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Thread: Rifled 870, full bore Mihec round balls.

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
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    My cars are -and have always been- 20 to 30 years old.

    But my hulls are new.

    Got a phonecall from a mechanic today,our ~$,600 , year 2002 2.0l diesel Corolla passed the yearly inspection yesterday and is good to go for another year. It has 400 k kilometers, I'm aiming at half a million. Sixth year now.

    My next rifle will cost € 800. Working on the paperwork now.

  2. #42
    Boolit Master
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    Well I adjusted my rear sight too much to the left at home so no bullseye bragging today.

    But I found out that my 1350 fps VV 3N38 load becomes a1420 fps load when I use Fed 209A instead of whatever primer the B&P hulls come with. Recoil is a smooth push, I do use a PAST when bench shooting.


  3. #43
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    How was group size?

    I don't worry too much about where the groups are with new loads, just group size.

    On my last range trip with Lee 7/8 oz. slugs and the Moose Minie clones recoil was brutal with the Moose Minies over a charge of Blue Dot that shouldn't have been near max. but I was using Federal 209A primers as well since nothing else was available. I loaded 20 but shot only 10. No sticky extraction but recoil was so nasty I decided not to shoot the rest. I'll break them down to double check to make sure powder charge is what I intended. If so I'll salvage powder then reload at couple grains less.

    Slugs were punching round hole but large groups so no point punishing my shoulder with those anyway.

    I should get a PAST as well. Maybe I am just getting wimpy in my old age but shooting slugs off the bench is taking its toll.

    Longbow

  4. #44
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    As you know, I'm really impressed with your (collectively) RB results as I shoot a 20 ga. blackpowder smoothbore trade gun replica with them too. I thought you'd like to see what can be done with a patched RB (.598" diameter) in a flintlock with no rear sight...i.e. if I can upload a photo here. Btw, that 5 shot group was recently fired @ 50 yd. I'd like to think it is repeatable, but weather and other obligations got in the way of further testing.
    Last edited by Maven; 01-24-2022 at 11:42 AM.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    How was group size?

    I don't worry too much about where the groups are with new loads, just group size.

    Longbow
    My post was not clear, I didn't group the 209A load, only chronoed it. I had adjusted my sights for the old 1350 fps load and confirmed it with 75 m target now... and I had moved POI too much. Group was 3-4" as usual.

    I want a 1450 - 1500 fps "new load" before I shoot groups with it. It turns into work-like shooting to group every 50 fps change.

    I'll try zeroing while shooting next, it's just a bit cold for such fine mechanic activities.

    To be continued.

  6. #46
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    I'd think groups from fully rifled gun can be improved once you get sorted out and sights set.

    I'm guessing no recovered RB's yet due to snow? Recovered balls should show rifling and bore contact which will be interesting to see.

    I haven't chrono'd any of my round ball or slug loads to date but should I guess.

    I haven't been as concerned with velocity, at least in obtaining highest velocity, as with accuracy... which of course depends partly on consistent velocity.

    I am going to revisit the round ball loads I had best and repeatable results with. I will take the Chrony with me when I do. Let's see if I can put my money where my mouth is and repeat past success!

    Longbow

  7. #47
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    Yep accuracy comes first. My problem is,there's no limit...

    That's why I have my "old load" 1350 fps as a keeper. I think it"s good enough to break most clays @ 75 m. Today was dark, open sights and short barrel 75 m needs a concentrated mind and I saw the first one miss the black so... Anyway,I want myself zeroed for that load now. Just in case.

    I have a bench rest / group shooting past that ended up badly and I'm trying to avoid the rabbit holes. I used to eg. count powder granules by hand to make my 23 mm Woodleigh 200 ,5 rd, 300 meter 300 WM group smaller. Shoot hundreds of groups every couple of grains. I finally sold my br guns (300 WM & 338 Lapua )for sanity's sake, it became work. I was never happy. Group was never good enough. Even though I usually won all our club's competitions.

    I have shot at least two dozen 3" / 5 balls / 75 m groups with my "old load" (3,0 grams 3N38 )by now. Already used up 200 of those new hulls. I"m trying to keep myself satisfied and HAPPY for now... but I will see what 1500 fps does. If 3N38 lets me see that.

    A scope would make group shooting easier but I decided to not go there for the abovementioned reasons. Real world 75 m claybird accuracy would be good for 50 meter whitetail... but in real,real life I'm using a rifle but... it's nice to have options.

    I need more clays now. Heck, I can zero with clays,it's more fun than paper.
    Last edited by Petander; 01-23-2022 at 02:44 PM.

  8. #48
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    As long as I know the load and gun can shoot better groups than I can I am good to go! I don't like to be able to blame my equipment for bad groups... and of course since I reload the ammunition and set up the gun it really isn't the fault of the equipment anyway until groups get under an inch or so at 100m. Maybe large to you but adequate for me for rifle and I would be good with 6" to 8" groups at 100m for smoothbore shotgun. Hah! Look, mixed units! That's what happens when you grow up with Imperial then the country changes to metric but your big next door neighbour says "Nah!" to metric!

    I am the same way with archery. I make my bows, arrows, bowstrings and most other equipment including fletcher, string jig, serving tool nd taper tool for wood arrows. So, if I don't shoot well I can't blame anyone or anything but me!

    Yes, reactive targets are great! I'm too cheap to shoot clay birds though... unless they are already cracked or otherwise unusable for shotgun. Cookies are good... I mean good to shoot, and cheap!

    I just punched out several hundred card wads for fillers and over shot/over slug for roll crimping. I broke down the Moose Minie clone loads to reduce powder some and maybe size down the slugs a bit. Wad petals didn't look good. Tight fit may have been part of the reason for nasty recoil though the slugs are HB and fairly thin skirt. I'll play it safe anyway. I've told you my blow up story. While breaking down the Moose Minie clone loads I learned something I will post in a new thread as it may help others but has no place here.

    I will be loading up Lee slugs and some round balls shortly. I plan to load both 0.662" RB's cloth patched into shotcups and 0.735" RB's on hard card wad column. Both of those have given me 3" to 4" groups from smoothbore at 50 yards with multiple 5 shot groups each. So, let's see if I can repeat that!

    Longbow
    Last edited by longbow; 01-23-2022 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Clarifying a sentence

  9. #49
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    Wow, I don’t shoot shotgun round balls or slugs. I do shoot HyTek and PC’d boolits. But those beautiful jaw breakers are really cool. Love this thread.
    Never trade luck for skill.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    As long as I know the load and gun can shoot better groups than I can I am good to go!
    How do you know that?

  11. #51
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    Well, I guess it's a bit subjective but if I can shoot several nice tight groups from a given gun with given load on a day I am steady and shooting well I am going to assume that the gun and load are doing their part and I just happened to do my part right that day. If same gun and load aren't grouping as tightly next time out I am going to assume it is probably my fault.

    If I can't get groups smaller than say 3" any time I go out but groups tend to be say 3" to 4" regularly then I am going to assume that the gun and/or load aren't capable of doing better. Thinking my smoothbore round ball loads here. Not often do groups go under 3" at 50 yards but also not often they go over 5" at 50 yards. They usually run 3" to 4"... at least in my past shooting.

    I guess same as when you are shooting small groups with a bench rest gun at 300m. If you constantly get 2" groups how do you know the gun and/or load can do better? Is it you or the gun?

    Some days I know I am not shooting my best and some days I am very confident that I am so when I get tighter and more consistent groups on those days... repeatedly, I am confident that the gun and load are capable of at least that if not better. Like most people, I have good days, average days and bad days. There are lots of better shooters out there than me too!

    I suppose my sentence should have read "As long as I know the gun and load can shoot better groups than I am on an average day I am good to go!" I am pretty sure most of my guns are capable of better accuracy than I am on an average day.

    That's my logic anyway.

    Longbow

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post

    I guess same as when you are shooting small groups with a bench rest gun at 300m. If you constantly get 2" groups how do you know the gun and/or load can do better? Is it you or the gun?

    Longbow
    To me,open sights are a challenge when the distance grows. And a 20" barrel. I'd be much more confident checking loads with a scope but I don't want a receiver mount. I'm keeping this simple,a shotgun barrel and a rifled barrel combo.

    A br gun typically has very high quality optics. I use Zeiss Diavaris 56 mm. That helps a lot comparing bullets and loads. A completely different environment compared to a short barreld shotgun with open sights . Anyone can put five bullets in one hole / 100 m with my T3 Tac or my old (new to me) Sako Target. From good bags. You need 300 m to see the load differences (good loads,not some MOA...)

    Another help is to ask someone else, a good shooter, to shoot it. My trainer friend shoots 15 mm / 300 m regularly with a similar Tikka Tactical 300 WM. Even 110 grain Sierra HP:s. So it is both the shooter and the gun but when your front sight bead covers 5" of the target... you know what I mean.

    A hotline to Sako and general knowledge in br/sniper communities also tell the realistic accuracy standards. I remember using Sierra factory Game King for my 300, it was always 3" / 300 m. People said they get better than that. When I switched from a Karl Kaps scope to Zeiss, my 300 m Game King group size shrunk to half. I still use that batch of Sierras and a T3 tac,for long range deer.

    That was 20 years and thousands of bag / bipod rest rifle long range shots ago. I've shot shotguns from bench for only a couple of years. Different levels of confidence.

    I'd really like to know my 870 REAL 75 m group size... I'm just not good enough shot to see it like this. Shotgun trigger and all... Am I talking myself into scoping it after all? Then remove the scope when done.
    Last edited by Petander; 01-23-2022 at 06:20 PM.

  13. #53
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    Yes, I see what you are getting at.

    I did the same with my Lee Enfield No.5. Accuracy with stock sights was mediocre but the sights are not what one would call precise so I wasn't sure if it was me, the gun/sights or the cast boolit load that was keeping accuracy from being better. So I decided to put a no gunsmithing scope mount on it and a decent scope. Group size shrunk dramatically and while Lee Enfield No.5's are not known for stellar accuracy at this point I think I am the limiting factor not the equipment. I can now take the scope off that rifle and I have 4 more Lee Enfields I can check out with the scope, 2 No. 4's and 2 more No.5's. Once done I will be pretty sure of the accuracy of the guns.

    As for shotgun slug shooting, I generally have liked open sights on my lever guns and slug guns so that is what I have. My "standard" test gun is an old single shot Cooey single barrel shotgun I cut down and put rifle sights on years ago. The open sights suit me and I have shot some very nice groups with it so am confident shooting it. Lately I have been using the Mossberg Slugster but don't find the sights as good. I widened the rear sight a bit which helps and I use a 4" black diamond target so hold on the bottom point of the diamond. That way the front blade isn't blanking out the target. I like a bottom hold on a round bullseye too for the same reason. I hold the front sight just below what I want to hit so I can see what I want to hit.

    So, if I have shot good groups with the Cooey, I am confident that the load works and is capable of repeatable good accuracy. However, now that I am using the Mossberg I have introduced that variable so should confirm performance of loads with the Cooey then shoot same loads in the Mossberg. If they perform in the Cooey and not in the Mossberg I'll have to play with fit and other load variables to suit the Mossberg.

    Generally I have found that if I shoot a couple of similar size 5 shot groups and shots are clustered... on a day I am feeling confident I am shooting well anyway, that is an indication of the load performance. If good I'll refine the load some by playing with fits, wads, powder charge. If the shots are random then I usually abandon that particular slug or set of components. There are so many variables in slug shooting I find it hard to work with a load that doesn't seem to work. Maybe it would only take one small change but?

    I am a pretty simple guy and not a highly skilled shooter so I may not (probably am not) telling you anything you don't know. I'd say your shooting skills are far superior to mine. This is how I sort out slug loads to work with though.

    Longbow

  14. #54
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    Remember my 20 gauge "Economy RB Loads" using factory trap ammo? Cut the crimp,replace shot with a cork and a ball. Roll crimp.

    I can hit claybirds @ 25 meters berm,standing, it's a light fun practise load.

    My friend has the same Rem 870 Express, I gave him some rounds but they do not shoot even that 25 m claybird accurate in his gun. Guns are about the same age too, fairly new. So my ammo is only "ok" in my gun,not his.

    (My RB accuracy standards have changed after getting the rifled 12 870 though...)

    Anyway you get my point. I rather test in the gun I actually shoot.

    By the way: I think I got lucky because my friend said "had these worked, I'd have wanted a thousand rounds more."

  15. #55
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    I have enjoyed reading this thread and the great pictures.
    I did have to laugh at this comment though.
    "My balls are big,too."

  16. #56
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    Petander, are you up really early today or really late tonight. It's 8:39 PM here.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmacgyver0 View Post
    I have enjoyed reading this thread and the great pictures.
    I did have to laugh at this comment though.
    "My balls are big,too."
    My favorite part is that Petlander is exactly how I imagine a Finlander shooter to look like. He knows the hair game.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petander View Post
    Yep accuracy comes first. My problem is,there's no limit...

    That's why I have my "old load" 1350 fps as a keeper. I think it"s good enough to break most clays @ 75 m. Today was dark, open sights and short barrel 75 m needs a concentrated mind and I saw the first one miss the black so... Anyway,I want myself zeroed for that load now. Just in case.

    I have a bench rest / group shooting past that ended up badly and I'm trying to avoid the rabbit holes. I used to eg. count powder granules by hand to make my 23 mm Woodleigh 200 ,5 rd, 300 meter 300 WM group smaller. Shoot hundreds of groups every couple of grains. I finally sold my br guns (300 WM & 338 Lapua )for sanity's sake, it became work. I was never happy. Group was never good enough. Even though I usually won all our club's competitions.

    I have shot at least two dozen 3" / 5 balls / 75 m groups with my "old load" (3,0 grams 3N38 )by now. Already used up 200 of those new hulls. I"m trying to keep myself satisfied and HAPPY for now... but I will see what 1500 fps does. If 3N38 lets me see that.

    A scope would make group shooting easier but I decided to not go there for the abovementioned reasons. Real world 75 m claybird accuracy would be good for 50 meter whitetail... but in real,real life I'm using a rifle but... it's nice to have options.

    I need more clays now. Heck, I can zero with clays,it's more fun than paper.
    Mounting a scope for load testing makes a lot of sense. Getting s good group with most shotgun sights is more luck...I think.

    I do the same with my lever action carbines....mount a scope for load testing and then revert back to iron sights...although on two rifles I have tang peep sights.

    My eye sight is too poor to load test with normal iron sights. I would be wasting time and money.

    For a shotgun, something like a Sig Romeo 5 would be good enough. BTW, a few years ago mounted an EoTech on a Kreighoff Trap Gun....it was very interesting...but that is another story.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  19. #59
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    I was up too late,like 4 AM. Got up at 7 am , drove to pick up a fixed car from mechanic... even my hair is tired now.

    Yes, a quick detach scope would be great. But how to mount it while keeping open sights usable? I might be able to get a cantilever mount from a friend but mounting it straight takes a professional. My friend removed the cantilever from his new rifled 20 gauge barrel, mounted a rail on top of the receiver instead. Don't ask me why.

    I have a qd (or easily removable) scopes on many rifles. A combination gun, a double sxs 470, Marlin SBL... I use open sights most of the time with those guns but load development is done with a scope. I need the confidence of verified ammo.

    I have kept an 80's Tasco Mag IV 5-20x50 air rifle scope for this purpose. It has been on everything from airguns to 22LR s to 338 Lapua Magnum. I mounted it on a new rifle to verify accuracy many times. I shoot good with it in good weather, it has a parallax adjustment and target turrets. Worth maybe $30. But if the gun shoots good with the Tasco, it's a keeper and worth a durable quality scope, woods and weather resistant etc.

    How to mount a scope on the 870 and keep open sights option? Rail on a receiver? No. One of those receiver mounts? Well it CAN be removed but no. Drill and tap a cantilever mount to the barrel would be good... IF done straight. It could be removed and re-mounted,too.

    Oh boy.
    Last edited by Petander; 01-24-2022 at 10:47 AM.

  20. #60
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    A scope does away with the guess work when testing slug loads. It also makes it harder to blame fliers on yourself and not the load.

    I made this temporary scope mount for a Leupold x2 long eye relief scope when I started on the slug madness.
    More than six years later, it's still on. I'm not sure I would be better off with a higher magnification - and I don't have to worry about "the Weatherby scar".

    This is four shots with my Brenneke clone at 64 yards. I never get tired of posting this picture...
    Cap'n Morgan

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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