July 20th, 2008

Reloder 17 shoots 600-39X in First Match

Earlier this week, German Salazar tested the new Alliant Reloder 17 (RL17) powder, checking for velocity and pressure. Using the 6XC cartridge, German found that RL17 could drive Sierra 107gr MKs over 200 fps faster than could H4831sc. RL17 likewise delivered big velocity gains with 115gr Bergers in the 6XC.

Salazar Shoots 600-39x with Reloder 17 at 500 Yards
On July 20 (this morning), shooting at the Phoenix Rod & Gun Club, German confirmed that RL17 can deliver real-world, match-winning accuracy. Shooting a 500-yard prone High Power match on the NRA MR65 target, using iron sights, German posted a very impressive 600-39X score. The three relays were shot with Sierra 107s, using three different loads of RL17 in progressively “hotter” increments: 40.6 grains (3215 fps), 41.2 grains (3290 fps), and 41.8 grains (3311 fps). Salazar shot 200-14X with the low load, 200-15X with the middle load, and 200-10X with the hottest load. German felt the middle load was the most consistent. (NOTE: these loads are all with moly-coated bullets. You should reduce the load by at least one full grain for “naked” bullets”.)

Alliant Reloder 17German explains: “Ask any high power shooter and he’ll tell you 600-39X is quite an achievement with iron sights on the new (smaller) MR65 target at 500 yards. I can say with assurance now that this powder will shoot accurately in the 6XC. Last week, using H4831sc, shooting the same 6XC rifle, at the same range, with the same course of fire, I shot a 598-29x. I do think Reloder 17 helped me shoot a higher score this week, with 10 more Xs. The extra velocity afforded by RL17 reduces wind drift considerably, and the elevation held very consistently, particularly with the first two loads.”

Even at the hottest load, 41.8 grains (3311 fps) of RL17, German did not observe sticky bolt lift or other notable signs of pressure. So far, then, what we’ve learned about Reloder 17 is “all good” — in the appropriate cartridge, it will boost velocities dramatically, and it can deliver competitive accuracy in High Power competition.

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July 20th, 2008

Annual SoCal Tactical Match

Last week, the third annual Southern California Precision Rifle Competition (SCPRC) was held. This match takes place each year in July at the West End Gun Club, 20 minutes west of San Bernadino, CA. Match director Mark Archuleta, aka “Spaniard”, ran a great match, with a diverse and challenging course of fire. Mark reports: “This was our third SCPRC, and we had 34 shooters from all over the US.” Mark posted a match report in our FORUM with lots of photos. CLICK HERE to read Mark’s full report. Below are some pictorial highlights from the Match, with Mark’s commentary:

Vu Pham from Nor-Cal, shown below, hit both his cold bore shots on day 1 & 2. This year’s Day Two cold bore shot (CBS) reprised our 2006 CBS. There was a 3.5″ Clay pigeon set at about 325 yards, with roughly a 10° down angle. In 2006, 7 out of 22 shooters made the hit, this year 12 out of 34 shooters made the hit. Some folks don’t think that the 10°-15° slope makes a difference, but it does.

Below Phil demonstrates textbook bipod shooting: working the bolt, maintaining a solid cheek weld and keeping an eye on the next target. Good job Phil. [Editor’s Note: the “pucks” on the bipod legs are “PodPaws” from Zephyr Dynamics]

One of the stages was shot from a squatting position with rifle supported by saw-horses. This stage obviously favored the shorter guys.

The match included timed stages. The challenge was how to record times for multiple shooters. I purchased a timing system and did some modifications to it so each shooter had his own stop button. It worked great and I could shoot whole teams all at once. This made the lines move very fast. It’s will be a part of all my future matches, local and not so local. Below, just like on Jeopardy, Scott Cochran stops the clock.

At the request of Kurt Stone (LV Steel Targets), a standing stage was added. It’s not easy to shot a heavy tactical rifle off-hand! Here, representing the United States Marine Corp., is SSgt. Tony Palzkill — a real professional and a nice guy too.

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