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Thread: New to using a 'F-CLASS BR' at 50 yards...

  1. #561
    Boolit Grand Master OS OK's Avatar
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    taz . . . This entire thread has been a 'spitball' from the very first page. Look at all the theory & ideas we have tested, how much we have learned by doing it and NOT just taking someone's sage advise as if it were chiseled in stone, but actually doing the testing and logging the data.
    In every aspect of this .22lr accuracy journey, there is always several right answers...amounting to 'good - better - best' and best is what we look for. I know I have come a long ways and it's been a kick in the pants.

    We endeavor to shoot like the Champions and have their broad understanding of the entire process but little is shared by them at the top...so...I guess we will have to set our own bars and keep pushing them even higher by never settling for good enough.
    From the experience there is discovery and if we are wise enough to sort it out...we will find success.
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

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  2. #562
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    All we can do is keep taking notes and writing reports.
    From that, we look at the data, look for patterns, and come up with ideas to test.
    The data recording is a pain but necessary for study later.
    I wish I had started recording data earlier. Many of my earlier test targets are gone.

    In the defense of the top level shooters, they have a vested interest in keeping their knowledge secret until they retire. They want to stay on top, after all.
    Unfortunately, many never retire from the sport. Benchrest shooting is a sport even us old farts can participate in.

  3. #563
    Boolit Grand Master


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    OS OK, the top shooters may not know as much as you surmise. Maybe .22 BR competitors are all jerks who guard their knowledge. But I doubt it. The most competitive shooting sports I have been in are Bullseye and Trap. There is no money in Bullseye, and the good shooters shared what they knew. There is a fair amount of money in Trap, and there are no big secrets.

    I doubt .22BR shooters are out there winning pickup trucks. So keeping stuff secret is doubtful. If they all are really jerks, it is a sport I would never want to do anyway. In my experience, competitive shooters seem willing to help.

    Lastly, the manufacturers of these tuners have every incentive to reveal “the secret” if there is one. More success means more sales.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  4. #564
    Boolit Grand Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Don, I don't think of them as jerks, I don't know any of them. I think it's sad that there is not more 'tips-n-tricks' so to speak coming down from the top. Wishful thinking on my part I guess...I think of Jerry Miculek and the videos he has been doing helping folks with his expertise and the games he plays...wishful thinking that we'd have some X- .22lr BR Competitors sharing in the same way, uhh...sorta giving back to the sport.
    Thinking about that now...I figure these top shooters don't hang out here in this forum and aren't even aware of what we are trying to do here. So then it 'is what it is'....they live and operate in circles outside of us in here.

    In my youth football was my competitive game, the only thing we as a team competed for was a trophy as State Champions & of course that letter jacket each season. We had a field house where we weight trained and as a freshman I received help from all the boys all the way to the Seniors. I look at competition in that light...it is where all have equal opportunity to learn & become fit and the way you held your place on the A team was to be the best in your position(s) on the team.
    I look at competitive shooting with all the sponsors of equipment & ammo and think of it in the same light. They, the competetors all supposedly have the best of equipment & insight from the manufacturers and the way they become winners is to excel at sending those rounds. Become the best at reading flags & interpreting mirage and prolly a host of other things along with a poker players heart.

    Maybe it is those things that I wish we could hear here? Little insights, especially about harmonics and successful methods of tuning. What they do to adapt in different ambient conditions using the tuner.
    A man can go broke trying to feed a rifle ammo as he muddles around twisting that tuner. I suppose I am a little frustrated, that's all...that's behind my whining I guess.
    But I am stubborn...I will keep buying that fodder and if and when I figure this out...you can bet your last $ that I'm going to share everything I have learned.
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

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  5. #565
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Any of the ultra precision rimfire games are a rabbit hole I run away from as fast as possible. The barrel tuners are a helpful advancement but the only secret there is it's a game of deep pockets. There is a reason that the very top deformers spend huge amounts of money testing lot to lot accuracy variation of the high test high priced. Normally that in the $30.00 per 50 range and once they find a lot number that shoots I have known people that have ordered 50,000 rounds of that lot number if that many are available.

    David Tubb tests primer lots and has been known to purchase 200,000 when he finds a lot number that he is happy with.

    I do play with it more in the 17 HMR. Average lots will shoot around 7/8" five shot groups in my better rifles. A very good lot will hold 3/8" but when I do find a great lot my luck is it's only a could of boxes. Once a did find a brick but that was only once.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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  6. #566
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    The biggest issue currently, is lack of availability of ammo. You can order a few boxes to test, but by the time you get the order and test them, all the stock is gone and you can't get any more.
    Ordering large quantities before testing is a gamble most people can't take. Neither can I spend the time and money necessary for lot testing at the manufacturer's facility.
    You are right about this sport being for those with deep pockets.
    I am trying to come at it from the low dollar end of it. Still more expensive than I would like.

  7. #567
    Boolit Grand Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Thinking of the Tuner & Ambient Conditions... I thought I might try something different & take a look at groups over a series of days with varying conditions. The wind seems to be the main player at the moment. I will keep the testing to days where I can shoot 'under 3 mph' & try to get all shots within each group at relatively the same wind speed and direction. Preferably at 0 or less than 2 mph but here I get swirly winds while they are low each morning just before it changes and builds up.

    Here's today...(I am not compensating for the wind, just shooting straight for the 'X' (the tiny center spot.)



    All the above tuner settings have shown pretty fair groups, that is all except the bottom setting at .043". That setting hasn't been 'proof tested' yet with 3 or 5, 5-shot groups but I think it may have merit?
    I don't know if this will show us anything but I think it will be interesting data...one of us here, no doubt will see something the rest of us don't.

    Here's today's conditions...



    Any suggestions? (What I'm thinking is that we may see some kind of trend on one/or-more of the tuner settings?)
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

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  8. #568
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I think this may be the best testing plan you have come up with to date. Consistency over several days and conditions will be a much better test of your nodes than any other test you have devised.
    Great idea!

  9. #569
    Boolit Grand Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Second day at gathering more data... Been watching the wind flags since early this morning...waiting for the indicator that a 'null' in the wind was near...it didn't look like it was going to happen. Then, I realized that I had almost the exact opposite conditions of the first day. Hmmmmm...maybe I ought'a take advantage of this?

    Here's the conditions today & the 'average' wind speed is in the photo...or thereabouts.



    This is already starting to get interesting.
    Keep in mind that none of the groups have been 'centered-up' in the scope, so don't compare 'central (mean) groupings' to the 'X'...



    On a side note ... A good friend, 'Eli', over on Day at the Range https://dayattherange.com/ has several .22lr challenges on his internet site going.
    One of them is a hostage target...'don't hit the hostage!'...I thought I might finally enter. Eli has been after me to do it for the longest & I've been putting it off because of all this tuner testing.
    Today I put one of his challenge targets up along side of our current testing...thought I might pick the best tuner setting of the day and give his challenge a go?



    The .041" tune looked the best to me, so that and a little Kentucky wind-age and a lot of luck, I went at this challenge for the second time.
    I'm not sure whether the spot is a warmer/spotter or part of the game? But if it is a 'spotter', I may have 'Aced' this one (fingers crossed)?



    The first time I tried this challenge...I sorta killed one of the hostages and put a 'canoe haircut' on another!



    Eli is a retired Marine Gunny, a mountain of a man and as sweet natured as a teddy bear...his site is family oriented



    You can find all the current challenges there...
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

    Be a Patriot . . . expose their lies!

    “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” G. Orwell

  10. #570
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    OS--- Settings 39 through 41 seem to be doing the best at the moment. It will be interesting to see how this continues for you.
    Very well shot on the challenge target.

    I went to the range today and got to shoot in between rainstorms.
    Nearly perfect conditions. Minimal wind(under 2mph). Overcast. Upper 70s.
    This first batch of tests were done with the MTR.
    I had a breakthrough of sorts. I was trying different ways of supporting the rifle to see if groups improved. I can get really steady using any of the ones I tried but some just didn't work.
    I began by running a set the way I have been doing for the last few weeks and got the same, average results.
    I tried supporting the barrel on the bag instead of the stock. Big failure.
    I put a tripod on the rifle and tried that. Also failed.
    I decided part of the issue might be this heavy stock flexing in some minute fashion that was causing inconsistencies so I began experimenting with placing the forearm of the stock in different places on the bag.
    Bingo. I found that by placing the very end of the forearm even with the front of the bag, my groups tightened up substantially.
    I have no idea why, but this position on the bag resulted in groups that were some of the best I have shot in recent weeks.

    I hauled out my old CZ 452 trainer with the long barrel and tried it. I remembered that, while I had tried it earlier, it had never had the good ammo fired in it. I really didn't expect it to do much since it had never displayed any tendencies to be a great shooter before.
    I started it out with Eley Match and immediately fired one of my best 5 shot groups of the day. I continued to shoot groups and got it sighted in on the target. The last 25 shots I fired would have all have fit inside a dime save for two rounds which stuck out about half a bullet width.
    I had several five shot groups during the testing that looked like a 3 shot cloverleaf. Most were four shots in a tight cluster with one slightly out of the group. Not enough to lose points on the scoring target.

    Now I have to wait until next time and see if all this repeats. I need to get a better scope for this rifle. The magnification is not quite adequate for best aiming and I really don't trust the scope adjustments since this isn't one of the better scopes out there. I was expecting to use it for squirrels/varmints but now it will be going to the competition if it continues to shoot well.

  11. #571
    Boolit Grand Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    OS--- Settings 39 through 41 seem to be doing the best at the moment. It will be interesting to see how this continues for you.
    Very well shot on the challenge target.

    I went to the range today and got to shoot in between rainstorms.
    Nearly perfect conditions. Minimal wind(under 2mph). Overcast. Upper 70s.
    This first batch of tests were done with the MTR.
    I had a breakthrough of sorts. I was trying different ways of supporting the rifle to see if groups improved. I can get really steady using any of the ones I tried but some just didn't work.
    I began by running a set the way I have been doing for the last few weeks and got the same, average results.
    I tried supporting the barrel on the bag instead of the stock. Big failure.
    I put a tripod on the rifle and tried that. Also failed.
    I decided part of the issue might be this heavy stock flexing in some minute fashion that was causing inconsistencies so I began experimenting with placing the forearm of the stock in different places on the bag.
    Bingo. I found that by placing the very end of the forearm even with the front of the bag, my groups tightened up substantially.

    I have no idea why, but this position on the bag resulted in groups that were some of the best I have shot in recent weeks.

    I hauled out my old CZ 452 trainer with the long barrel and tried it. I remembered that, while I had tried it earlier, it had never had the good ammo fired in it. I really didn't expect it to do much since it had never displayed any tendencies to be a great shooter before.
    I started it out with Eley Match and immediately fired one of my best 5 shot groups of the day. I continued to shoot groups and got it sighted in on the target. The last 25 shots I fired would have all have fit inside a dime save for two rounds which stuck out about half a bullet width.
    I had several five shot groups during the testing that looked like a 3 shot cloverleaf. Most were four shots in a tight cluster with one slightly out of the group. Not enough to lose points on the scoring target.

    Now I have to wait until next time and see if all this repeats. I need to get a better scope for this rifle. The magnification is not quite adequate for best aiming and I really don't trust the scope adjustments since this isn't one of the better scopes out there. I was expecting to use it for squirrels/varmints but now it will be going to the competition if it continues to shoot well.
    tazman... I think we may have some similarities in regard to this, since I am a left-hand shooter, I need the 'rest-controls' on the right.
    This new Caldwell Rock had to be reversed to get the controls there. Doing that I was not able to use the 'fore-stock-stop' built into the rest (like the one on the old rest that the MKII is sitting on in the background) I added these screws and rubber bushings as that stop, that forced me to use the very front end of the stock for the support...



    In my routine for setting up 'shot-to-shot', the first thing I do is push the rifle forward and I can feel where the rifle stops against these bushings. Then I go into other adjustments as the next shot is being set up. (many times I am shooting 1-shot per spot) That makes me have to use all the controls on the rest before I go into the 'sending' part of the shot sequence.
    It's my opinion that having the stock supported there on the front-most end is a 'softer-cushier seat' on the rest (thinking of 'stock flex' as I would think of a shock asorber on a vehicle), softer because the stock can flex more and absorb more of the initial shock of the shot as the barrel goes into it's spastic response to the shock causing the barrel harmonics. I think it helps to dampen the vibrations.

    As far as your waiting to see if it repeats? Make sure that you 'repeat' too. If you don't already have a rock-solid 'shot-setup & sending routine', then create one from the routine your using...get it in an 'ordered sequence' like you are a machine programmed to do these things in a programmed order.
    I have to be on myself about this, it is so easy to be distracted by all the 'note taking of data' that I get out of sequence easily.
    For example, I'll unlock the elevation knob and make an adjustment with the Mariners Wheel and forget to lock it back snug. That leaves that big vertical screw shaft unlocked and able to wobble a tiny bit...that tiny bit will make my shots get out of (fliers) or half way out of (stragglers) the main group.
    I get so distracted by this data, (especially data that has to be 'seen & recorded' immediately following the shot), that often...if I stop this routine when I am partially into it, I am known to forget to eject the case & reload another round. I record the data and immediately go into my 'shot set-up & sending routine' and am dumfounded each time I find I haven't even reloaded!

    Just a friendly suggestion taz, I'm not trying to act like I know it all...this works for me. You and I have to be the 'automaton machine rest' if we expect to shoot tiny groups.
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

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  12. #572
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Your rest is in a whole different world from my bag setup. Way more things to fiddle with and make sure are correct.
    Here is a picture of what I am using.Click image for larger version. 

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    It would take me a long time to get a routine developed for your system. Not so much for mine.
    Load, close bolt, adjust for point of aim, breathe, hold, and squeeze. No knobs to tighten or screws to turn.
    After what I found out today, it will be some time before I even consider going to a rest like yours. That said, the rest you use is on sale at the moment and I was looking at it yesterday.

    Since I was experimenting and going for groups today, I didn't record any data.

    Here is a picture of 7 the last 8 groups I fired today with the 452 trainer.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The last group was on a different part of the target and looked like a three hole cloverleaf.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by tazman; 06-28-2021 at 08:17 PM.

  13. #573
    Boolit Grand Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Man that looks so good taz.

    I doubt seriously I could do that off bags like that...I did for a while with the MKII, not as well as your grouping but I couldn't get anything consistent. I tried all kinds of stuff with that rifle. It was bang, bang, bang - flier! Never could figure that out.
    If you figure the flier, why it's happening, correct it....your gonna be a champ!

    It feels good to not record data, just shoot for the fun of it. Even when I'm not thinking about the data, my mind is still trying to analyze each group...each shot.
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

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  14. #574
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I picked up a rim thickness gauge so I can test some of the ammo and see if I can even measure a difference. I will run the ammo across my scale and see if I can catch a difference that way as well.
    I may not be able to find any, but I will check a couple of boxes.
    This Eley ammo is pretty consistent. A couple of the fliers in those groups I posted were my fault and I knew it. I can't complain about any of those shots.
    I will also take my chrono with me next trip and see what the ammo is doing out of that long barrel.
    They would have scored a 2400 out of 2500 and won either of the last two shoots I went to.
    I just need to get consistent.
    Best part is these were shot with ammo I have three full bricks of, so I have some to work with and some to shoot compete with.
    I still have a ways to go to get to your groups. If I can do that, I can shoot perfect scores in my division, so I have something to look forward to.

  15. #575
    Boolit Grand Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    I picked up a rim thickness gauge so I can test some of the ammo and see if I can even measure a difference. I will run the ammo across my scale and see if I can catch a difference that way as well.
    I may not be able to find any, but I will check a couple of boxes.
    This Eley ammo is pretty consistent. A couple of the fliers in those groups I posted were my fault and I knew it. I can't complain about any of those shots.
    I will also take my chrono with me next trip and see what the ammo is doing out of that long barrel.
    They would have scored a 2400 out of 2500 and won either of the last two shoots I went to.
    I just need to get consistent.
    Best part is these were shot with ammo I have three full bricks of, so I have some to work with and some to shoot compete with.
    I still have a ways to go to get to your groups. If I can do that, I can shoot perfect scores in my division, so I have something to look forward to.
    The consistency part is all about becoming the machine, whatever your routine, be the machine....some might call us anal in that respect.

    Getting to my groups? You jest....In F-Open they wouldn't let me pick up their hulls. My groups are wide open in that competition...You ain't comparing apples to apples.
    Get yourself a rest taz...it is so stable, so repeatable that it's like cheating. Get one even if your not going to compete in that class (whatever that is?) use it just for the pleasure of having the ability of getting the real precision that rifle has in it.

    Or not...for me it is the pure joy of self improvement, the accomplishment...figuring things out & that's a sort of satisfaction that's up close and personal to self. There's just no better feeling a man can have than when he sets the bar high for himself and works at it and then achieves & even exceeds his goals.
    No 3 foot tall trophy can replace that inner feeling.
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

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  16. #576
    Boolit Grand Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Third day of data... and we have a '0' Wind Day. Perfect timing...

    conditions...



    Groups are starting to sort themselves...or at least it looks like they are...



    I shot them side by side again so I could do Eli's challenge on Day at the Range...after the tuner shots, I moved over and worked his target from the bottom up.



    I went with the .043" tuner setting this time just because it looked like the easiest to use Kentuck-windage, I didn't want to change the sight adjustment on the scope...



    On this one you pick the 5 spots you want to shoot to add the scores, only 5 shots @ any 5 spots. I chose the top row again. This is my secone try at this, last target I left out the to smallest of the top row, this time I leave out the two largest...I didn't plan it that way.
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

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  17. #577
    Boolit Grand Master OS OK's Avatar
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    tazman... I forgot to mention this earlier but I have a rest you can have if you don't want to buy one. It's old'skool and a pain in the tush to adjust quickly but you can put any kind of bag you want on top, it's cast and fairly heavy for it's size, it's an old Hoppes I think...Midway sells front rest bags to fit your fore-stock. Right now it just has a piece of leather tapped on, not much of a rest cushion!





    With this type rest I had to work/squeeze the rear bag for elevation adjustment & alignment.



    So, if you just want a rest to goof around with, I'll send it to you?
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

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  18. #578
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the offer, but, I just got done(10 minutes ago actually) ordering a Caldwell deluxe rest from Midway. Should be here by the end of next week. It was on sale and then, today, they sent me a code for free shipping. I just couldn't refuse.

    It's starting to look like your best setting is going to be from 39 to 41. I like the way 40 looks but you still have a couple of days yet to go.

    I looked at my targets from yesterday and only my two best groups look like your average ones. At least I am beginning to see good groups once in a while. I am looking forward to the next trip to the range.

    I bought a new Vortex 6-24 X50 for the 452 so I can see better and now I should be able to trust the settings. I mounted it on the rifle after I got home.
    The new ammo order should be here tomorrow or the day after. Got a lot of stuff coming together just now.

    Now the bad part. Tomorrow I have an appointment with the dentist to see about getting dentures. This last year my teeth began disintegrating. Not looking forward to having a bunch of teeth pulled.

  19. #579
    Boolit Grand Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Play day today, no data... I got out for the pleasure of entering Gunny Eli's challenge targets.

    I am pretty much convinced that the .040" tuner setting has shown itself to be the superior setting of all tested in that 3 days of shooting. We had wind from the left, then from the right & both equal in mph and value...then we saw a dead flat day of '0' wind...this morning I used that setting and zeroed the scope as I warmed the barrel.

    Here's the results...for 'adding the spots values'...



    and for the tightest of groups of 5-shots each...having flubbed the bottom center target, I quit after 3 shots and moved to the upper center, that one I entered...



    Eli has some 'real shooters' on his website Day at the Range .... https://dayattherange.com/?p=8814&page=2 it's going to be tough climbing those ranks!
    I hope this will inspire some of you to download his targets and get involved...make a showing for the CastBoolits Gang.
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

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  20. #580
    Boolit Grand Master


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    You are doing very well!!
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check