Shooting At Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf Course In 2016



Had a blast once again shooting at Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf Course. This year I decided to shoot the Master's course with my 243 WSSM Model 1885 with 95 Gr Berger VLD bullets. The little 95ers were a little difficult with the wind at the really long ranges but all in all I shot ok with them.

I had a lot of fun testing bullets and rifles on the driving range in the heat of the afternoon after shooting the course. Here are some of my video highlights from the day.

Magnum Charges With My CVA Accura V2 and Vortex Viper HS LR Rifle Scope

Target bullet groups

The 3 shot 100 yard groups I shot today with my CVA Accura V2, Browning X-Bolt in 270 WSM and my Model 1885 in 243 WSSM. I did shoot a 4th shot on the 150 SST group.

243 WSSM Model 1885 - 95 Gr Berger VLD

The 95 Gr Berger VLD has just been amazing in my 243 WSSM Model 1885 rifle over the years. Today I wanted to try H1000 powder charges instead of the MagPro I had been using. Today I tried two powder charges with this bullet 46.0 and 46.4 grain loads. In the targets above the group on the left has two bullets in one hole.

Since I am wanting to really extend my range out to 300 yards and beyond with my muzzleloader I'm going to need to up the powder charge from the 100 grains of FFG that I have hunted with in the past.

Today I was trying 130 Gr of Triple7 FFG powder behind the 300 Gr Hornady SST, 300 Gr Hornady FPB, and the 300 Gr PowerBelt AeroLite. On my last trip out I learned that having the ramrod attached to the muzzleloader was affecting my group sizes so this time out I kept the ramrod off the muzzleloader for all of my shooting.

I also brought a couple of my rifles to shoot different loads with so I would shoot three shots with one bullet in my muzzleloader then switch to a rifle for three shots. Doing this helped to keep my barrels cool and give me better results.

The 300 Gr PowerBelt AeroLite was clearly the most accurate again on this trip out. With 130 Gr of Triple7 FFG powder this bullet shot a 1 1/8 inch group at 100 yards and was going just a hair shy of 2,000 fps on my chrony. This bullet is designed to open up in game with non-magnum charges. Since I am wanting something that will be able to take deer out past 300 yards, I thinking the AeroLite with magnum loads might be the ticket. But what about those Parker bullets???

Someone might ask why I haven't tried the Barnes muzzy bullets. Given my experience with Barnes' awesomely accurate rifle bullets I have not been pleased with their performance on game in long range applications see this article for some of my thoughts on Barnes Bullets. Maybe their muzzy bullets would perform better than their rifle bullets at longer ranges however I think the AeroLite is probably the best pill for the job right now.

I still need to figure out the scope mount to give me a little more MOA adjustment. Right now I have exactly 28 MOA of available adjustment for long shots left on my Vortex Viper HS LR 4-16x50 scope. With the 300 Gr AeroLite and a velocity of 2,000 fps that would get me to around 500 yards which should be plenty but I would prefer to have a larger window of adjustment and be using more of the middle of the adjustment range.

I am looking at having EGW make a custom rail or go with some Burris Signature Z-Rings that have the MOA adjustment inserts. Hmm...

Varmint Hunting With My Boys

It has been a few years since I took a trip to Wyoming to do a little target practicing. My son Landen will be hunting deer and elk for the first time this year and I have found no better way to get a child familiar with acquiring targets, loading a rifle and generally learning how to use a rifle under some pressure than prairie dog hunting. This provides a little stress to a young hunter and helps them work through this so that they can get a good quality shot off. This pays big dividends when your child is out deer and elk hunting.

The first hour or so Landen was a little stressed trying to find them in the scope and getting on them quick enough. It didn't take too long before he was working the action and blasting away all on his own. This worked great so that I could spend most of my time helping KB, my youngest. KB has a few more years before he will be able to deer and elk hunt. 

I ended up only shooting a handful of times but that was all I needed. My closest shot was a prairie dog at 329 yards. I took one at 470 yards and set a new longest shot on a prairie dog at 900 yards on this trip. Check out the video of this shot.

It was a great day being able to spend it with all three of my boys. They had a blast, literally. What a fun day. Now it's time to apply the aloe vera on my sunburn. Ouch!


  • Big Game Hunting

    Journal entries from hunting mule deer, elk and whitetail deer.  You'll find hunts with 243 WSSM and 270 WSM rifles to muzzleloader and archery hunts.

  • General Hunting and Shooting

    Journal entries covering general information related to hunting and shooting. Many of these journal entries are from shooting on the rifle or archery range. There are also entries related to my experiences with the 243 WSSM, rifles, optics and other equipment and products I use.

  • Varmint Hunting

    Journal entries from hunting coyotes, rock chucks, prairie dogs and the like with 243 WSSM and 223 Rem. rifles.

  • Backpacking and Camping

    Backpacking, Pack Wheel camping and other camping adventures.

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