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Journey to Stop Smoking!

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I still have to wait for the scope to come in and for the bullets I want to become available. Until then, I've been going through the process in my head. I can't imagine weighing each charge by hand, so I went on Hank's message board and started asking the smokeless shooters what they use. I ended up ordering Harrell's powder measure: http://harrellsprec.com/index.php/products/custom-90-culver-measure. I can use a scale to calibrate it. Guys on that board say it is consistent within 2 tenths of a grain. That is probably good enough for hunting which is m purpose. It was pretty expensive, but not as much as the electronic stuff. I was a bit hesitant, but it is made by a local company, so I decided to order one.

Anyone here use one of these?

Thanks,

Jack
 

Booner21

5 year old buck +
I still have to wait for the scope to come in and for the bullets I want to become available. Until then, I've been going through the process in my head. I can't imagine weighing each charge by hand, so I went on Hank's message board and started asking the smokeless shooters what they use. I ended up ordering Harrell's powder measure: http://harrellsprec.com/index.php/products/custom-90-culver-measure. I can use a scale to calibrate it. Guys on that board say it is consistent within 2 tenths of a grain. That is probably good enough for hunting which is m purpose. It was pretty expensive, but not as much as the electronic stuff. I was a bit hesitant, but it is made by a local company, so I decided to order one.

Anyone here use one of these?

Thanks,

Jack

I use a rcbs charge master with electronic trickler. I don’t shoot a ton but it weighs charges quick enough that there isn’t much down time between screwing the top of the powder vial on and moving the funnel over to seem like a wait at all.


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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I use a rcbs charge master with electronic trickler. I don’t shoot a ton but it weighs charges quick enough that there isn’t much down time between screwing the top of the powder vial on and moving the funnel over to seem like a wait at all.


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Thanks. I looked at that. It was the next step up in price. I took a look a this video which seemed like a good comparison:
and
. They pretty much just provided data a let you come to your own conclusions. My take away was that for hunting purposes, the less expensive Harrell's was good enough and plenty fast enough for me. If you are a long-range shooter, those videos are pretty interesting to watch. Not a perfect test by any means, but one of the best comparisons I've seen. I'm clearly not shooting 600 yards. My average shot will be under 100 yards. I've only take a couple rifle shots in the 200 yard range. I've never taken a 300 yard shot. That is probably the max for this Encore smokeless.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Just got notified the scope arrives tomorrow! I may head to the farm before it gets here depending on the timing so it may be a bit before I can install it.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
The scope arrived today. I mounted it but have not yet bore sighted it. Jeff seemed to think a 7/16 socket on a 1/4" drive should remove the bore plug, but the OD was too large to get to the slightly recessed plug. I did remove the ejector. It looks like Thompson is now using 7/16 in plugs so I ordered one of their tube wrenches. It is supposed to arrive tomorrow, but I plan to head to the farm tonight, so it won't get done until I come back.

8991bcc3-da2d-4b2a-8b2c-e4b5d5a0f129.jpg


Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Made a little more progress today. I received the Thompson breach plug wrench and it fit perfectly. I pulled the ejector and plug and boresighted the scope. I just looked through the bore at a streetlight in the distance and centered it in the bore and adjusted the scope to match. I was amazed at how little adjustment was needed.

Also the Harrell's Custom 90 Culver Measure arrived today. It is smaller than I expected which I like. Seems well built:
80661405-3dae-4e03-ba35-29d41a695c83.jpg


The other item that arrived was the Tipton Gun Vise I ordered:

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It made leveling and boresighting easy beans.

Still waiting on the bullets to get to the range...

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I knew that you needed to foul the barrel in a smokeless muzzleloader before grouping it, but I thought it would only take a shot or two. I found out today that it can take 5 or 6 shots. Since the Pittman bullets I plan to shoot are close to $2 per bullet, I was able to order some XTPs today. With shipping they are about 30 cents per shot. They are only 240 grain vs the 275 grain I plan to shoot, so I can't hunt with them. However, they will be great for fouling the barrel each year at the beginning of the season and will let me get to the range while I'm waiting for the high BC Pittman bullets to become available!
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Getting close to discharge! I'm at the farm, but my wife just texted me and said the bullets have arrived! Next trip to the farm will include the smokeless muzzleloader and supplies!
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I made the next mini-step forward. Last night, I got the XTP pistol bullets and tried my hand at sizing them. I removed the ejector and breach plug as well as the muzzle brake. I then took a bullet and ran it through the smooth sizer I got from Jeff with the gun using the RCBS Partner press. I just continued to run the pullet through the sizer until It fit the muzzle. I eventually got it sized so I could push it through the muzzle and out the other end with one hand using the collapsible ram rod I got with the gun. Now that I had the sizer set, I took a new bullet and ran it thru a couple times. I was able to push it through just as well. Keep in mind the barrel is new and clean right now. I may need to adjust the sizer a bit more once I've fouled the barrel.

I won't get back to the farm until next week. Maybe I'll get lucky and the Pittman bullets I plan to hunt with will become available in the mean time.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Ran into a problem today testing the powder measure. It is probably something stupid I'm doing. I decided to test out the Harrell's Custom 90 today.

Here is how I set it:
68ab6cef-611e-44b9-82f0-f9a65eec8d3e.jpg


That looks like 65 grains to me.

Here is the scale tared:


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Here is the scale with the 4198 powder throw:

e03c19b5-ba9b-4e17-ae47-025c30671787.jpg


I presume gn stands for grains. That looks like roughly half of what I thought I had it set for. Am I missing something?

I also notice there is a slight hitch on the down stroke. Here is a video:


On the first throw, I just power through the hitch. I slow down when I hit the hitch on the next two throws so you can see it. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be there and is where the powder is cut or not. They are closed today. If one of you can't tell me what I'm missing I'll try calling them tomorrow. I'm new at this and I can understand things being off a bit, but not by 50% of the target.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I made the same post as the one above on a SML forum that has a bunch of reloaders. Evidently the numbers have no correlation with the weight. They all tell me to just play with the setting until I get the right weight and then record the settings for that load on the bottle. I still have no feedback on the downstroke hitch.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I was told the hitch was normal so I gave it another go. I kept adjusting the unit until I got close. The best I could do was to throw within a grain. Some folks say they can throw within a couple tenths but I couldn't get much closer than a grain. I would throw a charge and weigh it. Another weird thing I found was that if I moved my hand over close to the scale it would change the weight by several tenths of a grain. It was weird. I wasn't touching anything and the scale was sitting on a granite countertop. The scale has a bubble level and was perfectly level.

At any rate, I used the old tubes from the White Hot pellets I was using with my regular muzzleloader. So, I should be good to go next week!
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
It was so long ago, I almost forgot I ordered them. I found HDPE non-static black bottles on amazon. Evidently the company was in China. Back at the end of April, the Amazon status showed as delivered, but I never received them. After a couple back and forth emails with the seller, they said the amazon status just meant they made it to customs. The gave me a wide estimated delivery time that ended on June 3rd. I was skeptical since I was only eligible to request a refund through Amazon through June 2nd. I figured I'd give them a chance and wait until the end of May. Well, yesterday they arrived.

They hold about a pound of powder each and are perfect for my purpose. I got 5 of them. They will be easier to work with than the 8 gal jug. I'm figuring the refrigerator will be a good place to store powder. Cool and low humidity should help.

Thanks,

Jack
 

spaniel

5 year old buck +
When I shot smokeless ML I always weight my charges and kept them in screw top vials like used in a lab. They fit a 20 Gauge stock shell carrier. I never got to shooting sabotless, mind killed deer with sabots so I didn't mess with that new craze at the time. Shot mine to 500 yards and loved it.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
When I shot smokeless ML I always weight my charges and kept them in screw top vials like used in a lab. They fit a 20 Gauge stock shell carrier. I never got to shooting sabotless, mind killed deer with sabots so I didn't mess with that new craze at the time. Shot mine to 500 yards and loved it.

Cool! Sounds like you had quite a gun. I did weigh all mine. I'm not real consistent at using the Harrell's yet. But I found it a lot faster. I'd through a charge into the tube and put it on the scale (after a tare with the empty tube). If it was more than 1/2 grain high or low, I'd just dump it back in the Harrell's and try again. I got many of them on the first throw, but some took 2 or even 3 throws. That is just my inconsistent use.

In VA, the minimum cal is .45. I know some guys are shooting .40 with sabots out of .45s. I understand it takes a bit more work to get a load that shoots well. I'm going to give sabotless a try and see how that goes.

Thanks,

Jack
 

spaniel

5 year old buck +
Cool! Sounds like you had quite a gun. I did weigh all mine. I'm not real consistent at using the Harrell's yet. But I found it a lot faster. I'd through a charge into the tube and put it on the scale (after a tare with the empty tube). If it was more than 1/2 grain high or low, I'd just dump it back in the Harrell's and try again. I got many of them on the first throw, but some took 2 or even 3 throws. That is just my inconsistent use.

In VA, the minimum cal is .45. I know some guys are shooting .40 with sabots out of .45s. I understand it takes a bit more work to get a load that shoots well. I'm going to give sabotless a try and see how that goes.

Thanks,

Jack
Yes, I shot 40 SSTs out of a 45cal barrel. I had to be careful not to shoot a deer under 100 yards or the bullets would grenade due to velocity. The next step would have been 325gr FTX sabotless but Indiana changed the rules to allow equivalent wildcat rifles so I went that way...and subsequently opened it up even further so there is no need any longer. And my new hunting property does not require the long range shots my old one did so a standard smokepole does just fine for ML season. I turned my smokeless ML action into a 243AI, sold the stock, and put the barrel in mothballs.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Finally! To the range!

I don't have my hunting bullets yet, but I took my first shots today. Here is my setup:

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I had previously sized two bullets but I figured it wouldn't hurt to run them through the sizing die again, so that was my first step:

54c7c767-6779-4ebc-895d-b5385b873f02.jpg


The funnel Jeff provided with the gun is very easy to use. You load both the powder and bullet through it:

d9db400e-8a86-4e80-a77a-66e6e640906c.gif


02ca7864-e5d6-454d-996c-6506a1d9d9bc.jpg


Next I put in the primer module. The action was very tough to close. I had to slam it with considerable force to get the action to lock closed. I don't know if this will always be the case or because the modules are new. It did not get better with subsequent shots.

e163f4c6-207f-43f6-b8dc-3323fdf9c85a.gif



The first bullet went down the barrel was light pressure with one hand. The second bullet was a bit tougher and took two hands. Number 3 took a lot of force, so I decide to adjust the sizing die smaller now that the barrel was somewhat fouled.

The first shot was not on paper at 100 yards. When I opened the action, the module came flying out unlike the ones in Jeff's video that just fall out. My gun must have a stronger ejector spring. Not a problem once I positioned my hand correctly to catch them, but they will be easy to loose.

I next took a shot at 20 yards. It was low and barely on paper.

9992e725-7557-4279-83d5-b727a54b2bb8.jpg


It is is the shot marked #1 the lower left of the right target. I then made some scope adjustments and got a bullseye! It is #2 on the left target. Of course, I was aiming at the right target, so my elevation adjustment was great but my windage adjustment was way off. I made another windage adjustment and aimed again at the right target. My nest shot was #3. Getting Closer. I make another windage adjustment.

I then took 3 shots with no adjsutment between. They are circled, #4, #5, and #6. Interestingly the elevation (not changed) was now off. I'm guessing it was the building fouling.

I adjusted the elevation up a bit an took 3 more shots:

9621cc8b-a798-4ce6-96fa-1d4824b5abbf.jpg


You can see there is significant spread now. I'm guessing this is do to barrel heating.

Keep in mind this is a new gun never before fired and I'm not shooting the high BC bullets yet. I decided not to make any more adjustments until I get them.

When I was done, I replaced sizing die with a die to remove primers and removed all the spent primers from the modules:

1a8d28e8-a41c-49ab-92ea-b938a880095e.jpg


I then put in new primers.

I recorded the chronograph speed of each shot just for kicks with these bullets. I wanted to see the consistency.

Shot 0 - 2048 fps (off paper)
Shot 1 - Unknown ( 25 yards with no chronograph)
Shot 2 - 2283 fps
Shot 3 - 2366 fps
Shot 4 - 2609 fps
Shot 5 - 2682 fps
Shot 6 - 2672 fps
Shot 7 - 2682 fps
Shot 8 - 2588 fps
Shot 9 - 2636 fps

The first couple shots are off in speed from the rest but that is expected. If I look at shots 4-9 the standard deviation is about 40. For shots 4-9, the extreme spread (ES) is 94 fps.

Thanks,

Jack
 

spaniel

5 year old buck +
That's a pretty big group. I never did sabotless, but when I watched people doing it, they were sizing down then knurling them between files to get them up to size. Are you doing that? May help you. Smokeless fouling shouldn't create so much variation if you are doing that, it's nothing like BP.

I had a friend who shot an Encore, he had to do a lot of work on the foreend to get it to shoot accurately due to interference with the barrel. One of the reasons I stuck with a TC Omega as my long range ML, and later a Savage for smokeless, because I could bed it in the classical manner.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
That's a pretty big group. I never did sabotless, but when I watched people doing it, they were sizing down then knurling them between files to get them up to size. Are you doing that? May help you. Smokeless fouling shouldn't create so much variation if you are doing that, it's nothing like BP.

I had a friend who shot an Encore, he had to do a lot of work on the foreend to get it to shoot accurately due to interference with the barrel. One of the reasons I stuck with a TC Omega as my long range ML, and later a Savage for smokeless, because I could bed it in the classical manner.

It is a new gun and may take some time to settle. Some of the long time shooters say you need 5 shots to foul the barrel. These are pistol bullets that I'm using to foul the barrel. The first group was reasonable for a gun that has not been broken in yet. I'm blaming the second group on barrel heating. Time will tell.

But you are right. I'm not knurling them or anything. I want to see how the high BC bullets perform when they become available before messing with knurling. I doubt rifling engagement is the issue, but I could always got to .40 cal bullets with sabots if needed.

At this point, I'm just trying to get the basics down. Once the Pittman Acumax bullets become available, I'll start getting more serious about accuracy.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Booner21

5 year old buck +
I agree I wouldn’t get to discouraged about the accuracy yet. If I remember you are shooting the xtp mags which don’t seem to shoot as well for many. You may try a wad also if you would like to see any more accuracy.


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