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Range Report - .338 WM - Ruger M77, Sauer 90
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:45 PM
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Default Range Report - .338 WM - Ruger M77, Sauer 90

An interesting 'day' at the range.

The range opens at 10 AM, and I kinda wanted to be there as close to that as I could reasonably get. I wasn't going to take my dog, so I took him for a walk first. Upon returning home I was really getting a 'negative vibe'. The wind was not 'good'. I decided to 'press on'. Got all loaded up and headed out and was at the end of my street and got another 'negative vibe' about going. I decided to 'press on'.

Got to the range at 1040. The wind was 'howling' for a range session. Fairly constant at least at 20 mph and almost 90 degrees from right to left. Occasional gusts to 25 or so, but brief 'breaks' too. I pressed on.

I had only brought two rifles: The Ruger Model 77 chambered in .338 Win Mag, and the new Sauer 90 also chambered in .338 WM. When I measured the chamber of the Sauer, it was essentially identical to the Ruger so since I had 16 rounds of my standard load for the Ruger in hand, I decided to just go with those and see how they worked in the Sauer. These were 225 Hornadys ahead of 66.0 grains of H4831, seated to the center of the cannelure. These loads shot very straight in my Ruger.

I'll skip all the details of the hassle getting a big target stand to stand up in 20-25 mph wind and simply say "It took a while". Once I had the target set up (at 35 yd) and the MagnetoSpeed chronograph attached, I fired a round from the Ruger.

Ok - That hasn't changed. So I set up the Sauer, and bore-sighted it.


I could live with that. Probably going to be a little high at 100, but no need to waste ammo 'fine tuning' at 35.

I moved the target out to 100, and let fly:


Let me number the shots for you: The middle hole in the vertical group of three on the right is shot #1. The middle hole is shot #2. The left-most hole is shot #3. Back to the 3 vertical shots on the right, the lower one is shot #4, and the upper one is shot #5.

The average muzzle velocity of all of the shots was 2452 f/s with a standard deviation (SD) of 15.3 f/s. That SD is nothing to write home about, but it's not bad either. The spread was 2428 to 2466. (2466, 2453, 2428, 2435, 2452, 2465, 2465.)

The 5-shot group size isn't exactly impressive with a max spread of 1.74", but the vertical spread is only 0.78". The horizontal 1.65". Since the trigger on the Sauer is excellent, so that can't be blamed. With a 20mph wind coming at 90 degrees to the line of fire, that bullet at that MV will be blown 2.8 inches at 100 yd. While I was trying to dope the wind and only shoot when there was a 'lull', I'm blaming most of the horizontal spread on the wind.

That said, I am happy as a pig in a puddle with the performance of the Sauer. I don't see any reason to adjust the recipe from the one for the Ruger. Frankly, I'm very surprised that the Sauer 'digested' the load that works so well in the Ruger.

I have ordered some 225 Accubonds, and they should be arriving today. If so, I'll make up some loads for them, and the next time at the range I'll test those.

Only shot 7 rounds, but the results didn't demand any more. I will fine-tune the elevation and windage on a day when the wind isn't so bad for shooting. If I up the MV in the Accubonds, I'll probably use about 2" high at 100. We'll see how they shoot. These Hornadys are flat-based. The Accubonds are not.

Paul
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Last edited by gitano; 03-01-2016 at 06:31 PM..
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.338 caliber, .338 wm, broken case removal, head separation, obt, optimal barrel timing, quickload, range report, rear lugs, ruger model 77, sauer 90


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