Monday, April 22, 2013

Range day

and a couple of observations:
One: it's amazing the groups you can shoot when the target is blurry but the sights are sharp.
Remembered to take the reading glasses along, and while performing the second stage of an experiment(I'll get to that below) changed to them.  The target's blurry, but the sights sharp and clear, and that equals nice, tight groups.

The experiment:
I've got a mold that throws 160-grain semi-wadcutters for .38/.357.  Casts beautiful bullets, but I've ALWAYS had lead fouling with them, no matter the load.  Not horrible, but after 20-30 rounds it's a pain to clean the bore and get it all out.

Short time ago was checking reviews on the Checkmaker, and ran across a guy who mentioned that for mild-to-moderate pistol loads he used the light cardboard used to support shirt collars in the package; punch out discs that are a snug fit into the case, put them on top of the powder and then seat the bullet. 

Cheap and easy to try, so...

Found a cheap set of hollow punches at a local store, machined one out to cut the proper size discs, and gave it a try: about forty rounds fired, and just a trace of fouling.  And instead of the 'scrub and cuss' mess it was 'scrub with a couple of wet patches, let it set a while, then a couple of dry' cleanup.

So tried it again today: 36 rounds, same result.  I used a box that contained envelopes for the paper, seems to have worked well.  Only thing that caught notice while firing- not really a problem- was the smell of burned paper.  Couldn't see any remains in front of me, so either they burned completely or were just to far away or shredded to see.

I've got another cartridge I want to try this in.  I don't think it can replace gas checks for higher-velocity loads, but if it'll work for the mild stuff, well, that's very nice.

No, do not have a Checkmaker; still looking at reviews and deciding if it'd be worth it.


tkdkerry said...

I've used my reading glasses before to get better groups, but stopped doing it. I decided that if and when I needed my firearm, the odds were much higher that I would be wearing my distance lenses, so I would rather be well-practiced with them.

Firehand said...

For most practice, I do too, for the same reasons. I go to the reading glasses when I want to test a load or just see how tight I can shoot slowfire.

B said...

If your discs are burning, try wax or vaseline on the powder side. I have heard (but never tried) hairspray works too.

For real fun, try paper patching cast bullets. Especially in rifles.

You DO have to size them after patching and lubing.

But they work as well as a copper jacket.

markshere2 said...

Would using a brass 9mm case to cut discs for a .357 work?

Firehand said...

I'm assuming the discs are burning, they might be sticking to the bullet base and falling off downrange.

I tried paper-patching some .30-30 bullets once; the confetti on each shot was interesting. May have to experiment more with that later on.

I think the case walls would be too thick to make a check. Though I need to measure one to see just how thick they are.