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View Full Version : OT: Groundhog season revisited



Lynn Standish
03-20-2005, 05:02 PM
On Friday, I was asked by a couple of members about the gun in the following post.

I like to build and tinker with rifles. The rifle I used for that (850 yd. rockchuck) shot was a big .22, i.e. a 6.5 x 55 Swede case necked down to .224. It has a 30" straight cylinder barrel (1.25" diameter from breech to muzzle). It is built on a trued Remington 700 action with a 2 oz. trigger, and the whole barrel and action are attached to a McMillan Tooley MBR stock via a barrel block in front of the action. This means the action and barrel are free floated with only the barrel block touching the stock. At the moment, it's wearing a Pentax 8.5 - 32 X scope with a mil-dot ranging reticle, mounted on tapered bases. The tapered bases are so there will be enough elevation adjustment in the scope to get out to 1,000 yards and beyond. It is set up with a tight neck chamber (you have to turn some brass off the case necks to get them to fit in the chamber) and throated to use custom 80 grain bullets made by JLK. These come out the end at close to 3600 fps. The whole thing weighs almost 20 lbs, so it is shot off a bench/bags -- not offhand. Lot of $ and time in it, and it's only good for shooting chucks. Not to mention the rangefinding gear, etc............

This is a photo per the request. Hope I'm not too far out of line.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v738/Standish/224Vais.jpg

Maker
03-20-2005, 06:08 PM
VERY nice http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
I like the ace of spades on the stock too http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//cool.gif
How far out was that shot?

Alex

Lynn Standish
03-20-2005, 08:24 PM
850 yards. 1200 yards has been done (maybe more), but I haven't had that opportunity. A lot of things come into play at these distances, i.e. wind, mirage, etc. Every error gets magnified at distance. While these animals can get pretty large (I'd say maybe 25 lbs. in some cases), your target is probably on the order of the size of a football. This is really off topic, so if anyone wants it to go away, just say so.

PSD KEN
03-20-2005, 10:12 PM
Can't be off topic, machine work was required.
Nice job, interesting caliber.

Al Messer
03-20-2005, 10:30 PM
I have an ignorant question: How would the original 6.5 x 55 Swede cartridge perform at that distance when handloaded with proper bullets?

meho
03-21-2005, 02:21 AM
Very nice work Lynn. I wished I could get that kind of velocity out of my AR's! Have you played with the 90gr. bullets yet? Who's barrel are you using and how many rounds are you getting out of it?

Al, The best 6.5mm bullet for that distance is the 142gr. It's a VLD design, Very Low Drag. The problem with that bullet and the 6.5x55 is lack of case capacity to drive that heavy of a bullet. The Swede can push a 107gr. at respectable velocities but the 107 will not shoot inside a 142 in the wind.

This is line of thinking where the 6.5x284 came from. I get 2950fps out of the 142's with mine. I have gotten over 3000fps but accuracy suffered.

James

[This message has been edited by meho (edited 03-21-2005).]

happy02
03-21-2005, 09:37 AM
That's a fine gun. I LIKE!!

Lynn Standish
03-21-2005, 10:21 AM
Meho,

I've tried JLK 90's in it, but they are on the ragged edge of stability in the 8 twist Krieger barrel. I'll get groups of 4 in and 1 about 1/2" out. I've got less than 400 rounds through this one, so I don't really know, but I suspect this caliber is somewhere in the middle of the barrel burner pack.

[This message has been edited by Lynn Standish (edited 03-21-2005).]

Paul Gauthier
03-21-2005, 11:15 AM
Nice work.

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Paul G.

ibewgypsie
03-21-2005, 12:24 PM
MY old 220 swift, I don't remember the bullets weighing that much for sure. I would shoot golf balls out of the neighbors pasture at 2-300 yards. It swooshed out over 4,000 fps. But a lighter bullet would not carry like that. Flat trajectory up to 500 yards. I remember 42 grain bullets, but my memory is crap these days.

I shot watermelons at 500 yards with the M1A, never hit every one, but about 1-2 out of 5. Lots of chances to miss at that range. Just a heartbeat out of time I think. I love the 308. Research shows most long range target matches are won with that caliber. High energy round , brass filled with powder gives a uniform ignition. Plus they are common as fords or chevys. My handloads ran about 2700 fps (165gr bthp), not smokin, but reliable.

Have you looked at the accelerator rounds instead of necking down a cartridge? I wonder about the long range accurracy of them.

Fun messing with Straight people with a custom cut brass, A 44 automag can shoot from cut down 308 brass. Let someone pick up your brass and read the headstamp and watch thier eyes. (cut them down with a tubing cutter and trim to size) You shooting 308 rounds in that pistol?

I never saw a prarie dog that large, but then I thought the blacktail deer in Colorado were elk at first. And them jack-ass rabbits with the top of the ears at hood level to the car.

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 03-21-2005).]

BillH
03-21-2005, 12:42 PM
So is it more of a pink mist, or a water balloon going off when you hit the woodchuck with that? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Lynn Standish
03-21-2005, 01:51 PM
BillH -- More like a water balloon. Turns the surrounding rocks all red, green, and brown with a good hit.

IBEW -- These aren't prarie dogs. They are chucks (wood or rock, depending on location in the country), also referred to as ground hogs. I believe the proper name is Hoary Marmot, and they are a lot bigger than the prarie dogs.

One advantage of shooting long distance is they don't associate the distant boom with the little buzz that went by before they heard the boom. They often keep on going about their business until the end. They devour tons of alfalfa and hay because their diet is green stuff, so the farmers and ranchers are tickled to get rid of them.

ibewgypsie
03-21-2005, 02:25 PM
Groundhogs.. Okay. I shot arrows at one locally here that weighed in at 45 lbs. I thought it was a bear cub when I first saw it. (seriously niave back then) I had to climb down and get my arrows several times that day, never did hit the rascal. When it ran a fat roll on its back made it look larger than it was. A friend later killed it with a rifle during deer season. He ate it.

Ha.. Good memories of hunting, enjoying the outdoors, the weather and a good sport.

We have removed predators of small animals by incroachment upon thier habitat. Someone, or something must control the smaller creatures and thier numbers. Otherwise they become a major nusiance. (really all animals)

BillH: the watermelons would spray, a noticeable hit.. Really a lot of fun. I have shot clay skeet? targets that explode too, lots of fun and you know when you hit for sure. Not like a tin can where you shoot in front of it to make it move. (playing kick the can w./rifles)

All target shooting should be encouraged in our Youth. America needs riflemen akin to Seargent York. I have gave away several nice 22 target rifles to aspiring young people. China (norinco) made a nice bolt rifle you could get for $75 at one time. BUT, that was when I had a very positive cash flow.



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David Cofer, Of:
Tunnel Hill, North Georgia

rockrat
03-21-2005, 07:15 PM
Dads been playing with a Ruger 22-250 heavy barrel for better than 20 years now (yikes, back to that feeling old thing again) I remember him buying that rifle. He was a happy camper. That thing will ring a g-hogs bell something fierce. We will sit in a soy bean patch out in the country and let'em know we are watching them. I have a 22 hornet that g-paw brought back from WWII. It was sitting in a gun shop booby trapped. Small string on the strap went to a shotgun that was sitting behind a cupboard. Grab the 22 and boom. Luckily, he was smart enough to know better. Let the demo team clear the shop before taking it for a long "test drive". I get them in the short stretch and dad smacks them when they are out a bit past me. What fun and the farmer will pay for the bullet when we bring in the hide. Come on summer!

lynnl
03-22-2005, 05:37 PM
When I was stationed at Mtn Home AFB in Idaho, we'd go out and shoot what was locally called 'whistle pigs'. I've never been able to determine if they're the same as pararie dogs. Can anyone shed light on that question?
Those little fellows were pretty small, maybe 7-8" or so tall,at the max, when standing erect. Mostly they'd be found in the onesy-twosy's, but sometimes you'd find pretty big villages of them (i.e. hundreds).

[This message has been edited by lynnl (edited 03-22-2005).]

rockrat
03-22-2005, 06:30 PM
We call them whistle pigs only because if they aint quite sitting up tall enough for a shot, you can give a good shrill whistle and they will sit up and look around to see who made the noise. May not be the real reason for the name. ??? rock

meho
03-22-2005, 07:12 PM
Lynn,
Sierra is comming out with a new .223 90gr. SMK. I could be out as soon as the end of next month. It's shorter than the JLK pills so it will shoot in slower barrels 1-7 or 1-8. Or so they say. I hear they shoot 1/4 less windage than an 80gr. I also hear they are very sensitive to how much they are "jumped". Like any other true VLD. Not good in my AR but not a problem in a bolt gun. The USAMU has been testing them. I'll find out this weekend what they found out.

I've a Hart 1-7 on my service rifle that I'll try them in.

James

bikenut
03-22-2005, 07:32 PM
Very nice rifle. I've always been interested in a 25-06. I wonder if one could be built on a M1 Garand action? I used to play with the tanks and tracks out at Gowen Field, when I was in the National Guards. Lots of hole dwelling creatures in the desert around Bosie Idaho.

bob308
03-22-2005, 07:45 PM
yes you can build a grand in .25-06.some have been built for target shooting to cut recoil. you have to load fast brunning powder. the slow powders bend the op rod.

bikenut
03-22-2005, 08:09 PM
Thanks for the reply 308bob, do you know a sorce for barrels? Seems like the last time I looked in a Shotgun News you could buy the action. Thanks, Smitty

bob308
03-22-2005, 10:27 PM
try fulton armory. they had them in .270 and .25-06 at one time. i rebarreled mine to .308

Lynn Standish
03-23-2005, 11:32 AM
Lynnl --

The whistle pigs are not prarie dogs. They are Columbian ground squirrels, and come in a couple of varieties, differing mainly in size. A few years ago, they were in an up cycle, and there were tons of them. At one spot between here and the Oregon border, there were so many of them squashed on the freeway that the State Patrol had to issue a warning. The little buggers will cannibalize their own, so many of them were running onto the freeway for a hot lunch and getting run over.

Meho --

Please post what you find out on the Sierra 90's. I suppose they will only be available in quantities of 500?

Tinker2
03-24-2005, 10:57 PM
Lynn

A very nice setup. Thanks for showing us some pictures of it.
Can’t be off topic. My new Machinist’s Workshop has a gunsmithing
article in it.


Thanks
Have Fun
Be Safe http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif