54.1 grains (101.5% of case capacity) of Accurate X2495.

Average MV is 1716 f/s for a muzzle energy of 3269 ft-lbs at an estimated chamber pressure of 24,676 PSI.

Here is the 100 yd target.

Paul

PS - Even though these shots look low, they're actually high. Point of Aim was about 8" directly below the 'bullseye' in the image.

gitano 07-02-2008 10:35 PM

Re: .50 Alaskan Range Report
 
1 Attachment(s)
I also shot a Northwest Custom Projectile 400-grain bullet. Unfortunately, at the second shot, the attachments that held the forestock on the barrel broke.:eek: I'll post pictures of that later. Looks like I'm going to have to make a completely new forestock. Somethin's kickin' pretty hard.

Anyway, here's the two shots at 100 yds with the 400-grainer. Again, PoA is about 8" directly below bullseye in photo.

Paul

Nelsdou 07-02-2008 10:47 PM

Re: .50 Alaskan Range Report
 
Very nice results. Sounds like the big bullets are spinning true for the distance.

Good to see a data point on A2495. I've been itching to try some in my 9.3x57 for both jacket and cast bullets as the numbers look very good for it. But the places I shop for AccurateArms powder never seem to carry the 2495.:Banghead:

Nels

22hornet 07-02-2008 11:30 PM

Re: .50 Alaskan Range Report
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gitano (Post 80355)
I didn't get pictures of the 300 yd target. It was a 36" diameter steel plate 1.5" thick. I shot at it 5 times, and hit it five times. In fact, you could cover 3 of the 5 shots with the palm of your hand, :D and all five with a 7" pie-plate.


Well done!

I have to say Paul, you are a rarity in this day and age. Someone who doesn't believe they need 3000fps+ to make a 300 yard shot. And a practical level of accuracy too.

gitano 07-03-2008 12:38 AM

Re: .50 Alaskan Range Report
 
Thanks fellas.

Nels;

I'm using the 2495 purely because of QL's predictions, and they seem to be pretty much right on for this cartrtidge. I'm surprised about the lack of 2495. Usually if you can find it in Alaska, you can find it in Timbuktu.

22hornet:

Might be a few more of us around than it appears. Most of those that are doing this kind of shooting don't make too much of it. Nonetheless, I agree wholeheartedly that there are substantially fewer of the "big and slow" than there are of the "small and fast".

By the way, I sorta assume that most folks know the background about this rifle, and that's a pretty poor assumption. For those new to THL, it's an 1878 Martini Enfield chambered in .50 Alaskan with a 26" bbl with a 4-leaf rear ramp and a wrap-around front post.

The sight picture for open sights was perfect for the 300 yd target (actually, it turns out that it was actually 300 meters). It was very easy to find a repeatable sight picture. The good news is that the bullets flew true. I can't tell you how cool it was to hear that thunk so long after the shot. QuickLoad calculates time-of-flight to 300 meters as 0.72 seconds. Since the speed of sound is roughly 330 m/s, the total elapsed time between "bang" and "thunk" was something on the order of 1.6 seconds! Just too cool.

Oh yeah, just to complete the ballistic data, the impact velocity is about 1200 f/s and impact energy is a little over 1500 ft-lbs. I'd certainly like that impact energy to be up around 2000, but I'm not 'concerned' about 1500 ft-lbs being "enough".

Paul

22hornet 07-03-2008 01:09 AM

Re: .50 Alaskan Range Report
 
Sorry Paul, I didn't know the background of the rifle or even the cartridge. Is it based upon the .348Win?

Can you please post pics of both the rifle and a loaded round.

And what does your recoil energy work out to be with the 500 grainers?

M1Garand 07-03-2008 07:07 AM

Re: .50 Alaskan Range Report
 
Looks like a nice start. How long before we see a shot of you, your rifle and a bison?

Alboy 07-03-2008 07:12 AM

Re: .50 Alaskan Range Report
 
Speaking of big and slow. Also knowing Pauls favorite (PTUUI) go any way to the NRA mag for BP shooters and check out the "STUMP THE EXPERTS" feature back for a few months. There is one artical on why a 12 gauge will shoot harder than a 20 gauge with the same load set up. Bottum line is "swept piston volume" explained much better in that artical than I can condense here. What happens is you get better efficeincy out of bigger cylinders (barrles) when pushing pistons (bullets).

I will try tonight or this weekend to copy that and post it.

recoil junky 07-03-2008 10:20 AM

Re: .50 Alaskan Range Report
 
That's right nice Paul. Can't wait to see the old girl in action. I've got some 9" steel plates that work well for big boomers out to 250-300 yards. the worst part is the march out to stand them back up.

And be careful about what you say about big and slow, I am getting older you know. :greentongue:

RJ

gitano 07-03-2008 12:07 PM

Re: .50 Alaskan Range Report
 
Quote:

Sorry Paul, I didn't know the background of the rifle or even the cartridge. Is it based upon the .348Win? Yes. It's just a skosh shorter than the .50-90 of the commercial buffalo hunting era.

Can you please post pics of both the rifle and a loaded round. In the interest of conserving bandwidth, I'll post a few of the threads I've started on the rifle. They have all the pictures and details.

http://www.thehunterslife.com/forums...ead.php?t=9329 The Stock story
http://www.thehunterslife.com/forums...ead.php?t=6504 The rebore story.
http://www.thehunterslife.com/forums...ead.php?t=6608 Handmade bullets.
http://www.thehunterslife.com/forums...ead.php?t=6672 Range report.
http://www.thehunterslife.com/forums...ead.php?t=6827 Range report.
http://www.thehunterslife.com/forums...ead.php?t=7189 Elk Hunt.
http://www.thehunterslife.com/forums...ead.php?t=7999 Making cartridges.
http://www.thehunterslife.com/forums...ead.php?t=8462 Range report.


And what does your recoil energy work out to be with the 500 grainers? I'm a little cautious regarding recoil energy, as the methods to calculate it are 'fuzzy', and felt recoil is so dependent on unquantifiable variables like stock design and a person's 'attitude' toward recoil. I prefer to use muzzle energy as an index of what felt recoil would be, hence my personal standard of less than 3600 ft-lbs. However, since you asked, the recoil numbers for the .50 Alaskan in my 8.5 lb rifle are:

Total energy of recoiling mass = 44.19 ft-lbs
Velocity of recoiling rifle = 18.3 f/s

To give those numbers some perspective, a .303 British weighing 8.5 lbs and shooting a 150-grain bullet at 2800 f/s gives the following numbers:

Total energy of recoiling mass = 13.85 ft-lbs
Velocity of recoiling rifle = 10.24 f/s

Now, from my perspective, the .50 'feels' about like a .338 Win Mag shooting 180s at about 2800 - maybe just a tad stiffer.
Quote:

Looks like a nice start. How long before we see a shot of you, your rifle and a bison? If history is any indicator, not in this life-time, M1. I've been trying to get drawn for a free-range buffalo for almost 30 years with no success. I see no reason for that "trend" to change. :( BUT... if I do get drawn, you can bet the farm it'll be the .50 Alaskan going.
Quote:

I will try tonight or this weekend to copy that and post it. I'll be looking for your post Al.
Quote:

I am getting older you know. Aren't we all, RJ. Aren't we all...
Paul....


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