I got to shoot today. It strange how punching 30 caliber holes in paper can be so relaxing.
I loaded 5 rounds of .308 in the military surplus cases and ran a pressure test. I capped off 5 rounds with no slam-fires or anything else out of the ordinary. I've upped the powder a full grain, and will test another 5 hopefully tomorrow.
I also picked up 180 grain HPBT bullets so I can check them out. I fully intend on trying to do an egg shoot soon. The 180 grain bullets resist wind a little bit better, so I'm evaluating them against the 168 grain bullets I've been using. It's not a real test, as I'm still only shooting 100 yards, but if all goes well I'll be joining a club with a 300 or 500 range rifle course soon.
I was impressed with the rounds that came out of the M1A. They weren't dinged to all hell, and they didn't need much in the way of resizing. If I'm lucky that means I can use them over and over. I need to check the item # on my dies, I suspect I have the small base sizing die already.
I've recently watched Todd Bender's video on skeet shooting. Today was a chance to apply some of the things he talks about in the videos. I didn't do any better overall, but I am much more confident on stations 1, 2, 6, & 7. If you have never shot skeet, give it a try. With the right group of people it's a LOT of fun.
Now I'm going to ramble on a little bit about synergy. I feel very strongly that shooting shotgun makes me a better rifle and pistol shooter. Likewise shooting rifle makes me a better pistol and shotgun shooter. It may seem a bit counter-intuitive. After all, what does shooting a scattergun have to do with shooting a rifle? Well in Skeet you need to lead your target, have a solid shooting platform and good follow-through. Now If I need to shoot a mutant ninja zombie in the a car as he is driving by, then those skills learned in skeet shooting will be quite applicable. Likewise from rifle and pistol you need to learn about bullet drop, and the effects of the wind on your shot. In skeet, you have the wind affecting your target, but the wind can also blow around your shot stream a little too. Although the pellets have a small surface area they are extremely light.
My friend recently came over and saw some targets from 50 and 100 yards I shot with my M1A. He was blown away with how tight my groups were. When I showed him my practice targets from the .22's he was leveled. He thinks I'm a better shot than he is with a rifle. And he's been in the reserves for 14 years and an active LEO. It was a great boost of confidence to me, as I think I suck.
The reason I think I suck is at these egg shoots they are shooting eggs at 200 and 300 yards. Eggs! what are they 2" x 1 1/4"? these guys are shooting 15 shots for 15 eggs. There is a lot that can go wrong with the bullet as it's zipping downrange for 300 yards. Most guys use 6mmBR's or .308's or even .338Magnums. I doubt I'll win, but it's the experience I am after. I am bound to pick up a few tips and tidbits while there that will make me a better shooter.
I am looking forward to the military and other shoots that will be held this summer. I got a gen 3 scope mount for the M1A on the way already, I need to sit down and figure out what to buy for a scope. I don't want to drop a lot of cake, but I want something that can take the beating of a semi-auto rifle. Matter of fact I think I'll do that now.