At the Range with My X-Bolt 270 WSM and 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition

243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition at Shooting Range 243 WSSM with 95g Nosler Partition on Chronograph
243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition handload. One of the velocities of my first 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition handload shots.
A-Bolt Stainless Varmint Laminate 243 WSSM with 95g Nosler Partition Target showing first test loads of 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition
243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition handload next to my Browning A-Bolt Stainless Varmint with laminate stock. My first test load of a 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition handload. Now back to the reloading bench for some adjustments to the handload.
270 WSM 140g Accubond Chrony F1 Chronograph Browning X-Bolt on shooting bags and bench at the shooting range
270 WSM 140g Nosler AccuBond handload and the velocity from my 23" barrel X-Bolt. When shooting from the bench I like to either place a box under a shooting bag or stack two bags on top of one another. This makes my shooting posture much more comfortable by getting higher off the bench. I then usually stuff a jacket under the rear of the stock to get the rifle a little more stable.
Three shot groups of 270 WSM 140g Nosler Accubond Handloads Nikon spotting scope at shooting range
Here are two three shot groups from my X-Bolt Stainless Stalker in 270 WSM shooting 140g Nosler AccuBond handloads. My friend Ryan lent me a Nikon EDG Fieldscope 85-A spotting scope and I brought it with me to the range. I have been glassing one of the mountains I like to hunt from over five miles away. This scope is amazingly clear at tremendous ranges.

I went to the range today to shoot my first test loads I've been working on for a 95g Nosler Partition bullet in a 243 WSSM. A also shot two three shot groups with my new X-Bolt Stainless Stalker in 270 WSM and measured the velocities.

First I shot five 95g Nosler Partitions from my A-Bolt Stainless Laminate Varmint with fluted barrel. The first two shots were high and off the target sheet I was aiming at but they were 3/4 of an inch apart. I adjusted the scope some and fired three more shots at the target sheet the first two shots hit on. The third and fourth shot were again right at 3/4 of an inch apart and I was thinking this load might be pretty good right out of the gates but on my fifth shot I got a flier going out about 2 1/2 inches... the barrel was hot, maybe that caused the fifth shot to wander off course. I'll keep tweaking the load.

Oct. 2010: After several trips from the reloading bench to the shooting range I finally have my 243 WSSM 95g Nolser Partition Handload.

After shooting the 243 WSSM I wanted to shoot my X-Bolt in 270 WSM a few times to get more comfortable with it and get some better data on the velocities of the 140g AccuBond that I am shooting out of it. I get a little spoiled with my 243 WSSM rifles and the light recoil, so just after shooting the 243 WSSM I forget that the 270 WSM actually recoils a little. My first shot quickly reminded me of the recoil (I have a long history of getting scope bit... being 6' 7" it helps to have longer lengths of pull), then on my second shot I totally flinched. It was so bad I would have laughed out loud if someone had of been there with me. I just anticipated that the trigger was going to break and I flinched in anticipation, then the trigger broke... just totally out of sync. I went ahead and fired a third shot and it was right back next to my first shot.

I made a minor adjustment to the scope and immediately fired another three shots. Again two touching each other, then a slight flier. The barrel was getting pretty warm after 6 shots so maybe that had some to do with this shot being a little of course. Still, this group measures under an inch at right about 7/8 inch.

My Chrony F-1 chronograph was giving better readings today. When I first took my X-Bolt out as there were a lot of passing clouds messing up the readings on the chronograph. Today it was right around 60 degrees and my average velocity was right about 3300 fps.

270 WSM 140g AccuBond Handload Velocities: 3314, 3269, 3240, 3318, 3294, 3314 — average velocity 3292 fps.

August 31, 2010: Shot the X-Bolt with 140g Accubonds with the temperature right around 70 degrees today. 3338, 3309, 3330, 3362, 3347 — average velocity 3337 fps.

DIY Bow & Arrow Paper Tuning Stand & Dallen's new Micro Adrenaline Bow

DIY Arrow Paper Tuning Stand Dallen shooting his new Browning Micro Adrenaline bow.
DIY arrow paper tuning stand. The paper shows a perfect arrow punch from my son's new Browning Micro Adrenaline bow. Dallen's first time out  shooting his new Browning Micro Adrenaline bow.

I find having a well tuned bow is crucial for me to get the best possible accuracy from my bows.  Here is an inexpensive paper tuning stand that I use to paper tune my arrows.

I take a wire close hanger and bent it into a rectangle shape approximately 8 1/2 x 11 inches. Then I take a piece of mending plate and nut and bolt the hanger to a tripod. A piece of standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper can be taped across the frame and the tripod can be adjusted in height to place the tuning paper at least three feet in front of my arrow block target.

Dallen's new Browning Micro adrenaline is the last bow that I used the stand to paper tune. I made just a few adjustments to the bus cables to get the timing of the two cams in sync. After I had the cams in sync with each other I shot the perfect bullet hole on my first shot through my paper tuning stand.

I have been using two different full sized Browning Adrenaline two cam bows for the past six or seven years and have really like them. I made a few modifications to my bows. Basically I just replace the fifteen inch limbs with fifteen and a half inch limbs then I make new strings to fit. By adding the longer limbs I get a full thirty two inch draw length that I require.

Dallen's new Micro Adrenaline has got me wanting to upgrade to a new bow myself. I really like the parallel limb design and it is a sweet little bow to shoot.

Digiscope Video of 243 WSSM Shooting a Milk Jug at 311 Yards

Model 1885, 243 WSSM ready to shoot milk jug and video with digiscope setup. Sony W7, Bushnell sentry digiscope setup

While camping this past week I setup my Sony W7 digital camera on my Bushnell Sentry spotting scope to take some video of a milk jug that I placed on some rope tied between two trees at 311 yards. Even with the low quality of video, that this camera shoots, you can clearly see the vapor trail of the bullet.

I was shooting my 243 WSSM Winchester Model 1885 with 55g Ballistic Tip factory load bullets. These bullets have a muzzle velocity of 4240 fps from this rifle. I was shooting from a sitting position using my Stoney Point Steady Stix with a tripod and my digiscope to the right of me.

This inexpensive digiscope setup has worked pretty good for me for several years. However my camera has now developed some internal floaters that place a couple of blurry spots on the photos and video I take with the camera zoomed.

With my camera now having issues I have been looking for a better camera/digiscoping solution. I think I've found it in the new breed of digital point and shoot cameras, cameras like the Nikon P100, Olympus SP-800UZ, Fujifilm Finepix HS10, or Pentax X90. These are point and shoot cameras with very high optical zooms. These cameras also offer high resolution still images along with good to excellent video qualities depending on the camera. With a camera like one of these there is no need for a digiscope setup, just place the camera in a steady tripod and take video and still images at amazing distances.  

Right now I'm leaning toward the Fujifilm or Nikon cameras as they both take high resolution 1080p video. The Fujifilm camera takes AA batteries and I think that is a huge plus but the Nikon I think might take a little better quality of images... maybe. I need to find some money somewhere and get one.

Update Nov. 8th 2010: I finally bit the bullet and ordered a camera from my favorite computer/gadget website I went over and over the specs, reviews etc and felt that the FujiFilm FinePix HS10 was the best camera for me. It was hard for me to chose this camera over the Nikon P100. I'm looking forward to getting this camera in the field to see what it can do. Here are some of the different features that made me chose the HS10 over the P100:

  • It takes AA batteries
  • It can take Raw images. This will be handy for taking photos that Browning (my day job) may want to use.
  • It has a 30x zoom compared to a 26x zoom
  • It has a manual zoom. Motor driven zooms mean one more thing to chew up battery and on more thing that might break.
  • It has a standard 58mm threaded lens, thus allowing for filters and teleconverters to be threaded on the front. The manual zoom also allows for teleconverters to be placed on the lens without a motor to get messed up trying to move the lens with a teleconverter attached. See my 51X Ultra Super Zoom FujiFilm HS10, HS20EXR and Sony VCL-DH1758 Teleconverter entry for more info on teleconverters.

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