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About Laurie

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  • Birthday 10/05/1949

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    F-Class, BR, and any form of target shooting that involves a scoped rifle, but doesn't require shooting offhand

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  1. Laurie

    .308 Target rounds

    I'm not saying it's unsuitable, rather sub-optimal as it was designed for a lower bullet weight. But it's still a free country (just) and you're welcome to use any powder you fancy in the cartridge as long as it's safe, and N135 is safe enough as long as the manufacturer's loadings are adhered to. You won't find any serious long-range 308 shooting competitors using it though.
  2. Laurie

    243 powder

    Not that I've seen. Sierra Bullets (which has for years collaborated closely with the US Army) mentioned it in a loading manual many years back. The US Army did its research in the aftermath of introducing the 7.62X51 round / M14 rifle and deciding on a policy of ball powders only for non-specialist 7.62 types, so I'd assume it dates from the late 50s or maybe early 60s. Almost everything that the US Government and its agencies researches is available somewhere online unless it is 'classified', .... but finding it. With so many developments in propellants in recent years, it's dubious how much one would learn now anyway from 50 + year old research. People shouldn't get too worked up over 'double-base'. Most recent introductions have nitroglycerin in the mix somewhere - all of the new IMR 'Endurons' for instance; every Alliant 'Reloder' grade; all ball types. Viht N100 series, RS 30/50/62, and Lovex SO extruded grades are the only true single-based types left to us now. However, Viht N500 series aside and some of the older grades, the norm is 3-10% nitroglycerin content by weight and if loads are sensible, barrel life appears as good with these grades as with anything else. I bought a secondhand low round count Musgrave 7.62 TR rifle with a Maddco stainless barrel maybe 25 years ago, shot it regularly in TR matches all season for some five years and sold it to a fellow club member who still has it. The load was (and is) the old Sierra 155 MK and Alliant Re15. I passed the load on and the new owner still uses it. That barrel is still going well today, and the round count must be really something. As we never shot beyond 600 yards and more often than not at 300 only, the loading was mild. Some Viht N500s have very high nitroglycerin levels - N540 was reported as 45% on its introduction many moons ago and I assume it's still very high. What does kill barrels fast is the combination of a high-energy mix allied to advanced deterrents early burn modifying technology, in particular RS's 'EI' grades (RS 40/52/60/70/80 and some Alliant powders supplied by Nitrochemie). They will give a step increase in performance but the extension of the peak burning pressure and heat period increases the stress on the chamber throat rear end of the barrel. Don't load them up to peak pressures and performance and they should be fine. (I have an FTR rifle with a Broughton 5-groove that has had a lot of RS52 down it and its performance is holding up very well.) With the 243 being a known barrel burner, there is a good case though for the high round-count user to choose powders carefully. Viht N160 and N165 are obvious candidates for the heavier bullets. (John Whidden keeps winning US national championships with the 'straight 243' 105 Hybrids and N160 too - ~1,300 rounds barrel accuracy life he says and remember American prone competitors string-shoot, so rounds will go downrange as fast as the target is marked and a lot faster than our TR or F-Class.) For ball powder lovers, I imagine the Ramshots will give acceptable if not in fact very good life if pressures are sensible.
  3. Laurie

    .308 Target rounds

    Where have you seen Vihtavuori recommend N135 in this application? That a powder grade is quoted in loading tables means it can be used, but it may or may not be optimal. N135 is the canister version of Viht's bulk propellant for standard 7.62X51mm NATO ball rounds and is optimal for that cartridge in NATO STANAG spec barrels and chambers - ie a slightly undersize (compared to SAAMI .30's 0.300/0.3080" bore/groove ) bullet loaded into a heavy case and within the 143-146gn weight range. It is usable with a heavier 155gn bullet - but that is neither optimal nor recommended. As a short-range load it'll be fine and its slightly lower loads please the penny pinchers. One just needs to look at Viht's 308 Win data for the 155gn Sierra MK and the maximum loads shown for N100-series powders to see the internal ballistics relationships: N135 Max load gives 2,674 fps N140 Max load gives 2,712 fps N150 Max load gives 2,790 fps For bullet weights up to 150gn N135 generally gives higher MVs than N140, its faster burning rate better suited to this application. From and including 155gn, this is reversed and Viht doesn't show any data for N135 for bullets heavier than 185gn, and in this case for one bullet only out of several covered.
  4. See: http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2018/05/good-news-for-gunsmiths-major-itar-changes-coming/#comments The detail isn't available yet, but it looks like many of the things we buy from the USA may be exempted. If so, good news.
  5. Insofar as SR primers go, there is NO relationship between so-called 'magnum' primers and 'magnum' (hotter) performance. Magnum SR (and BR types) primers have thicker cups but often have the same pellet as the standard grade inside. Some individual models (including non-magnums) are slightly warmer than others. See first conclusion (commentary on Table 1) in: http://www.targetshooter.co.uk/?p=2662 What I increasingly see is the difference SR primers can make to performance - not in MVs but in matching the rest of the load and changing group sizes. This has two results. First some experimentation with primers may be necessary during load development to get best results, and 2) once you've settled on a primer model stick with it. Changing primer (sometimes even buying a new lot of an existing one) often requires the load to be fine-tuned again.
  6. Laurie

    New Brass prep and new load to develop

    I neck-size first then use the body die - no particular reasoning in this order and it'd likely give the same results if reversed. The Collet die doesn't need any case-lube at all, so my cases are decapped and cleaned first then neck-sized. They need lubing for body-die full-length sizing of course, this action often done at a later stage nearer to priming charging and bullet seating etc. For Forster Bushing-Bump sizing, I've always used the merest smear of Imperial Wax Sizing lube on the neck and shoulder. Whilst the Collet type presses inwards onto a now static neck, I don't like the idea of any unlubed sliding contact between a bushing and the neck. Whether the small amount of lube on the shoulder is really required is debatable, but I've found I get very consistent shoulder set-back between cases using this method. Lightly smeared finger / thumb application and small amounts of lube involved over a limited area make for very quick and easy application / wiping it off afterwards.
  7. Laurie

    Additional Data for Lovex Powders

    Thanks Bangbangman. It's difficult for us (or certainly me at any rate ) in our over-regulated situation to remember just how mainstream the AR-15 platform in the USA has become in its semi-auto form, and as much, much more than a range or plinking tool. Get a good AR-compatible cartridge and it taps straight into a large group of potential users including 'hunters'.
  8. Laurie

    Additional Data for Lovex Powders

    In the USA anyway. It'll still be labeled DO63 in our supplies brought in by Mike Pearson of Westlander. Is the 300 Blackout such a huge success in the USA? There are now two powders named for it - Hodgdon CFE-BLK ball powder and this one, both fast burners as you'd expect. (The BLK name confused me for a long time as Hodgdon does various black powder type propellants and I dismissed it as another such, not as a modern fast-burning smokeless grade. It is one of the few Reach compliant survivors in the Hodgdon range.)
  9. For people who are thinking of trying the Czech Lovex powder range, I've found a new data source. (Exlosia's guide is good, but is heavily weighted towards European sporting rifle loads. So, many popular US originating cartridges such as the 6.5 Creedmoor are missing , and even where data is provided for popular US numbers such as 308 and 30-06, many of the bullets and cases used to generate data aren't common choices here. This guide can downloaded from https://explosia.cz/app/uploads/2016/11/reloading_Lovex_EN.pdf ) An American shooting supply company Shooters World (https://shootersworldsc.com) has been importing Lovex powders into the USA for some time and renaming / labeling them under its own 'Americanised' names. For example, Lovex SO65 becomes Shooters World Long Rifle and SO62 is renamed Precision. I've just noticed that Shooters World has commissioned proper loads pressure testing and has its own online reloading manual either available from the Shooters World home page or directly in pdf file form as: Shooters World Loading Manual Note the date of the latest version - last month. This is still obviously a work in progress and there are only four pages (15-18) of rifle loads data in a small number of cartridges, but they include 260 Rem and 6.5mm Creedmoor in addition to the usual suspects of .308 Win and .30-06 etc, not to mention the less usual suspect of .458 SOCOM! (There are also some BPCR loads bullet data for the old Accurate-5744, now known as Lovex DO-60, or in its Shooters World rebranding as Buffalo Rifle.) There are no data as yet for Lovex SO70 (SW4350 in Shooters World speak). Still, it's a useful additional source of information for those using or contemplating using Lovex powders which are very good indeed in some applications, and this reloading guide is obviously still being expanded
  10. Laurie

    243 powder

    All ball type powders are double-based (nitroglycerin in the base-mix is an essential ingredient in getting the little balls to form in a 'distillation'' / precipitation process). Despite that US Army studies have shown no reduction in military rifle barrel life between those used with single-based extruded powders and those with ball types. (All standard US military ball ammunition have been designed to use WCC produced ball powders from the St. Marks Powder Co, plant in Florida since the 7.62mm M80 was adopted in 1952, sniper etc ammunition is different and the current M118LR uses IMR-4064). On top of that Eurenco P.B. Clermont which makes Ramshot powders and supplies military ammunition loaders in many countries having bought the production rights for the type from the Olin Corporation is credited with probably the best and most sustained R&D on smallarms propellants bar none, and it has put a lot of effort into developing cool and clean burning versions, also losing ball powders' original downside of temperature sensitivity. So, at equivalent pressures, I wouldn't expect Hunter to wear barrels out any faster than single-based extruded products with the exception of some very cool burning types such as Viht N165 and Hodgdon H1000 that are known to maximise barrel life in barrel-burning cartridges. I've recently started researching 243 Win loads, bullets, and performance for a project on making a Howa 1500 Varminter into a clubman's occasional F-Open rifle given the cartridge's and its rifles' widespread distribution. Because the 243 is a common off the shelf number many users fail to notice that it is a fairly over bore -capacity design which as a rule work best with slow burning powders. Despite that, the loading manuals give loads for a remarkably wide range of propellants including many relatively fast burners. So powders like RS52 and N140 will work in the cartridge, but at a little low (mid 80s to 90%) fill-ratios. My gut-feeling is to go to slower burning grades even for lighter bullets. I'll get the chance later this year to prove / disprove this hypothesis as my first bullet choice is the 70gn Sierra MK and I'll try a large range of types / grades with it.
  11. Laurie

    Plot-o-matic scoring strategy

    They have already been used in national level comps ........... BUT the tablets used as monitors are supplied to competitors by the organisers. They obviously have no ballistics etc apps installed and presumably cannot be communicated with by third parties. As well as meeting these requirements, there is the advantage to the line officers that everybody has the same kit, so any log-on or reception issues can be more easily resolved, unlike when every competitor is using his or her own kit. ICFRA will no doubt update its rules on this issue in due course.
  12. Laurie

    Plot-o-matic scoring strategy

    The last I heard Milcun (Linda Miller and Keith Cunningham, the Canadian range owners and marksmanship training outfit) owned the rights to the onetime Plot-O-Matic and sold it under another name, as well as using it in some of their training work. It was originally developed by a Canadian TR shooter. It's not shown on their website anymore as far as I can see. http://www.milcun.com/index.html It doesn't do anything that a good standard paper plot won't except maybe show things a little more clearly, and it exacerbates the main problem that plotting poses for most tyros in this activity - time and distraction. Some people never get to grips with producing a full plot as it adds too much workload with all the other things you've got to do in the 45 seconds allowed between target reappearance and taking the shot. On the use of personal phones and tablets with electronic targets, I don't see that lasting past the initial learning curve / familiarization stage. The Americans went to match organiser-issued tablets from day one with their F-Class Nationals at Lodi last year and on other ranges where they've since being used. They have really strict rules on no competitor owned electronic or communications device other than timers and earmuffs being allowed by competitors ahead of a line 30 metres or somesuch behind the firing line - having your phone ring whilst on your person whilst taking part in an major match (or club one for all I know too) is a DQ or points penalty job. This is presumably to eliminate possible distractions to other competitors, but primarily as I understand it to prevent the use of computed wind reading / shot analysing etc aids, illicit communications from a friend behind the firing line coaching etc - as BoltHead says that's what's in the ICFRA rule book.
  13. Laurie

    Norma powders

    I don't know that Ian - out of sheer curiosity I've been looking around to see if I can find any online price listings to get a handle on this, but haven't seen any to date. However, let's just say I was approached by a well known northern dealer whom you'll know too about my views on the Norma range when RUAG was sounding retailers out a few months ago. He wanted to know if these powders would offer any significant benefits over other post-Reach alternatives. I suspected price was behind the query and asked if this was so which was confirmed. He said they would have to be something really special and I'm quoting him verbatim here, before he'd take them at the prices he was quoted. It may be of course that Norma something or other will be the new 4831 shortcut for 284 / 7WSM match shooters and therefore justify a price premium, so we'll have to see.
  14. Laurie

    Norma powders

    They're made by Bofors in Sweden (which also makes many of the Alliant powder range). This bit of Bofors is a company within the Eurenco explosives and propellants multinational alongside the Belgian P B Clemont which manufactures Ramshot powders. http://www.afems.org/partner/sweden/eurenco.html Norma has eight rifle grades. All are relatively mildly double-based as per Alliant and half the Reload Swiss powders. http://normapowder.com Norma 203B and Alliant Re15 are the same product and Norma MRP and Alliant Re22 are very close, probably were the same thing at one time, but Norma fans in other countries say that they're now slightly different and MRP will give usefully higher MVs in suitable cartridges. The range as it then was was on sale here until some time in the 90s before the importer withdrew it almost certainly because it didn't sell in large enough quantities as it was considerably more expensive than Vihtavuori and a bit dearer than Hodgdon / IMR / Alliant at contemporary prices. With most Hodgdon and IMR now gone, RUAG Ammotec UK is trying its hand again, presumably in the belief that there will be shortages and handloaders are going to be willing to pay Norma prices - I'd doubt it! They are excellent powders and I've burned a good few pounds when they were last here, but they don't offer anything extra worth a considerable price premium, and I don't believe there is going to be such a shortage that price considerations will go out the window. Still, who knows?
  15. Laurie

    30-06 Dies and brass

    I should be able to help you here - I've sent a PM

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