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.338 Mauser Ackley Improved Range Report
Old 03-20-2008, 09:27 PM
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Default .338 Mauser Ackley Improved Range Report

Finally today, the weather cooperated and all the stars seemed to line up and allow me to go to the range and get accomplished what I have been trying to do for a long time.

I took the .338 MAI in hopes of finally figuring out why I couldn't get it to shoot at least as well as John's MAI does. Prior to this range event, I had had problems with loose 'scope bases, 'scopes shooting apart, unexpectedly 'hot' loads... It just seemed like it was one thing after another. So I stopped everything and 'reset to zero'. Bought a new 'scope that I am extremely pleased with (Simmons model 517716). I think it is the best performing 'scope I have ever owned. If you rotate four clicks for one inch of movement, it moves one inch. Left, right, up, down, matters not. Focus is crystal clear. Only costs $150 delivered. Thank you LLANOJohn for pointing me in that direction.

Finally, after wrestling with Qucikload for over a year, I got some fine tuning completed (like adjusting the powder bulk densities used by QL to actual bulk densities measured by me), and took measurements as precisely as I could of chamber, barrel, and fired cases. Once "back to zero", I loaded Optimal Barrel Timing loads for the 180 Accubond, the 200 Ballistic Silvertip, the 210 Partition, and the Hornady 225. In addtion, I tweaked the loads (by adjusting seating depth) so that I could get the 2000 ft-lbs at 300 yds that I am currently using as cartridge design and load critereon. I have attached images of the three-shot groups for each bullet at 100 yds. The spreads are:

180 Accubond - 0.286" x 1.023" (Horizontal by Vertical) 0.293 square inches.
200 Ballistic Silvertip - 0.786" x 0.632" - 0.497 square inches.
210 Partition - 0.483" x 0.797" - 0.385 square inches.
225 Hornady - 0.453" x 0.483" - 0.219 square inches.

The biggest maximum spread is 1.023" and that group's width is about 85% of a caliber.

The 225s shot less than 0.5 MOA.

Of significance second only to how precisely these loads shot, was how truly pleasant they were to shoot. The average MVs were:

180 - 2904 f/s (QL predicted 2900) Muzzle energy - 3370 ft-lbs
200 - 2711 f/s (QL predicted 2700) Muzzle energy - 3264 ft-lbs
210 - 2656 f/s (QL predicted 2623) Muzzle energy - 3289 ft-lbs
225 - 2563 f/s (QL predicted 2578) Muzzle energy - 3282 ft-lbs

I don't have pressure gauges mounted on any of these rifles yet.

In the image below, the 180 Accubond group is the upper group of small diameter holes. The lower circled group is for the Hornady 225s. What looks like two holes is actually three. Two are almost on top of each other.

In the image below, the 210 Partition group is the only circled group. The other three holes were from the 8mm Steyr.

In the image below, the 200 Ballistic Silvertip group is the circled group of small-diameter holes.

In the tradition of "finding a cloud when given a silver lining", what do I do now? All four bullets shoot great, but they do NOT have the same point of impact for the same aim. In other words, without adjusting the 'scope, they would have considerably different points of impact (inches apart) for the same sight picture. What that means, is that I have to pick a bullet to set the 'scope for.

225s for elk - 180s for everything else.

Good job John...

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

"We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful." ~ C.S. Lewis.

Do not confuse technical skill for wisdom and do not confuse strength for skill. Paul Skvorc

Last edited by gitano; 03-21-2008 at 08:58 AM.. Reason: Typos
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