Any day at the range, etc.
Besides the general joy of making loud noises and holes in targets, wanted to try out three things in particular. First off, remember the plastic bullets? I loaded some of those in 7.62x54r, using the same 6.0 grains of 2400 I'd used in .30-30, and tried them in the M39 at 50 yards.
You can't see the first two, as they were below the paper, about eight inches low. It required putting the rear sight at 500 meters to bring them up to here. I've noticed that in some rifles a cast bullet load will shoot to one side or the other, seems to be the case here. Recoil was almost nonexistent; it rocked the rifle slightly. Pressure was so low the case didn't seal very well, there were signs of a fair amount of leakage around the case necks. I didn't try this at 100, as with the added 50 yards and what wind there was I had no idea how high I'd have to raise the rear sight. For short range for easy practice, not bad.
After the success of the 150-grain cast load I tried in this rifle, I loaded some Sierra 150-grain Gameking softpoints up; let's just say accuracy was not acceptable. Cast bullets sized to .309" work great, but not the jacketed stuff; have to use .311 I guess.
The other test was some loads for the M1. GI Brass had some 172-grain boattail match bullets a while back(none since, dammit), and I wanted to try something. I used the 43.0 grains of IMR4895 that worked so well before, in different cases, HXP(Greek) surplus and Federal commercial. The HXP case load gave this at 100:
I pulled the first shot, I must confess; the other four went into 2", not bad for an M1 with a standard GI barrel. The Federal case load gave the below result:
Somehow, I seem to have pulled the first shot on both today. This group overall a bit tighter, though the one opens it back out to 2". I'm going to load some more of these- only did five each to try, since don't have all that many of these bullets- for further testing.
The rest of the rifle was largely .22 and the .30 Carbine. I took the Martini for .22, and discovered over the course of the day that the mounting screws for the rear sight were loose(found that one first), and then discovered that the stock was loose. The stock fits into a socket in the butt of the receiver, and a bolt goes through the stock into the receiver, like a lot of shotguns, and how I didn't notice it earlier I have no idea. And, of course, no screwdriver in the kit is long enough to deal with this.
Ah, well, good day overall. And picked up a bunch of brass, some of which is in the tumbler as I write. Now I just need to finish cleaning and putting things away.