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April 29th, 2007

Field Report–Reloader 15 and new Berger 105s in Donovan's Dasher

Forum regular Donovan has recently been testing the new-generation Berger 105s in his 6mm Dasher, using Alliant Reloader 15 powder. He reports: “They are shooting better then the old ones did in this barrel for me. Beside the accuracy I am getting from the new Bergers (6″ groups at 1000), they are very uniform and I see no need to segregate them. I measured around 70 by base to ogive and by OAL and stopped there.”

In the course of his testing, Donovan used two different lots of RL15, one purchased this year and one from 2004. He was pleased to report both lots performed almost identically, giving excellent accuracy and velocity:

Lot # 45144 (November 2004)
Velocity Average = 3119 fps (10 shots)
Pressure Average = 61,348 psi
Elevation to 1000 yards = 23.6 MOA
Group at 1000 yards = 5.9″ (5-shots)

Lot # 65006 (March 2007)
Velocity Average = 3121 fps (10 shots)
Pressure Average = 60,977 psi
Elevation to 1000yrd = 23.5 MOA
Group at 1000yrds = 6.1″ (5-shots)

6mm Dasher 1000 yards Donovan Moran

Donovan was shooting a 28″ 8-Twist Shilen, 105 Berger VLDs (Lot #0559), with a 32.0+ grain load of RL15. (Donovan notes his barrel is pretty fast so other Dasher shooters may need more powder to reach the same velocities.) Temperature was at 84° F, and altitude 1325 feet. Pressures were measured with an RSI Pressure Trace, and velocities were recorded with a CED Millennium chrono set up with 8-foot spacing and infrared lighting. Donovan has also been comparison testing the 115 DTAC vs. the new 117gr Tubb bullet. We hope to have a complete report on those results in May.

Regarding the 115s, Donovan had this interesting gunsmithing note: “I have an older Shilen barrel that had a .104″ throat up until last December. I had been using it for 105 types mainly. It had always shot Berger 105-VLDs about the best, then AMaxs, followed by 107gr SMKs and then 105gr Lapuas. I had even tried the 115 DTACs with it a few times, but it shot them marginal to say the best. Then I felt the accuracy had diminished somewhat and it had near 1200 rounds down it, so I decided to re-crown it and throat it longer to get past some of the erosion. I pushed out the throat to .165″. Interestingly, in December this re-throated Shilen shot the 115s best followed by 107 SMKs and then the older lot of Berger 105s. At 1000 yards, two 5-shot groups of 115s both went under five inches.” What’s the lesson? Don’t toss that old barrel–you might find it shoots great with a fresh crown and new throat.

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April 29th, 2007

Multi-Gun Club Shoot–Great Way to Attract New Shooters

One key issue affecting all shooting sports is how to attract new shooters, particularly juniors. Young people represent the future of the sport, and unless we can get them involved, there will be fewer shooting opportunities for all. Gun manufacturers will see their sales decline and more ranges will be closed, both due to lack of revenue and political pressures. The closing of shooting ranges is a major problem in many areas of the country, particularly in California and other regions where anti-gun politicians and land developers are aggressively working to shut ranges down.

Ojai 7-gun youth shooting

One great way to draw new shooters into the fold (particularly youngsters and ladies) is to host an event at your club where novices can try their hand at multiple disciplines. This is a user-friendly, low-cost way for newcomers to try different types of firearms in a supervised setting. Every year, the Ojai Valley Gun Club (OVGC) in California hosts a 7-Gun Shoot open to the public. OVGC’s 7-Gun Shoot took place on April 28th, and was a huge success, with 130 new shooters coming to the range for a day of fun, followed by a tri-tip barbecue. Participants ranged from 6 to 89 years of age. For a fee of just $8.50, visitors (of any age) could try seven different types of arms, under the guidance of club members who provided assistance and safety instruction. Guns and ammo were furnished by club members, and hearing and eye protection were offered for a nominal fee.

CMP walther air rifle

The 7-Gun Shoot offered a smorgesbord of shooting options: Air Rifle, Small-bore Pistol, Small-bore Rifle, Full-bore Rifle (.223 and .308), Centerfire Handgun, Black-Powder Rifle, and Shotgun (Trap). OVGC even offered an archery clinic, which was very popular with both kids and adults. A full troop of boy scouts attended the 7-Gun Shoot, and there were many families with husband, wife and kids. Participants were issued scorecards covering all 7 disciplines, and prizes were awarded to the highest aggregate totals for junior boy, junior girl, adult women, and adult men. Among the visiting couples, it was not unusual for the wives to outscore the husbands. One lady who came to the 7-Gun Shoot with her husband had never fired a long-gun before, yet she managed a perfect score with air rifle and an impressive 4 for 5 on the trap (shotgun) course.

Uberti Sharps black powder rifle

Even many veteran shooters took the opportunity to try out new disciplines. Handgunners tried out the rifle course and some hard-core trap shooters enjoyed knocking down steel targets with replica black powder rifles. There’s nothing quite like the boom and smoke of the “Holy Black”. The day concluded with a great 4-course all-you-can-eat barbeque, ($8.50 per head), followed by a raffle of shooting and camping accessories. Overall, the event was a great success. The young people seemed to have the best time of all, and more than a few of the Scouts said the 7-Gun Shoot was one of their favorite annual troop activities.

OGVC signed up a number of new members during the shoot, but more importantly, the club gave scores of novices, young and old, the chance to have fun and get hooked on shooting sports. If you are interested in developing a similar program, visit where you can email the organizers.

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