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A Collath and TCR-83 .257AI range report.
Old 10-11-2004, 11:14 AM
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Default A Collath and TCR-83 .257AI range report.

Looks like I'm fairly well "zeroed in" on loads for the Collath rifle bbl. I'm headed to the PRK late this week to visit my Dad, and while there, we're going to hunt "wild boar". My Dad is recovering from a shoulder injury, and doesn't feel that he can reliably shoot a "heavy" recoiling rifle. The guide (www.boaring.com) tells me that shots are from 40 to 150 yds with most under 100. Given that info, my first choice for my Dad was the .22/.30-30 with a 40 grain bullet doing 4350 f/s, but the guide wasn't having any of that, so I chose the .257 with 85 grain Combined Technology Silver Tips. (Actually, my first choice was my .17 Rem - but I didn't even want to try defending that.) I'm quite certain that the .22 would be more "instantaneously" lethal than the .257, but I really wasn't going to argue too much. There's just no "winning" that kind of argument in these circumstances.

I'd like to be able to insert the images at the approriate place in the text, but it just ain't to be. Therefore, I'll number the images and refer to the number in the appropriate place in the text.

I went to the range on Thursday and took the Collath, the TCR-83 .257 AI, the Steyr M95 and the Ruger 10/22 with the SSS bbl. I'll discuss the Steyr and .22 in other posts.

For the Collath I took 230 HPs (23.5 grains of I4227), 250s (20.0 grains of H110), and 310s (19.0 grains of H110).

For the TCR I took 85 grain Combined Technology Silver Tips (45.5 grains of VV N-150), and 100 grain Speer HPs (47.0 grains of H54350).

I only lubed seven 310-grain Collath bullets using a "blue" lube from LBT drinksgin gave me. The differences were significant between the lubed and non-lubed.
First the muzzle velocity data.

For the Collath:

310 lubed – 1315 f/s, SD = 16.23 f/s, n=7
310 unlubed – 1378 f/s, SD = 32.10 f/s, n=15
250 unlubed - 1575, SD = 15.24 f/s, n=15
230 unlubed – 1450 f/s, SD = 42.10 f/s, n=15

Note that the lubed 310s are on average, going 63 f/s slower than the unlubed 310s, AND their variation among shots was HALF that of the unlubed. I have lubed all of the bullets for the boar hunt.
For the TCR:
85 grain ST – 3468 f/s, SD = 20.90 f/s
100 grain HP – 3245 f/s, SD = 30.94 f/s

I can keep 3 of the 85 grainers in 3/4s of an inch at 100 yd. The 100s go into about 1.25”.

The Collath:
Lots of good news here. I am getting excellent groups – as small as 2”- at 50 yards for all the bullets. (See image #1. The two groups have POAs 4.5" below the group.) That is also translating well to 100 yards with groups basically doubling. (See image #2) Therefore, I feel pretty confident that if I can get a reasonable rest, I can pretty much “put it where it’s supposed to go”. The difference between the lubed and un-lubed is significant. (See image #1) The MV is lower by 62fps, but the lubed group is the smallest groups shot. I strongly suspect, by virtue of the reduced MV that the pressure is substantially reduced. I think 1300 f/s is fine for the 310-grain bullet. Since I can’t be more precise than about 6”-ish at best at 150 yards, (See image number 3), I see no need for more velocity at the muzzle. The gun and me are simply no good past 150, and the 310 at 1300 is fine out as far as 150 up to and including moose. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to prove that in Nov-Dec.

The TCR-83:

The TCR with the .257AI bbl was not particularly surprising, but it did perform well, with the three 85-grainers going into .75” at 100 yards, (See image #4 upper right.) and three 100-grainers going into 1.25” at 100 yards.(See image #2 lower right.) I think the 100-grainers could do better if I spent a little time on it. I was getting a little primer cratering, and will lighten the load a bit and see how it shoots then. You will notice that the 85-grain rifle/bullet/load combination out-performs “book” values for the .25-06. "Beating" the .25-06 is not now, nor ever was, a goal of mine. However it is interesting to see equivalent or better performance with less powder. The 100-grainer is as good as, or slightly worse than, the same weight in .25-06. As you know, this is really to be expected. The ’06 case should do better with the heavier bullets.(Of course it is inappropriate to seriously compare "book" values and handloads.)

I have also attached some images of the groups "cleaned up" by my analysis software. (See the rest of the images.)

I forget who it was that was asking about pistol cartridges in rifles, but the Collath is shooting what is essentially a .44-40. Originally I believe designed as a BP
rifle cartridge - Jay can clarify if I'm mistaken - but considered by most to be 1) obsolete, and 2) a pistol cartridge. However for me, it is one of the most enjoyable/satisfying firearms I have ever shot, and I have a great deal of confidence in its ability to "do the job" on big critters under 150 yds. If the sights (and my eyes) were better I would feel no compunction about taking it out to 200 yds and expect sub 2 MOA abilities at that range. I can push the 310 to 1500 f/s, but considering the limitations imposed by the sights and my eyes, I see no need.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg number 1.jpg (74.6 KB, 209 views)
File Type: jpg number 2.jpg (73.3 KB, 206 views)
File Type: jpg number 3.jpg (76.6 KB, 195 views)
File Type: jpg number 4.jpg (77.6 KB, 189 views)

Last edited by gitano; 10-12-2004 at 08:52 AM..
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.257 ai, collath, range report, targets, tcr-83

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