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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I got my lower back from Bill, and my TA11 in on Friday, and went shooting Saturday.

Its like firing a whole new gun. I'm not a trigger expert, but overall I'd say the trigger went from being the least pleasurable to the best feeling on any of my "fighting" type rifles. It is much lighter pull, and no movement at all before the break. I believe this is now "single stage" instead of "two stage". Much like the trigger on my bolt gun, but heavier. I don't think it is too light for this gun either. Overall I am quite pleased with it.

Unfortuately the scope has a problem and will have to go back, but here is the gun right at the moment. I think once the problem-free replacement scope gets here, it will be just about perfect in this configuration. (I do have a couple more minor tweaks in mind that I may or may not do. ;)) I was also expecting the scope to be sitting a little high for my standard cheekweld, but, it was not. It was perfectly aligned as far as I could tell.





Here is the target from my final group (24.7gr H335, Horn 55gr FMJ). As you can see there are a couple fliers opening it up; overall I think this will make a pretty good plinking load. It was cycling with authority on gas setting 1 with this load.



I did have one failure to strip the next round while getting on paper with Silver Bear at the start of the session on low gas setting, but that is entirely expected as far as I'm concerned. That ammo is all over the place in every gun I've tried it in, which I assume means that the powder charges are all over the place as well.

I like it a lot.
 

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Another Happy customer after Bill's work. Glad you liked it, he really does magic on the gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Since the picture, I have gone to the large backstrap on the MIAD (have always preferred that one), and I think I would like to add a rubber "gapper" as soon as I confirm with Bill that I can remove the grip screw without messing anything up in the trigger.
 

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NY, no problem with that. Get some MATCH grade ammo and compare the difference. I was f****** amazed. Bill does GREAT work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I think next up I will try some 60gr Vmaxes, or some other more accurate bullet.

Overall this accuracy was not as good as I did with the same bullets before. I wasn't recording all of them, but the group you see was one of the better ones, probably the best, of the day. Changes since last time have included:

-the optic. 3.5x/chevron this time vs. 10x standard crosshair before. This might account for a small difference.
-the charge weight (considerably hotter loads this time)
-the primer (Rem 7.5 rather than WSR)
-the trigger (which is better of course, but I don't think it makes a difference in this particular set of shooting conditions)
-15 rd groups this time vs. 12rd groups last time.
-I removed and replaced the barrel between sessions

Next time I run these bullets I might take some of the lighter loads from last time and see if I can't narrow it to the charge weight. That is what I'm really hoping it is, at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually I've seen MikeyC say that he normally sees the best accuracy at around 10% off of max load.

I might be seeing that here. The 24.7gr load is pretty near max, I think. I was seeing my best accuracy in the 22.2-22.8gr range.
 

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My plinking load is pretty dam accurate

- H335 23.5 gr
- Winchester 55gr
- LC Brass
- CCI 400 primers
- OAL 2.24
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I ended up sending my scope to Trijicon to get repaired under warranty, rather than try an exchange with the dealer. Trijicon did a nice job fixing my TA31, so, I figure why mess with what seems to work. (Eric, I will do a better job shopping around next time. :))

I have ordered three more varieties of bullets to try in the XCR once it is all back together:

-60gr Berger HP match
-60gr Hornady V-max
-69gr SMK

I will report results when the time comes.
 

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NY, Got the update yet??? I side with MickeyC on max loads....... seems accuracy is best below max charges. :2cents:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been rather busy lately, but I'm hoping to get some time to shoot again soon! I have all the components in hand and my scope is back as well, so now its just a matter of finding the time to load up some rounds and shoot. My next two weekends are completely booked though. If all goes well I might be able to get to the range on the 25th.

I do have a question for any who might know; I do have some load data from which to start for the 69 SMK and the 60gr Vmax, but can't find any data on the Berger bullets. It is not in my load book and I don't see any on the Berger website. Does anyone have any?
 

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Hey N.Y., I referred to my Hodgdon manual for reload info. For the 60gr bullet, H-335, it lists 24.0 gr as starting to 25.5gr as MAX. I have tried 25.0 grains of H-335 with good results. Good Luck...... please post results. ;D
 

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I roll with 23.5gr of 335 with the 68-69gr OTM bullets. Very light pressure load for brass longevity and will clean the X-ring at 200yds!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I did make it out there today, but it was not a good trip. :(... first off I got there and immediately noticed that I forgot my rest. So, I don't put much stock in any groups I got. Second, I started my loads in the middle of the listed data I had, and then had loaded some up to the max. Well, the lightest load I brought appeared to be pretty hot. I ended up shooting that one, which looked like it was grouping alright, and then I shot the next step up loads as well, but I was getting poor accuracy, and some pretty flat/cratered primers out of that one. Furthermore, it was ejecting quite a ways on #1, and ran fine on "S" as well... all signs pointing to it being a very hot load, I shut it down and did not fire the three hotter loads I brought... I am going to tear those down and reduce the powder charge in them.

So.... sorry I don't have any better results to report, but, I'll be at it again soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
25.3gr Varget and 69gr SMK was showing me primers flat enough that I choose not to continue after that. That load was also ejecting far on #1, and running fine on "S". I have torn down the hottest loads I had, and reduced the charges. I will hit the range again as soon as I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I hit the range again today... overall it was a better trip and I will post complete results in a bit... but I did have one hiccup:

I wanted to shoot some 77gr bullets just to see how they grouped. So, I took 20 rounds of the same 77gr SMK load I have been shooting through my 1:7 ARs. Exactly the same load, but for a different kind of brass I had not used before (FC) I was happily shooting, when round #15 yielded a "click" rather than a "bang". Futher inspection revealed that it was locked up tight, slightly out of battery. I pogoed it, set that round aside, and fired the remaining 4 rounds.

Last time I had a rifle lock up in that fashion it was an AR, in my very early days of handloading, and it turned out to be an out of spec case, once I checked it with a gauge. I thought it was unlikely this could happen again since I check all my rounds with a gauge now, but I figured one slipped though, and that is what happened.

Well, when I went to retrieve the brass after the range was called cold, it turns out that I had *punched every single primer* in that lot of 19 rounds. I guess I should have known better than to trust that just because a load was good in one gun, it should be fine in others... it looks to me like for whatever reason, this load generates higher pressure in the XCR. It is either that, or the brass is significantly different, because those are the only two differing factors. When I ejected the stuck round, I didn't see anything else fall out, but all those metal chunks of primer must have gone somewhere... either the chamber or barrel extension... and I assume that is what locked up the gun now. There is also significant damage to case rim and headstamp area on about 3 of the cases that did fire and eject fine.... the only thing I can imagine is that a chunk of primer was stuck between the bolt and the rear of the case head when those rounds were fired. I don't see any marks on the bolt.

The trouble was very much limited to those 20 rounds... all my 60gr VMAX loads fired entirely normally after that.

Well, lesson learned. Never again will I start in the middle of published load data when firing a new load in a rifle. Never again will I assume that a load that is good in one rifle is good in another. I'm still a relatively new handloader, and its always good to learn these things without blowing up a gun or eye or finger.
 
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